If you’re thinking about buying a Pit Boss griddle, then chances are you’ve done your research on their new ceramic coated surface offering, the Pit Boss Ultimate Griddle. Spoiler alert… I love mine! But like any griddle or flat top grill that you buy, there are some pros and cons to consider.
And with so many different griddles on the market, you may be wondering what outdoor griddle to buy. After all, these awesome pieces of cooking equipment are a bit of an investment, and no one likes to have buyer’s remorse. You don’t want to buy one flat top grill, and then a month later wish that you had purchased a different one.
So I’m going to give you as much honest information as I can so that you can make the best decision for you.
What Makes this Pit Boss Griddle Review Different
I know there are a TON of different websites that review griddles and flat top grills. I also know that most of those writers have absolutely zero experience with using the actual product that they’re “reviewing”. It’s one thing to just list some specs and features and give a surface-level comparison of a few products. But it’s completely different to have actual real-world, hands on knowledge of how a griddle operates and what you personally like and don’t like about it.
I have been using the Pit Boss 3 Burner Ultimate Griddle about 3 times per week for the last 6 months now. I’ve put it through the ringer, so to speak, and I’ve definitely learned some things that I wish I had known when I first got this griddle.
You know what they say, “Experience is the best teacher.” And since I’ve got a load of experience using the Pit Boss griddle, then hopefully I can share some insightful pros and cons, and let you know upfront the one major thing that I wish I knew before I fired up my griddle for the first time.
Pit Boss Ultimate Griddle – Specs and Features
Before we go into the pros and cons of the Pit Boss griddle, I’m going to go over the specific details for the Pit Boss 3 Burner Ultimate Griddle, because that’s the model that I own and use on a regular basis. Here are some quick stats that you may want to consider:
- Total Cooking Area: 536 square inches
- Griddle Size: 29.55″ x 18.15″
- Burners: Three stainless steel
- Total BTUs: 36,000
- Ignition: Easy push and turn
- Wheels: Two in-line with locking casters
- Total Weight of Full Unit: 118.61 lbs
- Overall Dimensions: 56.61″L x 28.66″W x 37.01″H
- Warranty: 2 year limited
Other Features of the Pit Boss 3 Burner Ultimate Griddle:
- Lift-off feature makes this griddle easily portable – We actually took it on a 3 hour road trip to a family reunion recently.
- Two folding side shelves with built-in hooks for utensils
- Front grease trap – A personal favorite, because I don’t care for the grease trap in the back.
- Two locking caster wheels and two in-line style wheels for easy-ish movement on your back deck
- Other built-in features include stainless steel bottle opener, paper towel holder, and trash bag holder
My Favorite Things About the Pit Boss Ultimate Griddle
As I said in this post about the things to consider when buying a flat top grill, pros and cons are a pretty personal thing… What I see as a positive, you may view as a negative. So it’s important to consider how you’ll be using your griddle (will you take it camping or tailgating, will you frequently be cooking for a crowd, will it just stay in one spot on your back deck) and what features are most important to you.
But here are the things that I really like about the Pit Boss Ultimate Griddle:
The griddle is relatively maintenance-free
If you want to just walk outside after two weeks of not using your griddle and turn it on to make a Chicken Smash Burger, then you can… without having to worry about scraping off some rust or re-seasoning your griddle before you even start cooking.
In my opinion, that’s the biggest pro of the Pit Boss Ultimate Griddle. As long as you do a simple clean up after each use, then your griddle is ready to go the next time you want to use it. No seasoning necessary!
In contrast, a traditional rolled steel griddle like a Blackstone requires regular maintenance and seasoning. In fact, before you can even cook the first thing on your Blackstone griddle, you have to apply multiple coats of seasoning. That process alone could be daunting to a griddle beginner, and even experienced flat top grillers may not want to worry about having to re-season their griddles every so often.
You can use less oil
Since the ceramic coating of the Pit Boss Ultimate Griddle has a non-stick element, it requires much less oil when cooking. Also, since it doesn’t require any sort of seasoning process, you save oil there as well. And when your favorite cooking oil is avocado oil like mine, that stuff is not cheap, so using less is a good thing.
