I’ve been cooking on popular Blackstone 36” gas griddle for a couple of years now, so when I got the opportunity to try out the Pit Boss gas griddle, I was excited to see how it compared.
In this hands-on review, I’ll run through my experience cooking on the Pit Boss, and how it compares with the competition.
Pit Boss sent me this grill for free in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Pit Boss outdoor 4-burner gas grill overview
This griddle is big. The cast iron cooking surface measures 37 inches wide by 20.5 inches deep giving you roughly 748 square inches of cooking space. That’s roughly 36 four-ounce burgers at once!
If you want more space there’s also a 5-burner griddle that also comes with the grease catch moved to the side.
You can adjust the heat via four independently controlled burners made of stainless steel. This is convenient if you want to set up a two-zone cooking surface, where one side is used for high heat cooking, and the other side is more of a warming area.
The 4.7mm thick cast iron griddle surface performs well, although Pit Boss recently released an add-on ceramic griddle top which we’ll cover later in the review.
With the burners putting out up to 62,000 BTUs of heat, you can easily sear a steak, make smash burgers or stir fry.
The grill has some nice portability as the legs can fold up and down. I’ve had it in the back of my SUV more than once but it is easier having a second person to help load and unload it.
Weighing in at 108 lbs, it’s not as heavy as other griddles, but can still pose a challenge if loading solo.
Once the legs are down, however, the four rotating caster wheels let you easily move the grill into position. Compared to other griddles that only have two wheels that rotate, the Pit Boss griddle maneuvers easily around the patio or tailgate lot. Also, each wheel locks as opposed to only two locking on competitor griddles.
The two side shelves fold down instead of being locked in place, saving you space while storing. The underneath shelf spans the entire width of the griddle which is extremely helpful for storing supplies and ingredients.
What I like:
- Very large cooking area – The 748 square inches of griddle surface is second to none when it comes to four burner griddles. You can cook multiple things at once each at varying levels of heat.
- Holds even heat – Once hot, the Pit Boss griddle top stays hot and at even temperature. Even when you put a large amount of food on, the temperature does not drop noticeably.
- 5 year warranty – Pit Boss offers a best in class 5 year warranty, so you have peace of mind if anything were to go wrong right off the bat.
- Non-electric start – the starter is not dependent on a battery like most other griddles. Just push and turn the knob to “start” for a spark to ignite each individual burner.
- Foldable side trays – The trays are mounted to the sides, but they fold down so you don’t have to screw and unscrew them on if you’re trying to save space.
What I don’t like:
- Lack of side handle for lifting – With the side shelves folding down, there is no handle to grab and move or lift the griddle. A designated handle would have made it much more convenient when lifting in and out of vehicles or rolling into place.
- Lose heat through the gaps – There are gaps between the griddle top and the burners themselves allowing for heat to vent and escape. On especially windy days, it takes longer to bring the surface up to temp, and if you’re cooking at low heat, the wind may even blow out the flame. There are wind guards made for other brands, but you can put rolled up aluminum foil in the gaps to act as a sort of wind guard and insulator if you’re caught in a pinch.
- U-shaped burner not as hot as others – I love the heat output of the burners, but I’ve noticed the far left, u-shaped burner operates at a lower temperature than the other three. This is probably due to it being longer thus needing more gas to run hot. It’s not a detriment though as I’ve learned to use that side as the lower heat zone and keep the farther right burners as the searing/hottest zone.
The Pit Boss gas griddle comes “pre-seasoned” so you can use it right away, however I noticed that it was not as efficient as once it was seasoned and burnt off appropriately. I recommend seasoning it well before using.
Pit Boss didn’t skimp when they created this griddle. It has a bigger cooking surface, hotter burner output, and thicker griddle than competing products.
Build quality and design
In the rest of this review I’ll go into more detail about my experience cooking with the Pit Boss griddle.
4.7mm thick griddle surface
The Pit Boss features a robust 749 square inches of cooking area, which is tops in the 4-burner griddle space. If you have a large family, regularly host large gatherings, or just want to expedite meal-prep sunday, this griddle surface can handle it all.
Made of 4.7mm thick cast iron, the griddle top indeed lives up to Pit Boss’s moniker of “Bigger. Hotter. Heavier.” It holds heat extremely well and maintains an even, steady temperature throughout cooking.
It arrives pre-seasoned, so you can cook right out of the box after an initial burn-off. However, I found doing a few rounds of seasoning with vegetable oil gives the griddle surface that nice, protective patina. Food is less likely to stick as well.
Keeping it seasoned as you would cast iron will keep the griddle top in great shape for the long haul.
Upgrade to the optional ceramic coated griddle top for the best performance
Pit Boss recently released an upgraded ceramic-coated griddle top. Or as Pit Boss calls them “Non-Stick Armored Ceramic Cooking Surface.”
After completing this review, I tested the new surface out to see if it was worth upgrading too.
The ceramic-coated griddle top is extremely user-friendly and very easy to clean. Almost nothing sticks to the cooking surface. Cleaning is as easy as deglazing the surface with water and wiping clean. You don’t need to keep a patina on this griddle as the ceramic coating acts as a protective barrier.
It also prevents the griddle from rust and scratching. I found that the original griddle top scratched easily and would need a lot of reseasoning between uses and after cleaning. The ceramic coating acts as an armor from wayward scratches while simultaneously keeping corrosion at bay.
I tested the ceramic griddle top with ground beef burgers, ground lamb burgers, chicken breast, vegetables and toasting buns. You can almost use this griddle dry, as food easily slides across the surface – you wouldn’t dare think of doing that with the original steel surface. The steel surface is porous whereas the ceramic griddle is sealed.
