Traditional barbeque grills are great and all, but if you want to be king or queen of the cookout, you need to get yourself a flat top grill too. These bad boys cook eggs, meat, pancakes, buns and veggies to perfection and are the perfect accompaniment to a traditional barbeque.
The flat metal surface of the grill is heated by an open flame or element underneath and unlike its open grilled cousin, the flat top grill does not have any gaps or holes. This means you can cook smaller more delicate foods without worrying about them slipping between the grating onto your coals or flame.
The flat-top grill is also much hotter and more energy-efficient than a standard barbecue grill because heat is not lost to the atmosphere via the gaps in the grill. Not only does this mean you are going to spend less on gas, but also it means you can better control the temperature of the grill and have more control over your cooking.
Flat-top grills are perfect for seafood and side dishes like hash browns and noodles. With a flat-top grill in your garden, your barbeques will be taken to the next level! No more plain burgers and hotdogs, you can cook all sorts of toppings and accompaniments on a flat-top as well as the meat itself!
The grills we have selected in this article are all garden grills and are designed for outdoor use with a propane or natural gas fuel source. Indoor flat-top grills as well as portable tabletop grills are available elsewhere for purchase.
5 Best Flat-Top Grills of 2020
- Cusinart CGG-888 Grill 22 inch Round Outdoor Flat Top Grill
- 30, 000 BTUs
- 44.50 x 19.50 x 33.50 inches
- Blackstone 28 inch Outdoor Flat-Top Grill
- 470sq inches
- 44.50 x 19.50 x 33.50 inches
- Royal Gourmet GB4001 4-Burner Propane Gas Grill
- 792 sq. in
- 61 x 23.6 x 38 inches
- Decent sized cooking surface.
- High powered burners.
- Durable construction.
- Easy to assemble.
- Independently controlled burners.
- Gas canister holder.
- Plenty of preparation and storage space.
- Easy to clean.
Blackstone is the name for flat-top grills. They are a reputable, well-liked brand that offers quality products. They began making flat-top grills in 2005 with the mission of making a grill that allows the whole family to be outside enjoying earth other’s company while cooking together instead of some people being stuck in the kitchen preparing side dishes and accompaniments while others barbeque.
This 28-inch flat-top grill is a perfect piece of kit for small to medium families. It has two independently controlled burners which together put out 30,000 BTU to heat the 470sq inch cooking surface. The burners can be turned up or down providing you with a versatile cooking surface for anything you wish to prepare.
The construction of the grill is excellent and is as versatile as its cooking surface. Four industrial strength caster wheels allow you to push or pull the grill around the yard to suit your layout and you can lock two of the wheels to keep your grill in place.
The real highlight is the fact that the legs also fold away making it compact enough to take on trips and holidays too. This is an excellent feature and customers are very pleased with how easily the grill folds away and assembles. You won’t need to bring any bulky power tools on your holiday to get this set up.
The frame is powder-coated to prevent rust while the grill is made of cold-rolled steel which is much stronger and more durable than other surfaces. The grill is also easy to clean all over because of the construction materials. A cloth and some cleaning spray will do for the frame and stainless steel burners, while warm water and soap are all you need to get the cooking surface sparkling clean again.
This is a nifty little grill perfect for small households. It can be a struggle to find smaller flat-top grills designed for couples or single households so this Cusinart fills that gap in the market nicely.
This is a really well designed grill that makes cooking easy. The oversized circular drip pan surrounds the cooking surface and catches all the grease that drains away from your cooking and sends it into a removable cup for easy cleaning.
By far the best feature of this grill is the stainless steel vented lid which allows you to steam, roast or smoke food as well as grilling and frying. It gives you so many more options including the opportunity to regain the smoky barbecue taste that is missing from flat-top grills.
Compact in size, this grill is easy to store and move with lockable casters to prevent rolling. The grill also has a foldaway side table which is convenient for your sauces and spices while cooking, and a built in paper towel holder for convenience.
The two burners are independently controlled and produce 15,000 BTU of heat which gets the cooking surface up to around 500° so you can cook quickly and efficiently. The cooking surface itself is 22 inches in diameter so it doesn’t feel small when you’re cooking on it.
This is a larger grill, with 792sq in. cooking surface. If you have a large family or like to throw big barbecues, this is the grill for you.
The four burners are stainless steel and all are independently controlled. They each put out 13,000 BTU of heat which is slightly less than the Blackstone grills but works out as 52,000 BTU across all four burners. This is plenty hot enough for even the thickest steaks!
The cooking surface is pre-seasoned which means you can cook straight out of the box and is 4.5mm thick making it durable and warp-resistant. Many reviews praise the solid construction and luxury feel of the grill surface as well as the frame.
The cooking surface has side handles to allow you to remove it for cleaning if you wish, though it can be wiped down in situ for easier and quicker cleaning.
Talking of the frame, this grill has four caster wheels which can all be locked in place during cooking. You will make good use of these wheels as the whole unit is rather heavy and not the most portable grill on the market. The fixed side tables make it a larger unit to store though they are very handy during the cooking process for all your ingredients and seasoning.
4. Blackstone 1554 Station-4-burner-Propane Fueled-Restaurant Grade-Professional 36 inch Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill
This is a larger offering from Blackstone, suitable for large families and big cookouts. It has a generous 720sq in. cooking surface and four independently controlled burners for maximum cooking control.
