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When it comes to all around versatility and practicality, the flat top grill is one of the best types of grills in the outdoor cooking world. One name that consistently comes up that we cover is the Blackstone Flat Top Grill. It’s one of the best selling grills in the USA regardless of type, and we thought it was well deserving of its own dedicated review.
The griddle’s flat top surface has a few distinct advantages over traditional grilling grates – but most importantly, they’ll make some incredibly delicious food. And they’re quite easy to use and operate.
We created a guide on everything flat top griddles if you want to check out as well.
In this article, we’ll give our complete Blackstone Flat Top Grill Griddle review. In the end, we’ll also give a few of our favorite tips to get the most out of your grill.
Blackstone – Quick Brand Overview
Blackstone was founded in 2005 with the goal of bringing friends and family together over deliciously cooked food. Specifically, they wanted to bring products to the market that had a degree of culinary excellence that other brands lacked.
The Blackstone flat top grill/griddle is actually the very first product they launched! Ever since 2005, their griddle has been their flagship product and a best seller. The original design was great, but over time they’ve continued to make tweaks to improve the product.
Blackstone’s products are designed in the USA. No cheap assembly lines from other countries, and the results show in the quality of their products.
Blackstone 36″ Flat Top Grill Griddle Review
The Blackstone 36″ Griddle is their first and flagship product, and you can tell their heart and soul went into the design. It’s an objectively fantastic and versatile outdoor cooker.
The cooking surface itself is a rolled carbon 7 gauge steel griddle top and measures 36 inches by 20 inches – which totals 720 square inches of cooking surface area to work with. By reference, that’s enough space for up to 28 hamburgers, 16 griddle steaks, or 72 hot dogs at once!
Of course, you might not use 100% of that space for many of your cooks, but even so, it’s a luxury to have a little extra space to work with and potentially set up multiple heat zones.
One practical example would be if you wanted to cook burgers and veggies at the same time but on different temperatures – you’d have plenty of space to do that. You can also easily keep some foods warm while other foods cook.
This is a propane gas fueled grill, which utilizes 4 burners – each of which are capable of producing 15,000 BTUs heat output for a grand total of 60,000 BTUs. There is a quick press to start ignition, and each burner has its own individual adjustable heat control.
The front panel that houses the adjustable heat controls is made of sleek stainless steel. It’s easy to clean and maintains a nice aesthetic over the course of time. The frame is a black powder coated steel that’s also durable and built to last a long time.
As far as useful built in features go, there are two folding side shelves and trays for extra work and serving space while you cook. Commercial grade locking caster wheels are kitted on the bottom of the cart, which makes transporting and securing your griddle super easy.
A built in latch is also in place to secure your propane tank to your grill. You don’t have to worry about tripping over the hose or anything like that – it’s all kept in one tidy place.
Clean up is one of those topics that many people either don’t think about or overlook during when comparing grills. It’s one of the most important considerations though, and your flat top grill should be easy to clean so that you can minimize the time you have to spend doing it.
(Note – Check out our guide on how to clean a flat top grill for guidance on that topic)
The Blackstone Outdoor Flat Top Grill has a built in grease management system that really takes the burden off of you. Essentially, it does a lot of the work for you and funnels all of the grease created while you cook into a catch bucket. The bucket can be easily removed to dispose of the collected grease when it gets full.
There are also a few premium, paid extra features that can greatly enhance your grill set up if you want to upgrade. Our favorites include the griddle surround table (for extra shelf and serving space), wind guards, the breakfast kit, and the custom grill cover.
Things We Like:
- All around quality. Stainless steel is the material of choice for all main components of this grill, and the griddle surface is a premium 7 gauge steel.
- Excellent price point, especially for something that could replace a traditional grill. Out of all of the types of grills and individual products out there, this is one of the best bangs for your buck on the market.
- Built in grease management system makes cleaning and up-keeping your griddle incredibly easy.
- Powerful burners and maximum control. You have a temperature range to handle everything from warming up pre cooked sausages to scorching hot steak sears. Easily set up multi zone cooking to heat some foods while others cook.
- Lots of cooking surface area. If needed, you could crank out food for a small army at a cookout with all of the space. Even if you are cooking for a smaller crowd, the extra surface area has a lot of nice benefits.
- 4 commercial grade wheel casters, 2 of which are locking. This setup makes the grill fairly easy to move around on your patio. When it’s time to cook though, it will securely lock into place.
- Built in latch to house the propane tank is a great safety and convenience feature. Your tank remains secured to your grill and out of the way while you get to work.
