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    I need "real" advice

    I just started looking at griddles, with hopes to buy one over the next couple of weeks. I've read a lot of reviews looked at the comparisons, thought about the size I would be looking for, and now I am looking for the real reviews comparisons and ideas from the pitmasters. Are flat tops and griddles worth it? Are they an addition to what we already have for cooking and grilling or are they a main piece to the outside cooking experience? Any ideas,suggestions or opinions would be helpful before I make a purchase.

    #2
    Yes, they are worth it. Griddle cooking is its own animal, and the reason you love restaurant/diner food is because of their griddle cooktops. They add that certain something you cannot get from using a skillet on your stove.

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      #3
      Yup, Definitely worth it!

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        #4
        yes definitely worth it. As Huskee said above there are completely different use cases for the griddle vs my other cookers. I will say for me it has definitely changed my thought process on certain foods. Burger for example. my family so much prefers the crusty crisp burgers off of my Blackstone that we almost never do them over charcoal in the Weber kettle anymore. I never expected that. Also because it is so versatile i cook on it a lot, breakfast, lunch, dinner and even a dessert every now and then.

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          #5
          Very much worth it. But with that said I sold my blackstone and bought a camp chef expedition 3 burner cook top that included a Removable griddle. So now I have a more versatile cooker that I can use my fish cooker on along with my CI skillets.
          Last edited by Dadof3Illinois; July 29, 2020, 03:49 PM.

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            #6
            I cook on mine everyday. Wife loves it because I'm not messing up the kitchen. I spent far more on the PK360 and KBQ, but my 28" Blackstone I purchased last fall has seen far more road time than both of those put together. As for any advice, I would lean towards three burners so you can create a heat profile across the griddle. I cook on one side, keep cooked food warm on the other. So going left to right, it is off/low, medium, medium/high. I cook right to left.

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              #7
              I have a Camp Chef 3 burner Tahoe stove with a griddle. We love it - it is portable, so we can lug it on the RV. And having exposed burners makes it pretty versatile. We use it for frying fish in CI, doing crab and shrimp boils - whatever you can do on the stove top in the house. And we have the griddle, which is great as all of these guys noted.

              Comment


                #8
                I have the Blackstone pro series and I love it.

                Cautionary tail. The Blackstones run hot. Unlike ComfortablyNumb I cook from to right To left as that’s how I’m set up for space. Our daily breeze blows in from Right to left, I’m not sure how much impact that has but I know it has some.


                4 Burners, Hot, hot off and off. The third burner area that is off will hang at low and the left burner area that is off will hang at warm. That’s just the heat creep.

                Or you can load it up!

                I LOVE my Blackstone. Huskee is right. It’s another tool. Plopping down some burgers or fatty pork and throwing in onions, mushrooms, garlic and the like to sop up the fat whilst have the needed space to push and hold your food for timing reasons.

                Flatops are the outdoor answer to crockpots for one pan meals. You also get killer crust and are capable of variety textures and degrees of doneness for varying members of your picky family.

                I have no experience with other home brands but.....
                Flattops first sure!!!

                Edit: Pretty sure jfmorris might have something to say here when he has time. He has the Camp Chef big one I think.
                Last edited by HouseHomey; July 24, 2020, 11:19 AM.

                Comment


                • Steve R.
                  Steve R. commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Apparently, the wind guards don't work with griddles with a hood like mine. I may have to swing by Home Depot or Lowes, grab some sheet metal and rely on redneck ingenuity.

                • Mr. Bones
                  Mr. Bones commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I may have to swing by Home Depot or Lowes, grab some sheet metal and rely on redneck ingenuity.
                  Got yer Six covered, Brother!
                  Standin by, ready to assist, or at least hold yer beer lol!

                  Have HD cut ya some really small mini blinds, then ya'll have ya some dampers lol!

                • Steve R.
                  Steve R. commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Ha! I frequently find myself in need of a beer holder, Mr. Bones 😄

                #9
                I'm just getting started with my 36" Blackstone, and I love it. I use it for something nearly every day. If you're like me, you will wonder why it took you so long to get a griddle.

                Comment


                • ComfortablyNumb
                  ComfortablyNumb commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Amen, I feel I wasted 62 years of my life not having a griddle.

                • Mr. Bones
                  Mr. Bones commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I unnerstand, an am so glad to spread th word.
                  Flattops are definitely NOT a cause of stress; rather, they are a stress reliever, a Liberator, an empowerin device.
                  No more figgerin how am I gonna git this to all come up together, how many/which pots/pans am I gonna use / wash, where do I hold component X, Y, Z, etc., usw, as I do this? How much mess/collateral damage/heatin up my kitchen this gonna cause???? I could go on, natch, but I must needs make me a bevvie, so I'll be back in a spell...

                #10
                Whiskeyman53 All of the positives have had me thinking about one but a big thing to note is where people live and how long your outdoor cooking season is. Some of these folks live in the south or southwest where they can count on 8-10 months of weather decent enough to cook outside.

                My season is maybe 4 months with 2 months of prime summer weather. So, when I get one, it will be easily portable etc. I don't mind cooking inside either. That's what kitchens are for, so the idea that these mean you don't mess up your kitchen is... odd to me.

