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Flat Top Grill and Griddle Buying Guide

By uchechukwu ufoh March 12, 2021

Many people, not just Americans, loved smoky, grilled food and can you blame them when these meals taste sublime? Grill manufacturers have come up with different grill designs; regular grills, flat-top grills, and griddle. That is all good and fine, but with these options, choosing a grill can be a challenging task.

To help, we have highlighted the advantages and disadvantages of choosing any of these grills and a buying guide. If you like, you can skip to our best flat-top grills and griddle section to see the top picks for 2021.

Blackstone 28 inch Outdoor Propane-Fueled Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle Station with 2-burner Propane

Blackstone 28 inch Outdoor Propane-Fueled Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle Station with 2-burner Propane

How is a Flat Top Grill and Griddle Different from a Regular Grill?

Both the flat top grill and regular grill serve the similar purpose of helping you whip up tasty grilled meals. However, these grilling equipment are different. Let’s look at a few of these differences.

  • Cooking Surface: The cooking surface of the regular grill has a series of grates on it. These grates limit you from putting pans and pots directly on the surface of the grill. However, griddles(also called flat-top grills) do not have these slated grates on the cooking surface.
  • Learning Curve: Flat top grills and griddles have a lower learning curve than regular grills. In effect, this means that you do not need to have any experience to use the flat top grill. The same is not true with regular grills because they require experience for you to get your meals right.
  • Cooking Temperature: One major difference between them is the temperature at which they work best. Regular grills work best at higher temperatures of up to 204℃, while griddles work best at a temperature of 177℃. 177℃ is just enough to get the juices flowing and leave you with a tasty meal.
  • Versatility: Another difference is that the flat top grillis more versatile than a regular grill. One reason for this is that the flat top grill, similar to the grill, allows you to use pots and pans.

Cuisinart CGG-888 Grill Stainless Steel Outdoor Flat Top Gas with 360° Griddle Cooking Center
Cuisinart CGG-888 Grill Stainless Steel Outdoor Flat Top Gas with 360° Griddle Cooking Center

Benefits of Using Flat Top Grill and Griddle

A flat-top grill has a lot of juicy benefits that can tempt anyone to switch to using it. Let’s take a quick look at some of these benefits.

  • They are portable: Flat top grills are designed to be easy to set up and also movable. They come equipped with wheels to allow you to transport them from one location to another with ease.
  • Ease of Use: Flat top grills and griddles have a low learning curve which means that they are straightforward to use.  
  • No Cooking Restrictions: There is no limit to what you can cook with flat top grills. From beef to pancakes, fish, chicken, seafood and vegetables, the list is endless.
  • More Cooking Space: Griddles allow you to cook a lot more food at the same time. You can even place different pots and pans to fill up space and cook away. Also, you can flip your meals over easily because you have enough space.
  • Easy to Clean Surface: The flat surface makes cleaning this grill type a breeze. With a paper towel, you can wipe off the cooking surface and viola, and your grill is sanitary enough for another cooking session. Some flat-top grills also come with a grease management system that prevents your meals from getting too greasy.

Even without the grease drainage system, you can still clean your flat top grill in minutes. Simply scape up the grease with a griddle scraper or spatula and wipe it down with a towel paper.

How to Buy Flat Top Grills and Griddles

The easiest description of a griddle or flat top grill is a big square frying pan with its heat supplied from under. Just like a frying pan, you can make almost anything on the griddle. However, with the different types of flat grills available, selecting one can be challenging.

There are a few tips that you need to know to select the best griddle. We have listed them below.

❖    Type of Griddle

There are different types of the griddle to suit any cooking set up you can think of. But before you go ahead to choose one type, you must understand what all of them have to offer you. One type is the freestanding griddle which essentially comes with its own cart and stands. Most of them are use gas as their preferred fuel type and have multiple burners.

Another type of griddle is the tabletop model that is as small and portable as a hot plate. Tabletop griddles are great for camping, cookouts and kitchens that have limited space. They are small enough to be stashed away in the cupboard when they are not in use.

