In a Rush? Here are Best Flattop Grills
Looking to cook the breakfast of champions? Impress your family and friends with your smash burger skills? Or just need to cook a variety of foods simultaneously to feed a hungry horde? Then there’s only one type of grill for you – the flat top grill. Or as some people like to call it, the backyard griddle. There are plenty of flat top grills available in the market but that doesn’t mean any of them will do. If you want to get a flippin’ awesome one, you’ll need to know what you’re looking for. Our guide below should help you out. But if you’re in a rush, we have some recommendations you might want to check out:
Camp Chef Flat Top Grill – Review
If you want the best flat top grill ever, then there’s only one option for you – the Camp Chef Flat Top Grill. It features a massive griddle that offers 600 square inches of cooking space which is enough for you to cook food to feed tons of people. It can easily fit up to 40 pieces of bacon or 72 pieces of brats. Underneath the griddle is a huge grill for cooking steaks, burgers, chicken, etc. The grill has 501 square inches of cooking space. Underneath the grates are four 12,000 BTU stainless steel burners that are independently controlled by four knobs. This allows you to create different heat zones for various types of foods. The matchless ignition system ensures that you never have a problem firing up your grill. There are two large folding side shelves for extra prep space. The grill’s grease management system includes a grease tray and catch bucket as well as micro-adjust griddle levelers to ensure that the drippings go where they should. This makes for easy cleanup, so you can sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labors instead of scraping grease off your grill. The grill sits on a cart that provides you with bottom shelves for extra storage, roller wheels for convenient transport, and even a propane tank holder. With the Camp Chef Flat Top grill, you don’t have to choose between a grill and a griddle because you get both.
Blackstone B009971BM6 Flat Top Grill – Review
While the Camp Chef Flat Top Grill is the best one in the market, it doesn’t mean that it’s not the most popular. That honor belongs to the Blackstone 28-inch Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill. The grill has a powder-coated black steel frame and a thick cold rolled steel cooking surface. Compared to the Camp Chef model, this one is a bit smaller. It comes with 470 square inches of cooking space. There are two independently controlled stainless steel burners with a total output of 30,000 BTUs. This allows you to set up 2 different cooking zones for more versatility. You can even keep some foods warm while others are still cooking. The electric push button igniter makes starting the grill quick and effortless. Two heavy duty castors allow you to easily maneuver your grill in and out of the garage as well as lock it in place. There’s one side shelf that you can use as a prep space. The legs are foldable which leaves the grill nice and compact, ready for storage in your garage until the next time you need it. In fact, you can break down (or assemble) this unit within minutes and even bring it with you on your next tailgate party or camping trip. It’s easy to see why most people prefer the Blackstone model.
Blackstone Portable Flat Top Grill – Review
You don’t need to get a huge flat top grill to enjoy some griddling. Blackstone offers a compact, affordable, portable tabletop griddle that you can use at home or on camping trips, at tailgate parties, and picnics at the beach. This little griddle features 268 square inches of cooking space which can fit as many as 9 hamburgers, 12 eggs, or 9 pancakes. The griddle itself is made of cold rolled steel that’s one-eighth inch thick. The cooking surface is heated by a single stainless steel H-shaped burner that delivers 12,000 BTUs for fast heating. The shape of the burner ensures that heat is delivered front and back, side to side. No hot or cold spots anywhere. The piezoelectric ignition ensures starting the grill is quick and easy. Cleanup is also a breeze with this tabletop grill. The cooking surface features an oval-shaped hole where the grease can drip into. Underneath that hole is a slide out grease tray which makes disposing of all the gunk quick and effortless. As for the cooktop, just wipe it down with a paper towel and you’re done. This 17-inch flat top grill is perfect if you want to become a short order cook on the go because the griddle top can be flipped over to save space and make it easier to transport. You can even get the Blackstone carrying bag (sold separately) to make it even more convenient.
