A durable, versatile, and incredibly well-made griddle, the Blackstone 36 inch gas griddle comes with a range of quality of life features that make food prep, cooking, and clean up that much easier.
If you are looking for a reliable gas griddle with enough cooking space to feed even the largest of family cookouts with everything from hashbrowns to Teppanyaki, then read on for our full breakdown and review.
I’ve been cooking regularly on the Blackstone for the last couple of years (as you can see from the photos), in this review I’ll share what I think.
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Blackstone griddle review overview
Unsurprisingly, the Blackstone 36 has a 36-inch x 20-inch rolled steel cooking surface that gives you 720 square inches of cooking space.
There’s also a smaller 28″ model which we cover in more detail below.
Heat is provided by four independent gas burners, which means it’s easy to control the temperature across the cooking surface and set up a 2-zone cooking system.
The burners throw out 60,000 BTUs of heat, giving you more than enough power to get a crisp sear on a thick steak.
What we like:
- A huge grill surface that is able to cook a range of food, from steak to pancakes, for a large number of people
- In the latest version the grease trap has been moved to the rear of the griddle top, solving an older design flaw, and also making it convenient to direct all your fats and oils to the very back of the griddle.
- Four solidly-made wheels make it much easier to move this, admittedly heavy, griddle around
- The four powerful burners bring the griddle up to heat quickly and can be used individually to create different heat-zones across the cooking surface
- The surface of the griddle can be removed, which makes cleaning that much easier
What we don’t like:
- At 135 lbs and made almost entirely of steel, this griddle is heavy and not particularly maneuverable
- The side trays stay upright and are only removable if you take out the bolts. This adds a substantial footprint to the griddle. If you’re already tight on storage, you may want to consider removing them when not in use.
- Heat escapes through the space between the griddle top and the burners. If you’re cooking on a windy day, the griddle top may not get up to the temperature you need. Blackstone does sell wind guards to prevent this, but that’s an added expense.
- The grill surface is made of rolled steel, which makes it more prone to corrosion than the rest of the stainless steel body
If you want to look at a few more options check out our best gas griddle guide (which the Blackstone griddle definitely features on).
The Blackstone 36 isn’t light by any measure, clocking in at 135 lbs, but it does come with four solidly made wheels. These wheels, combined with the external propane tank, make it reasonably maneuverable, but if you are looking for a portable griddle, this isn’t it.
Finally, the Blackstone 36 comes with two side shelves and a rear grease trap that fixes the old model’s woes of leaking fats and grease down the front leg.
What makes the Blackstone 36 stand out from the competition is the sheer size of its cooking surface, its versatility, and the fine temperature control created by the four independent high-powered burners.
Blackstone the company
The Blackstone griddle has come to dominate the griddle market.
Blackstone as a company was founded in 2005 with the aim of providing great quality griddles and driven by, as they put it, “A love for food, family, friends, and the great outdoors.”
The 36 was actually Blackstone’s cornerstone product and, while their range has expanded significantly since then, all of their products have a similar focus on quality design and engineering.
Things to consider before buying
The Blackstone 36 is an excellent piece of kit, but before you rush off to buy one, here are a few things to consider.
Do you have space?
This is not a small gas griddle. Its overall dimensions are 40 x 25 x 14.5 inches, and, as we mentioned, it weighs in at 135 lbs. Its wheels help with that to an extent, but this is not a particularly maneuverable griddle, so before you buy, make sure you have the room to store it properly.
Do you need a dedicated griddle?
There are some foods you can only cook on a griddle, but you might not need to purchase a dedicated one in order to do that.
Slot-on griddles like the Little Griddle GQ230 can be placed on top of any appropriately sized grill, letting you cook hash browns, scrambled eggs, or pancakes without needing to buy a whole new cooking apparatus.
The downside is that these don’t hold the heat as well as their dedicated counterparts.
The clean up
All cooking apparatus needs to be cleaned down after use, assuming you don’t want food poisoning.
The Blackstone is a huge griddle, the surface is made from non-corrosion-resistant rolled steel. This means you are going to need to give a large piece of equipment a thorough clean down and oiling after every use.
We originally had an issue with the fact that the front grease tray had a tendency to leak, making the cleanup process even harder, but Blackstone has since fixed this .
If you are looking for a grill that you just need to give a quick wipe down after use, then you might need to look elsewhere.
After the food debris and grease is cleaned up post cooking, you’ll need to season it with a light coat of oil to prevent rust and corrosion.
Now that you’ve got the basic idea of Blackstone 36, let’s break down some of the stand-out features on this excellent griddle.
Blackstone Griddle 28″ VS 36″
Both Blackstone griddles share a very similar design, with the smaller 28″ model offering half the number of burners, and 470 square inches of grill surface.
| Blackstone 36″ Griddle ||Blackstone 28″ Griddle|
|Dimensions||62.5 x 22 x 36 inches||44.5 x 19.5 x 33.5 inches|
|Weight||120 pounds||75 pounds|
|Surface area||720 sq. inches||470 sq. inches|
|Check price||Check Price|
Construction quality is identical for both models, although the 36″ comes with two shelves. Your choice really comes down to how many people you need to cook for.
Because the larger 36″ Blackstone comes with 4 burners, you can make 4 different heating zones. This is handy if you are cooking lots of different types of food at once that all require different levels of heat.
Blackstone 36″ griddle surface
If the real estate on your other cooking appliances is at a premium and you’re regularly hosting for large amounts of guests, then the wide-open reaches of the Blackstone 36’s cooking surface are going to make your life a lot easier.
With 720 square inches of rolled steel to work with, you’ll never again have to crush food to fit it on the grill together. You also won’t have to cook in batches, leaving food to go cold as you play catch up.
