Thinking about buying a Blackstone griddle? Here’s everything you need to know about the most popular griddle brand on the market – Blackstone!
Unless you’ve been living under a rock or you have zero outdoor cooking experience whatsoever, then you’ve probably heard of the Blackstone griddle. You can’t walk down the grilling aisle in Walmart without passing rows and rows of Blackstone products, and even big box home improvement stores now have Blackstone griddles on display next to their entrances.
Griddle cooking is definitely on the rise, and flat top grills are here to stay!
With their large flat cooking surfaces and ability to cook a wide variety of foods, griddles like the Blackstone are quickly becoming the outdoor cooking equipment of choice, showing up on back decks of pro chefs and home cooks alike. It’s no wonder that all of the major grill manufacturers are now adding griddles to their product line ups.
But as with any new cooking appliance, there is a bit of a learning curve when you get a new griddle. And as a long-time griddle user (both with a commercial and a residential flat top grill), I can help with that!
So whether you’ve just purchased a new Blackstone griddle or you’re curious if owning a griddle is really all that it’s cracked up to be (spoiler alert – it’s awesome!), this post is for you!
What is a Blackstone Griddle?
Blackstone is the most popular manufacturer of outdoor griddles and griddle accessories, probably due to their long history in the griddle market, the affordable price point of their products, and their huge product line ups.
The first Blackstone griddle was made back in 2008, when the company decided that the outdoor cooking experience should be a family affair. Rather than having one person manning the grill outside while the rest of the family was inside whipping up side dishes, the griddle manufacturer set out to bring the family together.
In fact, according to a survey of Blackstone customers, the number one benefit of cooking on a griddle was an increase in the amount of family time. If that isn’t a GREAT reason to add a flat top grill to your back deck, then I don’t know what is!
So the 36″ Blackstone griddle was born, and with its large flat cooking surface, families could cook up some fantastic meats, side dishes, and even desserts while spending time together outside. In Blackstone’s own words, they wanted to “cook everything outside”, and the residential flat top grill definitely makes that possible!
But what exactly is a Blackstone griddle?
The traditional Blackstone griddle is a liquid propane powered, outdoor cooking apparatus with a large flat cooking surface. Similar to a gas grill, you can use a griddle to cook burgers, steaks, chicken, and other meats. But since the cooking area is a solid sheet of metal, you can also cook smaller foods like eggs, pancakes, and fried rice… Foods that if put on a regular grill would just fall right through the grill grates.
With a Blackstone griddle and most other flat top grills, gas burners underneath a rolled steel griddle top heat the cooking surface evenly, providing you with a very large surface area to prepare a wide variety of foods. Think of a Blackstone griddle as an electric countertop griddle like the one that your Grandma used to have, but on steroids!
Blackstone Griddle Sizes and Models
Since producing their first 36″ griddle, Blackstone has continued to innovate and develop a wide range of outdoor griddle products, so there’s something for everyone!
Whether you’re looking for a 4 burner model to feed a large family of six or you want an electric countertop model that you can use on your winter RV travels, Blackstone probably has a unit to fit your needs.
I have personal experience and firsthand knowledge of the regular, top selling 36″ Blackstone griddle and the Blackstone Griddle Air Fryer Combo. But in addition to my favorite 4 burner models (more about that later), Blackstone offers a wide variety of outdoor griddles including:
- 28″ XL griddle with hood
- 28″ XL culinary griddle with stainless steel accents and a built in 2 burner range top and deep fryer basket
- 28″ griddles with or without a hood
- 28″ griddle air fryer combo
- 22″ tabletop griddles with or without a hood
- 22″ griddle with hood and collapsible legs for easy transport
- 17″ griddles with or without a hood
- E-series electric griddles in either 17″ or 22″ sizes
Is a Blackstone Griddle the Same Thing as a Flat Top Grill?
You may hear the terms “griddle” and “flat top grill” used interchangeably, especially as outdoor griddles gain in popularity and become more mainstream cooking equipment.
