5 Best Outdoor Griddles for Maximum Convenience and Versatility
Last updated: Mar 23, 2020
68Hours of Research
Regardless of how good your kitchen is, you can’t deny that some meals are better prepared outdoors. Apart from that, there’re many times we want to just leave our indoor kitchen and spend some time outdoors. Moreover, it’s always better and even more exciting to have instant cooked meals than eating fast food when you’re going out with your family or friends. Besides, you can throw a backyard party and prepare foods like pizzas, steaks, pancakes, and different mouthwatering dishes like that with a good outdoor griddle.
With that said, it’s worth mentioning that the plethora of options on the market could be confusing. To help you straighten the process, we’ve gathered the top products around, while considering their primary cooking area, the inclusion of a warming rack, the griddle’s dimensions, and the BTU. Obviously, the primary cooking area determines the capacity of a griddle while the BTU influences its power. Meanwhile, the inclusion of a warming rack is like an expansion of its cooking area, so it’s nice to take it into consideration as well.
Top 5 Outdoor Griddles Review 2020
In this comprehensive guide, we go through what you should consider when buying an outdoor griddle. You don’t need to worry as we have carried out a thorough research to find out everything you need to know. We’ve also included detailed reviews of the best products and made a comparison table that you could quickly look at to have an idea of the capabilities of the products. Also, be sure to read our buying guide at the end of this article should anything still be unclear.
For avid adventurers and outdoorsmen, the high-quality Blackstone 28-inch Griddle Cooking Station can be the ideal grill for you. Featuring a large 470 square inch of cooking area, this outdoor griddle is perfect for all types of food, with its incredible ability to provide restaurant-grade, professional-looking meal. Indeed, it’s not difficult to see why it is our Editor’s Choice. With this outdoor griddle, you can prepare pancakes, eggs, grilled cheese, quesadillas, teppanyaki-style food, potatoes, and a lot more.
Furthermore, the unit comes with a built-in bottom and two side shelves that allow you to store food and ingredients. It also features a battery-powered, easy-to-start push-button ignition, meaning it’s ready to cook at all times. On top of that, it comes with foldable legs, four industrial-strength caster wheels, and a removable griddle top, which make it very easy to transport. We must not also forget to mention that it’s very portable, and will easily fit in your car for easy transportation.
In terms of durability, it’s not a pushover. It’s equipped with an incorporated powder-coated black steel frame, thick cold rolled steel cooktop, and stainless-steel burners that make it as durable as possible. It also features a controllable heat zone that allows you to control 15,000 BTU stainless steel burners, which equals to a total of 30,000 BTUs.
However, for all its greatness, it comes with a shortcoming, sadly. It’s difficult to assemble – apparently, it requires assembling, but it doesn’t come with the necessary tools required. Apart from that, a lot of users think it’s too short, which may make it difficult to use for taller users.
Another excellent product on our list is the Camp Chef Flat Top Grill 600, thanks to its budget-friendly cost, restaurant-grade performance, and high versatility. Featuring a 604-square inch cooking area, this outdoor griddle comes with a seriously large cooking surface, which comprises of switchable steep top that can convert between the grill grates and flat top griddle to help produce your favorite meals whenever and wherever you want.
It also comes with four adjustable stainless-steel burners that produce 12,000 BTUs each, which totals 48,000 BTUs in overall power. On top of that, it also features a controllable heat zone that enables you to use different temperatures for different meals you’re cooking. The griddle is also designed in such a way that it will evenly distribute heat to guarantee you a dependable and restaurant-grade cooking experience.
Moving on, the Camp Chef Flat Top Grill 600 provides two large side shelves, which may come in handy for making preparations and keeping piles of hot dogs as you finish the burgers off. However, you can always fold the shelves down in case you don’t need the additional space they provide. Probably the only drawback we found is its excessively light frame, which could sometimes cause instability.
