When it comes to gas fired griddles the standard choice has been between Blackstone and Camp Chef. If you do your shopping at Lowes then you might have noticed a new player in the griddle market, Blue Rhino.
For those of you short on time the short version is do NOT buy a Blue Rhino griddle. The Blue Rhino products look amazing and get great reviews. However, there is a legitimate, non-political, reason to really dislike this company and I do not believe the grilling community should do anything to support them.
Let’s take a closer look at the griddles that carry the Blue Rhino badge, check out the reviews and decide if this is a company that you want to support.
Griddle Specifications And Reviews
As of June 2020 there are three griddles in the Blue Rhino lineup.
- Full Sized 4 Burner
- Medium Sized 2 Burner With Rolling Cart
- Small Sized Portable 1 Burner
All three products carry the “RAZOR” branding.
Full Sized 4 Burner Griddle Specifications
- Assembled Dimensions: 35 in (H) x 77 in (W) x 24 in (D)
- Weight: 118 pounds
- Cooking Area: 730 square inches
- Price: $299
This looks and feels like a solid griddle. One feature that I love is that the griddle comes with a built in folding metal cover that opens up to provide two massive side tables.
I checked the space between the two sides of the cover when it was closed and it looked TIGHT. You might get some water coming through when it rains but I sure as heck couldn’t see how. The latches on the front and back of the lid makes sure the fit is snug.
The burners are interesting and can provide 62,000 BTU/hr of heat.
You have three standard burners on the right of the grill each rated for 14,000 BTU/hr and a 20,000 BTU/he semi-circular burner on left side of the grill. The sheet of metal under the burners on the right of the grill is a heat shield to protect the propane tank and tubing. The semi-circular burner was included to accommodate the placement of the grease drain cup.
The grease drainage system is highly functional but has one minor issue. The grease collection cup is medium sized and will fill up quick if you are cooking for a LOT of people. You will need to keep an eye on your grease levels to make sure you don’t get an overflow.
The griddle has two large plastic wheels and two locking caster wheels.
By having wheels on all four legs the Blue Rhino griddle is easy to move but will be next to impossible to level out if you are cooking on an uneven surface.
4 Burner Griddle Reviews
As of June 16, 2020 there were 264 reviews for this griddle on Lowes website. Here is a summary of what people think about the product.
Combining the 5 Star reviews (79%) with the 4 Star reviews (12%) shows that 91% of the reviewers really like the product. On the flip side, combining the 1 Star reviews (4%) with the 2 Star reviews (1%) shows that 5% of reviewers were unhappy with their purchase.
The most common complaints with the product include warping of the griddle along with excessive rust.
Head to Head Against Blackstone
I pulled the equivalent review information for all of the Blackstone griddles (Full article on Blackstone griddle reviews here) and plotted that data against feedback for Blue Rhino.
The reviews for the two brands are extremely similar with people really liking both products.
Mid Sized 2 Burner Griddle Specifications
Blue Rhino has a two burner griddle that is mounted on a rollable cart.
- Assembled Dimensions: 35 in H x 43 in W x 20 in D
- Weight: 50 pounds
- Griddle Area: 318 square inches
- Price: $199
The griddle is fired by two semi-circular burners which provide nice heat distribution across the surface. The griddle is set up for using a disposable one pound propane cylinder but you can use an adapter to hook up a full sized propane tank.
Lifting on side of the cart and rolling the griddle around is extremely easy so you shouldn’t have any problems moving it if you need to do so. The lid latches securely in place and looks pretty when not in use.
This griddle is comparable in size (318 sq in) to the Blackstone 22 inch griddle (352 sq in) which is available as a tabletop griddle or a cart mounted version. The cart for the Blackstone 22 does not have wheels and is harder to move.
This product is new for the 2020 grilling season so there are not currently enough reviews to make a true head to head comparison against the equivalent Blackstone. However, the limited number of reviews (24 as of June 12, 2020) are positive overall and there is every indication that this is a nice product.
Portable One Burner Griddle Specifications
Blue Rhino also makes a single burner portable gas griddle that looks to be equivalent to the Blackstone 17.
- Assembled Dimensions: 11 in H x 29 in W x 19 in D
- Weight: 31 pounds
- Griddle Area: 284 square inches
- Price: $119
While the Blackstone 17 has a single burner that branches into an H configuration and heats the center of the griddle the Blue Rhino has an oval burner that circles the outer section of the griddle.
I can’t tell you which burner configuration is better and I would be surprised if you would notice much performance difference between them. The circular burner is very similar to what you get on the Weber Q2200 and that works pretty well.
Portable Griddle Reviews
There are currently (June 16, 2020) 71 reviews posted on Lowes for the Blue Rhino portable griddle. I compiled the data and put it up against the reviews for the Blackstone 17 inch portable griddle.
The Blue Rhino has very respectable reviews with 76% 5 Stars and 15% 4 Stars (91% Combined). The Blackstone 17 inch gets slightly better reviews with 81% 5 Stars and 14% 4 Stars (95% Combined).
Personally I think all of the Blue Rhino griddles look pretty nice and I can understand why folks are going to buy them.
Why I Do Not Like Blue Rhino
Before you go out and buy one of these griddles I want you to know that Blue Rhino ripped of backyard grillers like you and me for years.
In 2008 Blue Rhino conspired with AmeriGas Propane Exchange to give you less propane for the same price. Instead of filling your 20 pound tank to the industry standard of 17 pounds they decided to only fill to 15 pounds while keeping the price the same.
Let’s be perfectly clear…if you bought a tank of propane between 2008 and 2014 then chances are that you got a screwing compliments of Blue Rhino.
Please do NOT give this company any more money.