Blackstone Takes a Great Griddle and Makes It Even Better
A hard cover, grill hooks, and magnetic tool strip are useful additions to this model.
When it comes to flat-top grills, few carry the reputation of those made by Blackstone. The company’s griddles are well regarded for their sturdy build, exceptional cooking surfaces, and ability to get ridiculously hot. Of the many flat-top grills this brand produces, its most popular model is its 36-inch four-burner griddle. Having tested earlier versions of this griddle, I was excited to see what was new with the most recent iteration.
To review the Blackstone 36-inch griddle, I applied my experience conducting more than 100 hours of grilling on more than 30 models, including nearly a dozen flat tops. I unboxed and assembled the grill, then spent several days cooking a variety of foods on it, including everything from burgers and chicken fajitas to eggs and bacon. My tests revealed that this model still has the same powerful cooking performance as earlier models, but its thoughtful and useful additions are great upgrades.
Blackstone 36-Inch Griddle With Hard Cover: At a Glance
- Cooking surface size: 720 square inches
- Number of burners: 4
- Heat output: 60,000 BTU
- Weight: 141 pounds
- Equipped with a high-quality, heavy-gauge rolled steel cooktop
- Cooking surface heats evenly thanks to 4 gas burners
- Many amenities for the chef, including grill hooks, a magnetic holder, and a paper towel rack
- Amount of play in the control knobs makes it tricky to make small adjustments to burners
- Challenging to take on the road for tailgating or camping due to its heavy weight
Get the Blackstone 36-inch griddle with hard cover at:
What is the Blackstone 36-inch griddle?
This 36-inch flat-top griddle is the flagship product for Blackstone. It consists of a 720-square- inch rolled steel cooktop heated by four gas burners that put out 60,000 BTU (British thermal units) of heat. Blackstone griddles also come in smaller 28-inch and 26-inch options.
As with other flat-top griddles, the Blackstone is more versatile than a traditional charcoal or gas grill equipped with cooking grates. With the Blackstone griddle, users can grill foods they’d never put on a regular grill, including pancakes, eggs, bacon, stir-fries, fajitas, along with standard grill fare such as burgers and steaks. Though this grill is large and heavy at a total weight of 141 pounds, it’s still somewhat portable. The legs fold under the main body for transport, the heavy cast-iron cooktop separates from the body, and large casters allow users to wheel it around flat surfaces.
How easy is it to assemble the Blackstone griddle?
While the Blackstone griddle isn’t difficult to put together, it’s important to note that the cooktop does require a fairly lengthy seasoning process that adds to its overall assembly time. Thanks to easy-to-follow instructions, I had the Blackstone together in about an hour and a half. While I completed the assembly myself, having an extra set of hands to help would have been nice, especially when lifting and fitting the 50-pound steel cooktop.
Once the griddle is together, users will need to go through the seasoning process for the cooktop, which is standard with any flat-top grill. Seasoning creates a coating on the griddle surface that prevents food from sticking to it while cooking and protects it from rusting. To achieve that coating, users must coat the cooking surface with a thin layer of cooking oil and then heat it to extremely high temperatures until the oil begins to burn off. I repeated this process three or four times to get a good coating on the griddle, which took about an hour from start to finish.
How is the cooking performance on the Blackstone?
Blackstone equipped this flat-top grill with four powerful 15,000-BTU burners and a rolled steel cooking surface. This dynamic duo combines to deliver an exceptional cooking surface that produces heat outputs of 520 to 560 degrees Fahrenheit. Being able to heat the surface to such a high temperature made it easy to get a nice sear on my test burgers and steaks, which is something I haven’t been able to achieve on other flat-top grills I’ve tested.
Of course, the allure of a flat top isn’t just about cooking foods that demand high heat but also those that require cooking at lower temperatures. Set to medium, all four burners did a nice job maintaining a consistent temperature between 350 and 375 degrees Fahrenheit across the entire griddle surface. As such, I had no trouble successfully cooking pancakes, fried eggs, and several strips of bacon. I’ve had problems with breakfast foods sticking to other griddles I’ve tested, so I was pleased when my morning feast didn’t adhere to the Blackstone surface (as long as I primed it with a good dose of cooking oil).
I also loved that the Blackstone has four burners, which allowed me to create different temperature zones. I seared strips of steak on one side while sauteing green peppers on the other.
How well designed is the Blackstone griddle?