The cooking surface of the Blackstone 36 is made of rolled steel, which has some pros and some cons.
On the plus side, you can oil and season it as you would a cast iron pan, making it an active part of flavoring the food. The downside is that you will need to clean and oil it religiously unless you want it to rust, as rolled steel is far more susceptible to corrosion than stainless steel.
Powerful individual burners
The four gas burners on the Blackstone throw out 15,000 BTUs each, for a total of 60,000, so you don’t have to worry about this grill being underpowered.
Because the burners can be used individually, you have a lot more control over the heat output. This means you can cook different foods, at different temperatures, at the same time, taking advantage of the size of the rig to prepare full meals on one griddle.
Given the sheer size of the surface available, it is also easy to set up a 2-zone cooking system that’s going to let you cook some great steaks using the reverse sear method.
The burners are made of stainless steel, so you don’t have to worry about corroding.
When you get a gas griddle delivered, you want to use it to cook food, not spend the next four hours putting it together. Thankfully, the assembly of the Blackstone is remarkably easy.
Designed specifically so that you don’t need tools, once you’ve unboxed the Blackstone, all you need to do is unfold the legs, insert the crossbar, use a couple of thumbscrews to attach the side plates, and place the griddle surface on top.
Once that’s done, you can stop faffing and get cooking.
One of the things that makes or breaks a product is the level of thought that has gone into making it easy to use.
The addition of the two side shelves and the under griddle tray on the Blackstone is a good indication that the manufacturer actually thought about how their product would be used, which is always a good sign.
Space is always at a premium around a griddle, and, especially if you are cooking outside, you don’t always have a handy table to put things down on.
Somewhere to store cooked food, food that is ready to be cooked, and your grilling tools just makes life that much easier for the cook, and their addition is one of the reasons we rate this griddle so highly.
Made almost entirely of steel, the Blackstone feels durable and reliable. There is something to be said for the feel of well-made cooking equipment, and while its solid steel body can make it a bit of a pig to move around, it’s better than it feeling like it’s going to collapse at any moment.
The foldable legs and removable griddle top do make this possible to take along a road trip. Just be sure to have a helping hand as it’s a bear to load into the car by yourself.
Alternative griddles to consider
If you are looking for a rival to something to the Blackstone griddle, or but want something a little more compact, then you might want to consider some of the alternatives below.
The PitBoss competes directly with the Blackstone 36. It comes in a little bigger with 37” griddle top and 748 square inches of cooking space. It also has four burners for dialed in multi-zone cooking.
The PitBoss griddle is very comparable to the Blackstone. The side shelves fold down, for convenience when storing, but there’s no handle to grab for lifting and moving around.
All four wheels pivot for added maneuverability and the legs fold up making it portable, but it’s still easier to load with a helping hand.
It clocks in a bit pricier than the Blackstone but is a solid alternative if you’re looking for a large stand-alone griddle.
Smaller and less powerful than the Blackstone 36, the Camp Chef Flat Top Grill has a 604 square inch grill surface and four 12,000 BTU stainless steel burners.
Although you won’t get as much food on the surface of the Flat Top Grill, it makes up for that by having two larger fold-out shelves, so you are trading less griddle space for more prep space.
Since those shelves fold away, it is also a little easier to store than the Blackstone, although it only has two wheels instead of four, and, at 142 lbs, it’s still as much of a pig to move.
Little Griddle GQ230
This is a perfect option if you want to add griddle capability to your existing grill.
Made with 100% stainless steel, the Little Griddle slots on to any grill that’s large enough.
It measures 16 x 23 x 4 inches so make sure you double check your grill dimensions.
The grease well does a good job of containing everything and the handles detach which makes the griddle easy to position on your grill and then move later.
Get the latest price at BBQGuys.com
The Royal Gourmet Portable Gas Grill and Griddle is a combination of two cooking areas, sat side by side. With a 292 square inch griddle and a 292 square inch grill, you’ve got 584 square inches of cooking space to cook up a variety of different foods.
The four 12,000 BTU burners mean that you can even create two 2-zone cooking systems, with the hot zones on the outside and the cool zones in the middle.
The Royal Gourmet has more than enough space for you to cook for a standard-sized family or small gathering, and with a built-in grease channel and removable drip pans, the clean up afterward is surprisingly easy.
Get the latest price on Amazon.
Who should buy the Blackstone Griddle?
The Blackstone 36 would suit a pitmaster who is regularly cooking for a crowd and wants a griddle that is large enough to accommodate a lot of food, but with the exceptional temperature control needed to cook at different heats in different areas of the griddle.
You can also use a griddle to cook a range of food that just isn’t possible on a grill. The flat griddle plate will let you fry eggs, bacon, pancakes, and hash browns and even cook Teppanyaki style alongside cookout staples like burgers, sausage, and steak.
Since the Blackstone is both large and heavy, having somewhere to store that doesn’t require it be moved far, like a shed or garage, is a must. You could just throw a cover over it and leave it in the elements, but that would put the rolled steel grill at a higher risk of corrosion.
Wrapping it up
If you’re looking for a big ol’ griddle, then the Blackstone is an excellent choice. It’s a heavy-duty, sturdy piece of kit, and you can feel the quality of its construction when you are cooking on it.
The large surface and multiple powerful burners give you full control over the temperature, making it versatile enough to cook up a huge variety of food all at the same time.
The weight does mean you won’t want to move it around a lot, and the rolled steel surface means you will need to oil it religiously if you don’t want it to rust, but these are minor drawbacks to an otherwise fantastic griddle.
Last update on 2021-01-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API