Essentially, the Anti-Griddle does exactly what its name promises: it turns things almost instantaneously cold when you drop them on its "grilling" surface. Unlike home methods of flash freezing, its staggeringly low temperatures (-30°F/-34.4°C) allows ingredients that normally can't be frozen—like oil or alcohol—to turn into solids in the wink of an eye. As you might imagine, this allows chefs to play with textures and tastes in a way that was previously unimaginable.
The Anti-Griddle was the brain child of Chicago-based chef Grant Achatz, one of the leaders in molecular gastronomy/modernist cuisine (sometimes called progressive cuisine). You can read more about the process at NPR.
Want to see the Anti-Griddle in action? Then watch Chef Bradley Miller walk you through the process. He also talks about ways the home chef can duplicate the Anti-Griddle's effects using either liquid nitrogen or the ice/salt method used for making homemade ice cream.
For a more intense demo, watch the Anti-Griddle at work in this delightful and over-the-top Iron Chef America clip. Skip to 1:55 if you want to get right to the Anti-Griddling part.
If you've got some extra scratch hanging around (the Anti-Griddle is NOT cheap), you can buy one of these flash-freezing machines over at PolyScience (who manufacturers the device) and Modernist Pantry. Good news for UK folks: you can actually get free delivery on this piece of equipment on Amazon.
If you can't afford the luxury of having this expensive food tool in your kitchen, there is a DIY way to simulate it with dry ice, rubbing alcohol, and a metal pan.
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