The Best Flat Top Grills and Griddles According to Pros

A griddle like the Camp Chef Flat Top 600, our vote for Best Overall, is more versatile than a grill and may turn out the best burger you've ever made.

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Camp Chef Flat Top Grill
Photo: Amazon

While striped, grilled patties are the symbol of backyard cooking, chances are the most memorable burgers you've had came off a griddle. From famous burger chains to the neighborhood diner, those patties sizzling on a ripping hot swath of steel, basking in rendered fat, have a taste that's hard to replicate on a grill. But dinner is just one of the meals this outdoor cooker can handle.

From bacon, eggs, and pancakes in the morning to Philly cheesesteaks or the ironically-named grilled cheese for lunch, it's hard to beat the versatility of a flat top griddle. And what you can do with one only grows when you master the art of using pots and pans on them to saute or boil. When it comes to shopping, griddles range from small, portable versions suitable for one or two people to massive ones with multiple burners capable of feeding a Little League team.

We asked experts to weigh in on what matters when you're shopping for a griddle. From their insights and our research, we selected the best flat top grills and griddles in several categories, ultimately dubbing the Camp Chef Flat Top 600 the best model for most people. Read on to find the right griddle for just about every kind of cook.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Camp Chef Flat Top 600

Griddle
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Camp Chef and Home Depot.

Pros: The four burners offer plenty of temperature control, and the Camp Chef converts into a gas grill.

Cons: As with many outdoor cookers, you should plan to spend about $60 more for a soft cover to protect the griddle.

Whether it's cooking for two or a crowd, finding a grill to suit all comers is a moving target. But experts agree that having more BTUs, multiple burners, and a bigger chunk of steel gives the griddle added versatility so you can cook for parties, or on just half of it for a weeknight meal. After researching the options, the Camp Chef Flat Top 600's 31-inch wide cold-rolled steel surface — a size that is often referred to as a 36-inch griddle, given the cart's overall width — is ideal for an average patio or deck.

The size of the griddle is nearly the most important factor with any outdoor cooking rig. The rule of thumb is figuring on about 72 square inches of cooking surface space per person, or about the same visual space as a dinner plate. That means the Camp Chef's 604 square inches should be able to handle about enough food for about eight people.

The griddle arrives seasoned, so you can start cooking immediately without having to repeatedly heat and oil the surface. Underneath the heavy griddle top is a series of removable grates that convert the unit to a grill. Under those grates are covers protecting the burners, as you'd see on a Weber, to shed grease.

The cart consists of sturdy, powder-coated steel with a couple of shelves to store supplies and a pair of fold-out tables that can help you keep track of raw and cooked food or act as a place to set down utensils. The grease trap is mounted in the front, so you can keep an eye on it during cooking.

  • Dimensions: 62.5 x 22 x 37 inches
  • Capacity: 604 square inches
  • BTUs: 48,000
  • Warranty: 1 year

Best Value: Blackstone Adventure Ready 28-inch Griddle Cooking Station

Griddle
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Walmart.

Pros: It's easy to fold up for storage and it's portable.

Cons: There is no adjustment to make the griddle level.

The Adventure Ready grill is designed to sit on your patio or deck, but it can also travel to tailgates, Airbnb rentals, or the campsite. At 448 square inches, the griddle surface is enough to cook about 44 hot dogs or 18 burgers. The two burners can crank to full heat and sear steaks or you set one side to warm, then hold cooked food there until you're ready to serve.

The rear grease trap, cut into the wall of the griddle top, makes it easy to push or funnel all the fat and schmutz out of the way so you can work on a clean surface. The fold-out table can hold platters and utensils and the shelf below is recessed, which can help prevent items, like a roll of paper towels, from falling off. To travel, remove the top and the tank, collapse the legs, then put it all into an SUV. If you plan to go mobile with the Blackstone often, consider investing in purpose-built bags to make carrying the two parts easier.

  • Dimensions: 44.5 x 33.5 x 19.5 inches
  • Capacity: 448 square inches
  • BTUs: 34,000
  • Warranty: 1 year

Best for Entertaining: Camp Chef Flat Top 900

Griddle
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Camp Chef and Lowe's.

Pros: Six burners offer the ability to have multiple heat zones.

Cons: At 6.5-feet long, this griddle eats up a lot of real estate. Though it has wheels, you may need help moving it.

The Flat Top 900 is a supersized version of our pick for the best overall griddle: the same stable chassis, reliable ignition, storage, and folding tables. The big difference is the griddle's added width, going from 37 to 45.5 inches. With 877 square inches of cooking surface, you can easily feed a dozen people in short order with enough room for multiple cooks in the kitchen.

Like Camp Chef's other griddles, the Flat Top 900 comes seasoned and ready to cook. We appreciate touches like the hex head screws at the corners, which let you level the griddle's surface on an uneven patio, deck, or lawn. At this size, it's important to get the grease draining in the right direction. Each of the six burners cranks out 12,000 BTUs with chunky dials that help adjust the temp from sear down to a simmer, so you can add a pot to boil water or a skillet to reduce a pan sauce. Unlike our top pick, however, the Flat Top 900 does not convert into a grill — not that you'd want to often lift off the very heavy steel top.

  • Dimensions: 78 x 20.5 x 37 inches
  • Capacity: 877 square inches
  • BTUs: 72,000
  • Warranty: 1 year

Best Portable: Pit Boss 2 Burner Ultimate Lift-Off Griddle

Griddle
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Lowe's and Ace Hardware.

Pros: Ceramic non-stick coating means food releases and the surface won't rust.

Cons: You can't use metal utensils on it, so you'll have to stick with nylon, plastic, or silicone.

Sure, the Pit Boss comes with a cart, but at its core, this is a road warrior griddle that you can take just about anywhere. The griddle has four short feet that rest into pockets built into the cart. The griddle is as easy to use and maintain as it is to carry around since the steel top is coated with a ceramic nonstick material, which means it should resist rusting in the long run. That's a blessing and a curse since it means relying on wood, silicone, or nylon utensils.

The nearly 430-square inch top has two burners and a nifty grease drawer that slides in and out. The funnel for the grease is tucked into a corner, which does eat into the usable griddle surface, but this tends to be an area that doesn't get as hot as the rest of the steel slab. Other details we like: the lid that helps protect the surface from leaves, pollen, and water can also trap steam to melt cheese on burgers, and the left side of the cart has holders for a roll of paper towels and a trash bag.

  • Dimensions: 28.66 x 50.12 x 37 inches
  • Capacity: 421 square inches
  • BTUs: 26,000
  • Warranty: 2 years

Best for Gas Grills: Little Griddle Professional Series Full-Size Stainless ($125)

Griddle
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Home Depot.

Pros: It easily converts a standard gas grill into a griddle, and cleaning is effortless.

Cons: It won't fit a kettle or very small gas grills.

The Little Griddle plops down right on top of an existing gas grill's grates. The griddles in most commercial kitchens, like Five Guys and Shake Shack, are stainless steel because it heats up faster than the cold-rolled steel on most consumer griddles, but it's more expensive. Adding the Little Griddle gives you the responsiveness of a commercial griddle top, provided your rectangular grill is slightly larger than 25 by 16 inches to accommodate it.

Its 400 square inches can cook enough for a family of four or five. In front, there is a grease trench the full width of the griddle. Once the griddle is cool, you can remove it, then pour and dispose of the grease. We appreciate the four-inch sidewalls here, which are taller than those found on traditional griddles. That can help prevent food from falling off and down through the grill grates. At about 16 pounds, it's pretty easy to move the Little Griddle around.

  • Dimensions: 25 x 16 x 6.5 inches
  • Capacity: 400 square inches
  • Warranty: Lifetime

Best Hybrid: Royal Gourmet 4-Burner Gas Grill and Griddle Combo with Folding Legs

Griddle
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Amazon.

Pros: You can grill and griddle at the same time, and on one machine.
Cons: The griddle area is small at less than 300 square inches, and it doesn't come with a cover.

If you're not ready to go full in on a griddle, or you have limited space for outdoor cooking gear, this hybrid can please all comers. Grill off a skirt or flank steak on one side while you brown onions, peppers, and tortillas on the other for fajita night. Each side of the grill has two burners, for added control. With 48,000 BTUs in total, the half of the Royal Gourmet that is a griddle is roughly the size of a smaller portable griddle, but that might be exactly what you need to cook for one or two people during a weeknight. The grill side has cast-iron grates to retain heat and leave defined marks on your food.

The cart, which is foldable to make storing and transport easier, has a few nice details on it that help make cooking easier. We like the rail with hooks to store things like tongs and spatulas. The side tables don't fold down, which adds to the bulk of the unit but allows for sturdy storage. The grease cup is mounted in the back of the griddle, which keeps the front's stainless steel cover plate and chrome knobs looking clean.

