When it comes to outdoor cooking, the debate between traditional barbecue grills and flat top grills is a hot topic. If you're considering adding a new grill to your patio or backyard, you might be wondering: is a flat top grill the right choice for you? In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the benefits and considerations of owning a flat top grill to help you make an informed decision.

Key Takeaways:

  • Flat top grills offer a large cooking surface and even heat distribution, making them ideal for cooking multiple items at once.
  • They are versatile, allowing you to cook a wide range of foods from breakfast to dinner.
  • Maintenance and cleanup are typically easier with flat top grills compared to traditional grates.

What is a Flat Top Grill?

Flat top grills, also known as griddles, are characterized by a large, flat cooking surface made of steel. Unlike traditional barbecue grills that have grates, flat top grills provide a smooth surface that's perfect for cooking a variety of foods. Brands like Blackstone have popularized the flat top grill, often referred to as the Blackstone griddle, making it a common sight in many backyards.

These grills are heated from below by burners that provide even heat distribution across the surface. This feature is particularly beneficial when cooking foods that require consistent temperatures, such as pancakes or eggs. The flat surface also makes it easy to use cookware like pots and pans, further expanding the range of meals you can prepare.

Versatility in Cooking

One of the biggest advantages of flat top grills is their versatility. Whether you're in the mood for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, these grills can handle it all. You can whip up some pancakes and bacon for breakfast, grill burgers for lunch, and even stir-fry vegetables for dinner. The large cooking surface allows you to cook multiple items simultaneously, saving you time and making it fun to mix and match different tastes for your meals.

Restaurants often use flat top grills for their ability to create a wide array of dishes. From searing meats to sautéing vegetables, the flat top grill can do it all. This versatility is also a huge plus for home cooks who love to entertain friends and family. You can easily cater to different dietary preferences and cooking styles with just one appliance.

The Seasoning Process

Seasoning is an essential part of maintaining a flat top grill. The process involves coating the steel cooking surface with oil and heating it to create a non-stick layer. This not only improves the flavor of your foods but also protects the grill from rust and wear. The seasoning process is simple and, once done, makes cleanup a breeze.

While some may see seasoning as an extra step, it's actually a one-time process that reaps long-term benefits. Seasoned grills are easier to cook on and maintain, and the flavors they impart to your foods can rival those of any high-end restaurant.

Size and Storage

When considering a flat top grill, think about the size of the cooking surface and the storage space you have available. Flat top grills come in various sizes, from compact models that are perfect for small patios to larger ones with extensive cooking surfaces. Many models come with shelves and storage space for grilling accessories, which can be a huge plus.

Before making a purchase, measure your outdoor cooking area to ensure the grill will fit comfortably. Also, consider how you will store the grill when it's not in use. Some flat top grills come with a hood or cover, which can protect the grill from the elements and make it easier to keep outdoors.

Health Benefits of Cooking on a Flat Top Grill

When it comes to preparing food, the health aspect is often a priority for customers. Cooking on a flat top grill can be a healthier option compared to traditional grilling methods. The flat surface allows for even heat distribution, which means you can cook with less oil and still prevent food from sticking. This method reduces the intake of excess fats, making it a heart-friendly choice for those who love BBQ but are health-conscious.

Moreover, the flat top grill's design enables the cooking of a variety of foods without the need for multiple pots and pans. You can easily prepare a week's worth of meal prep with lean proteins, an array of vegetables, and even whole grains, all on the same surface. This not only simplifies the cooking process but also encourages a balanced diet by making it convenient to include a variety of food groups in your BBQ sessions.

The Social Aspect of Flat Top Grilling

Flat top grills have become a top seller for those who love to entertain. The expansive cooking surface is ideal for hosting gatherings where food becomes a social experience. Customers often find that the communal aspect of cooking together on a flat top grill enhances the overall enjoyment of the meal. It's not just about the food; it's about the memories created around the grill.

Imagine a sunny weekend afternoon, the aroma of sizzling food fills the air, and laughter echoes as friends and family join in the cooking process. A flat top grill allows everyone to get involved, whether flipping burgers or sautéing vegetables. It's a way to turn a meal into an event, and that's why many consider a flat top grill an essential element for any social BBQ enthusiast.

Maintenance and Cleanup

The flat design of these grills makes them inherently easier to clean than traditional barbecue grills. There are no grates to scrub, and drippings are typically collected in a grease management system. After cooking, simply scrape off the leftover bits and wipe down the surface. Regular maintenance will keep your flat top grill in great condition and ready for your next barbecue.

Additionally, the steel surface is durable and can withstand heavy use, meaning less time spent on repairs and more time enjoying your grill. With proper care, a flat top grill can last for many years, making it a valuable addition to your outdoor cooking arsenal.


When it comes to price, flat top grills can range from affordable to high-end, depending on the brand, size, and features. It's important to consider the value you're getting for your money. While some may have a higher upfront cost, the durability and versatility of a flat top grill can save you money in the long run.

Moreover, you might find that you prefer using your flat top grill over your stove for many meals, which can reduce wear and tear on your indoor appliances. Keep an eye out for deals at stores like Walmart, especially during clearance events or special sales in September, to get the best price on your grill.

Customer Reviews and Feedback

Before making a purchase, it's wise to read customer reviews and feedback. Look for comments on the even heat distribution, the ease of the seasoning process, and the overall satisfaction with the cooking experience. Reviews can also provide insight into the quality of customer service provided by the company, shipping times, and any issues with assembly or instructions.

Sites like Amazon often have a wealth of customer reviews that can help you gauge the popularity and performance of different flat top grill models. Take the time to research and compare to ensure you're making a well-informed decision.

The Perfect Gift for the Grill Enthusiast

If you have a friend or family member who loves to grill, a flat top grill can be the perfect gift. It's a unique addition to their outdoor cooking setup and offers a new way to enjoy their favorite hobby. With the holiday season or special occasions like birthdays, gifting a flat top grill can be a thoughtful and appreciated gesture.

Remember to consider the recipient's available space and cooking preferences. A grill with a range of features and ample cooking surface will surely be a hit for those who love to entertain and experiment with different foods.


Flat top grills are a fantastic investment for those who love outdoor cooking and value versatility, ease of maintenance, and even heat distribution. They allow you to cook a wide variety of foods, from breakfast to dinner, and can make meal preparation more efficient and enjoyable. While the initial cost may be higher than some traditional grills, the long-term benefits and savings can make it a worthwhile purchase. Before buying, consider the size, storage, and maintenance requirements, and don't forget to check customer reviews for insights on performance and satisfaction.

FAQ Section

Q: How often do I need to season my flat top grill?

A: You should season your flat top grill before the first use and whenever the surface starts to lose its non-stick properties or after a thorough cleaning. Regular light seasoning after each use can help maintain the non-stick surface.

Q: Can I cook the same foods on a flat top grill that I would on a traditional barbecue grill?

A: Yes, you can cook most of the same foods on a flat top grill that you would on a barbecue grill. However, foods that benefit from the smoky flavor of a traditional grill may taste different when cooked on a flat top.

Q: Is it difficult to assemble a flat top grill?

A: Assembly requirements vary by brand and model. Some flat top grills come mostly assembled, while others may require more effort. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions, and consider checking online tutorials or customer reviews for tips on assembly.

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Flat top grills are all the rage right now and for good reason. I’ll show you how to pick the perfect one for you.
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