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Here’s a slightly embarrassing childhood memory:
Every Sunday morning growing up, I would tie on an oversized apron, place a white pair of underwear on my head for my chef’s hat, and happily take on the role of Dad’s pancake-making assistant.
He would set up the electric pancake griddle, as I helped him whip up a messy bowl of Bisquick.
Dad would artfully pour the batter onto the griddle, and no shape my brothers and I requested was impossible – he would make Mickey Mouse, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or our initials.
They turned out perfectly every time, as dad flipped them with swift ease onto a huge plate, sprinkled them with chocolate chips, and served them to us with maple syrup.
Proud of my contribution to our Sunday family brunch, I loved biting into the “N” for my own initial, enjoying every single bite!
Feeding a family of five a huge pancake meal every week is quite the culinary feat, but it seemed completely effortless for my dad.
But I now understand that there is one major component to griddling success…
And it’s certainly not due to placing underwear on one’s head.
Owning a high-quality electric pancake griddle can definitely help make a perfectly cooked meal of fluffy pancakes, French toast, fried eggs, savory sausages, and much more.
With the right equipment, any breakfast adventure can be fun, easy, and delicious!
To help you make the best decision, we have thoroughly researched and reviewed our top 5 choices of griddles, leaving no pancake un-flipped.
We’ll start off by revealing our most recommended model. Our review will then explain some of the major features that you should take into consideration before buying. We’ll then describe our remaining top selections in further detail.
Table of Contents
Our Top Recommended Model: Black & Decker Family Sized
Our selection from Black & Decker is a classic electric griddle that best accommodates a variety of lifestyles, making it the ideal choice.
It is a simple and sleek black model with overall dimensions of 22 x 12 x 3 inches and a weight of 5.2 pounds.
Please note that while the cooking area is advertised as having dimensions of 20 x 11 inches, the actual cooking area measures 19.75 x 10.25 inches, as affirmed by a verified Amazon.com buyer.
With a large, nonstick cooking surface that can cook up to 8 large pancakes at a time, this model is the ideal size for both small and large crowds.
This design features cool-touch sides so you can move the griddle without the risk of burning your hands on the hot surface.
The adjustable dial temperature control, which is also attached to the plug and cord that connects the griddle to the outlet, firmly locks into place on the side of the griddle. The temperature variables are from warm to 400°F.
This model has a removable dishwasher-safe drip tray attached to the base so that you can scrape any drippings and food debris into it for easy cleanup.
As long as the temperature control is removed from the base, it can be immersed in water or cleaned in the dishwasher.
Black & Decker products are manufactured in China. The company provides a two-year limited warranty, and the instruction manual is free to download on Black & Decker’s company website.
The majority of verified buyers on Amazon.com were incredibly pleased with this design. Customers were very happy that nothing would stick as they were cooking.
Even with a larger surface area for cooking, many customers were pleased to write that the model is still small and lightweight, which is ideal for storing, camping, and traveling.
While complaints were few, some customers complained that the cord was just a little too short, and that the drip tray was too small, only holding about ½ cup of liquid and food remnants. If you’re a tidy cook with outlets that are easy to access, neither should be a problem.
What Suits Your Needs?
We’ve already described our most recommended model. But if you want to continue exploring your options, continue reading the next section!
There are a variety of griddle styles that are available to purchase. Take the following into serious consideration before you start whisking a bowl of batter:
Are you planning on having many mouths to feed? Or do you need a smaller griddle area for a smaller amount of people? Think about what size equipment will be the most appropriate for your own needs.
The Short Stack: Smaller Sizes
A smaller griddle size is ideal if you do not need to cook for a large crowd. If it’s just you and a plus one enjoying an intimate breakfast together, you should purchase a smaller model.
Another point to consider is traveling.
If you catch the travel bug regularly, and need equipment that suits that on-the-go lifestyle while saving space in any car, camper, or RV, you might want to consider purchasing a smaller pan.
While it does not make as many pancakes at a time, a smaller and more compact model is the practical choice to satisfy your needs while traveling.
The Tall Stack: Larger Sizes
Love the home life?
If you like to do a lot of entertaining at home, like hosting Sunday brunches, I definitely recommend choosing one of our suggested versions that has a bigger area for cooking.
The extra room will help you to make a larger quantity of pancakes in a shorter amount of time – and everyone will be happily (and quickly!) fed and full.
