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The 10 Best Flat Top Grills – 2021 Rating

Sunday grill day has always been every family’s favorite bonding activity. People celebrate summer holidays such as Father’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day in their back yards with family and friends and the grill cooking away. But nowadays, Sunday grill day isn’t just for the summer anymore. More and more people are using their grills year-round as their first choice in cooking hamburgers, hotdogs, steaks, and more. This is the reason why outdoor grills have evolved from the conventional open-fire or charcoal-type to gas-operated flat-top grills.


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Sunday grill day has always been every family’s favorite bonding activity. People celebrate summer holidays such as Father’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day in their back yards with family and friends and the grill cooking away. But nowadays, Sunday grill day isn’t just for the summer anymore. More and more people are using their grills year-round as their first choice in cooking hamburgers, hotdogs, steaks, and more. This is the reason why outdoor grills have evolved from the conventional open-fire or charcoal-type to gas-operated flat-top grills.

Just to differentiate, flat-top grills are neither the conventional grill nor are they griddles. Differentiating as early as now is important because flat-top grills and flat griddles are often used interchangeably. Flat top grill actually lies somewhere in between and after reading the next paragraphs, you will understand why these terms are used interchangeably.

To start off, a grill is a cooking stove that consists of a metal plate with ridges of metal bars on it. The conventional grills we use for barbecues which give steaks the burnt lines. Flat top grills on the other hand don’t come with metal ridges. Instead, they come with a flat metal plate that acts as a cooking surface.

Flat top grills actually resemble griddles however, the major difference between a basic griddle and a flat top grill lies in the heating system. Griddles use different fuels to heat up the metal plates but in a flat top grill, however, the heating element is more sophisticated, so that heat spreads radially over the flat surface. This makes flat-top grills the best choice for grilling enthusiasts because it ensures even distribution of heat over the cooking surface so that you can create a variety of delicious, properly cooked meals for your friends and family.

This article will comprehensively discuss some of the most reviewed flat-top grills from Blackstone, Camp Chef, and Royal Gourmet among others.

10 Best Flat Top Grills – 2020 Rating

1. Blackstone 1825 36-inch Accessory Griddle with Side Shelf, 4-burner 

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This is one of Blackstone’s flagship griddles. This flat top propane grill has an electric (battery-powered) push-button igniter which allows a no-fuss start. It has an expansive cooktop at 36-inch wide and has 4 burners which allow the user to cook different food with varying degrees of heat needed, all at once!

Built with four industrial-strength, caster wheels for easy transport – may it be to your backyard or the nearby park. The most sought-after feature is this griddles side shelf giving the user a removable cutting board, convenient paper towel holder, and strategically placed trash bag hooks. And Blackstone’s new rear grease management system to help eliminate mess.

Pros:

  • Durable construction with a powder-coated Black Steel Frame, Stainless Steel burners, and thick cold Rolled Steel cooktop.
  • Easy to assemble, use, and clean.
  • No-fuss ignition.
  • Rear grease management system.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with a thermometer.

2. Camp Chef Flat Top Grill

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This flat-top grill is 36-inch wide and has an interchangeable flat top griddle and a grilling system. Dimensions of the Griddle surface are 604 sq. in while the Grilling surface is 501 sq. in. This also comes in 4 stainless steel burners and has a matchless ignition system. Large folding side shelves also allow the user to have enough working space for chopping/cutting. It has a grease tray, catches bucket, and micro-adjust griddle levelers for easier cooking and cleaning.

Pros:

  • Interchangeable griddle and grill.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Has a thermometer included?
  • Grease tray for catching dripping off grease.

Cons:

  • Heavier at 142 lbs.
  • 2 wheels only make it a bit of a hassle in transporting.
  • Some debris can stick to the cooking surface which makes it extra harder to clean.

3. Cuisinart CGG-999 30-inch Round Flat Top Surface Outdoor, 360 degrees XL Griddle Cooking Station

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The griddle features 3 independently controlled burners allowing the user to control hot and cold zones on the griddle surface. The lid is made from durable stainless steel that features a vent to help perform the different functions on the griddle like smoking, steaming, baking, and roasting.

Oversized 360-degree grease pan naturally funnels grease toward the removable grease cup for easy grease management. Along with this are, two side tables perfect for preparing food before it hits the griddle. A paper towel holder is included under one of the side tables for added convenience.

