If you’re a fan of a classic breakfast, you know that nothing beats a hearty serving of French toast. This dish is made by soaking slices of bread in a mixture of eggs, milk, and spices, then pan-frying them until golden brown. However, when it comes to choosing the right cookware for making French toast, you may wonder whether to use a griddle or a skillet. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of using either cooking tool and provide some tips to help you cook the perfect French toast, regardless of which one you choose.
What is French toast and how is it prepared?
For those not in the know, French toast is a breakfast dish that consists of slices of bread soaked in a mixture of eggs, milk, and sugar, which is then pan-fried until golden brown. Once completed, this delicious dish is usually served by topping it with some butter, syrup, fruit, or whipped cream. French toast can be enjoyed on its own, but also pairs perfectly with bacon and/or sausage for a balanced breakfast.
French toast has been around for centuries and has been enjoyed by people all over the world. It is believed that the dish originated in medieval Europe, where it was known as “pain perdu,” which translates to “lost bread.” This is because the dish was often made using stale bread that would have otherwise been thrown away.
There are many variations of French toast, with different countries and regions putting their own spin on the classic dish. For example, in Spain, French toast is known as “torrijas” and is often flavored with cinnamon and honey. In Hong Kong, French toast is served with peanut butter and condensed milk, while in India, it is made with spices such as cardamom and saffron.
Understanding the difference between a griddle and a skillet
So, what’re the fundamental differences between a griddle and a skillet when it comes to cooking French toast? A skillet is typically made out of iron and can be used on all types of stovetops. With its raised edges and handle, a skillet makes it easy to cook food on its surface while containing it. On the other hand, a griddle typically has a flat, non-stick cooking surface and is usually made of cast iron or aluminum. Griddles can be used on a stovetop or portable burner and make it possible to cook large quantities of food at once, making them ideal for large families or entertaining guests.
Another key difference between a griddle and a skillet is the type of food that is best cooked on each. Skillets are great for cooking foods that require a lot of flipping, such as pancakes or eggs. The raised edges of the skillet help to keep the food contained and prevent it from spilling over. Griddles, on the other hand, are perfect for cooking foods that require a large, flat surface, such as burgers or grilled cheese sandwiches. The flat surface of the griddle allows for even cooking and ensures that the food is cooked to perfection.
It’s also worth noting that griddles are often used in commercial kitchens due to their ability to cook large quantities of food quickly and efficiently. They are commonly found in diners and restaurants, where they are used to cook breakfast items like bacon, eggs, and pancakes. Skillets, on the other hand, are more commonly used in home kitchens and are a staple in many households. Whether you prefer a griddle or a skillet, both are versatile cooking tools that can help you create delicious meals for your family and friends.
Pros and cons of using a griddle for making French toast
- Large cooking surface allows for cooking up to eight slices at once
- Non-stick surface makes it easier to cook without burning the French toast
- Uniform surface means a consistent cooking temperature, higher chances for evenly cooked French toast
- Requires storage of a large, single-purpose appliance
- Not as versatile as skillets, cannot be used for as many recipes
- Can take a long time to heat up, which can add time when making French toast in the morning.
Another advantage of using a griddle for making French toast is that it allows for easy flipping of the slices, without the risk of them sticking to the pan or breaking apart. Additionally, the large surface area of the griddle allows for the use of different toppings and flavors, such as cinnamon or fruit, to be added to the French toast while it cooks.
On the other hand, a potential disadvantage of using a griddle is that it may not be as easy to clean as a regular skillet, due to its larger size and surface area. Additionally, griddles may not be as readily available in all kitchens, which could limit their use for some home cooks.
Pros and cons of using a skillet for making French toast
- Used for other cooking methods besides French toast, making it a versatile kitchen tool
- Easy storage – much more compact and multi-purpose
- Heats up faster than a griddle
- Cooking on a skillet requires more attention and flipping slices of bread over to cook both sides evenly
- Can only cook a few slices at once, so if making a large batch requires considerable time and effort
- May be more likely to burn French toast than a griddle.
Another advantage of using a skillet for making French toast is that it allows for more customization in terms of the type of bread used. With a skillet, you can use thicker slices of bread, such as brioche or challah, which may not fit on a griddle. This can result in a more decadent and satisfying French toast experience.
