The product line of Blackstone griddles gives you a lot of options for outdoor cooking. But one of the most important questions to consider when it comes to griddling is:
Should you go gas or electric?
Well, the answer is not straightforward as both types have their advantages and disadvantages.
Blackstone is best known for their gas griddles but they do offer electric models as well. These are called the E-Series Griddles. Although the E-Series line is not as numerous as the gas griddles, it’s still worth considering if you’re looking for convenience. Electric griddles are typically easier to use and require less maintenance than gas models.
Let’s have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of each type in more detail.
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Heat is what’s going to cook your food and you’ll want to make sure your griddle can get hot enough. Rest assured, both types of griddles in the Blackstone lineup can get very hot.
Just like electric grills, electric griddles are equipped with a heating element powered by electricity. There are either one or multiple heating elements depending on the size and model of the griddle. The heat source can get extremely hot and the heat is then transferred to the griddle’s cooking surface above the elements.
Although the heating element itself gets hot very quickly, it takes a bit more time for the heat to be transferred to the cooking surface. As a result, electric griddles are slower to heat up and also generally can’t reach the same maximum temperature as gas griddles.
The E-series griddles don’t get quite as hot as the gas-powered ones. They max out at about 500 degrees Fahrenheit or 260 degrees Celsius.
Still, they are perfectly fine for most types of cooking and the temperature can be easily controlled using the control dials. There’s also a display that shows you the exact temperature of the griddle cooking surface.
Gas griddles are powered by burning gas from a propane tank or natural gas line. As the fuel is burned at the burners, the heat is transferred to the griddle’s cooking surface above them.
Again, depending on the size of the griddle, there can be one or multiple burners each with its adjustable heat control, allowing you to set up different heat zones on the griddle.
The gas-powered Blackstone griddles can easily reach temperatures of about 650 degrees Fahrenheit or 343 degrees Celsius.
That’s well past the smoking point of all types of cooking oils, so such temperatures are not necessary for most cooking applications.
The bonus of reaching high temperatures is that the gas griddles are great for searing steaks and getting a good char on your food.
Also, gas griddles are quicker to heat up than electric ones. However, the difference is not huge and both types will easily beat any charcoal grill in the speed department.
Let’s talk about the cooking surface of the griddles. Offering a plethora of options, Blackstone’s electric and gas griddles feature various sizes to suit your culinary needs. Both options also sport a different type of material for their cooking surface. Which one is better? It depends.
The E-series griddles are equipped with ceramic titanium non-stick cooking surfaces. This is great if you want to avoid extra oil when cooking as the food will rarely stick to the hot griddle. Contrary to some concerns, there’s no Teflon coating on the cooking surface.
The downside of the non-stick coating is that it’s not as durable as traditional steel griddles. It can start to show signs of wear and tear quickly if you are not careful. The number one rule to stick to when cooking on non-stick surfaces is to use wooden or plastic utensils. Avoid metal tools like plague.
Another factor to consider about the cooking surface is its size.
Currently, there are only two sizes to choose from on the official website. You can either choose a 17-inch or a 22-inch electric griddle. I can imagine even the 22-inch griddle is not enough for some BBQ lovers. If you want bigger, then there’s no other choice than to look at other brands or go for a gas griddle.
Blackstone gas griddles do not come with non-stick surfaces. Instead, they feature a thick cold-rolled steel plate for the cooking surface (no, the griddles are not stainless steel). The steel surface has to be seasoned with appropriate oil before first use and then the seasoning layer must be maintained. Failing to do so will result in food sticking to the surface like crazy.
On the bright side, steel surfaces are much more durable than non-stick surfaces and are easy to clean. Unlike the factory-applied non-stick coating on electric griddles, the seasoning layer can be stripped and reapplied whenever you want.
When it comes to sizes, gas griddles have an edge over their electric counterparts. Multiple sizes are currently available ranging from 17 inches to a whopping 36 inches with four burners. That’s plenty of cooking space for your burgers, omelets, and steaks.
Ease of Use
Electric griddles are objectively easier to use than gas griddles when it comes to setup. All you need is an electric outlet, plug the cord into it, and turn the heat up. That’s it! And unlike gas griddles, you can use electric griddles indoors as well. Is it raining? No problem, just plug in your electric griddle in your kitchen and cook a pancake or ten.
Gas griddles, on the other hand, need to be hooked up to a propane tank and it’s not always a straightforward process as you may encounter problems with many different components.
Gas griddle tops are in my opinion easier to clean as you can just splash it with some water from a squeeze bottle while it’s still hot and scrub away the burned bits of food with a steel spatula. Electric griddles require more careful cleaning.
There’s not much to discuss in this regard. Electric griddles are taking the short end of the stick due to their more delicate parts involved and the non-stick surface, that’s easy to scratch with metal tools. Also, electric griddles are best kept inside when not in use to protect them from rain, snow, and dust.
Now, I am not saying electric griddles will fall apart the first time you lay your gaze on them, but they are simply less durable than sturdy gas griddles.
