It’s time to admit it, if we’re talking versatility and utility, you cannot beat the flat top griddle. Compared to grills, flat tops are easier to clean, you can cook a greater variety of foods on them, you don’t have flare-ups, and they season over time so they actually get better as you use them. Of course, grills are fantastic, but when comparing versatility and utility, they just can’t match up to the flat top griddle. Moreover, flat tops are becoming more ubiquitous and it’s high time to welcome barbecue aficionados and outdoor cooks alike into the fold.
This article is a comprehensive list of the best flat tops you can currently find on the market. When curating this list, we looked at the quality of the flat top griddle’s construction materials, its IBUs, burner numbers, extra features such as drawers and side tables, and its overall reputation in the barbecue space to come up with the best flat top griddles you can buy.
Griddles Vs. Grills
The Battle For Barbecue Supremacy
Let’s just start by saying that we love grills. They’re amazing and are one of the most iconic symbols of the American culinary experience. It’s just that grills aren’t as practical as griddles. Sure, grills are synonymous with cookouts, but that favorite burger you had at that hole-in-the-wall diner? That was cooked on a flat top griddle. The best steak that graced your palate from your favorite swanky steakhouse? Also cooked on a flat top griddle. If you ate it at a restaurant, chances are it was cooked atop a flat top griddle.
From a mechanical perspective, flat top griddles are just more versatile and predictable than your standard grill. The absence of ridges prevents unruly flareups while also allowing whatever you’re cooking to cook in its juices. Most importantly, none of your food will fall between the ridges into the propane-fueled inferno beneath the cooking surface. Moreover, the uninterrupted surface area that flat top griddles feature allows for more complete browning on your food. Sure, you don’t get the iconic grill marks on your hot dog, but in return, you’ll get an evenly cooked piece of meat. You can also make fried rice, pancakes, eggs, or really anything your stomach inspires you to cook up; with flat top griddles, your cooking options are only as limited as your imagination.
Country Smokes Horizon Series Plains 2-Burner Portable Griddle
Big things come in small packages, and this griddle proves that in spades. This is a fantastic starter burner since it has two 11,000 IBU burners and is portable. The Country Smokes Horizon Series is a lightweight option that can prove to newcomers the practical superiority of the flat top. It’s made from heavy-gauge stainless steel, so it can take outdoor punishment. With 373 square inches of open workspace, the Plains 2-Burner gives you enough space to cook for your family, and weighing just under 32 pounds, the Plains 2-Burner is light enough to carry anywhere. Its steel griddle top comes pre-seasoned, so it is ready to use right when you open it, and it has built-in burner covers to prevent the wind and snow from disrupting its flame.
Cuisinart 22-Inch Round Outdoor Flat Top Gas Griddle
The Cuisinart Round Outdoor Flat Top Griddle features a 380 square-inch steel surface with a 360-degree grease pan and rear grease cup, which makes the cleaning process twice as easy. Its 360 design enables easy access to whatever you’re cooking, which adds a fun level of sociability to it. From a power perspective, it comes equipped with two stainless steel burners that each have a formidable output of 15,000 BTUs. It also includes a quick access paper towel holder, foldaway prep table, and a stainless steel lid with an integrated vent, which is something that all griddles should come with. The paper towel holder is a small but game-changing addition because, as any seasoned vet would agree, you almost always need more paper towels for clean-up. The Cuisinart Griddle is a tad smaller than other offerings on this list, but the quality, price, and amenities that come with it more than make up for its reduced surface area.
Blackstone 36″ Flat Top Griddle
This is the king. The gold standard. Blackstone’s 36″ Flat Top Griddle has four burners, each with 15,000 IBU and a cast iron construction that’s incredibly easy to season and nearly indestructible. With a whopping total of 60,000 IBU, this griddle gives you more than enough firepower to hit those ultra-high temperatures while its expertly-crafted surface allows for an even distribution of heat. The side tables allow for easy clean-up and extra tools, while the 768 square-inch working space on the top allows grillers to make virtually anything they can think of. If there were a “best brand for the best price” yearbook superlative, this one would win it.
Royal Gourmet 36-Inch Flat Top Gas Griddle
Royal Gourmet’s set up features a powerful heating system with four 13,000-BTU burners totaling 52,000 BTU. It has a 748 square-inch cooking area with a pre-seasoned steel flat top, so it’s ready to use immediately and will hold up well to the rigors of outdoor barbecue. Moreover, the Royal Gourmet flat top griddle features an electronic ignition system that provides you a more reliable spark, saving you the hassle of sneaking your candle lighter near the burner and accidentally singing off your arm hair. Plus, Royal Gourmet’s flat top griddles offer collapsible side shelves for added workspace without having to sacrifice precious patio or balcony real estate.
