Category Archives: Reviews and Comparisons

We will be writing comparisons and reviews of all aspects of griddles. Look forward to real data, and side by side comparisons of brands, features, sizes, and accessories. We’ve all wondered if a 28″ Blackstone would work, or if we need the 36″ model.  Or what kind of grease management works the best.  We want to share our experience with various elements of griddling by comparing and contrasting, reviewing and recommending. Look forward to clear insight into what will work the best for you in your own backyard, or garage.

Essential Griddle Accessories

Backyard Propane Griddles are gaining traction in the US for good reason, but recently, I’ve had a number of friends buy one only to be perplexed when their experience wasn’t as great as they had hoped. For every disappointed friend there was a key tool they were missing. I’d like to point you to the essential griddle accessories so your experience is good from the start.

The proper tools can make grilling delightful. The cold rolled steel cooking surface is a powerful instrument that needs a few key items to make it sing.

These are my favorites. I think you would benefit from every one of the things on this list. I’ve put them in order from most essential, to least. Keep in mind: why I don’t use ads, and why I do use affiliate links.

Everyone should have these things:

Spatula & Essentials Kit

You Absolutely need two specialized long-bladed spatulas. These are the undisputed champions of the griddle. I have tried other spatulas a few times, and it just doesn’t compare. Do yourself a favor – if you don’t have two, or any, get this kit. it will be the best $19 you spend.

The two condiment bottles are also game changers. Put some oil in one, and some water in the other.

The scraper… Take it or leave it. I use the spatulas to scrape my cooktop clean most of the time. Every once in a while, the scraper is helpful. It’s also helpful in the kitchen, since it’s essentially a pastry scraper. During the quarantine I used mine to shape sourdough bread. It was fun. Don’t judge.

Tongs are another absolute essential. You probably already have one, so I don’t consider it an essential to include it in a kit.

What to look for:

  • Long, flat spatulas, with heat resistant handles
  • Flip cap on the condiment bottle.
  • Long-ish tongs

Various Options:

Griddle Smith verdict: Must Buy

Long Handled Tongs

Long handled tongs are essential. You probably already have a set for your grill, or for your kitchen. You will need these to make best use of your griddle. If you don’t have one, get any set that’s over 10 inches. These can get really long!

Various Options:

Griddle Smith Verdict: Essential

Steaming / Melting Dome

This is a very close second. This accessory will open up a whole new world to you on the griddle. This is traditionally used to melt cheese on burgers, but it’s far more useful for other things. My favorite way to use it is to steam vegetables or potatoes. This is one of the magical opportunities a griddle will give you that you won’t get with any other backyard grill. If I had my way, I’d have two square ones. I have the official Blackstone melting dome, and it’s well made, and easy to recommend. However, these also look like they would get the job done just as well.

What to look for:

  • Stainless Steel (aluminum gets weird with acidic foods)
  • Handle – (not a knob) The cover will get VERY hot when you’re using it. You won’t be able to use your fingers, and a handle is much easier to use with a spatula or tongs. Get one with a handle.
  • 12 inches, or square. Smaller than 12 inches, and you won’t have enough space to steam veggies, or do other amazing things.

Various Options:

Griddle Smith verdict: Highly Recommended

That’s the end of what I consider absolutely essential griddle accessories. I have advised many friends who are new to griddling to invest in each of these things. The following are still helpful, but not necessarily essential.

You will benefit from these things:

Hard Griddle Cover

If I knew everyone lives where it rains, this would be on my essential list. As it stands, many people rarely see rain, and a soft cover will be fine (although annoying). I have recently migrated my griddle to my attached garage, which is amazing, and another reason to use a griddle. That’s for another post though. Let me tell you why soft covers are annoying:

  • A soft cover will not keep the water out
  • You will have to wait until the griddle cools before putting the cover on.
  • The soft cover will get nasty inside from touching the surface, and the grease trap.

Why doesn’t a soft cover keep the water out? Because the griddle top is flat, with a lip on all four sides, water will pool on the soft-cover. No matter how water proof your cover is, it will eventually wear through and allow water. It might take one month, it might take a summer. It depends on your weather.

Why does it matter that you have to wait until it cools? You will forget to put it back on, that’s why. And it might just rain before you remember.

The hard cover solves all of these issues. No water pooling. No waiting to put it on. Doesn’t get nasty since it’s only touching the edge.

