Recently, it was National Grilled Cheese Day (yes, there is such a thing). So our editors decided to make grilled cheese sandwiches with the T-Fal Grilled Cheese Griddle, a non-stick, 10.25-inch square griddle with a plastic handle.
The griddle is aluminum with T-Fal non-stick coating. It’s lightweight and, since aluminum conducts heat quickly, my first grilled cheese sandwich darkened too much before the cheese melted. In fairness, the stove we use at realfoodtraveler.com for testing belts out an impressive 15,000 BTUs and I had the burner up pretty high. The T-Fal griddle was so efficient, it got really hot before I was ready.
With the second sandwich, I kept the flame lower with better results. With one of the sandwiches, I really piled on the cheese and center of the sandwich’s cheese didn’t entirely melt. So I opened the sandwich and turned the pieces of bread, cheese-side down, right onto the griddle. Now this isn’t something you’d want to do with a cast iron pan, which is what I usually use to make grilled cheese sandwiches. However the T-Fal Grilled Cheese Griddle didn’t burn or cause the cheese to stick. It just quickly melted it. Impressive.
The third grilled cheese sandwich test I conducted with the T-Fal Grilled Cheese Griddle, I decided to kick it up a notch with some sliced chicken, pesto, and fresh tomatoes added to my cheddar grilled cheese sandwich. Since I like my grilled cheese sandwiches buttery, I added a bit of butter to the griddle and buttered one side of the bread. By now, I knew that the T-Fal gets hot quickly so I turned down the flame and got great results.
Great Bacon and Eggs
The T-Fal Grilled Cheese Griddle heated so quickly and evenly, I tried cooking breakfast on it. The griddle rapidly crisped bacon. I like my eggs buttery so I added a teaspoon of butter. However, the pan was already hot so the butter turned brown almost immediately. I pulled the griddle off the burner, let it cool, and wiped away the browned butter. Starting again, this time with the burner turned down a bit, I added a little butter and a farm fresh egg. It cooked very fast and yielded a perfectly cooked over easy egg. Next, I’d like to try pancakes.
The T-Fal Griddle cleans up easily. While it’s dishwasher safe, an easy wipe with soapy water quickly cleans it up. As with all non-stick cookware, it’s important to use plastic or wood utensils; although scratches won’t impact the non-stick capability of the pan.
The griddles with aluminum/stainless steel handles are oven safe to 350 F. However, the one with the plastic handle cannot be put into the oven. They also suggest avoiding overheating, which can damage the non-stick surface.
The T-Fal Grilled Cheese Griddle comes with a limited lifetime warranty, impressive for such a reasonably priced pan. – Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor