A flat top grill is a wonderful gadget for every griller to possess. As the name suggests, the grill has a smooth flat surface that can cook an egg as fluffy as a cloud or a steak to dizzying juicy heights. The flat top grill originates from Mexico and Central America, where it was initially used for cooking corn dough. Let’s find the best flat top grill available on the market today.
What is a flat top grill?
Think of a flat top grill as a large, smooth griddle that gives off regulated heat or has different ‘heat zones’ that allow for cooking varying food types. You can cook tasty burgers on one section, hashbrowns on another, and the essential fried egg to top everything off on yet another. Watching a skilled chef master these various zones is lots of fun and can take a little practice!
There are many grills to choose from, which, of course, makes the decision process a little complicated. But we will help guide you through the best flat top grills available on the market.
The flat top grill is also known as a plancha, which quite literally means ‘metal plate’; so grilled food on the said metal plate is called ‘a la plancha’.
From what is the grill made?
The uncoated steel flat top grill is prone to rust; however, once correctly primed, they will last for many years. When using the flat top, you need to use a thin layer of oil across the entire grill. The metal has microscopic pores that allow the oil to penetrate and, once heated, forms a non-stick surface, which is otherwise known as seasoning. Alternatively, you might be able to purchase a seasoned grill straight out of the box. So make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Best things to cook
The flat top grills have quite a few advantages over a traditional grill grate. There are no gaps in which the food can disappear into the abyss of terrifyingly hot coals or gas burners. Smaller, more soft foods can be cooked to perfection and end up in the serving dishes. It’s also a great way to cook fish as it will not stick to the plates if they are well seasoned and oiled. The solid surface allows you to cook and brown food with ease, which means more taste and a perfect searing experience.
Just add water. You can clean the grill as you cook. Use the spatula to scrape away any rogue pieces of food straight into the grease trap. Clean with care and just use a cup of room temperature water on the grill, allow it to heat up, the food then softens, and you can use your spatula to scrape it away, continue to repeat until it is clean. Refrain from using soap or other harsh chemicals; this will strip the non-stick coating from the grill. Make sure that the grill is completely dry, be careful as it will still be hot; then carefully smooth a little oil over the entire surface to build up the non-stick coating. Manufacturers will recommend a flattop grill cover to keep it clean and stored in a cool, dry place.
You can purchase griddle plates that can sit above your BBQ grates if you crave those brown sear marks for a steak or burger.
Cooking on a flat top
If you are a fan of crispy-edged smashed burgers with crackling bacon and melted cheese crammed into an oversized toasted bun, then this is your dream come true. You’ll find that you use this grill extensively for evenly cooked pancakes, toasted cheese, and tomato sandwiches and uniformly browned meat and onions. Makes sure that you have enough space in between each food item for flipping like a pro.
How to choose the best flat top grill?
As with every purchase of a large item, you will need to consider some essential factors.
If you plan to cook at home, you need not worry about the grill’s weight. However, if you want to take this on camping trips or into the wilderness, mobility and weight are key factors.
How much space do you have in your back garden or yard? There are all sorts of shapes and sizes to choose from; make sure it suits your space.
How many people do you regularly cook for? Just the two of you, or do you enjoy cooking for large groups of friends and family? If there are lots of hungry mouths to feed often, it’s wise to go for a bigger flat top grill.
Temperatures should be even across the entire grill. It’s handy to have some ‘cooler’ spots for browning sandwiches and buns.
Most reputable smoker grill manufacturers offer a range of warranties; this reflects the quality of the product.
Now that we’ve covered all there is to be known about this category,
let’s get in to our choices for the top 5 best flat top grills.
1. Camp Chef Flat Top Grill 600
This is a multi-purpose grill. It boasts a smooth flat top griddle, underneath, you will find traditional grill grates. Cook varying feasts throughout the day, bacon and pancakes for breakfast, stir-fried veggies and rice for lunch, and a BBQ feast for dinner.
The cooking surface of the Camp Chef Flat Top Grill 600 is 501 square inches, which sits above four 12,000 BTU stainless steel burners with matchless ignition. Around the cooking surface is a raised lip to prevent splashes and offer easy cleaning into the grease wells.
Either side of the grill is a folding shelf, which is ideal for storing oils, condiments, chopped fruits and vegetables, and plates. Underneath lies two more storage shelves. There is also a handy storage bar for cooking utensils.
The Camp Chef Flat Top Grill 600 is ideal for everyday family use, or it can take on jobs that require some additional manpower; it can cook food for up to 100 people each hour. The surface of the grill is pre-seasoned, so you can take it straight from the box and start cooking immediately. You can heat sauces and water in a pan on the grill as well.
The flat top grill had two wheels, which make it quite easy to move around.
