8 Best Outdoor Griddles Of 2023, Tested & Reviewed
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8 Best Outdoor Griddles Of 2023, Tested & Reviewed

May 05, 2024

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Never worry about food falling through the grates again.

An outdoor griddle is one of the most versatile cooking appliances you can own. They're good for everything from pancakes to mouthwatering smash burgers. “Unlike standard gas or charcoal grills that have gaps between the grates, these flat top grills offers a solid cooking surface, making them suitable for a wider range of foods, including those that might fall through grill grates, like eggs or smaller vegetables,” says Erica Blaire Roby, an award-winning pitmaster and owner of Blue Smoke Blaire's BBQ. She adds that, “there's less risk of fat drippings causing flare-ups, which can char food."

And that’s not all: Outdoor griddles are built to cook foods evenly and quickly and are easier to clean once you're done scarfing it all down. Simply grab a grill brush to scrape off food and grease buildup, then apply a thin coat of oil to maintain the griddle's surface quality.

For a comprehensive list of the best outdoor griddles, keep scrolling to shop expert-approved picks that will help whip up your favorite foods in a snap.

To find the best outdoor griddles, we consulted Blaire Roby for her top picks. We also tapped Nicole Papantoniou, the director of the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Kitchen Appliances & Culinary Innovation Lab, and her team of on-staff experts, including engineers, data analysts, and registered dietitians. They rigorously put everyday products to the test in their New York City-based labs to determine which ones you can trust. They assessed a series of outdoor griddles based on how evenly they cooked over several uses, how well they seared foods like steak and chicken, whether they could handle low-temperature cooking, and how easy they were to clean—among other factors like how easy they were to assemble and season.

Pit Boss' five-burner griddle is the Good Housekeeping Institute’s top pick for being sturdy, reliable, and easy to use. It’s outfitted with five burners and a powerful 62,000 BTUs, which are divided between the number of burners so the output is still manageable. With the turn of a knob, the experts say you can easily ignite each burner. Plus, the control panel is clearly labeled with temperature markings and instructions on how to use the griddle. According to Dan DiClerico, the director of the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Home Improvement and Outdoors Lab, this outdoor griddle is “well-designed and simple to assemble.” You can use the folding shelves as griddle covers when you’re not using the appliance. The handles can help you move the unit easily, while the drip tray is also accessible on the same side as the grease drainage hole. The chicken came out crispier and juicier on this griddle than in any other models the experts tested. The team noticed that the griddle discolored quickly, but note that this is common with light-colored units. To help avoid chipping or scratching this ceramic griddle, use wooden or heat-resistant nylon or silicone cooking tools. To clean, simply scrape off buildup from the surface and coat it with a thin layer of oil.

For those who want a smaller outdoor griddle that doesn’t skimp on power, Blaire Roby recommends Pit Boss’ four-burner outdoor griddle. “With four burners, you can have multiple heat zones for different cooking needs,” she says of the 46,000 BTU unit. “It also provides ample cooking space,” she says, with a near-675 square inch cooking surface. Its durability is another main draw. “Made with stainless steel burners and a thick griddle top, it's built to withstand the elements and frequent use,” says Blaire Roby. Like the brand’s five-burner model, this one also has a proprietary non-stick ceramic cooking surface that can be preserved with the use of nonstick utensils. This model offers a variety of convenient features, too. Blaire Roby particularly loves the push-and-turn ignition that helps with quick startups and says that “the side shelves provide convenient prep space or storage for utensils as well.”

Blackstone outdoor griddles are popular units, as they're usually available at “pretty approachable price points compared to most other models on the market,” says Papantoniou. “Plus, they offer key features and a basic build that delivers on performance.” This Blackstone 36-inch model features a huge cooking surface (769 square inches) and four powerful burners, as well as folding side shelves and a bottom shelf, tool holders, and a bottle opener.

The Good Housekeeping Institute experts found that bacon cooked to a nice crisp, after seasoning the cooktop, and eggs cooked gently without sticking to this griddle. The team also noticed that grease pooled to the center back of the griddle near the drainage hole, which helps “food brown better, creates less smoking, and speeds up cleanup.” Testers mention that the frame feels a little thin and that the lid can be a tad wobbly, but note that the frame is “overall solid.” They found seasoning the griddle to be simple, but note that its lighter-colored steel could likely discolor with time.

Enjoy “solid performance” and “many ease-of-use features” at a reasonable price point with Nexgrill’s four-burner griddle. It comes with drip trays on the front, as well as two drainage holes on both sides that allow for easy cleanup but can also cut down on cooking space since small foods can fall in those areas.

