What is the difference between plancha and griddle?
Plancha, griddle … trendy cooktops are replacing the grill and the griddle in professional kitchens and at home. What is the difference between a griddle and a plancha? Where is the professional electric or gas plancha being positioned? This article helps you to know this ultimate kitchen appliance better.
The plancha, an ancestral cooking material, conquers nowadays new kitchens, backyards and terraces.
The plancha found its origin from the religious pilgrimage routes in the 19th century.
The plancha, a term of Spanish origin, literally means “plate.” Originally, it designated the cast iron plate used in the 19th century during religious pilgrimages like that of Santiago de Compostela: the pilgrims heated this large plate over a wood fire to cook a large quantity of food. The cast iron plancha is historically deeply rooted in the Spanish culinary traditions . With the help of the cross-border influence, this hot plate quickly established itself in homes in the southwest of France.
Since the 2000s, the plancha has been used in backyards and kitchens in France and Europe.
Nowadays, the plancha designates both the electric or gas appliance and the cooking method associated with it. Since the 2000s, the plancha has become omnipresent in the kitchens, and especially backyards, terraces and balconies throughout France and Europe. With the gas or electric plancha, forget about the long and tedious preparations for organizing a barbecue like preparing a fire, grilling directly on the flame which may be harmful to health, cleaning the barbecue … Cooking on the plancha is about improvising and contact cooking the entire meal directly on the grill plate , from the starter course to the dessert. It is a different style of cooking , involving family and friends in the cooking of the delicious dishes. If plancha cooking is associated with convivial, healthy and plentiful cuisine, what about the griddle? Are there any differences between plancha and griddle?
The griddle has gained acclaim among catering professionals.
The griddle is THE cook surface in big professional kitchens.
In the sector of high-level cuisine, a griddle is often part of the range battery or cooking suite. This large cooking surface is used for intensive cooking. Always searching for new innovative cooking techniques, Michelin-starred chefs developed in the 20th century the concept of “snacking” meat, fish or vegetables. It consisted of cooking food at high temperatures on a cook surface by grilling meats, searing fish or sautéing some vegetables. That is how the griddle came into the lexicon of professional cooking.
Roller Grill meets the current expectations of catering professionals with a range of griddles with different cook surfaces.
In constant search for thermal performances for this cooking material, the French manufacturer Roller Grill has developed a wide range of very resistant griddles. The cast iron plate option certainly has excellent thermal inertia, but it does not fully meet the expectations of catering professionals, such as quick heating. Alternatively, Roller Grill has designed a range of 10 mm thick steel griddles with different embedded finish possibilities (plain decarburized steel, brushed chrome, or enamel.) according to the needs of the cooks in terms of cooking speed and servicing. The Roller Grill griddles are used in traditional restaurants, as well as food trucks, kiosks and take-out shops.
In terms of equipment, plancha and griddle differ in their name depending on the environment and the user.
At home, food lovers and enthusiasts talk about “plancha.”
Nowadays, all Europeans food lovers have plancha in mind, as soon as the good weather is back, for a good-time meal outside. Cooking enthusiasts are equipped with an electric built-in plancha for their outdoor kitchen or a gas plancha on a cart to be more mobile in the yard. In Roller Grill’s plancha collection made for the gourmets and cooking enthusiasts, the Roller Grill gas plancha is among the most in-demand models.
In any professional kitchen, this large cooking plate is called a griddle.
Catering professionals speak of a griddle to designate this essential cooking plate in their kitchen. The griddle is today one of the centerpieces of any professional kitchen. It is equipped with at least 2 or 3 independent cooking zones. This large cooking plate runs on gas or electricity. There are also 400 x 700 mm modules with 2 heating zones specially designed for standard worktops in large kitchens. These professional griddles fit into the kitchen cooking suite or range batteries of great restaurants. They are also installed on the work surface of food trucks or small spaces.
But the term "plancha", which has also become a trend in restaurants, has led Roller Grill to rename its line "professional plancha."
In catering, depending on the region, the term "plancha" is becoming more common than "griddle", and it is tending to be generalized in France and abroad. It is not uncommon to read on the menu of restaurants "Fish a la plancha", "Magret cooked in plancha way", "A la plancha cooking" … Consequently, Roller Grill renamed in 2019 its entire professional range of griddles, “professional electric plancha” and “professional gas plancha.” A professional electric or gas plancha at Roller Grill is necessarily equipped with the same technologies like a professional griddle to ensure intensive use in restaurants. Roller Grill has also developed a line of 400 x 700 mm cooking surfaces for the standards of large kitchens, and points of sale with limited space: this range of professional griddles is available in electric and gas.
Plancha and griddle are one when it comes to cooking and servicing.
The first common point of the plancha and the griddle is the cooking method: contact cooking.
The cooking method for any plancha and griddle is contact cooking. Contact cooking corresponds to the coefficient of friction between the food and the hob. The smoother the cooking surface, the better the food can adhere to the cooking plate. Also, the temperature transfer to the product to be cooked is better. Both the plancha and the griddle are characterized by a smooth cooking plate that will conduct very high temperatures. That factor is a essential for good quality contact cooking.
Whatever its name – plancha or griddle – the best plancha must allow a successful Maillard reaction while cooking, in the eyes of the Chefs.
The best plancha or griddle, in the eyes of the Michelin-starred Chefs, must allow an excellent Maillard reaction to cooking: a drizzle of olive oil on the hot and smooth plate results in the Chef creating a perfect caramelization of the foods! A smooth plate and uniform temperature distribution are among the main criteria for choosing a plancha or a griddle.
Cooking on the plancha or on a griddle allows a very varied cuisine.
Cooking with a plancha is not just about searing food on a very sturdy, quick-heating plate. The griddle, as well as the plancha, also make it possible to cook all kinds of foods and to vary the type of cookings: to grill, deglaze, simmer, reheat, to keep warm – even to cook with steam with a coveron the cooking plate. Cooking on the plancha gives free rein to your imagination! In the electric and gas versions, the regulation of the heating power allows these successive and varied cookings.
Plancha and griddle are unanimous in terms of servicing.
The plancha and the griddle are all equipped with a greasecollecting tray to permit easier cleaning . Thanks to its smooth appearance, the cooking plate is easy to maintain. Depending on the thickness and the chosen finish, the cooking plate can be degreased or cleaned with a sponge or even a spatula with a little dishwashing liquid. Regular cleaning of the plancha and griddle is an important factor in assuring its maximum performance potential.