I’ve cooked on and tested just about every flat top griddle on the market. You can find the results of my testing in our roundup to the best gas griddles.
The Camp Chef Flat Top 600 sits between value and performance in the mid-range flat-top/griddle market.
In this review, we’ll go through our experience cooking on the Camp Chef Flat Top Grill 600 over the last few months to see how well this grill performs.
Camp Chef sent me this grill for free in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Camp Chef Flat Top Grill Overview and First Impressions
Camp Chef is known for the quality and portability of their outdoor cooking equipment, and their Flat Top grill is no different.
After unpacking the pre-seasoned griddle top, I was impressed with the metal thickness and quality. I expected this to have even heat retention and steady temperature control solely based on the feel of the metal.
Let’s look at the Camp Chef Flat Top Grill specs:
|Cooking Area||600 sq. in.|
|Burners||Four 12,000 BTUs/Hr. stainless steel Burners|
|Shelves & Storage||Two side shelves|
|Price||Check latest price|
Though the griddle top itself seemed high-quality, the frame and body felt like flimsy sheet metal at first, but after putting it all together that can’t be further from the truth. The fully constructed Camp Chef Flat Top Grill is sturdy, yet easy to move around for one person.
The main body that houses the burners is made of stainless steel. I was pleasantly surprised with this as most competitor griddles are powder coated, but the stainless steel made for quick and easy cleanup, is highly resistant to corrosion and is durable without being too heavy.
The Camp Chef Flat Top grill also comes with set-in grill grates if you want to sear over direct heat and not use a griddle surface. This conversion ability sets it apart from other griddle and flat tops on the market, and essentially gives you a two-in-one grill experience.
The cooking area is a bit smaller than other four-burner competitors coming in at 600 sq. in., but for my needs, this was negligible in cooking for a group.
The griddle top sits down into the main burner body creating a natural wind guard and upping heat retention on the surface of the flat top. This was a huge boon in my eyes as competitors have a gap between their burners and the cooking surface.
This gap can cause heat loss especially on windy days. There are aftermarket wind guards for competitors at additional cost, but the Camp Chef build design makes this a moot point for this flat top.
It’s quick to set-up, easy to use, and heats up fast.
What I like:
- Two-in-one capability – The Camp Chef Flat Top Grill comes with removable flat top griddle and removable grill grates, so you can convert to either cooking method to best suit your needs. It’s a solution that melds two pieces of backyard cooking equipment into one efficient piece, saving space in the process.
- Built-in wind guard – This feature is much overlooked in a flat top griddle. The way the griddle top fits into the recess of the main burner box automatically protects the flames from wind. This not only allows the cooking surface to heat up quicker than competitor griddles without wind guards, it also retains the heat much more efficiently allowing for accurate temperature control across the surface.
- Stainless Steel – This is hard to beat. The stainless steel body construction makes for super easy clean up with rags or paper towels. Combined with the grease tray and catch bucket, this is one of the easiest pieces of cooking equipment I’ve ever had to clean.
- Matchless Ignition – Easily light the burners without need for external fire source or dependant upon battery ignition. Just click the burner knob to start the flames.
What I don’t like:
- Non-foldable – The Camp Chef Flat Top Grill is solid, but it does not fold up like the Blackstone 36” or the PitBoss Standard 4-burner. Camp Chef sells a very similar portable model for the same price, but it doesn’t include the grill grates.
- No Grill Lid – When using the grill function, you don’t have the option of closing a lid. This isn’t a detriment to direct cooking or high-heat searing, but if you wanted to do offset or two-zone cooking, you’d be better off with a grill that has a lid to close and retain heat.
Unboxing and setup
The Camp Chef came in a sturdy cardboard box, not unlike other griddles, but the actual griddle top came separately in its own box. The main box with the grill body was packed superbly, with no wiggle room for parts to move around.
The box the griddle came in was beat up and ragged. The packing of the griddle top could stand to be better, but it arrived in new condition with no blemishes, so no harm no foul.
Both boxes are easy enough for one person to maneuver and set up.
Assembling the Camp Chef Flat Top
Putting together the Camp Chef Flat Top Grill took about 35 minutes total with the majority of time spent on the installation of the legs and shelves. Other griddles like Blackstone and PitBoss come mostly assembled, needing only to be unfolded and stood upright.
Since the Camp Chef doesn’t fold though, plan to take about a half hour to get it up and ready to use.
Getting ready to cook
With all the parts installed, it’s ready to fire up the Camp Chef.
Lighting is as easy as hooking up the propane tank and turning your knob to light. You don’t need an external lighter or a battery to power ignition, which is very convenient.
With the flat top in place, it took maybe ten minutes to get to high heat and start burning off the manufacturing debris. The flat top comes pre-seasoned, but it’s always best practice to do an initial burn off over high heat.
Cooking on the Camp Chef Griddle
Testing a wide range of foods on the flat top as well as grill grates, I wanted to see which function I preferred more and which performed better.
The Camp Chef’s versatility comes in its dual cook-top feature of either the griddle top or the grill grates. Giving you the option of either top is almost enough to replace a standalone grill and griddle for one piece of equipment.