Things We Don’t:
- Only a 1-year warranty – not a huge deal because the product is high quality and rarely, if ever, would you be in a situation where this came into play.
- Griddle surface isn’t interchangeable. This is a small gripe, but some competitor’s products (namely the Camp Chef flat top grill) have an interchangeable grill grate and griddle setup.
Blackstone 28″ Flat Top Grill Griddle Review
The 28″ Blackstone Griddle has an XL 3-burner model and a standard 2-burner model. It’s essentially the same grill with a couple of key differences.
This model has really stepped up in popularity. The Blackstone 28″XL is a 3-burner griddle and sits in the middle of the 36″ and standard 28″. The measurements are 28 1/2″ W x 21 1/2″ D. This large flat top grill has dual side shelves, wheels to move around, and a heavy-duty hood.
You can also purchase:
Most notably, the 28″ Blackstone Griddle is more compact in size having only 2 burners. That’s not to say it lacks in ability though – everything you can do on the 36″ version can also be done on the 28″ version. The other key difference is that the cooking surface area totals 470 square inches.
You can also purchase:
Bonus: Table Top Griddle Info
Let’s quickly go the tabletop series just in case you are looking for a more portable flat top griddle.
Blackstone Table Top Grill Review
It shares a lot of features with its bigger counterpart, and the quick version of the story is that you can expect a lot of the same general design quality and thoughtfulness in the tabletop version.
The Blackstone Table Top Grill comes in two different sizes:
- 17 Inch Table Top Grill – 260 square inches of cooking surface area, weighs 21 pounds
- 22 Inch Table Top Grill – 330 square inches of cooking surface area, weighs 32 pounds
Frankly, that’s quite a lot of cooking surface area to come with a portable grill. It’s worth noting too that the 17″ model relies on a single burner whereas the 22″ model relies on two burners. Each of these burners has their own independent temperature control. Both are powerful enough to essentially provide the same grilling experience you’d find on a full sized grill.
It connects to a 1-pound propane tank, although you can get it to connect to a 20-pound tank with a converter hose pretty easily.
Last but not least, an intuitive grease channel catches and draws grease away from your food. This design feature allows for easy cleanup after each time you fire up the grill!
Getting the Most Out Of Your Blackstone Flat Top Grill Griddle
There are a few tips I always like to give out to anybody who is about to acquire a quality griddle.
First, make sure you know how to clean and season your flat top grill. Routine upkeep is incredibly important, but especially so for a griddle surface. We have a complete guide on how to do this right here if you want to check it out.
Second, pay attention to the oil you use to cook with and season your flat top grill with. If you choose a type of oil with too low of a smoke point, you might have a disaster on your hands, or at a minimum it can hold back the flavor of your food. Take a look at our post on the best oils for griddle cooking for some guidance in that department.
Last, have fun with it! These are some of the most versatile cookers on the planet, and that’s not an exaggeration. Have some fun with recipes and don’t be afraid to try something new.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a Blackstone Griddle Worth It?
By all accounts, yes, a Blackstone griddle is worth it. Before you purchase one of these griddles, you might be weighing up whether, or not, they are worth it simply because of the cost. But we would say that they are worth it, and for a lot of different reasons.
Blackstone griddles are very different from traditional grills, and because of this, they offer lots of different cooking options. They get hot very quickly and have an electronic ignition that works quickly and efficiently.
Additionally, they are very sturdy griddles with heavy-duty wheels that lock in place when you are using them. So, these grills are also very safe.
But, this isn’t the only good thing about Blackstone griddles. One of the best things about these griddles is the support that you get from the company after your purchase. So, with all this in mind, we would say that they definitely are worth the money.
How Much Does a Blackstone Griddle Cost?
As we have established, Blackstone griddles are by no means cheap. If you decide to purchase a Blackstone griddle, then you are making an investment. This is why you probably want to know whether, or not, they are worth your money before you buy.
Blackstone griddles come at a variety of different prices. The company offers top of the range griddles, and they also offer budget options, so there is something for everyone. Their cheapest griddles can cost as little as $200, but their top-of-the-range options will often exceed $1,000 in cost.
So, there is no straightforward answer as to how much a Blackstone griddle costs, simply because the company offers so many options. So if you are on a budget, or are happy to invest in a more expensive option, Blackstone will have a griddle for you.
Is Blackstone a Walmart Brand?
For all intents and purposes, Blackstone is a Walmart brand. This is because Walmart has an exclusive deal with Blackstone, ensuring that Walmart has special access to some Blackstone models.