In addition, it can serve as a wind screen, which is very handy if your griddle is in a windy location.

What to look for:

  • Stainless Steel, or powder coated surface
  • Legs to hang off the back of the griddle when in “wind screen” mode.
  • Substantial Handles

Various Options:

Griddle Smith Verdict: Highly Recommended

Cooking Apron

This is getting less “Essential” and more about “Convenience”. But the fact is there is more oil flying on a griddle. Things splatter when you flip them, and move around. An apron can help a ton to keep your clothes from grease, which is hard to get out. I’ve donned (my wife’s) apron a handful of times, and it’s been helpful. On the other hand, I’ve done many griddle sessions without one, and haven’t noticed much staining. Maybe I’m lucky. That said, buying my own nice apron is on my list.

What to look for:

  • Durable, quality fabric that you’ll be glad to wear
  • A style you’re comfortable being seen in
  • easy-on and off. (you won’t wear it otherwise)

Various Options:

Griddle Smith Verdict: Optional

What next?

I’ll keep my eyes out for new accessories and post updated lists of essential griddle accessories as I give them a go. If you feel like your griddle seems underutilized, consider whether one of the accessories on this page would get you past that rut your’e in. It might make all the difference.

Why this steel? Cold Rolled Steel and Griddles

Who uses it?

You will often see “Cold Rolled Steel” in the marketing of various griddle makers. For example, at the Blackstone homepage, they write:

Forged with the sturdiest cold-rolled steel to last a lifetime

Camp Chef merely mentions it in the “features” of their griddle offerings, like the Flat Top Grill 900.

Cold rolled steel griddle

Camp Chef

Interestingly, the Blue Rhino marketing is devoid of the claim of cold rolled steel. Nor do they suggest that it’s a stainless steel. Blue Rhino leaves that question unanswered. Even at the Lowes listing for the Blue Rhino Razor, it merely says “Rolled Steel”. Only in the “Specifications” section on the Lowes page does it say cold rolled steel. Who knows.

Before researching for this article, I assumed all griddles were made of cold-rolled steel. That is not the case!

What is Cold Rolled Steel?

Cold rolled steel is different because of the extra processing done to it rather than the actual chemical composition or grade of the material. Various steel manufacturers websites like “Metal Supermarkets“, explain this process for us. Cold rolled steel is worked a second time at room temperature in order to produce desirable characteristics.

Cold rolled steel is essentially hot rolled steel that has had further processing

Metal Supermarkets

The outcome of that extra processing is a finished product that has tighter dimensional tolerances, slightly higher strength, and more options for surface finish.

Why should we care what our griddles are made of?

It’s the surface we’re interested in.

On a griddle, we need the smoothest surface possible so that food doesn’t get embedded and stuck while cooking. The seasoning process can mitigate these surface imperfections to some extent, because minor imperfections can be filled in by the oil that is heated to the polymerization point. That oil sticks in those holes, and creates a smoother surface.

The seasoning process can only do so much for us though. Cold rolled steel brings us the rest of the way to the finish line.

We also get the side benefits of a very durable, long lasting pice of steel. Along with that comes a slightly higher price tag for the steel, in order to do that extra processing.

Are there other suitable materials for a griddle top?

Alternatives to cold rolled steel are:

  • Stainless steel (Sometimes used on flat-tops in restaurants. This is an even smoother surface, but requires more attention to cleanup. A backyard example is the Blue Rhino Grill Griddle)
  • Hot Rolled steel (Cheaper, rougher unless they’ve done other post-processing)
  • Cast Iron.

Side note on Cast Iron: Anyone who has used the budget friendly modern cast iron knows the process leaves significant roughness on the surface. If you need more evidence, watch this video by Cowboy Kent Rollins. The more expensive brands will do surface finishing of various kinds to create a machined, or sanded smooth surface. This can be a good option, but is more costly, especially at the surface size we’re looking for in a griddle.

What should you do about with this cold rolled steel knowledge?

Look for cold rolled steel in any griddle you’re considering. If you don’t see it in the marketing material, just take a closer look at the surface, and thickness of the griddle top. You might still really like the griddle!

Lastly, let’s all take a moment, and be glad for the Griddle makers who are not just making a very useful piece of equipment, but also one made out of quality materials.