We Tried the Blackstone Griddle You've Seen All Over TikTok
Here's why the internet is obsessed with this backyard cooker.
By Ginevra Iverson and Rachel Trujillo for Food Network Kitchen
There are a plethora of new appliances that make it easier than ever to customize your summer cooking, including outdoor pizza ovens for Neapolitan-style pizzas, pellet grills for smoking meats and fire pits that double as outdoor cooking vessels, all of which are great for niche and otherwise difficult-to-cook foods. But if you love iconic summer staples and have been apprehensive to try anything beyond your traditional outdoor grill, we’d like to introduce you to an easy, approachable new appliance — the Blackstone Griddle, a flat-top cooker that we think is the new summer must-have.
What Is the Blackstone Griddle?
Created with the intention of making outdoor cooking for a large group or family easier, the Blackstone Griddle started as a 36-inch flat-top and the line has grown to include 17-inch, 22-inch and 28-inch models, portable griddles, electric table-top griddles, griddle and air fryer bundles and more.
Depending on the size, the griddles have up to four burners beneath a rolled carbon steel griddle top that reach up to 60,000 BTUs. You might have seen this griddle take over TikTok, showing just how versatile it is — the brand boasts its ability to cook anything from pancakes, eggs and hashbrowns for breakfast to burgers, hot dogs and high-quality steaks at night. While this cooker is relatively hassle-free, there are some things you need to know before getting started.
You Need to Season Your Blackstone
Similar to a cast iron skillet, your Blackstone flat-top needs seasoning before you can get cooking. According to the company’s site, this is done by turning your burners to high heat then coating the cooking surface and inner edges in a thin layer of oil. According to the site, you’ll first notice the flat-top change color when exposed to high heat, which is when you should add the oil. The lighter your layer of oil, the faster it will burn the oil off. Once the smoke dissipates, turn off the heat and add a second layer. You’ll want to repeat this process three to four times when first using. If your food continues to stick, Blackstone’s FAQ page ensures it’s nothing to worry about. “Just keep cooking and oiling it before and after each use. As the seasoning builds, the better your griddle seasoning will get.”
In testing, we found that the griddle top needed to be seasoned several times before it was ready to cook with, though testing took place in winter and therefore made it harder to get the cooktop to temperature. Otherwise, we found set-up to be fairly intuitive. The original Blackstone calls for a two-person set-up, which we found to be helpful when lifting the steel cooking surface.
Blackstone sells their own conditioning oil, which has been developed to specifically season their flat-top griddles. Other food-grade oils, including canola, vegetable and flax oil also work, but the company doesn’t guarantee results due to varying smoke points, burn times and durability.
Accessories Vary Based on Model
Blackstone griddles come with additional features, including a bottom shelf, side shelf, attached cutting board, paper towel holder and more. We found the accessories to be beneficial when used but not game-changing. One feature we loved in testing was the front shelf for squeeze bottles of oil and water, which you will need regularly. As always, it’s important to practice extra caution when working with any cooking appliance, especially a new one. Blackstone offers extensive safety breakdowns on their site, including what precautions to take when storing oil-covered rags and flammable oils near the Blackstone griddle.
Four-Zone Cooking Is a Major Draw
When testing, our test kitchen director Ginevra Iverson found the four-zone cooking to be the Blackstone’s best feature. “I was able to cook biscuits low and slow on one side and crisp bacon and make hash browns on the other.” Plus, the lower-heat side can be used to keep food warm before serving. One tip she notes is that the zone closest to the propane tank was consistently the hottest, so she recommends planning your cooking zones accordingly.
Blackstone Griddle vs Traditional Grill
When discussing the Blackstone with Ginevra, who tested the original 36-inch model, she noted that the indirect heat and flat cooking surface aided in the appliances appeal when compared to a traditional grill. When cooking with charcoal or wood chips, “There can be flare ups with fatty foods, you need to maintain temperatures ... It can be messy and can sometimes take a lot of attention.” If you’re entertaining or juggling multiple foods at once, this can be hard to manage. When cooking over indirect heat, it’s easier to control temperature and therefore easier to swap between foods. “It can get really hot, so you can get a good sear on food, but it can get low enough so that you can soft scramble eggs,” she said. In addition, the flat surface makes it possible to cook foods otherwise impossible on a grill, including thinly sliced meats or vegetables and fried rice.
Since there is no flame exposure, you won’t get the same charred flavor as a grill, so it might not be a replacement appliance. But if you’re looking to incorporate more vegetables into your diet or want a way to make meals outside all day long, it’s a great addition to your backyard cooking. “With grilling, you are often focused on protein — ribs, steaks, burgers — but with a Blackstone, you can make things like fried rice, veggie-heavy fajitas and even pizzas,” says Iverson. “It allows for a lot more cooking diversity.”
How to Clean a Blackstone
While proper seasoning should keep your Blackstone from rusting, the company notes that it can happen when stored for long periods of time or if the seasoning is done improperly. In this instance, Blackstone has an instructional video on how to properly remove rust to ensure your griddle is safe to cook on.
Regular cooking and seasoning should keep your grill clean, but if you need a deeper clean, remember to use mineral water only, never use soap and finish with a light layer of oil to protect the seasoning, according to the brand.
Easy Blackstone Griddle Recipes
Ready to put your griddle to good use? These recipes will get you started.
Take a break from pancakes on the griddle to try these delicious biscuit breakfast sandwiches. The biscuits cook beautifully directly on the griddle and resemble crumpets with their crisp golden exterior and soft doughy interior. The cheesy eggs and crisp bacon are perfectly balanced with a juicy slice of tomato. The sandwiches are easy to customize — you can switch out the pepper jack for your favorite cheese or throw in a few extra veggies with the spinach. The breakfast sandwich world is your oyster!
The appeal of a smash burger is the way the craggy edges crisp and how quickly it cooks. For our double-patty version made on a Blackstone flat-top style grill, we tried several different techniques. While we loved pressing the patties into onions on the griddle, it left less surface area for the meat to caramelize. Our fix was to split the difference by pressing one patty into golden onions and cook one patty plain for maximum browning and crispiness. The result is the best of both worlds: a burger loaded with flavor and texture. We would not want it any other way.
This griddle-cooked version of beoseot kimchi bokkeum bap (Korean for “mushroom kimchi fried rice”) gets extra umami from a mix of mushrooms and a veggie boost from zucchini and carrots. Topped with a sunny egg, each bowl is an all-in-one meal that’s super satisfying. The large surface area of a Blackstone flat-top style griddle allows you to cook a big batch all at once, so it’s an affordable way to feed a crowd with minimal effort. While the recipe doesn’t take much work or time, we really encourage making the rice a day ahead. That way the gochujang-butter sauce will coat each grain evenly and the rice will crisp up for added texture.
Fajitas are a crowd favorite, so we created this recipe to feed a crowd. Tender chicken breasts, juicy skirt steak, briny shrimp and colorful peppers all get tossed in a chipotle-lime marinade to really amp up the flavor. Everything is prepared ahead of time then goes on a super-hot Blackstone flat-top style griddle to sizzle away and cook in a matter of minutes. Your guests or family are then free to customize their own fajitas with an array of toppings.