Most households own an outdoor barbecue grill. The backyard barbecue is a common American summertime staple across the country. Grilling food outdoors is a great way to get flavorful, deliciously cooked foods with minimal indoor mess. The one annoying drawback to the outdoor barbecue has to be cleaning the grill grates. It can be frustrating and hands down the messiest part of barbecuing.
Enter the outdoor griddle. Think about it —have you ever been to your favorite diner, high-end restaurant, or hibachi steakhouse? They’re pumping out some amazing grilled food, all without a grill. All of these places know what an imperative part of equipment their flat top griddle is. It’s a versatile appliance that allows you to cook multiple types of food simultaneously with excellent temperature control on an easy to clean surface. Their one drawback is that they require natural gas or propane to run and need a large venting system, so they’re not ideal for most in-home scenarios. However, they are ideal for your backyard or patio. You can even take them camping, to the beach, or tailgating.
The outdoor griddle just might be the one cooking appliance that you didn’t know you needed. Until now. Our handy product review and informative buying guide will have you chomping at the bit to add this to your outdoor cooking arsenal. Get ready to be the envy of the neighborhood.
The Best Outdoor Griddles
When it comes to versatility, ease of use, and durability, the Royal Gourmet GD401 Portable Propane Gas Grill and Griddle Combo is easily our top pick. This griddle-grill combo offers you the best of both worlds in one well-sized outdoor appliance. It provides an ample total of 584 square inches of cooking space with four powerful burners that are capable of producing up to 48,000 BTUs of heat output.
This griddle also comes equipped with a fast and easy automatic ignition system for an instant and reliable start-up. It also features two well-sized fixed side tables that are perfect for food preparation, a lower bar that’s designed to allow you to hang cooking utensils on, and a substantial grease and oil catcher to help minimize mess. One of our favorite features, however, is the easy fold-down design of the griddle’s legs that allows you to easily store and transport this griddle wherever you want to go. That being said, this griddle is quite heavy, weighing over 100 pounds, so transporting it may take two people.
- Versatile grill/griddle combo
- Four burners can produce up to 48,000 BTUs
- Folding legs and locking casters for easy transportation
- Double side tables for food prep
- Brand Royal Gourmet
- Model GD401
- Weight 103.6 pounds
Combines the ability to grill or use the griddle in one appliance
Automatic ignition for easy lighting
Large cooking area
Heavier than some other models
Some concern with missing or damaged parts on delivery
Cannot get brand-specific replacement parts
If you’re in the market for an outdoor griddle that is super portable and super budget-friendly, consider the TackLife 23 Inch Gas Griddle. This lightweight griddle is great for camping, tailgating, picnics, and anywhere you might be limited on space. The griddle portion is constructed from 3mm extra-thick steel with strong and substantial steel heating bars below. This portable griddle can connect to a 20-pound propane tank and features three adjustable burners that are capable of putting out 25,500 BTUs.
This griddle is small, but you still get a respectable 355 square inches of cooking space, making it a great product for the price. One-button, easy-start ignition eliminates the need for matches or a lighter. A handy grease pan catches all debris and makes for super easy clean-up. Assembly is also quite simple and can be done in minutes. Since this is a smaller grill, it’s less powerful and doesn’t achieve as high a heat as some others on the list.
- 23-inch portable griddle
- 25,500 BTUs of heat capacity
- Griddle cooking surface is 355 square inches
- Works with 20-pound propane tanks
- Brand TackLife
- Model TGG03
- Weight 29.7 pounds
Multiple independent burners for different food temperatures
Small cooking surface
Doesn’t work with 1-pound propane bottles
Doesn’t get as hot as some other models
If you’re in the market for the boss of all outdoor griddles, check out the aptly named Pit Boss 4 Burner LP Gas Griddle. This is an incredibly powerful and well-built outdoor griddle that will deliver excellent results for the long haul. It comes equipped with a 4.7mm thick pre-seasoned cast iron griddle that is ready to cook. It features four powerful independent burners that are capable of pumping out a whopping 62,000 BTUs of heat.
