This Pit Master Doesn't Use a Grill to Cook His Steak at Home

Hot take!

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Food & Wine / Reese Herrington

If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what chefs, bakers, baristas, and other industry pros use at home. Not the fresh produce and the high-quality proteins, but the pots, pans, and gadgets that make their home kitchens run smoothly. In our ‘Try This at Home’ series, we asked Mike Black — a pit master and co-owner of Terry Black’s in Austin — about the one kitchen product they think every home cook should own. 

Austin is a barbecue town, and while Franklin’s is the spot you’ve likely heard of, Terry Black’s is my go-to. Not only can you actually get food without waiting upwards of five hours, but their brisket is king.

It’s run by two brothers, Mike and Mark Black, and because their barbecue is so good, I wanted to know what they use to cook at home. According to Mike Black, he doesn’t use a grill for steaks, but instead opts for a Blackstone griddle, just like this one, which is currently 20% off at Amazon. 

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To buy: Blackstone Flat Top Gas Griddle, $218 (originally $300) at

Needless to say, I was taken aback. Barbecue and grills go together like caviar and champagne, cheese and crackers, peanut butter and jelly. But Black explained it to me: “I prefer the Blackstone over a traditional grill because of its solid cooking surface,” he says. “The solid cooking surface prevents fire flare ups you’d get with a traditional grill,” he continues, adding that “You can get a Blackstone extremely hot, which is ideal when cooking steaks.” 

Black uses it “every day” and calls it a “must-have.” It’s easy to see why. This two-burner griddle doesn't have a huge footprint (it’s just 44.5-inches wide, 22.5-inches deep, and 33.5-inches high). But what you get for the size is a powerful, double-burner griddle, with the ability to control zones for optimal cooking. It even has wheels that make it easy to move around your backyard. 

Black doesn’t just use the griddle’s 524 square-feet flat top for steaks. In fact, he adds that he loves it for “grilling vegetables or cooking breakfast for the family,” too. But as for steak, well, it’s an easy way to “get a perfect char,” he says. 

Can your grill make breakfast? I didn’t think so. Add this pit master-approved griddle to your home today. 

At the time of publishing, the price was $218.

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