Hey there, grill enthusiasts! Today, we’re stepping into a smoky discussion that’ll get your barbeque tongs twitching. We’re talking griddles – specifically, Blackstone griddle alternatives. Now don’t get me wrong, Blackstones are very popular in the grilling world, but sometimes, it’s good to explore what else is cooking.
Maybe you’ve been a Blackstone loyalist and you’re just looking to shake things up, or perhaps you’re just starting your grilling journey and want to see all the options. Either way, I’ve got you covered. This guide will give you the low down on some top-notch alternatives to the Blackstone griddles.
Table of Contents
- Why Consider an Alternative to Blackstone?
- 7 Blackstone Griddle Alternatives
- What to Look for in an Outdoor Griddle
Why Consider an Alternative to Blackstone?
Alright, let’s dive in. Blackstone griddles are popular, no doubt about it, but there are reasons why some of us might be poking around for an alternative. Let’s break this down:
- Quality control concerns: Some users have reported issues with the quality control of Blackstone griddles. Misaligned components, wobbly legs, or even warped griddle tops can turn your anticipated grilling adventure into a frustrating puzzle.
- Frequent stock-outs: Ever tried to snag a Blackstone during the Covid era? It was like trying to find a unicorn at a horse race. Blackstones sometimes tend to sell out quickly, which can leave you waiting for restocks. The same goes for spare parts should you happen to need them.
- Not made in the U.S.: For those who prefer to support domestic manufacturing, this can be a downside. Blackstone griddles are designed in the U.S. but not made in the U.S., and some grillers prefer to buy American-made products.
- Price point: Blackstone griddles can be on the pricier side. If you’re grilling on a budget, you might be looking for a more wallet-friendly alternative. Although, some of the alternatives mentioned today can be even more expensive.
So these are some of the common reasons. There may of course be others like someone may be loyal to one brand, etc.
7 Blackstone Griddle Alternatives
Let’s dive into some of the best alternatives to Blackstone. Each of these brands brings something unique to the table (or the patio!), offering a variety of features and options that make them worth considering.
Whether you’re a weekend warrior, a tailgating superstar, or a backyard BBQ master, there’s a flat-top grill out there with your name on it.
So, let’s check what other brands have to offer.
Pit Boss Griddles
First up on my list of Blackstone alternatives, we’ve got Pit Boss. This brand is no rookie in the grilling game. They’ve been smoking the competition with their wide range of grills and smokers, and their griddles are no exception.
While Pit Boss might not have as extensive a griddle lineup as Blackstone, they’re certainly not skimping on the quality or features. Their griddles come in two main lines – Standard and Ultimate.
The Standard line griddles sport steel tops that come pre-seasoned. That’s right, less prep time, and more grill time. They offer solid performance and durability that can stand up to any backyard BBQ.
- Versatile outdoor cooking griddle with five burners
- Offers 750 square inches of cooking surface for food preparation
- Pre-seasoned steel top
- 2-in-1 shelves that fold out for extra cooking space or down to create a locked griddle
- Mobile design with four locking caster swivel wheels
- Backed by the Pit Boss 5-year warranty
Now, if you want to take things up a notch, the Ultimate line of griddles might be your ticket. These bad boys come with ceramic-coated tops.
So, what’s the big deal about ceramic? Well, food’s not sticking to the surface and it allows for an easier cleanup (bye-bye, stubborn food particles!), and there’s no need for seasoning.
The downside is that you should not use metal utensils with it as you might scratch the coating.
The cherry on top? Pit Boss lets you upgrade your Standard griddle with a ceramic top. So, if you’re starting off with the Standard line and later decide you want a similar cooking top as the Ultimate line, Pit Boss has got your back.
So, if you’re looking for a griddle that offers versatility, convenience, and top-notch performance, Pit Boss might just be your new BBQ bestie.