Some manufacturers refer to the large, solid flat surface gas-powered grills as “griddles” and some call their units “flat top grills”. Here are just a few examples:
- Blackstone Griddle
- Camp Chef Flat Top Grill 600
- Pit Boss Ultimate Griddle
- Traeger Flatrock Flat Top Grill
Whether you call it a flat top grill or a griddle is up to you, but it’s essentially the same thing.
What Can I Cook on a Blackstone?
The flat, non-stick surface of a Blackstone griddle is perfect for cooking a large variety of foods, from fluffy muffin mix pancakes to fried rice. Because the cooking surface is a solid sheet of metal rather than a metal grate like a traditional grill, you don’t have to worry about smaller foods falling through the cracks.
So pretty much anything that you can cook in your kitchen in a skillet can also be cooked on a Blackstone griddle or any other flat top grill.
Here are some popular griddle foods that are perfect for your new outdoor cooking appliance:
- smash burgers – My wife’s absolute favorite burger! She won’t touch a regular charcoal grilled burger, but she can definitely put down a few smash burgers!
- all the major breakfast foods – Big griddle breakfasts are a Sunday tradition at our house, complete with pancakes, crispy hash browns, bacon, sausage, and the perfect griddle eggs!
- stir fry and fried rice recipes – Including your favorite Japanese steakhouse hibachi for a fraction of the price versus going out to a restaurant!
- cheese steaks and other sandwiches
- vegetable side dishes
- steaks – Yes, you can even cook some awesome steaks on the griddle… though I personally prefer my steaks cooked on a charcoal grill.
And if you still want to know some other foods that you can cook on the griddle, just visit your local Waffle House and sit at the counter… Watch to see what the cooks throw down on their commercial stainless steel griddle for inspiration!
What NOT to Cook on a Blackstone Griddle
There are a few foods that are NOT suited for griddle cooking. Most dishes that are usually prepared in an oven probably won’t do well on a flat top grill. You should also save smoked meats like smoked pulled pork butts or barbecue ribs for the smoker or charcoal grill.
Personally, I would not recommend that you use your griddle for these purposes:
Deep Fried Foods
I’ve seen so many people deep fry on the griddle using a disposable aluminum pan (like a steam pan), and it makes me shudder! As a former restaurant chef, I have a ton of commercial culinary experience, and I’ve seen so many accidents happen in the kitchen.
The flimsy quality of disposable pans combined with the high temperatures of frying oil is an accident waiting to happen. It’s best to heat your oil inside on the stovetop, but if you must use your griddle for deep frying, at least use a heavy-bottomed pan like a cast iron skillet.
You can definitely shallow fry foods on your Blackstone griddle, like I did with these Fried Chicken Breakfast Sandwiches, because a smaller amount of oil is directly on the griddle surface and you simply use your bench scraper to direct it towards your food, but deep frying is best done with an actual stovetop burner.
Don’t think that when you buy a Blackstone griddle, that you can automatically get rid of your charcoal grill or smoker. A griddle is definitely NOT a replacement for a grill, especially if you enjoy smoking pulled pork butts or baby back ribs.
Anything that is cooked low and slow won’t do well on the griddle. That’s because the rolled steel griddle top constantly builds heat if your unit is on. In fact, with most Blackstone griddles, the surface temp can climb to over 400 degrees F even if the knobs are turned on low.
The perfect smoking temperature of about 250 degrees F just isn’t sustainable on a griddle, so save your famous smoked brisket for the smoker.
Soups or Other Liquid Items
Obviously the flat cooking surface of a griddle is not ideal for cooking soups or other liquid foods. When you add a large volume of liquid like water or chicken stock to the griddle surface, it will probably immediately start flowing towards the grease trap.
You can, however, place a pot or pan directly on the griddle surface and then add your soup ingredients to the pot. But I still find it more efficient to make soups inside on the stovetop.
