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Blackstone 36” model advice

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    Blackstone 36” model advice

    Ok, I’ve come to the decision that a Blackstone griddle is a necessary addition to the deck crew. My Weber Genesis is close to 15 years old and is getting long in the tooth (that’s my excuse) I’ve made the rounds of the local stores and watched a bunch of reviews and it seems like there really is no bad choice, so it really comes down to a hinged lid or flat cover.

    Walmart has their version of the 36” with hard cover at $297 while Dicks has the 1554 with no cover at $60 more, so that choice seems like a no brainer. They appear to be the same griddle.
    Lowes and Ace have a hinged cover version at $399 and $419 respectively. Covers seem the same, just a difference in add-ons, with the Ace version catching my eye aesthetically.

    I’m thinking the hinged cover “might” add a little more versatility but not sure $120 extra is really worth it, as the Weber is still operational and I’ve no experience with the griddle.
    So at the risk of over thinking this, any recommendations from the griddle crowd? Thanks!

    I don't have a Blackstone, but do have a Camp Chef griddle with no hard cover. Lately I am wishing I had one - mostly for protecting from the elements between cooks, versus using the soft cover I do have. I don't think you can go wrong at all with any of those at those prices. While some seem to think that the hinged cover can serve as a giant basting dome for melting cheese and such, I have no issue with melted cheese without a cover on my flattop. And for things like steaming veggies on the griddle, I think you will want an actual basting dome (I have a couple) to hold steam in - not the hinged cover.

    So my advice is this. You don't typically do griddle cooking with the cover closed like you would on your Weber gasser (I have one of those too). So it doesn't really matter whether you get the hinged or lift off hard cover, or none, for cooking purposes. I do think that a hard cover would be nicer for covering the griddle top if you expect it to be out in the rain. If it will be stored in a covered area, I would skip it and just get a soft cover. I believe you can buy the lift off hard cover as an add on accessory later if you change your mind.

    My Camp Chef flat top lives out in the rain much of the time, and I do wish I had a hard cover, but right now, I just do my best to keep it seasoned and oiled, and keep the canvas cover on when its raining.


      I'm going to recommend the hinged hard cover, my Blackstone came with one. It's not meant as a basting dome, although I suppose it could be. I use a regular basting dome. But in the event of a flare up, it would be a quick way of smothering. But those aren't the reasons to get one. First and foremost, it protects the griddle, not just from rain but dust and debris. Mine sits under a deck year round, but winds blow dust and leaves that would get on the griddle if uncovered. With a hard cover you can close it right after cooking, no need to let it cool down or risk melting a soft cover. And with the hinged, it stays in place, no having to set it somewhere out of the way. Mine came with side shelves, very handy to have. Just be aware the griddle vents on the side, so it can get hot next to the griddle, enough melt plastic or start a paper plate on fire. Keep flammables away from that area.

      Like you said, there really isn't a bad choice. I got mine at Walmart in the late fall, it was marked down dramatically. So if you are in no hurry you might save some by waiting. But no matter, once you have it you'll be glad you do, no matter what you paid for it.


        I have this model, which I believe is a Walmart exclusive. I really like the hinged hood on mine, but I can't really say which I prefer, since this was my first full-size griddle. Based on your comments, I think you would be fine with the $297 model at Walmart. There are actually some Blackstone accessories (like the side heat shields) that I can't use because the hinges for the hood are in the way of where they would hang.


          I have the WalMart one with the non-hinged cover. It works well, and if I had to chose between that and spending $120 for the hinged one, I'd go with the one that I have. Having said that, one thing to consider is that the hood has hooks to allow it to hang off the back. Depending on your height, or medical issues which make it difficult, it can be kind of awkward to pick up the cover and then hang it on the back from the front. If you're able to walk around and have room behind it, though, then its really easy to hang and you'd have no problem.


            LOL! Lots of opinions, perfect!!! Thanks for the input everyone! I found a local Lowe’s that had one assembled and it gave me a much better perspective. Not sure I like their caddy in the front, makes access to the shelf difficult. I had planned to get a soft cover no matter what, as it will live on an exposed deck. The covers on my Weber and SnS have been a worthwhile investment. I think having the hard cover just makes it a little better for keeping the grill protected. The point about the hinged cover being used for flare ups is a good one. Another reason I thought the hard hood would be a good idea is to help with grease spatter on the back.

