7 Best Outdoor Griddles of 2023, Tested by Experts
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7 Best Outdoor Griddles of 2023, Tested by Experts

May 25, 2023

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Outdoor griddles let you cook hamburgers and hot dogs — and even eggs and pancakes! — for a crowd.

Each year, our team of product analysts, writers and experts attend a multitude of industry events to learn about the latest and greatest products and to foresee trends. At the most recent International Builder's Show, it seemed like almost every outdoor grill company was showcasing an outdoor griddle, so we knew we had to get our hands on some for testing.

Outdoor griddles seemed to gain popularity over the past couple of years when people were cooking at home more. Once we started testing them, our experts immediately learned why: Outdoor griddles resemble the flat cooktops used in restaurant kitchens. They offer a ton of cooking area and can get really hot, so you can cook all sorts of food on them from the best fluffy pancakes to all types of steak and even fried rice. Not only do they cook a ton of food quickly and evenly, but their surfaces also feel pretty indestructible since they're typically made of durable steel. Plus, there's barely any cleanup involved. Just scrape them down when you're done and then coat with a thin layer of oil to preserve the surface.

In the Good Housekeeping Institute, we've been testing grills for decades. In the past few years alone, we've tested more than 40 outdoor grills, including gas grills, charcoal grills, kamado-style grills, pellet grills and more. When we tested these outdoor griddles, also known as flat-top grills, we assessed how evenly they heat as well as how well they can cook foods like steak, eggs and veggies. We also rated their ease-of-use features to help determine which were worth buying.

After reading about our top-tested outdoor griddles, learn more about how we tested them, what to look for when buying, whether they're just as good as grills and the many uses for one in your own backyard.

This outdoor griddle delivers on construction, ease of use and performance. It's sturdy, has five burners and can reach up to 62,000 BTUs — among the most powerful on our list. The output is still manageable though since those BTUs are divided between the number of burners. Each burner ignites with a simple turn, and the control panel is clearly labeled with temperature markings and how-to-use instructions.

Dan DiClerico, director of our Home Improvement and Outdoors Lab, tested this griddle using our Kitchen Appliances Lab protocols and said it's well-designed and easy to assemble. Its folding shelves double as griddle covers once the griddle is cool and not in use. The handles help to easily move it around, and the drip tray is accessible on the side of the unit where the grease drainage hole is located.

In our tests, chicken came out crispier and juicier than on a grill, DiClerico said. "I was a short order cook on the Jersey Shore for a couple of summers, and this brought back memories of the ease and versatility of griddle cooking."

The griddle did discolor quickly, but we noticed that is quite normal for the light-colored ones. Pit Boss also offers a ceramic griddle, perfect for people who don't want to fuss with seasoning their grill. It should be used with wooden or heat-resistant nylon or silicone tools to avoid scratching and chipping.

Nexgrill's four-burner griddle offers solid performance and many ease-of-use features, all at a great price for the category. In our tests, it did a good job of cooking an assortment of food from eggs and pancakes to burgers and grilled cheese. This pick has two grease drainage holes — located on either side of the griddle —which make cleanup easy but also limit the cooking space a little since small foods can easily fall through. Both drip trays are accessible from the front of the unit.

This griddle has two side shelves equipped with one set of tool holders and a condiment caddy — two underrated and quite useful features. We also appreciate the shelves themselves for storage as well as the stainless steel lid.

As is common with many outdoor griddles, seasoning the griddle took time, according to our testers; this task proved to be a pain point of the category in general. Kate Merker, our chief food director, tested this grill and said she particularly liked the size of the griddle and that she could cook an assortment of food quickly and all at once. She noted that it's important to make sure your griddle is set up on a level surface because her eggs ran to one side during the test. A workaround is using egg molds to keep whites contained.

Blackstone seems to be the brand synonymous with outdoor griddles. The model we tested is powerful with a large, 769-square-foot cooktop. It has four burners, folding side shelves and a bottom shelf, a magnetic tool holder, additional tool holders on the side of the shelves, a paper towel holder and a bottle opener.

In our tests, bacon cooked up crispy and we were able to gently cook eggs on the low setting with minimal sticking. While we cooked, it seemed like grease automatically pooled to the center back of the griddle where the drainage hole is located, which helps food brown better, creates less smoking and speeds up cleanup. The griddle was also easy to season, but note that the lighter hue of the steel means it does discolor over time.

Overall, the frame is solid but its material feels thin, and the lid on our sample arrived dented and is a little wobbly. It's designed to hang on the back of your griddle when not being used but does not lie flush on the back of the unit when the drip pan is in place.

