Review: Camp Chef Flat Top Grill Lineup

Camp Chef has a simple but admirable objective: provide a better way to cook outdoors. Founder Ty Meason created the company in 1990, seeking to create a grill that had the portability to suit serious outdoor enthusiasts and the cooking ability to suit serious gourmands.

Fast forward almost thirty years, and Camp Chef has expanded its offerings to include a full line of grills, griddles, cast irons, and accessories. Camp Chef products feature modular designs that allow for serious customization. Their products feel equally at home on a far-flung mountainside or a parking lot before a big game.

The company prides itself on quality and versatility. Headquartered in Utah’s Cache Valley, they have the opportunity to test their products in a variety of settings, from suburban back porches to the backcountry proper. That commitment to quality control has given them an exceptional reputation.

The Camp Chef griddle lineup represents the top of the heap in terms of its outdoor cooking line. These griddles come in various sizes, each one suited to a slightly different set of circumstances. In this Camp Chef griddle review, we’ll take a look at the five heaviest hitters from the company’s lineup and help you find the one that works for you.

Versatop Flat Top Grill 250

Camp Chef Versatop Portable Flat Top Grill 250The Versatop Flat Top Grill 250 is the smallest of Camp Chef’s griddle offerings. Unlike the other offerings in their lineup, it is a tabletop griddle. Tabletop griddles do not come on a cart or with legs.

Cooking Space

This handy 14 inch flat top grill offers 247 square inches of cooking space. It can still accommodate about 9 pancakes or burger patties but obviously offers less space than other larger models.

Portability

What the Versatop 250 lacks in cooking space it makes up for in portability. This is a perfect option for camping or the RV. It’s small and not very heavy, making it easy to transport.

Cost

Because it’s a tabletop griddle and smaller in comparison, the cost is quite a bit lower than the larger models. You can typically find one somewhere in the $150-$200 range, depending on where you make your purchase.

Specs

  • Height: 8 inches
  • Depth: 17 inches
  • Width: 18 inches
  • Cooking Surface: 14 inches or 247 square inches
  • Weight: 24 pounds

Pros

  • Excellent portability
  • Lower cost than larger models
  • Compatible with some neat add on accessories

Cons

  • Not ideal for serving larger groups
  • Propane canister not included

Overall

The Versatop Flat Top Grill 250 is a great option if you’re not looking to spend a ton and can be a great option for your first flat-top grill. As we covered above, this is perfect for any avid camping or RV folks, so if you’re in that category, I suggest taking a close look at this option.

If you are less concerned about spending less and having maximum portability, you may consider some of the larger models we’ll cover next.

Flat Top Grill 475

Camp Chef Flat Top Grill 475The Flat Top Grill 475 is the smallest of the standard flat top grills sold by Camp Chef and proves that sometimes great things come in small packages. Let’s take a look at the basics.

Cooking Space

While the number 475 refers to the size of the griddle, the flat top 475 actually only has about 468 square inches of cooking space.

Nonetheless, that gives it more than enough room for up to 12 normal-sized burgers. In other words, even a smaller griddle in the Camp Chef lineup has enough griddle space to cook for a small family.

Portability

The Flat Top 475 keeps a reasonably low profile. The two side shelves fold down, making the grill narrow enough to fit into most vehicles. Two wheels on the legs make it simple to transport on the ground.

However, the assembly and disassembly make transporting this product somewhat challenging unless you have a large enough vehicle to move the whole unit.

Cost

The Flat Top Grill 475 has a price in the $350-$400 range. You’ll notice as the size of the griddles gets larger, so does the price tag, so finding the right option will depend on how much griddle space you need and how much you want to spend.

Specs

  • Height: 37 inches
  • Depth: 20.5 inches
  • Width: 56 inches with the shelves out, 32 inches with the shelves down.
  • Cooking Surface: 24.5 inches by 19.5 inches (20.5 inches with grease collector)
  • Base Footprint: 28 inches wide by 18 inches deep.
  • Weight: 100 pounds

Pros

  • Adjustable leg levers to level the surface on rugged terrain
  • Micro-adjust griddle levelers to fine-tune the cooking surface angle
  • Matchless ignition system
  • True seasoned surface comes ready to cook

Cons

  • No option to switch to grill top
  • Top can warp without careful use of the burners

Overall

The Camp Chef 475 performs great. Three burners, each providing 12,000 BTUs of heat make for a fast, evenly heated cooking surface. The micro-adjust of the griddle itself means you can direct excess grease towards the collection system without having food slide all over the surface. Of course, an appropriate oil ratio is also important for your griddle.

