The Best Outdoor Griddles (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
The best outdoor griddles for cooking up feasts while camping, tailgating, or hanging out outdoors
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BY Heather Fishel / LAST UPDATED ON July 2, 2021
You’ve probably been grilling up tasty meats and other delicious foods on your backyard barbecue for years — but have you ever tried cooking on an outdoor griddle? Even if you’re a huge grill enthusiast, an outdoor grill can offer you a whole new experience and an entirely new way to cook up a ton of food in no time at all. Griddles and grills are almost interchangeable, but switching to a griddle means you’re cooking with constant, even heat without ever having to worry about flames touching your food. While you won’t get a series of classic grill marks, an outdoor griddle offers a whole host of benefits, whether you’re cooking in your backyard or out in nature. Check out our picks for the best outdoor griddles right here.
A large, capable, and consistent outdoor griddle that’s easy to master.
- Coated to prevent rust
- Cooks evenly
- Makes cooking a lot of food at once easy
- Fat and grease have nowhere to drain
A quick, easy, and affordable addition to any gas grill.
- Heavy-duty stainless steel
- Heats up fast
- Very easy to install and use
- Has to be cleaned immediately after use
A four-burner griddle built with highly durable materials that’ll survive anything.
- 720 square inches of grilling space
- Features adjustable heat zones
- Includes rear grease management system
- Customer support can be lacking if you have issues
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Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Outdoor Griddle
- Incredibly easy to learn. A griddle has a very minimal learning curve. Forget about learning the nuances of a griddle — it isn’t like a charcoal or gas grill that might bring flare-ups, hot spots, or other potential issues. Griddles are super easy to master, and they eliminate a lot of the variables that come with grilling.
- Easy temperature control. Outdoor griddles use burners just like a traditional grill. However, thanks to their smooth, flat cooking surface, griddles offer better, more even temperature control. The flames won’t affect how food cooks, and you can get more control over the temperature and the final result.
- Large cooking surface. A griddle offers a wealth of cooking space. These flat-top grills can fit a whole lot more food at once; they can even give you enough room to cook multiple foods on the very same surface. Whether you’re cooking for a large number of people or have many dishes to master, you can do it all with a single griddle.
- Cook anything and everything. Sure, you can make a lot of different foods on a traditional grill. But an outdoor griddle offers even more potential. With its smooth, even surface, it’s like a combination of both a grill and a very large pan. You can master meats, make delicious breakfasts, cook up side dishes, and make just about anything on a griddle.
Types of Outdoor Griddles
A freestanding griddle is most similar to a gas or charcoal grill. These griddles are attached to stands and carts, and they offer ample cooking space. Like most grills, freestanding griddles are also gas-powered and feature multiple burners. However, the burners are hidden beneath the flat steel cooking surface. Freestanding griddles can also come with handy extras, like casters for easy movement, grease traps, and folding side tables.
Tabletop griddles are kind of like hot plates. They’re small, portable, and designed to get you cooking anywhere. And they’re very versatile. Featuring just one or two burners, these compact griddles can be taken camping, tailgating, or even to cookouts. You can use them indoors or outdoors. A tabletop griddle typically needs nothing more than a small propane bottle to get fired up and start cooking.
An insert griddle is convenient and compact, but it can also be a great alternative to a separate griddle. It’s designed to be an accessory for any traditional barbecue or grill. An insert griddle fits over a grill’s heating element, turning your basic grill into a griddle. They’re easy to install and give you the flexibility of switching from grill to griddle at any time. You can even take an insert griddle along with you when you’re camping or cooking outdoors; they’re lightweight and very easy to bring along.
Blackstone is a brand that began with a single outdoor griddle in 2005. Now, Blackstone is all about griddles and accessories, helping customers take grilling to new heights. You’ll love options like the Blackstone 1554 4 Burner Outdoor Griddle and the Blackstone 1825 36” Accessory Griddle With Side Shelf, which offer a ton of cooking space and handy extras.
Royal Gourmet manufactures professional grills and griddles — meaning every Royal Gourmet product is built with top-tier materials to deliver expert-level cooking results. There’s a slew of outdoor griddles and accessories available for home cooks to choose from too, like the Royal Gourmet Portable 3-Burner Propane Gas Griddle and the Royal Gourmet Portable Grill and Griddle Combo.