With a traditional rolled steel griddle, however, you need to apply oil or a different lubricant frequently and in larger amounts. Just the initial seasoning of a traditional griddle requires about 4-5 coats of oil, and anytime that you’re cooking on a rolled steel griddle, you really should oil the entire surface to maintain the seasoning as well, even if you’re only using about half of the cooking surface.
So whether you want to save money on oil or you just like the idea of using less oil in your cooking, this is a pro for me.
Lift-off feature makes it very portable
Besides the ease of use and maintenance of the cooking surface, another notable pro of the Pit Boss Ultimate Griddle is the lift-off feature.
The entire griddle cooking surface can be removed from the wheeled stand so that you can easily take your Pit Boss griddle on the go, either camping or tailgating. Just unhook the propane tank from the unit, unlock the hinges on both sides, and the griddle top is ready to go.
This was a big pro for our family, because we like to tailgate and we have outdoor get-togethers quite often. In fact, I recently took my Pit Boss on a 3 hour road trip to a family reunion in a state park. It fit perfectly in the trunk of my wife’s SUV, and I was able to cook up 6 packs of bratwursts for the whole family to enjoy.
One quick tip: If you’re going to be taking your griddle on the go, find a sturdy milk carton to transport the propane tank in. I’ve tried just about every method possible to keep my propane tanks from rolling around in the trunk when I take them to be refilled, and milk crates work the best.
Lower side shelves are more usable
It may seem counterintuitive that the lower shelves on the side of the Pit Boss griddle are more usable, especially since most flat top grill users are males, but I actually like the lower height of the shelves because I feel that they get less hot.
On my Blackstone griddle and Camp Chef flat top grill, about half of the shelves are not usable because they get too hot being right next to the griddle cooking surface. I’ve had a few plastic bottles melt because I set them too close to the griddle on the side shelves. But I find that the lower shelves of the Pit Boss are a plus and allow you to use more of the shelf surface area.
Paper towel rack is nice to have
I know that I’ve said in the past to not let the “extras” sway your decision when choosing a flat top grill, but the paper towel holder is actually a nice feature to have. It’s very convenient to reach down for a paper towel (which you’ll be using a lot of as a griddle owner), and I even grab a paper towel off of the handy Pit Boss rack when I’m using my Blackstone griddle or Camp Chef flat top grill as well.
While I pretty much NEVER use the bottle opener or trash bag holder on the Pit Boss griddle, the paper towel holder is definitely a nice feature to have.
Attention to detail in the design
You want your griddle to cook well obviously, but it’s a bonus if it looks nice, too! And the folks in the design department of Pit Boss have an eye for the cosmetic details that give this griddle a really awesome look.
From the “Bigger. Hotter. Heavier.” slogan engraved into the knobs to the Pit Boss name molded into the impressive wheels, the design details of the Pit Boss griddle really set it apart from the competition. And the Pit Boss branded propane tank cover that comes included in the box, that’s like the icing on the cake!
Sturdy and Well Built
Overall, I’ve found the Pit Boss Ultimate Griddle to be very sturdy and well made. After 6 months of heavy use, and cooking a wide variety of dishes on it (from smash burgers to cheese steak to hibachi), it’s still in great shape!
Even after initially putting it together, I noticed how solid it felt. There’s no give in the stand, the unit itself doesn’t feel wobbly at all, and the wheels, hood, legs, and shelves all feel solid and well built.
All in all, it’s a great griddle to own and I’ve been very happy with my experience with the Pit Boss griddle these last several months.
My Cons of the Pit Boss Ultimate Griddle
Even though I would recommend the Pit Boss griddle to anyone that’s in the market for a low-maintenance, beginner-friendly flat top grill, there are some things about the unit that I, personally, don’t like. Just like with any griddle that you buy, there are both pros and cons.