The heat dispersing design heats the griddle top evenly as it sits down into the firebox with the burners protecting the heat from escaping. Other griddles have a large gap between the burners and the griddle top that allows heat to escape, using more fuel in the process.
When using the grates, you’re primed for direct-heat cooking. Sear directly over the burner heat, or have a high-heat side and a low-heat side.
You don’t have the luxury of a lid to retain heat over grill grates, so keep that in mind when considering this grill.
It doesn’t fold up like other griddles, so transporting it is not as easy, but it makes for a great patio piece.
As we mentioned there is a portable version of this grill you can get but without the griddle surface. So you’ll need to weigh up which feature is more important to you.
Even temperature and heat distribution
The Camp Chef Flat Top Grill has superb heat distribution throughout the griddle top. The four burners sit a few inches below the surface, but the heat dispersing design makes sure the use of fuel is efficient and maximizes heat retention.
If you want two-zone cooking on the surface, you could potentially have two burners on high and two burners off and still have a high-heat side and a warm side.
The Camp Chef Flat Top Grill has two wheels and two adjustable feet on the other side for easy balancing. I wouldn’t call the grill light, especially with the griddle top in place, but it is easy enough for one person to maneuver around the back yard or patio space.
If you’re looking to load it into a vehicle, it’s a two-person job.
The wheels are sturdy enough to roll over uneven terrain, but smooth enough to make it easy to move around a flat surface.
Storage and prep
The Flat Top Grill comes with two folding side shelves that not only help with prep, but fold down to make storage easier. With the shelves down, the grill goes from 62.5 in wide to 40 in wide helping keep its footprint at a minimum.
It also has two middle shelves between the legs for storing supplies as well as helping to keep the grill stable. The higher of the two shelves can be used as a warming tray. Just be careful to watch any plastics that may melt easily from high heat.
For good measure, there’s a bottle opener on the right side of the grill. These are starting to become standard on a lot of consumer grills nowadays, but it always feels nice to pop open a cold one while grilling.
This is one of the easier griddles I’ve had to clean. The grease management system has a front grease tray for use with the griddle top, and an underneath hanging grease tray when using the grill grates.
The stainless steel body is a boon for easy cleanup, especially if you get to the drippings before they’ve had a chance to cool. Usually, all you need is a damp rag and they wipe right up.
The middle grease tray doesn’t have much of an incline to direct grease, but again, you can use a damp cloth to push grease into it and you’re good to go.
Setting up the flat top grill, I was eager to see how it would hold up once assembled. The metal wasn’t flimsy, but it did feel thin. Those worries washed away once I put the grill together though, as it’s very sturdy and made of high-quality material
The cold-rolled steel griddle top combined with the stainless steel burners and fire box make this a top notch piece of cooking equipment. Other griddles can be rickety due to their folding mechanism, but this doesn’t give or rattle at all.
Alternative griddles to consider
The griddle market has become very competitive, and with it come a lot of options for the consumer.
If you don’t cook for a lot of people regularly, you might want to look for a griddle with a smaller footprint.
If you’re on the go and need something mobile, you’ll want to consider a griddle solution that is either tabletop or fold-up.
For a detailed look at different griddle options, check out our guide to the best griddles.
Blackstone 36in four burner griddle
Blackstone is a big name in the griddle game, and for good reason. They continue to innovate their griddle offerings, but their flagship 36in four-burner gas griddle is a good one to consider.
It folds up nicely, heats up relatively quickly and has a back grease trap which allows you to push the grease out of the way with ease.
It has two side shelves, but they don’t fold down. It’s an approachable griddle that the novice can wrap their head around.
Camp Chef VersaTop 2x Grill
This Camp Chef solution offers a lot in the way of versatility and mobility. It comes with two burners and a flat top, and is easily portable and great for tabletop usage.
Where the VersaTop 2x Grill really shines is its compatibility with accessories. Swap out the included griddle for a grill box and you have a more traditional grilling option with direct heat, grates and a lid. Swap that out for the artisan oven accessory and you have a 16in wood-fired brick oven.
This option is hard to beat for the outdoor camping connoisseur. Check the price on Amazon.
PitBoss Deluxe 4-Burner Griddle
If you’re in the market for something bigger, but still offers fold-and-go portability, the PitBoss Deluxe 4-Burner Griddle may be for you.
It offers more cooking area than the Camp Chef Flat Top Grill, and its side shelves double as a cover for the cooking surface.
PitBoss griddles are hot and stay hot, but they do use a lot of fuel due to the gap between the burners and the cooking surface.
If you’re regularly cooking for a lot of people, even on the go, this griddle may be for you.
Should you buy the Camp Chef Flat Top Grill
The Camp Chef Flat Top Grill is a great piece of equipment. It’s efficient and versatile, and comes close to replacing both your griddle and grill.
If you need to save space in the backyard or don’t want multiple cooking appliances littering up the area, this grill is an excellent option with its ability to convert from griddle to grill with ease. You’ll save space and not clutter up the area.
The Camp Chef Flat Top Grill is best left on the patio versus trying to pack it up for trips or camping weekends.
If you’re in the market for a solid griddle this is definitely worth considering. If you need a new grill and are also interested in the griddle market, then this piece is a no brainer. Highly recommended.
Last update on 2021-04-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API