Official website: https://www.pitboss.com
Camp Chef Griddles
Next on our griddle tour is Camp Chef, a brand that has been serving up quality outdoor cooking equipment since 1990. While their griddle range might not be as extensive, with only three current members, what they lack in quantity, they make up for in quality and innovation.
Camp Chef’s griddle offerings currently include two 4-burner models and one behemoth 6-burner model. Perfect for those big family cookouts, tailgating events, or any time you need to grill like a champ!
Their griddles come with pre-seasoned steel tops, which means you can get straight to the sizzle without the hassle of initial seasoning.
- Older version with grill grates but without a lid
- 604 square inches of cooking surface
- 4 stainless steel burners with 48,000 BTUs combined
- Grease management system with a trough in the front
- 4 side shelves
But that’s not all. These griddle tops are reinforced, and there’s a heat diffusion plate underneath that ensures a more even heat distribution – so no more worrying about hot spots or unevenly cooked food.
One of the standout features of Camp Chef griddles is the integrated windbreakers. These prevent the wind from entering the burner space under the griddle top. This helps keep the top hot even in unfavorable weather conditions.
And if you’ve ever had a griddle wobble while flipping your burgers, you’re in for a treat. Camp Chef griddles come with a leveling system for both the legs and the griddle top itself. Blackstone griddles are sometimes wobbly and could definitely use a similar leveling system.
When it comes to price, Camp Chef griddles are a bit of a premium player. Their entry-level model, which is actually a portable tabletop model with 4 burners, comes in at $549.
So, if you’re looking for a high-quality griddle with some innovative features and don’t mind paying a little more, Camp Chef might just be the grill master’s secret weapon you’ve been looking for.
Official website: https://www.campchef.com/
Next on my roster is a name that’s probably familiar to any grill aficionado – Weber. Though they’ve long been a titan in the realms of charcoal and gas grills, Weber is a relative newcomer to the griddle scene.
Currently, Weber offers two standalone griddle models, the 36-inch and 28-inch versions. What they lack in variety, they make up for in quality and ease of use. The assembly is a breeze, so you can get from box to BBQ in no time.
Weber griddles feature tops made of hot-rolled steel. It’s not the raw metal you’d find with Blackstone, but Weber still recommends seasoning three times before the first use. So, a bit of initial prep to ensure optimal performance.
- 3 burners with 36,000 BTUs of combined power
- Heats up very evenly across the cooking surface
- The grease tray is conveniently located in the front
- 2 fixed side shelves
While the aesthetics of Weber’s griddles may not win any design awards – they’re a bit more on the minimalist side – remember that beauty is in the eye of the BBQ holder. Some might prefer this clean, no-frills look.
It’s worth noting that the top cover can’t be used while the burners are in operation. This might be a downside for some but it’s the same thing for some other griddles as well.
On the plus side, Weber griddles are fairly lightweight, which makes them easier to move around, although they lack a leveling mechanism. But what really makes these griddles shine is their heat distribution – it’s top-notch.
Apart from standalone griddles, Weber also offers griddle inserts for their Spirit and Genesis gas grills. If you’re already a proud owner of one of these expensive grills, the insert could be a perfect way to dabble in the griddle world without committing to a standalone unit.
So, if you’re in the market for a straightforward, easy-to-assemble griddle from a time-tested brand, Weber might just be your grill of choice.
Official website: https://www.weber.com/
Blue Rhino Griddles
Next in line, we have Blue Rhino, a brand that might be familiar to you if you’ve ever exchanged a propane tank at your local store. Relatively new to the griddle scene, Blue Rhino has made an impressive entrance with their Razor range of griddles.
At the time of writing, the Razor range includes three griddles:
- a 1-burner tabletop griddle
- a 2-burner portable griddle
- a large 4-burner griddle packing a whopping 62,000 BTUs
The steel tops of these griddles come pre-seasoned, so you’re ready to get your grill on in no time.
