8 flat top grills lined up for testing

The outdoor griddle is a hot commodity in the outdoor cooking space, and it's time to determine who makes the best 36" griddle. We recently put 8 different brands to the test.

Why Trust Our Review

We have personally used every outdoor griddle mentioned in this article. Not only have we used each one, but we also used each one side-by-side so that we could best compare similar qualities. Don't just take my word for it. The evidence is in the pictures and video.

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This article was not written by AI; it was written by real humans who have actually used these products.

We have run each outdoor gas griddle through the same series of tests and will let the data speak for itself.

Though the flat top griddles themselves were supplied to us for free for this video and article, none of the manufacturers have paid to be involved or "win" this review.

We are affiliates, however, and will earn a small commission if you purchase any of these gas griddles using our link. That is one of the ways we are able to continue doing what we do, so we do appreciate your support in that way.

Our Quick Picks

Winners

Product Information

BEST FLAT TOP GRILL

Traeger flat top grill is our winner for best outdoor griddle

Traeger Flatrock

  • Huge side shelves provide ample prep space
  • Recessed griddle top protects the burners from wind
  • Baffles between burners create 3 separate heat zones

BEST GRIDDLE COMBO

Grilla Grills Primate gas grill and flat top grill combo

Grilla Grills Primate

  • The Primate is a full gas griddle and a full gas grill in one box
  • All 304 stainless steel construction
  • The recessed griddle surface protects the burners from being affected by wind

BEST BUDGET GRIDDLE

Weber 36" flat top grill

Weber 36" Griddle 

  • 756 square inches of cooking space
  • Even cooking from front to back and side to side
  • Very affordable price

BEST BUILT IN GRIDDLE

Le Griddle 30" flat top grill

Le Griddle "The Ranch Hand"

  • 304 stainless steel construction
  • Stainless steel griddle surface will never rust
  • The cast iron plate welded under the griddle provides even cooking throughout
  • Get a free gift with purchase using code: BBQLAB

How We Tested For The Best Outdoor Griddles

Time to Temp

When I'm using the griddle on a weeknight, I want to fire it up and be cooking in about 5 minutes. We set the target temperature of this test to 400 degrees, fired up each griddle on high, and used our Thermoworks Big and Loud timer to keep track of how long it took us to get to 400. Then we monitored the griddle surface temperature with our Thermoworks Infrared Thermometer.

You can see in this chart below how long it took for each of the outdoor griddles we tested to reach 400° on the surface.

Griddle

Time to 400°

Pit Boss Ultimate Lift-Off Griddle

05:27

Grilla Grills Primate

05:38

Weber 36" Griddle

05:40

Blackstone 36" Griddle

05:48

LoCo Cookers 36" Griddle

06:07

Traeger Flatrock

06:18

Halo Elite 4B

06:25

Camp Chef Flat Top 600

08:43

Testing for Hot Spots

Time to temperature, BTU's, heat zones and more are all fine and good, but here's a test designed to check the evenness of the flat top griddle heat.

We set each grill to 350 degrees as measured by our Thermoworks IR gun, then covered the entire griddle surface with white bread from our local bakery outlet. We set the Big and Loud timer to 5 minutes and sat back to smell the toast.

At the 5-minute mark, here's how the toast on each flat top griddle looked. You can certainly judge for yourselves, but our opinion was that the Traeger Flatrock and the Weber griddle displayed the most even temperature distribution.

Pit Boss portable griddle bread test results

Pit Boss Ultimate

LoCo outdoor griddle bread test results

LoCo Cookers

Halo flat top grill bread test results

Halo Elite 4B

Grilla Grills gas grill and griddle combo griddle bread test results

Grilla Grills Primate

Blackstone flat top grill bread test results

Blackstone 36"

Camp Chef gas griddle bread test results

Camp Chef 600

Weber outdoor griddle bread test results

Weber 36"

Traeger flat top grill bread test results

Traeger Flatrock

Wind Test

We're based in the Midwest, and it's rare that we're cooking without wind as a part of the equation. It's been annoying to me that some outdoor griddles have a hard time functioning in the wind, so we wanted to test these 8 griddles with an artificial wind test to see how they fared.

We picked up a fan that we could set to the perfect height on the left side of the gas griddle and set it to medium-low speed. We heated the griddle top to 400 degrees in the middle and let the bacon cook until it was ready to turn over.

Testing the Blackstone griddle with wind from a fan

Here's what we saw from each flat top griddle after we turned the bacon.