The Camp Chef Flat Top Grill 600 is easy to use, gets lovely and hot, and is ideal for cooking for family and for large parties.
2. Royal Gourmet Regal GB2000 Gas Grill 22 inch
The two-burner Royal Gourmet Regal GB2000 boasts a generous 486 square inches of cooking space. The grill is coated in glossy ceramic that gives a smooth cooking surface, but it heats up nice and quickly and is reactive to the burners. Two independently controlled stainless steel tube burners have up tp 13,000 BTU each for even geat distribution. Use one side of the grill for burgers and meats that require more heat; the other side is ideal for seafood, fish, bread, and veggies. The grill is powered by an electronic ignition system that gives a one-touch start up each time.
A large grease cup collects water, oil, and rogue foods for easy cleaning. The four raised sides make it easy to use the spatula and for cleaning.
The fixed table provides ample space for food preparation and storing essentials like salt, pepper, condiments that you need to keep nice and handy. A hanging bar with four adjustable hooks allows you to hang your grilling accessories with ease and keeps them handy for cooking. Two large caster wheels with a brake system allow easy transportation and parking. Ideal for smaller cooking parties and everyday use.
An easily transportable family-size, non-stick, flat top grill that boasts even heat distribution, one-touch ignition, and accessible storage options.
3. Blackstone Table Top Grill – 17 Inch Portable Gas Griddle
The Blackstone Table Top Grill is the ideal portable stove for any occasion. The 260 square inch, 12,000 BTU cooking space, allows you to cook various things at the same time. The ‘H’ style burner provides excellent heat distribution for even cooking. The grill is easy to keep clean with its cold-rolled cooking surface and built-in grease catcher; just wipe the durable and heavy-duty cooking surface with a paper towel or a dry cloth.
Blackstone is well known for their love of outdoor cooking; the provision of grills and accessories is a natural extension of their dream to keep a nation of outside lovers happy.
The Blackstone Table Top Grill is portable and uses a convenient one-pound propane bottle for fuel, making it perfectly handy for camping, tailgating, road trips, and everyday outdoor use. There is cleverly considered storage – simply flip the griddle top upside down on top of the griddle body to save space and scratches. The whole grill can be easily carried by hand. The grill needs to be appropriately seasoned before use. We’d recommend that you purchase the carry case for extra protection.
A convenient, transportable grill that is ideal for home use and for taking away for weekend or longer trips. Good value and easy to keep clean.
4. EVO AFFINITY 25E Professional Series Gas Grill
A fabulous grill that packs a mighty punch in the cooking arena. The Affinity 25E Series Built-in Electric Grill by Evo is a versatile grill for indoor cooking and designed to be built into your worktop cooking space. The stainless steel construction ensures that it is durable and long-lasting and will give you years of use. The grill offers dual-zone cooking, and its electric heaters provide variable temperatures between 150 and 525 degrees Fahrenheit. Its 450 square inches of robust ceramic clad steel provides a heavy-duty cooktop that retains heat very well.
Two knobs control the inner and outer cooking zones and provide even heat. The stainless steel drip pan surrounding the cooking surface catches splashes, overspills, and any excess oil. Two dishwasher safe catch pans allow for easy cleaning.
The digital electronic display provides various mode functions that control the inner and outer cooking zones and an on/off switch.
This is an excellent grill if you love entertaining; the best parties are, after all, always in the kitchen (or an outdoor kitchen for that matter); a perfect permanent addition to any home.
5. Blackstone 36 inch 1554 Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle Station
The four-burner Blackstone 1554 Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle Station has 720 square inches of rolled carbon steel griddle. Each burner controls a section on the grill, allowing you to have complete control across different zones for low to high heats for various foods or if you are just cooking for two. The grill ignites with one push of a button. The grill needs to be seasoned well before use.
Both sides of the grill are two large shelves that are really handy as preparation areas for food or storage of sauces, marinades, seasonings, herbs and spices, and crockery. Underneath the grill is a large shelf for larger items. The propane gas tank has a secure fitting rack to one side.
Raised sides make for easy cooking and cleaning; there is also a grease drip trough and catch bowl for food scraps and oil from cooking. There are four sturdy legs and all-weather, industrial-strength wheels, two of which are lockable. The wheels allow the unit to be moved and parked with ease.
The grill assembly process was straightforward with the tutorial video.
A large, transportable rolled carbon steel griddle with four burners that allow four cooking zones. One-touch ignition and ample storage space.
Each of the grills that we painstakingly tested is all brilliant in their own way, but we are voting-in the Camp Chef Flat Top Grill 600 as our recommendation for the best flat top grill. Its smart, multi-purpose grill and grate make it an ideal one-appliance purchase. It’s got a large cooking area and plenty of storage, and you can even use it straight out of the box thanks to its pre-seasoning.