Those who know me, know I actually prefer to cook outdoors. The one thing I felt I was lacking was a good outdoor griddle. I once had a Camp Chef stove and matching griddle that I used for cooking for our big Boy Scout troop, but it had some pretty big drawbacks. Since it used the Camp Chef round burners, there were always hot and cold spots. It also lacked any sort of grease catch can. Even though we tried rigging up several iterations of grease cans, we always ended up with a little puddle of grease on the ground.
Well, a few months ago, I happened to see an intriguing outdoor griddle at my local Lowes. And… every time I went in there, I’d take another peek at it – Just wondering and wishing. Then we made a trip to Berkeley where we enjoyed some fabulous food, and especially breakfasts. You see, we only go out to breakfast when travelling. When we got home, I was suddenly thinking more about breakfast. Like buckwheat pancakes, bacon and sausage cooked on a real griddle.
I decided it was time to give the outdoor griddle idea more serious thought. I read online reviews of various options and decided the Blackstone 36″ Propane Griddle was the best to suit my needs. Luckily, this was the same one I’d been eyeing at Lowes. I did a little price checking and found the best price at Amazon. Thankfully, Lowes matched their price, so I was able to buy it locally rather than have it shipped. I also bought the matching cover and griddle tools kit for it.
The griddle top is cold rolled steel and must be seasoned before use. Once you’ve seasoned it and used it a couple times, it becomes truly non-stick. I took my time seasoning mine. First you have to thoroughly clean off the factory oil coating. This actually is the hardest part. It takes a bit of scrubbing when only using mild dish soap. Then, I coated all of the surfaces with flax seed oil for the first coat. Then heated it to smoke point and let it cool. Flax seed oil gives a durable deep colored coat, but too many coats of it can flake. Next I wiped it all over again with vegetable oil and heated again. Finally, I spent some time seasoning it as I would a wok. Rub with vegetable oil, heat it up and use leek or onion greens to really rub the oil into the surface while it is heating.
Clean up is an absolute breeze – actually much easier than cleaning my small griddle pan, frying pan and stove top after cooking the same meal in the kitchen!
Everything about this griddle, including the accessories seems well made. The cover is durable and fits snugly. The spatulas and scrapers in the griddle kit are professional quality.
Blackstone also sells smaller versions of these, but I’m glad I bought the largest. Once you’ve loaded it up with a whole pound of bacon, a couple sausage patties and four pancakes, there’s not much space left.
Mmmmmmm. Now it time to get cooking! I can smell the bacon just thinking about it.