The cabinet under is good storage for the propane tank– making it nearby but out of sight for a more sleek or uncluttered feel.

Pros:

  • Versatile equipment not just for grilling and frying but for smoking, steaming, and even baking.
  • Comes with a metal cover with a vent.
  • A 360 degrees grease pan which funnels grease naturally to the cup for easier cleaning.

Cons:

  • Lacks natural gas conversion which makes it use a lot of gas.
  • The round shape makes it a hassle to transport or move around.

4. Blackstone 1554 36-inch Outdoor Flat Top Grill Griddle Station, 4-burner

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Another Blackstone masterpiece is this flat top propane grill which has 4 burners with different adjustable levers for easier cooking and an expansive cooking surface at 36 inches wide. This also boasts 4 caster wheels, 2 of which are lockable, for easy transport.

This flat top griddle is basically similar to the Blackstone 1825’s features without the removable cutting board, paper towel holder, and trash bag hooks.

Pros:

  • Easy to assemble.
  • Rear grease management system.
  • Can be transported easily and locking system for stability.
  • This is way lighter at 120 lbs.

Cons:

  • The grease drip needs to be re-engineered since some grease still finds its way to the legs and creates a mess.

5. Cuisinart CGG-888 Grill, Stainless Steel Lid, 22-inch Round Outdoor Flat Top Gas, 360 degrees Griddle Cooking Center

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This is basically a smaller version of the XL counterpart— Cuisinart CGG-999. The differences are that this flat griddle has only 1 foldable prep table instead of 2 and 2 independently controlled burners instead of 3.

The grease management is the same with 360 degrees grease pan which naturally flows to the grease cup.

Pros:

  • The smaller size means lighter equipment at 60 lbs. 
  • Versatile equipment not just for grilling and frying but for smoking, steaming, and even baking.
  • Comes with a metal cover with a vent.
  • The foldable prep table comes with a paper towel holder.

Cons:

  • It’s small so it’s intended for food preparation for a smaller group.
  • A roasting rack is sold separately

6. Royal Gourmet GD401C 4-Burner Portable Propane Flat Top Gas Grill and Griddle Combo, Black

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Set up with both grill and griddle on top of 2 independently controlled burners, you can use both grill and griddle at the same time. This equipment is very versatile because you can also remove either grill or griddle (or both!) and use the burners to cook using pots/pans. This can also be considered as one of the best outdoor griddles because of its adjustable legs, making it stable even on uneven grounds. This is really perfect for camping/cookout in the woods.

Pros:

  • Extremely versatile – can grill, flat top cooking, and cook using pots and pans.
  • Easy to pack and transport because of its foldability.
  • Can stand even on uneven grounds due to adjustable legs.
  • Battery operated ignition starter.
  • Made of powder-coated steel which prevents rust.

Cons:

  • No bells and whistles.
  • Legs don’t have wheels, so you really have to haul these 85 lbs equipment when transporting.
  • Propane tank not included.

7. Royal Gourmet GB4001 36-inch, 4-Burner Propane Gas Grill Griddle Outdoor Flat Top

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This propane grill griddle boasts an expansive, pre-seasoned griddle plate at 792 sq. in. surface and side/prep tables. This also comes with 4 individually controlled powerful burners which allow you to cook different dishes at the same time, with different heat requirements.

Another small but defining feature is its big detachable grease cup which can store more grease for longer cookouts and makes it easier to clean afterward.

This has an open-cart design that looks simple and sturdy, with 4-lockable caster wheels for stability.

Pros:

  • The griddle plate is already seasoned and comes with 2 side handles for hassle-free removal and cleaning.
  • This has 4 lockable caster wheels which make it easy to transport and secure.
  • No-fuss electronic ignition starter.
  • Bigger and detachable grease cup.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with a bottom shelf like its GB4000 model.
  • Fixed side tables make it less compact when transporting.

8. Blackstone 28-inch Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle Station

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This flat griddle is just a smaller version of the Blackstone 1554 but with a smaller flat top griddle at 28 inches. The differences are that this has only 1 foldable prep table instead of 2 and 2 independently controlled burners instead of 3. The feel and look of this model are also similar to a cart with its 2 lockable caster wheels instead of the usual 4.

Pros:

  • Manufactured with durability in mind.
  • Portable and easy to transport with the help of the 2 wheels.
  • Considerable-sized cooktop for its weight of 75 lbs.
  • Controllable heat zone.