Composite of bacon cooked on the Camp Chef, Weber, Halo, and Blackstone in windy conditions
Composite of bacon cooked on the Traeger Flatrock, Grilla Grills Primate, Pit Boss, and LoCo Cookers in windy conditions

The 3 flat top griddles that resisted the wind the best of the group were the Traeger Flatrock, with just a minute difference in the length of the bacon, but same color all across, the Grilla Grills Primate, with almost zero noticeable difference between pieces, and the Halo Elite 4B, with which you can't tell a difference between the left side where the fan is from the right side with no wind. If you live in an area where wind is a common factor in your outdoor cooking, these three flat-top grills came out on top for us in resisting a good wind.

Sear Ability

One of the things I wanted to know was what kind of a sear these gas griddles could put on a smash burger. I picked up some grass-fed 80/20 beef and made 2 three-ounce patties for each glat top griddle. I set the griddles to 500 degrees and smashed burgers on each one. After the smash, I set our Big and Loud timer to a 60-second countdown, and here's how things looked after the flip.

Composite of smash burgers on 4 flat top grills
Composite of smash burgers on 4 flat top grills

Overall, every one of these griddles can sear a smash burger. The only real standout for me was the Pit Boss enameled surface for not getting the same "stick" on the burger, that Malliard reaction where smashed burgers get their glorious crust. On the Pit Boss, it wasn't the same sear as the cold rolled steel griddle tops, but that doesn't mean it was bad, it just means that it was different from the enameled top, and it's worth noting.

Cooking a Full Meal

Testing the individual qualities of a flat top griddle is all fine and good, but the true test is how all of those things work together to help us cook a full meal for our families.

Cooking on an outdoor gas griddle happens quickly so it's important to have the prep space for everything we need. Sometimes we need the ability to cook different foods at different temperatures. So our final test of these griddles was cooking a full meal of chicken fajitas.

We set each gas griddle up with 3 different heat zones, veggies cooking at high heat, chicken cooking at medium heat, and tortillas warming over low heat. We set all of the raw ingredients on one shelf and held dishes waiting for cooked food on the other.

Halo Elite side shelves in use
Pit Boss shelves in use

The Traeger, LoCo, Halo, and Weber all managed to hold everything we needed just fine on their side shelves. The Blackstone, Grilla Grills, Camp Chef and Pit Boss have smaller shelves, and we had to be a bit creative in how we fit everything.

In this test, every outdoor gas griddle cooked the exact same amount of veggies and chicken. Overall, all 8 griddles could handle fajitas for a family of 4 without any trouble. If you take the warming of the tortillas out of the equation, there's plenty of room on all of these griddles to cook for 10 or more people, warming tortillas after the meat and veggies come off the griddle.

Composite of fajitas cooked on 4 different flat top grills
Composite of fajitas cooked on 4 different flat top grills

The Results of Our Flat Top Grill Testing

Best Flat Top Grill: Traeger Flatrock

Traeger flat top grill

Griddle Feature

Measurement

Cooking Surface

594 square inches

Cooking Height

37.5"

Number of Burners

3-burner 43,500 BTUs

Warranty

5 years

What we like:

  • We absolutely love the side shelves on the Traeger Flatrock. They are nice and huge when you want them, but fold down easily when you don't. They can also utilize the Traeger pop and lock system for additional storage, though we don't have any of those accessories to demonstrate.
  • The grease bucket on the Flatrock uses the same grease bucket liners used in their pellet grills, so it's substantial in size, which we appreciate. We also love that it's secured nicely under the griddle top and will not be collecting rainwater when the griddle is left uncovered.
  • The griddle is recessed, meaning that this flat top performs flawlessly on a windy day.
  • During our bread test the Flatrock demonstrated even cooking from front to back and side to side.
  • We absolutely love the idea of the propane tank sensor that will help you understand how much propane is left in the tank.
  • There are baffle plates between the burners allowing for 3 distinct zones of cooking.
  • Traeger offers a 5-year warranty on this griddle. That's impressive and confidence-boosting.

What we don't like:

  • We have never managed to get our propane tank sensor to work properly, even after multiple calls with customer service and new parts being installed.
  • We don't love the placement of the grease trap hole and find that it sometimes interferes with our cook.

If the Flatrock price is within your budget, you will not be disappointed with this griddle. You won't have to worry about the weather, there's tons of space to set stuff when you're cooking. You can cook in up to 3 different temperature zones. I don't know about you, but it checks all the boxes we're looking for in an outdoor griddle.