With its incredible 748 square inches of cooking space, you can easily use this griddle to cook a gourmet meal for 3 or 30. It features two ample fold-to-cover side shelves for food prep and accessories. Four locking caster wheels and an easy fold-and-go design make this griddle portable for taking camping, tailgating, and more. It also comes equipped with a quick start easy push and turn ignition system. While this griddle can be transported, its size and weight do make it one of the least portable options on our list, however.
- Four-burner 62,000 BTU heat capacity
- Push-to turn easy-on ignition system
- 748 square inches of cooking area
- Two large folding side prep tables
- Brand Pit Boss
- Model PB757GD
- Weight 119.7 pounds
Great for cooking for a crowd
Easy to clean up
Four separate heat zones allow for versatile cooking
Larger and more cumbersome than some other models
Another powerful and large outdoor griddle that deserves your attention is the Blackstone 36″ Accessory Griddle. This spacious 36-inch griddle is constructed from rust- and corrosion-resistant rolled carbon 7-gauge steel and features 720 square inches of cooking space, which is great for your neighborhood backyard barbecue, family reunion, or tailgating party.
This griddle features four independently controlled burners capable of producing 60,000 BTUs for versatile and ample cooking options. The powder-coated steel frame is durable and rust-resistant and features two side shelves, a large bottom shelf, a paper towel holder, a removable cutting board, and conveniently placed trash bag hooks, making this one of the most well thought out designs on the market. Industrial strength locking caster wheels allow this griddle to be rolled to different areas, although its size, weight, and bulk limit its overall portability.
- 60,000 BTU heat capacity
- 720 square inches of cooking area
- 36-inch rolled carbon 7-gauge steel griddle
- Powder-coated steel frame with two side shelves
- Brand Blackstone
- Model 1825
- Weight 134 pounds
A large cooking area is great for parties
Lots of well-designed accessory options for added convenience
Four independently controlled cooking areas
Side shelves don’t fold down for easy transportation
Concern over poor customer service
The U-Max 4-Burner Portable 2-In-1 Propane Gas Grill/Griddle deserves an honorable mention for being a large, versatile griddle that can also convert to a grill for a wide variety of cooking options. The griddle itself is constructed from rugged and rust-resistant cold-rolled steel that features an impressive 741 square inches of cooking space. The grill itself boasts 564 square inches of cooking space. The rugged frame is made from strong and durable powder-coated steel alloy and features two side shelves, a large lower storage basket, a removable cutting board, and multiple utensil hooks.
Four independent burners provide up to 48,000 BTUs of cooking power and give you the option of cooking several different foods at different temperatures simultaneously. A full-size grease pan catches all stray oil and grease for easy cleanup. This grill has rolling and locking caster wheels, but doesn’t fold down and weighs 136 pounds, making it difficult to take to different locations.
- 2-in-1 grill or griddle
- 48,000 BTU heat capacity
- 741 square inches of cooking space
- The grill features 564 square inches of cooking area
- Brand U-Max
- Model N/A
- Weight 136 pounds
Lots of cooking space
Can cook several different foods at once
Lots of storage and prep space
Can’t use grill and griddle simultaneously
Super heavy and not very portable
Griddle construction quality is not as rugged as some other models
Another outdoor griddle/grill hybrid that gets the job done is the Camp Chef Flat Top Grill. This is a generously sized 501 square inch grill that comes equipped with a full-size flat top griddle insert that includes 604 square inches of cooking space. While they can’t be used simultaneously, the option of using either the griddle or the grill makes for a versatile all-in-one outdoor cooking appliance.
With four burners and 48,000 BTUs of heat output, this griddle will cook multiple foods quickly and efficiently. It’s large enough to easily accommodate food for crowds, or use it to cook dinner just for your family. Two folding side prep shelves and two large full-size shelves provide ample storage for accessories and necessities. Easy start ignitions on each burner knob and two rolling wheels add even more convenience to this well-designed griddle. One thing we don’t love about this griddle is the fact it weighs 139.6 pounds without a full propane tank. That, coupled with the fact it only has two wheels, makes it tough to move around.
