Heated Debate – A Hot Take on the Best Portable Propane Griddle

Written by The Kitchen Hand on . Posted in BBQ & Outdoor

If you’re reading this, then chances are you are curious about portable propane griddles. You might even be seriously considering buying one and you’re on Google, doing research. I can’t blame you; propane griddles are like manna from heaven for everyone.

From your average Joe doing a barbeque in the woods after a long day’s hike to five-star chefs who want to serve guests in their backyards, portable gas griddles offer a lot of benefits. If you’re asking yourself, “Why, though?”, here’s a few reasons.

Larger surface cooking areas which translate to more food being cooked and served at the same time, for one. Portability, allowing cooking events in places outside the confines of one’s home, is another.

With that in mind, it’s time to dive into the world of outdoor propane griddles and size up a few of the models that are in the market today.

Table Top Propane Griddles

Cooking for the family has always been the most challenging role for any homemaker out there. Being able to prepare a sumptuous meal is every households’ treasure because it does not only make the palate happy but embeds a wonderful memory that will go down for generations.

That’s why it is essential to armor ourselves with the best kitchenware for a better cooking experience.

Table top propane griddles have established years of proven quality and improved efficiency for the busiest homemakers on-the-go.

Everyday meal preparation need not be a mundane and tedious task for the people who is designated to satisfy the taste buds of the insatiable cravings of their families and friends.

These are the moments when I can’t help but be grateful for the invention of cook wares that do not only give you value for money but ultimately serves its purpose. Table top propane griddles are on the list of the kitchen innovations that I will always be thankful for.

It is the maverick of all kitchen gadgets out there who promises innovation and style. I can always count on my griddle to cook enough frittatas, hash browns, sunny side-up eggs and pancakes in a matter of minutes without leaving me nor the kitchen looking harassed.

Since the cooking surface is big enough to accommodate big amount of food per batch I can easily cook and serve the meal that my family loves and I am assured that they remain healthy because I have the capability of limiting the use of grease for cooking because of the griddle’s non-stick or seasoned surface. I also understand the qualms of people like me where cooking plays a major role.

That’s why I compiled my personal encounter with this kitchen staple and I will be sharing with you my most favorite table top propane griddles in my “it” list.

* Blackstone Table Top Grill – 17 Inch Portable Gas Griddle

This Blackstone griddle is like one of those spunky underdog heroes in a boxing or Martial arts movie: it may be small compared to its peers, but it packs the same qualities with a few more to boot. At 17 x 18 inches and at a mere 25 pounds, it is a “lightweight” compared to many other models available.

But this isn’t a monster truck race where people try to outdo each other with bigger engines, bigger wheels, and bigger trucks. This is about portability: you won’t enjoy your campfire barbeque if propane griddle for camping weighed more than everything else you brought for the trip.

Imagine if your supposedly portable gas griddle weighed in at 50 pounds. Imagine that you had to hike for around five kilometers on an uphill path. Instead of enjoying the view, you’d either be sweating buckets, arguing with your companions on who should lift the whole load, or even both. That won’t do wonders for your appetite.

Speaking of fun, who likes cleaning up after dinner?

No one, that’s who. The Blackstone Griddle isn’t a killjoy when it comes to that as it can be cleaned by simply being wiped with paper towels. Now there won’t be any bickering on whose turn it is to clean up the mess. And the griddle’s surface has a Teflon-like quality once oils have been applied on it. Even something as messy as scrambled eggs doesn’t stick.

But most importantly, the Blackstone Griddle doesn’t just cook food: it improves it. For some reason, the process of “seasoning” or applying oils on the griddle creates a more intense flavor on anything that’s cooked on it. No kidding. I can’t explain how that happens, it just does. And with a surface that heats evenly, you never have to experience serving a batch of burgers only to find out that one or two patties were actually undercooked.

Pros:

  • Relatively large grilling space for a portable grill
  • Easy to clean,
  • Heats evenly

Cons:

  • Warps a little due to heat

* Royal Gourmet PD1300 Portable 3-Burner Propane Gas Griddle

If there was a dictionary entry for propane griddle for camping, a picture of the Royal Gourmet PD1300 Portable 3-Burner would probably be beside it.

You know what can be a total bummer when grilling or roasting foods outdoors? The wind. Even just a mild gust can blow out your campfire and if it keeps going, it’s going to be hard to rekindle that sad pile of twigs, leaves, and other tinder. But that’s not a problem with this Royal Gourmet.

For starters, it has a regulator for a 20-pound gas tank. This allows the flame to keep burning even with one of those annoying breezes. Heck, it would probably still work with a light drizzle (not that you’d actually want to do that, unless you like your roasts wet and soggy).

Speaking of outdoor grills, there’s one thing no wants to admit it. No one likes being the last one served with food just because the grill wasn’t large enough to cook 10 – 12 sausages all at once. With the PD1300 though, it wouldn’t be a problem since it has a larger surface compared to the smaller models of outdoor propane griddle: 23 inches by 13 inches.