                Comment


                • ComfortablyNumb
                  ComfortablyNumb commented
                  Editing a comment
                  ...time. I prep the food there. I wash the dishes there. I just don't use the stovetop as much, but I still heat the coffee water on it everyday and occasionally cook on it, and use the oven. Frankly, I don't see how I use my kitchen, or how my wife feels about it, is such a big deal to you, or why you think you are being attacked. I don't feel attacked that you only cook outdoors in nice weather and prefer using your kitchen. I'm happy for you. More power to you. <sigh>

                • jfmorris
                  jfmorris commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Outdoor roofs, patio umbrellas, awnings... all sorts of solutions for cooking outdoors in inclement weather. Mine is a 12’ x 21’ pavilion with a metal roof, before that a patio umbrella or a pop up awning.

                • Steve R.
                  Steve R. commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Agree, jfmorris. My Coleman 10x10 pop-up canopy gets pretty heavy use during the summer. Works great for sun or rain. The only kind of weather that stops my outdoor cooking is strong wind.

                #11
                Everything said I believe anyone that's keen in the cooking department should own a flatop. I couldn't do without one given the versatility it offers. I owned mine for 2 years before I started using it and still stress about the years I lost that I'll never get back😊

                Comment


                • ComfortablyNumb
                  ComfortablyNumb commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Easy for you to say, you live in Africa, where it is always hot and never rains! ;-)

                #12
                Thanks for honest opinions, I will be purchasing a griddle. Looking at a camp chef to go along with the camp chef pellet grill I already have. Any opinions on camp chef flat tops?

                Comment


                • ComfortablyNumb
                  ComfortablyNumb commented
                  Editing a comment
                  jfmorris just got one.

                  https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...mp-chef-ftg900

                • Dadof3Illinois
                  Dadof3Illinois commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Camp chef has some great products at reasonable prices and their customer service does a great job.

                • Mr. Bones
                  Mr. Bones commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I have a Blackstone 36", couldn't beat th deal. I FREAKIN LOVE IT!!!!!
                  That bein said, everything I have seen of, an heared of Camp Chef leads me to believe they are a Top-Notch cooker...

                #13
                I’m no help on what to buy, love to get one but I’m sitting in the service area at Brantford VW waiting for a $1000ish bill for work on the wife’s Rabbit
                Wasn’t planning on this little side trip but poop happens

                Comment


                #14
                Whiskeyman53 I have the Camp Chef FTG900 - their largest flat top, and love it. I find myself cooking more on it this summer than I do any of my other outdoor cookers. I’m even doing pots and pans on the flat top, to keep heat and mess out of the kitchen.

                The 4 burner FTG600 is the only model they have that can convert to a grill if you care about that. The larger 900 and smaller 450 do not.

                As ComfortablyNumb and others have said, you find yourself cooking differently, and different things on a griddle. I’ve done burgers, bacon, lots of veggies - stir fry is so easy - fried rice, steak, and last night I made tortellini carbonara with a garlic cream sauce, bacon, onions and sun dried tomatoes. Like I said - keeping the heat out of the house. And clean up of the griddle top is faster than washing pots and pans in the kitchen.

                If you want a LOT of flexibility, and don’t already have outdoor burners like I do, definitely also consider the Camp Chef 16” cooking system. A 3 burner stove in that series can take a large griddle top of about 600 square inches, pizza ovens, grill boxes, and also double for boiling and frying stuff in pots and pans. If I ever get an RV or camper, one of those will be in the underneath storage for sure. If I didn’t already have 4 outdoor burners for putting pots on I would have considered one of those for sure. That said, the FTG series has a lot going for it.

                There are still uses for my other cookers - I’m not doing ribs, bone in chicken, or smoking butts or brisket on a flat top for example. It’s an awesome tool though.
                Last edited by jfmorris; July 25, 2020, 10:05 AM.

                Comment


                • Hulagn1971
                  Hulagn1971 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  jfmorris I was wondering how long does it take for you to empty a 20lb propane tank with normal use?

                • jfmorris
                  jfmorris commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Hulagn1971 I've not emptied the first tank yet, so I'll let you know.

                  I didn't help matters last night - I turned off all burners, or so I thought, and didn't turn off the tank. I went out an hour after dinner to cover the grill up, and the far left burner was still going on low!

                  The little gauge built into the tank has a green, yellow and a red segment, and the little needle is just hitting the yellow. I imagine the tank is about down to 1/2 or 1/3 left. I have spares though.

                • jfmorris
                  jfmorris commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Hulagn1971 even though all 6 burners total 72,000 BTU's, I assume that is on high. I run all 6 on medium-low to pre-heat, then turn 2 off, 2 to low, and leave two on medium or medium-low.

                #15
                I love my griddle, and as has been stated before...it's an entirely different beast. Burgers from that thing even prompted my father to get a small one for himself & Mum. Yeah, they're that different. I imagine his 4-burner gasser will be used even less.

                I opted for the Blue Rhino Razor because at the time of my looking, I HATED the grease management on the Blackstone. It's a 4-burner with integrated shelves that fold up to become a lid/cover. I still use a cover on it, but that's just because it keeps it that much cleaner.

                It's incredibly versatile, so breakfast, lunch, & dinner can all be done with ease. And unlike most add-on griddles for a grill...it's completely stable and quit a bit larger. I can cook up monstrous amounts of fajitas that I wouldn't even attempt on my 6-burner Summit.

                Comment


                • Mr. Bones
                  Mr. Bones commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Yup, it be's like that...

                  Been tellin yall...

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