Very large cooking area
Comes with four adjustable stainless-steel burners
With the invention of the Royal Gourmet PD1300 Portable Griddle, it’s high time you started conforming to the changing world and stopped lugging those heavy backyard griddles around. In other words, step into those family outings as a modern grill master and let everyone look in astonishment. Equipped with three stainless steel burners that produce a total BTU output of 27,000, this sophisticated griddle from Royal Gourmet is apparently a very powerful unit, capable of cooking almost any type of food in no time at all.
Moving on, it’s also worth noting that the burners are separately-controlled, which provides excellent flexibility in temperature adjustments whilst you’re busy cooking. Also, the unit is outfitted with a porcelain enamel coated top, which provides a whopping 316 square inches of cooking surface. On top of that, the manufacturers produced the control panel using stainless steel, and it features the Piezo ignition system, which makes it very easy to start barbecuing without any matches needed.
When it comes to usability, this unit is also quite exceptional as you only need to push a button to get it working. The top of the unit equally retains the heat throughout, which helps lock-in the juices when you’re cooking your meals. Besides, you will find a drip cup at the sides, which is there to help you to cook for a pretty long time. Thanks to the drip cup, cleaning the unit is also easy. Lastly, this is a very portable griddle, which means you can carry it wherever you want.
In terms of flaws, it’s quite hard to flaw this incredible outdoor griddle. The only thing we could mention is that it is not dishwasher safe, which is surprising considering that most griddles nowadays are.
Being probably the most versatile griddle you will find on the market, the Blackstone Tailgater Grill and Griddle Combo also doubles as a grill. That is, you can ignite either the propane griddle or the charcoal grill box so you don’t need to choose between charcoal or gas. In fact, you can simultaneously use both, which is very impressive. The gas side has two burners, with one made of cast iron and the other made of stainless steel. Excellently, you can separately control the temperature of each burner.
Furthermore, there are two regular burners, which can come in handy if you want to prepare some pancakes or boil up some enjoyable stew. Whatever you cook with your stove, you can make it with this wonderful grill. It also comes with four adjustable legs, which can be adjusted however you want. Added to that, the feet are engineered to keep it from moving, even when it’s placed on rough surfaces. In terms of grilling power, this grill features two burners which give 35,000 BTUs in total.
When it comes to assembly, you don’t have to be worried at all. Putting the unit together should be a very straightforward affair as it includes a manual that comprehensively covers each step. The user manual also helps with maintenance tips to help keep your griddle in peak condition for a long time. Apart from being easy to assemble, it’s also very easy to set up, making it an ideal choice for tailgating. The icing on the cake is that it is reasonably priced, which makes it super appealing.
Very versatile operation
Doubles as a grill
Easy to assemble and use
Flexible temperature adjustments
Not the sturdiest one
Small griddle cooking area in comparison with other models
While “you get what you pay for” is a popular phrase that is often true, it’s quite wrong when it comes to the Presto 22-inch Electric Griddle. It is an extremely simple, good-looking, and streamlined griddle that offers you a lot more value than it costs. It’s made with a super-durable cast aluminum, and comes with a high-quality Teflon coating that ensures that you are able to easily clean any sort of stains. When the handle, the foot units, and the temperature controls are removed, you can safely put the plate into the dishwasher.
Furthermore, the griddle comes with a pretty large 231 square inch cooking surface, which will definitely allow you to cook a lot of French toasts, sandwiches, and pancakes for multiple mouths at once. To be honest, this budget-friendly griddle from Presto makes margarine, butter, and other high-calorie oils almost unnecessary. However, there is still a drip pan that will ensure everything is clean if you decide to use those oils. To further point out the manufacturer’s focus on easy-cleaning, the cooking surface is non-stick, which makes cleaning easy to do.
Moving on, this product is equipped with a heat control that helps to automatically maintain the desired cooking temperature. Sadly, this griddle is quite disappointing when it comes to temperatures, as it’s only capable of reaching just up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that you will only be able to use the unit mostly for sandwiches, veggies, pancakes, and other foods that don’t need excessive processing. Besides, this product is not the best example of an outdoor model, but as we said, it can still work outdoors.
