Outdoor Griddles 101: Exploring the Versatile Cooking Appliance

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases made on our website. If you make a purchase through links from this website, we may get a small share of the sale from Amazon and ...

Read more

Pancakes being cooked on an outdoor griddle


Last Updated:




As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases made on our website. If you make a purchase through links from this website, we may get a small share of the sale from Amazon and other similar affiliate programs.

Do you love cooking and entertaining outdoors? Have you ever heard of an outdoor griddle? If not, get ready to have your mind blown.

An outdoor griddle is a versatile and efficient way to cook up delicious meals for all your friends and family in the great outdoors.

Whether you’re making breakfast, lunch, or dinner, an outdoor griddle can handle it all. With its large flat surface area perfect for cooking pancakes, burgers or stir-fry dishes – there’s no limit to what you can cook on this bad boy!

So grab a cold drink and let’s dive into everything there is to know about outdoor griddles!

Pancakes being cooked on an outdoor griddle

Definition of an Outdoor Griddle

An outdoor griddle is a flat cooking surface that can be used to cook a variety of foods, from pancakes and eggs to burgers and vegetables.

Unlike traditional grills, which use an open flame or charcoal to cook food, outdoor griddles are heated from below using propane or natural gas burners, electric heating elements, or charcoal.

Outdoor griddles typically have a large cooking surface that allows you to cook multiple items at once, making them perfect for feeding a crowd.

They often come with features like adjustable temperature controls and grease drain systems that make them easy to use and maintain.

One of the main benefits of using an outdoor griddle is their versatility. They can be used to cook everything from breakfast dishes like bacon and eggs to lunch favorites like burgers and hot dogs.

Some models even come with accessories like woks and steam pans that allow you to prepare stir-fry dishes or steam vegetables.

Whether you’re looking for an easier way to cook meals on your patio or want something portable for camping trips or tailgating events, there’s an outdoor griddle out there that will fit your needs.

In the next section we’ll take a closer look at some different types of outdoor griddles so you can choose one that’s right for you.

Types of Outdoor Griddles

There are several types of outdoor griddles available in the market . Each type has its own unique features and advantages.

Here are some of the most popular types:

  • Propane Griddles: These griddles use propane gas as a fuel source and are known for their versatility, portability, and convenience. They heat up quickly and can be used to cook a wide variety of dishes.
  • Natural Gas Griddles: Similar to propane griddles, natural gas griddles also offer convenience and versatility but use natural gas as their fuel source. They are ideal for those with an outdoor natural gas connection.
  • Charcoal Griddles: For those who prefer cooking on charcoal, charcoal griddles are a great option. These grills can provide a smoky flavor to your food that many people love.
  • Electric Griddles: As the name suggests, electric griddles run on electricity and require an outlet to function properly. They offer even heating throughout the surface area and come in both indoor and outdoor options.

Choosing the right type of outdoor griddle depends largely on your personal preferences, cooking needs, budget, and lifestyle factors such as portability or availability of specific fuel sources.

No matter which type you choose, make sure it is made from high-quality materials that can handle extreme temperatures without warping or rusting over time.

Propane Griddles

Propane griddles are a popular choice among outdoor enthusiasts because of their convenience and ease of use.

They are fueled by propane gas, which is readily available in tanks that can be easily transported to your camping or tailgating site.

One of the biggest advantages of using a propane griddle is that it heats up quickly and evenly. Most models come with adjustable burners, allowing you to control the temperature and cook different types of food at the same time.

With a large cooking surface, you can prepare meals for several people without having to worry about overcrowding.

Propane griddles are also easy to clean. Many models come with removable grease trays or drip pans that collect the excess oil and food particles, making cleanup a breeze. Some even have non-stick surfaces, further reducing the need for scraping or scrubbing.

When choosing a propane griddle, consider factors such as size and portability. If you plan on using it for larger gatherings or events, look for one with a larger cooking surface area (e.g., 36 inches).

