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Difference Between a Grill Pan vs. Griddle

Grill pan vs griddle

Grills, griddles, grill pans, saute pans, skillets; all of these confusing names continue to interrupt our daily cooking session. Exactly how many times have you looked at a recipe and wondered “What does that word even mean?” But that’s okay, because it happens to literally all of us.

Grill pan vs griddle

But do you know what a grill pan is? And what’s the difference between a grill pan vs. griddle? Many people think that the design and structure is the only difference. After all, grilling is grilling, right? Wrong. The right kind of cooking pan can make the biggest difference in overall convenience, taste, texture, budget loss, and customer satisfaction.

So whether you just like to grill occasionally, or are trying to start your own catering service, you must know the different types of grills and pans.

Comparison: Grill Pan vs. Griddle

FeatureGriddleGrill PanWinner
TasteTaste is hot and smoky, but not good for higher temperatures.Gives just the right taste for higher temperatures.Grill Pan
PortabilityEasy to move around, but bigger.Easy to move and quite compact as well.Grill Pan
PriceCannot be used on the stove directly.Small enough to work on a stove.Grill Pan
Ease Of UseCannot be used on the stove directly.YesSmall enough to work on a stove.Grill Pan
Surface AreaCovers more area and can accommodate more food.Covers lesser area; food count limited.Griddle
AvailabilityEasily found in the market.Harder to come by.Griddle
Sear MarksDoes not give sear marks.Gives sear marks to the food.Grill Pan

What is a Grill Pan?

A grill pan is like a grill, but in a pan. I might be stating the obvious here, but there is so much more to learn about them. The grill pan is just like any regular frying pan, except it is usually deeper and has ridges on it to mimic the wires of a traditional grill.

Grill pan vs griddle

by “Naotake Murayama / flickr.com”

Naturally, many users opt for the more traditional version, as that one is the best for parties and big gatherings. But for smaller gatherings, or even if you just want to cook yourself a quick snack, the grill pan is the right choice for you. Use it inside a kitchen, over hot searing coals, or even on an open fire; the grill pan is mostly portable and is great for smaller and more congested areas.

Grill pans can provide the same texture as a regular grill, but the since the food isn’t directly in contact with the fire, the temperature and smokiness may vary.

What is a Griddle?

Griddles are like grills redux: bigger, better, and flatter. These cooking stations are a flatter and more expansive alternative to the traditional wire grill station. There might not be something so special about them, but they definitely do stand head to head with grills.

Griddles, for the most part, give about the same taste as the grill, but the texture and taste of the food may vary. For one thing, the smokiness is a bit less, but this is just perfect for foodies who choke at the thought of smoky food.

They are also portable and safe to use indoors as well, just like the grill pan. However, they are unable to provide the familiar sear marks that make grilled food jovial.

Grill pan vs griddle

by “Tom Lianza / flickr.com”

The difference in taste:

The only thing that the griddle and the grill pan may have in common is taste. We find it hard to make the two differ. You see, while the cooking station does affect the taste, the differences vary from product to product, and from brand to brand.

But mostly we find that the two stations share the same approximate taste when it comes to cooking and roasting. However, the grill pan is just like a portable grill, and as such is able to achieve a higher temperature. For most users, this means better taste and better functionality. Only a few cooking utensils can give that fine precise taste necessary for a good grill at high temperatures.

The difference in portability:

Both the griddle and the grill pan are better than the grill in only one aspect: portability. While the grill must be used outdoors, the griddle and pan can even be used indoors. Of course, when using actual coals or any fuel that might produce a lot of smoke, cooking outdoors is the better option. But a light roast will work great with the griddle and grill pan.

Amongst the two, our personal choice would be the grill pan, as it is usually smaller, deeper, and has ridges to give the familiar sear marks. Even if you just want to cook the food regularly, the pan will make it look like a smoky hot grill. The griddle is flatter, takes up more space, and cannot be used directly on the stove, as most stoves are small and cannot accommodate the flat area.

The difference in price:

Here comes the most important part. Let’s be honest here, the first thing we look at is the price tag. It’s just a fact that the cheaper the product is, the easier it is for us to buy.

For griddles and pans, we could hardly differentiate between the prices. Pay attention that cheap isn’t always better. We recommend you try both of the items and assess for yourself!

Grill pan vs griddle

Cons of Griddles:

As much as we love them, there are always some drawbacks:

  • No sear marks on the food.
  • Lesser smoke and roast.
  • Cannot be used on the stove directly.
  • Cannot reach higher temperatures for better taste and texture.

Cons of Grill Pans:

Grill pans also have their ups and downs, including:

  • Do not provide the same texture as grills.
  • Lesser availability.


Grilling is an art, and as much as the talent is important, the magic lies in the paintbrush. So no matter how good you are at grilling, you just need the right kind of materials and platforms to enhance your cooking skills.

While we did love both the griddle and the grill pan, and after a brief comparison of grill pan vs. griddle, we find that the grill pan is a bit more convenient and customer-friendly. This is only due to the fact that grills are greater than griddles, and the grill pan is just a mini version of that!

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