When shopping for anything you want the best, but that is especially true when it’s something like an outdoor griddle.
Not only are they perfectly visible in your backyard, but they may very well be the centerpiece of a cookout or tailgating party if that’s what you have planned for your upcoming purchase.
If you don’t know where to start in your search, our list below should be of some help. In it we picked out five griddles of suitably different specs, so don’t take the numbering of them to heart since it depends on what you look for in a griddle.
We’ve written up their pros, cons and explanations of why we think they could be suitable for you. We also included a buyers’ guide and an FAQ so that you can educate yourself on what makes a quality griddle and avoid getting burned by a bad deal.
Our winner after 35+ hours of research
If you can’t spare the time for reading and need to get griddling right away, then you can see our number one product right here.
We chose the Blackstone 1554 Griddle Station simply due to its power, space and burner count which makes it a great piece to have in your garden. If you’re hankering for a smaller model, then see some of our other quality options below.
If you think this might be the one for you, however, then read some of its great features below:
Output power of 60,000 BTU comes from four burners powered at 15,000 BTU across a large cooking surface of 720 square inches.
These four burners are controlled independently of one another, great for cooking different foodstuffs, and lots of storage space is included for an abundance of ingredients.
Caster wheels let this large unit have some mobility and carry a stainless rolled-steel body that is durable, easy to clean and distributes heat across its large surface area.
Best Outdoor Griddle - Comparison Table
Best Outdoor Griddle - Our Reviews
The griddle that we chose to take the top spot is the Blackstone 1554 Griddle Station. We chose it because it’s a large and powerful four-burner griddle with lots of space but still retains some semblance of portability so that it can be moved around to some small degree.
Each of those four burners are stainless steel and are powered to 15,000 BTU for a total of 60,000 BTU, making this a powerful griddle that can handle a lot of food on its 720 square inch surface area.
All that food you can cook can be cooked independently of one another too, thanks to independent temperature settings, and that food has ample storage space since the Blackstone 1554 has two side shelves and a storing tray.
The body of this griddle is a classic rolled steel one that is very resistant to the weather and can tolerate wet weather if maintained by its new owner.
For how big this griddle is, it also achieves some mobility thanks to industrial strength caster wheels that allow this griddle to be moved around, but we’d hesitate to call it fully portable.
This is our top product and, if you’re in a hurry, then you’ll be pleased to know that the fast ignition system that this griddle has is powered by battery and lets you start the action with the push of a button.
The next griddle is the Royal Gourmet Portable Gas Grill and Griddle Combo, a combination griddle that has unmatched versatility when compared to standard griddles.
Smaller than our number one pick at a surface cooking area of 584 square inches, this 291 square inch griddle makes up for it in its power, versatility and ease of portability thanks to its smaller construction.
Those burners provide 12,000 BTU each for a total of 48,000 BTU to be powerful for its size.
Its split cooking surface is activated by a quick electronic ignition switch, and after that you can appreciate the other features that the GD401 has such as a grease channel that leads food drippage away into an easily cleaned tray.
Folding shelves and hooks that can store your cooking utensils are also built into the unit, as well as other very important items such as a bottle opener.
An Amazon’s choice product in the topic of griddles, the third option on this list is the Presto 07061 Electric Griddle comes well-reviewed by many other customers who’ve had experience with it.
It’s a small griddle ideal for those who perform mobility instead of hauling a griddle around. This is because it’s a 22-inch electric griddle that can easily be picked up by handles that detach via latch clips after it’s been set down where you want it.
The base is made from heavy-cast aluminum that resists warping very well, though it doesn’t make it impossible so care should still be taken. That aluminum base is then topped with a premium nonstick surface which makes sure that food won’t get caught on it.
As for its cooking capabilities, it as Control Master heat controlling systems that automatically maintains the set temperature you’ve chosen.
At number four on our list is the Grill and Griddle Tailgater, another product from Blackstone. It’s another combination grill-griddle for you to consider if that’s what you’re searching for.
It’s a less-powered grill-griddle with two burners, but the two independent burners are different with a H-Tube burner can put out 15,000 BTUs and the standard cast-iron burner produces 20,000 BTU.
The cooking abilities of this unit are versatile not only because of these two burners but because this product also has a grill box for enclosed cooking to achieve that crispy, barbecue-style finish.
On the mechanical side, the frame of the griddle is powder-coated to resist a lot of weather-based deterioration and is durable thanks to having cast iron grill grates, cold-rolled steel griddle plate and a heavy-duty grill box.
The legs of the frame are adjustable legs are stable on uneven ground, making this model perfect for camping, and it’s easily setup in minutes.
#5. Runner Up
Little Griddle Q230
The last product on the list is the smallest, and is something a little different, the aptly named Little Griddle Q230.
This humble griddle plate is to be placed on your grill to turn it into a griddle cooker, a cheap option for those of you who have grills outside but want some added griddling capability.
It’s kept consistently heated thanks to its cross-braced underside that carries heat to every corner of the 23-inch plate. Beneath that is a grease well that catches drips for easier cleanup, and a four-inch sidewall keeps the grease and the contents inside when you easily move it with its detachable side handles.
A small one-burner griddle, this is the one you want if you need a personal griddle that can be brought with you on occasion to cook meals for one or two.
Best Outdoor Griddle - Buyers Guide
What to look for in the perfect griddle
In this buyers’ guide we’ll discuss which features make a good griddle so that you know what to look for when you’re on the hunt for the best outdoor griddles. With an abundance of choice online, and an abundance of components that change between brands and products, nobody would blame you for needing a rundown of what to look out for and what to avoid.
The main aspects of a griddle to consider are the frame, portability, burner count, hot plate and any additional features.