On the other hand, if you’re looking for something more compact and portable for camping trips or tailgating parties, opt for one with foldable legs or wheels.

In summary, propane griddles offer an efficient way to cook delicious meals outdoors while enjoying the company of friends and family.

Their even heating capability and easy-to-clean features coupled with fuel efficiency make them ideal options among various types available today!

Natural Gas Griddles

If you enjoy outdoor cooking and have access to natural gas, then a natural gas griddle may be the perfect addition to your backyard.

These types of griddles use a direct line connection to your home’s natural gas supply instead of a propane tank, which means you won’t need to worry about running out of fuel during your cookout.

Like propane griddles, natural gas models come in various sizes and styles. You can choose from tabletop or built-in models depending on your needs and preferences.

They also offer the same benefits as other outdoor griddles such as versatility, even heating, and a large cooking surface.

One advantage of using natural gas is that it burns cleaner than propane or charcoal, making it an eco-friendly option for outdoor cooking.

Natural gas also tends to be more cost-effective in the long run since you won’t need to constantly refill tanks with propane or replace ash pans like with charcoal.

When choosing a natural gas griddle, make sure it has enough heat output for your cooking needs. Higher BTUs mean hotter temperatures and faster cooking times.

You’ll also want to consider the size of its cooking surface and whether it includes any extra features such as side shelves or a warming drawer.

Overall, if you’re looking for an efficient and eco-friendly way to cook outdoors without having to worry about running out of fuel mid-cookout, then investing in a natural gas griddle may be worth considering!

Charcoal Griddles

Charcoal griddles are perfect for those who prefer the traditional smoky flavor and aroma in their meals.

These griddles use charcoal as a fuel source, which gives them an unparalleled taste that cannot be replicated by gas or electric griddles.

One of the biggest advantages of using a charcoal griddle is its portability. You can take it to your camping trips, picnics, or simply use it in your backyard.

Charcoal is easily available and you do not need access to electricity or gas to operate this type of outdoor griddle.

Another advantage is that charcoal heats up quickly and provides an even distribution of heat across the cooking surface.

This means that you can cook your food evenly without worrying about some parts being overcooked while others are undercooked.

When cleaning a charcoal griddle make sure you remove any ash from the grill surface before storing it away safely.

The ash can affect how well the next time meat will cook on top so try to brush off as much as possible with a heavy-duty metal scraper or broom prior to seasoning after each use.

While using a charcoal-grill might seem intimidating at first, don’t be discouraged – once you get used to lighting and managing hot coals properly you’ll find there’s no better way to achieve that flavorful charred crust on meats like steaks and hamburgers!

Electric Griddles

Electric griddles are a great option for outdoor cooking, especially if you want a smoke-free experience.

These griddles are easy to use and require minimal setup time. They’re also very versatile and can be used for various types of food.

One major advantage of electric griddles is their even heating distribution. Unlike other types of outdoor grills, electric griddles have an evenly heated surface which allows you to cook your food evenly without hot spots or burning it.

Moreover, with electric griddles, you get the convenience of being able to control the temperature precisely with just a touch of a button instead of having to constantly adjust knobs like in traditional gas or charcoal grills.

This feature makes them ideal for cooking delicate items such as pancakes or eggs.

Another plus point is that these units tend to be more affordable than gas-powered ones due to their simpler construction and fewer components required.

Lastly, they come in various sizes ranging from portable ones for camping trips to full-sized models suitable for backyard cookouts. Just make sure you choose one that fits your requirements before making the investment!

Now that we’ve covered electric griddles let’s take a look at how each type differs from one another – starting with propane ones!

Benefits of Using an Outdoor Griddle

Cooking on an outdoor griddle has several benefits that make it a popular choice for backyard cooks. Here are some of the top benefits of using an outdoor griddle:

Versatility: An outdoor griddle can be used to cook almost anything you would normally cook on a traditional grill, such as burgers, hot dogs, and steaks. But it also allows you to expand your menu and cook items like stir-fry, eggs, and pancakes.

