Best Flat Top Grills - An Excellent Alternative
When you think about grilling in your backyard, you don't typically picture using a flat top grill.
Historically, flat-top grills were only found in restaurants.
However, these grills have gained more popularity recently and are an excellent alternative to traditional grills. You can cook everything you do on a typical grill and much more on a flat top grill.
Essentially, a flat top grill is a griddle. Having a solid slab of metal to cook on is more versatile than with grates. You don't have to worry about small pieces falling through, and you can cook things like pancakes and eggs.
This article from Popular Science goes a bit more into the rising popularity of flat top grills.
And read on below to find our top picks for the best flat top grills!
Top Picks for Flat Top Grills
In a hurry? Here are our top picks for the best flat top grills.
More details are provided about each griddle below.
Additionally, below the flat top grill reviews is a comparison chart to help you compare the best flat top grills.
Best Table Top
Best Flat Top Grills
1. Camp Chef 4-Burner 600 Flat Top Grill
The Camp Chef Flat Top 600 tops our list as the Best Overall Flat Top Grill.
This grill has a large surface area with four burners to control the heat in specific areas.
The large, heavier-gauge griddle is designed to disperse heat evenly to avoid hot spots. It is also designed to reduce the possibility of griddle warping.
What makes this flat top grill stand out above the others on this list is the interchangeable grill and griddle top. You can use the griddle top to cook eggs, pancakes, and hashbrowns for breakfast.
Then you can take off the griddle to use the grill grates and cook burgers and chicken for lunch. The grill grates sit below the griddle.
The cold-rolled steel griddle top has a true-seasoned finish making the surface non-stick.
- Four 12,000 BTU stainless steel burners (Total 48,000 BTU/hr)
- 604 sq in griddle cooking surface
- 501 sq in grilling cooking surface
- Grease management system for easy cleanup
- Two folding side shelves (472 sq in)
- Matchless ignition system
- Propane tank holder
- Roller wheels for easy movement
- 62.5" x 37" x 22"
Smaller Alternative: Camp Chef 3-Burner 475 Flat Top Grill
The Camp Chef 3-Burner Flat Top Grill is basically the Camp Chef 600 Flat Top Grill's little brother. If you don't need as much cooking area as the 600, the 475 may be the perfect griddle for you.
This flat-top grill has three, 12,000 BTU stainless-steel burners and 468 sq in of cooking space.
However, there are no grates below the griddle on this model. So, if you prefer traditional grilling as well, you'll need a separate unit.
2. evo Professional Series Gas Grill
The evo Professional Series Grill is definitely a luxury purchase. However, it is well built and performs exceptionally well.
This griddle has dual burners with independent inner and outer control knobs. The control knobs include one-touch electronic ignition.
Unlike most griddles on this list, the evo Professional includes a heavy-duty lid that allows you to roast, steam, and smoke foods. The cover includes an adjustable vent.
Surprisingly, with the cost of this grill, a cover is not included. However, when spending that much on a grill, a cover is required to protect it. The OEM cover is made of high-quality vinyl, fits perfectly, and is easy to put on and take off with a full side zipper.
- Dual circular burners (48,000 BTU)
- Temperature range: 225-550°F
- Oil-seasoned steel cooking surface
- Heavy-duty 304 stainless-steel construction
- 30 in diameter cooktop
- 650 sq in cooking area
- Heavy-duty, stainless-steel lid
- Propane tank shield
- Rubber wheels
- 40" x 40" x 37"
Cheaper Alternative: CUISINART CGG-888
The Cuisinart CGG-888 Round Outdoor Flat Top has a similar design to the evo Professional, but costs significantly less.
This Cuisinart has a 22-inch cooking surface and two independently controlled burners (30,000 BTU total).
It includes a stainless steel, vented lid, folding prep table, and a convenient paper towel holder. And the grill has heavy-duty caster wheels that can be locked.
