Can You Use a Cookie Sheet As a Griddle?

August 4, 2022
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In a Pinch, Maybe, But You’re Better Off Just Buying a Griddle

When preparing the perfect breakfast, having a griddle can help you get the job done. But what if you find yourself without one?

If you’re like most people, you likely have a cookie sheet on hand. But can you use a cookie sheet as a griddle? We’re going to answer this question and more, so keep reading to find out.

What Is a Griddle?

A griddle is a cooking device with a smooth, flat surface. It’s large and rectangular, and you place it over your stovetop or grill. Its size is perfect for cooking all types of breakfast favorites, like pancakes, French toast, eggs, bacon, and sausage. You can even heat various parts of the griddle to different temperatures to cook all these items at once.

Photo of Food on a Griddle

There is no Easy Substitute for an Actual Griddle

The griddle’s primary advantage is that because it’s large, you get a lot more cooking space than with round iron pans. They come in several materials, from nonstick griddle pans to French cast-iron griddles. You can also find smaller griddle pans that fit over one burner if you’re short on space.

By now you’re probably thinking that a griddle sounds a heck of a lot like a baking sheet. It is similar, though cookie sheets are smaller and lighter.

Can You Use a Cookie Sheet As a Griddle?

The short answer is yes, you can—provided you exercise a bit of caution.

Here are three things to keep in mind before trying this method:

  • You can’t cook all food. Pan sheets can only take a certain amount of heat (which we’ll discuss below). You won’t be able to prepare all the same things you would on a griddle. Meats especially should be cooked elsewhere.
  • You can’t cook as much food. People love griddles because of how much food they can prepare at once. When using a cookie sheet, you won’t be able to fit the same quantity. Keep in mind that your preparations will probably take longer.
  • Due to the smaller surface area of a cookie sheet versus a griddle, you’ll want ot make sure that whatever you put on the cookie sheet can’t spill off the side and onto your stovetop (or into the gas burners)

Before proceeding, it’s critical to make sure your baking sheet is up to the task. It must be sturdy and durable, for one. You should also check that it’s made from either titanium or stainless steel. These two materials are the best for griddle-style cooking.

Photo of Pancakes on a Griddle

Pancakes Will Always Do Better on a Griddle as Opposed to a Cookie Sheet

You’ll also need to have the right stovetop. Putting a baking sheet on a gas grill isn’t recommended, though you can put it over a low flame if you’re in a jam. Electric stoves and glass-top ovens work best for this hack.

Finally, never leave your cookie sheet/griddle unattended, and always use oven mitts to prevent burns.

How To Use a Cookie Sheet As a Griddle

So you’re relieved to hear that your sheet pan can be used as a griddle—breakfast is saved! But how can you do it safely?

Start by putting the cookie sheet on the stovetop and turn on the heat. The best practice is to maintain the heat at a low temperature. Medium should be okay, but temperatures above 370F should be avoided. Otherwise, you risk warping your baking pan and ruining your food.

Photo of Cookies on a Cookie Sheet

A Cookie Sheet Can’t Withstand High Temps and Is Ideally Suited for Baking Cookies

Additionally, if you’re not using a nonstick pan (be sure to check!), you’ll have to add some cooking spray. Otherwise, your food will stick to the sheet.

Will My Food Taste Different?

If you follow the above tips, your food should taste the same. Keep the heat low to avoid any warping of the cookie sheet, which could cause the flavor to change. Otherwise, your food will taste as delicious as ever.

What Can You Use Instead of a Griddle?

Now you know that a cookie sheet can save you in a pinch. However, you might want to consider the following options as well.

Cast Iron Skillet

Cast iron cookware is an excellent substitute for a griddle. Cast iron pans are made from similar materials and have cooking oil to prevent sticking. You may decide to reach for yours instead of fiddling with a cookie sheet.

One downside to using cast iron cookware is the surface area. You won’t be able to fit as many foods as you would on a traditional griddle (or your cookie sheet substitute). But the upside is that you won’t have to worry about heat. You can keep cast iron at much higher temperatures than you can using a cooking sheet.