Easy to Clean: Outdoor griddles are often easier to clean than traditional grills because they have a flat cooking surface with no grates or gaps for food to fall into. Simply scrape off any excess debris with a spatula and wipe the surface down with a damp cloth or paper towel.

Even Heating: The flat cooking surface of an outdoor griddle distributes heat evenly across the entire cooking area, which helps prevent hot spots and ensures that everything cooks at the same rate.

Large Cooking Surface: Outdoor griddles typically offer more cooking space than traditional grills, making them ideal for hosting large gatherings or feeding big families.

If you’re looking for an easy-to-use cooking appliance that offers versatility in what you can cook while being easy to clean after use – then an outdoor ​grill is perfect !


What makes an outdoor griddle different from a regular grill is its versatility. With a flat surface, the griddle can be used to cook everything from pancakes and eggs to stir-fry and burgers.

You’ll have more control over your cooking with a griddle than you would with traditional grilling methods .

One of the great things about using an outdoor griddle is that you can use it year-round. It’s perfect for cooking breakfast outside on a summer morning or making grilled cheese sandwiches while tailgating in the fall.

You don’t have to limit yourself to just one type of cuisine either – the possibilities are endless with an outdoor griddle.

Plus, since many outdoor griddles come equipped with multiple burners, you can simultaneously cook different types of food at different temperatures without having to worry about cross-flavor contamination.

And when it comes time to clean up, most outdoor griddles feature removable grease trays for easy disposal.

Overall, if you’re looking for an all-in-one solution for your outdoor cooking needs, then an outdoor griddle may be just what you need. It offers versatility in both cooking options and fuel sources (as we’ll explore in the next section), and will quickly become your go-to appliance for everything from quick weekday dinners to weekend barbecue parties.

Easy to Clean

One of the biggest advantages of using an outdoor griddle is how easy it is to clean. Unlike traditional grills, which can have hard-to-reach nooks and crannies, a flat top griddle surface makes cleaning a breeze.

To start, use a scraper or spatula to scrape off any food debris or excess grease. Once you’ve removed as much as possible with the scraper, wipe down the cooking surface with some paper towels or a cloth. You can also use some water and mild soap if needed for tougher stains.

If your outdoor griddle has removable parts like drip trays or grease cups, make sure to clean those separately as well.

You can hand wash them with soap and water or put them in the dishwasher depending on the manufacturer’s instructions.

Another trick for maintaining your griddle’s cleanliness is to season it properly (which we’ll cover in another section). A well-seasoned griddle will keep food from sticking and make cleaning up even easier.

In summary, cleaning an outdoor griddle couldn’t be simpler – just scrape off any leftover food debris and give it a quick wipe down. With proper maintenance and seasoning, your grill will stay looking new for years to come!

Even Heating

One of the most important benefits of using an outdoor griddle is its even heating. With traditional grills, there are often hot and cold spots on the cooking surface, making it difficult to cook food evenly.

However, with a griddle, the entire cooking surface is heated evenly, allowing for more consistent and precise cooking.

This is particularly useful when cooking delicate foods such as fish or vegetables, which can easily stick to a traditional grill. With an outdoor griddle, you can cook these foods without worrying about them sticking or falling apart.

In addition to providing even heating across the entire surface area of the griddle, many outdoor griddles also feature built-in heat control options that allow you to adjust temperature settings based on what you’re cooking.

This level of precision allows for greater flexibility in your outdoor cooking options and ensures that every meal turns out perfectly cooked.

Overall, if you’re looking for an outdoor cooking solution that provides consistent heat distribution and easy-to-use temperature controls, then an outdoor griddle may be just what you need.

Whether you opt for a propane model or prefer charcoal or electric versions instead, there’s sure to be an option out there that fits your needs and preferences perfectly.

Large Cooking Surface

One of the biggest benefits of using an outdoor griddle is the large cooking surface it provides. Unlike traditional grills, where you have to portion out your food and cook in batches, an outdoor griddle allows you to cook everything at once.

