The fairer weather of spring and summer is nearly upon us, and if your family is anything like mine, that means having friends and family over for fun in the great outdoors. When it comes to feeding large groups of people, nothing beats a griddle for versatility and use of space.
So when I went looking for something to replace our old grill for the cookout season, I decided to focus on finding the best gas griddle I could. Soon enough, I had my search narrowed down to the Blackstone 28″ griddle and the Blackstone 36″ griddle.
When you search for portable gas griddles, Blackstone is a name that comes up repeatedly. I poured through numerous reviews while narrowing down my search, and time after time, Blackstone’s features matched up with my needs more than other brands.
They offer options for a large outdoor griddle with ease of use and portability. Blackstone uses rolled carbon steel for their griddle tops, which conducts heat evenly, making the entire griddle surface usable. Plus, it is durable and easy to clean.
Knowing which company I wanted to focus on, I set out to determine which were the best Blackstone grills.
|Griddles||Blackstone 28″ Griddle||Blackstone 36″ Griddle|
|Cooking Area:||470 sq. inches||720 sq. inches|
|Intended Use:||Events, Parties, Camping, Home||Events, Parties, Camping, Home|
|Features:||2 zone heating control, electric ignition built-in grease catcher, 2 heavy duty castors, 1 cantilevered shelve, folding legs||4 zone heating control, electric ignition, built-in grease catcher, 4 heavy duty castors, 2 cantilevered shelves, folding legs|
|Product Dimensions:||44.5 x 19.5 x 33.5 inches||62.5 x 22 x 36 inches|
|Item Weight:||75 pounds||120 pounds|
View at Amazon
View at Amazon
Are the Blackstone 28″ griddle and the 36″ griddle just different sizes of the same product? Not quite. While they are similar and both high quality, as you would expect from two products made by the same company, they have some key differences.
Both griddles are fueled by propane tanks and have powder-coated steel frames supporting the cooking surface. Both are on castor wheels for mobility and have extra shelving, internal burner ignition, adjustable burners, and fasteners for their propane tanks.
They also both have grease management systems built-in and rolled carbon steel for the griddle surface itself.
However, these griddle surfaces are composed of two different gauges of carbon steel. The 28″ griddle is made with ten gauges, and the 36″ is made with seven gauges.
I know that might sound like the 28″ griddle is made with a thicker gauge, but metal gauging goes backward from what you might expect. Seven gauges are actually thicker and thus can handle higher temperatures than the ten gauges.
This is part of the reason why the 36″ griddle is capable of producing 30,000 more BTUs of heat than the 28″ griddle.
However, along with the extra cooking surface and a thicker gauge of carbon steel comes extra bulk and weight. The Blackstone 36″ griddle is considerably larger and heavier than the smaller 28″ model. While the built-in wheels mean it will roll with ease, this still makes the larger griddle cooking station less portable.
If you are considering a gas griddle for a family camping trip or to use for tailgating, the 28″ griddle would be easier to lift into and out of a vehicle. The 36″ griddle is better suited to those who enjoy throwing large backyard cookouts where the cooking station will stay on a deck or patio.
Blackstone Griddle 28″ vs 36″:
Blackstone 28″ Griddle Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle StationView at Amazon
- Stainless Steel Burners: 2
- Cooking Area: 470 sq. inches
- BTUs: 30,000
- Intended Use: Events, Parties, Camping, Home
- Features: 2 zone heating control, electric ignition built-in grease catcher, 2 heavy duty castors, 1 cantilevered shelve, folding legs
- Product Dimensions: 44.5 x 19.5 x 33.5 inches
- Item Weight: 75 pounds
The Blackstone 28″ griddle is a two-burner flat-top grill with a total cooking surface of 470 square inches of ten gauge rolled carbon steel. Each burner has a built-in ignition system, which makes lighting them a breeze, and they are adjustable for up to 30,000 BTUs.
To put it in practical terms, you can adjust the temperatures to perfectly cook fish or get a consistent sear on your steak with the turn of a dial. Additionally, while amounts will vary based on what you are cooking, you can cook enough to feed up to ten people at a time on that size of griddle!
The griddle sets on a powder-coated steel frame and has both a shelf and tray for added utility. It uses propane tanks for fuel and includes fasteners for them to keep the tanks secure. Caster wheels keep the entire setup easily portable.
In addition to being more versatile in the types of foods they can be used to cook than a grill, a griddle’s smooth surface makes them easier to clean.
The grease management system built into the Blackstone griddles draws grease away from your food while cooking and adds to the ease of cleaning up even more, which is a big plus.View at Amazon
Blackstone 36″ Griddle Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle StationView at Amazon
- Stainless Steel Burners: 4
- Cooking Area: 720 sq. inches
- BTUs: 60,000
- Intended Use: Events, Parties, Camping, Home
- Features: 4 zone heating control, electric ignition, built-in grease catcher, 4 heavy duty castors, 2 cantilevered shelves, folding legs
- Product Dimensions: 62.5 x 22 x 36 inches
- Item Weight: 120 pounds
Blackstone’s 36″ griddle has much of the same functionality as the 28″ griddle on a larger scale. Like the smaller model, it comes with a built-in burner igniter and adjustable temperature controls.
It has a tray and two side shelves to provide additional workspace, and the rolled carbon steel griddle top has the same grease management system for clean, even cooking, and easy cleanup.
This large Blackstone griddle also sits atop a powder-coated steel frame set on caster wheels. This makes the frame durable and resistant to chipping, always a good thing when you are talking about a cook station of any type, and the wheels keep it relatively easy to move despite the larger size.
Built-in fasteners for the propane tank it uses for fuel keep the tanks secure.
I have mentioned the 36″ griddle is larger, but how much of a difference can a mere eight inches make? This four-burner griddle boasts a cooking surface of 720 square inches.
That’s a whole 272 square inches more than its smaller cousin, making it capable of cooking for sixteen to twenty people in one batch versus around ten.
Besides having a larger cooking surface, the 36″ griddle’s top is composed of seven gauges rolled carbon steel and is capable of putting out up to 60,000 BTUs from its four burners. This in addition to its other features makes it the best four-burner griddle I found available today.View at Amazon
Results of a Blackstone Gas Griddle
So which is the best griddle cooking station out of the two? The answer to that really depends on what your needs are and what you want out of your griddle cooking station.
The Blackstone 28″ is the more portable option. It has less overall power and workspace, but it still provides the ability to feed a small to medium-sized group with ease.
Its smaller frame means the 28″ griddle is easier to move and can be packed away in the back of a truck or camper for use on camping trips or tailgating if you have a friend to help you.
The larger Blackstone 36″ has more burners, a surface area for cooking, and an additional shelf. This griddle is best suited for a family fond of entertaining larger groups. It is not one you want to lug in and out of a vehicle, but it is sure to be the star of a big outdoor meal.