Flat Top Grills Buying Guide
Flat top grills are all the rage these days and it’s easy to see why. You get this giant skillet that allows you to cook a variety of foods all at the same time. A grill like this provides you with excellent temperature control. There’s no danger of flare-ups or food falling between the grates. The food cooks faster. And the griddle becomes well-seasoned over time, transforming it into a non-stick surface which makes it easier to clean. Flat top grills may not seem as fancy as other types of grills on the market, but they get the job done. And they do it well. If you’re thinking about getting one for your backyard, you should know that there are a number of options available. To find out which one suits you best, use our buying guide below:
As always, size is a big factor when choosing the right grill to suit your needs. How many people do you plan on feeding? Some flat top grills are small, perfect for feeding a family of four. Others are huge and capable of cooking enough meat for 50 people. Aside from people, you also need to consider what foods you plan on cooking simultaneously. Do you plan to flip pancakes while cooking bacon and eggs? Then you’re going to need lots of space. If you don’t mind cooking your meal in batches, then you can probably get away with a smaller model. Of course, you also need to take into account the space you have available. Where will you be placing your flat top griddle? Where will you be storing it when its not in use? Make sure to include the clearance requirement between your flat top griddle and surrounding walls when you measure the space.
Burners and BTUs
Flat top grills feature burners underneath the griddle that provide even heat distribution. When you’re choosing a flat top grill, you need to make sure that there are enough burners covering the entire area of the cooking surface. Otherwise, you might find hot and cold spots which can affect the quality of your cooking. Moreover, you need to consider whether you want the temperature of the griddle to be the same across the entire surface or if you want to create multiple cooking zones. The latter is preferable if you want to be able to cook different types of food simultaneously.
BTU is the measurement of how much heat your burners generate. A high amount of BTUs means that your griddle can get hot much faster and stay hot longer which makes food cook quicker. If you plan to cook for many people, it’s recommended to get a griddle with burners that have a high BTU output.
Obviously, nobody wants a grill that breaks down in less than a year. This is why the construction of your flat top grill is a major factor that you need to consider. Most flat top grills are made of stainless steel, cast iron, or uncoated steel. Stainless steel is the most durable because it is rust resistant while cast iron and uncoated steel can rust. If your grill is made of the latter two, check to see if the cooktop comes pre-seasoned. Seasoning can help provide a non-stick coating to your griddle, add flavor to your food, and prevent rust and damage.
Aside from the type of material and the seasoning process, durability is also affected by the thickness of the griddle. The thickness of the material helps determine the grill’s durability. The thicker the griddle is, the more it will be able to withstand the stress caused by exposure to high temperature. A thinner material can easily warp due to constant exposure to high and low temperatures.
Ease of cleaning
Compared to other grills, flat top grills are much easier to clean. There are less nooks and crannies for grease and food bits to get stuck in. Of course, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything to clean after cooking on a flat top grill. Aside from the oil you’ll be using to cook your food, different types of meat also leave grease on your cooking surface. Plus, if the grease doesn’t drain, the quality of your food will be quite low. What all of this means is that the flat top grill of your dreams should have an effective grease management system that drains the grease properly and makes it easy for you to dispose of it.
A lot of flat top grills come with wheels and it’s not hard to understand why. You can’t leave these beauties out in the elements. Most, if not all, of these grills don’t come with any covers which means you’ll need to haul it out of storage whenever you feel like cooking on it. Big, easy to maneuver wheels is key; otherwise, you might not think moving it in and out of your garage worth the effort. More importantly, your flat top grill should come with a locking caster to make sure that it stays in place while you’re cooking. Another aspect of mobility you might want to consider is grilling on the go. Do you plan to use your flat top grill outside the home? Camping perhaps or at tailgate parties? If that’s a yes, you should consider how easy the grill will be to transport. For big grills, this means quick and easy disassembly and assembly which can include foldable shelves and legs. Small grills, obviously, are more portable. But if you want to take it camping, you’ll need to consider the weight of the grill and how you’ll be carrying it.
Last, but certainly not the least, is the budget. Grills, including flat top grills, are an investment. Most of the time, you do get what you pay for. You should never opt for the cheapest one in the market just because you have a limited budget. The good thing about flat top grills is that they are relatively inexpensive, at least when compared to traditional grills. Tabletop models generally cost less than $100. Full size ones can cost you $200 and above. You definitely don’t need to put a hole in your wallet in order to get a good one. Just make sure to balance your budget with the important factors such as grill performance and durability.