Easy to clean
Comes with an advanced heat control
Large cooking surface
Small cooking area
Can’t go past 400 degrees Fahrenheit
If you have never had anything to do with an outdoor gas griddle before, there is no reason to get worried. While there’re lots of decisions you need to make, we will surely guide you through. Below, we’ll look at the advantages of outdoor griddles first before moving on to talk about the different factors you need to take into consideration when buying.
Advantages of outdoor griddles
If you have an interest in griddles, then you must have a particular requirement in mind. You must know that these products different significantly from the indoor models, so they’re required to come with the best features to be really effective outdoors. If you are on the verge of buying an outdoor griddle and you’d like to know its advantages, we’ve summarized them below.
The first advantage that outdoor griddles have over the indoor models is the size, which in other words means larger cooking surface area. The additional cooking area provided by an outdoor griddle can help you prepare lots of food and serve up to 20 family and friends at a time.
Larger is often better, and these outdoor griddles have a tendency of having the largest cooking areas. When you’re using this kind of griddle, you’ll rarely run out of cooking space, so it’s possible to prepare multiple ingredients simultaneously. Your cooking prowess and imagination is the only limit.
While we don’t really like admitting it, cooking on charcoal isn’t really a good thing. Apart from smoking up your food excessively, it’s also usually lacking in terms of heat distribution. With charcoal cooking, you can never expect to have an even distribution of heat around the cooking area.
Meanwhile, a bit too cold or hot can make a significant difference sometimes. Most outdoor griddles utilize liquid propane as a primary heat source. Liquid propane is directed via a gas line and distributed among the burners, which can be controlled with switches or knobs. And that’s how you effortlessly control your temperature.
The high versatility of outdoor griddles is a result of the first two advantages combined. You can effortlessly make some meals when you have a large cooking area and a great source of heat. Outdoor griddles allow you to cook difficult meals without any special preparation as you can simultaneously cook and stir different ingredients and parts.
You don’t also need to wait for a particular moment to begin preparing the next meal as you can portion the cooking area of your griddle and do everything at the same time while regulating the temperature of different sides of the unit. This kind of flexible temperature adjustments can be seen in advanced models like the Blackstone Tailgater Combo and the Royal Gourmet PD1300.
Features to consider while choosing an outdoor griddle grill
Outdoor griddles are special products, so they need to be treated as such. If you don’t want to end up with a useless model, pay attention to the factors we’ll list below.
When it comes to outdoor griddles, there are basically two types – electric and gas. Of course, gas griddles are the most common, thanks to the fact that propane and natural gas are readily available in commercial environments. Besides, the best outdoor gas griddle often heats up rapidly and offers more even temperatures. Gas burners have a tendency of heating the plate more evenly as gas is likely to cover the whole bottom plate surface.
On the other hand, electric griddles are often less expensive than gas models, which is largely due to the reduced plate thickness. Also, the cost of construction is generally lower, and most electric griddle control systems are often less sophisticated. While electric grills are probably behind their gas counterparts when it comes to productive capacity, the fair simplicity of electric models tends to reduce failure modes and can lead to longer life expectancy.
From our review above, you might have noticed that some models come with a small cooking surface that is suitable for family usage while others are large enough to cook for up to thirty individuals. Portable griddles are often square-shaped, which makes it easy to store them when they are not in use. They are ideal for camping trips as they’re easy to lug around.
The rectangular models belong in your yard, usually for holding a party or a barbecue. If you are in search of a model for party use, look for something with more than 500 square inches of cooking area, like the Camp Chef Flat Top Grill 600. However, if a model for family use is what you’re looking for, you can choose a model with about 300 square inches of cooking area, like the Royal Gourmet PD1300.
The BTU, which is an acronym for British Thermal Units, is a vital measurement. They are the units that determine the heat produced by your gas griddle, stove, and burner. It’s important to remember that one BTU will increase the heat of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit, and a domestic stove produces about 7,000 BTUs per burner.
