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Blackstone vs. Camp Chef: Two popular outdoor griddles compared

We dive into two popular backyard gas griddles to find out which comes out on top.

Brian Bennett Former Senior writer
Brian Bennett is a former senior writer for the home and outdoor section at CNET.
Brian Bennett
3 min read

Whether they're powered by charcoal, gas or wood, outdoor grills are a staple of many homes. Griddles, on the other hand, have wide, flat cooking surfaces and are typically used in commercial kitchens like diners, delis and fast food restaurants. Since they lack grates or gaps of any kind, they can handle all sorts of food that give regular grills trouble -- think eggs, pancakes, bacon and finely chopped or sliced vegetables.

With plenty of usable surface area, griddles can whip up a lot of food, fast. That makes outdoor griddles perfect for large families with big appetites. Two brands, Blackstone and Camp Chef, dominate this space for gas griddles, and they both offer compelling products with similar features and capabilities.

With spring coming on fast, here's what you need to know about each of these griddles' on-paper features. I'll follow up with a hands-on evaluation later in the grilling season. 

The combatants

For this comparison I settled on two griddles, each a top seller. In one corner is the Camp Chef Flat Top Grill. In the other we have the Blackstone 36-inch Outdoor Griddle. Both are four-burner models and are close in overall size and of comparable price.


This gas-powered griddle from Blackstone is built to please large crowds. The company says its carbon-steel cooking surface is big enough to "serve an entire crowd with full-sear restaurant-quality steaks." It can handle 72 hot dogs or 28 burgers at a time.


The Flat Top Grill is also designed to crank out a ton of food to big groups. Camp Chef claims it can feed hungry throngs of up to 100 people every hour. It also has a removable cast-iron griddle that swaps out for traditional grill grates if that's more your style.

Cooking area

One advantage to using a griddle is its greater cooking area. Wider and deeper than the average gas grill, both of these griddles offer a vast expanse of hot plate to work with. The Camp Chef Flat Top Grill has a considerable 604 square inches of cooking space. The Blackstone 36-inch Outdoor Griddle has an even more spacious 720 square inches of cooking surface. For reference, Weber's fancy Summit E-470 gas grill has a primary cooking area of 468 inches. 

Winner: Blackstone 36-inch Outdoor Griddle

Heating power

The Camp Chef griddle has four propane burners each rated to provide 12,000 BTU. That comes to a total heat output of 48,000 BTU. On the other hand, Blackstone says the four gas burners of its Outdoor Griddle offer a combined heat output of 60,000 BTU.

Winner: Blackstone 36-inch Outdoor Griddle 

Shelf space

Both the Blackstone 36-inch Outdoor Griddle and the Camp Chef Flat Top Grill are equipped with a pair of side shelves. They're useful when your hands are full and need to set down plates, pans or utensils. You can also drop condiments and seasonings on them so they're always at the ready.

Winner: Draw

Grease flow and leveling

There are certain things you need to consider before you deploy a gas griddle and perform your first cook. Flat cooktops won't burn off grease like a traditional grill, so leveling is critical to direct the flow of grease to the grease trap. 

The Camp Chef Flat Top Grill ships with adjustable leg levelers to help make griddle setup easier. The Blackstone griddle does not -- you'll have to take care of this task yourself.

Winner: Camp Chef Flat Top Grill 


The Blackstone Outdoor Griddle's cooking surface must be seasoned before its first use. The process calls for applying a thin layer of cooking oil then burning it off at high heat. After repeating the procedure up to five times, the oil bonds to the metal hot plate, creating a nonstick coating.

Camp Chef's Flat Top Grill comes with a preseasoned cast-iron cooking surface. You might need to recondition it over time, but you shouldn't need to season it before your first use.

Winner: Camp Chef Flat Top Grill 

Watch this: 4 unexpected tricks for a better cookout

The winner overall

These are very evenly matched products with comparable pricing. The Camp Chef Flat Top Grill has level-adjusting legs and a preseasoned cooktop, both useful features to have for sure. The same is true for its swap-in grill grates. Even so, in terms of raw cooking specs, the Blackstone griddle has the slight edge. It offers more cooking area plus hotter burners. I'll save judgement until I can test both griddles myself, but right now I'm leaning toward the Blackstone model's more powerful cooking specs.