Which flat-top grill is best?
Traditional propane grills are great for outdoor events. Still, they can be limiting. On the other hand, flat-top grills let you cook everything from burgers and steaks to hibachi and pancakes.
If you want to buy one for your backyard, you can’t go wrong with the Blackstone Two-Burner Propane Flat-Top Grill, which is simple to operate and easy to clean.
What to know before you buy a flat-top grill
How to season a flat-top grill
It’s essential to season your cooking surface before using it, as it prevents food from sticking and extends the grill’s lifespan. You’ll need cooking oil, a damp cloth, grilling tongs and paper towels to season your grill.
- Wipe the cooking surface down with a damp cloth.
- Turn your main burners to the highest heat setting and let your grill heat up for 10-15 minutes.
- Coat the grill’s surface with cooking oil. Spread the oil evenly using a wadded paper towel and grilling tongs.
- Once the oil has evaporated completely, add another layer and spread it evenly.
- Repeat this process two to three times.
It’s important to consider the size of the grill’s cooking surface. Buying one with roughly 100 square inches of cooking area for each person you plan to cook for is ideal. Still, if you’ll take your flat-top grill camping or tailgating, you’ll want one that isn’t cumbersome to carry around.
Keep your flat-top grill level
Many grills have cooking surfaces with a slight tilt that slowly lets grease and juices flow into a collection tray. If your grill tilts in the wrong direction, the oil and liquids won’t drain, affecting the food’s flavor. On the other hand, if the grill leans too much toward the collection tray, the liquids may drain too quickly, resulting in dry or burned food.
Cleaning a stainless steel or cast-iron cooking surface
Maintaining and cleaning your grill is essential, as it improves its performance and keeps your food’s flavors from mixing. Although you’ll occasionally need to deep-clean the cooking surface, maintenance starts with cleaning it after every use.
- Scrape food residue off the surface with a spatula.
- Once the residue is gone, add some water to the surface and continue to scrape it.
- Wipe it down with a cloth and grill tongs.
- Finally, turn the burners to hot and add a small amount of cooking oil to the surface; spread it around using paper towels and grilling tongs.
What to look for in a quality flat-top grill
Adjustable heating zones
Although these grills only have one cooking surface, many let you adjust the heat to various temperatures simultaneously. This feature is ideal if you’ll use it for cooking multiple types of food at the same time.
Safety is an essential consideration when choosing a grill. If it has a lid, make sure it has a heat-resistant handle so you don’t burn yourself. Additionally, if it has wheels, make sure they lock in place.
Choose a grill made with quality materials. If the grill is designed for camping, make sure you can transport it without it getting damaged. If it stays outside in your backyard, it should be able to withstand the elements, although a cover will likely be necessary.
Easy to clean
You have to clean your grill often, so choosing one that makes it an easy task is a good idea. Many feature a slightly tilted cooking surface that lets grease run into the collection tray. Others feature grease collection trays that circle the cooking surface so the grease and juices can fall off in any direction without making a mess. Most are easy to clean using water and a spatula.
How much you can expect to spend on a flat-top grill
Most cost $150-$500, depending on the size and features.
Flat-top grill FAQ
What can you cook on a flat-top grill?
A. They are so versatile that you can essentially use them to cook anything you can make on a traditional grill or in a skillet.
Can you put pots on a flat-top grill?
A. Technically, yes, although you should only use cast-iron pots. The grills reach high heats — over 600 degrees — and many metals may not be able to handle that.
What vegetables are good on a flat-top grill?
A. Most vegetables taste great when cooked on a flat top grill, but asparagus, mushrooms, peppers and onions are among the most popular. They are particularly good for stir fry and vegetable mixes.
How do you clean the grease collection tray?
A. Use water and paper towels. There are numerous liners for the collection trays that eliminate the need for cleaning.
What’s the best flat-top grill to buy
Top flat-top grill
Blackstone Two-Burner Propane Flat-Top Grill
What you need to know: Easy and fun to use, this has enough space to cook around 20 burgers simultaneously.
What you’ll love: It has top-notch heat control and adjustable heating zones. The stainless steel cooking surface doesn’t warp at high temperatures. Most reviewers applauded Blackstone’s customer service.
What you should consider: Grease tends to drip down the grill’s leg.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top flat-top grill for the money
What you need to know: This is compact and ideal for camping or tailgating.
What you’ll love: It is available with or without a lid. The H-shaped burners distribute heat evenly. It is more durable than an electric griddle.
What you should consider: Some customers felt the cooking surface caused food to stick.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Wayfair
Worth checking out
Cuisinart 30-Inch Round Flat Top Surface Griddle
What you need to know: This has three burners that let you create adjustable heating zones.
What you’ll love: The circular design sets it apart from other grills. It includes free expert assembly, although it’s easy to assemble yourself. The 360-degree grease tray makes it easy to clean.
What you should consider: Numerous customers received their grill damaged.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Wayfair
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Cody Stewart writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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