3. Royal Gourmet PD1301S 24-Inch Table Top Grill
This Royal Gourmet 24-Inch Griddle is our pick for the best tabletop flat top grill.
A table top griddle is perfect if you have a full-size grill and would like to also have a gas griddle for outdoor cooking but don't require a lot of cooking space.
Table top griddles are excellent choices for camping and tailgating if you don't want a larger portable flat top grill.
This griddle has three, 8,500 BTU burners allowing for temperature control across the griddle. It also includes an extra thick PVC coated grill cover.
- 3 round, stainless-steel burners
- Porcelain-enameled griddle top
- 25,500 BTUs
- 312 sq in cooking area
- Piezo ignition system
- Grease management system
4. Cuisinart Portable Flat Top
The 28-inch Cuisinart Flat Top Professional Quality Gas Griddle has a folding design for compact storage and portability. Additionally, it has two wheels to move the griddle around quickly.
The size and portability make it a great option for tailgating, camping, and picnics.
This griddle has two grease cups to capture grease on the two front corners. This makes it easy to clean the griddle and remove the grease.
- Cold-rolled steel cooking surface
- Two burners
- 664 sq in of cooking space
- 20,000 BTUs
- Temperature range: 200-450°F
- Removable side table
- Dual grease management system
Bigger Alternative: Camp Chef Portable 4-Burner
The Camp Chef Portable 600 Flat Top Grill is an excellent choice if you need a larger portable griddle.
This model has 604 sq in of cooking space on a cold-rolled steel griddle. The four 12,000 BTU/hr, stainless-steel burners provide plenty of power to heat up the griddle.
The grill has spring-loaded, foldable legs and foldable shelves (532 sq in shelf space) for a compact design to store easily or transport.
5. Blackstone Tailgater Grill and Griddle Combo
If you are looking for a versatile grill, the Blackstone Tailgater Grill and Griddle Combo is for you.
It has a grill box and griddle that can be used simultaneously, but you can also remove either (or both) and use the open burner for pots and pans.
There is little assembly required, and the legs are adjustable to conform to uneven surfaces, making it ideal for camping sites.
There is a stainless steel H-tube burner (15,000 BTUs) and a cast iron burner (20,000 BTUs) for added versatility. Both are independently controlled.
- Dual cooking surfaces
- 512 sq in of cooking space
- Stainless-steel H-tube burner and cast iron burner
- Able to remove grill or griddle to use open burner
- 35,000 BTUs
- Ability to cook using adjustable legs or with legs folded flat
Larger Alternative: Royal Gourmet 4 Burner Gas Grill and Griddle Combo
The Royal Gourmet Grill and Griddle Combo is another excellent choice for a griddle and grill combo that is also portable.
While this grill doesn't have as much versatility as the Blackstone Tailgater, it does have four stainless-steel burners and a bit more cooking space if you need something bigger.
It has a folding frame, two side tables, and four high-strength caster wheels. With 584 sq in of cooking space and 48,000 BTUs total, it is a powerful and portable grill and griddle combo.
6. Blackstone 28-Inch Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle Station
If you have a grill and would also like a stand-alone griddle that's not too big, the Blackstone 28-Inch flat top grill is an excellent choice.
Or, you could replace your grill altogether with this model. It is easy to use and assemble and easily feeds two to ten people.
The two 17,000 BTU stainless-steel, H-style burners allow you to control two separate heat zones for versatile cooking.
The propane tank is stored under the included side shelf. And the commercial caster wheels make it easy to move around.
You can also purchase a custom fit, heavy-duty polyester cover for this Blackstone 28-inch griddle.
- Two H-style burners
- 34,000 BTUs
- 448 sq in cooking space
- 10-gauge rolled carbon steel griddle top
- Powder-coated steel frame
- Rear grease management system
- Side shelf and bottom shelf
- 44.5" x 33.5" x 19.5"
Larger Alternative: Blackstone 36-Inch Flat Top Grill
The Blackstone 36-Inch Flat Top Grill is the big brother to the 28-inch Blackstone.