Best Griddle Combo: Grilla Grills Primate

The Grilla Grills Primate is a regular gas grill and griddle combo with high quality stainless steel construction

Griddle Feature

Measurement

Cooking Surface

490 square inches

Cooking Height

36.5"

Number of Burners

4-burner 60,000 BTUs

Warranty

4 years

What we like:

  • The Grilla Grills Primate is both a gas griddle and a gas grill in one box. The griddle easily pulls out to replace with stainless steel grill grates. There's even a 2/3 griddle available so that you can have griddle and grill options in place simultaneously if you want.
  • This is the only fully stainless steel cart and lid in the bunch and this unit is solid.
  • The griddle is recessed, protecting the burners from wind so we were able to achieve an even cook on the bacon even with a fan blowing from the side.
  • The 4 year warranty from Grilla Grills gives buyers additional confidence in their purchase.
  • The Primate can easily convert to a built-in griddle with Grilla Grills outdoor kitchen modular pieces.
  • The Grilla Grills Primate gives a pretty even cook from front to back and side to side.
  • It includes a paper towel holder.

What we don't like:

  • The Primate gives us the smallest cooking space out of all the griddles.

If you're trying to decide between a gas grill and a griddle because you only have room for one, the answer is quite simply: Grilla Grills Primate. In my opinion most combo grills fall under "Jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none" but the Primate is definitely an exception. Grilla Grills builds high-quality outdoor cooking appliances and in the case of the Primate, you get two for the price of one.

Read our full Grilla Grills Primate review.

Best Budget Griddle: Weber 36" Griddle

Weber 36" griddle

Griddle Feature

Measurement

Cooking Space

756 square inches

Cooking Height

35.75"

Number of Burners

4-burner 60,000 BTUs

Warranty

5 years

What we like:

  • The price is very affordable.
  • It is very spacious with 756 square inches of space to cook.
  • This flat-top offers even heat distribution from front to back and side to side.
  • The removable grease trap is protected from the elements, safely stored underneath the gas griddle.
  • The bottom shelf provides additional storage space when the side shelves aren't enough.

What we don't like:

  • The Weber griddle does not perform well in windy conditions.
  • The shelves do not fold down.

All-in-all, the Weber 36" griddle is a solid choice at this budget-friendly price. It doesn't come with many of the bells and whistles found on some of the other models we tested and the price reflects that. But even at the lowest price in this group, the gas griddle itself outperformed some of the higher-price models.

Best Built-In Griddle: Le Griddle "The Ranch Hand"

Le Griddle flat top grill utilizes a stainless steel griddle plate with a cast iron plate fused to the under side

Griddle Feature

Measurement

Cooking Space

464 square inches

Fuel

propane or natural gas

Number of Burners

2 U-shaped burners 18,000 BTUs

Warranty

5 years

What we like:

  • Le Griddle uses 304 Stainless steel construction all throughout.
  • There is a large cast iron plate welded to the bottom of the stainless steel griddle that helps with heat distribution.
  • The removable grease tray sits at the front of the griddle, not interfering at all with the cooking surface.
  • Cleaning the stainless steel griddle is simply done by dropping ice cubes on the hot surface and allowing the steam to break loose the cooked particles.
  • There is a 5-year warranty on the burners and a lifetime warranty on the stainless steel.
  • A cart is available for purchase if you aren't planning on building it into an outdoor kitchen.
  • Though there are ventilation holes along each side, the burners are largely protected from the wind.

What we don't like:

  • The lid must be purchased separately.

We've been using our Le Griddle 30" gas griddle in our outdoor kitchen for about 3 years now. We use it all the time, probably 4-5 times a week, easily. I have utmost confidence that this griddle will last the long haul out there and when you install appliances in an outdoor kitchen you want products that will last. If you're planning to build an outdoor kitchen, I can't recommend the Le Griddle enough for your built-in griddle.

Be sure to use the code: BBQLAB to get a free gift with purchase

Halo Elite 4B Outdoor Griddle

The Halo Elite Outdoor griddle has an innovative rear grease management system

Griddle Feature

Measurement

Cooking Space

720 square inches

Cooking Height

37.25"

Number of Burners

4-burner 48,000 BTUs

Warranty

5 years

What we like:

  • We love the rear grease management system that doesn't interfere at all with the cooking surface.
  • We REALLY love the spatula squeegee in the grease trap where you can scrape the residue off of your spatula and the debris will just fall into the grease bucket.
  • The griddle separates from the cart pretty easily to make this a portable flat-top grill.
  • This was probably the easiest of the 8 griddles to assemble.
  • The side shelves are pretty large and have grooves where the Halo griddle tools can stick to them magnetically.
  • It includes a level and a magnetic wrench to adjust the wheels so you can always make sure that your Halo griddle is level before lighting it up.
  • There is a warming rack built into the lid of the griddle.
  • The griddle is recessed, protecting the burners from exposure to the wind so we were able to achieve an even cook even when a fan was directly blowing on it.
  • Halo offers a 5 year warranty that is certainly impressive.

