If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best flat top grill, then we recommend the Blackstone Outdoor 1554 Station-4-burner Grill Griddle Station as the best one.
It’s Time to Have a Flat Top Grill!
Honestly, I am a kind of BBQ addiction and a grillaholic who can’t help but organize three outdoor parties a week, and the most exciting part is to try cooking with different grills. And know what?
I have a list of the best flat top grill options to introduce you today. Those grills are supposed to heat up quickly and to provide a spacious cooking area ready for you to cook a real taste of goodness!
Here are 5 grills we will review:
- U-MAX 4 Burner Portable Gas Grill
- Blackstone 1554 Station-4-burner Gas Griddles Station
- Royal Gourmet GB4000 36-inch 4-Burner Regal Parrilla Propanp Negro
- Royal Gourmet GB4001 Propane Gas Grill
- Royal Gourmet GD401C 4-Burner Portable Grill and Griddle Combo
Is a Flat Top Grill Better?
How does a flat top grill work?
Before we move to the best flat top grill reviews, some of you might still not know what this grill looks like and how different its function can be compared to other regular grills.
In that case, here is the long-awaited answer, the flat top is sort of a cross between the grill and griddle. Taking up the shape of a griddle, the flat top has a flat cooking surface instead of the grilling grates heated from below. Besides, there are individual burners like those of regular grills.
As a result, you can cook various foods at the top at once because different regions can have different temperatures. You can even use pans and pots if needed.
What to cook with a flat top grill?
You can simply cook almost anything you have on your mind since the flat top allows you to cook on its grill surface or with pans and pots directly.
In the morning, I often use the grill to make pancakes or burgers. Sometimes, I use it for a big outdoor party of seafood, sauces, and BBQ. I like the way that the grill distributes the heat evenly and gets foods well-cooked.
I do not recommend cooking marinated meats or very fatty foods as the grill offers no grates for marinade and fat to drip through. Thus, those liking the smoky taste or grill marks are not likely to go for the flat top.
Prerequisites with the flat top grills
The flat-top grills are supposed to be easy to work with.
Nonetheless, a happy BBQ party can turn sour without paying proper attention to safety precautions. Just imagine that your kids are too excited for the burgers that they try to grab hot ones!
Better safe than sorry.
- Always check up on the possible leaks before you start cooking. Tips are to use soap water brushed on all liquid propane tanks connections.
- Secondly, never push the igniter again with an open fire because the propane needs at least five minutes to dissipate and start burning. Otherwise, you might suffer from dangerous flare-ups.
- Next, keep fire safety in mind and remove all possible hazards around the cooking area.
- Finally, store and maintain the grill properly every time after you have done with the cooking.
How to choose the best flat-top grills?
Although flat tops, like other types of grills, come in different sizes, I still recommend this for large kitchens or front-of-the-house cooking.
However, too large grills are also unnecessary. Not only does the bigger sizes add more cost, but they also mean extra time and effort in transportation, storage, and maintenance.
Ideally, a small-sized flat top is around 24 square inches of cooking – enough to cook 10 or 13 burgers altogether. Provided that you frequently invite friends over for dinners, I would suggest a grill of 36 square inches.
- The number of burners
Sizes and available burners often go in hand, meaning the bigger grills are likely to have more burners.
Those burners measured by the British Thermal Unit (BTU) control the temperature across the grilling surface. The higher, the more powerful. Plus, different burners are adjustable to different heat levels so that you can cook various foods on the surface. Some advanced models even feature thermostats besides the heat dials for temperature control over the cooking time. However, do not go for a grill with two burners as the heat distribution zones are not very different.
- Fuel type: propane, gas-powered, or electricity
Of the three, electric models seem to be the most compact and portable. However, those flat-top grills are convenient indoors where you have outlets available rather than outdoors.
Meanwhile, a flat top gas or propane unit is more heavy-duty for large BBQ and grilling parties, both indoors and outdoors. Those burner propane gas flat tops are bulkier, though.
- Cooking plate
The plate of your flat top grill should be either cast iron or stainless steel so that you can expect an even heat distribution.
The thickness of the plate also matters. Being too thin, then the plate is easy to overheat and not durable. Meanwhile, a thick cooking plate requires time to heat up enough to cook. I am using a flat top grill, which is 0.7 inches thick. It is quite sufficient, I think.
- Ease of cleaning and maintenance
Last but not least, choose a grill that takes neither time nor effort when it comes to cleaning.
It would be better if there is a grease management system in the chosen grill. In the end, you just simply wipe across the cooking surface and get rid of the grease collector.
Best Flat Top Grill for 2020: A List of Top 5
Upon closer inspection, it can easily be noticed that the U-MAX is a 2-in-1 unit with a removable flat top standing above the grilling grate. Nonetheless, I would recommend not using the grate because it is sticking a lot.
Instead, you can use the flat cooking space of 741 square inches, plus with 4 switch controls. Ideally, you can easily adjust those controllable burners individually up to 12,000 BTU to warm the soup while you complete the delicious BBQ grill dishes simultaneously.
Another praiseworthy aspect of this grill is none but its user-friendliness, which helps the U-MAX 4 Burner Portable Approved Barbecue sell like hotcakes. Accordingly, the unit includes all you need to start your cooking, from the chopping board to a spacious storage basket and to foldable legs with 2 brake wheels. Not only will you cook cleanly, but you can also transport the grill here and there at ease.
