The outdoor griddle is a relatively new invention – its inception dates back to 2005. Since then, it has steadily gained popularity. The inventors were outdoor grilling enthusiasts that were quite aware of outdoor grilling challenges.
Since most portable grills cannot cater to larger groups of people, they put their effort into creating a setup that can and thus Blackstone griddles were born. The blackstone 36 inch outdoor flat top gas grill griddle station is the company’s flagship product.
In fact, the blackstone 36″ griddle cooking station was their first ever product. The fact that is has remained the manufacturer’s most popular product tells us quite a lot about its quality. Of course, there have been some improvements over the years.
Convenient grills have been around for a bit longer than the blackstone 36 griddle cooking station. And yet, the Blackstone has quickly occupied a big chunk of the market and became the favorite of many American families.
But why is that the case? Let’s see if we can find the answers.
A 36″ Outdoor Gas Griddle Cooking Station by Blackstone.
- Removable Griddle Top
- Thick Cold Steel Cooktop
- Push Button Ignition
- Fold Up Legs
- Powder-coated Black Steel Frame
- 4 15,000 BTU Stainless Steel Burners
- Easy Transport
- Industry Strenght Caster Wheels
- Controllable Heat Zones
- 720 square inches cooking area
- Removable Cutting Board
Why Get It?
Many people are wary when buying grills online, and rightfully so. Some grills are worse than Ikea furniture. They look gorgeous on pictures, but assembling them requires some special sorcery and sacrifices to the meat Gods of which the average Joe knows nothing.
When ordering a Blackstone Griddle, you needn’t worry about that. To put it together, all you need is one pair of hands and no more than one hour. If you were ever able to put together a Lego set successfully, you won’t be having any troubles with the assembly.
If you have experience grilling with cast iron then, then you know what’s up. Basically, what you’ll be getting, as you start using the grill, is a preseasoned grilling area. It gives the meat a unique salty, melty-ish flavor.
It’s not something that’s easy to put into words, but the results are certainly tangible. Such a cooking area is inherently non-stick and ads a unique taste to any piece of meat or vegetable your throw on the griddle. This is a result of the gradual accumulation of grease, fat, and other juices over time.
You can use shortening for the first grill cycle in order to preseason it. It might speed up the process, but proper preseasoning happens over time.
Outdoor Fun for the Whole Family
The sight of meat sizzling over hot, flat metal ought to get everyone’s juices flowing. Your guests won’t stay indifferent once they see 20 or more burgers being cooked in unison. The grill is big enough to share the fun with friends and family members and let them in on it by having them help you out with the cooking.
The model offers 720 sq in of total cooking area. It’s one of the largest grills you can get for under four hundred bucks, if not the largest. Not only is enormous, but every square inch is well covered with an appropriate amount of cooking power.
The griddle is equipped with four burners. All of them together deliver 60,000 BTU of total heat output. As for the cooking time, it’s just the same as when cooking with cast-iron grates. Seems a bit surreal, but the model truly is the champion of intelligent design.
Even though the manufacturer took some measures to cut manufacturing costs and bring the price down, giving us an affordable, high-quality cooking setup, they also made sure the unit performs well by employing more BTU and using steel of appropriate thickness. As a result, there really are no disadvantages compared to standard grills, in terms of cooking.
Navigating the griddle is quite easy. The setup is practically self-explanatory when it comes to using. This Blackstone setup is an excellent choice for complete novices that have a big family to feed.
And big families ought to benefit the most from this setup. The cooking area is so big it allows you to prepare a week’s worth of food for the whole family in a single cooking session. The quick ignition system makes things even more convenient, and the thermometer is very accurate.
Pros & Cons
- Caster Wheels
- Four 15,000 BTU Stainless Steel Burners
- Easy to Transport
- Quick Ignition System
- Large Cooking Area
- Easy Cleanup
- Easy to Use
- Quick and Easy Assembly
- Reasonably Priced
- Controllable Heat Zones
- Removable Cutting Board
- Easy Transport
- Overall 78% 78%
- You Need to Buy Extra Tools
- Annoying Grease Drainage System
“I could not have expected a better griddle for the price. Before, I was using griddle add-ons but was never really impressed with the results. The Blackstone is the real deal and the difference is noticeable. The grease can be a bit problematic though, but the results are worth the hassle.
Maintenance, on the other hand, is a breeze! All I need to do is take off the burner tubes and clean them up a bit. That’s only when I haven’t used the griddle in a while, so I typically do it at the beginning of spring. I got myself a special tool that’s designed exactly for this purpose.
Since I had seasoned it properly, my Mongolian BBQ has become the bomb. All in all, despite the grease drip flaw, this is one of the best purchases my family has ever made. I’ve bought a couple of accessories as well, such as a melting dome, a scraper, waterproof cover, and flexible grilling spatulas.”
Dave mentioned one crucial thing. After a long period of inactivity, make sure to clean those burners. If you store it in the garage for the winter, there is a big chance spiders can nest there and burning their nets might cause some damage to the system. You can avoid it by sealing the grill with a proper cover, but even then it’s best to check and clean them.
What to Watch Out For
Plenty of grills have some trouble when it comes to grease drainage, and this model is no different, unfortunately.
Ideally, the grease should be drained from the setup, but that doesn’t really happen as it should. Luckily, there is a simple and fast solution to this.
There will probably be one spot where the excess grease drips off. Place a bucket lined with tinfoil under it. Meat prepared on a griddle is absolutely delicious, so the sacrifice might be worth it.
Buying yourself a Blackstone won’t be enough. This type of grilling requires some extra tools. For the best experience, actually, for the proper experience, you’ll need to buy a cleaning tool, a spatula, and a quality grease scraper. All of the tools have to be specially designed for griddles.
In fact, if you really want your griddle to work properly for a long time and for your food to taste excellent, this here is essential gear. Keeping it seasoned, as well as keeping it clean, is vital. On the bright side, with the proper tools, you will never run into much trouble.
A Piece of Advice
One of the major reasons many grilling enthusiasts are switching to griddles is because they grew tired of the ugly gunk buildup on standard setups. You won’t be having such problems with the Blackstone. All it takes is a grill sponge, a scraping tool, and a bit of water to clean it up.
When you are done with the cooking, wait for a while for it to cool off. After that, sprinkle some water on it by using a spray bottle. Then, wipe it down with the sponge.
In case there are some stubborn grease marks left, scrape them down with the scraping tool. You can use a piece of clean cloth or paper towels to dry it.
Once you are done with all that, coat it nicely with oil to add a protective layer. The last step would be draining the drip bucket and the drip pan.
The manufacturer really did manage to do something that many thought impossible. They have managed to deliver us an outdoor griddle that fits the needs of any large family at a fairly reasonable price. Despite its one flaw, the grill does justify the great reputation of being one of the best outdoor griddles.
The sheer power of the four burners, the high-quality materials, the sizeable cooking area are enough to justify the purchase. But, one could argue that the best part of such a grill is the unique preseasoned flavor it adds to the food. That just something no classic grill can compete with.