On the other hand, one potential drawback of using a skillet is that it may not distribute heat as evenly as a griddle. This can lead to some slices of bread being overcooked while others are undercooked. To avoid this, it’s important to keep a close eye on the French toast and adjust the heat as needed.
How to choose the right equipment for making French toast
When it comes to choosing whether to use a griddle or skillet to cook your French toast, there’s no right or wrong answer – it all comes down to personal preference. If you have a large family or like to entertain often, then a griddle might make more sense since it can cook so many slices at once. Alternatively, if you want a multi-functional kitchen tool that can be used for other recipes, then a skillet may be the better choice.
Another factor to consider when choosing equipment for making French toast is the type of bread you plan to use. If you prefer thicker slices of bread, then a griddle with deeper grooves may be necessary to accommodate the thickness. On the other hand, if you prefer thinner slices of bread, then a skillet with a flat surface may be more suitable. It’s important to choose equipment that can handle the type of bread you plan to use to ensure that your French toast turns out perfectly every time.
Tips for using a griddle to make perfect French toast
Using a griddle to make French toast can be an excellent choice since it makes cooking large batches much easier. To get the perfect toast, first, you’ll want to look for an evenly heated surface to avoid hot spots. A non-stick surface will make it easier to prevent sticking and burning. You may also want to adjust the cooking temperature to medium heat to make sure the French toast cooks thoroughly without burning.
Tips for using a skillet to make perfect French toast
Making French toast on a skillet can be a bit trickier since it requires more attention to flip the bread slices over to cook both sides evenly. To get the perfect toast, start by preheating your skillet to medium heat, then be sure to add either butter or cooking spray to avoid sticking. Cook the French toast for a few minutes on each side to get that desirable golden-brown color. Avoid cooking on high heat as this may cause the bread to burn.
How to adjust the cooking temperature on a griddle or skillet for best results
Choosing the right temperature is crucial when cooking French toast. Adjust the heat on your cooking surface to ensure that the French toast cooks evenly and doesn’t burn. If you’re using a griddle, set the temperature to medium heat to ensure that it heats up evenly and distributes heat consistently. If you’re using a skillet, you’ll want to preheat on medium heat, then adjust the temperature as needed up or down to prevent the bread from sticking or burning.
Different variations of French toast that you can make on a griddle or skillet
If you want to mix things up with how you prepare your French toast, there are a variety of delicious twists you can add. Here are a few variations:
- Stuffed French toast: add cream cheese, fruit, or Nutella between slices
- Cinnamon French toast: add cinnamon and vanilla extract to the egg/milk mixture
- Banana Nut French toast: top with sliced bananas, whipped cream, and walnuts or maple syrup
Cleaning and maintenance of your griddle or skillet after making French toast
After cooking up a batch of delicious French toast, it’s essential to ensure that your griddle or skillet is cleaned and maintained properly to extend its longevity. A griddle maintains its non-stick surface better when it’s cleaned with a non-abrasive scrubber and mild dish soap. Skillets should be cleaned with a soft sponge or brush and a mild abrasive cleanser to remove any residue. Additionally, seasoning a skillet or griddle with a little vegetable oil after cleaning can help prevent rust and increase its lifespan.
Frequently asked questions about using griddles and skillets for making French toast
Can I use a non-stick skillet or griddle to cook French toast?
Yes, definitely! Non-stick surfaces prevent sticking and make for easier clean up. Be sure to avoid using metal utensils on a non-stick surface to prevent scratching and damage.
Can I make many slices of French toast at once on a skillet?
It’s possible to make many slices of French toast at once on a skillet, but they may not cook as consistently or quickly as they would on a griddle. Skillets are better suited for smaller batches of French toast.
How can I prevent the French toast from sticking to the pan?
The best way to prevent the French toast from sticking to the pan is to use either butter or cooking spray before cooking.
Is it better to use a gas or electric stovetop for making French toast?
It doesn’t matter which type of stovetop you use for making French toast – both gas and electric stovetops will work just as well.
Can I use regular bread to make French toast?
Yes, regular bread can be used to make French toast, but thicker slices will work better. Brioche, challah, or cinnamon swirl bread also make excellent choices.
In conclusion, choosing a griddle versus a skillet to make French toast comes down to personal preference. Skillets are versatile and easy to store, while griddles can cook plenty of slices at once and offer consistent heat distribution. By following a few simple tips and tricks, you can make a delicious batch of French toast no matter which cooking tool you choose. So experiment with flavors and enjoy your meal!