How to Use a Blackstone Griddle
Using a Blackstone griddle is very simple once you get the hang of it. And while you may be a bit nervous about the seasoning process, once you’ve got a few coats of griddle seasoning under your belt (or rather, on your flat top) then you’ll start to understand the simple method and the learning curve won’t be near as steep.
Then, using the Blackstone griddle is really just about cooking up some awesome meals on your back porch and taking a few minutes after each use for some preventative maintenance. Nothing to be afraid of!
Here’s everything you need to know about how to use a Blackstone griddle, from what accessories you absolutely NEED to what to do if your griddle cooking surface needs a refresh:
The Blackstone Griddle Accessories that You Need
When you first get your new Blackstone griddle, you may experience a little “shiny object syndrome”… Blackstone products has a HUGE variety of griddle accessories, all perfectly color-coordinated to match your new griddle. But thankfully for your wallet, you only need a few basic tools to get started with griddle cooking.
The Blackstone griddle accessories that I consider to be “must-haves” are:
- 2 all-purpose spatulas – I say “all purpose” because some spatulas are very large and heavy – better suited to making smash burgers. You can read all about choosing the perfect griddle spatulas for you here: What Griddle Spatula to Buy? I Tried 15 Spatulas to Find the Best!
- a bench scraper (sometimes just referred to as a “scraper”)
- a melting dome – If you don’t want to purchase an actual melting dome, you can DIY one with a large metal bowl and a screw-in knob, or even use an aluminum steam pan to dome your food on the griddle.
- squirt bottles – One for water and one for oil (or 2 for oil if you use different types of oil for seasoning vs. cooking).
- a griddle cover – You’ll want to protect your griddle surface and the seasoning that you worked hard to build.
*You can see my full list of MUST-HAVE Blackstone griddle accessories here!
Turning the Griddle On and Preheating
The amount of time needed to preheat your griddle will vary depending on what you are cooking. If you’re just going to be cooking some scrambled eggs, then it’s probably best to turn your griddle to low and begin cooking after only about 5 minutes. That’s because you’ll want to cook the eggs before the surface temperature gets too hot.
On the other hand, if you’re going to be cooking the perfect Blackstone steak, then you’ll want to preheat for a longer time so that your steak can get a nice sear.
For most foods, I allow my Blackstone griddle to preheat on low for about 10-12 minutes.
To turn the Blackstone griddle on, first turn the propane on at the source by turning the valve on the top of your propane tank. This allows the liquid propane to flow to the griddle burners. *NOTE – Blackstone recommends that you always check your propane tank for leaks before turning it on.
Then, when the propane tank valve is in the open position, turn the griddle knobs on and immediately press the ignite button.
*CAUTION – After turning the knobs on, do NOT wait more than 3-4 seconds before pressing the ignite button. Once the knobs are turned on, gas will be flowing out of the burners, and if you wait too long to ignite, then the build up of propane may cause dangerous flare-ups. (You can watch my wife cook on the Blackstone griddle for the first time and make that mistake in this YouTube video!)
You should be able to hear the burners ignite, but you can also peek through the opening under the griddle top to look for the flames.
Seasoning a Blackstone Griddle
The first thing you need to know about a Blackstone griddle with the traditional rolled steel griddle surface is that you’ll need to season it before cooking on it the first time. The process to season a new Blackstone griddle is similar to seasoning a cast iron skillet.
I’ve got a full in-depth tutorial for how to season a Blackstone griddle here – I HIGHLY recommend that you check out that post first!
The basic steps for seasoning a griddle are:
- Turn the griddle on and allow it to heat up for about 10-15 minutes.
- Squirt a small amount of seasoning oil on the griddle surface (my favorites to use are either avocado oil or Crisco shortening).
- Use a wad of paper towels and some long-handled tongs to spread the oil around the griddle top so that the entire surface is coated in a very thin layer of oil. If you see any bubbling or pooling of the oil, just wipe it away with the paper towels. Don’t forget to add a thin coat of oil to the edges and sides as well. The heated oil will be producing a large amount of smoke at this point.