While that is only the average, it’s a great way to compare your outdoor griddle. For outdoor gas griddles, any burner that can produce up to 25,000 BTUs is great, and there are many models on this list that are capable of that, such as the Royal Gourmet PD1300 and the Blackstone 28-inch Griddle Cooking Station. There are many various types of outdoor gas griddles on the market, but keep in mind that the more the BTU amount, the better.
The dimensions of your griddle are important to consider also. When it comes to small electric models that you would most likely store in one of your kitchen cabinets, the size determines where exactly you can put it. For outdoor griddles, you just need to consider if its dimensions won’t be too large for your vehicle for transportation, or for keeping it at your backyard at all times.
Except you live in an extremely confined place or you have a really small vehicle, you don’t really need to worry about their dimensions. Remember that bigger is always better when it comes to outdoor griddles since they are often used to prepare food for a large number of people.
Another important factor you need to consider is weight. While most outdoor griddles are known for their bulky and heavy construction, there’re still some models such as the Presto 22-inch Electric Griddle that weigh less than ten pounds. If there are chances that you will be moving your griddle around a lot, then we advise you to look at the lightweight models.
The best griddles usually come with longer warranty periods. Apparently, a longer warranty is an indication of the company’s confidence in delivering what it promises, and that’s what every buyer wants. Ideally, your outdoor griddle should come with excellent warranty terms for satisfactory protection in the event of defects.
Depending on what your budget is, you may also look at other extra features like side shelves, wheels, and adjustable legs. Obviously, these features add to the overall convenience, so they are likely to come for a slightly higher price. That’s why we mentioned something about your budget in the first place.
How to clean your outdoor griddle
Your griddle needs to be cleaned regularly. But take heart as it’s not a difficult task to perform. You only need the metal spatula with which you’ve been cooking, a scouring pad, paper towels, hot water, and some cooking oil.
Allow the unit to cool down as you wouldn’t like to burn your hands.
Use the metal spatula or probably a paint scraper to scrape the cooking area for the removal of any excess pool of grease.
Use a dishcloth or a paper towel to wipe it, but it still can be fairly greasy.
Pour a small amount of water on it while it is still fairly warm but do not utilize soap. Hot water should be sufficient to soften any hardened deposit.
Rub the surface gently with a nylon scouring pad. Don’t ever use steel or wire wool.
Use water and paper towels to rinse off the softened debris. Keep in mind to empty the grease-collecting cup or the drip tray regularly, to prevent spills.
Use a soft cloth to gently dry the griddle and season it by rubbing a small amount of oil across the cooking surface for the prevention of rust.
While outdoor griddles are usually designed to resist wear and tear, they can also be damaged if put under excessively harsh weather conditions. However, since outdoor griddles are often too heavy, it will be hard for you to carry it inside after every use. In the case, make sure you season your griddle regularly to prevent rust. You can also keep it in your garage, but make sure you season and cover it at all times.
Yes, the food cooked on a griddle will taste different than the one cooked on a normal grill. While grills produce a slightly burnt texture that’ll improve the food’s flavor and increase the steak’s smokiness, griddles are a bit more soft-core on the food. Nonetheless, they can also produce a quite decent taste. The food made on a griddle will smell and taste like normal roasted food since the heat and fire aren’t touching the food directly.
It’s quite a relief to have reached the end of this guide that consists of probably the closest products we have ever had to separate. While our Editor’s Choice goes to the Blackstone 28-inch Griddle Cooking, we had such a difficult time choosing between it and the Camp Chef Flat Top Grill 600. While the latter is larger and sturdier, we had to choose the Blackstone model in the end because it performs as good as the Camp Chef model despite costing half the price.
However, we didn’t have as much difficulty when choosing the third pick, which goes to the Royal Gourmet PD1300. With its fairly large cooking area and high BTU output, this portable unit delivers a lot more value for its money. Its flexible temperature adjustment also makes it a super-versatile model, despite costing less than a hundred dollars.