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Your outdoor kitchen needs a griddle grill, but is Blackstone the best one?

If you love outdoor cooking, you should get a griddle grill. It makes it easy to cook just about anything with a much more even sear. While ZDNET chose the Blackstone 36-inch cooking station as the best griddle grill, we researched and compared it against other options -- judging them by pricing and features like BTUs and cooking space -- to determine our top five picks.

When you think about cookouts, you probably think about burgers and hot dogs on the grill. Well, that's not exactly what it is today. 

Griddle grills are becoming a common cookout staple, so the types of meals available for cooking outdoors have increased drastically. If you've been renovating your backyard, equipping it with all the latest outdoor kitchen gizmos and gadgets and appliances, you really need to add a griddle grill. From pancakes to hibachi, they can truly cook it all. 

Here are our top-five griddle grills. Yes, Blackstone topped our list, but we like other grills from well-respected brands if you are looking for something cheaper or just want to explore your options. We also help you decide which might be right for you.

Must read:

Pros & Cons
  • Lots of cooking space
  • Easily portable with removable cooking surface and folding legs
  • Built-in trashcan, paper towel holder and cutting board
  • Not the best griddle for amateur chefs
  • Need a large, open space to put it in
More Details

Features: Cooktop size: 720 sq. inches | Dimensions (LxWxH): 66.52 x 27.6 x 35.43 inches | Burners: 4 | Finish type: Powder Coated

Finding an outdoor cooking space that has all the necessary items is tough. With this Blackstone 36" cooking station, the cutting board, paper towel holder and trashcan are all built-in to the griddle. Additionally, a shelf located under the cooking area and to the left of the cooking area gives the weekend chefs all the room they need.

Blackstone has been known to make some of the best griddle grills on the market, and this product further solidifies that statement. The griddle's stainless steel construction makes it durable and able to withstand heat. Additionally, the plastic, heat-resistant handle allows you to hold on to the handle with your bare hands even when the griddle is on.

Amazon offers the lowest price for this griddle at $409, but Walmart has it listed for $599.

Pros & Cons
  • The largest cooking surface of these included in the list
  • Two grease cups on the front corners
  • Easily portable
  • Very short
  • Isn't the sturdiest option
More Details

Features: Cooktop size: 760 sq. inches | Dimensions (LxWxH): 64.6 x 24.1 x 32.3 inches | Burners: 4 | Finish type: Cold-Rolled Steel

It's hard to find a griddle that can compete with a Blackstone, but this Cuisinart griddle is the closest I've seen. While this doesn't have the features of the Blackstone 36" griddle, this product has a very large cooking surface. This unit has two shelves on both sides of the cooking surface, which push underneath the surface when transporting it from home to the campsite. 

The original price of this griddle is $350, but it is currently listed for $275 -- over $70 off. Additionally, this is the cheapest this product has ever been as well as the cheapest listing on the market.

Pros & Cons
  • Small and easy to transport
  • Cheap
  • Easy to setup and cook
  • Ideal for camping but not an everyday griddle
  • Need a platform to set it on
More Details

Features: Cooktop size: 289 sq. inches | Dimensions (LxWxH): 20.47 x 17.32 x 10.83 inches | Burners: 2 | Finish type: Powder coated

As someone who uses this griddle every time they camp, I can say this griddle has served up some top-tier campsite food. While its small size is a minor inconvenience, it allows me to pack it for every trip without taking up a lot of space. This griddle is extremely durable with a removable platform and grease catcher for easy cleaning.

Cooking on a level surface is critical when cooking with a griddle. This Pit Boss product has four adjustable feet, so you can make sure this unit is level no matter what you have it sitting on.

A recent price increase labels this product at $109 at both Amazon and Pit Boss. If you camp a lot or just want an easy to setup griddle for small meals, there isn't a better griddle to fit your needs.

Pros & Cons
  • 3 adjustable burners
  • Cover and 5-foot gas line included
  • Removable grease tray and cooking surface for easy cleaning
  • Only connects to 20 lb propane tanks
More Details

Features: Cooktop size: 316 sq. inches | Dimensions (LxWxH): 16.3 x 16.3 x 7.9 inches | Burners: 3 | Finish type: Stainless steel

This Royal Gourmet table-top griddle is easily portable and cooks the food thoroughly with three adjustable burners on its 24-inch surface. Whether you are on the back porch for a family cookout or tailgating at a football game, this griddle does it all. 