The Good Housekeeping team says that this griddle passed their tests by cooking a variety of foods well, like eggs, pancakes, and grilled cheese. They also liked how the unit has two side shelves featuring tool holders and a condiment caddy—which they call “underrated and quite useful features.” While seasoning the griddle did take some time, Kate Merker, the chief food director at the Good Housekeeping Institute, said that the size of the griddle was a major pro to cook a range of food quickly at once. Just make sure that the griddle is on a level surface, since she noticed that her eggs ran to one side during testing.

If you’re on the lookout for an outdoor griddle with all the latest bells and whistles, try this Traeger flat top unit. It’s on the expensive side, but the Good Housekeeping Institute likes this premium model for its “slick, easy-to-clean exterior; large, oversized folding shelves; and hinged lid and handles on either side.”It’s different than many other outdoor griddles in that it’s recessed, meaning that it sits inside the frame of the unit directly above the three U-shaped burners. This design eliminates the space between the griddle and frame, protecting the flames from wind and allowing for more even heat distribution. At the front center of the unit are large rectangular drainage holes, which direct grease into a large, enclosed container with an oversized handle that make it easy to slide in and out. For even more effortless cleanup, you can also line the container with disposable trays.

Testers found the food came out great, as eggs, veggies, and steaks all cooked well without burning on the hot surface.

The testers do mention that this outdoor griddle has an electric ignition, so you’ll need to plug it in or power it up with a battery. Once it’s plugged in, though, the griddle has flame and fuel sensors that indicate which burners are in use and how much propane is left in the tank.

The Good Housekeeping Institute recommends Weber’s 36-inch griddle for beginners due to its oversized shelves, tool holders, an amply-sized storage shelf, and hinged lid. It also has a drainage hole on the front left corner and an accessible drip tray. You can easily ignite the burners by turning each knob (instead of simultaneously having to press a button as well). Experts share that the unit offers “excellent browning” on burgers, steaks, and mushrooms. One tester especially liked how flavorful the cooked mushrooms turned out, likely since they were made on “the same surface as the meat.” The tester also liked the “size and effectiveness” of this griddle and how easy it is to use, although he did note the lid can be a bit wobbly.

Looking for a small tabletop griddle to cook up quick meals? Blackstone’s stainless steel version has two burners you can use on high heat or low heat and is powerful at 22,000 BTUs. It also weighs just 32 pounds, making it easy to transport for camping trips or picnics, too.

Like the large Blackstone model on this list, the drainage hole is at the center back of this griddle, so you have plenty of cooking space available. Since the drip pan is small, says the Good Housekeeping Institute, just don’t forget to change it often. Overall, testers note the “cooktop stands up to the durability and performance of full-sized models.”

This full-sized griddle insert allows you to griddle on any Weber Genesis or Genesis II 300 series gas grill. Simply remove your cooking grates and replace them with this insert to get the best of both worlds. You can griddle with the lid closed, which Good Housekeeping experts say makes it easier to cook thicker foods like chicken breast, and take advantage of the grill’s warming rack to keep dishes ready for serving.

This insert does come pre-seasoned, however the experts mention that they still seasoned theirs before testing since the manufacturer suggests it. This unit performed well in tests, evenly toasting bread—although the testers did note that the results were light compared to other models used on medium heat. They say this insert was great at cooking bacon, chicken breasts, steak, eggs, and asparagus. What's more, they say the drain spout in the back corner of the griddle is “easy to push grease into” and the drip pan is simple to clean.

Size: Many griddles are around 36 inches, which is a good size for feeding a crowd. If you have a smaller space or are looking for a more affordable option, consider a smaller griddle. These tend to cook food fast, so you'll need to work in batches, but they can be a budget-friendly alternative that doesn't require a lot of cooking time. And since they're smaller, they're a good option for beginners looking to ease their way into using larger hot surfaces.

Griddle material: Carbon steel is a durable and common griddle material that can reach hot temperatures. Many surfaces need to be seasoned with oil to avoid sticking and rusting. Those with ceramic coatings are easy to clean, but it’s best to use tools that are nonstick and gentle to maintain the the cooktop's quality.Lid: Outdoor griddles typically come with lids, which often aren't to be used during cooking but to cover the griddle during storage. However, the Good Housekeeping Institute recommends using a cover to protect your griddle from the elements and to prevent rusting. The team prefers hinged lids, rather than styles that hang off the side of the griddle, when not in use.Grease drainage hole: Look for a well-positioned drainage hole to make cooking and cleanup easier, says the Good Housekeeping Institute. The team prefer ones that are “big enough to scrape your spatula against.” Extra features: Look for features like “strong, oversized shelves with tool holders” and “propane holders and grease traps,” the Good Housekeeping Institute says. These are all great for making your cooking experience easier.