What we don't like:

  • While the grease bucket is somewhat covered, it still is exposed and would certainly collect rainwater if left out.

Blackstone 36" Griddle with Air Fryer and Cabinets

This blackstone griddle includes all the extras you can imagine

Griddle Feature

Measurement

Cooking Surface

769 square inches

Cooking Height

37.5"

Number of Burners

4-burner 60,000 BTUs

Warranty

1 year

What we like:

  • This Blackstone griddle model comes with ample storage, not only in the form of a cabinet but more importantly drawers. We love all the extra space to store griddle tools and accessories when not in use.
  • The bonus feature of air fryers is something I didn't realize I wanted to go with my griddle, but by golly, it sure does come in handy! We love it when the entire meal can be cooked outside, and the addition of 2 air fryers and a warming drawer really make that even more possible.
  • This Blackstone griddle has a ton of cooking space available.
  • We love the location of the grease trap and that it doesn't really take away from the usable cooking surface of the griddle.
  • All the extra accessories that come with this unit, from paper towel holder, trash bag holder, cutting board, tool hooks, and magnetic shelves for tools, make this individual griddle into virtually a whole outdoor kitchen in one.

What we don't like:

  • The one-year warranty is disappointing and does not give me a lot of faith in the longevity of this griddle.
  • The grease bucket is exposed to the elements so it will collect rainwater if the griddle is left uncovered.
  • This was probably the most difficult gas griddle to assemble out of the 8 we tested because of the cabinets, drawers, and air fryers.
  • We were surprised by the uneven heating of the cooking surface. It was clearly much hotter in the center than the outer edges of the griddle surface.
  • The side shelves are a bit small for my liking. While there is a ton of space for storage in the cabinet and drawers, there isn't enough space to keep food while we're actively cooking.
  • The Blackstone griddle struggles to cook evenly in windy conditions.

LoCo Cookers 36" Griddle Series II

LoCo Cookers 36" Gas Griddle

Griddle Feature

Measurement

Cooking Space

738 square inches

Cooking Height

40"

Number of Burners

3-burner 46000 BTUs

Warranty

1 year

What we like:

  • The side shelves are nice and large, just the way I like them, with plenty of room to hold everything I need for my cook.
  • The digital knobs are cool, but more importantly, the temperature regulation technology in the burners is impressive and not typically seen in outdoor griddles.
  • I love that the grease bucket is completely tucked into the cabinet cart, protected from the elements.
  • There are baffle plates between the burners to separate the different cooking zones.
  • We love the large wheels that make this a breeze to move around.
  • Not only does it come with a paper towel holder tucked under the left shelf, but there is also an arm that secures the paper towel from unraveling.

What we don't like:

  • The grease trap hole is quite small and can be tricky to get all the grease and debris to exit the griddle top.
  • We were not able to achieve an even cook from front to back and side to side.
  • The LoCo gas griddle only comes with a 1-year warranty. With the additional technology built into this model, that makes me a little uneasy.

Pit Boss 3-burner Ultimate Lift-Off Griddle

Pit Boss portable gas griddle

Griddle Feature

Measurement

Cooking Space

536 square inches

Cooking Height

35"

Number of Burners

3-burner 36,000 BTUs

Warranty

2 years

What we like:

  • This is a super portable flat-top grill that easily separates from the cart.
  • The griddle's cooking surface is enamel which makes for a real easy cleanup and there's no need to season it.
  • The grease bucket is tucked in under the griddle surface, protecting it from potentially collecting rain if left uncovered.
  • The Pit Boss Ultimate Lift-Off Griddle heats up to the desired temperature quickly.

What we don't like:

  • This portable gas griddle doesn't perform well on a windy day.
  • This Pit Boss griddle struggled to cook evenly from front to back and side to side.
  • The side shelves are pretty small and low compared to the others.

Camp Chef Flat Top Grill 600

Camp Chef Flat Top Grill 600

Griddle Feature

Measurement

Cooking Space

604 square inches

Cooking Height

36"

Number of Burners

4-burner 48,000 BTUs

Warranty

1 year

What we like:

  • The price is very affordable.
  • Camp Chef flat top grills come pre-seasoned so we were able to use it right away without that additional step.
  • This griddle can be converted to natural gas if desired.
  • The additional shelves below add some extra storage when the side shelves prove to not be enough.