The four stainless steel burners put out a whopping 60,000 BTU which is the highest amount of any of the grills in this article. You cannot beat the heat of this grill! Blackstone market this grill as ‘professional-grade’ and with the power it puts out, we can see why.
The griddle top is removable to make it easier to clean and is made from carbon 7 gauage steel making it heavy duty and durable. You will need to season this surface with oil to prevent it rusting. Check out our buyers guide to find out more on seasoning.
The frame is powder coated steel to give it extra protection from rust and the elements and comes with four caster wheels two of which lock in place. This is a heavy grill and you will make use of those wheels. The weight is something to consider when ordering as you may need another person to help you move the package into place.
This gril is a little bit different as it is a combo grill. One side is a flat-top grill while the other is a standard barbecue style grill. This is a great option if you love the smokey barbecue taste in your meat but you also want to cook some side dishes at the same time.
Each cooking surface is 292sq in. giving you 584sq in. in total. This is a good sized cooking space over all, though the split does make each space feel quite cramped. If you are planning on cooking for a big party, this grill probably isn’t for you.
A wonderful feature of this grill is the portability. The legs fold away making it portable enough to take camping or to tailgates. When extended, all four legs have lockable caster wheels making it easy to move around.
There are two fixed side tables allowing you plenty of preparation space and a low bar allows you to hang your tools and utensils for easy access. The fixed tables do somewhat hamper the portability of the grill though you can, if you wish, unscrew them when moving or storing the barbecue.
Best Flat-Top Grills — Buying Guide
If you’re in the market for a flat-top grill, there are few things you should look out for.
We’ve put together a buyer’s guide which will talk you through the main features you should look out for in a good quality flat top grill.
We’ve also run through a few of the differences between a flat top grill and your standard barbeque grill in the frequently asked questions section, so you can make the most of your new purchase!
The first thing you should look at when shopping for a flat-top grill is the size of the cooking surface. You will want to make sure that there is enough space for you to cook for all your hungry guests without cramming the surface full of food and making it difficult to cook things properly.
For your average family of four, a grill with a cooking surface of about 400-500 sq in. will suit you fine. If you are planning a big family barbecues or cookouts then you want a bigger cooking surface. 700 sq in. is a good size to go for if you are feeding lots of people.
Number of Burners
Most flat-top grills on the market have four burners. They are usually about 700 sq in. and the four burners work effectively across this area. Smaller grills may only have two burners but the reduced surface area is proportional to the reduced number of burners.
You might think that you don’t need four burners all the time. Perhaps you have an annual family barbecue but the rest of the year it’s just you and the kids. A four-burner grill can still be suitable for you as you can just turn on the one or two that you need for the small area you want to cook on.
Try to go for a grill that has wheels. This will make it so much easier to move the grill in and out of the garage or shed when you want to use it.
If you want a grill to take with you on camping trips, look for small, portable grills with a low weight profile. You will be able to find a lot of these on the market as flat-top grills are some of the most portable grills around.
You might be surprised to know that some flat-top grills come pre-seasoned! Not with pepper, salt and herbs but with oil.
When you purchase a new flat-top grill, the first thing you should do is coat it in good quality cooking oil and bake it in for about thirty minutes. This will make sure that the food you cook on the grill will be tasty and it will prevent your grill from rusting.
Some grill manufacturers take care of this seasoning process for you so you can start grilling straight out of the box. This will save you a little bit of time and effort, but mainly you should check to see if your grill is pre-seasoned or not so that you know if you need to season it yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a flat top grill good for?
Anything! The versatility of a flat-top grill is one of the reasons it is becoming an increasingly popular option. The large cooking surface, hot, even temperature and the fact that it burns off excess oils and fats means that this kind of grill can make delicious food from pretty much any ingredients.
A flat-top grill is perfect for sauteing, shallow frying, simmering, stir-frying, pan-frying, browning, braising and roasting as well as finishing off foods by blackening, browning and grilling. You can cook almost anything on a flat-top grill including some cakes if you wish!
The thing that a flat-top grill doesn’t do is smoke. This is great because it means you can use them inside as well as out, but if you are looking for that traditional, smokey barbecue flavor, you will need to use a traditional grill.
What is the difference between a flat-top grill and a griddle?
The only difference between in flat-top grill and a griddle is traditionally the heating element. In a griddle, the heating elements run horizontally to the cooking surface whereas flat-top grills have circular elements.
In practice, these terms are used interchangeably. Most commonly used flat-top grills have vertical flame burners below the surface. These heat the cooking surface evenly and distribute the heat across the grill.
If you’re getting confused, check that the cooking surface is devoid of gaps and you’ll be fine!
Can you cook steak on a flat-top grill?
Yes, you can! Flat-top grills are perfect for cooking steak because the even temperature and large surface mean you have full control over your cooking. You can cook multiple steaks at once and be in control of which ones come off medium and which come off well done because you can reduce the heat in certain areas of the grill if you wish.
Flat-top grills also help you get a perfect sear on your steaks as the surface gets very hot. The flat surface means that your whole steak is seared to perfection rather than just the patches that rest on a traditional grill.
A flat-top grill can also help keep your steaks nice and moist as the oil or fat from the steak is not lost to the coals like a traditional barbeque. You don’t have to worry about them becoming too oily either because flat-top grills are slightly convex meaning excess oil and fat are drained away to collection pans.