The body of the griddle isn’t as obvious a feature to consider as some of the more functional parts of the griddle, but this can be key to having a well-constructed product or not. The size of the griddle can also be gauged by the body itself.
The frame includes the stand and any other functional parts that help the griddle setup, but some don’t come with stands and are instead best placed on a work surface. The best for outdoors is ones with the stand so that they can be set up in backyards and tend to have extra features due to how bigger they usually are. Frames with stands can also come with wheels for improved portability.
You’d want portability in a griddle in the same way you’d want portability in a grill, for taking it to cookouts or tailgating parties. This is handy, but outdoor griddles can get quite hefty, so you’ll need to be pretty dedicated to the craft for this feature.
Portability isn’t a must though, especially if you’re seeking a humble garden griddle to cater to all of your needs, and so for those you’d want a smaller model that will pack less burners as a result. Smaller still are box griddles with no stand that can be placed on working surfaces outdoors.
Here’s where we get to the parts that everyone should be interested in, the burner count. To be slightly reductive, the more burners you have, the better. More burners, however, mean more fuel for the burners which requires more storage space, larger propane tanks and so a heavier griddle that can impede portability.
Burners will range from one to four, correlating with the size of the griddle.
One-burner griddles are the smallest you can get (a zero-burner griddle would be quite useless) and so are your most portable, surface-top griddles that are ideal for taking with you wherever you may roam.
They can usually cook for two but no more, but they save lots of space in your backyard, are faster to clean and easier moved from place to place.
Some portable griddle models have two burners, too, which is still compact enough and can cook for four people, give or take a person or two more depending on what exactly you’re cooking.
The two burners mean that you have two separate heating zones which allows for versatility in what you cook, since they can be set at different temperatures.
Four-burner griddles are as big as griddles get, for now at least. Most manufacturers skip three-burners and go straight for four since the benefits are largely the same. They have unmatched versatility and can cook a wide variety of food at the same time and cook more of it to cater to larger groups.
Following logically from the others, more burners means a heavier griddle, so you’ll need to weigh up whether portability is more important than being able to make a feast.
The Hot Plate
Griddle plates can be divided into four types of material that they’re constructed from aluminum, steel, cast iron and ceramic. Hot plates can also feature grilling plates for combo grill-griddles, two examples of which are featured above, which offer more versatility in what you can cook effectively.
Aluminum is lighter than steel and iron, and so is the obvious option for manufacturers wanting to make lightweight griddles and customers wanting to buy them. Aluminum heats and cools down faster but is considered less durable and reliable if it’s just an aluminum plate alone. This is why many aluminum plates have ceramic coatings to mitigate this.
When we refer to steel plates, it’s often cold-rolled steel. It’s the most resilient material that griddle plates get made of and for that reason it’s the most common kind you’ll find on the market.
It’s much more weather-resistant than any other plate but can still develop rust when wetted.
Cast iron griddles can last an entire lifetime if well maintained, and they do need more maintenance than your average griddle plate. It’s more vulnerable to damage, however, and so isn’t as suited to be a weather-worn backyard griddle if you’re not a professional who knows how to keep it fresh, unbroken and used often.
It’s heavier too, and so is better used for stationary grills that feature a higher burner count.
As for ceramic hot griddle plates, they’re a nonstarter for those looking for portability as they’re simply too heavy.
They’re great in thermal capacity, hence how ceramic is used to complement aluminum hot plates or how porcelain is used on good grill grates to hold more heat, but they’re not suitable to carry around in any capacity.
The Additional Features
All of the features discussed so far, though having differences, are standard or essential to the function of a griddle. These features are ones that aren’t found on every griddle and should be ones to look out for if you have specific uses in mind for your griddle.
Griddling, like grilling or most forms of cooking, will leave juices behind. This is especially the case when cooking meat, and so if you want to anticipate this, you’ll want a griddle that has a large drip tray.
Depending on the size of your griddle, you will be lifting and tilting it often and so you’ll want to be careful of that.
Larger griddles, especially ones with wheels, also tend to have some blank space for storing seasoning or preparing food. If you’re looking for a stationary outdoor griddle for your backyard that aims to impress, then you can’t get enough of these additional spaces since you won’t worry about how cumbersome the griddle is.
Griddles that have grill sections can benefit from more ways to cook their food with the inclusion of a barbecue box. They’re also good for isolating ingredients from the rest of the griddle plate, good for if someone in the family is a fussy eater.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which oil is best to use with griddles?
There are so many oils with so many chefs and food scientists claiming that their favorites are the best that it comes down to your personal preference.
If it’s an edible vegetable oil, it can theoretically be used, but we’d suggest just using whatever oil you usually cook with instead of anything too exotic or fancy, but again that’s just our preference. If you think your oil is too bland, seasoning will more than make up for that.
Is it possible to use a griddle indoors?
Is it possible? Of course. Would we recommend it? No, not really if it is a gas-powered griddle. Unless you’ve got a cookout in an aircraft hangar, you’d need an extremely vented room to be able to avoid harmful smoke inhalations, and even then, we wouldn’t recommend it.
The smoke that griddles produce can be too powerful for standard vent systems, even from the weaker, one-burner variants, and so they’re best used outside. However, you’ll be pleased to know that electric griddles produce less smoke and so are much safer and viable to be used indoors.
Number three is an electric griddle that can do this, but every other product is intended for outdoors as per the purpose of these reviews.
If you are thinking of upgrading your outside cooking area and levelling up your pit boss ability then you should also seriously considers adding a pizza oven! You also need to ensure your main tools of the trade are kept safe and in good condition with one of these top 5 knife block sets.