Here are the things that I don’t really like about the Pit Boss Ultimate Griddle:
One of the most attractive features of the Pit Boss Ultimate Griddle is the “proprietary, non-stick armored ceramic cooking surface”. But don’t let that innovative feature lead you to believe that your food will never stick to the surface. Even in the best non-stick skillet, your scrambled eggs may stick and you may have some residue leftover on the bottom of the pan. The same thing goes with this griddle.
Yes, it is pretty much maintenance-free (besides a simple cleaning of course), but when I first started using the Pit Boss, I was a bit surprised with how much food actually does stick. You will need to use a scraper to get food off the surface, and you may sometimes need to put a little muscle behind it… don’t be surprised.
*If you purchase the Pit Boss griddle, then I would 100% recommend that you also buy this wooden scraper. This scraper has been a game changer for me on the ceramic coated surface, because the wood is strong enough to hold up to heavy scraping, and it hasn’t damaged the surface of the griddle.
Three burner model has a large cool spot
I can only review the 3 burner model because that’s what I have first-hand knowledge of, and in my experience the 3 burner has a fairly large cool spot on the left side of the griddle.
I can’t say for sure, but I think the cool spot on the left side of the griddle is due to the design of the left burner on the 3 burner model. The far left burner has a horseshoe shape instead of being straight, so maybe the gas has farther to travel on that burner and the BTUs are spread out over a larger area, resulting in a cooler spot on the cooking surface.
Here’s a picture of the burners/propane tubes underneath the griddle surface so you can see what I’m talking about:
Like I said, that’s only speculation, but the cool spot is definitely noticeable.
In fact, I find that the cool spot really cuts down on the size of the usable cooking surface, and I tend to only use the right 2/3rd’s of the griddle. On the flip side, the left side does allow you to keep food warm and do more “zone cooking” with hotter and cooler zones.
I talk more about temperatures here (great if you’re a griddle beginner!): Griddle Cooking Temperature – 7 Things You Need to Know
Metal utensils are not recommended
The #1 question that I get on my YouTube channel about this griddle is, “Can I use metal utensils on the Pit Boss Ultimate Griddle?“. And it’s probably the #1 factor that would sway you away from the ceramic coated surface and towards a traditional steel surface griddle.
I talk more about using metal utensils in the FAQ’s section down below, but it’s important to note that Pit Boss does NOT recommend using metal utensils on their ceramic coated griddles.
Not a fan of the grease trap
While the grease trap is in the front (which I’m a huge fan of), I don’t particularly like the design. In my experience, the grease trap cup area gets “yucky” because the grease funnels down the side of the opening in the griddle surface and sometimes it doesn’t all make it into the cup.
Also, since the grease trap is tucked away “out of sight, out of mind” I find myself forgetting to clean it regularly, and then the built up grease, being in a dark and damp space, is a breeding ground for flies… of course, that’s my fault for not emptying it after every cook.
However, I would still choose the grease trap on the Pit Boss over the rear grease trap of the Blackstone griddle. Ultimately, the grease trap placement and design is a matter of personal preference.
What I Wish I Knew Before Using My Pit Boss Griddle
Okay, so if you can learn one thing from this Pit Boss Ultimate Griddle review, it’s this… what I wish I had known before I started cooking on mine…
You do NOT need to apply oil after using it!
When I first got my Pit Boss griddle, I was already used to cooking on traditional rolled steel griddles. So I was very familiar with the process of applying a very thin coat of oil to the cooking surface immediately after each use. And I did the same thing with my Pit Boss Ultimate Griddle for the first few months of use.
But, boy, I wish I hadn’t done that!
As I mentioned above, the ceramic coated surface doesn’t require the same maintenance process as a Blackstone or Camp Chef. There is NO need to oil it after every use. And if you do, it will probably start looking like mine:
Notice the discoloration on the griddle surface? This is likely due to the fact that I applied a thin coat of oil after every use for the first 3-4 months, which I now know is completely unnecessary.
Also, as you cook on your griddle more and more, it will probably start to look similar to mine anyway. As long as the variation in coloring on the surface doesn’t bother you, then you’re good to go.