- Allow the oil to “cook” and burn off for about 10-12 minutes, or until the smoke has dissipated substantially.
- Repeat steps 2-4 another three or four times depending on the condition of your seasoning, applying a thin coat of oil, spreading it around with the paper towels and allowing it to burn off each time.
Then your Blackstone griddle top should be a nice, shiny black color indicating that you have a non-stick cooking surface.
Getting the Griddle Temperature Just Right
One of the most difficult things about cooking on a Blackstone griddle is getting the temperature just right, and if you’ve never used a flat top grill before, then the sheer amount of heat may take you by surprise. That’s because while the gas burners are on, the griddle top is constantly building heat.
In fact, one of the most common comments that I hear from new griddle owners is that they’re surprised how quick the pace of griddle cooking actually is. Trust me, you’ll want to have all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go nearby before you start cooking!
I’ve got a full, in-depth guide on everything you need to know about griddle temperatures… Everything from how to lower the griddle temperature when you’re ready to cook your scrambled eggs to how to manage your temperature zones for the best sear.
You can check out that full guide here: Griddle Cooking Temperature – 7 Things You Need to Know
Making Sure Your Food Doesn’t Stick to the Griddle
Another common frustration when cooking on a Blackstone griddle, or any flat top grill for that matter, is the food sticking to the griddle surface.
But there are a few ways to prevent this…
First, make sure that your griddle is well seasoned before you begin cooking. Some griddle beginners mistakenly think that after they apply the initial coats of seasoning to their Blackstone griddle, that they don’t ever have to season it again. But think of the seasoning process like preventative maintenance. Any time that you notice areas of “chipping” on your griddle top, or when you find that your food is sticking in certain areas, it’s probably time to do another few coats of seasoning.
Second, don’t be afraid to add oil or butter to the surface when cooking. Certain foods like eggs are more prone to sticking to the griddle top, but using a small bit of your favorite cooking oil and spreading it around with your spatula can help you to lubricate the surface.
Turning the Griddle Off
After you’re done preparing your incredible Blackstone dinner, simply turn the knobs to the off position. Then, be sure to turn the valve on the propane tank to the off position as well.
In some instances, you may actually want to turn your griddle off before you’re done cooking. If you’re preparing a dish with a sugary sauce like this Hawaiian Beef Teriyaki, then turning off the burners a few minutes before the meal is done can help prevent the sugars from burning on the top later. There should still be plenty of heat to continue cooking your food.
Or, if you’re ready to start cooking eggs after you’ve made a huge breakfast with bacon, sausage, and hash browns, then you can turn the griddle off before adding the eggs, and cook the eggs last as the griddle is cooling back down.
Cleaning Your Blackstone Griddle
After you’re done cooking, you’ll need to clean your Blackstone griddle to keep the surface in good condition. And while it may be tempting to leave the clean up for later after you eat, I definitely recommend a quick and simple cleaning before you sit down to enjoy dinner. If you leave the clean up for later, then the food residue will cool and harden on the surface, making the cleaning process more difficult.
Instead, with your griddle turned off but while it is still warm (but not too hot) follow these simple steps:
- Use a bench scraper or metal spatula to scrape the excess food debris into the grease trap. Be sure that the entire flat edge of the scraper is in contact with the griddle surface so that you don’t “dig in” to your griddle seasoning.
- Add some water from your squirt bottle to the warm surface. If your griddle is warm, then adding water will create steam which will help to loosen any stuck-on foods.
- Fold up a few paper towels and place them under the edge of your scraper. Then use your scraper and the paper towels to remove any food residue. You may need to repeat this process a few times depending on what you just cooked.
- Dry the surface with paper towels.
- Apply a thin coat of oil to the griddle surface.
*You can read my full guide on how to clean a griddle here.
Help… My Blackstone Griddle Surface Looks Awful!
Even with proper cleaning and care, your Blackstone griddle seasoning may start to wear out over time. The humidity in the air or not using your griddle for an extended period of time can cause rust to develop or your seasoning to chip away.
