If you’re new to the outdoor griddle scene, you may be overwhelmed by the amount of flat top grill accessories available to you. From covers to bench scrapers to squeeze bottles to melting domes, it can get to be too much (and too expensive) to figure out what you actually need for flat top grilling.
Especially after you’ve spent a couple hundred bucks to buy the flat top grill.
But as a long time griddle user, I’ve narrowed it down for you.
These are the absolute bare-bones, minimum, must-have outdoor griddle accessories, so you’re not wasting money on things you don’t need, like burger presses or taco holders.
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6 Must Have Flat Top Grill Accessories
Whether you have a Blackstone griddle, a Camp Chef flat top grill, or any other brand, these accessories are what I consider to be must haves:
Flat Top Grill Cover
A cover is the very first thing that I bought after purchasing my Camp Chef FTG 600, and ironically, it was a Blackstone cover.
Why did I buy the cover first?
Because a cover is an absolute necessity for protecting the surface of your griddle. I live in the South, in one of the worst cities for pollen levels in the country. Without a good cover, my grill surface would have a thick, yellow layer of pollen on it every time I wanted to use it. But even if you don’t have a pollen problem, the cover protects your griddle from moisture, which causes rust. And it also helps to keep it clean so that you don’t have to clean it each time before cooking.
So why did I go with the Blackstone cover, even though I have a Camp Chef flat top grill?
Well, first because Camp Chef doesn’t make the style of cover that I wanted, which is more of a “lid” instead of a soft cover that you would typically think of when you hear “grill cover”. Here are some other reasons why I chose to buy this Blackstone hard cover:
- Lightweight – The 36″ Blackstone flat top grill cover only weighs about 12 pounds, so it’s the perfect weight to be able to pick up easily, and still not have to worry about it blowing away.
- Easy to Take On and Off – All you have to do is grab the handles and lift the cover on and off… no buckles, zippers, or straps to deal with. It couldn’t get any easier, so you won’t be tempted to leave it uncovered because you don’t want to deal with the hassle of putting on a full soft cover.
- Matte Black – Why does the matte black color matter? Because it doesn’t reflect sunlight. I didn’t want to be blinded by the reflection of a chrome or shiny metal cover on sunny days while I was sitting on my back deck, so I specifically looked for a matte black grill lid.
- Relatively Inexpensive – Compared to other off-brand covers, I felt that the Blackstone was a good value, and it was actually less expensive than most other models.
The flat top grill cover is probably the most expensive accessory you will have to buy, but the squeeze bottles are definitely the cheapest.
At about $2.00 per bottle, you can afford to get about 4 or 5 and label them for water and different types of cooking oils.
Why are squeeze bottles must have flat top grill accessories?
First, because of their versatility. You can use them to apply water to your griddle surface when cleaning it, to add oil to your flat top with more control than pouring it straight from the oil container, and to drizzle on sauces. Heck, buy a bunch of squeeze bottles and use them to store soy sauce, homemade dressings, barbecue sauce, or whatever else you can think of.
Secondly, you can use squeeze bottles to add liquids to your flat top grill or food with precision. This is especially useful when you’re shallow frying food on your flat top, like Country Fried Steak or Fried Pickle Spears, and you want to add additional oil to get the perfect fry, but you don’t want the oil to get on top of what you’re frying, making it soggy. (This is really illustrated in my YouTube video for Fried Pickles).
Third, if you want to get a precise amount of liquid on your griddle or in your food quickly, you’ll need a squeeze bottle. Just think about how long it takes to pour a small amount of oil out of the container it comes in… You have to get the angle of the bottle just right and not tilt it too much, or too much oil will flow out. You don’t really have to worry about that with squeeze bottles.
A bench scraper, sometimes referred to just as a “scraper”, is another must have flat top grill accessory. And it will only set you back about $10 or so, depending on which one you purchase.
The bench scraper is used a wide variety of ways on the flat top grill, including scraping the griddle surface to clean it and remove debris, to chop foods as you’re cooking them on the griddle (like chopping ribeye for Philly Cheesesteak Sliders), and to use alongside a spatula to flip or turn foods.
Because of its versatility and how easy it is to clean your flat top grill with it, I would dare say that if you could ONLY buy ONE flat top grill accessory, this would be it.
To sum it up, here are some ways that you can use a scraper on your flat top grill:
- Use it to scrape the surface of your griddle, funneling grease and food debris into the grease trough.
- Apply pressure while scraping your griddle surface to remove stuck on food.
- Add a few bunched up paper towels to your grease trough, set the edge of the scraper on top, and use it to push grease down the trough and to the grease trap… Cleans your grease trough in one easy motion! (See my Flat Top Grill Accessories YouTube video to see how I do this!)
- Use the bottom sharper edge of the scraper to quickly chop meats and other foods directly on your flat top.
- Use the scraper and a spatula to help gently flip foods. This is helpful when you’re shallow frying and don’t want to just “flop” your food down in the oil on your griddle, causing splatters.
- Use the scraper to get up in the corners and edges of your flat top grill to clean and scrape it. The 90 degree sides make it perfect for cleaning those hard to reach places.
- Use the scraper to “clean as you go”. Just move whatever you are cooking over to the side, scrape the griddle clean, and move your food back. Taking a few minutes to clean while you’re still cooking helps to eliminate stuck on food, and it makes it so much easier to clean your flat top grill when you’re done cooking.