But where Blue Rhino stands out is portability. Even the large 4-burner model is designed for on-the-go grilling. Thanks to the folding legs, side shelves, and a removable bottom shelf that fits inside the folded griddle, this beast is perfect for large tailgate cookouts or any outdoor event where you’re the designated grill master.
Assembly is a breeze, and the build quality is solid, making it a reliable choice for your grilling adventures.
There’s no hood for the large griddle, so if you’re big on trapping heat or smoking your food, this might be a slight drawback. A basting cover can sor
So, if you’re looking for a portable griddle without compromising on cooking capacity, Blue Rhino might be the perfect fit for you. Fire it up and grill wherever the wind takes you!
Official website: https://bluerhino.com/products/grills/razor
Member’s Mark Griddles
Next on my list, we have Member’s Mark, a Sam’s Club brand that’s here to prove that great grilling doesn’t have to break the bank. If you’re looking for bang for your buck, Member’s Mark might just be your griddle match made in BBQ heaven.
The main draw of Member’s Mark griddles is their price. At just $249, you can get your hands on a 4-burner griddle offering a generous 720 sq. inches of cooking space.
Member’s Mark griddles are built with hot-rolled steel tops. Unlike some of the other brands we’ve discussed, these tops come unseasoned, so you’ll need to do a little prep work before you start grilling. Seasoning your griddle doesn’t take too long though, and it’s a great way to bond with your new BBQ buddy 😀
Currently, Member’s Mark offers three types of griddles. The lineup ranges from a compact 22-inch tabletop griddle priced at a mere $99 to the hefty Pro Series 5-burner griddle, which is twice the price of the 4-burner model but brings even more cooking power to your backyard.
As with any product, reviews are mixed. Some folks are head over heels for their Member’s Mark griddles, while others have reported issues with warping. But hey, even Blackstones can warp sometimes. What’s important is how you handle the heat.
In the end, if you’re on a budget but still want a quality griddle, Member’s Mark is a brand worth checking out.
Official website: https://www.samsclub.com/s/griddles
Nexgrill is a reputable brand known for offering a range of outdoor cooking products at affordable prices. The main advantage of Nexgrill griddles is their lower price point, which makes them an attractive alternative to brands like Blackstone, without compromising on quality and performance.
The construction of Nexgrill griddles varies by model, with some featuring hot-rolled steel tops and others boasting cast iron enameled tops.
One thing to note is that some Nexgrill steel griddles are not pre-seasoned. Similar to Blackstone griddles, they require seasoning before the first use.
As of now, Nexgrill offers six different griddle models on their website but more models may be available from stores such as Home Depot or BestBuy.
The size and features of these models can vary, but the largest model comes with four burners, providing ample cooking space and the flexibility to cook different foods at different temperatures simultaneously.
In terms of aesthetics, Nexgrill griddles have a pretty nice appearance with combinations of stainless steel and black paint. This gives them a sleek, modern look that’s likely to complement any outdoor setting.
While they may not provide any super-innovative features, they can be a good choice especially when bought on sale.
Official website: https://nexgrill.com/
Rounding out our list of Blackstone alternatives, we have Traeger. Known for their wood pellet grills, Traeger has recently entered the griddle market with their Flatrock model.
While they may be new to the griddle game, they’ve brought their signature quality and innovation along for the ride.
At the time of writing, Traeger offers just one griddle, but it’s a beauty.
The Flatrock is a 3-burner griddle with generous cooktop dimensions of 33″ x 18″. The burners are U-shaped, a design choice that allows for more even heat distribution across the entire griddle surface.
One of the standout features of the Flatrock is the special design to prevent wind from pulling a disappearing act with your heat.
The griddle also sports a unique accessory rail, allowing you to attach a wide range of accessories like hooks, roll racks, storage bins, and more. This is a griddle that’s ready to adapt to your cooking style.
Another cool feature is the fuel gauge LED display, which gives you real-time information on your fuel level. No more guesswork or mid-BBQ fuel shortages!
