Blackstone hasn’t been around for as long as grill heavyweights such as Weber. In spite of that, the company has shaken up the market and given the competition a run for their money. The reason for that might lie in the company’s innovative technology and exceptional product quality.
Their first ever griddle hit the market in 2005 and was a huge success initially. To this day, it has remained their flagship product. Of course, it has been undergoing constant changes and improvements but has mostly remained the same.
The blackstone 28 inch outdoor flat top gas grill griddle station is a variation of the said model. Its inventors were fed up with the challenges outdoor grilling comes with. To make grilling easier and the results better, Blackstone manufactured the first ever outdoor griddle.
Perhaps it was expected to happen sooner or later. After all, restaurants have been using griddles for ages. In a professional environment, there are plenty of advantages to griddles.
They are easier to maintain, infuse the food with a preseasoned taste, have a larger cooking area, and are more convenient in general. But do the same properties apply to outdoor griddles? Let’s find out.
A blackstone 28″ griddle cooking station designed for outdoor use.
- Two 15,000 BTU Stainless-Steel Burners
- Controllable Heat Zones
- Thick, Cold-Rolled Cooktop
- Expansive Cooktop
- Electric Push Button Ignition
- Two Caster Wheels
- Powder-Coated Steel Frame
- Tank Storage
- Propane Fueled, 20lb Tank
- 470 sq inches Total Cooking Area
Why Get It?
The Blackstone has the potential to turn you into a proper restaurant chef. Have you ever been to one of those Japanese restaurants where they cook the food right in front of you? If so, you might have thought about doing something like that at home.
With Blackstone’s outdoor griddle, you can master such art in your own back yard. There’s no better way of impressing your family and friends. You’ll probably even impress yourself with all the new achievements you reach.
The griddle is as versatile as they get. From preparing hash browns and pancakes to burgers and bacon – your options are limitless. It’s one of the more significant advantages griddles have over standard charcoal, pellet and gas grills.
Another significant advantage that is simply not possible to get with standard grills. The griddle allows you to create your own preseasoned cooking area.
Have you ever wondered why restaurant food usually tastes better than home-grilled meat? The preseasoned cooking surface is one plausible answer for sure. It gives the food a one-of-a-kind salty, melty-ish taste.
Perhaps it’s not so easy to define, but the difference is tangible. The surface is inherently non-stick, which makes it all possible. Fat, grease and juices accumulate over time, making every next meal even better.
It starts with the first cookout, but it takes a while to really get there. You can speed up the process by cutting the first grilling cycle short. Nevertheless, it takes time to do it properly.
Performance and Features
Due to the budget-friendly price of the product, some might have doubts about its quality. The materials and the features ought to assure everyone that that’s not the case here. While Blackstone did take some steps to cut the manufacturing cost, they still managed to deliver an excellent cooking unit.
The setup is equipped with two stainless steel burners. Each delivers 15,000 BTU and is independently controlled. The heat is evenly distributed, thanks to the H style design. There’s also the cold rolled steel flat top. Along with the two powerful burners, the griddle’s surface is one of its major selling points. It’s not only easier to clean than grill grates, but also offers more space to work with compared to a grill of the same size.
The look of the griddle is pretty basic. The style obviously wasn’t on the priority list. Perhaps what the grill lacks in beauty makes up for in durability and material quality. Still, the steel on the griddle is thick enough. The surface heats up fast, partially due to the powerful burners and the flat top surface. The Blackstone Outdoor Griddle is all about intelligent design.
Using the setup is easy. Everything is more or less self-explanatory. The easy navigation allows you to focus on food preparation better and thus improve your cooking abilities. The total cooking area is 470 sq in. It’s big enough to prepare a meal for six people at once. The lack of a lid allows you to move the grill around with ease.
The powder-coated steel ensures a long work life. Two heavy-duty caster wheels make it easy to move around. The fact that the grill weighs only 80lb helps in that regard as well.
On top of that, the legs are foldable, making the griddle easy to store. The feature also allows you to transport the grill in an SUV or RV easily. A cookout on a griddle in the great outdoors sure does sound tempting.
Many prospective grill buyers refrain from getting a gas grill simply because of the painful assembly process. If you thought IKEA furniture is a handful, try putting together a full-sized natural gas grill. Luckily, this gas griddle won’t be causing you any headaches.
The assembly shouldn’t take more than one hour. Since the whole thing weighs about eighty pounds, you won’t need a helping hand either. It’s no more complicated than a Lego set.
Pros & Cons
- 470 sq in. Cooking Area
- Quality Materials
- Even Heat Distribution
- Easy to Clean
- Easy to Move Around
- Electric Push Button Ignition
- No Smoke
- Restaurant Grade Cooking
- Controllable Heat Output
- Overall 79% 79%
- Grease Dripping System
“My wife thought I was crazy when I told her I ordered an outdoor griddle for our camping trips. The complaints stopped right after our first trip to the forest. The food is genuinely superior and it just keeps getting better and better.
I had no problems whatsoever with the assembly. All it took was tightening a few bolts. The only tool I needed was a wrench. The first time I assembled it was at the campsite itself – took me no more than half an hour.
Ever since then, I use it for breakfast (pancakes, toast, bacon, eggs) and dinner (chicken, veggies, steak, hamburgers, hotdogs) as often as I can. The foldable legs and caster are excellent for storage.
In the winters I leave it in the garage, and when the weather allows it in spring, the whole thing is ready to cook in five minutes. The only problem I had with the product is the grease drain issue. I managed to solve it by finding some advice on internet forums and am no longer bothered by it.”
While we are on the topic of storage, it’s recommended to clean the burners after a longer period of inactivity. Spiders can nest in there. Burning spider nets can cause damage to the griddle and doesn’t smell good either.
Properly covering the grill and sealing can prevent that from happening too. Still, it’s best to check even in that case. As for the drain issue, we will address it in the following part.
What to Watch Out For
Grease Dripping Issue
Troublesome grease drainage is no news to grill owners, and it’s especially not surprising to restaurant chefs who are used to griddles. However, this is something that could have been avoided and should have been fixed by the manufacturer a long time ago.
You can expect the grease to pile up in one spot because there’s no drain hole. The grease doesn’t end up in the drain pan, causing a bit of a mess.
Luckily, the situation can be rectified. One of the ways to make it easier on you is by wrapping a few paper towels to the tip of a tong and pushing the grease into the drip pan. The grease typically accumulates only in one spot so scraping it off should be easy.
Although annoying, the issue is manageable and doesn’t affect the performance. It’s a small price to pay, considering how good the results can be.
A Piece of Advice
The cleanup is easy. Get yourself a scraping tool and a grill sponge. Wait for the surface to cool off after a cookout. Use a spray bottle to sprinkle a bit of water on it and wipe it down with the sponge.
The scrapping tool can be used for stubborn grease marks. Dry it with paper towels or a piece of clean cloth. When you’re done with the cleanup, coat the surface with oil.
It adds a nice protective layer. Don’t forget to drain the drip pan.
Blackstone has managed to impress both casual and professional chefs with their first ever outdoor griddle. It offers a restaurant-grade cooking experience at a convenient price. On top of that, it’s also portable.
The flat top cooking surface and the preseasoned taste are its biggest advantages. The materials, the performance, and the convenience make it worth every penny.