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This Is The Griddle TikTok Won't Shut Up About

A full-sized flattop griddle is a really fun way to cook food.

Like any other corner of the pop culture universe, TikTok influencers and their massive audiences like to swarm upon a particular cooking appliance and obsess over it for a while before moving on to the next big thing. But there's one appliance that has maintained an avid following in real life, even years beyond the usual TikTok attention span, and it's one that you might actually get a lot of use out of. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the tool is straight out of a restaurant kitchen.

What is a Blackstone griddle?

Blackstone is a company that specializes in one particular type of cooking tool: a flattop griddle, the very same style of cooking surface you see at your local diner. Yet while restaurants have industrial ventilation systems for their flattops, the average home does not, so Blackstone's griddles are propane-fueled and for outdoor use only. Considering we're in the middle of summer, you can see why they have exploded in popularity yet again over on TikTok.

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You can find them at big box retailers such as Amazon, Costco, and Walmart, or buy directly from Blackstone's website. They range in price from $170 for a tabletop model to over $1,200 for larger standalone units with extra cooking room and accessories.

What can you cook on a Blackstone griddle?

A flattop might sound like a pretty plain cooking device, but they are extremely useful and we swear by them. You can create virtually any kind of burger on this griddle, from a smashburger to a big fat pub-style burger, or you can make cheesesteaks, or eggs, or bacon, or pancakes, just to name a few possibilities. (Wouldn't it be nice to keep bacon splatter out of your kitchen?)

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It's also a good cooking device for anyone cooking large quantities of food, whether for a dinner party or a backyard cookout. It's got a lot of surface area for your feast, but the real benefit is that anything raucously odoriferous can be cooked outside too. Let's say you want to caramelize a ton of onions for French onion soup, or prepare an oily fish like mackerel. You don't have to worry about those smells hanging around inside for weeks, clinging to you and your dinner guests.

How to cook flattop foods without a Blackstone griddle

It's not as though flat-surface cooking was invented yesterday, so of course there are plenty of alternatives if you don't want to plunk down hundreds (or thousands) of bucks on a Blackstone griddle. Despite what TikTok might tell you, there are multiple brands selling outdoor griddles, if you're looking to shop around.

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There are also long, flat metal pans you can place on your grill grates to convert it to a flat cooktop. Some are cast iron, others are steel, and they're a pretty workable alternative—the one downside is that a griddle pan might not heat up as evenly as a dedicated griddle. All grills have hot and cool spots, so you just have to experiment to see where they are on your model.

If you're willing to move things indoors, there are griddle pans that are long enough to fit over multiple burners on your stove, which certainly solves the issue of cooking surface space. This solution does, however, bring all the splatter inside as well, so you'll have to deal with the inevitable mess that comes with this style of cooking.

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You don't need to invest a ton of money to cook griddle-style. But I mean, standing in front of a big griddle outside on a summer day does have its appeal. You can sip on something fizzy, do some easygoing cooking, and munch on a perfectly seared burger in the warmth of the summer sun. And post about it on TikTok. What's not to enjoy?

 

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