EDITOR’S NOTE: Updated May 2019 with a progress report.
I recently had cause to replace some of the cooking surfaces I use on the stovetop. In particular, my stock of skillets and griddles was finally showing wear and tear after several years of usage. I was able to solve the skillet problem thanks to Aldi’s Special Buy (ALDI Find) Crofton Skillets, but that still left me without a griddle surface. A skillet can do a lot of what a griddle does, but cooking things like bacon, French toast, and pancakes are a lot easier on a griddle surface.
Aldi decided to sell a product that made it doubly easier.
The Crofton Two Burner Griddle, an Aldi Special Buy (ALDI Find), retailed for $9.99 the year we purchased it. The packaging claims that it’s constructed of “heavy gauge aluminum” and it “delivers even and efficient heat distribution.” It measures 17.75 inches wide, 10.25 inches long, and 1.1 inches deep. It’s backed by a 2-year warranty.
The top surface boasts a Xylan Plus nonstick cooking surface, the brand name used by the Whitford Company for polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). (Another formulation of PTFE is Teflon.) The packaging says it’s oven safe up to 325 degrees and is also dishwasher safe, although we tend to wash our stovetop cookware by hand and don’t use it in the oven.
The big sell of this griddle, of course, is the fact that it spans two burners. We were very curious to see how that played out. Our stovetop is an old-but-working gas stove.
Our first impression is that the griddle was a clean fit on our stove. The griddle sat nicely on our two burners, while also leaving enough room for the handles.
The next step, then, was to test out how good the surface area was. For that, we put it to work on breakfast.
As you can see, we were able to put five strips of bacon and two eggs on the griddle. There wasn’t room for much else, but we probably could have turned the bacon vertically, reduced the number of slices, and probably added an egg or two for our trouble. So the surface was certainly large enough to do a lot.
As for heat distribution? It was surprisingly good. Everything on the griddle cooked evenly, including the bacon, which stretched off into the space between burners. We weren’t sure how that would pan out, but, on the whole, the entire griddle was hot enough to cook, and cook evenly. It’s also worth noting that the nonstick surface was as nonstick as you would expect, although we don’t know how it will hold up over time. Not yet.
As cooking surfaces go, this one is promising. The size is nice, the cooking heat is even, and it does exactly what we wanted it to do, and at a great price. Not sure what the longevity is, but it does have a 2-year warranty.
UPDATE (May 2019): After a year of use, I’m pleased to report that the griddle still works great. The non-stick appears to be holding up despite semi-regular use, and I find the ability to cook a lot on the griddle to be very convenient. The middle part of the griddle doesn’t get quite as hot as the outsides, but overall the heat distribution is pretty good.