Cuisinart is a storied brand that got its start with a single food processor in 1971. Now, Cuisinart is synonymous with cooking, offering a huge range of different accessories, appliances, and gadgets for your kitchen and beyond. You can even get grilling — and griddling — with products like the Cuisinart 360° Griddle Cooking Center.
Outdoor Griddle Pricing
- Under $100: For less than $100, you can find small outdoor griddles. Most are insert griddles, but you may also find small tabletop options within this price range.
- $100 to $300: Most outdoor griddles fall between $100 and $300 in price, costing between $200 and $300 on average. You can find griddles in every style, from large standalone griddles with many burners to portable tabletop griddles.
- $300 and up: Top-tier outdoor griddles will cost you more than $300. These griddles are large, with four or more burners — and they typically include accessories, like fold-out tables, side griddles, and other premium features.
Size determines a lot about an outdoor griddle. You can find griddles that are as large as a four-burner grill — or even bigger — as well as compact tabletop models. Consider which size is best for your needs. If you want portability and flexibility, you’ll want to opt for a smaller griddle that can go anywhere. Need to be able to cook large amounts of food at once? Choose a full-size standalone outdoor griddle.
The best outdoor griddles will feature multiple burners. Just like a grill, a griddle with multiple burners gives you options and more room to cook. As the sole heat source underneath your griddle’s cooking surface, the burners will determine where heat forms and where cold spots occur. You want to opt for a griddle that heats as much of the cooking surface as possible to get even results and better temperature control while cooking.
Durable Griddle Surface
You can’t ignore the griddle’s surface, or cooktop when choosing an outdoor griddle. To find the best outdoor griddles, you’ll want to look for products that feature a durable griddle surface. Stainless steel is an excellent choice — it’s very durable, resists rust, and can stand up to outdoor use. Cast iron is another great option, as it’s highly durable, retains heat well while cooking, and gets even better over time as it becomes seasoned.
- Check for Coating on Your Griddle’s Surface. How an outdoor griddle’s cooking surface is coated or treated is very important. Some come pre-seasoned so nothing sticks while cooking. Others are treated with a rust-resistant coating. Still, others come with absolutely nothing applied. Depending on the material your griddle’s cooktop is made with, you may need to season it before use or work with the manufacturer’s chosen coating.
- Where Grease Goes is Very Important. The best outdoor griddles will have a clear, easy-to-use solution for trapping grease and other runoff while you cook. You want to choose a griddle that can collect grease as it appears, clearing your cooking space and preventing issues like grease in your way as you cook.
- Seasoning Cast Iron Griddles Takes Time. Getting a cast iron griddle’s surface perfectly seasoned is a process. It’s one that can be done in an afternoon, but the best seasoning occurs over many, many uses. Grease, butter, oils — all of these help season your griddle’s surface over time, making it slick and nonstick.
Best Outdoor Griddle Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Outdoor griddles rely on gas, so make sure you have the right kind of gas handy. Portable griddles can use a small propane canister; larger griddles can be connected to a gas line or a full-size propane tank.
- Clean and care for your griddle just like you would a traditional grill. Stainless steel griddles in particular need to be cleaned right after use to prevent buildup and cleaning challenges.
- Want to be able to move your outdoor griddle around? Even if you choose a larger standalone model, look for a stand with casters. This lets you easily move the griddle from place to place.
Q: What is the best outdoor flat top grill?
We think the Blackstone 1554 4 Burner Outdoor Griddle is the best outdoor flat top grill you’ll find.
Q: Which Blackstone griddle is the best?
Our top pick, the Blackstone 1554 4 Burner Outdoor Griddle, is an excellent option from Blackstone. However, the Blackstone 1825 36” Accessory Griddle With Side Shelf is also an awesome option, and it comes with great accessories that enhance your cooking experience.
Q: What can you cook on an outdoor griddle?
You can cook absolutely anything on an outdoor griddle. It’s especially great for items that require a flat, even heating surface, like quesadillas, pancakes, burgers, bacon, and even eggs.
The Blackstone 1554 4 Burner Outdoor Griddle is our favorite outdoor griddle thanks to its wide-ranging capability and excellent durability. For a more affordable option, you’ll want to check out the Sizzle-Q Stainless Steel Universal Griddle, an insert griddle that works great. Which outdoor griddle is your top choice?