This means you can easily cook for a large group of people without having to spend hours standing over the grill. Plus, with more space on the cooking surface, you can experiment with different recipes and cooking styles.

When choosing an outdoor griddle for its large cooking surface, keep in mind that size matters. You should look for a griddle that is big enough to accommodate all your guests’ appetites but also fits well into your backyard or patio space.

Another aspect to consider when searching for an outdoor griddle with a large cooking surface is heat distribution. The last thing you want is unevenly cooked food because some parts of the grill are hotter than others.

Look for models that distribute heat evenly so all areas of the cooking surface are equally hot.

Overall, if you’re someone who loves hosting barbecues and backyard gatherings, investing in an outdoor griddle can make life much easier while elevating your culinary game.

How to Choose the Right Outdoor Griddle

Choosing the right outdoor griddle can be an overwhelming decision, especially with so many options available in the market.

Here are some factors to consider before making a purchase:

  1. Cooking Surface: The size and shape of the cooking surface should be decided based on your needs. If you plan on cooking for a large group of people frequently, then a larger cooking surface is recommended.
  2. Fuel Source: Outdoor griddles come in different fuel source options such as propane, natural gas, electric or charcoal. Consider which one fits best for your outdoor setup and personal preference.
  3. Material: Outdoor griddles can be made from materials such as stainless steel, cast iron or aluminum. Stainless steel is durable and easy to clean while cast iron provides excellent heat retention.
  4. Size and Portability: Some outdoor griddles are portable while others are stationary units designed to stay in one place permanently depending on usage requirements.

It’s important to keep each of these factors in mind when choosing an outdoor griddle that suits your needs best so you can make the most out of it for years to come!

Cooking Surface

When it comes to cooking surfaces, outdoor griddles typically come in two types: flat and grooved. Flat cooking surfaces are ideal for cooking items like pancakes, eggs, and stir-fry dishes.

Grooved cooking surfaces are great for grilling meats and vegetables because they leave characteristic sear marks on the food.

It’s worth noting that some outdoor griddles come with interchangeable plates so you can switch between flat and grooved surfaces depending on what you’re cooking.

This is a handy feature if you plan on doing a lot of different types of cooking on your outdoor griddle.

Another factor to consider when choosing a cooking surface is the size of the outdoor griddle itself.

Larger models will naturally have more space for multiple burners or heating elements which means more room for larger pans or pots.

If you’re someone who enjoys hosting large gatherings or events, then investing in an outdoor griddle with a larger cooking surface could be ideal as it provides enough space to cook up large portions of food at once.

However, if portability is essential to you, smaller models might be more suitable.

Ultimately, when considering what type of cooking surface is best suited for your needs it’s important to think about what kind of meals you want to prepare most frequently and how much space is available in your desired setup.

Fuel Source

When it comes to outdoor griddles, the fuel source you choose can have a big impact on your overall cooking experience. There are several options available, each with their own unique advantages and disadvantages.

One popular choice is propane. Propane griddles are easy to use and offer quick heating times, making them ideal for those who want to start cooking right away.

They also tend to be more versatile than other types of griddles, as they can be used in a variety of settings and locations.

Another option is natural gas. Natural gas griddles are similar to propane in many ways, but they require a dedicated gas line and may not be as portable or versatile as other types of griddles.

That being said, if you have a dedicated gas line already set up at your home or business, this could be an excellent option for you.

Charcoal griddles offer a unique flavor profile that cannot be replicated by other types of fuels. However, they take longer to heat up than other options and require more maintenance during use.

If you enjoy the smoky taste that only charcoal can provide, though, this might be the perfect fuel source for your outdoor cooking needs.

Finally, electric griddles are another popular choice for those who don’t want to deal with the hassle of traditional fuels like propane or charcoal.

These units plug directly into an outlet and offer consistent heating values without requiring any special setup or maintenance.

When deciding which fuel source is right for your outdoor cooking needs it’s important to consider various factors.

