If you’re thinking about purchasing a propane gas griddle, then you’re in the right place. Gas griddles (also known as flat top grills) have become very popular over the past few years, and grilling enthusiasts add one of these to their collection of grills and smokers.
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. Let’s show you what you need to know before making your purchase.
What to Look For
There are various gas griddle options out there, and you want to be sure you’ve done your due diligence before making your 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 what griddle will be the best choice for you. The last thing you want is buyer’s remorse from purchasing a griddle that isn’t meeting all your needs or realizing you spent more money than necessary.
Flat top grills range from small to large and have differing amounts of burners as well. 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.
The larger griddles are typically 36″, providing approximately 720 square inches of cooktop space that is fantastic when cooking for larger groups or cooking a variety of things at the same time. This also may be overkill, and a 17″ or 28″ griddle 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.
There’s another component to strongly consider when choosing between a bigger or smaller griddle: the number of individual burners. The number of burners is a key thing to pay attention to when making your selection. Having more burners can be nice 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.
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. 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 simpler 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 but are very easy to move around as they don’t have a stand/legs to breakdown 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.
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.
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 straightforward griddle, these won’t be for you; however, 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, but there are also some great griddles available that can run you $300 and up, like my favorite, the Blackstone 36 inch griddle.
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.
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 various 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 feedback they provided.
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.
Be sure to look at our post on how to use 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.