Camping with a large propane griddle is downright magical.
We spent a week last summer camping with four other families. By mid-week they were bringing their foods over to our site to cook on the griddle I had brought with me for the first time.
Heres why they came:
One of the true pains of camping is the meal prep. There is never enough space. Sand and dirt are unavoidable. There is wind involved. Water is a limited resource. It’s real life.
When my friends came over with the food, I didn’t have to break out a pot. We just dumped it all on the griddle. Some steamed under the steaming dome. Some seared golden on the open surface. A single utensil for all things.
When the meal is done, cleanup is simple, requires little water, and no scrubbing. I squirt a bit of water onto any spots encrusted with food, let it sizzle for a moment, and then start scraping with the spatula. This typically takes less than a minute, and all of the food goes into the grease trap with the other trash. Keep a liner in your grease trap, and you just throw it away when it fills up. Brilliant.
Given the choice between dish washing, or scraping down a griddle, I choose the griddle every time.
My friends would look over and see me cooking an entire meal, veggies, meat, potatoes, buns, on a single surface. That’s magical. When. you can feed your whole family without the fuss of multiple cooking utensils, you can see all the time you’ve saved. Just throw it all on the griddle. It easily fits a whole (large) family’s worth of food. In fact, the larger the family, the more this is a big deal.
This is an interesting point. You can cook veggies perfectly by steaming them, while at the same time getting some nice char on a griddle. That’s a game changer. It’s a power combo. The first time I showed up at a camping meal with a huge bowl of griddled veggies, people wondered how I had done it. Steam is the answer. Put a massive pile of veggies on the griddle, push them into a pile, and cover with a steaming cover. Good things come of this.
You can sear a delectable burger side by side with the steaming veggies. Let that sink in. Same surface, totally different applications. It’s good to have this tool at the ready.
The food cooks at a rapid rate because the surface can get so hot. It’s such an efficient cook surface, with the ability to be extremely hot, with huge heat retention because there is so much steel involved. You can cook that meal faster than any other option, including the open grill. It’s just fast. so fast. It’s hard to describe how good that feels when you’re camping.
You know breakfast is a big deal while camping. The first meal, kids waking up to the smell of coffee, bacon and pancakes. That’s a memory maker right there. Try doing that on an electric skillet, or a few pans over the propane stove, and you’ll be cooking for a good long time. A real long time. And oh the cleanup. Think of the horror you’re feeling right now. The pressure. The kids running off while you’re still making pancakes, and then afterwards when you’re cleaning the dishes. If you’ve never been there, believe me, it’s tough.
Imagine if you could get all the memories, and remove all of the pain. Would you do it? Bring that griddle, and you’re there. Pancakes in one or two batches, cooked in the grease of the bacon you just cooked. Sitting drinking the coffee waiting for the kids to wake up and seeing the smiles on their faces. Griddle is cleaned, pancakes on the table.
It’s so good
I could tell there was a lot of potential for it to go very well camping with a griddle. A giant plate of steel to cook on. Easy cleanup. All the benefits of a solid cooking surface. And you could even prep the food on it. Camping was the first time I made smash burgers. It eliminates one of my most despised steps in food prep – dealing with raw meat (mostly eliminates)
One of the big questions I had about the 28” Blackstone was how easy it would be to transport to the campground. We pack light. By light, I mean we bring only what’s essential, because by the time we get everything in the minivan and car top carrier for our family of 7, it’s busting at the seams. So if this griddle was coming along something else wasn’t going to make it. It had better be worth it. Either small enough to have no impact, or so amazing that the impact was worth it.
It was my first time camping with the griddle. I was interested enough with the tool to be happy about this friend-brings-uncooked-food situation. Turns out it was so easy for me and so helpful to them that it was a delight to contribute to the group in this way.