Things like convenience in terms of portability versus having access to a power source (in case you choose an electric one), ease-of-use based upon personal preference – some people prefer working with gas over electric because they feel like there’s greater control whereas others find it easier just turning switches on/off depending on what temperature setting suits them best etc., budgetary constraints regarding purchasing cost along with ongoing operating costs (depending upon unit type), and any other requirements you may have.


When it comes to choosing the material for your outdoor griddle, you have a few options.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common materials used in outdoor griddles:

  1. Stainless steel: This is one of the most popular materials for outdoor griddles because of its durability and resistance to rust and corrosion. Stainless steel is also easy to clean and maintain, making it a great choice for low-maintenance equipment.
  2. Cast iron: Cast iron is another popular option because it retains heat well and distributes heat evenly across the cooking surface. However, cast iron does require more maintenance than stainless steel as it needs to be seasoned regularly to prevent rust and keep the non-stick surface intact.
  3. Aluminum: Although less durable than stainless steel or cast iron, aluminum is lightweight and conducts heat quickly, making it ideal for camping trips or cookouts where portability is important.
  4. Ceramic: Ceramic outdoor griddles are becoming increasingly popular due to their ability to hold onto heat well and provide an even cooking surface. However, ceramic can be brittle and may crack under extreme temperatures or if dropped.

When choosing the material for your outdoor griddle, consider factors such as durability, maintenance requirements, weight/portability needs, and budget constraints.

A quality outdoor griddle made with high-quality materials will not only last longer but will also perform better over time.

In our next section on “Size & Portability,” we’ll explore how these factors can impact your overall decision when selecting an outdoor griddle that fits your specific needs and preferences.

Size and Portability

When it comes to choosing an outdoor griddle, size and portability are important factors to consider.

If you plan on using your griddle mostly at home, a larger model might be ideal. However, if you plan on taking your griddle camping or tailgating, portability is key.

Some popular sizes for outdoor griddles include 28 inches, 36 inches, and 48 inches. The larger the cooking surface, the more food you can cook at once. Keep in mind that a larger griddle will also require more fuel to heat up and maintain its temperature.

If you’re looking for something smaller and more portable, there are plenty of options available as well. Some outdoor griddles are designed to be lightweight and easy to transport thanks to their compact size and foldable legs.

When it comes to portability, weight is another factor that should be considered. If you plan on moving your outdoor griddle frequently or taking it with you on trips, make sure it’s light enough for one or two people to carry comfortably.

Overall, the size and portability of an outdoor griddle depend largely on how you plan to use it. Consider your needs before making a purchase so that you can find a model that fits both your cooking style and lifestyle.

How to Season an Outdoor Griddle

Seasoning an outdoor griddle is essential for creating a non-stick cooking surface and preventing rust.

Here’s how to season your outdoor griddle:

  1. Preheat the griddle on high heat for 10-15 minutes. This will open up the pores of the metal so that it can absorb oil.
  2. Once preheated, turn off the heat and let it cool down until you can touch the surface without burning yourself.
  3. Use a paper towel or clean cloth to wipe a thin layer of vegetable oil onto the entire cooking surface of the griddle, making sure to cover all areas evenly.
  4. Turn on your burner to low heat and let it sit for about 20-30 minutes with the oil on it. The oil should start smoking slightly; this is what forms a protective coating on top of your griddle.
  5. After 20-30 minutes, turn off the burner and let it cool completely before wiping away any excess oil with another paper towel or clean cloth.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 at least two more times or until you achieve a smooth, dark brown surface that is free from any sticky residue or rough patches.

Remember that seasoning your outdoor griddle is not a one-time event – it should be done periodically after heavy use or cleaning to keep optimal performance!

How to Clean an Outdoor Griddle

Cleaning an outdoor griddle is an essential and often overlooked task that can impact the lifespan and performance of your grill. Here are some tips on how to keep your griddle clean:

Daily cleaning:

  • After every use, turn off the heat and use a scraper or spatula to remove any excess food particles or grease.
  • Use a damp cloth or paper towel to wipe down the surface while it’s still warm.
  • If there are stubborn stains, sprinkle some coarse salt onto the surface and scrub with a damp cloth.

