Gas griddles (also known as flat top grills) have become very popular over the past few years. If you enjoy grilling then you’ll love cooking on a griddle. Our gas griddle buyers guide will cover everything you need to know about these amazing cooking tools.
What’s special about gas griddles? You can cook many things on a griddle you can’t cook on a traditional grill like bacon, eggs, pancakes, and other favorites like hibachi and smash burgers. There is a wide variety of flat top grills on the market.
They come in many different sizes and have some great features and add-ons. Lets take a look at what you need to look for so you pick the perfect model gas griddle for you.
What to Look For
There are a ton of gas griddle brands and model options for sale. The most popular brands are Blackstone, Camp Chef, Royal Gourmet, and Pit Boss. You want to be sure you’ve done your due diligence before making a griddle selection. There are several key factors to take into consideration when making your selection.
Once you’re armed with this knowledge, you can properly assess which gas griddle to purchase. The last thing you want is buyer’s remorse from purchasing a gas griddle that doesn’t meet your needs.
Flat top grills range from small to large. Smaller griddles start at 17″, providing 268 square inches of cooktop space. The sizes go up from there, with other options being 22″ and 28″ cooktops.
The largest griddles are typically 36″, providing approximately 720 square inches of cooktop space. The larger the griddle, the more cooking surface you have available to work on, so the volume or variety of food you plan on cooking will help you determine how big of a griddle to get.
Having a large griddle is fantastic when cooking for larger groups or cooking a variety of foods at the same time. This also may be overkill, and a smaller griddle cooktop might be more than sufficient for your needs.
To give you a frame of reference, a 36″ griddle would allow you to cook a total of approximately 28 burger patties simultaneously. In contrast, a 17″ griddle can accommodate about 9 burger patties at a time.
The size obviously determines how much food the griddle can accommodate, so this should be a big determining factor when selecting your griddle. Another factor to be aware of as the size of the griddle increases is the number of burners it has.
Another component to strongly consider when choosing between a bigger or smaller griddle is the number of individual burners. The number of burners is a key thing to pay attention to when making your selection. Having more burners is preferable because it allows you to set different griddle areas to different temperatures.
You may want part of the griddle to be very hot for cooking one type of food while keeping the other side of the griddle at a lower temperature for foods that shouldn’t be cooked at the higher temperatures. A low-temperature spot on the griddle can be a great place to keep foods warm that have finished cooking.
Small griddles may only have 1 burner and, therefore, 1 temperature option at a time. As the griddle’s size increases, you’ll see the number of burners increase to 2, 3, and 4 burners providing that additional versatility you may be looking for. Check out our comparison of the 28″ and 36″ Blackstone griddles, highlighting differing burner counts.
Do you plan on leaving your griddle in one place, or would you like the ability to move it around your backyard easily? Would you like to travel with it to a tailgate, campsite, or friend’s house?
All griddles have some level of mobility, but some are much better equipped to transport than others. Some of the larger ones are quite heavy and are more difficult to prep for transport. Larger griddles can weigh over 100 lbs. and take about 15 minutes to break down the legs and secure everything before moving it.
Others are smaller and lighter or have features designed to bring the griddle with you much more easily and quicker. If you plan on parking your new griddle in the backyard with no intention of leaving your home with it, then obviously, the griddle’s portability won’t be a major determining factor for you.
Conversely, if you plan on taking it along with you regularly, this will be an important thing to factor in when making your griddle selection. Tabletop griddles are smaller and are very easy to move around as they don’t have a stand/legs to break down to move them.
If you require a larger cooking space than a tabletop griddle can provide, some griddles are geared towards camping that breakdown for transport more easily than some other models but still require some prep before moving them.
Griddles make for an excellent cooking method when camping because of the variety of foods prepared on them. Also, because it is gas-powered, you don’t need access to electricity and don’t need to deal with charcoal either.
You can cook up a mighty breakfast of pancakes, eggs, and bacon in the morning and be cooking burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, quesadillas, and more for lunch and dinner. You’ll be glad you went with a more mobile griddle if you plan on taking it to a tailgate, camping, fishing trip, or park regularly.
Do you want more out of your griddle? Some griddles offer additional features that allow for more functionality. There are combo models that combine a griddle with an additional cooking method. One option available is a half griddle and half grill.
This can be a great option if you are stuck choosing between whether to buy a grill or a griddle and can be a space saver, so you don’t have a standalone grill and standalone griddle as well.
When cooking, this provides additional menu options as you can be preparing food on the griddle and grill at the same time. You could be cooking chicken or steaks on the grill side while sautéing vegetables or mushrooms as a side dish on the griddle side.
Another combo option is a half griddle and half deep fryer. You may enjoy having the capability to cook on the griddle and deep-frying something at the same time. Burgers and fries, anyone?
If you’re not into deep-fried food, Blackstone made a similar option, which offers a full-size 36″ griddle and includes an air fryer. You gain the air fryer’s functionality on this model and don’t sacrifice griddle cooking space because the air fryer is below the griddle rather than replacing half of it.
The air fryer griddle combo has been very popular for Blackstone, so they have also released a 28″ air fryer model and a 17″ tabletop air fryer model.
One final versatility item to consider is whether you’d prefer to use natural gas over propane. All griddles come ready to be propane fueled; however, some models have the capability to be converted to natural gas. Just be aware many are not capable of this, so if this is important to you, be sure you find a compatible model.
If you’re looking for a griddle and no additional cooking methods included, these won’t be for you. If this type of versatility is appealing and is something you would take advantage of regularly, I suggest taking a look at the combo griddles available for sale.
As with any purchase, the cost is a key component of the equation. The cost difference between various griddles can be hundreds of dollars, so it’s important to know your budget so you can pick the best griddle for your needs at the right price point.
You may find that the most expensive option isn’t even necessary for how you plan to use the griddle, and you can save some money getting one that costs less and accomplishes everything you want it to.
You can get a perfect griddle in the $100-$200 range. Still, there are also some great griddles available that can run you $300 and up, like my favorite, the Blackstone 36″ griddle. As great as the Blackstone 36″ with air fryer model is, it costs nearly $600. AS you can see, there’s a wide range of pricing among gas griddle models.
Prices go even higher if you’re looking at commercial-grade griddles, so determine the highest amount you’re willing to spend and look at griddles below that price. Don’t be scared off of less expensive griddles, though.
There are plenty of excellent options available with the same quality of more pricey models. The difference in cost may be due to the size or features rather than being a lower quality product.
Now that you know the crucial factors to be considered and why they are important, you should be able to start eliminating models that don’t fit the criteria you want and narrow down your search to a handful of viable options.
We have reviews of many models on our site, and I would also encourage you to read reviews from people who have already purchased the griddles you’re interested in and see what additional feedback they had.
You may notice a theme of positive or negative sentiments from the reviewers, which will give you a pretty good idea of what to expect should you purchase that particular griddle. Once you’ve picked out the perfect griddle, the real fun starts.
You’ll also need some tools and accessories, so check out our top 7 must-have griddle accessories. Also, be sure to read our post on using your griddle tools and accessories for help getting started. You’ll be whipping up delicious dishes in no time on your new griddle that everyone will love.