But the great thing about a rolled steel griddle like the Blackstone is that you can bring it back to life with a little elbow grease, just like Grandma’s cast iron skillet that you found in the musty basement after 15 years.
A griddle cleaning brick is your best friend when it comes to restoring the surface of your Blackstone griddle so that it looks new again! You can follow this step-by-step guide for how to use a grill brick on your griddle if you find that your surface is in need of a little TLC.
How Do I Know Which Griddle is Right for Me?
With so many different options of Blackstone griddles to buy, it can be difficult to pick out the right one. But I’ve created a HUGE guide to help you narrow down the features that are most important to you!
Besides, of course, the actual price and what your budget is for a new griddle, you should consider:
- the griddle size and number of burners
- the griddle surface material – Do you want the traditional rolled steel option or a ceramic coated griddle?
- hood or no hood
- portability – Will you take it camping or tailgating?
- the grease management system
- extra features that you want – Like an attached air fryer or side gas burner, a paper towel holder, cabinet style doors, etc.
Be sure to check out my entire guide for picking out the BEST outdoor griddle here and see my comparison of some of the griddle brands that I own and use regularly!
My Favorite Things About the Blackstone Griddle
Having used the Blackstone for about 2 years now, and also having extensive experience with other griddle brands, I can confidently recommend a Blackstone griddle to anyone that is wanting to add a flat top grill to their outdoor cooking line up.
Here are some of my favorite things about the Blackstone griddle that I own:
Very Large Surface Area
The 36″ 4 burner Blackstone griddle is one of the largest outdoor gas griddles on the market, and I absolutely LOVE the large cooking area of the Blackstone.
You can easily make a huge batch of hibachi chicken, fried rice, and sautéed vegetables all at the same time, or even cook 5-6 pounds of chicken wings on the Blackstone griddle at once.
In fact, my number one recommendation to people that ask me which Blackstone griddle to buy is to always go with the 4 burner model. You may not think that you need the extra space, especially if you’re just cooking for two people, but having that additional cooking area allows you to move food off the heat to keep it warm, and the large surface area means you can cook a full meal with an entree and three different sides all at once.
In the case of griddles, bigger is always better!
The competitive price point of a Blackstone griddle is probably one of the main reasons why they currently dominate the flat top grill market. For generally less than the cost of a traditional grill, you can pick up a large 4 burner Blackstone griddle to add to your back deck.
Currently, the price of a 36″ Blackstone griddle is $399.00 on their website… A GREAT price considering all of the money that you’ll save from not eating out as much!
I’ve had my Blackstone griddle for about 2 years now, and I’ve cooked on it a couple hundred times. It still operates flawlessly, and I’ve had no problems with the burners, ignition system, or the griddle surface.
Blackstone Griddle Recipes
If you need some awesome Blackstone griddle recipes, then you’ve come to the right place! I’ve been cooking on residential griddles (everything from a Camp Chef to a Pit Boss to a Blackstone) about 3 times a week for the last 3 years. And many of those cooks you can see on my griddle cooking YouTube channel here!
Here are some great Blackstone griddle recipes to get you started:
- How to Make Perfect Smash Burgers on the Blackstone Griddle
- Hibachi Chicken on the Griddle (Easy Blackstone Hibachi Recipe)
- The Best Blackstone Fried Rice (Easy Griddle Recipe)
- Smashed Breakfast Potato Skins – Easy Griddle Breakfast Recipe – One of my wife’s favorites!
- Salmon on the Blackstone Griddle – Easy 3 Step Recipe! – Because not all griddle food has to be unhealthy!
- Blackstone Chicken Fajitas to Feed a Crowd – Easy Griddle Recipe
I hope that this post has answered all of your questions about the Blackstone griddle! If you’re a griddle beginner or even if you’re still considering whether or not you want to buy a griddle, then check out my YouTube channel for a TON of awesome Blackstone griddle recipes and cooking tips!
Still have questions? Feel free to leave me a comment down below! Cheers!