The extra room is also great if you want to cook different kinds of food items at once – you can dedicate half of the pan to your flapjacks while the other half can be used for bacon, sausage, eggs, and other morning yumminess.
With the extra time you save with a bigger griddle size, there’s a very good chance that even you, the chef, can relax and enjoy some of your own creations!
With the bigger size, however, there is the issue of storing it when not in use. What do you do with such a big piece of kitchen equipment?
Luckily, most of the bigger griddles are fairly skinny in width, no more than a few inches.
More often than not, you’ll find a special place with just the right fit.
Between the wall and the laundry machine? I’ve done it. Hiding behind the coats in the closet? It’s been there, too.
Even if it’s not conveniently stowed in the kitchen, you’ll know where to find it when you need it.
Electric griddles rely on a small variety of nonstick coatings and materials to ensure all food items do not stick to the pan. Your perfect pancakes will thank you.
We do have a thorough review on choosing the best nonstick cookware, but we’ve outlined some of the basics of this feature below.
The material of the pan itself is something you may want to research as you’re deciding on your next purchase.
The handles, knob, lids, and covers can be made with a variety of materials, from plastic to stainless steel. Depending on your own personal style and the brand chosen, these options will vary.
The cooking areas themselves are typically made with a heavy-cast coated aluminum base, which is the material found on the more popular griddle selections. Aluminum is praised for its durability, even heat distribution, and warp-proof material.
While not as common as the traditional aluminum products, ceramic is another option that is gaining popularity as a material for nonstick cookware. It has similar features to that of aluminum: even heat distribution and durability, with a superior nonstick surface.
The main difference is the overall appearance – ceramic pans are often made in lighter colors, like white, pink, or blue. This may influence your decision if you prefer the sleek, clean, and simple look of an all-black griddle.
Less Fat: Waste Not, Want Not
With nonstick cookware, you will be able to use a smaller amount of fat like oil or butter to prevent your pretty pancakes from sticking.
While you should still apply a small layer of fat to the pan to get that ideal golden-brown color and slightly crunchy, lightly fried thin outer layer (the best part!) on your favorite griddled breakfast foods, you certainly don’t need to use as much.
This reduces your fat consumption, and saves you from wasting too much of your butter or oil supplies, which are one of the more expensive food items on your grocery list.
I hate cleaning dirty kitchen equipment. The scouring, the scrubbing, the ruining of a new manicure…
Fine, not wearing rubber gloves was my own fault. But I’m sure you agree with me that cleaning cookware, especially bigger equipment like pans and griddles, is no fun at all.
With nonstick cookware, however, cleaning up becomes a quick and easy task. Because food slides right off the pan, there is no need for aggressive scrubbing or long soaking periods in the sink.
So that you don’t damage the nonstick coating on the pan, be sure to stick with gentle soap and warm water, nonabrasive cleaners, and soft washcloths or sponges.
Extra Gizmos and Gadgets
Many electric pancake griddles include additional features that will make any Ariel fan sing of “whozits and whatzits galore.”
We’ll save the singing for later – let’s take a look at some cool components that you may want (or not) for your purchase.
Some models feature a warming tray that can hold freshly griddled food items at a warm temperature.
This is a great option, rather than leaving a stack of pancakes on your kitchen counter to get sad and cold as you are (impatiently) waiting for your children to finally wake up so they can eat the beautiful breakfast you prepared for them.
They don’t understand how wonderful you are.
But they might, now that you can keep breakfast warm for them without even turning on the oven!
The warming tray is typically located underneath the pan – pull out the tray to place your items inside, then push the tray back in to be warmed by the griddle’s heat.
If you appreciate more bang for your buck, consider purchasing a model that features multiple pan inserts that you can switch out to change your cooking methods.
Some griddles will include interchangeable pan styles: most often a flat pan for griddling, a ridged pan for grilling, and a waffle iron.
These are all necessary features to have if you prefer to limit the amount of equipment you own to just a few fundamental kitchen items.
Our Top Rated Picks
Now that you are familiar with our most recommended model, as well as all the details you should consider before buying, let’s look into our other favorite picks!
Presto Tilt ’n Drain Big Griddle
The Presto Tilt ‘n Drain Big Griddle is ideal for feeding a large amount of people, and verified customers on Amazon absolutely love the larger size.
With less batches required to get through your bowlful of batter, cooking time is decreased, so customers are able to eat and enjoy time with their family and friends.
