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Outdoor Griddles Buyer's Guide

Outdoor Griddles Buyer's Guide

In recent years, outdoor griddles have grown in popularity. In some cases, they have even overpowered the interest in outdoor grills. While you may not have realized this before, griddles and grills are not exactly the same thing. There are some key differences between a gas grill and a gas griddle. And that is what we will discuss today.

Outdoor Griddles

Griddle vs Grill

First, let's talk about what is special about a grill. When you think of a grill, an outdoor grill covered in hamburgers and seasoned vegetables may come to mind. Gas grills are so popular in American homes because they are simple to use and help you achieve the perfect grill marks without the strain of dealing with coal or pellet fuel.

Outdoor Griddles
Gas Grill

Gas grills are unique because they provide heat from beneath their surface & hold food on bars placed through the center of the unit. The gaps between the bars create space for grease to drip off and away from the food. This is way different than how an outdoor griddle is set up, but we will discuss that more in a moment. Gas grills are usually made up of cast iron, aluminum or stainless steel. While cast iron may heat up more quickly, stainless steel grills tend to be more durable.

Outdoor Griddles
Primo Oval Grill

Cast iron charcoal grills can range from $1000 - $2000 roughly. While a stainless steel charcoal grill can be well over $2,000. Many gas grill heads start around $1,000 and the head plus the control panel can cost you up to $4,000. So, the functionality of having a "controllable fire" will cost you more, but to some, it is worth it.

So, now let's talk about griddles. A griddle has a completely solid and flat cooking surface. That is one of the main differences between a griddle and a grill. Like a grill, a griddle is heated from beneath the cooking surface. Though, food never touches direct heat on a griddle because the surface is solid. So, in some ways, this is a safer option and something to keep in mind if you are concerned about fire hazards.

Outdoor Griddles
Le Griddle Outdoor Griddle

One of the biggest benefits of cooking on a griddle is the surface area. Griddles are great for cooking for large groups of people. You can place the food closer together & cook larger amounts in a shorter amount of time. This is why you see griddle grills in many restaurants around the world. To add to that, griddles also make flipping foods easier. So, if you are new to grilling food, a griddle grill may be a good option for you.

Griddles typically are made of stainless steel and don't require a ton of maintenance to stay clean. As you cook, grease slides off the sides of the griddle into slots on the side of the cooking surface. They are very versatile and allow you to cook anything from pancakes to scrambled eggs to burgers and sandwiches. Griddles are a great option for first-time "chefs" or anyone looking to expand their cooking abilities.

Why are griddles so popular recently?

Griddles have become popular in recent years for a lot of reasons. Like we mentioned earlier, you can cook for lots of people on a griddle. Outdoor griddles are great for cookouts, birthday parties or any other fun, family event. Griddles also have the added advantage of being able to be used indoors, in case your backyard party gets a little too cramped.

You can cook outside or you can cook in the kitchen. Just be sure to keep the griddle at least 8 inches away from flammable objects if you choose to put it indoors. It can get hot enough to melt and/or warp things that aren't heat resistant.

Outdoor Griddles
Grilling Outdoors

Though you have to take a few safety precautions with a griddle, as you do with all grills, there are way less fire hazards with a griddle because the food is never cooked over an open flame. That alone can reduce accidents in half.

Another reason people love griddles is the ease of cleaning. There is very little scrubbing because the surface is flat and wipes clean with a damp rag. If you use a nonstick spray over the griddle before cooking that will make stuck-on food slide off even easier when you are finished.

Outdoor Griddles
Grill and Griddle combo

Having a griddle available to cook on in addition to a regular stove eye is the final reason we will list to explain why griddles are so popular. Having the flexibility to cook on multiple surfaces goes right along with being able to cook for large groups of people. Having the space to throw multiple things over heat at one time cuts down on cook time and gets hot food on the table faster!

Best Brands

We can't do a buyer's guide on griddles without sharing some of our favorite brands with you. So, let's start with our newest brand in the group, Le Griddle. The name just says it all right?

Le griddle - While Le Griddle sells their products all over the world, they are designed and manufactured in France. Their commitment to selling the best griddles possible led them to use manufacturing technology developed by the aircraft industry. This ensures that every piece that goes into their grills, and ultimately, your home, is cut with precision and made with the most up-to-date innovations.