What we don't like:

  • I don't care for the grease management system of this outdoor gas griddle. There is a trough the full length of the front of the griddle that collects grease and then it runs down to the collection container that is fully exposed to rain. I find it difficult to get the trough cleaned out.
  • The Camp Chef griddle is more difficult to move because it has 2 wheels and 2 legs that have to be lifted to move.
  • The lid feels flimsy and awkward.
  • The Camp Chef flat top grill made a lot of popping noises while pre-heating.
  • Camp Chef only gives a 1 year warranty on this product.

How To Choose The Best Outdoor Griddle For You

We did a full week of testing 8 griddles and in the process, we were able to conclude what our favorite (or favorites) were from the bunch. The thing is, we don't necessarily use outdoor gas griddles the same way you might. And the things we care about might be different from the things you care about. So you and I might look at the exact same data and reach different conclusions about which flat-top we prefer.

Here are a few questions we recommend asking to help you decide which griddle is right for you.

How much cooking space do I need?

Outdoor gas griddles come in a variety of sizes and it can be difficult to decide what the perfect size might be for you. You don't want to go too big and have a cooking appliance that takes up too much patio space, but you also don't want to go too small, limiting what you can cook on your new griddle.

Before you commit to a particular griddle size, I recommend making a list of 5-10 foods or meals you plan on cooking on your griddle. Does your list consist of mostly single-course foods or do you find that you're wanting to cook full meals?

In our experience, we often run out of space when cooking a full meal on a griddle, so more space is better for us.

What is the heat source for a flat-top grill?

Most flat-top grills on the market are heated by propane or natural gas burners below the griddle surface. These burners can come in all shapes, sizes, and BTUs.

Sometimes the arrangement of burners results in hot spots and cool spots that present challenges when cooking. Other times the arrangement is just right for even cooking front to back and side to side.

When shopping for your next outdoor gas griddle, take a look under the hood to see what the burner situation is.

How is grease managed?

Flat-top cooking often produces grease and food debris that needs a place to go, so manufacturers have designed their griddles to channel grease into some type of removable grease tray. The location of the grease trap varies from griddle to griddle; some in the front, and some in the back. As you compare each grease management system here are some things to consider:

  1. How much cooking surface is lost to the grease trap and does it look like food might accidentally get lost down that hole while cooking? There's nothing worse than accidentally knocking a shrimp down the grease trap.
  2. Is the removable grease tray exposed to the elements? If the griddle is left uncovered and it rains, will the grease tray collect rainwater?
  3. What's the capacity of the grease tray? Will it need to be emptied after every cook?

How will the flat-top grill perform in windy conditions?

Not all outdoor gas griddles perform equally in windy conditions. Many griddles are built with a gap between the griddle surface and the burners below for airflow. These griddles struggle to perform well in windy conditions.

There are some flat-top grills available with a recessed griddle surface, protecting the burners from exposure to the wind. These flat-top griddles perform equally regardless of the wind.

I highly recommend choosing an outdoor griddle that will perform well on a windy day.

How much prep and storage space will I need?

Griddle cooking is typically hot and fast. Emphasis on the fast.

It is important to have all your ducks in a row before you start cooking because you can't generally leave your food on the hot griddle surface and run back inside to grab something. Not only do you need to have all your ingredients and cooking utensils ready, but you also need to have your clean dish or dishes to transfer the cooked food into when it's done cooking.

This is why sufficient shelf space is absolutely critical in my opinion. Unless you want to have to set up a table every time you cook on your griddle, your griddle shelves need to be able to accommodate the tools and ingredients for the job.

Do I need to season my outdoor gas griddle before I use it?

Most carbon steel outdoor griddles will need to be seasoned before use unless clearly labeled "pre-seasoned" in the manual. Stainless steel griddle surfaces do not require seasoning.

The seasoning process will help your griddle develop a non-stick cooking surface as well as help protect your griddle from rust, extending the life of your flat-top grill.

What Griddle Care and Maintenance is required?

Treat your carbon steel griddle surface the same way you would your favorite cast iron pan. Season it with oil (several layers) before first use, don't wash with soap, but instead, use water and an abrasive scrub tool to remove any food debris, and reseason with oil after each use. Failure to reseason your griddle surface after each use may result in rust developing.

How long is the warranty?

As with any outdoor cooking equipment, I gain a lot of my buying confidence from the warranty. Most people don't plan to make these purchases repeatedly every year, so when a company backs their product with a robust warranty that tells me that they have the confidence their product will outlive that time span. The longer the warranty, the more likely I am to choose that brand over another.