However, as with most things bearing the Traeger label, the Flatrock comes with a higher price tag. But if you’re looking for a griddle that offers excellent heat distribution, innovative features, and the flexibility to customize your grilling setup, the Traeger Flatrock might just be worth the investment.
Remember, great grilling is about more than just the food – it’s about the experience, and Traeger is here to make sure it’s a great one.
Official website: https://www.traeger.com/
What to Look for in an Outdoor Griddle
Just like choosing the perfect steak for your grill, finding the right griddle involves some careful consideration. You don’t just pick the first one you see, right? Let’s marinate on the key features to contemplate when picking a griddle:
Outdoor griddles come in different shapes and sizes, each designed to fit a specific need.
- Dedicated Griddles: These are standalone units, perfect for the outdoor cooking enthusiast who has a designated grilling area. They’re typically larger and offer a significant cooking surface, ideal for feeding a crowd.
- Tabletop Griddles: Compact and portable, these griddles are perfect for small patios, tailgating, or camping. They’re easy to set up, and the best part is, you can take the party anywhere!
Outdoor griddles are powered in two ways:
- Gas griddles: Gas griddles are the most popular outdoor griddles. They come in a huge variety of sizes and styles. One of their downsides is that they cannot be used indoors.
- Electric griddles: Electric griddles are usually much smaller than gas griddles and they are a good choice if you’ve got a source of electricity at the place you are planning to cook at. Most often, they will have a non-stick griddle top that doesn’t require seasoning and allows for easy cleanup but doesn’t allow for using metal utensils.
Size and Portability
Like a well-cut suit, your griddle should fit just right. Consider the available space you have and how many mouths you usually feed.
Going too big might leave you struggling with storage, while too small might mean slower cookouts.
Portability is another key factor to base your decision on. Are you looking to take your griddle on camping and fishing trips with you? You probably want to bring a portable 2-burner model with a good folding table or griddle stand instead of a huge 5-burner cook station with a deep fryer.
Number of Burners
The number of burners is directly related to griddle size and it determines your griddle’s versatility.
Multiple burners allow for different heat zones, letting you cook multiple types of food at once – veggies on one side, burgers on the other, anyone?
The griddle’s material affects its durability, heat distribution, and maintenance.
- Stainless Steel: Known for its excellent heat distribution and resistance to rust. Usually not used for consumer-grade griddles.
- Cold-rolled steel: Cheaper than stainless, very durable but susceptible to rust. The most popular type of steel used for griddles.
- Hot-rolled steel: Cheaper than cold-rolled steel and not as strong. The surface may initially not be as smooth.
- Cast Iron: Durable and retains heat well, but requires regular seasoning to prevent rust. Almost never used for outdoor griddles.
Price tags can be as varied as grill recipes.
Some griddles might cost more upfront but offer better features or durability, making them a good long-term investment.
Others might be budget-friendly but require more maintenance or have fewer features.
It’s not just about cost but about value. You want a griddle that’ll serve up many seasons of delicious meals.
Throughout this guide, we’ve explored a diverse range of alternatives to the Blackstone griddle. Whether you’re seeking a specific size, unique features, or simply a different brand, there’s an array of outdoor griddles available that can cater to a variety of culinary needs and preferences.
Each brand we’ve discussed brings something unique to the table.
However, the “best” outdoor griddle isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution – it will largely depend on your specific needs and preferences.
Are you after a griddle with a wide cooking surface? Is ease of cleaning a top priority for you? Or perhaps you’re looking for something portable? By considering these questions and more, you can make an informed decision that suits your outdoor cooking needs.
In conclusion, whether you’re a seasoned outdoor cook or just starting your griddling journey, there are many viable alternatives to Blackstone griddles. While Blackstone griddles are undeniably popular and reliable, exploring other options can open up new culinary possibilities and enhance your outdoor cooking experience.
Last update on 2024-01-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API