  • Dimensions: 66.1 x 21.7 x 36.6 inches
  • Capacity: 606.3 square inches (292 square inches of griddle)
  • BTUs: 48,000
  • Warranty: 1 year

Conclusion

Griddles are relatively simple devices — the guts are essentially the same as the burners on a gas grill — so picking the right one comes down to how many people you plan on feeding, how often, and how much space and budget you have. The Camp Chef Flat Top 600 will perform well for years to come with a little bit of attention to keep rust at bay, and it doubles as a solid gas grill. If you're not ready to bid farewell to your gas grill quite yet, the Little Griddle Professional Series Full-Size Stainless Steel BBQ Griddle is a reasonably priced foray into griddling that offers more size than a standard-issue reversible cast-iron griddle.

Factors to Consider

Size

George Motz, host of the cooking series Burger Scholar Sessions and author of The Great American Burger Book, and Paul Sidoriak, author of The Flippin' Awesome Backyard Griddle Cookbook and equipment tester for Grilling Montana, agree to look for a griddle that's slightly bigger than what you think you need so you can have plenty of space for entertaining.

"I'd say two and a half feet wide is probably the smallest you want to go," Motz says. Manufacturers tend to offer griddles in a standard range of sizes: 17, 22, 28, and 36 inches wide. "Griddles that are 17 or 22 inches are something that you might use a couple of times a year," Sidoriak says. "I feel that the 36-inch griddle is the best size, provided people have the space for it."

Materials

While pricey commercial griddles usually have a stainless steel top, consumer-grade versions almost always have cold-rolled steel, which is similar to a carbon steel or cast-iron skillet in that it needs maintenance to avoid rust. Some griddles come seasoned, others don't, but all of them need protection in between uses, especially if you live in a humid environment. The pros we spoke with said that wrapping the top in plastic wrap in between uses can help keep ambient humidity off the griddle surface and keep rust at bay. But even a rusty griddle surface can be rehabilitated with basic tools and a little elbow grease. The carts on most griddles are powder-coated steel.

Heat Source

The griddles in this review are designed to work with standard liquid propane tanks, but a conversion kit can allow you to hook them up to a natural gas line. Electric griddles are a popular option for indoor use, but they can't compete with the size of a medium gas griddle.

Covers

In the griddle world, there are two kinds of covers: hard metal ones that protect the griddle surface and bigger synthetic covers that envelop the entire grill. If you can, get both. The metal cover prevents water from sitting directly on top of the griddle surface while the larger synthetic cover prevents pollen and leaves from gathering in the stand's nooks and crannies. Like any outdoor cooking equipment, store it in a covered area, like a shed or garage, at the end of the season.

The Research

In addition to consulting two griddle experts, George Motz and Paul Sidoriak, for their takes on what to look for in the best flat top grills and griddles, we researched the market to evaluate products based on size, materials, and heat source. We also considered the different uses that people may have in mind for a griddle, such as feeding a family, entertaining, and cooking at a campground, to select options.

Q+A

Q: How do you use a griddle?

A: Unlike cooking over an open flame, cooking over a griddle is familiar to anyone who has cooked with a skillet. On most griddles you'll want to have a squeeze bottle of a neutral-flavored oil, preferably one with a high smoke point, to prevent food from sticking. To help things go smoothly, you should have all of your food prepped and ready to go like you're working the griddle in a hibachi restaurant. For griddles that don't come with a lid, you can melt things like cheese by using a stainless steel bowl or disposable aluminum pan turned upside down over the food.

Q: How do you maintain a griddle?

A: Each manufacturer has recommendations for maintaining the griddle surface. But generally, the idea is to keep a thin layer of oil on the surface so the griddle is seasoned like a cast-iron pan. Scrapers help you keep the surface free of burn on foods and sauces. During each cook and at the end, you'll funnel the grease into the cup, dispose of that, then clean the top before storing it.

Q: Can you use pots and pans on a griddle?

A: Yes, though it will take longer than using your stove inside. Energy from the burner has to heat the thick steel top, then the pan, so while you can boil water and simmer sauces it griddle isn't as responsive as a stove. Some griddle users will fill a disposable aluminum lasagna pan with oil and use that to fry food on the griddle.

Our Expertise

Sal Vaglica is a gear tester and food writer with nearly 15 years of experience working with and covering outdoor cooking equipment. For this story, he interviewed experts who have written books specifically about griddling, including George Motz and Paul Sidoriak. Based on what they think is important to look for in a grill, mixed with his own experience, he developed this list of griddles.

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