If you are thinking about getting an outdoor griddle then the Blackstone products are a fine choice. There are several different models to choose from so let me review them for you and help you choose the right one.
Blackstone Griddles: 17, 28 and 36 Inch Grills
All Blackstone griddles feature a flat top cooking surface made of 7 gauge cold rolled steel. The griddles come with a thin layer of soy oil on the surface to protect them during shipping but will need to be further seasoned once assembled.
Seasoning the grill is pretty simple.
- Coat the surface of the griddle with olive or vegetable oil and spread it around with a paper towel making sure that you get the oil into the corners.
- Turn the griddle to High and wait for the oil to get hot, start to smoke and then stop.
- After the smoke has stopped let the griddle cool and repeat the process until the cooking surface has a nice black coating.
All models come with a 90 day warranty. Blackstone products are outdoor propane griddles and should NOT be used indoors. There is not a natural gas conversion kit available for these griddles.
The 28 and 36 inch grills are available with frames made from black powdered coated steel or from stainless steel. This is purely a cosmetic difference as both versions have the same burners and same flat top cooking surface.
In the specifications for each griddle below I have included Blackstone’s MSRP for the cost. I have consistently been able to find these online for much lower prices.
Blackstone 36 Inch Four Burner Griddle
36 inch Griddle Specifications
- Cooking Area: 720 square inches (36 x 20 inches)
- Burners: Four 15,000 BTU/hr burners = 60,000 BTU/hr
- Weight: 120 pounds
- MSRP: $299 (black), $399 (stainless)
- Dimensions: 62.5 x 22 x 36 inches
Summary: The 36 inch griddle from Blackstone is an affordable top of the line product. While a top end gas grill like the Weber Summit can set you back a couple of thousand dollars you can pick up this top of the line griddle for less than $300.
I recommend this four burner griddle over the two burner griddle for two reasons:
Capacity: The cooking area on the 36 inch griddle is 53% larger than what you get with the 28 inch griddle. You will not need all of that extra space on a regular basis but on the few times that you do you will be delighted that you have it.
It is also possible that once you have that much capacity that you will start finding reasons to use it. You might decide to become the guy that volunteers to cook burgers for your kid’s soccer team.
Flexibility: Even when you are just cooking for a few people the extra space on the 36 inch griddle really increases your flexibility in how you cook.
It is nice to have two burners for cooking and another two burners for keeping things warm or just holding them until later.
For example, if you are cooking burgers you can use the two burners on the left of the griddle set on high to caramelize some onions and sear some mushrooms. You can then move your veggies over the the third burner set on low so they can stay warm. Next you can toast the burns and move them over to the fourth burner which isn’t even turned on. Then you can cook the burgers and have all of the toppings and buns on the griddle waiting to go.
Here is a quick video walking you through the pros and cons of this griddle.
Here is a look at the 36 inch griddle in action making some breakfast.
Available accessories for the 36 inch griddle include a cover, stainless steel cheese meting dome, griddle spatulas and scrapers and a grill top. The grill top accessory allows you to use your griddle as a standard gas grill.
Here is a quick look at the grill top.
The grill top is a cool idea but don’t expect it to perform like a high end grill.
The one negative issue with both the 36 and 28 inch Blackstone is the grease tray. The grease tray is completely functional but will sometime allow grease to run down the leg of the griddle and onto the ground instead of into the grease pail.
UPDATE: June 2018
Blackstone has fixed the flaw with the grease drain on both the 36 and 28 inch griddles! These griddles now have the grease drain in the BACK of the griddle and do NOT drip. As far as I am concerned this fixes the only flaw with the larger Blackstone products.
This is an annoying flaw but there are plenty of simple modifications that people have come up with to solve the problem. Here is one solution that just costs a nickle 🙂
Update Feb, 2019
Wal Mart now carries a blinged out version of the 36 inch griddle called the Pro Series. The Pro Series has a detachable hard top lid, sexy orange logo stenciling, stainless steel cabinetry and drawers and holders for paper towels and a trash bag.
The 36 inch Pro Series is a beautiful grill but comes with a hefty price tag. It kind of blows my mind that Wal Mart is selling premium products at high price points.
Here is a video look at the Pro Series. I think it is beautiful but, for my money, I would stick with the base model.
Blackstone 28 Inch Two Burner Griddle
28 inch Griddle Specifications
- Cooking Area: 470 square inches (28.5 x 16.5 inches)
- Burners: Two 15,000 BTU/hr burners = 30,000 BTU/hr
- Weight: 75 pounds
- MSRP: $199 (black), $224 (stainless)
- Dimensions: 44.5 x 19.5 x 33.5 inches
Summary: While I am a bigger fan of the 36 inch griddle the 28 inch version does have a lot going for it. This smaller griddle costs about $100 less than its big brother. This width of this model is also 18 inches shorter which is a good thing if you are short on space. Finally this griddle weighs 45 pounds less then the four burner model which is an important consideration if you want to take it on the road for camping, tailgating, etc.
The performance of the 28 inch griddle should be slightly better than the 36 inch version. The cooking surface is the same high quality thick steel and the two burners have the same 15,000 btu/hr rating as the burners on the larger griddle. What is different about the burners is the configuration.
The 36 inch griddle has four linear burners while the 28 has two burners that split into an H shaped configuration. This means the 36 has has four burners to heat 720 square inches while the 28 has four burners to heat 470 square inches. Having the same number of burners over a smaller are ought to result in a more evenly heated cooking surface on the 28 inch model.
Here is a quick peak of the 28 inch griddle in action so you can see the size.
One thing that I do not like about the 28 inch model is that for some reason Blackstone decided that the frame should be three inches shorter than on the 36. WHY??? Why would you think that short people would want the 28 and tall people would want the 36????
The accessory packages for the 28 inch griddle are the same that are available for the 36 incher.
Blackstone 17 Inch Single Burner Griddle
17 inch Griddle Specifications
- Cooking Area: 260 square inches (15.25 x 17 inches)
- Burners: One H Shaped 12,000 BTU/hr burner
- Weight: 25 pounds
- MSRP: $99
- Dimensions: 17.5 x 18 x 8.5 inches
Summary: The 17 inch tabletop griddle is a little powerhouse that is great for folks who are short on space or just want something small to stick in the RV. This griddle is designed to run off of the small, one pound, propane bottles. Blackstone does make an adapter hose (sold separately) that lets you run this griddle from a standard 20 pound propane tank.
This griddle is powered by a single burner that is split into an H shaped configuration.
The grease drain on this tabletop griddle is contained within the griddle surface and does NOT have the same drainage issues found on the 28 and 36.
Here is a wonderful video showing you how portable and functional this little powerhouse is.
This griddle comes in at under $100. I really don’t see how you could possibly go wrong with one of these.
Also make sure you check out this article for buying Blackstone Covers, Accessories and Hard Tops.