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Knowing how to properly gauge the griddle temperature for pancakes is the difference between delicious food and burnt or under-done food that just wastes time and money.
Whether you have an indoor electric griddle or a plate for the stove, or a large propane-fired outdoor setup, griddles are very popular for their incredible range. This large, flat cooking surface allows people to fix whatever they want, from breakfast items and large dinners to even dessert. And items like the ThermoPro Food Thermometer are ideal griddle accessories.
While griddles are generally easy to care for and clean, they still do give people problems in some places, like not being able to find the right temperature. Burnt bacon, stuck-on cheese, burgers charred on the outside but raw inside; these are all issues many faces. This is why temperature control is really half the battle when using your griddle.
Why Temp Control is So Important for Cooking Meals on Your Griddle
The temperature on a griddle is the single-most important aspect to proper cooking. Here’s a quick list of why temperature control is vital:
- Non-stick Seasoning: Everyone with a griddle gets that black hue with the metal, which provides a non-stick surface. However, cooking at too low a temperature means that food is still going to stick, whereas cooking at too high a temperature is just going to burn that coating off, which means your food will stick. Finding that proverbial sweet spot is the only way to keep your griddle non-stick.
- Proper Doneness: For thick items like meat, you can easily char the outside yet leave the food raw inside. This can be an issue with burgers, steaks, chops, or even thick-cut vegetables you’re cooking. Proper temperature control means proper food doneness.
- Full Meal Preparation: Let’s say you have a big griddle and are doing a full breakfast spread. Bacon, sausage, eggs, French toast, pancakes. You actually need different temperature zones for all these items. They cook at different temperatures and at different lengths. Bacon temperatures burn the sausage before it’s done, and will scorch the eggs. Pancake temperatures will char your French toast. You need different zones on your grill set to different temperatures.
- Bonus Griddle Pro-Tip: No matter what you’re cooking, at any temperature, keep some melted butter, oil, or some cooking spray around. Although that griddle is seasoned, things can still stick. So remember that for every item, you want to hit the griddle area with some sort of liquid fat.
Let’s have a look below at the best temperatures to set on your griddle to ensure perfect, even cooking, inside and out, and also cooking temperatures that help you cook multiple items on the same griddle.
The Best Griddle Temperature Checklist
1. Best griddle temperature for pancakes
For a griddle temperature for pancakes, about 375 degrees does a great job. This gives the pancakes that deep brown outside while cooking them to light and fluffy inside. If you’re making them homemade and use a lot of sugar in the batter, drop that temp to 350 because the sugar will burn quickly.
2. Best griddle temperature for French toast
For a griddle temperature for French toast, you really want to keep it around 350. Anywhere around that range, you’re getting a light char on the outside of the bread, while the heat’s still low enough to allow the custard in the center to cook and set up properly without the outside burning.
3. Best griddle temperature for bacon
More people ask “What temperature to cook bacon on a griddle” in search engines more than any other food. Your bacon temperature depends on the thickness of the bacon. For thin-cut bacon, use a griddle temp around 325 degrees. For thicker cut, go up to 375. The reason here is that you want a medium, gentler heat that’s not going to curl the bacon up and burn the ends. Throwing thin-cut bacon on a hotter griddle makes it shrink up, curl, and char. You want to gently cook it.
4. Best griddle temperature for burgers
For burgers, around 375 is ideal. If you like them on the well-done side, you can even go with 350. The difference is that with the hotter temp, you’ll get a great char with a med-rare to med-well center with a few minutes on each side. If you want them well done, drop the temperature so the outside doesn’t burn.
5. Best griddle temperature for cheese
People on low-carb and keto diets, and people who just love cheese, love melting cheese on the griddle to use as a vessel. Go with 325, and put a few drops of water on the griddle and cover it up with a dome of some sort to let it steam. If you don’t steam the cheese, you’ll need more heat running through the bottom to melt it, which is going to burn it.
6. Best griddle temperature for eggs
Eggs do ideal at 350 degrees. Just remember to really mind them. Scrambled eggs have to be moved around a lot to avoid scorching. Over-easy eggs will require a careful eye to know when to flip them. With sunny side up eggs, you just want them to barely set before covering them up with a come. Use the cheese trick here; it works great.
7. Best griddle temperature for quesadillas
350 is the ideal temp for any tortilla, corn or flour. Though like with the cheese and eggs above, remember that you’re melting cheese in the center. You’ll want to get a decent char and then cover, or else your tortilla becomes a burnt cracker before the cheese melts in the center.
8. Best griddle temperature for oysters
For oysters, you want to go really hot and fast. 375. If they’re in the shell, leave the shells on a hot griddle until you see the liquid in the shell bubbling. If you want to stir-fry them, do it on a hot griddle and move them around constantly. They’ll be done in no time.
How to Measure the Surface Temp of the Griddle Using a ThermoPro Food Thermometer
Your food thermometer isn’t very useful to gauge the surface temperature of a griddle. Or is it? You may not know this, but you can actually hold the probe in your hand and place it on the griddle’s surface for a fairly accurate heat reading. Just make sure the probe end is completely clean and dry.
There’s also an old-school method. Take some water and drop some on the grill. If the water sits and steams, you’re at around 300. If it dances around like it’s running away, you’re at 350. It scrambles and pops, you’re closer to 400. Of course, this isn’t a very accurate gauge.
Your best bet here is to use the probe rather than the drops. But each time you measure with the probe, look at where your burner dial is set, and drop the water. Before long, you’ll be able to nail the temperature exactly by turning your dial and doing the water test.
Practice makes perfect when using your griddle, so get out there and cook us something. Be safe and have a good time.