Pit Boss 5-Burner Gas Griddle
Pit Boss’s 5-Burner Gas Griddle justifies the company’s name. It sports a 753 square-inch, preseasoned steel surface, so you have ample room to make practically anything right. The Pit Boss griddle packs a powerful punch with a 5-burner setup that boasts a 62,000 IBU output. This extra burner gives you a lot more flexibility and scope to what you can make while also providing a more even dispersion of heat. Plus, it gives you a greater range of cooking areas — one really hot area for searing and one for slow roasting. The folding legs and bottom shelf offer a handy fold-and-go design, allowing you to store it practically anywhere you need. It also features side shelves that act as a locking griddle cover.
4-Burner Razor Griddle
The Razor 4-burner griddle has power, versatility, and even portability. This mac-daddy of a flat top griddle features four stainless steel burners that crank out an awesome 62,000 BTU of power, including an integrated sear zone. This sear zone makes for a more efficient cooking process by simplifying your temperature zones. The griddle boasts a thick 750 square-inch rolled-steel surface that can cook for an army. Even better, this griddle has a collapsable build, so you can bring it to cookouts, camping trips, or tailgates, despite its larger size. It’s well-built, has a ton of power, and it has a good look to it. Simply put, it’s awesome.
Camp Chef Flat Top Grill 4-Burner
The Camp Chef Flat Top Griddle features a large 600 square-inch cast iron surface that allows you to crank out food for droves of people. Its four burners crank out a formidable 48,000 IBU, and its adjustable legs will ensure that you never have an uneven cooking surface. While many griddles have hot spots, Camp Chef prides themselves on their elite heat dispersing design for even cooking every time. Moreover, the Camp Chef Flat Top Griddle adds another layer of precision to their build with the inclusion of micro-adjust grill levelers. This griddle boasts two foldable side shelves and two lower storage shelves for added storage. Add in its less obtrusive but equally effective grease bucket, and you have yourself a griddle fit for a pitmaster.
Arteflame 40″ Classic Cooktop
The folks at Arteflame really outdid themselves with their 40″ Classic Cooktop Griddle. Unlike all of the picks on this list, this grill uses wood or charcoal as a fuel source, which imbues the food with more flavor. While it lacks the precision that its propane-fueled counterparts have, the heating pattern that comes from its design actually allows the Arteflame to reach higher temperatures. Moreover, its artisanal design makes it the best-looking griddle of the bunch. What’s best about this griddle, however, is that it’s made of carbon steel, higher quality material than cast iron. Carbon Steel is also easier to handle, retains just as much heat, and it’s naturally nonstick so seasoning isn’t as much as a factor. For those with the deep enough pockets to afford this griddle/plancha hybrid, it would be well worth the investment.
Blaze Premium LTE 30-Inch Natural Gas Griddle With Lights
This Blaze natural gas griddle is equipped with two commercial-quality 304 stainless steel U-shaped burners that each deliver 18,000 BTUs of cooking power for a total of 36,000 BTUs across the 495 square-inch stainless steel cooking surface. It has a backup flash tube secondary ignition and cross tubes that give a reliable flame with every start, which is killer because the ignition button is always one of the first things to break on a grill. The Blaze LTE also sports a large-capacity grease trough, which is a lifesaver for anyone planning on hosting a large-scale cookout. It’s also made out of heavy-duty 304-grade stainless steel for durability, and it’s easy to wipe clean. To top it off, the Blaze LTE comes with a deluxe cart that’s complete with two drawers for storing grilling accessories and one large door for storing oversized accessories or even a garbage can.
EVO Professional Series Gas Grill
This griddle is definitely the supercar of the group. Many popular YouTube chefs use it for good reason: it’s unbeatable. EVO’s Professional Series Gas Grill features a sleek design that gives off a more elevated vibe. But don’t let its stylish exterior fool you, it’s a workhorse. Though the EVO Professional Grill has only two burners, they have an eye-popping output of 24,000 IBU each, totaling a stout 48,000 IBU. This heightened firepower allows for two dramatically different temperature zones, so you can sear and roast on one side and use a pan to poach or boil on the other. Moreover, it provides a spacious 707 square-inch surface to support virtually all cooking functions you need. Indirectly, you can boil, braise, poach, or fry. Furthermore, by covering the cooking surface with its stainless steel hood, the Evo Professional Grill can act as an oven and perform roasting, steaming, or even smoking tasks.
The Best Gas Grills to Buy
As we stated at the beginning of this article, we love grills, and few things are more enjoyable than firing up some burgers in the great outdoors. If you feel the same way about grilling that we do, then be sure and check out our buyer’s guide covering the best gas grills to buy.