Along with the Blackstone’s heat output and rolled steel griddle, two large side tables attached to either side of the cooking area are a thoughtful inclusion. They offer plenty of space for prepping food going on and coming off the griddle, which is a huge help when cooking pancakes, eggs, burgers, and other foods that need to go on and come off the cooking surface quickly.
I also like the extra amenities new to this year’s 36-inch model. When testing last year’s version of this griddle, I lamented the lack of places to hang grill tools, so I was thrilled to find that Blackstone went overboard to correct that omission. This year’s model comes equipped with four hooks on each side table, which allowed me to hang eight grill tools. Moreover, Blackstone added a magnetic strip on the front of the side table—a small feature I found invaluable when looking for a place to put my metal spatula or tongs.
Other notable additions to this year’s model include a paper towel rack that folds out from the body and a bottle opener mounted to the front control panel. The only disappointing addition to this model is its hard cover: It’s a nice feature for protecting the grill surface when it’s not in use, but it’s made from flimsy sheet metal that warps very easily, preventing it from sitting flush with the cooktop.
Because flat-top griddles are popular tailgating grills, most of Blackstone’s grills, including this model, are portable. The legs tuck under the grill, the side tables fold down, and the heavy top lifts off, making it compact and light enough for transport in the back of a pickup truck or large trunk. But at 141 pounds, this griddle is by no means lightweight. Two people with stout backs will be required to break it down and carry it.
How durable is the Blackstone griddle?
The Blackstone’s cast-iron and rolled steel construction materials create a sturdily built product. Its hefty square-shaped legs and large rubber casters provide a sturdy base for the heavy cooktop, and the frame has a thick black powder coating that inspires confidence that this grill will fend off rust.
Blackstone griddles are known for their exceptional rolled steel cooktops, and this model is no exception. The cooktop is made from heavy-gauge rolled steel reinforced with welded angle iron. In short, this cooktop isn’t going to warp, even when it’s subjected to the extreme heat produced by its four 15,000-BTU burners.
The control knobs have a solid feel, and I like the fact that they have a rubberized grip. That said, there’s a little too much play in them, and I found it harder to make minor adjustments to the size of the flame on the burners than with other gas grills and griddles I’ve tested. That gripe aside, the Blackstone griddle is one of the more solidly built flat-top grills you can buy.
Is the Blackstone griddle worth the money?
Blackstone’s 36-inch griddle with hard cover retails for between $300 and $400, which is a great price given the quality of the build and its exceptional cooking performance. This grill is higher quality than most flat-top griddles I’ve tested, thanks to a heavy-gauge rolled reinforced steel cooktop and four burners. Given that it has such a substantial cooking surface, it’s also capable of cooking a lot of food at one time, which adds to its overall value.
Though this grill is large, users can take it to tailgating events or even on camping trips, thanks to legs that fold under the base and side tables that fold down. Add to that extra features such as hooks for hanging grill tools, a magnet holder for cutlery, a storage shelf, and a hardcover top, and the Blackstone is an excellent deal.
Is the Blackstone 36-inch griddle right for you?
Whether the Blackstone griddle is right for you depends on a few factors. With its 36-inch-wide cooking surface, the Blackstone griddle is one of the largest flat-top grills on the market. Those who plan on hosting a large backyard event, have a large family, or spend many weekends tailgating will find that the Blackstone griddle’s large cooking capacity makes it a great choice.
That said, if your flat-top cooking is usually limited to small gatherings of four or five people or you have limited space on your deck or patio for another cooking appliance, then this flat-top may be overkill. Instead, you may want to consider Blackstone’s smaller 28-inch or 26-inch flat-top grills.
Whether this grill is right for you also depends on the type of outdoor cooking you like to do. Flat-top grills allow users to cook pancakes, bacon, fajitas, stir-fries, and other types of foods that simply can’t be cooked on a standard gas or charcoal barbecue equipped with a metal grate. If your outdoor cooking is limited to burgers, hot dogs, chicken, and steaks, you might want to consider a traditional gas or charcoal grill.
Where to Buy the Blackstone 36-Inch Griddle
Get the Blackstone 36-inch griddle with hard cover at:
Meet the Tester
Tony Carrick is a freelance writer specializing in home improvement, landscaping, technology, home security, and design. His articles have been featured on such sites as Popular Mechanics, Futurism, Field & Stream, 360 Reviews by U.S. News & World Report, Popular Science, and more. Carrick has conducted rigorous product testing on everything from power tools to home security systems to backyard grills. With each review, his goal is to help readers determine whether a product meets their needs and if it is or isn’t worth its price tag.