We were on the lookout for a new grill as our decades-old one was rusting through and literally falling apart. We bought a smaller version of it and it worked well. However, as camp hosts, we have the opportunity to ask a lot of people what they like. As we do our rounds around dinner time, we get to see and smell them in action, too. The Blackstone Griddle name came up so often I wanted to know what all the love was about.
The Blackstone Griddle folks were gracious enough to send a 22” tabletop griddle to test out. There was a tool kit, seasoning oil and seasonings sent with it. They directed me to their video on how to season it for the first time. I watched it so much it went to autoplay!
I was a bit concerned when the box came a bit roughed up, but the griddle was packed so well there was not a problem with it.
I followed the simple assembly instructions for setup. First, I easily installed the griddle feet, the propane regulator and grease cup, and laid the griddle on top. Easy peasy! The body is very lightweight, but be aware that the griddle top is well-made and heavy. Think h-u-g-e cast iron pan!
Seasoning the Blackstone Griddle
I was so excited to get going that even though it was 106 degrees and sunny out, I started the seasoning process, replaying the how-to video several times. It was easy to ignite: You simply push in the knob to start the gas flow, turn the knob to ignite and, once it’s lit, you turn it to high. I did the same for the other burner tube. Then you let it heat up for about 15 minutes until it’s super hot and the griddle begins to discolor.
I dropped about a tablespoon of seasoning oil on the griddle and spread it smoothly around with a paper towel. It was hot! I needed tongs!
It began smoking almost immediately. That is a sign that the oil is bonding with the surface. Let it continue to heat on high until the smoke has cleared and no longer shiny. Repeat three or four more times.
Now the real test. Does it cook as well as all those campers are raving about it? Could it really replace my standard camping grill?
I bought some precut grilling veggies, preheated the griddle, added a little olive oil and the veggies. I quickly learned that the griddle had some areas that were hotter and some cooler when the veggies started to scorch when directly over the burner tubes and the ones on outer edges didn’t. Later I found out that Blackstone designates different zones. I just moved stuff around to cook and char evenly. I put the chicken on later.
Does it really clean easily? Did I season it properly? I had read enough reviews to know that food could stick terribly or it could come off easily. Glad to say that I could squirt a little hot water in small areas on the griddle and scrape it clean.
I wiped it dry with a paper towel and then applied the oil with a cloth all over the surface and sides.
Now the taste test: The veggies are tender and wonderfully charred and the chicken is tender and done!
So, is it worthy of the hype?
The Blackstone Griddle performed even better than I anticipated. It was easy to use, and easy to light and control. While the initial seasoning process was a bit of a hassle (particularly at 106 degrees in Arizona), I am sure that proper and diligent seasoning is what will keep the griddle nonstick and evenly heating.
The 22” surface was plenty big enough for our use. Lots of veggies and chicken went on – easily enough for four people. I can see the griddle being a lot more versatile than our standard camping grill for breakfasts, lunches and dinners beyond just grilling meat.
The griddle top itself is much heavier than I thought it would be. It is definitely easier to handle when moving the unit by taking it off of the body. The weight is a consideration for any RVer. Can I really afford to add another 32-plus pounds?
It is important that the griddle is oiled at the end of each use and kept dry. Make sure to keep it covered if outside and out of the rain. It can rust. I have seen some pictures of what can happen and it is not pretty. I imagine that it does require a bit more maintenance than our grill did, but the bottom rusted out on our other propane grill, so there is that.
Not having a stand or tabletop to put the griddle on, my husband improvised with plant pots and a wood crate. I would certainly consider getting a stand to hold it and a top to help keep it clean.
I never thought a griddle could give me such flavor with such ease. Tomorrow I’m trying breakfast: pancakes, potatoes, sausage and eggs. How about grilled cheese, fajitas or steak?
Bottom line: Yes, it is worthy of all the love RVers give it.