Outdoor Grill

Depending on what you want to cook, your outdoor grill may be a suitable griddle substitute. However, because it lacks a flat surface, it won’t be perfect for everything. Things like pancakes and eggs are a no-go, as they would fall through the cracks in the grill’s surface. But meat is a different story. Bacon and sausage cook up perfectly on the grill.

Broiler Pan

Lastly, you could also use a broiler pan in place of a griddle for certain foods. Again, meat is your best option, as the broiler will cook them quickly and efficiently.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Griddle Pans and Frying Pans the Same Thing?

Griddle pans and frying pans look somewhat similar, so you might wonder if you can use them interchangeably. While both have handles, their intended uses are different. Because griddle pans are square with shallow edges, they can’t be used to cook anything liquidy that needs containing.

Frying pans are more multi-purpose. You can do just about anything in them--like searing, frying, sauteing, and browning. They’re round with raised edges, which also makes them perfect for creating sauces.

So while there are some clear differences between the two, if you don’t have a griddle pan handy, you can use a frying pan for breakfast items. If you use a frying pan in place of a regular griddle, keep in mind that you’ll have less space to place your food.

Can You Use a Cookie Sheet on a Grill?

While it may seem strange to do so, you can indeed use a cookie sheet on a grill. You have a couple of options. One is that the cookie sheet can act like a griddle the way it would on a stovetop. The second is to use your grill as an outdoor oven.

The second option makes sense, as a grill is like an outdoor oven. Its characteristics are similar, and you can get similar results. Just pay close attention to the materials you use.

Again, make sure that you keep the temperatures the cookie sheet is exposed to relatively low (around 350 degrees or less) to avoid damaging the cookie sheet. See your cookware manufacturer’s instructions for the details for your particular cookie sheet.

Avoid glass or ceramic pans and opt for a solid metal baking sheet. Glass or ceramic could work if you kept the temperatures low, but it’s best not to risk a pan shattering in the grill. If you have one, a Baking Steel would be your best bet in this situation. It withstands high temperatures, making it ideal for the grill.

So if your oven stops working or you prefer not to heat your whole house in summer by turning on the oven, give this tip a try.

Can You Make Pancakes Without a Griddle?

Although having a griddle makes whipping up a batch of pancakes a breeze, it’s not a requirement. You can indeed make pancakes without a griddle--and you’ve got plenty of options at your disposal!

The easiest is to grab a frying pan and prepare your pancakes this way. Remember that frying pans are smaller, which is a downside to this strategy. You’ll probably have to make several batches, even if your pancakes are on the smaller side.

Of course, you can also use a cookie sheet on your stovetop. But another simple pancake method is to use your baking sheet in the oven. That’s right–you can “bake” pancakes! Preheat your oven to 425F, add the batter to the pan, and bake for about fifteen minutes.

Can You Bake on a Stovetop With a Baking Sheet?

“If I can cook on the stovetop with a baking sheet, I can probably bake this way, too,” you might be thinking.

Unfortunately, you can’t. The idea sounds good in theory, but cooking on your stovetop is a fundamentally different experience than cooking in the oven. With ovens, you heat food from all sides. The heat remains at a consistent temperature. And it stays in one place as long as you don’t open the door.

These same conditions, necessary for perfectly baked goods, are impossible to recreate on the stovetop. You’d end up with something that’s unevenly baked and extraordinarily likely to have raw parts. So save yourself the time and effort and say no to baking on a stovetop with a baking sheet.

Should You Buy a Griddle?

Now you know the answer to “can you use a cookie sheet as a griddle?”.But while using a cookie sheet is a fun little hack, you may want to consider buying a griddle if you love making breakfast (or any other meal, for that matter!).

Plenty of affordable options are available, so cost need not be a hurdle to owning this handy cookware item. You can use griddles indoors and out, and they can help feed everyone faster—from just you and your spouse to a full house of people. Not to mention, you can choose between traditional griddles, electric griddles, outdoor griddles, and portable griddles.

Frank Salvatore

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!

About Me
Frank Salvatore
I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!
Learn More About Me
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