Griddling — THE Idaho-E. Oregon onion-perfect indoor/outdoor cookery hack
While the concept isn’t exactly rocket science — or even new-fangled, for that matter — the nation’s embrace of griddling in addition to grilling backyard and tailgate food was a bit slow catching on.
Technically speaking, griddles have been used since late in the Dark Ages and grills only since late in the Renaissance. Perhaps the lag is because a griddle doesn’t impart the seared ridges left by a hot grill on a T-bone and an ear of corn. Or maybe it’s because grillmeisters are a zealous lot resistant to change.
Whatever the reason, the resistance seems to have abated, and now griddling is not just “a thing” but also THE thing for Idaho-E. Oregon Spanish Sweet onion lovers.
Treasure Valley Spanish Sweets are known for their exceptional flavor and firm texture when cooked. Rather than the “mushiness” of many other cooked sweets (caused by a higher water content that breaks those onions down during cooking), storage onions from the Idaho-E. Oregon growing area contain more solids and less water. Cooking by any method, including griddling, makes for a wonderful oniony-sweet experience.
Of course indoor griddlers know that their appliance of choice has never really fallen out of favor, with all manner of breakfast items especially suited to the flat cooking surface. Now, however, the versatile griddle is adapted for propane and is jockeying for position in outdoor cookery.
Good Housekeeping posted a review of several outdoor griddles in May 2023, narrowing the field of favorites to seven.
Best overall is the Pit Boss 5-Burner with Folding Shelves, followed by best value outdoor griddle, the Nexgrill Daytona 4-Burner. Deemed best large outdoor griddle is the Blackstone 36-inch Griddle with Hard Cover. Best outdoor griddle for beginners is the Weber Griddle 36-inch; Blackstone Tabletop Griddle was named best at just that — a tabletop griddle well-suited to tailgating. And taking top honors in the hybrid category is the Weber Genesis Full-Size Griddle – 300 series.
The pros of cooking on griddles are numerous: flexibility/ability to cook eggs, sausage, pancakes, crepes, burgers, steaks, fried rice, grilled cheese, veggies of all sizes and shapes; excellent, even browning with multiple burners and temperature control on everything. They can cook a lot of food in a short amount of time. Cons? Very few.
Spanish Sweet onions from the Treasure Valley cook beautifully on a griddle and are a superb addition to any indoor or outdoor meal. One notable pro of a griddle is considerably less food loss in the process — because nothing falls through. So dice to your heart’s content, griddlemeisters! You’ll get every savory, caramely-crunchy little bit of Idaho-E. Oregon’s famous Spanish Sweets.
But of course this is not to say that grilling has fallen off the edge of the world or is even wandering in that direction. Depending on your source, grilling’s origins go back about 500,000 years, with evidence of upright-and-mobile man chasing down lunch and cooking it over a raging fire. The truth is grilling predates griddling by a few hundred thousand years, and it’s been an American method of cooking throughout our country’s history.
To this very day it remains a bona fide national pastime, as evidenced by the statistics gathered at www.kitcheninfinity.com/bbq-grills-statistics/ in 2020, during the height of the pandemic.
With typical All-American pluck, this country continued to eat backyard BBQ. In fact, in the six years prior to this survey grill sales had increased by 19 percent.
As of 2020 fully 60 percent of Americans owned a grill, and more than a third surveyed said they love to grill steaks. More than 80 percent of grill purchases were done in stores, with only 15 percent done online that year.
Nearly one-third of the nation fires up a backyard grill on Super Bowl Sunday, and more than half grills on July 4.
Gas appliances lead charcoal in popularity, and the Weber Genesis EPX-335 Smart Gas Grill was named the best overall gas grill for 2023 by tom’s guide at www.tomsguide.com/best-picks/best-grills.
Foodies are finding that griddling has its very own trending recipes. Chicken Fried Rice prepared in the backyard? Yes! Recipe available at www.homefreshideas.com/blackstone-fried-rice/. And grilling gourmands continue to expand their repertoire with a great twist on two comfort foods added post-pandemic when comfort has been in high demand. And over-the-top incredible French Onion Soup Grilled Cheese Sandwich recipe from Better Homes and Gardens is available at
The bottom line is that personal preference is the deciding factor in what you cook, when you cook, where you cook and how — on a griddle or on a grill — you cook it. But one component of indoor/outdoor cookery is written in stone.
Spanish Sweets from the Treasure Valley make every recipe better!