Likewise, the leg levers enable you to deploy this griddle on uneven surfaces like those found at a rugged campsite. The grill cooks great, and the cold-rolled steel surface cleans up easily. A little seasoning will give it a long life of tasty treats for the whole family.

However, some issues have cropped up with the 8-gauge (1/8th of an inch thick) surface. A failure to slowly and evenly heat the whole surface the first few uses can create a warp that can really disrupt the cooking and void the warranty.

Flat Top Grill 600

Camp Chef Flat Top Grill 600The Flat Top Grill 600 from Camp Chef takes your griddle cooking game to the next level.

Cooking Space

With 604 square inches of cooking space, the Flat Top Grill 600 allows you to cook enough food to feed 50-100 people per hour. The flat top griddle setup works great for bacon and eggs, pancakes, or veggies. If you want those grill marks, the 600 comes with an interchangeable grill top with 501 square inches of cooking surface and four 12,000 BTU burners.

Portability

Fully constructed, the Flat Top 600 might not have the greatest portability rating. The whole unit with shelves and legs weighs a lot, but it does have wheels on the legs that allow it to roll relatively easily once it’s in place.

The Flat Top 600 can also cook without the legs or shelves, at which point it becomes considerably more portable. It still needs at least eleven inches of clearance to use the grease catching system, but if you intend to feed a whole tailgate party this modularity works great.

Cost

The Flat Top 600 typically costs $400+ depending on the source. You get more cooking space than the Flat Top 475 but the cost does increase as well.

Specs

  • Height: 37 inches
  • Depth: 22 inches
  • Width: 62.5 inches with the shelves out, 40 inches with the shelves down.
  • Cooking Surface: 31.5 inches by 19.5 inches (20.5 inches with grease collector)
  • Drop-In Size: 33 inches by 22 inches by 7.5 inches
  • Weight: 144 pounds

Pros

  • Includes both griddle and grill grate
  • Easy-to-season steel surface
  • Simple setup
  • Fast, even cooking

Cons

  • Plastic knobs
  • Lack of topper

Overall

The Flat Top 600 is the most popular offering in Camp Chef’s griddle line and with good reason. The product finds an excellent blend between utility and versatility. The removable griddle top with the grill grates underneath allows this unit to go from breakfast to burgers in a matter of seconds.

While Camp Chef can boast a very sturdy construction on most parts of their 600 flat top, some users have had issues with the plastic knobs melting after a few uses. The greatest complaint though comes from the lack of a stainless steel topper to protect the griddle top from the elements but there are after-market products.

Flat Top Grill 900

Camp Chef Flat Top Grill 900The Camp Chef Flat Top Grill 900 is the granddaddy of them all. This beastly grill allows you to pump out lots of food in a big hurry, making it ideal for the grill master with a lot of mouths to feed.

Cooking Space

The 900 version of Camp Chef’s griddle lineup comes with a staggering 877 square inches of cooking space on the griddle. That may seem like overkill, but in situations where you need to also heat up a pot of soup or boil some water, that extra space makes mealtime a breeze.

Portability

Portability is quite simply not a strength of this model. Even with the side shelves down, the product measures almost five feet across. The wheels make it fairly manageable, but even then this grill has enough heft to make it challenging.

Cost

The Flat Top Grill 900 model runs anywhere from $650 and up. It’s a significant step up cost-wise from the 475 and 600 models but if you need to feed a lot of people, you’ll be glad you ponied up the cash for the full-size model.