You will probably use at least one spatula for about 90% or more of the foods you cook on your flat top grill, making good spatulas a necessity. But what spatulas you choose to buy is based largely on preference and what you plan to cook.
I recommend that you have two different types: 1) a longer spatula with a more rounded tip and 2) a shorter spatula with a sharper edge tip. And I actually have two of the longer rounded spatulas because I use them so often.
The longer, rounded spatulas will be more flexible or flimsy, and they’re great for:
- flipping and turning foods without worrying about damaging the surface of your outdoor griddle
- stirring and tossing large amounts of food on your flat top, like when you’re making stir fry, fried rice, or sautéed vegetables
- serving large portions of food more quickly, like plating fried rice or adding a bunch of cheesesteak to a hoagie roll
- stirring scrambled eggs as they cook on the flat top – The curved edge of the spatula allows it to be used as a spoon or stirrer as well.
- removing large amounts of grease and food debris that you don’t want to put down your grease trough when you’re cleaning your griddle
The shorter, sharper edged spatulas are typically sturdier and great for:
- getting underneath the “crust” of meat like burgers or steaks… You work so hard to get that perfect crust on those items, that you don’t want it to just stay behind on the griddle surface when you flip.
- pressing down or applying pressure to the top of your food, like when you’re making smash burgers or want to get a crispy crust on a sandwich
When deciding which spatulas to buy for your flat top grill, you’ll want to determine which feel best in your hands since you’ll be using them so frequently. I have these spatulas, and I HIGHLY recommend them. I’ve tried other spatulas or turners on my flat top grill that I didn’t like at all, but these are perfect for my needs.
Melting Dome and Wire Rack System
A melting dome does just what it says… it helps to melt cheese on cheeseburgers, Philly Cheesesteaks, or scrambled eggs.
But it can also help to create an oven effect on your grill. The heat from your outdoor griddle surface comes up and it circles back around the inside of the dome, helping to heat the top of your foods rather than just the bottom. I’ve even used this melting dome and wire rack combo to make reverse seared steak on my flat top grill:
The wire rack can be used alone and is useful for keeping foods warm while other items are still cooking. You can just set the wire rack on the cooler area of your flat top grill, and place food that is done cooking on top. The residual heat from the griddle will keep those items warm.
That’s what I did here when I made Philly Cheesesteak Sliders:
Instant Read Thermometer
A good instant read thermometer is another must have, but not just for flat top grill cooking. You should be using an instant read thermometer to check the internal temperatures of meat, no matter if you’re grilling on a charcoal grill, baking in the oven, or cooking on the flat top.
I like to use an instant read digital thermometer because I don’t have to wait for the temp reading. Instead, you just insert the probe into the center of the thickest part of your meat, and the thermometer will instantly tell you the temp. So if you’re cooking chicken or pork, you can be sure to cook it to a safe temp, and if you’re grilling steak, you can cook it precisely to your desired doneness.
Other Flat Top Grill Accessories to Consider
A carrying tray, or something that you can use to transport all of your ingredients, tools, oils, and spices out to your back deck from your kitchen is also one of my favorite grill accessories, though it’s not necessarily a “must have”. You can still cook anything you want to on your griddle without a carrying tray… if you want to have to make 5 trips in and out from your kitchen to your grill.
I got my black plastic tray from Academy Sports for just $3.00 and it works great for this purpose. It’s large enough to be able to hold a lot of different things (squeeze bottle of oil, salt and pepper shaker, spices, butter dish, etc), and it has sides on it so I don’t have to worry about things sliding off.
Grill Cart or Side Table
The only thing that I DON’T like about the Camp Chef flat top grill is that the built-in side tables are pretty much unusable. If you were to set your plastic squeeze bottles on the side tables too close to the grill, then they would melt because of the heat coming off the side of the grill. Plus, the built in tables are really too small to be able to prep and store large amounts of food.
So you really need some sort of grill cart or side table to use as a prep table.
I purchased a wood top tool chest from Harbor Freight for about $300 that works perfectly as a grill cart. I like that it has cabinets and drawers for me to store my larger grilling items like bags of charcoal and wood chips, and smaller items like thermometers, skewers, and rags.
Rags for Use Outdoors
You may want to have a few rags and kitchen towels that you reserve for outdoor use. Our prep table and grill cover get dirty quickly from pollen and dust, and I don’t like to use my good kitchen linens to wipe them down.
For just a few bucks, you can purchase a few extra rags that you only use when cooking outdoors.
The opinions about what flat top grill accessories are must haves for outdoor griddle cooking will vary largely based on who you ask. But I’ve been using my flat top grill for well over a year and I’ve cooked at least 100 different dishes on it with just these accessories.
Whether you want to make cheesesteaks, stir fry, pancakes and eggs, or a full pork chop dinner with all the fixin’s, you’ll be able to do it with these flat top grilling tools:
- Spatulas – at least 2, and preferably one with a sharp square edge and one with curved edges
- Squeeze Bottles – at least 2, one for water to use when cleaning your grill and one for your favorite cooking oil
- Instant Read Thermometer – for temping your meats
- Bench Scraper – for cleaning your griddle, chopping food, and to use as a turner
- Melting Dome and Wire Rack – to melt cheese and create an all-around cooking environment (like an oven) and to keep foods warm but off the griddle surface when they’re done cooking
- Flat Top Grill Cover – You’ve invested your hard earned money to buy a flat top grill, so make sure it’s protected
And if you want to check out videos of how I use each of these flat top grill accessories, check out my YouTube channel: