Being around and campfire and cooking food over the open flame is one of the greatest things that a family can do while camping. However, it is not really ideal to have to cook every single meal over the fire. This is especially true when you have children. Let’s face it. Their hunger cries and need to eat right now don’t stop just because you are outdoors. What is a parent to do when they want a hot meal quickly? Well, a camp stove is definitely the place to start. You can get some tips on picking the best camp stove from us too! You may want to take your camp cooking to the next level though. That is where I went on my most recent camping trip. I added a Blackstone Griddle to my RV camping arsenal. So should you buy a Blackstone Griddle too?
Disclosure: This Blackstone Griddle was purchased independently without any assistance from the company and Outdoorgearweb received no compensation or direction from the company. Outdoorgearweb has no affiliation or relationship with the supplier and tests each product thoroughly and gives high marks to only the very best.
I love cooking outdoors with my family. We trailer camp sometimes and the kitchen inside the trailer works well. However, I really hate my family being outside while being couped up in the trailer cooking. The Blackstone Griddle gets to be outside and around the picnic table with them. The assembly was straightforward and took me about twenty minutes alone. The directions are clear and the materials are well constructed. I did have some concern with a couple of weld points but they didn’t seem to impact cooking.
The Blackstone Griddle heated quickly and evenly. The recommended seasoning process was also quick and easy. After folding out the legs, I was up and running in under five minutes! The food cooked quickly and I was left with an easy surface to clean up.
There are a few drawbacks. The first drawback is the model that I purchased has a side tabletop that is not collapsible which makes the storage a little cumbersome. The second drawback there is no way to secure the griddle to the stand to prevent theft. This does not detract from the great cooking ability and my recommendation is to expand your camping cooking experience with this great product!
What is a Blackstone Griddle
Doing a quick search of Blackstone Griddles you will find that there are numerous options to choose from. Essentially, when you buy a Blackstone Griddle you are buying a steel flat-top cook surface. It may have multiple burners or zones depending on the size that you purchase. This helps with heat distribution and the steel provides a non-stick surface when properly seasoned.
Overall, Blackstone provides a quick cook surface that is easily cleaned. This will reduce the number of dishes that you need to use. There are tons of accessories that you can add to your griddle as well making it even more versatile.
While there are many models the one that I am reviewing is the Blackstone 1939 17-inch version. I really needed the ability to store the griddle in my trailer but still have space for cooking for a family of four. The 1939 model gave me this blended capability with a collapsible stand. In fact, it is built to get even smaller!
Buy a Blackstone and Assemble
I am pretty handy with assembling things. In fact, I enjoy getting my hands on things and building. Thank goodness for kids’ Lego sets! Assembling the Blackstone Griddle was as easy as following those Lego instructions. The pamphlet was clear and easy and after a few steps and a drill, I was all set up! The ease of assembly got me really excited to use this grill.
Testing after the Buying a Blackstone Griddle
Once I was at the campsite, griddle set up was crazy easy. All I had to do was unfold the legs, set the retaining pins, and then place the griddle on top. I hooked up the propane and the electric start fired right up. I was cooking in under five minutes which made for happy kids after a long ride to the campsite.
The last step before getting food on the griddle was to season the griddle. This is similar to seasoning cast iron products. I spread some vegetable oil on the surface and then cooked all of the oil off with the burners on high. This starts to build up the non-stick surface.
The Blackstone Griddle model 1939 comes with an attached side table which made prep easy. It allowed me to have everything I needed, seasoning and utensils within easy reach. It was just like being at my grill at home. Though I was a little sad to see that it did not come off or also collapse for storage.
The First Blackstone Meal
The first meal that I cooked was a simple hamburger. We went easy on the first meal to make sure we understood how the Blackstone Griddle would heat. The 1939 model has two burners that have a single control. This is great for the type of cooking that I do normally when camping, however, if you plan to use yours at home as well you may want to consider a model with multiple controls.
I was pleasantly surprised by the heat distribution. Obviously, the space directly above the burners is the hottest and this is where I did the most of the cooking. The heat does taper off to the edges. This dropoff is not drastic and allows cooking across the whole surface. The burgers came out excellent and I was able to fit eight quarter-pound patties onto the surface!
Next up Breakfast
The next meal that I cooked was breakfast sandwiches. I took the Blackstone Griddle a little further with this meal. Who doesn’t love a great breakfast sandwich? I cooked the sausage, eggs, and toasted the English muffins all on the Griddle! Can we scream one pan! I loved that everything cooked well and clean up was easy.
Now I do have to say that I had to time my food placement. This is because the sausage would take longer than the eggs. With a multiple burner version, you would have better control of this but I don’t mind timing placement. This is a simple concession for the ease of storage.
Clean up of the Blackstone Griddle
After both meals, I found that the cleanup was very easy. I simply wiped the griddle off. The pre-seasoning from the factory as well as my pre-season really helped to ensure that things did not stick. After letting it cool for a few minutes I took a handy paper towel and wiped it off!
This is not to say that something won’t get stuck to it in the future. If this happens you can easily use a scraper to clean the griddle. You can also use some hot water to steam the stuck-on items off. Both of these are simple and easy to do.
Blackstone Griddle Pros
There are so many pros for the Blackstone Griddle. It also depends on the model that you purchase. These are the pros for the 1939 model:
- Easy Assembly: Set-up by one person is quick and easy.
- Collapsible: The legs fold small and the griddle top comes off for easy storage in an RV.
- Easy Campsite Set-up: Under five minutes of set-up means you can get cooking rapidly.
- Large Cooktop: Even at only 17 inches the cooktop had plenty of space for a family of four to cook a whole meal.
- Even Heating: The cooktop heated evenly and even with a single control allowed for cooking multiple items at the same time.
- Easy Cleanup: All I had to do was wipe it clean. The non-stick surface makes cleaning up a breeze. Just make sure to properly season the surface. I didn’t mention it above but the grease trap was fantastic and captured everything and uses a simple insert to make cleanup even easier.
- Multiple Attachments/Upgrades: There are so many options from utensils to baskets. Customization seems endless.
Blackstone Griddle Cons
There are some drawbacks to the Blackstone Griddle as well.
- Cost: This is a big one. The cost may be a driver to keep people away from the griddle. A simple campstove is much less expensive. However, the capability is not equivalent.
- Size and Weight: The Blackstone Griddle is not small or light. This is especially the case if you purchase the larger models. So plan accordingly for your storage space.
- Side Table: On the 1939 model the side table is fixed. It does not folw down or come off. This is a detriment to a model that is supposed to be collapsible. It actually made the length too big for the storage area I had planned for. I was able to compensate though with storage in another area.
- Griddle Top Welds: During unpackaging I noticed that the griddle was marred by the weld from the stand legs. Long term this may have an impact to the grill’s cooking ability.
- Griddle Attachment to Stand: The griddle top merely rests on the legs. While it clicks into place it does not lock. This makes me nervous about leaving it out at the campsite.
Final Thoughts on the Blackstone Griddle
I have heard a lot of good press for the Blackstone Griddle. This gave me high hopes based on this. I was certainly not disappointed! The girl has a long list of things that are easy such as assembly, set-up, cooking, and clean-up. There are a few drawbacks but these are easily mitigated by the ease of cooking and cleanup. Not to mention the collapsible nature of the stand. Overall, the Blackstone Griddle gets food onto the picnic table faster when the kids are screaming they are hungry. I would recommend adding this to your car or RV camping gear!