The four stainless-steel burners provide 60,000 BTUs over 720 sq in of cooking space. The additional shelf includes a paper towel holder, a garbage bag holder, and a removable cutting board.
Like the smaller griddle, the rear grease management system makes cleanup a simple task.
7. Royal Gourmet 4-Burner Flat Top Grill
If you are looking for a large, 4-burner grill, the Royal Gourmet Flat Top Grill is for you.
It has 792 sq in of cooking space. The griddle plate includes side handles to make it easy to remove for cleaning.
With four independently controlled, stainless steel, 13,000 BTU tube burners, you can create four adjustable heat zones for cooking.
The two side tables provide plenty of storage space for your food and accessories. And the four locking caster wheels allow you to move the grill around easily.
- Four individually controlled burners
- 52,000 BTUs
- Electronic ignition
- 792 sq in cooking space
- Large, detachable oil cup
- Open cart design
8. Camp Chef 6-Burner 900 Flat Top Grill
If you need to cook for company parties, church cookouts, family picnics, large tailgates, or catering events, the Camp Chef 6-Burner 900 Flat Top Grill is your grill.
This model is similar to the 475 and 600 models but has 877 sq in of cooking space.
With six 12,000 BTU stainless steel burners, you can create several heat zones for versatile cooking options.
- Four stainless-steel burners
- 72,000 BTUs
- 877 sq in of cooking space
- Two large side tables with tool bars
- Matchless ignition
9. Royal Gourmet 17-Inch Table Top Griddle
The Royal Gourmet Table Top Gas Griddle is great for camping, tailgating, and picnics.
With 221 sq in cooking space, you can cook up to eight patties simultaneously.
It has a slide-out, stainless-steel grease tray, and the griddle top is removable for easy cleaning.
There is also a silver version of this grill if you don't care for the red color.
- Porcelain-enameled griddle top
- 12,000 BTU rectangle-shaped burner
- 221 sq in cooking space
- Piezo ignition system
- Slide-out grease management system
- 1 lb LP tank regulator
10. Cuisinart Gourmet Gas Griddle
The Cuisinart CGG-501 Gourmet Griddle is a bit larger than the Royal Gourmet model above. It also has two stainless-steel burners for more temperature control.
This model is small and portable, weighing just 30 lbs, making it ideal for camping, tailgating, and use on balconies.
The Cuisinart Gourmet Griddle doesn't require any assembly.
And a cover and tote set is also available for the Cuisinart CGG-501 that is water-resistant and makes transporting the griddle easier.
- Two independently-controlled, stainless-steel burners
- Cold-rolled steel cooking surface
- 20,000 BTUs
- 285 sq in cooking space
- Uses 20 lb LP tank
- 19.5" x 20" x 9"
Comparison of the Best Flat Top Grills
Here is a comparison table of the flat top grills listed above to make comparing the main features easier.
Total Cooking Area (sq in)
Best Table Top
Best Grill/Griddle Combo
Single Burner Table Top
2-Burner Table Top
Best Flat Top Grill Accessories
With a flat-top grill, there are different tools you'll want to have to enhance your grilling experience. Here are a few we recommend.
Grill Press and Melting Dome
A grill press is a versatile tool used for pressing meat into a griddle to ensure even cooking. It can be used for burgers, bacon, grilled sandwiches, quesadillas, and more.
And a melting dome, or basting cover, is used to concentrate heat to help melt cheese, steam vegetables, and help meat cook more evenly.
This HOMENOTE Cover and Press Kit is perfect for your griddle. The press is 7-inches round, made of cast iron, and has a heat-resistant wooden handle. The heavy-duty dome is made of 304 stainless steel and is 2.5mm thick.
A griddle set is ideal for cooking just about anything on your griddle. If you like to cook vegetables, stir fry, rice, or eggs, the tools in a griddle set mill make it much easier.
