Normally, when it comes to cooking, it’s definitely a woman’s world. No arguing there. Cooking is HARD work, so next time you are about to shout, “Where’s my dinner, renna?” I suggest that you think twice. But when it comes to grilling, it’s a man’s domain and I’m feeling good. And the reason why is that we are so particular about grilling a perfect batch of short ribs? Simple: it’s the one thing we are extremely good at, Blackstone Griddle, well . . . that’s what my wife keeps telling me.
So since when did I become so possessive and defensive about grilling as a man’s domain? All I can say is that I contemplated camping out in the backyard and bought my first grill when I was 21. Mom was a hard sell and it took a lot of convincing to finally bring an ordinary, one burner grill home. My first grill and surprise-surprise, I cooked the best coffee rub grill (had to take it up a notch because I wanted to let my dad know that he made a good investment).
Since then, I have changed a lot of grills and here I am, with a new one that I bought just few days ago: The Blackstone 36 inch Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle Station . I believe that this is the best purchase I have ever made so far. What caught my eye in this grill are the features Blackstone offered. Let me ask you a question: When you think about buying your ideal grill, what is the first feature that comes to your mind? For me, it was the combination of grill/griddle that got me really excited. As compared to Blackstone’s competition, the company has focused on convenience and provided two options in one grill. Is it worth the price? Definitely! Are there better grills than this? Yes. However, at a very reasonable price, you won’t get a finer grill than this.
The grill is lightweight, has four burners, an electronic ignition, tank storage, grease catcher and two preparing stations. This grill is pretty simple to operate but has one drawback: maintenance. Don’t let a minor drawback get in your way of making a final decision. So, what is Blackstone offering at such a low price that makes this grill worth buying? Below, I will discuss all features of this grill, so that you can get a better picture. I will tell you what it does, how it does and insight into how you can keep the grill easily maintained. Let’s begin.
It wasn’t the design that sold me on this grill, I can tell you that. The Blackstone 36 Inch Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle Station looks like a work bench. At first glance, it looked like as if a black bench top had been placed on a shopping cart to create a table. I admit, usually low price grills are not that great looking but they fulfil a far better purpose, i.e., feeding your whole family and grilling your food properly. In the case of high-end grills, the price and the features might make you feel that you have justified your budget, but the truth is that you spend a lot on something that you could easily do without.
The Blackstone 36 inch Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle Station burners are stainless steel and all the other components are made of high-quality steel and powder coated to prevent rust. The grill weighs 120 pounds and can be easily loaded in the back of your car by folding the legs. It hardly takes ten minutes to set up the grill and you can start cooking as soon as the burners are on. The main grilling area is 720 sq inches and with the preparation tables on both sides, the grill measures 39.97″ X 24.21″.
If you look at Blackstone’s website, you will find that the company has been working since 2005 to provide customers with grills that allow them to cook large meals for their families or parties. The first product that the company launched was the 36″ griddle. Blackstone Griddle has become quite popular in providing grills for outdoor cooking enthusiasts. Today, their griddles dominate the camping market and people are saying that Blackstone products are reasonably priced, high quality and the ideal products for cooking on trips.
I found the Blackstone 36 Inch Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle Station lacking in a core feature that might set it apart from other grills. Though, it does not have that ‘wow feature’, the griddle as a whole, more than makes up for it. Don’t get me wrong, I found the griddle extremely satisfying; otherwise, I wouldn’t have bought it. However, I just wished it had the “Flavorizer Bars” that are trending nowadays in grills. Let’s talk about all its important features:
Blackstone Griddle – Electronic Ignition
The electric spark igniter adds a safe touch to the grill. It allows you to start your grill immediately after assembling and the surface heat ups within minutes.
Stainless Steel Burners – Adjustable Heat Zones
One of the best features of this grill is the burners. They are made of stainless steel so, you don’t have to worry about rust when they are touched with greasy hands. The adjustable heat zones give you the ease of maintaining the cooking surface’s heat level. There’s enough space to cook around twenty-eight meat patties. In fact, you can cook various food items at once and adjust the burners to keep some of the food items war, while you cook the others. Each burner has a 15,000 BTU output and with the four burners combined, the total output is 60,000 BTU.
Expansive Cooktop – Steel Grates
The reason why the Blackstone 36 inch Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle Station is priced lower than other grills is that the company has tried to cut the cost by adding steel grates to the grill, instead of cast iron grates. The grate has a six gauge steel surface that is thick enough for heat retention. The griddle thickness is somewhat similar to that of cast iron, so there was no loss in taste. The ribs were perfectly juicy and they were thickly coated in the seasoning I had applied. The cooking time is also same to a cast iron because of the burners and their high BTU output.