These models will then only be sold in Walmart, and cannot be purchased anywhere else. These exclusive models are sold under the Walmart name.
Blackstone then also sells their griddles themselves. The main difference between the models that they sell under their own name, and the ones that they sell under the Walmart brand, is the appearance. Walmart Blackstone griddles are black, whereas Blackstone griddles sold by Blackstone are made of stainless steel.
In short, yes, Blackstone technically is a Walmart brand as the company has an exclusive deal with Walmart to sell certain models of their griddles. So, while they are an independent brand, Blackstone is also part of the Walmart brand too.
Why are Blackstone Griddles so Popular?
There is no denying that Blackstone griddles are one of the most popular brands on the market. People just seem to love Blackstone, and there are so many reasons for this.
The primary reason why so many people love Blackstone griddles is because they are insanely reliable. Not only are the grills themselves built to last, with solid, durable materials, but they also come with great customer support should anything go wrong with your griddle in its lifetime.
Aside from this, the other reason why people love Blackstone griddles is that they cook food evenly. Most grills and griddles will have heat spots where the grill burns hotter than elsewhere on the pan. But, Blackstone griddles do not have these.
Instead, you could compare your Blackstone griddle to a cast iron pan because it equally distributes heat across the whole of the grill, making them one of the most popular on the market.
Do You Have to Season a Blackstone Griddle?
Yes! You do have to season your Blackstone griddle. Even though these griddles are often seen as the best on the market, you still have to season them like you would with any other grill. Seasoning is so important because it adds flavor to your griddle, and can also protect it from scratching.
To begin seasoning your Blackstone griddle, you need to first wash it. When it has had a good wash, you can then select an oil to season your griddle. But before you add your griddle, turn the heat up to the maximum temperature and wait for around 15 minutes.
Once it has warmed up, add around 3 tablespoons of oil to the griddle. Leave the oil to cook for around 30 minutes, and then your griddle will be seasoned.
Are Blackstone Griddles Cast Iron?
No, Blackstone griddles are not cast iron. Instead, Blackstone griddles are made with roller steel to create the cooking space of the griddle. Despite this, a lot of people mistake this for cast iron because the design of a Blackstone griddle allows even cooking, just like cast iron does.
As we said earlier, one of the best things about Blackstone griddles is that they do not suffer from heat spots, like a lot of grills do. The only other type of griddle that doesn’t suffer from heat spots are cast iron griddles, and this is why a lot of people get this confused.
If you prefer cooking on cast iron, you can get a cast iron topper to go on your griddle. As we have said, Blackstone griddles are incredibly versatile, and so they work very well when a new top is placed upon the griddle. So, if you prefer cooking on cast iron, you can get a cast iron plate to go on top of your Blackstone griddle.
Do Blackstone Griddles Rust?
Blackstone griddles can rust, so it is very important that you take precautions if you choose to store your Blackstone griddle outside. All it takes for your Blackstone griddle to rust is a small amount of water getting into the mechanism. If this water is left to sit on your griddle, it will then lead to corrosion.
Even though Blackstone griddles are seemingly the superior brand on the market, they are still prone to corrosion, just like any grill. So, it is important to be cautious when storing your griddle outside.
To avoid your griddle getting rusty, we would recommend oiling the griddle regularly, keeping it out of weather hot spots, and investing in a good griddle cover. All of these actions combined should prevent your Blackstone griddle from rusting.
Can You Smoke Meat on a Blackstone Griddle?
Yes, you can smoke meat on a Blackstone griddle. However, this isn’t as straightforward as you might expect. Blackstone does not produce smokers, so you cannot simply buy one of these to smoke your meat. Instead, you will need to smoke meat on your griddle.
To smoke meat on your griddle, you will first need to create smoke. The best way to do this is to fill the aluminum pan with wood chips and set it alight. Then, you can put the smoking aluminum pan onto the flat top grill beside the meat you want to smoke. Cover everything and leave the meat to cook.
The key to smoking meat is good temperature control, so check the temperature beneath the cover regularly. It is also important to check the temperature of the meat that you have been smoking before you eat it to ensure that it has cooked through.
Acquiring any type of grill is a big purchase – if you’ve made it this far you’re on a great track. The Blackstone Flat Top Grill is without a doubt one of the best outdoor cookers out there – and the food you make on it is sure to please the crowd.
If you want to take a look at how these grills stack up against the other main manufacturer of flat tops, check out our comparison of Blackstone vs. Camp Chef next.
Which grill did you end up with? Have any questions for us? Let us know in the comments section below!