Weber's griddle delivers on the performance you'd expect from the brand with a strong reputation for quality grills. It comes with oversized shelves, tool holders, a generous-size storage shelf and a hinged lid. One particularly neat feature: The burners ignite with the turn of each knob (i.e. you don't need to press a separate button simultaneously to ignite them). Our tester noted that the griddle provided excellent browning when used to make burgers, steak and mushrooms. He particularly liked how flavorful the mushrooms turned out, likely because they were cooked on the same surface as the meat — a great benefit of griddles in general.

The griddle's drainage hole is located on the front left corner, and the drip tray is easily accessible on the front of the unit. Our tester appreciated the size and effectiveness of the cooktop and unit and how easy this model was to use. He did note that the lid felt a little wobbly.

Though this outdoor griddle is the priciest on our list, it stands out for being the sturdiest and most decked out with features that make it easy to use. One tester, who helped put the griddle together, commented on how premium it felt right out of the box. It has a slick, easy-to-clean exterior; large, oversized folding shelves; a hinged lid and handles on either side. Its cooking surface is smaller than others we tested but still offers plenty of room.

Unlike many other outdoor griddles, the griddle is recessed, i.e., it sits inside the frame of the unit right above its three U-shaped burners. The design is intended to make it better at evenly distributing heat compared to its competitors that sit atop the burners with room between the griddle and frame and are susceptible to wind. It has one of the largest rectangular drainage holes we tested located on the front center of the griddle. The hole directs the grease below into a large, enclosed container with an oversized handle that helps it slide in and out easily. The container can be lined with disposable trays that the brand sells for the easiest cleanup. You can also buy additional accessories for the frame to hold your tools and paper towels.

In our tests, we were able to cook all sorts of food on this griddle with no trouble at all. Eggs came out great as did veggies and steaks. It got nice and hot but never burned our food nor was it too hot to work with.

One unique detail to note about this griddle is that the ignition is electric and needs to be plugged in or powered by a battery to turn on. When plugged in, the griddle features flame and fuel sensors that confirm which burners are on and how much propane you have in the tank.

This outdoor tabletop griddle is great whether you have a small outdoor space, are looking to make a quick meal or need something powerful to cook on when you're camping or on a picnic. It's compatible with a small propane tank and is powerful at 22,000 BTUs. It has two burners so you can cook with high heat on one side (for, say, sausage) and low heat on the other (great for pancakes). It has a sturdy build that you can cook on confidently, but it's just 32 pounds, so you can move it around easily.

Like the large Blackstone we tested, the drain hole is in the center back of the griddle, giving you ample cooking space. The drip pan is small compared with the full-sized model, so just remember to change it often. The cooktop stands up to the durability and performance of full-sized models.

Weber makes it super easy to turn your gas grill into a griddle with its full-sized insert. It comes in several sizes that are designed to fit right into the brand's Spirit II 300, Genesis II 300 and Genesis II 400 line of gas grills when you remove the grill grates. We tested the Spirit II 300 version with our Spirit II 300 grill. It was sold out at the time of publication, but this featured model is essentially the same but designed for the Genesis II 300 models.

While the griddle insert comes pre-seasoned, we seasoned it before using as recommended by the manufacturer. In our tests, it evenly toasted bread though the results were light compared to others tested over medium heat. It was great at cooking bacon as well as chicken breasts, steak, eggs and veggies like asparagus. The drain spout is located in the back corner and is easy to push grease into. The grease falls into the grill's drip pan below, which is easy to clean out.

Our favorite thing about this insert is that i t allows you to griddle with the benefits of a gas grill. Being able to use the grill's warming rack was neat, as was being able to griddle with the lid closed, a task that most outdoor griddles aren't capable of. As a result, we were able to cook thicker foods, like a thick chicken breast, more easily than we would have been able to by using a cloche on an outdoor griddle. One downfall is that it's bulky to store if your grill doesn't come equipped with a storage area.

We tested all of the full-sized outdoor griddles on this list. Our team of experienced product analysts, mechanical engineers and food editors assembled the griddles, cooked on them repeatedly and stored them outdoors the way a home user would.

The griddles were assessed on how evenly they cooked over several uses, how well they seared foods like steak and chicken, whether they could handle low-temperature cooking and how easy they were to clean up.

We also noted how easy they were to assemble and what the seasoning process was like.We scored ease-of-use features, like whether the griddles had shelves, wheels, tool holders and more, and evaluated whether the propane tank and grease collector were easy to access.