Both Amazon and Walmart have this product listed at $110 though Amazon offers a $50 discount if you get approved for their Amazon Rewards Visa Card.

Pros & Cons
  • Serves as a grill and griddle
  • Shelves on both side of the cooking surface
  • Bar underneath to hold grill tools
  • There's no top
  • Very big and hard to transport
More Details

Features: Cooktop size: 584 sq. inches | Dimensions (LxWxH): 66.1 x 21.7 x 36.6 inches | Burners: 4 | Finish type: Powder coated

With this unit serving as both a griddle and a grill, this serves as the perfect product for beginners. Learning to cook on the griddle is a challenge, and sometimes you want to take it one step at a time.

Each surface, the grill and the griddle, are 292 sq. inches, with four burners producing 48,000 BTUs. Although this unit is large, the foldable legs make it a bit smaller for bringing it along for camping trips -- you'll need a lot of extra space, though.

This product just saw a price increase but still remains a solid purchase for the product that you receive

What is the best griddle grill?

So we've looked at all these griddles; here's a look at some of the key features each griddle has.

Griddle grill



Cooking Area

Blackstone 36" Cooking Station



720 sq. inches

Cuisinart CGG-0036, 36" Four Burner griddle grill



760 sq. inches

PIT BOSS PB336GS Two Burner Portable Flat Top Griddle



289 sq. inches

Royal Gourmet PD1301S Portable 24-Inch



316 sq. inches

Royal Gourmet GD401C 4-Burner Portable Propane Flat Top Gas Grill and Griddle Combo



292 sq. inches

Which is the right griddle grill for you?

I know I'm a super picky eater, so when it comes to how I want my food cooked, I'm very particular. A lot of people are the same way. Choosing the griddle that is best for you ultimately comes down to personal preference. 

Heres a table that can hopefully make your decision a little easier.

Choose this griddle grill…

If you…

Blackstone 36" Cooking Station

Are serious about cooking on the griddle

Cuisinart CGG-0036, 36" Four Burner griddle grill

Are serious about using the griddle but don't want to break the bank

PIT BOSS PB336GS Two Burner Portable Flat Top Griddle

Travel or camp a lot and want a griddle that can come along

Royal Gourmet PD1301S Portable 24-Inch

Looking for an affordable but reliable griddle

Royal Gourmet GD401C 4-Burner Portable Propane Flat Top Gas Grill and Griddle Combo

Are a beginner and want a griddle with a built-in grill

How did we choose these griddle grills?

Choosing the best griddle is a hard task, but it's hard to top a Blackstone. When deciding which griddle was the best for each category, I looked at a lot of features, including the overall size of the cooking surface, the amount of BTUs, the price of the product and various other characteristics. 

The Blackstone 36" Cooking Station is the best overall because it leads the way in most of these categories I examined. With the features and specifications this griddle has, you can't get a better griddle.

As for the other ones listed, it came down to what I was looking for rather, it was cheapest, best for beginners, best value and most portable. The products selected for each of the categories were selected because, frankly, they were the best fit for that category after looking at the specs.

What can I cook on a griddle?

Griddle grills are a unique cooking product due to the fact you can almost cook anything. Pancakes, vegetables, bacon and meats are just a few of the many options you can cook on a griddle

Is a griddle better than a grill?

When it comes to comparing a griddle and a grill, it all comes down to your personal preference. Griddles cook better at a lower temperature. With a grill, they cook best at a high temperature. Due to the high temperatures of a grill, food is more likely to burn quickly because it doesn't soak in the juices and liquid as it would in a griddle.

Is a Blackstone griddle grill worth it?

If you're an avid chef at home and want a griddle grill that is sturdy and reliable, a Blackstone is perfect for you. While they are more expensive than most of the competitors, the quality of the product is worth the extra money and the features the grill offers are unmatched by other griddle grills.

Are there alternative griddle grills worth considering?

With so many griddle grills on the market, narrowing it down to the five best griddle grills is tough. Here are some honorable mentions that didn't make the cut but can assist when selecting which griddle is for you.

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