On the other hand, Insert Griddles provide a flat square cooking surface placed over a fire pit. Typically, they are square cooking surfaces that you can fix over a heating surface to turn them into a griddle. Insert griddles provide a great way to increase the cooking space of your existing grill setup.

❖    Size

The size of where you plan to set up the griddle is another important consideration to factor in. If you have a small cooking space, we advise that you go for the tabletop grill rather than the freestanding grill. If you already have a regular grill and want to add a griddle, then the Insert griddle will be a wise choice.

❖    Preferred Fuel Type

Some griddles run on regular fuel like propane. Likewise, some run on electricity. Thus, before you buy any, you must weigh the pros and cons of the fuel type it uses.

If you want to set up your griddle indoors, then propane flat-top grills are out of the question for you because of the increased risk they pose. In that case, we will advise that you go with flat-top grills that run on electricity.

❖    Cost

After all, is said and done, the final decision comes down to which of your top griddle choices are within your range. Although a flat top grill is a great investment, it is important not to spend more than you can afford to purchase one.

Best Flat Top Grills and Griddles of 2021

To help you narrow your choices down, even more, we have made this list of our best flat-top grills. These flat-top grills have been selected based on the strength of performance and features they offer you and not only cost.

1.     Blackstone Table Top Grill

Blackstone 17 inch portable gas griddle is made of cast iron and comes in two colours; Black and stainless steel. The griddle is propane-fueled, offers up to 12000 BTUs of heat and 268 square inches of cooking space. Extra features include a built-in igniter and grease catcher. Blackstone 17 inch Portable Griddle is great for hosting parties, picnics, tailgating and outdoor events.

2.     Blackstone 36-Inch Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill/Griddle

Blackstone 36-Inch Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill and Griddle is perfect for outdoor cooking and super affordable. It comes with a 720 square inch cooking space, four burners and a grease management system. All four burners supply up to 15000 BTU of heat, making it a great option for those who want to whip up tasty meals in no time.

Blackstone 36-Inch Outdoor Flat Top Gas Griddle comes with extra features like a side table, removable cutting board and a holder to hold your paper towels. Also, this unit can be folded up and transported to another location in a jiffy.

3.     Camp Chef Flat Top Grill 600

Camp Chef Flat Top Grill 600 is the best professional restaurant-grade cooking grill. It boasts of being a 2-in-1 grill because you can reveal the regular grill underneath by merely lifting the griddle surface. How nice is that?

The Camp Chef Flat Top Grill 600 offers you a cooking area of 604 square inches and four burners that supply heat of up to 12,000 BTUs each. It comes with a built-in ignition system, two large folding shelves and a grease management system.

4.     Royal Gourmet Portable 2 Burner Propane Gas Grill Griddle

Royal Gourmet Portable 2 Burner Propane Gas Grill Griddle is a cost-effective griddle with many exciting features. It offers almost the same cooking area as Blackstone Dash (238 Square inches). The griddle is portable and offers fast and even meal prep thanks to its 12,000 BTUs. It has a removable grease tray that collects excess oil, and all you need do is clean it up with a paper towel or wash it.

Have we mentioned that this flat top griddle is portable? Yes, and it has sturdy feet to keep it stable. The setup process is also not complicated, so you can buy it, set it up, and cook your meals in no time at all.

5.     Cuisinart Flat Top Professional Quality Propane CGG-0028 28” Griddle

Cuisinart Flat Top Professional Quality Propane CGG-0028 28” Griddle is made of cold-rolled steel that makes it even more durable. The griddle comes with 644” of cooking area and two wheels to help you move it along easily. It is straightforward to set up and use; also, you can regulate the temperature easily.

Other features of the Cuisinart Flat Top Professional Quality Propane CGG-0028 28” Griddle include removable side tables and a grease management system.

Conclusion

Most people get confused when faced with the choice of picking between a regular grill and a griddle. In truth, they have similar functions, but one main difference is the temperature at which they cook your meals. If you can, we advise that you get both; our griddle buying guide will help you choose the best.


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