You will also like that the customer service is beneficial when it comes to installation and operation instructions.
What to improve is the thin cooking surface. The thinness makes it less durable than my expectation, although it is stainless steel. Not to mention, you must keep a close eye on the food, otherwise, your dinner will end up an indelible black mass.
- Easy transport, installation, and operation
- Low price compared to a 4-burner grill
- A grill and griddle combo
- Convenient and portable construction
- Helpful customer service
- Thin cooking surface
- Easy to get burn
Like the U-Max, the Blackstone unit provides a decent cooking space of 715 to 720 square inches. The steel griddle top is removable as well so that you can use the Blackstone as a grill. Nonetheless, it has a significant improvement which happens to be the steel construction and features.
Specifically, the Blackstone Griddle and Grill gives off a sturdy appearance at a glance. Almost all parts of the grill are made of durable steel. This adds extra to the total weight, resulting in the less portable Blackstone. But to make up for that, the wheels and external gas tank make it reasonably maneuverable when you want to transport the grill outdoors.
In addition, the temperature system is excellent. As a result, you can divide the sheering cooking spaces into 2 zones managed by independent control burners. The heat created can go up to 15000 BTU of each – powerful enough to cook a thick steak crisply.
Besides the weight, take notes that the rolled-steel cooking surface is more prone to rust than other parts. Thus, it takes more time to clean and maintain this outdoor flat top gas.
- Durable 2-in-1 grill and griddle
- Spacious cooking area
- 4 powerful individual burners
- Foldable legs and portable wheels
- Shelf and extendable side trays
- Expensive and heavy grill
- Easy-to-rust cooking surface
If you are fine with every grilled food and not really fancy in a 5-star quality dinner, you might not want to pay much for a grill or griddle. Then, the Royal Gourmet GB4000 36-inch 4-Burner Regal Parrilla Propano Negro might be what you are looking for. This unit is affordable with decent features.
As a 36.2 x 21.7 inch portable gas griddle, this unit gives off a spacious cooking area – around 784 square inches. It is even larger than that of the U-MAX and Blackstone. It means you can cook a little more at a time. For that reason, you often find the Royal Gourmet Regal Parrilla Propano Negro at outdoor BBQ parties.
Along with the amp grilling top, four powerful stainless steel burners can throw out a heat of 52000 BTUs. You just simply push the matchless ignition system to spark up the burners to your preferred temperature. Then, the Royal Gourmet Regal will heat up shortly, ready to serve.
On the downsides, I find the installation involved a bit tricky, especially that of the side tables. Those parts seem to be over-engineered and large, so it is hard to line up and tighten them in place. In addition, the warranty is too short – only 1 year.
- Budget-friendly grill and griddle combo
- Quick startup with the electronic ignition system
- Portable caster wheels with reliable brake
- Tricky installation
- Short warranty
At first glance, you can see that this model is quite similar to its brother. It is true. Both the GB4001 and Regal Parrilla Propano Negro have 4 independent control burners, and the grill promises to spark properly every time. The overall heat is up to 53 000 BTUs, meaning 13000 BTUs each. The cooking area is enlarged a bit more compared to the other model though: 36 x 22 inches for 792 square inches.
But the part that I appreciate is the design of the Royal Gourmet GB400 that makes the griddling task much easier. Take the detachable oil cup and the open cart, for example. The grease cups will collect all oil drippings, and you can remove it with a side handle to clean. Meanwhile, the open cart helps the unit to be more lightweight.
However, Royal Gourmet GB4001 is merely a flat top grill. There is no grilling grate available under the griddle like other models,
- Surprisingly low price
- Open and lightweight design
- Reliable and powerful burners
- Expanded cooking zones
- Easy to clean later
- No grilling rate available
- Not user-friendly assemble
As the name reveals already, this is a portable propane gas griddle and grill, thinking of the fact that the cooking space is narrowed down to 584 square inches.
More excitingly, the Portable 4 Burner Versatile is even foldable in the size of luggage. Thus, you can easily settle it on the car trunk for camping trips or use it as a tabletop grill. Not to mention, assembly is effortless, so you can just expand the grill and get it ready in a matter of minutes.
Besides, if you are a big fan of BBQ, you will be on cloud nine knowing that the Portable 4 Burner Versatile can work as a gas grill and griddle – at a time. Unlike other flat top gas grill options on the list, which require removing the top surface to grill, the model has two separate cooking zones; each is around 300 square inches of cooking. This way, you can have seafood and smoky or seasoned meat grilled together.
If I have to mention some disadvantages of this griddle combo, it would be the expensive price and the slightly narrowed cooking area.
- Extremely compact and easy to move
- Two separate cooking surfaces
- Foldable size for outdoor cooking
- Easy installation and operation
- Quite powerful burners to get foods done quickly
- Expensive and short-warranted
- Smaller cooking spaces
Last Verdict: What is The Best Griddle Grill to Buy?
I hope that the best flat top grill reviews above are helpful enough for you to make a choice. No hesitation any longer because the flat top gas grill incredibly helps to cook larger quantities of food and get them moved off the grill into your dining tables.
If you still can’t decide what to buy, we recommend the Blackstone Outdoor 1554 Station-4-burner Grill Griddle Station, which is expensive but well-made and functional, or the Royal Gourmet GB4001 – a more affordable and portable gas griddle and grill combo.