            I realize the cooking process would be different than with a grill, but thought the swing hood version might make it similar. I did watch some videos using a basting dome….hadn’t thought of that. Just more of not knowing what I don’t know!

            My brother has one of these at his deer camp and it gets used more than the charcoal or the gasser grills. I was a little reluctant to get one as it eats up deck space, but to be honest, we don’t sit on the deck, so one more “you don’t need it reason” crossed off the list. This is getting like the devil scene in Animal House!


              I would highly recommend a hard cover. I no longer have the Blackstone and have the CampChef but purchased a hard cover off Etsy.


                I have the $297 Walmart version with the unattached hard cover and have no regrets. I bought a soft cover for it too and when I’m not using it both covers are on. The hard cover keeps oil off the inside of the soft cover and the soft cover keeps the dust/dirt/pollen off everything else. Ultimately I settled on this one because I figured when I hang the hood off the back when cooking I can use it as a wind deflector which it does a good job at.
                Good question and it kinda feels like splitting hairs at some point. No matter what you pick I doubt you’ll regret it, it’s been an awesome addition!
                Last edited by Andrrr; July 27, 2021, 03:39 PM.


                  Get a Pellet grill. I know that begs the question.


                  • bbqLuv
                    bbqLuv commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Well, Excuse Me! jfmorris I am glad you understand "They are for cooking in completely different styles. It's an apples to oranges comparison...". Thank you for informing me.

                    Nevertheless, the Yoder Smokers YS480/YS640 Cast Iron Griddle.

                  • jfmorris
                    jfmorris commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Ok Mr. Steve Martin (at least that is what I heard in my head as I read "Excuse Me", haha. I was just confused about pellet grill advice when someone was asking about the Blackstone. The Yoder YS480 and YS640 are awesome smokers, and I would love to own either one.

                  • Yohawk
                    Yohawk commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I didn’t get it, but that’s not unusual😄

                  I have a 36”, bought new in Dec. of 2020. Black stone, at the time, did not have hard covers in stock. I will be getting one for reasons mentioned above.


                    Originally posted by bbqLuv View Post
                    Get a Pellet grill. I know that begs the question.
                    This maybe blasphemy, but I don’t even know what a pellet grill is 😂. Of course, this is coming from a guy who’s never even made a smash burger. The good news is I’m working on it!!
                    All kidding aside, since joining this forum a Vortex is now in regular rotation, the grill doesn’t get turned on with a Thermapen in my hand, and the SnS has opened up a whole new world…so, there is hope!


                    • bbqLuv
                      bbqLuv commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I agree, that is hope. For example, I hope to improve.
                      Last edited by bbqLuv; July 27, 2021, 10:14 PM.

                    • bbqLuv
                      bbqLuv commented
                      Editing a comment
                      May I suggest a "griddled" cheese sandwich after you decide?
                      Happy Griddling to you and PBR too.

                    I bought the 28" Pro series that has the hinged top. The top was the reason I bought this model, over the other with the different type of top. It works really well. I did put the side guards on it, as it tends to be windy in my back yard and I could hear the flame getting whipped around at times.

                    Putting these things on was pretty easy, but the top needs to be removed to do it. If you have these on hand when you get the griddle, you can put them on during the set up process. Tin snips and a drill is all it takes and they work really well. Plus, they help to keep the heat at bay for items on the side shelf too. Click image for larger version

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                      Ok, picked up the hooded version from Lowe’s. I forgot they had a vet discount so that helped. In addition, the Lowe’s version had 4 locking swivel casters which would make it easier to move around on the deck. The deck is in the process of getting Trex installed, so it will be a few days before I get it assembled. Thank you for the input and helping me decide what to get.
                      Click image for larger version

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                      • Jfrosty27
                        Jfrosty27 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Sweet! Be sure to post picks of the finished deck with the new cooker on it!

                      Get some bacon and ground beef, first cook, smashed burgers.
                      Griddle cooking is a lot fun.


                        Success! The deck is finally finished, and if I never have to deal with another contractor, it will be too soon! The Blackstone has been assembled and seasoned, and have 2 cooks under my belt. Brats, onions, and home fries to christen, and tonight’s fare consisted of hamburgers, sliced potatoes, and fried onions. It’s certainly a fun way to cook, though I have to come up with a solution for the grease spatter….on me and the deck!!! Here’s the final product….
                        Click image for larger version

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