- Grill/griddle hybrid
- 48,000 BTUs of heat capacity
- Griddle cooking surface is 604 square inches
- Grill cooking surface is 501 square inches
- Brand Camp Chef
- Model FTG600
- Weight 139.6 pounds
Multiple independent burners for different food temperatures
Lots of shelf space for accessories
Great option for cooking for multiple people
Only two wheels, which are less rugged than some models, detracting from its portability
Not able to use griddle and grill simultaneously
Even if you’re on a tighter budget, you can still enjoy a high-quality, reliable outdoor griddle thanks to the Cuisinart CGG-888 Round Outdoor Flat Top Gas Griddle. This is a uniquely designed griddle that features a 360-degree round cooking surface that comes equipped with an oversized grease pan that catches oil and grease from all angles and funnels it into the handy grease cup for easy cleanup.
It has two independently controlled burners that provide a total of 30,000 BTUs and allow you to control two separate heat zones while cooking. A rugged stainless steel vented lid gives you the option of roasting, steaming, grilling, baking, or smoking your food. This griddle also comes equipped with a handy folding side table with an attached paper towel holder for easy food preparation. This unit is also quite easy to assemble and can be done so in under 30 minutes. That being said, there has been some concern from reviewers regarding the new griddle arriving with damaged or dented parts, so be sure to check it over thoroughly upon delivery.
- 360-degree round griddle
- Two independently controlled burners
- 30,000 BTU heat output
- Removable grease cup for easy cleaning
- Brand Cuisinart
- Model CGG-888
- Weight 60 pounds
Easy to assemble
Attached paper towel holder makes for easy cleanup of messes
Smaller than some other models
Reports of parts arriving missing or damaged
Side prep table is quite small
Best Best Outdoor Griddles Buying Guide & FAQ
When it comes to picking out the best outdoor griddle to suit your individual needs, there are several factors to consider, each of which we will delve into in more depth in the following buying guide. That way, you’ll be assured of getting a reliable, powerful griddle that will provide years of wonderfully cooked, delicious meals, whether it’s for your small family or frequent large backyard gatherings.
Once you’ve tried a good-quality outdoor griddle, you’ll wonder why you ever made do with anything else. So check out exactly what features to look for and what factors to consider to ensure you get the perfect outdoor griddle.
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Do You Need an Outdoor Griddle?
If you have a regular grill, you might be wondering why you would need an outdoor griddle or what’s so great about it? Well, griddles have several advantages over grill grates. For starters, there aren’t any annoying gaps or spaces for food to fall in between. That’s great if you want to cook smaller foods like bay scallops, veggies, or fish, which can tend to fall apart and end up being wasted at the bottom of your grill. This also means a lot less mess at the bottom of your grill.
Griddles also have the advantage of being able to be “seasoned” with cooking oils, which over time, can protect them from the damaging rust and decay that grill grates fall victim to. If a surface is well seasoned, foods just slide right off it without sticking and getting ruined, as so often happens on a regular grill. No sticking food means no need for annoying grill brushes scraping charred bits off your grill plates and further damaging them.
Another advantage to having a griddle is that a solid metal surface heats up and browns food much faster and more evenly than grill grates full of spaces and gaps. This will help use propane or gas more efficiently. Since the griddle is one solid surface, you can also fit more food on it than you can on a grill, further enhancing the efficiency of your cooking.
- Griddles heat up faster and use heat more efficiently than grills.
- Griddles come with traps that trap a lot more grease and debris than grills.
- You can cook foods of varying sizes on a solid griddle that aren’t able to be cooked on a grill.
Click here to learn our top tips for getting your best camping kitchen.
Types of Outdoor Griddles
Now that you know some of the awesome benefits of using a griddle over a traditional grill, let’s talk about what type of griddle will be best for you and your outdoor use needs.