The griddle weighs 8.45 pounds, and the large cooking surface area measures in at 15 x 19 inches.
The larger size, while awesome for serving many hungry mouths, can be a bit bulky.
Customers sometimes had trouble storing it, and while it can be put in the dishwasher, getting a proper fit can be difficult. It can also be a bit unwieldy to wash such a large item by hand.
Presto claims that its huge cooking surface can cook up to 50% more than other jumbo-sized griddles. You can cook as many as 12 slices of French toast at one time, and around 10 or 12 pancakes, depending on the size.
The black, heavy cast aluminum surface with nonstick surface guarantees stick-free cooking.
A cool-touch base surrounds the front and both sides of the grilling surface as a protective border between you and the hot surface.
The built-in backstop ledge on the back of the grilling surface is convenient for food handling, to give your spatula or other kitchen tool a small wall to help lift the items you are cooking.
To power this griddle, the Control Master heat control features the plug that connects the griddle to an outlet. You can adjust the temperature up to 400°F. The instruction manual notes that it can take approximately 5 to 10 minutes for the cooking surface to reach the selected temperature.
Once you adjust the Control Master to the appropriate temperature, the heat is maintained at that temperature until you readjust.
This model has an exclusive Tilt ’n Drain feature – the griddle can adjust from a flat surface for eggs, pancakes, and French toast to a tilted draining surface for meats to drain the pan of any fats and liquids.
Compared to other griddles that have built-in sloped cooking decks to allow grease and juice to drain away, customers liked that this model is designed with a level surface that can be adjusted by the Tilt ’n Drain feature in order to slope.
It’s easy to pull out the handles on either side of the griddle to tile the grilling surface. Just push the handles back in to return it to a level surface.
With its nonstick surface, cleanup is a breeze. As long as the heat control is removed prior to cleaning, the base is dishwasher safe, and can be fully immersed in warm, soapy water.
Presto makes it clear that users should not immerse the heat control attachment in the water, or let it come in contact with any liquid, as this will damage its functions.
Presto provides a one-year limited warranty. The instruction manual is available to download on the company website. You can order replacement parts on this website as well.
The sleek, all-black Presto 22-inch features a premium nonstick cooking area that provides stick-free cooking and easy cleaning.
The item dimensions are 26.25 x 11.5 x 2.5 inches, though the actual cooking surface is 22 inches long. The model weighs in at 6.5 pounds.
Made out of heavy cast aluminum, the base is a heavy-duty material that is virtually warp-proof.
The Control Master heat control plug connects the griddle to the outlet, and maintains your desired cooking temperature once you set the dial, which goes up to a temperature of 400°F.
It features a slide-out drip tray for easy cleanup.
With the Control Master removed from the base, the griddle can be fully immersed in water and is also dishwasher safe.
This model has two features unique from the other griddles outlined in this review:
First, you can remove the handles for compact storage. The handles and legs are connected together, and are located on either side of the base.
Simply open the latch clips to detach them from the base. With the handles removed, the base stores in most standard 18-inch kitchen cabinets.
Verified customers on Amazon really loved how sturdy the legs/handles were – no wobbling as they were flipping flapjacks! The tight springs keep the handles very secure, and the rubber sole underneath the legs helps the entire appliance to stay in place.
But… some customers weren’t sure what to do with handles once they were removed. They were frustrated that they had to find a separate place to store the handles from the base.
The other unique feature is a premium textured cooking surface that provides enhanced nonstick performance. Different than the completely smooth surfaces found on other models, this surface is designed for guaranteed stick-free cooking and easier cleaning.
While most verified buyers on Amazon appreciated the performance of the nonstick surface, the main complaint was the texture of the surface.
Even though it helped to keep the surface completely nonstick, most complaints focused on how the surface left a small, diamond-shaped textured pattern on the surface of pancakes, fried eggs, and French toast.
While this did not affect the flavor of the final product, some customers thought this pattern was bizarre to see on their breakfast items.
Personally, I see this as a feature rather than a bug!
Presto provides a one-year limited warranty. The instruction manual is available to download on the company website. You can also order replacement parts on this website, as well.
Cuisinart 5-in-1 Griddler
The Cuisinart 5-in-1 Griddler is designed like a panini press, rather than as single flat griddle pan. It is a multifunctional piece of equipment with five separate cooking options. You can cook a wide array of foods from pancakes to eggs to hamburgers and grilled sandwiches.