Cons:

  • Difficult to assemble.
  • It would have been great if this came with 2 prep side tables.

9. Blackstone Table Top Grill, 17-inch Portable Gas Griddle

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This model is the definition of portable! Its 17-inch flat top gives you enough space for cooking for the family without going through the trouble of hauling big equipment in and out of the house/car. Blackstone portable grill is built with an easy to use electric igniter, uses convenient 1 lb propane bottles for fuel, and has a built-in grease catcher. Although this is a single burner griddle, the burner is in “H”-shape which offers even heat distribution and fast cooking.

This is also very easy to store because the griddle top fits the body when turned upside down which saves space.

Pros:

  • If you want to cook outdoors but on a limited budget, this model is perfect for you and your small group.
  • Built-in grease catcher and a no-fuss electric ignition.
  • Very portable and lightweight.
  • Easy to set up, takes about 10 minutes only.

Cons:

  • According to some reviews, it’s a challenge for this model to perform well in windy conditions.
  • Since this comes without legs, you need to look for a flat surface to really be able to use this efficiently.
  • The drip tray is a bit small.

10. Royal Gourmet PD1300 Portable 3-Burner Propane Gas Grill Griddle

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This is portability and function at the next level! This portable grill comes in 24-inch long which allows you to cook a feast for a moderately sized family. Since this has a wide cooktop, it’s only fair that this comes with 3 individually controlled, ring-shaped burners and a no-fuss ignition system.

This equipment also boasts a porcelain coated griddle which makes it easy to clean after use and a hidden and removable side grease cup for a neater look.

Pros:

  • Big yet still portable, can be easily hauled outdoors and stored easily after usage.
  • Above-average grease management system.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Exceptional customer service.

Cons:

  • Round burners don’t really distribute heat evenly compared to the bar type on

FAQs


Buying Tips 2020

With all of the extensive features, pros, and cons listed above, I’m sure that you were able to narrow down your choices when it comes to the best flat top grill, according to your needs. To help you narrow down further, here are a few tips that can help you in landing on the best purchase of your life!

  • Start with the budget – First, define your budget so that you can find the right model faster and more easily. Otherwise, if the budget is not an issue and you prioritize features as long as you think they’re worth the money, then pay attention to the rest of the tips below.
  • Size and number of burners – Analyze how much you are going to cook and how much room you have around you. Remember that a flat top grill is characterized by huge capacity. If you plan on doing cookouts for a large crowd, you have to consider the size and the number of burners you want your new toy to have for it can define whether you’ll enjoy the cookouts with your friends or you’ll end up cooking for everyone the whole day!
  • Features – Of course, this is the most important aspect when looking for the best flat top griddle for you. There are those which come with griddles alone and others that offer different features in their machine, in the form of hooks, a lot of workspace, place to store tools, or the right grease collection system.
  • Cleaning – Read reviews prior to the grease management system. Some models have holes in the wrong place that sometimes cause the food residues to rest somewhere else, other than the grease trap/cup. The best option would be a hole on the back of the plate where a good-sized grease cup sits to collect.
  • Mobility – With size comes portability. Many people like to take their grill for camping or picnic trips and as such, want to have a portable propane grill. If you happen to like camping as well, then you should look for a grill labeled as “portable”.
  • Accessories – Although supplemental, you should also consider if the machine has available accessories that can make your usage efficient. These can be accessories that are already included in your initial purchase of accessories that can be bought separately when you have more budget. This can make the whole “process” of getting into this hobby more satisfying!

Conclusion

A flat-top grill is definitely a great addition to your home especially if you are able to score one that has multiple functions, easy to use, clean, and maintain. With these features in mind and considering the multiple reviews from different reputable sites, the Blackstone 1825 topped the list!

Aside from Blackstone being a trusted brand for their various portable flat-top grills, the 1825 model bested others in terms of features, portability, cleaning, and accessories. Its massive griddle makes it easier for you to prepare food for a huge crowd. It is also considered to be efficient equipment because of the 2 prep tables on the side and is often compared to commercial flat-top grills used by restaurants. You don’t even have to bring additional tables when you go outdoors!


Jackie E. Sullivan
Jackie E. Sullivan
I’m a mother and a trained newspaper journalist. This site is a place where I could share my passion for cooking and kitchen appliances reviews. I hope you will enjoy following homechit's journey and get the decision by the reviews.