Tabletop Outdoor Gas Griddles
As the name implies, this type of outdoor griddle is small enough to fit on most tabletops or picnic tables. It may be compatible with 1-pound propane cylinders, 20-pound propane tanks, or both, depending on the manufacturer.
This type of outdoor grill is perfect for taking camping, picnicking, tailgating, or to the beach since it’s so lightweight and portable. What it’s not great for is feeding more than a few people, since it’s so compact.
Outdoor Flat Top Gas Griddle
This type of outdoor griddle is modeled after the typical outdoor gas grill but comes equipped with a griddle cooktop instead. Like a grill, it runs on a 20-pound propane tank. It usually comes on a solid steel frame with wheels for moving around your yard. Also like a regular grill, this type can come in various sizes and BTU capacities to cook enough food for a family of four or an entire football team.
The griddle surfaces can be constructed from either steel or cast iron for these types of grills, so consider what you’d prefer before purchase.
Outdoor Gas Grill/Griddle Hybrid
This type of griddle can be used either as a grill, with its included grates, or as a griddle, as it comes with a griddle insert that is meant to be placed over the grill. Many of these models are meant to be used either as a grill or as a griddle, but some cleverly designed hybrids have inserts that allow you to grill and griddle at the same time for the ultimate in cooking versatility.
Like the aforementioned type, this type of griddle is compatible with a 20-pound propane tank and based on size and cooking capacity, may be easily portable or it may not be. If you like options and don’t want to own more than one outdoor cooking appliance, this is the choice for you.
What to Look for When Buying an Outdoor Griddle
When purchasing your outdoor griddle, whichever type you decide to go with, there are a few key features to look for to ensure you’re getting a high-quality, reliable model that will function properly for a long time.
First, be sure to look for a griddle that is backed by a solid manufacturer’s warranty. A high-quality griddle will be made by a reputable company that stands by its product and provides good customer service. Steer clear of companies that don’t have a stellar reputation or easily accessed customer service.
Second, look for a griddle that is constructed from either rolled steel or cast iron, as these are the easiest to clean and most durable surfaces for cooking on. Some steel is thinner than others, so be sure to get something that’s at least 3mm thick or more, as this will provide a more even heat and won’t show a bunch of “hot spots” that cause uneven cooking or burning of foods.
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Best Outdoor Griddles FAQ:
Do you still have a few questions regarding which outdoor grill is best for you? Here are our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions floating around the internet.
While there isn’t one specific brand of outdoor grill that is considered to be “the best”, the best one for you will be one that can efficiently and quickly cook as much food as you will need regularly. It will be able to fit in your chosen space with lots of room around it for ventilation and it will be protected by a solid warranty with lots of positive online user reviews.
Our favorite Blackstone outdoor griddle is the Blackstone 36″ Accessory Griddle. This spacious 36-inch griddle is constructed from rust- and corrosion-resistant rolled carbon 7-gauge steel and features 720 square inches of cooking space, which is great for your neighborhood backyard barbecue, family reunion, or tailgating party. If you want a more portable option, we also love the Blackstone Table Top Grill. It’s a super lightweight 17-inch cast iron griddle that can go anywhere.
Really, you can cook almost any food on an outdoor griddle, from breakfast bacon and eggs to veggies, flavorful meats, fish, and poultry. The options are limited only by your imagination.
Our Top Pick
After reading through our buying guide, you can see why we chose the Royal Gourmet GD401 Portable Propane Gas Grill and Griddle Combo as our top pick. This griddle-grill combo offers you the best of both worlds in one well-sized outdoor appliance. It provides an ample total of 584 square inches of cooking space with four powerful burners that are capable of producing up to 48,000 BTUs of heat output. It’s also easily portable.
After seeing the numerous benefits and versatility of outdoor griddles, your only problem now is deciding between the Royal Gourmet GD401 Portable Propane Gas Grill and Griddle Combo, the TackLife 23 Inch Gas Griddle, or one of the other amazing options on our list. Let us know in the comments which one is your favorite and what you love to cook on it.