Verified customers were so excited by these assorted attachments – one enjoyed pancakes for breakfast, and panini for lunch on the very same day!
The product dimensions are 13.5 x 11.5 x 7.12 inches, and weighs 13.2 pounds.
Even though it is heavier than most griddles, customers noted that it is more small and compact, making it great for traveling and camping purposes.
This model comes with one set of two reversible plates that are nonstick and dishwasher safe. One side of the plate features a raised metal grill plate that is perfect for grilling steaks, burgers, chicken, and veggies. The other side features a flat griddle plate, perfect for cooking pancakes, eggs, bacon, and French toast.
One plate is inserted on the bottom base, while the other plate is inserted on the top cover. The words “lower” and “upper” are embossed into each plate to make it clear where to insert them. To remove them, simply push the plate release buttons.
Depending on the setup of the plates, there are a total of 5 different cooking methods that you can use: contact grill, panini press, full grill, full griddle, and half grill/half griddle.
You can adjust the base to operate in a completely flat position, where the upper plate/cover is completely level with the lower plate/base, creating one large, flat cooking surface similar to a traditional full griddle pan.
The surface area of one plate is 11 x 9 inches, which can cook about 4 small pancakes at a time – a bit of an inconvenience for those who wish to be able to cook more at a time.
You can also buy a separate plate set to make waffles, for the ultimate collection of griddled breakfast items!
The base and cover are a solid construction made of stainless steel, with a self-adjusting top cover that modifies to the thickness of the food.
It features adjustable dual temperature controls that include specific temperatures for grilling (warm to sear) or griddling (200 to 425°F).
This model includes a dishwasher-safe cleaning and scraping tool to clean the equipment after cooking, as well as two dishwasher-safe drip cups to collect grease on either side of the pan.
An instruction manual with gourmet recipes is included with your purchase. The manual is available on Cuisinart’s company website, but the gourmet recipes are not included online.
Cuisinart provides a limited 3-year warranty.
The DuraCeramic from Oster has a cooking area of 10 x 18 inches, smaller than some of the other models we have reviewed, though still big enough to cook a about 6 medium-sized pancakes at once.
The overall dimensions are 4 x 24 x 13.4 inches, and it weighs 6.7 pounds.
According to the overview on the Oster company website, this model’s unique and innovative titanium-infused DuraCeramic nonstick ceramic coating is 8 times more durable than other nonstick coatings, and won’t flake or peel after long use. It also scratches less easily than a standard nonstick surface.
While many verified customers loved the performance of the ceramic surface, the main complaint with this Oster model is its light color.
Because the surface is white rather than black, it may discolor after multiple uses. Some verified customers complained that it looked liked burn marks they could not get rid of even after cleaning.
Oster claims that the DuraCeramic coating also helps to cook food up to 30 percent faster than an ordinary nonstick surface, and many verified buyers on Amazon confirmed this – they were impressed by how quickly this Oster model heated to a high temperature.
The coating is easy to clean and is free of PTFE and PFOA chemicals.
The cooking surface is a white color, while the rest of the appliance is a solid black.
The griddle includes a convenient hard plastic warming tray that slides out from the underneath the cooking surface to keep food warm until ready to serve. It can store about 3 small to medium-sized pancakes.
Much like the other designs, the Oster model includes a removable and adjustable temperature control plug that connects the griddle to an outlet. This makes it easy to adjust and hold the temperature for cooking.
The built-in grease channel directs grease away from your food and into a removable drip tray.
Oster products have a 1-year limited warranty. The product comes included with an instruction manual, which is also available on Oster’s company website.
Get Your Brunch on Like a Pro
You don’t need to have any form of undergarments on top of your head to make an amazing breakfast or brunch for your friends and family.
All you need are some delicious recipes, fun company, and an electric griddle that is right for you.
With our guide, we hope to give the best information regarding our top choices as you begin shopping for your own griddle – there are many brands and styles to consider purchasing to make a stack of your favorite hotcakes!
What’s your favorite griddle? Let us know in the comments below!
Product photos via var. manufacturers: Black & Decker, Presto, Cusinart, and Oster. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock.
About Nikki Cervone
Nikki Cervone is an ACS Certified Cheese Professional and cheesemonger living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she's not nibbling on her favorite cheeses or testing a batch of cupcakes, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga, wine, hiking, singing in the shower, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.