Specs

  • Height: 37 inches
  • Depth: 22 inches
  • Width: 78 inches with the shelves out, 58 inches with the shelves down.
  • Cooking Surface: 45.5 inches by 19.5 inches (20.5 inches with grease collector)
  • Base Footprint: 49.5 inches by 21 inches
  • Weight: 160 pounds

Pros

  • Gigantic cooking surface
  • Six burners for even heating
  • Grease catching system
  • Suitable for commercial vendors

Cons

  • Griddle top only
  • Griddle top alone weighs 70 pounds

Overall

The Camp Chef Flat Top 900 looks, feels and performs like a heavy-duty grilling machine. The quick and even heating, even with such a large cooking surface, gives this grill more in common with a commercial grill than a backyard operation.

Nonetheless, users will find Camp Chef flat top griddles well-suited to handle everything from breakfast to a full neighborhood barbecue. The griddle surface gives enough room to heat up whole pots of soup, stews, or just plain water for making coffee with hash browns and eggs.

Unfortunately, the model does not come with the option to convert to a standard grill top like the 600. Part of that has to do with the weight of the griddle top itself which, at around 70 pounds, wouldn’t come off easily anyway.

But if you need to cook a lot of food with just a little time to cook it, you would be hard-pressed to do much better than Camp Chef’s Flat Top 900.

Portable Flat Top Grill 600

Camp Chef Portable Flat Top Grill 600The Portable Flat Top Grill 600 from Camp Chef represents a totally different type of experience from the mainstay Camp Chef griddle grill line.

Cooking Space

Just like the standard 600 model, the portable Flat Top Grill 600 sports 604 square inches of cooking space on the griddle. However, the portable version does not have grill grates hidden underneath a removable griddle surface.

Portability

With “portable” right in the name, you would rightly assume Camp Chef went to great lengths to make this grill fit for travel. Indeed, the design makes the portable 600 a fantastic accessory for those who need a top-shelf grill for a life on the go.

The legs of the fold neatly underneath the grill, and the shelves on the sides fold up over the top to turn this grill into a compact shape that transports easily.

Cost

At $440 directly from Camp Chef, the Portable Flat Top Grill 600 costs the same as the standard version of the 600 flat top grill. Essentially, you decide between a convertible griddle/grill combo and a griddle-only unit that you can much more easily take on road trips.

Specs

  • Height: 37 inches
  • Depth: 32 inches
  • Width: 31.5 inches with the shelves down, 62 inches with the shelves up
  • Cooking Surface: 31.5 inches by 19.5 inches
  • Weight: 100 pounds

Pros

  • Compact shape
  • Fold-up shelves cover the griddle top
  • Lightweight
  • Extra-large side shelves

Cons

  • Carry bag sold separately
  • No propane tank holder

Overall

The Camp Chef Portable Flat Top Grill 600 brings all of Camp Chef’s outstanding cooking quality to a much more portable package. For the apartment dweller, the RV enthusiast, or the perennial tailgater, this grill makes for a wonderful addition to mealtime.

It lacks a lot of the bells and whistles of the “standard” flat top line. With no shelves under the griddle and no propane tank holder, Camp Chef sacrificed a few amenities to create a lighter model. Honestly, you won’t miss those features much. What you get instead more than makes up for it.

The foldable side shelves and legs allow the whole unit to break down like a transformer to about the size of a pillow, perfect for storing even in the tightest of living or traveling spaces.

Camp chef makes two separate carry bags, one for the griddle top and one for the unit itself. It does feel like an unnecessary step to have to buy them separately, but given that some people may not move the unit very often perhaps the ability to save on those costs has some benefits

Final Thoughts

Camp Chef griddles can totally transform your grilling experience. The company has come up with excellent products that perform incredibly well. With modular designs and extensive options for customization, they have come up with something for everyone — and we didn’t even get into the accessories like natural gas conversion kits.

The griddles especially turn any outdoor space into a veritable hamburger stand or breakfast diner. It may take a little getting used to, particularly for those who have never worked a flat top before, and proper safety practices are essential. But the versatility and speed with which you can sling out meals on these products make them worth the effort.

Perhaps most impressively, Camp Chef achieved their exceptional quality at almost half the price of some of the bigger name brands. Long story short, their griddle line offers exactly what Camp Chef set out to create some three decades ago — a better way to cook outside.

Read more expert griddle reviews on our blog now!

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