The HOMENOTE Griddle Accessories Kit has seven tools to help you perfect your griddle game. It includes two oversized spatulas, two flippers with a 3-sided bevel cutting edge, a chopper/scraper, and two squeeze bottles for oils or water. It also includes a storage bag.
While a kit like the one above includes a scraper, you'll want one with a long handle to provide some leverage for cleaning stubborn residue off your griddle.
The FryOilSaver Griddle Scraper is 15.5 inches long to do just that. It has a 5.5 inch sharpened stainless-steel blade to clean your griddle efficiently.
While most of the flat top grills don't include a cover, it is highly recommended to get one. A cover will help protect your griddle from harsh weather and extend the life of your grill.
What to Look For When Buying a Flat Top Grill
When looking for the best flat top grills, there are several features to consider. These include:
Cooking Area and Space
The amount of cooking area is the first factor you should consider when purchasing a flat top grill.
As you can see from the models above, flat-top grills range in size from small table top griddles to ones capable of feeding large crowds. Ensure you have one a little larger than you typically need if you like to entertain a lot.
Additionally, it is nice to have shelves to store utensils, plates, spices, and for room to prep food before tossing it on the grill.
Depending on how you intend to use your griddle, you'll want to ensure it has the range and temperature control to match your cooking style.
Having multiple burners can help create different cooking zones for a variety of foods. Being able to cook meat on one side and vegetables on the other side can save you time when cooking.
Several of the models above come pre-seasoned. If yours doesn't, ensure you follow the directions to season it.
Additionally, it is important to season your griddle regularly. This will ensure optimal cooking and prevent rust.
To season your griddle, you'll want to rub cooking oil on the surface and run the grill at medium heat for an hour or two.
When you are done cooking, put some water on the grill while it is still hot and use the scraper to remove any remaining residue.
After you shut down your grill, add some oil to the griddle and spread it with paper towels. Doing this will help to maintain the seasoning.
Don't use any chemical cleaners on the griddle surface, as that can cause damage.
After the surface is clean, clean out the grease management system. If your grill has any small orifices to direct the grease to a drip pan, ensure those are clear of any obstructions (the residue you scrape up likes to build up in these areas).
Finally, ensure you check your owner's manual for any specific cleaning directions for your model.
If you are going to just use your flat top grill in your backyard, you will just want to ensure it has a good set of wheels to move it around.
However, if you intend to take it with you camping, tailgating, or to picnics, you'll want to look for a model with legs that collapse or a table top model. There is always a tradeoff between size and mobility you need to consider.
Quality of Materials and Build
When purchasing a flat top grill, you need to be mindful of the quality. What materials is it made of? How sturdy is the grill?
The most important material is the griddle top. Typically you'll find these to be cold-rolled steel or cast iron. Additionally, the thickness of the griddle affects heat transfer, heat retention, as well as the potential for warping.
There are several other features to consider, as well.
- Is it easy to clean (grease management system)?
- What type of fuel does it require?
- Does it have hooks for tool storage?
- What kind of ignition system does it have?
- Is a cover or other accessories included?
Frequently Asked Questions About Flat Top Grills
Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about the best flat top grills.
How Is a Flat Top Grill Different From a Regular Grill?
A flat top grill is essentially just a griddle. Instead of having grates, a griddle is a solid piece of metal that transfers the heat from the heat source (flames) to the food being cooked.
What are Flat Top Grills Good For?
Flat top grills are suitable for cooking many different types of food. They can be used like traditional grills to cook meat. And they can be used to prepare several foods that can't be cooked on a conventional grill like pancakes, hash browns, eggs, rice, stir fry, and much more.
If you've ever watched a fry cook at a diner or a hibachi cook at a Japanese restaurant, you've seen how versatile a flat top grill can be.
Summary of the Best Flat Top Grills
If it is time to replace your grill or you are just looking to expand your backyard cooking capabilities, a flat top grill should be at the top of your list to consider.
These griddles add so much versatility to what you can cook that you may never go back to your traditional grill again.
I hope this article helped you in your search for the best flat top grill for your needs.