✔️ Size: We mostly tested 36-inch outdoor griddles in our test. This popular size allows you to feed a crowd. Smaller sizes are great for smaller spaces, and they are also more affordable. From our experience, outdoor griddles cook quickly, so if you're cooking for a lot of people but willing to work in batches (or you're not cooking many folks at once), a smaller model will save you money while not demanding a lot of cook time. Keep in mind that these large surfaces get quite hot, so a smaller option might feel more manageable for new griddle cooks.

✔️ Griddle material: It's common for griddles to be made of carbon steel, which is highly durable and can reach high temps. They're quite good at retaining heat, too, so we recommend working with different temperature zones vs using all of the burners on high and turning them down later on.

Most griddle surfaces require seasoning to help prevent sticking and rusting. Some may be ceramic-coated for easy cleanup but you want to be more gentle with the tools you use on this style cooktop.

✔️ Lid: Many outdoor griddles now come with lids. For the most part, the lids cannot be used during cooking — they're intended to cover the griddle for storage. Even with a lid, it's a good idea to keep your outdoor griddle covered to help protect it from the elements and to slow down rusting. The lids are helpful in creating a barrier between your used griddle and the grill cover so it can stay clean. We prefer hinged lids versus lids that hang off the side of the griddle when not in use.

✔️ Grease drainage hole: A large, strategically positioned drainage hole makes cooking and cleanup easier. Griddles accumulate a lot of fat during cooking that often needs to be pushed away from the food and into the hole. You'll likely get used to whichever style you opt for, but we've found that ones that are big enough to scrape your spatula against are quite helpful.

✔️ Extra features: As with all outdoor grills, it's smart to look for outdoor griddles with features that will make your cooking experience easier. We like strong, oversized shelves with tool holders. And we value propane holders and grease traps that are easy to access.

Griddles and grills are different. Griddles can be used to cook almost all of the same foods a grill can, but you won't get grill marks, and you can't cook or smoke large cuts of meat, like a pork butt or whole chicken. They're great for cooking small foods like rice and shrimp as well as runny foods like pancakes and eggs.

Griddles don't typically have covers, so they're ideal for foods that are thin and cook quickly. You can use a cloche to help thicker foods cook evenly and quickly, but cloches are limiting in terms of the size and quantity of food they can fit.

Griddles offer a lot of versatility, but you'll likely miss cooking food over a direct flame, which lets you achieve the charred, smoky taste you get with a grill. It's common for people to have both a griddle and a grill since they're each good at different things.

Outdoor griddles are composed of one large, flat cooking surface. This allows them to be used to cook all sorts of food like pancakes, eggs, French toast, hash browns, bacon, fried rice, asparagus, steak, burgers, hot dogs and so much more. They have a range of temperatures and can get really hot, which allows for quick cooking and a good sear without smoking up your kitchen. They can also cook a lot of food at once at different temperatures, which is a huge draw, and you can cut on most of them (though not the ceramic-coated ones). If you choose to cut on them, we recommend using a bench scraper instead of a knife so you don't ruin the knife.

Since griddles don't have grates, foods can cook in their own drippings and juices, which makes them extra flavorful. One popular use is smash burgers, which often are cooked right on top of the onions you just sautéed for them. It bumps up the flavor in a way you can't achieve on a grill.

Three separate testers noted that the griddles they tested made the best bacon they ever had: It was super crisp and almost impossible to stop eating.

Nicole Papantoniou is the director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Kitchen Appliances an Innovation Lab, where she oversees all testing and content related to kitchen appliances, tools and more. She's been the team's lead grill tester since she started in 2019 and has tested more than 40 outdoor grills. She led the testing on these outdoor griddles and continues to use three of them herself. They've become one of her favorite ways to cook.

Nicole (she/her) is the director of the Good Housekeeping Institute's Kitchen Appliances and Innovation Lab, where she has overseen content and testing related to kitchen and cooking appliances, tools and gear since 2019. She's an experienced product tester and recipe creator, trained in classic culinary arts and culinary nutrition. She has worked in test kitchens for small kitchen appliance brands and national magazines, including Family Circle and Ladies’ Home Journal.

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solid performance and many ease-of-use features, all at a great price for the category. The model we tested is powerful with a large, 769-square-foot cooktop. The burners ignite with the turn of each knob (i.e. you don't need to press a separate button simultaneously to ignite them). the griddle is recessed, i.e., it sits inside the frame of the unit right above its three U-shaped burners. powerful at 22,000 BTUs. It has two burners so you can cook with high heat on one side (for, say, sausage) and low heat on the other (great for pancakes). i t allows you to griddle with the benefits of a gas grill. ✔️ Size: ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ Griddle material: ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ Lid: ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ Grease drainage hole: ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ Extra features: ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ pancakes, eggs, French toast, hash browns, bacon, fried rice, asparagus, steak, burgers, hot dogs smash burgers