When I first got my Pit Boss griddle, I expected it to look brand spanking new after each and every cook, but that wasn’t the case. Once I realized and accepted the fact that it would probably start to turn colors over time and I stopped trying to over-clean it with frequent deep cleanings, I was much happier with the griddle as a whole.
FAQ’s about the Pit Boss Ultimate Griddle
Can I use metal utensils on the Pit Boss Ultimate Griddle?
The actual Pit Boss Ultimate Griddle manual says you should use “non-metallic utensils”.
That being said, I personally use metal spatulas on my Ultimate Griddle. I also know of a handful of Ultimate griddle owners that have been using metal utensils on their griddles for a while and they’ve said that there hasn’t been any damage… but ultimately, you have to USE METAL UTENSILS AT YOUR OWN RISK – I’m sure that Pit Boss won’t replace your griddle top for you if you damage it with metal utensils.
Also, if you choose to USE METAL UTENSILS AT YOUR OWN RISK, then it’s important to note that there’s a difference in the types of metal spatulas… my preferred spatula has rounded ends and does NOT have the sharp beveled edges all around. That’s the spatula that I like for my other griddles as well. I would never use a square ended, beveled edge spatula on my Pit Boss Ultimate Griddle.
Another thing you’ll notice if you watch me cook on my Pit Boss griddle on YouTube is that I still use a wooden scraper/spatula (the one pictured above) to actually scrape down the griddle surface (NOT a metal bench scraper like I use on my Blackstone griddle or Camp Chef flat top grill).
So the short answer to “Can I use metal utensils on the Pit Boss Ultimate Griddle?” is that Pit Boss DOES NOT recommend it, but if you choose to do so, remember that it’s AT YOUR OWN RISK, and be careful what type of spatula you choose to use.
Do you need to season a Pit Boss Ultimate Griddle?
No! The Pit Boss Ultimate Griddle does not require an initial seasoning or any maintenance layers of seasoning. The ceramic coated surface comes ready to cook on right out of the box.
Can you still get a crust on your smash burger with the Pit Boss Ultimate Griddle?
Yes! Cooking smash burgers is all about technique, and a lot of the debate over the new Pit Boss griddle was “Can you get a crust?”. I’ve done countless cooks on my YouTube channel, and I’ve proven that the perfect smash burger crust can still be achieved on the non-stick surface of the Pit Boss griddle.
How do I make chopped meats on the Ultimate Griddle without a metal scraper?
So, can you still make foods that require an on-the-griddle “chopping” method like cheese steaks or Chopped Cheese sandwiches? Absolutely! These types of griddle recipes are typically made by using a metal bench scraper to “chop” the meat directly on the griddle surface, but since the Pit Boss griddle has a ceramic coated surface, I use a wood scraper for my chopped meats instead.
I really like this wooden spatula for cleaning the Pit Boss griddle, scraping down the surface, and chopping certain foods like ground beef.
Final Thoughts on the Pit Boss Griddle
Overall, the Pit Boss Ultimate Griddle is a great flat top grill if you’re looking for an easy to use, easy to maintain griddle to add to your back deck.
Does it have its flaws? Yes. But there are things that I would change about every griddle that I’ve owned. In my experience, all grills and griddles have their own pro’s and con’s. But when it comes down to it, the ease of use and clean up, the limited amount of required maintenance, and the solid build of the Pit Boss griddle make it a winner in my book.
Disclaimer: Pit Boss did send me the Ultimate Griddle to review and cook with, free of charge. However, that in no way influences my opinion of the griddle. If I did not honestly love this griddle, then I would have politely sent it back instead of continuing to use it frequently and make YouTube videos with it. I would NEVER recommend a product that I did not use myself and that I did not honestly like. In fact, I’ve said many times that I wish that I had purchased it myself, because then my honest opinion would not be called into question. Bottom line: When I go out to cook a quick meal for my family (not for YouTube), then 9 times out of 10 I choose to use the Pit Boss griddle because of the ease of use. And that’s the truth.