You’ll need to get this super hot for a great sear and be careful not to fidget with your food. The surface is so slick, the food will easily slide about causing your sear to break and not crust as well.
Overall, I highly recommend the Pit Boss “Non-Stick Armored Ceramic Cooking Surface” for anyone looking for a super convenient, easy-to-use-and-clean option. As of this writing, there are no competitor ceramic-coated griddles within this market segment.
High-heat stainless steel burners
The four stainless steel gas burners put out a total of 62,000 BTUs. That gets the griddle screaming hot for a perfect steak sear or smash burger.
The beauty on each individually controlled burner is that you can create different temperature zones on the cooktop. You can have areas designated for warming while simultaneously cooking at max heat on the other side.
The largest burner has a U-shape and covers more surface area than the other three. I’ve noticed the griddle surface doesn’t get as hot above this burner, but it works great for foods that need cooked slower like root vegetables.
The stainless steel construction also protects against corrosion and weathering, so you can leave it outside – though you should keep it covered.
This griddle is stow-and-go ready. Other griddles may have the same folding-leg design as this one, but the folding side tables make this even easier.
The sides tables are mounted to the sides, but fold down easily when not in use. This is much more convenient than having to unscrew and remove the side tables when your stowing or taking from place to place.
The one knock I see is the side that holds the propane tank cannot be folded down when in use, so keep that in mind when setting up your cooking station.
Swiveling caster wheels
Maneuvering onto patios and backyards just got easier with four swiveling caster wheels. Having four casters that swivel make moving this griddle a breeze. It’s much smoother than competitors that only have two swiveling casters out of four – or two total casters for that matter.
It’s a small, but convenient feature that adds to the ease of use of this griddle.
Setup out of the box was a piece of cake. After taking stock of everything inside, it took close to thirty minutes to have a fully assembled griddle.
Just unfold it, install the bottom and side shelves, then place the griddle surface on top and you’re ready to start cooking.
Cooking on the Pit Boss gas griddle
Now let’s see if the quality we mentioned stands up where it matters most: during cooking.
One zone cooking
The Pit Boss griddle top took about 15 minutes to get smoking hot with even heat across the cooking surface, but once it came up to temperature it stayed there.
I put burgers across the griddle top, and each one cooked at the same time as the next, assuring the heat across the cooking surface was indeed steady.
Two zone cooking
Another test was to see how well the griddle top could hold varying temperatures.
I kept the left two burners at a lower heat while keeping the right two burners on high. This allowed me to stir fry vegetables for a fried rice dish on the hot side, while keeping the rice warming on the low-heat side. win-win.
Alternative griddles to consider
If you want the performance of the Pit Boss gas griddle, but in a smaller footprint, you may want to consider the alternatives below.
If you’re not regularly cooking for groups, large families, or meal prepping for weeks at a time, the four-burner griddle may be overkill.
You may want to look at a tabletop burner, which is especially good for camping, or a griddle attachment like the Little Griddle.
For a detailed look at different griddle options, check out our guide to the best griddles.
Sportsman portable 2-Burner gas griddle
The Pit Boss Sportsman line is targeted to the outdoor aficionado, and the 2-burner gas griddle is made for those on the go.
Smaller, lighter and more compact than its 4-burner brethren, the Sportsman 2-burner gas griddle has a fold-and-go design that allows you to pull it behind you like a suitcase.
The obvious difference is the cooking area, sporting a respectable 320 square inches of griddle surface. This smaller griddle is perfect for camping or beach trips.
Pit Boss table top griddles
Pit Boss also offers two tabletop griddle options: a 2-burner and single burner.
They both have 289 square inches of cooking area, but one has an added burner for even more heat and BTUs.
The tabletop griddles are great for on-the-go trips or for standalone backyard cooking, easily carried around or packed into a vehicle by one person.
For those not needing the shear volume of the 4-burner griddle, these are a great option to consider.
Things to consider before buying a Pit Boss gas griddle
The Pit Boss gas griddle is a fantastic piece of cooking equipment in a great price range, but let’s consider a few things before you rush out to make a purchase.
Do you have space to store the griddle?
Where will you be putting the griddle when not in use? In the garage or patio?
It has a rather large footprint even when the shelves fold down, so plan accordingly on where you will house it, or if you even have the space. If you plan to keep it outside, you’ll need a good cover to keep moisture off the cooking surface.
The cooking surface will need to be burnt off, scraped clean, and re-oiled after each use. This can get tedious with such a large griddle.
You’ve got to treat it like a large cast iron skillet to keep it from rusting. The good news is once you get used to cleaning it, it just becomes part of the process and the cook surface maintains a constant, protective coating.
Should you buy the Pit Boss 4-burner griddle
The Pit Boss 4-burner gas griddle is a good fit for anyone who regularly cooks for groups or in volume. The varying temperature controls of each burner makes it great for any meal of the day from breakfast eggs to dinner burgers.
The griddle’s versatility allows it to shine where a grill may fall short. It can cook a range of foods that a grill cannot without accessories – pancakes, omelets, loose vegetables, and so much more.
Though it is heavy, its mobility allows for easy movement around the home or cook site. You may need another pair of hands to lift it easily, but it is possible with one person.
Anyone in the market for big griddles should definitely consider the Pit Boss 4-burner gas griddle.
The massive cooktop combined with heating control and mobility make this a top option for convenience and performance. Pit Boss leans on its mantra of Bigger. Hotter. Heavier, and the griddle is an example of that.
With proper maintenance, this griddle should last you for many years and many cookouts for your friends and family.