Deep cleaning:

  • For deep cleansing, start by removing all food debris from the surface using a scraper or spatula.
  • Mix equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle and generously spray all over the surface.
  • Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before wiping it off with a sponge/cloth.
  • Rinse well with hot water to remove any leftover vinegar residue.

Always remember to season your griddle after each deep cleaning session. This will prevent rusting and help build up a protective layer on the cooking surface.

Regularly cleaning your outdoor griddle not only ensures better cooking performance but also helps maintain hygiene. So keep these tips in mind when maintaining your outdoor griddle!

Daily Cleaning

To keep your outdoor griddle in top condition, it’s important to clean it regularly . Daily cleaning can help prevent buildup and make the task of deep cleaning much easier.

Here are some steps to follow for daily cleaning:

  1. Scrape off any food debris or grease using a metal spatula, scraper, or grill brush. Be careful not to scratch the surface of the griddle.
  2. Wipe down the griddle with a damp cloth or paper towel to remove any remaining debris.
  3. If there are any stubborn stains or grease spots, use a mild dish soap and warm water to scrub them away.

It’s also important to empty out the grease trap regularly during daily cleaning to prevent overflowing and potential fire hazards.

By implementing these simple steps into your daily routine, you can help extend the lifespan of your outdoor griddle and ensure optimal performance for years to come.

The next section will cover how to perform a deeper cleaning on your outdoor griddle when necessary.

Deep Cleaning

While daily cleaning is important for maintaining the longevity of your outdoor griddle, deep cleaning is necessary to remove any built-up grease or food particles that may have accumulated over time.

This should be done on a regular basis to ensure that your griddle is functioning properly and cooking your food evenly.

To begin, turn off the heat source and let the griddle cool down completely. Once it has cooled, use a scraper tool to remove any excess debris or stuck-on food from the surface.

Be sure to scrape in one direction rather than back and forth, as this can damage the surface of your griddle.

Next, using a soft cloth or sponge along with some warm soapy water, gently clean the entire surface of the griddle.

Pay special attention to any hard-to-reach areas such as corners or edges where grease may have accumulated. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and dry completely with a towel.

For tougher stains or burnt-on residue, you can mix together equal parts baking soda and water to create a paste-like consistency.

Apply this mixture onto stubborn stains and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before scrubbing away with a scouring pad or brush.

Finally, apply a light coating of oil to prevent rusting and preserve your griddle’s finish until next use. It’s recommended to store your outdoor griddle in a dry place when not in use to avoid moisture build-up which can lead to rusting.

By performing routine deep cleaning on your outdoor griddle you’ll ensure its longevity while also providing yourself with years of enjoyable cooking experiences!

How Does Using a Hood on a Griddle Impact Outdoor Cooking?

When exploring cooking needs with a griddle, using a hood can have a significant impact on outdoor cooking. The hood helps to trap heat and smoke, allowing for more even cooking and enhancing flavor. It also provides protection from external elements, making it easier to control the cooking environment.


Congratulations! You are now equipped with the knowledge of what an outdoor griddle is, the different types available, their benefits, how to choose the right one for your needs, and how to season and clean it properly.

With an outdoor griddle, you can cook a variety of meals with ease. Whether you’re cooking pancakes for breakfast or a stir-fry for dinner, the large cooking surface and even heat distribution make it effortless.

When choosing an outdoor griddle, consider factors such as size and portability if you plan on taking it with you on camping trips or tailgating events. Also think about fuel source options such as propane or charcoal based on your personal preferences.

By seasoning and cleaning your outdoor griddle regularly, you can ensure that it lasts for years to come. Daily cleaning after each use and deep cleaning periodically will keep your griddle looking new and functioning at its best.

We hope this guide has been helpful in providing valuable insights into what an outdoor griddle is all about. Happy cooking!