It does have a trade-off as it is heavier at 30 pounds. It’s one most people, including me, would make since the increase in weight isn’t that significant while the increase in grill area is. The porcelain enamel coated griddle top is easier to clean compared to other griddles, requiring only a wiping-down using paper towels. If you’re very particular, warm water is sufficient. Plus, a grease cup on the side of the griddle catches the oils that would normally drip down the sides while cooking.

Here’s something that might concern you though: some users have reported issues with the components of the griddle. For example, some received units which didn’t have the grease cup, while others had their legs attached wrongly.

Pros:

  • Powerful burners
  • Easy cleaning

Cons:

  • Quality control
  • Structural defects (but addressed by excellent customer service)

* Brasero Portable 26 Inch Outdoor Flat Top Gas Griddle

Now let’s get to the heavyweights. At 40 pounds and 26 by 19 inches, there is no other word to describe the Brasero Portable 26 Inch. This will start to annoy the person assigned to bring this to the party, but its many features make it all worth it.

Who hates expecting a well-done steak and then biting on an ice-cold, bloody core? I know I am. With this Brasero’s cast-iron griddle, it can heat up much faster and reach higher temperatures than the steel griddles of other models.

Not only will your meats be cooked consistently all the way inside, you can also control the heat so that the outside wouldn’t be burnt. A lot of people are more conscious with what they eat these days and eating meat that’s essentially charcoal on the outside is a big no.

A welcome side benefit of all of this is that you can actually save on propane. Higher temperatures mean faster cooking times. Faster cooking times mean less gas used. Less gas used means a few more dollars to buy more food for the barbeque.

End result? Everyone’s happier.

For a portable grill, it is quite heavy. But here’s something to keep in mind so you wouldn’t mind so much: all of the parts of the Brasero are well-made and won’t rust.

Not everyone is too concerned with what happens years from now, but if you are one of those, this griddle should please you. Why? Because it will last longer, saving you more dollars that you would have otherwise spent on buying replacements. But if you aren’t that type, such quality would interest you anyway because it means there’s a less chance the griddle would break down in the middle of using it.

Pros:

  • No flare-ups
  • Healthy
  • Economical
  • Easy to clean
  • Won’t rust
  • Even heating

Cons:

  • Relatively heavy for a portable grill

* Cuisinart CGG-501 Gourmet Two Burner Gas Griddle

Are you the type of person who thinks “size matters” but is practical as well? If yes, then this is the propane griddle for camping of choice. It has an average cooking surface area of 21 by 20 inches but at a very compact 25 pounds. In other words, this is your portable propane griddle equivalent of the iPhone: lightweight and sexy.

The Cuisinart CGG-501 isn’t just about portability. It also packs a whole lot of features in other gas griddles worth their price tags. For starters, it also has a grease cup to keep all the oils from dripping all over the sides. After all, while scientists haven’t invented a self-cleaning grill yet, one that minimizes the mess it makes is the next best thing.

One area of concern though how the griddle heats up. There’s no problem with how it cooks food as it heats evenly, ensuring that large batches of meats are grilled properly and consistently. The griddle’s underside also stays relatively cool, allowing you to place it on wooden tables with little chance of setting it on fire.

On the other hand, a lot of heat also comes out of the backside of the griddle. A word to anyone who will buy this model: avoid putting anything flammable or anything you don’t want burnt behind the CGG-501.

Lastly, some users have also reported issues with the grill legs, in particular, how the legs of their units were damaged and couldn’t be installed. Don’t be scared though. They also said that the manufacturer’s Customer Service has been very efficient in addressing these problems and providing replacements.

Pros:

  • Easy to clean because grease doesn’t run down the side
  • Underside stays cool, so it can be put on table

Cons:

  • Problems with the grill legs

Conclusion

There are a lot of advantages in using griddles, they have larger cooking surfaces compared to skillets or even flat top grills. Larger means more space for a great variety of food, more guests in your backyard party, faster cooking time, and happier more satisfied people.

Another great thing about the small propane griddle is that it can be brought anywhere. A great food experience doesn’t necessarily have to be within the confines of a kitchen or dining area. You can build great memories grilling hotdogs and marshmallows while up on the mountains, cook shrimp kebabs at the beach, or having steaks washed down with beer with your college friends beside a lake.

Once you’re out in the woods, how your small gas griddle cooks the food is just as important as how easily you can carry it around. On one hand, we would be doing it like our ancestors and relying on sticks and leaves to cook our food.

On the other, we would have to do the impossible and pack the whole kitchen in our travel bags. But a perfect sized gas griddle is handy and can easily be brought along anywhere on any kind of trip, while providing a reliable and even heat to cook our campfire rations.

No matter what brand of tabletop propane griddles we choose, what’s important is that it serves its purpose to us by making our daily lives more comfortable and cooking experience enjoyable.

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The Kitchen Hand

The Kitchen Hand

Your Personal In-House 'HOW TO' Gastro Master. From Slicing up A Pig for Christmas or Selecting Your Organic Ingredients for that Super Vegan Juice, The kitchen Hand Knows More Than You Might Think .
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