Outdoor Griddles
Le Griddle heating set up

Blaze Grills started their company because they had a passion for outdoor living. The founding team has a combined total of 45 years in the industry. They use that experience to create the best products to elevate your outdoor experience without breaking the bank. Blaze Grills believes everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy cooking good food & relaxing outside.

Outdoor Griddles
Blaze grills built in gas griddle

Fire Magic Grills say their "grills are made by people who demand the best, for people who demand the best." So, you know when you buy from Fire Magic, you are investing in a product that will pay off for years to come. Everything they make is made from high-quality, appliance-grade stainless steel.  Fire Magic's superior technology and construction has set the standard for more than 75 years, and continue to do that today. Check out one of their best-selling griddles here.

Outdoor Griddles
Fire Magic griddle

Fuel / Operation

Before we wrap up with maintenance & shipping, let's briefly cover fuel and operational aspects of griddles.

Griddles can be powered electrically or by gas. If they are electric, it is as simple as plugging the power cord into the wall to get it turned on and ready to heat up. For gas models, you have two options. You can use either natural or propane gas. Propane tends to be easier to operate and more readily available in rural areas.

Natural gas is common in most places, though, sometimes it is hard setting up the griddle where you want it because the natural gas line isn't in a good location.

Outdoor Griddles
push button ignition

To start the appliance, you will have either an electronic ignition or a push-button flame. Electronic ignitions are more common among the products we sell. They are also a faster light, though they do tend to wear out quicker than the push-button ignition. The push-button ignition is a tried and true form of lighting that is about as durable as they come.

Care & Maintenance

Taking care of a griddle is pretty simple. All you have to do is follow a few simple steps for cleanup.

As a side note, don't let grease & food cool down before you rinse it off. It will cause it to "bake" into the griddle and become way harder to clean.

First - While the griddle is still hot, scrape back and forth with a flat metal spatula to remove excess food. Use only the flat edge of the spatula so you don't scratch the griddle.

Outdoor Griddles
scraping grease off a griddle - Images from: https://www.thepioneerwoman.com/food-cooking/cooking-tips-tutorials/a83975/how-to-clean-a-griddle/

Next - Pour water (and a drop of dish soap if your surface is really dirty) over the griddle surface. Let the water and soap bubble up to loosen the grease.

Step 3 - Fold a paper towel, place it on the surface then place the spatula on top of the paper towel. Scrub back and forth to remove the grease & water. You can repeat this step and the previous one as many times as needed.

Outdoor Griddles
cleaning griddle with paper towel - Images from: https://www.thepioneerwoman.com/food-cooking/cooking-tips-tutorials/a83975/how-to-clean-a-griddle/

Step 4: Remove the catch tray that should be full of excess food and grease. Then you are all done.


As usual, we include a section about what to be aware of when it comes to shipping. For griddles, the product is too big to be shipped by parcel. So, you will be dealing with an LTL carrier. The carrier will call you when they have the product & set up an appointment for delivery. Depending on if you bought a griddle or a griddle and a cart, it may be good to have a friend with you to help you carry the items to your kitchen or backyard. The delivery driver is only responsible for getting them off the truck. He / she will not help you take them inside.

Also, you need to make sure to remove any wrapping and inspect the product for visible damages before you sign off on the delivery receipt and take it inside. You are responsible for noticing damages and refusing the package if anything is messed up at the time of delivery.

Outdoor Griddles
shipping facility

If you find that something is damaged, make notes on the delivery receipt, take photos if you want, then sign it and refuse the shipment. This will ensure you are not blamed for damage and the carrier and/or manufacturer will take care of the problem. If you chose not to inspect the item and find damage later, you most likely will not win a case against the carrier or manufacturer for a damaged item because it was in your care for a while and able to be damaged by you.

Hopefully, you won't run into this issue and your item will arrive in perfect condition and ready to use immediately. If you have any other questions about griddles and grills, please feel free to reach out at 800.203.1642

About the Author

Collin Champagne

With over 13 years in the industry, Collin is a National Fireplace Institute (NFI) certified technician and managed content for the eFireplacestore and eCanopy brands. He has achieved the highest NFI certification possible as a Master Hearth Professional and is certified in all three hearth appliance fields: wood, gas, and pellet. With experience with sales and in-field installations, his expertise shines through his technical knowledge and way with words.

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