I believe that Blackstone Griddle did quite a good job with the design and provided the same features of a high-end grill. I appreciate their idea to cut costs, so that people can afford it but what I appreciate more is that they didn’t lose sight of quality while doing this. It’s quite easy to remove the grill if you are thinking about using the griddle. This grill is by far the easiest machinery I have come across. If it wasn’t for my wife, I would gladly remove the stove and install this in its place. It might mean sleeping on the couch for a week or maybe the rest of my life but the food would be worth it !!
Secure Footing – 4 Castors
With the help of the castor wheels, it’s easy to drag this grill wherever you want. The Blackstone 36 inch Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle Station has four castor wheels. Two of which can be locked to park the grill. The legs can be folded easily so you can place the grill in the trunk or in the backseat of your car. I found the wheels a nice touch because it’s easy to swivel the grill. Trust me; you haven’t experienced the deadliest kind of back pain until you have tried to handle a grill in the middle of your backyard, with no one to help !
Hose and Regulator
The reason I’m a big fan of propane gas grills is that you can carry the tank anywhere with you. It’s really no trouble because you don’t have to worry about connecting long hoses to the main gas line in your kitchen, it’s obviously much safer. The grill comes with a hose and a regulator. The regulator allows you to control the flow of propane and measures the temperature accurately. To make sure that the tank does not fall or roll away, there’s a catcher on the left side where you can secure the tank.
Maintenance System – Grease Catcher
Now that we are done with the details, let’s get down to the last one that has proven too greasy. Not kidding! The only problem I experienced with this grill is its grease management system. Yes, there’s this small box that collects all the grease that makes cleaning easier but there’s little truth to this. The grease system is one big mess. The grease tray does not have the right slope for the grease to flow there. Due to this, the grease often collects at the end of the griddle and becomes hard.
Sometimes, if you are cooking for a large party, the overload of grease starts dripping. For this, you need to keep a tray underneath to catch the droplets.
The griddle has already been seasoned, so there’s no worry of rust or the non-stick surface getting destroyed. However, you do need an hour to clean everything from top to bottom. You can always buy a griddle cleaner , that is relativity cheap.
I am not leaving you hanging here. There’s a process to cleaning this grill when it arrives at your house and when you are done with cooking. I’m going to explain both, so that you understand why the former cleaning is necessary and how the latter cleaning must be done:
Cleaning On Arrival
When the grill arrives, the griddles are already seasoned with oil and wrapped in light plastic to prevent damage during shipping. After removing the plastic wrap, if you still see the griddle glistening with oil, just turn the griddle on to the highest heat and burn off the residue. To clean the burned residue, wash the griddle with soapy water. Remember, this is the first and the last time you will use soap on it. Let the griddle dry and wipe it with a towel. Don’t be alarmed if you see some color on the towel.
Cleaning After Cooking
When you are done with cooking, before the griddle cools down, scrape off the excess food with a spatula. If there are hard food substances stuck to it, then pour water on the griddle and let it boil. Let the water drain away and wipe the surface with a paper towel. If you still see food residue on the griddle, then sprinkle the griddle with ¼ cup of table salt and scrape it off after a few minutes.
Seasoning must be done before and after every use. Here Seasoning is done for two reasons: The first is for preserving the food’s taste while cooking and the second is to prevent the griddle from rust. The seasoning is best done when the griddle is room temperature. Follow these instructions then:
- Dry the griddle
- Dip a clean cooking brush in cooking oil and apply a thick, even layer of it onto the griddle
- Keep the griddle in a dry place
If you find rust forming on the griddle, then rub the surface with a low grain sandpaper. It’s best to season the grill every now and then if you haven’t used the grill in a long time.
Another thing I was disappointed with was the warranty. Any defects in the craftsmanship and materials have a warranty of ninety days, starting from the purchase date. As for the griddle, it has a warranty of one year and any defected parts will be replaced by Blackstone Griddle.
So, that’s it. This was my experience with the Blackstone 36 Inch Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle Station. I have read many reviews on the internet about this grill and so far the grease management system is the only problem people are complaining about.
Other than these two small problems, this griddle is definitely worth its price tag. The four burners and the thickness of the griddle more than makes up for the faults of the grease channel. The grill’s base is strong and the legs are sturdy, which makes the entire package extremely durable. All you need to do is unfold the legs, screw the side shelf, bottom tray and the side handle.
The Blackstone 36 inch Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle Station has a lot of power, which is what makes it a good grill. This restaurant grade quality grill is the model you need for cooking a tasty barbecue. It makes a great piece of furniture in our backyard , great for parties, family get together and also camping. If you love cooking outside, then this grill is worth considering, the price doesn’t hurt and it offers great features and high cooking quality !