A flat surface makes it possible to fry delicious pancakes, eggs, small vegetables and meats as well as most things you can grill on a regular grill.
It works great for frying large quantities of food, especially burgers, wieners, bacon and much more. For that exact reason, it is a very popular type of grill at different types of events or at restaurants.
A good flat top grill doesn’t cost much, which is why I especially encourage you to buy it as an alternative to a typical grill with grates.
Based on my research, I have prepared a list of the best flat top grills that you can buy.
The 3 Best Flat Top Grills Reviewed
1. Best Overall - Blackstone 36 inch Outdoor Flat Top Grill
If you cook a whole lot then a four-burner configuration will be the best option for you.
The Blackstone 36” flat top grill has four strong burners and a very large cooking area (720 square inches of the main area).
Such configuration makes it possible to cook different things at the same time. Four independently controlled burners allow to create multiple heat zones.
You can for example fry vegetables in one zone, meat in another and eggs in yet another, cooking one diverse and wholesome meal at the same time.
Blackstone is a very renowned brand in the world of flat top grills that has earned its renown thanks to its very good quality, efficiency and price.
A good solution was used for the problem of grease buildup by creating a hole in the right place. That way everything efficiently goes into a special container that you can empty any time.
There is no shortage of working area for cooking and of storage room under the grill. Still, you can always buy a surround table separately, which will allow you to generate a huge amount of space (useful at parties).
The construction in this type of grills is pretty simple, it doesn’t take much material to build, which allows the manufacturer to maintain high quality at reasonable price.
It is a great grill for cooking very large quantities of diverse food.
The four burners guarantee large heat output, whereas the great quality of workmanship ensures durability.
2. Runner Up - Camp Chef Flat Top Grill 600
A worthy competitor for Blackstone, although both models are actually great.
Camp Chef Flat Top Grill also offers a lot of cooking area and four strong burners.
It’s a solidly built grill that will certainly withstand a lot.
Its advantage is the ability to cook on grill grates if you need to.
Of course it was mainly designed with cooking on a flat surface in mind, but such option is also available.
It has 604 square inches of the main griddle cooking area.
It is still large enough to be able to comfortably cook using different heat zones.
The grill grates work better when cooking steaks, hamburgers etc. if you want intense heat and to create sear marks.
A flat surface, on the other hand, is great for cooking different types of new things such as small vegetables or pancakes. It is also better for cooking large quantities of food thanks to higher capacity.
This type of grill can often be found at events or at restaurants.
The power of burners is great for this kind of size.
There is certainly no shortage of cooking space or large storage room on the two shelves underneath the grill.
To those worried about cleaning I have good news. Camp Chef has a lot of experience with this type of grill and over many years they have perfected the grease drainage system very well.
The hole that all grease goes to the container through was created in the right place. It really requires a good design so there are no problems occurring with most competitors (grease running along the grill’s leg).
It’s a solidly built flat top grill that stands out with its versatility, efficiency and quality.
3. Best Portable - Blackstone Tabletop Grill 17 Inch
For those who travel a lot or don’t cook that much, the compact flat top grill was created.
The Blackstone 17” flat top grill is small enough to be comfortably brought along wherever you want.
It’s a great choice for those who spend time away from home, like when camping.
Thanks to its simple construction it is not only mobile, but also low-malfunction. There are no elements prone to damages during transportation which means that it is safe in many unorthodox places.
When you combine simple construction with high quality of workmanship you get one thing – a durable grill.
This is exactly what Blackstone 17” is.
It has large capacity despite being a compact grill (260 square inches).
It only has one burner which means that the heat is not evenly spread over the entire surface. In my view, however, it is not a major flaw once you get some experience with this grill.
The burner efficiency itself is very good.
The problem of grease was taken care of very well. On the front there’s a drawer where grease goes through a hole in the plate during cooking. Once you’re done cooking, just remove the drawer, empty it and that’s it – easy, fast and effective.
It doesn’t have any interesting features or a large cooking area, but it is compact, durable and efficient.
Another important argument is the relatively low price, which is all the more reason to see what it’s like to cook on a grill with flat surface.
What to Look for in a Flat Top Grill
Size – Analyze the amount of space in your backyard and how much you are going to cook. If you have a large family or are planning to throw parties and cook very large quantities of food then you need a big grill. Otherwise, it is better to buy a matching grill of better quality instead of something you are not going to use to its full potential anyway.
Number of burners – You like to cook with different heat zones? I love to, which is why, when it comes to flat top grills, I recommend at least three or better yet four main burners. It is a grill created for this style of cooking so it needs to be used.
Features – Pay the most attention to the grease collection system, make sure if it works properly. It is the best to check comments from other people to make sure if the grease doesn’t run down the grill’s leg, for example. Another interesting feature is the ability to use grill grates, which makes the effects of cooking just like those on a regular gas grill.
Warranty – The quality and durability are very important aspects of a good grill but the warranty period is just as important. See how long is the warranty on your grill and what exactly it covers. The more money you spend, the more important it is to choose a manufacturer that offers a better protection.
Mobility – You often spend time away from home while driving by car? In that case, a great choice will be a portable flat top grill. I have to admit that it is one of the best solutions for cooking when camping out for example.
Accessories – Check out what accessories are offered by the manufacturer. Plenty of popular brands have very interesting accessories that are really worth having if you cook a lot. They increase not only convenience but also versatility.
Flat top grill vs Grates
As the name suggests, a griddle has a flat surface, while grill grates have gaps that food can fall through inside the grill.
There are plenty of upsides and downsides to the griddle and the grill grates depending on how you look at it.
You can read about it in great detail in this article.
I’ll just briefly mention that the greatest advantage of the griddle is the ability to cook delicate food. You can cook not only regular meat but also smaller things like vegetables or fish without worrying that something will fall inside the grill.
On top of that, the flat surface makes it possible to fry completely different things like pancakes or eggs.
The downside is certainly the lack of any direct contact with flames which results in absence of sear marks. It is slightly more difficult to keep the plate clean than in case of regular grates.