Gas griddles are more rugged and resist wear and tear a bit better. They are made from thicker steel and can withstand the elements better when left outside. Although you should always cover your gas griddle to avoid rusting.
The cooking surface is made of cold-rolled steel and is much more resilient than any non-stick coating. If you ever see a scratch on your griddle top, it’s more than likely only affecting the seasoning layer, and it can be easily reapplied.
At the end of the day, both types can last for years if taken care of properly. So, make sure to follow the best practices and you won’t have to worry about replacing your griddle anytime soon.
Price is often a deciding factor when it comes to any purchase.
As expected, electric griddles are slightly more expensive than their equal gas-powered counterparts.
The cheapest electric option is the 17-inch tabletop griddle which has a price tag of $299. The other option is the slightly larger 22-inch griddle with two dial controls that comes at $399 or $429 with a cart included. Keep in mind these are all list prices, and at the time of writing, both griddles had a significant discount.
As far as the gas griddles are concerned, Blackstone offers six options ranging from 17 inches to 36 inches with numerous configurations. The price tag of the base 17-inch model with a single burner is $199, while the biggest 36-inch 4-burner griddle starts at $499 but goes up to $1299 with the top-end configuration.
Again, these are list prices and you can usually find discounts on the official website, Walmart, or Amazon.
Buying a griddle or a grill is just the first step. Once you have it, you need to think about running costs.
Electric griddles are powered by electricity so you can expect your electricity bill to take a slight hit when using one. On the plus side, you don’t need to buy gas or charcoal so that’s one annoyance out of the way.
Gas griddles, on the other hand, need propane to function. While this fuel is generally cheaper than electricity, you need to buy a tank and store it somewhere. Propane tanks will require regular refilling, which can add up in the long run.
I’ve seen some claims that opting for an electric griddle or grill will result in a huge spike in your electricity bill. This is not true. Depending on the wattage of your griddle and how often you use it, the running costs will be negligible.
Let’s do some math.
The 22-inch Blackstone E-series griddle is rated at 1600 watts. If you use it for one hour at full power, it will consume 1.6 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity.
For the sake of simplicity, let’s say you are using it every day for two hours, which is obviously an overstatement for most households. That’s 30 days x 3.2 kWh. In total, we are looking at 96 kWh per month.
And that, my friends, equals whopping 15 bucks a month if we take the average electricity price in the US as published by EIA (October 2022).
Yes, electricity prices are rising quickly, but still, claiming that electric griddles are too costly to run is just plain old bullcrap.
The running costs of gas griddles are a bit more complicated due to the options when it comes to the gas itself.
Typically, you will first need to buy a propane tank as Blackstone griddles do not come with one. 20 lb propane tanks are usually at least 60 bucks and 5 lb tanks are sometimes even twice as much. Of course, many people already have a propane tank, but many also don’t.
Now you will also have to pay to have the tank refilled or exchanged. Exchanging is usually slightly more expensive but it’s quick and easy. For the 20 lb tank, you are looking at give or take 20 bucks for each refill or swap. And let me tell you that the tank doesn’t last a long time with the larger gas griddles such as the 36-inch Blackstone with its 60,000 BTUs.
So is a gas griddle cheaper to run than an electric one? It may be but it’s not always the case. It all depends on your particular situation and usage patterns. If it’s really important for you, I suggest doing some calculations with the actual electricity and gas prices in your area.
Last but not least, let’s talk about the food. I’m sure you already have a good idea of what types of food can be cooked on gas and electric griddles.
Let me tell you that there’s virtually no difference between the two types when it comes to food you can cook. The only slight difference is, as I’ve mentioned, that gas griddles can get a bit hotter allowing for easier searing but I consider this a negligible detail.
You can easily cook the exact same food on both types so this should not be a deciding factor.
To sum up, you cannot really go wrong with either a gas or an electric griddle. The deciding factor should be your needs.
For example, if you are doing a lot of cookouts for large crowds, the griddles are not for you as they are simply too small for that.
On the other hand, if you want to experience what griddles are about and don’t want to deal with propane tanks and stuff, go with electric. Just plug it in and griddle away. In your kitchen, on your porch, wherever there’s electricity.
If you have a propane tank already or if you are OK with getting one and regularly refilling it, a gas griddle may be the way to go. Also, a small gas griddle such as the 17-inch Blackstone is a good choice for trips where there is no electricity available.
Whichever you decide to go with, I’m sure it will not disappoint. Enjoy your griddling!
Are Blackstone Griddles Electric or Gas?
Both! Blackstone makes griddles in both electric and gas. The gas lineup is much larger and more popular, however.
Does an electric Blackstone need to be seasoned?
No, they do not need to be seasoned. They have a non-stick coating that prevents food from sticking to the griddle surface.
Are electric or gas griddles cheaper to run?
It depends on your particular situation and usage patterns. It may be cheaper to run a gas griddle, but it’s not always the case. Running cost calculations with actual electricity and gas prices in your area may be a good idea.
Can you cook the same food on both types of griddles?
Yes, you can easily cook the exact same food on both types of griddles.