Flat top grills have been in commercial use since the 1950’s. Once a mainstay of burger drive-thrus and short order grills and diners has finally started to make serious inroads into the consumer market.
Functionally different than the traditional open grate grilling found in backyards everywhere, flat top grilling allows for a wide range of recipes and cooking options that would be less than efficient or impossible with open flame. Of course, you can replace an open air grill with a flat grill but often, they make an excellent addition to your existing setup. If you love outdoor cooking, a flat top grill is perfect for your backyard.
The Flat Grill Comes Of Age
Flat grills are an interesting story of supply and demand. Made originally for the commercial market as they could be made larger and could cook a variety of foods without having to alter the surface or temperature, they were found in diners and restaurants of all types and sizes. They were also popularized by the introduction of hibachi cooking in the U.S. Several industrious individuals would make their own homemade versions by using sheet steel and placing it over a gas grill or charcoal grill. These tended to work but were unwieldy and potentially dangerous.
However, during the periods up to current, the demand for a flat top grill for the consumer market languished far behind that of the traditional style grill. As more people are considering the health aspects involved with food preparation and cooking, the demand for flat grills have increased to the point of now being offered on the consumer market. These grills are still relatively new as many manufacturers have opted to produce accessories to add a flat surface to their existing product line, but slowly more flat grills are coming to residential backyards everywhere.
Five Great Flat Top Grills For Home Use
Top Portable Gas Griddle for Outdoors
Blackstone is a widely respected manufacturer of flat top grills and the one that currently has the most models on the market. This specific model – Blackstone Table Top Camp Griddle/ Grill is designed for camping or tailgating and uses propane gas as a fuel. It has an easy to use igniter and can accept small propane bottles. The stainless steel construction makes cleanup a breeze, just wipe and go.
The unique H style burner ensures even heating and solid heat transfer to the heating surface. People who purchased and used this griddle/grill love the fun and easy cooking and the easy cleanup/setup and delicious results.
Best Electric Griddler/Grill
The Cuisinart Model #GR-300WS is a unique grill in that it functions as multiple grills/griddles and presses. It is an electric unit that can easily be used on a table top. This model grill can also serve as a hot sandwich press to make panini as well as provide an excellent sear for burgers and more.
The digital control system is easy to use and the LCD screen offers a generous amount of information at a glance. The lid is easy to use and is not heavy but still offers plenty of press for cooking. People who have and used this unit love the fact that it can sear, press and more and that it evenly cooks on both sides. They also enjoy the fact the cooking surface is dishwater safe.
Best Flat Top Cooking Station to Buy
The Blackstone 36 Inch Series Flat Top Grill is an outdoor grill presented by Blackstone. It offers a 36 inch cooking surface with low rider splash sides and a grease catcher forward. The unit has four independent burners producing 15K BTU of heat for a total of 60K BTU’s, more than enough to cook almost anything.
The surface is stainless steel for easy cleaning and the burners are easy to ignite. Also, the unit is of a solid construction and there are two side shelves for prep space. The lower cart has shelves for even more space and the four casters help make it easy to move. People who have this grill love the fact it is easy to assemble and use and how even the heating is.
Best Flat Top Grill
Camp Chef is another manufacturer who is bringing flat top grill to the consumer market. This model – Camp Chef Flat Series Grill is a dual purpose unit allowing for a flat surface or for using open grates, which come with the unit. This gives you the option of using either cooking style.
It has four burners, each producing 12K BTU of heat and all have easy, matchless ignition for fast starting. People who have and use this grill love the fact it can do more than just one style of cooking and love how fast and easy it ignites and cooks.
Best Heavy Duty Flat Top Grill
Designed for both residential or commercial use, this flat grill – Toastmaster Model# TMGM24 Grill uses natural gas and is perfect as an accessory to an outdoor grilling station or used alone. This is a manual light unit with three burners. The construction is of a heavy gauge stainless steel and the surface is bounded by splash guards.
The burners are easy to light and use and the surface is super easy to clean, just wipe and go. Perfect for any home, this grill can has a 24 inch wide cooking area that will easily cook whatever you desire.
As with any grill purchased, it is important for the longevity of the grill and for the cooking results that you follow all recommended manufacturer guidelines concerning the operation and cleaning of your grill. If you use your grill outdoors, be sure to provide a quality cover to protect your grill from the elements.