While griddles can cook nearly all the same foods a grill can, they won’t provide any grill marks or cook big cuts of meat like whole chicken or pork butt, says the Good Housekeeping Institute. “An outdoor griddle can be compared to the flat tops that are commonly found in restaurants,” adds Papantoniou. “They're usually freestanding and designed to be used outdoors.”

Since griddles don’t usually have covers, they’re best suited for foods that are thin and cook quickly. Cloches are a good option to help cook thicker foods, but keep in mind they may not fit all griddles and limit the amount of food you can make.

All in all, griddles and grills are great at cooking different things, so it’s pretty standard for people to have both, says the Good Housekeeping Institute. The team says that grills are more helpful for providing a smoky taste, while griddles can be especially ideal for cooking smaller foods like rice and shrimp and runnier foods like pancakes and eggs.

Outdoor griddles are great for cooking an assortment of eats thanks to their single large, flat surface. Blaire Roby recommends using them to make everything from bacon and hash browns to pancakes eggs, veggies, burgers, and sandwiches. “Shrimp and fish fillets are perfect for griddles since they don't risk falling apart like they might on a grill,” she adds.

These appliances can get really hot, allowing them to cook food quickly with a nice sear, but since they lack grates, they're much more forgiving in terms of preventing from food burning. They can also cook a lot of food at once at different temperatures, which is a major plus. You can cut on most griddle surfaces, except ceramic-coated models. The Good Housekeeping Institute says that if you do cut on them, consider using a bench scraper rather than a knife so the knife stays in good condition.

Nashia Baker is a commerce editor at Hearst covering the latest and greatest products across the home and lifestyle categories. Throughout her career, she has interviewed pitmasters and food experts to learn about top trends in the culinary world.

Nashia Baker is a commerce editor at Hearst Magazines; she covers all things home and lifestyle across brands such as Oprah Daily, Cosmopolitan, Delish, and Esquire. Before joining Hearst, she highlighted small business owners, creatives, and the best shoppable content.

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Pit Boss' five-burner griddlePit Boss’ four-burner outdoor griddleBlackstone 36-inch modelNexgrill’s four-burner griddleTraeger flat top unitWeber’s 36-inch griddleBlackstone’s stainless steel version Size:Griddle material:Lid:Grease drainage hole:Extra features:Pit Boss' five-burner griddlePit Boss’ four-burner outdoor griddleBlackstone 36-inch modelNexgrill’s four-burner griddleTraeger flat top unitWeber’s 36-inch griddleBlackstone’s stainless steel version Size:Griddle material:Lid:Grease drainage hole:Extra features:Pit Boss' five-burner griddlePit Boss’ four-burner outdoor griddleBlackstone 36-inch modelNexgrill’s four-burner griddleTraeger flat top unitWeber’s 36-inch griddleBlackstone’s stainless steel version Size:Griddle material:Lid:Grease drainage hole:Extra features:Pit Boss' five-burner griddlePit Boss’ four-burner outdoor griddleBlackstone 36-inch modelNexgrill’s four-burner griddleTraeger flat top unitWeber’s 36-inch griddleBlackstone’s stainless steel version Size:Griddle material:Lid:Grease drainage hole:Extra features:Pit Boss' five-burner griddlePit Boss’ four-burner outdoor griddleBlackstone 36-inch modelNexgrill’s four-burner griddleTraeger flat top unitWeber’s 36-inch griddleBlackstone’s stainless steel version Size:Griddle material:Lid:Grease drainage hole:Extra features:Pit Boss' five-burner griddleLength of cooktop:Cooking area:Burners: BTUsPit Boss’ four-burner outdoor griddleLength of cooktop:Cooking area:Burners:BTUsBlackstone 36-inch modelLength of cooktop:Cooking area:Burners:BTUsNexgrill’s four-burner griddleLength of cooktop:Cooking area:Burners:BTUsTraeger flat top unitLength of cooktop:Cooking area:Burners:BTUsWeber’s 36-inch griddleLength of cooktop:Cooking area:Burners:BTUsBlackstone’s stainless steel version Length of cooktop:Cooking area: Burners:BTUs:Length of cooktop:Cooking area:Burners:BTUsSize:Griddle material:Lid:Grease drainage hole:Extra features: