What is a flat top grill?
A flat top grill is a cooking device that grills a variety of foods on its flat grilling surface. While many outdoor grills have grooved grate tops and many indoor grills have tilted surfaces, flat top grills always have a smooth, horizontal cook top.
Some flat tops are designed for indoor use, some for outdoor use and some are safe for both. It depends on the make and the heating source used to operate the grill.
Flat top grills are popular in restaurants as they can be divided into “zones” for cooking different items at once. They can be used to cook a meal with complex flavors and ingredients quickly.
A breakfast diner may use a flat top grill to cook eggs, mixed vegetables, bacon and pancakes all on one flat top. An Asian restaurant may use a flat top to cook chicken, vegetables and fried rice on the same cook top at once.
These versatile grills have also become a staple in homes. Individuals and families love how they can cook different types of foods fast for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Flat top grills can also be used for different cooking styles. You can sauté, shallow fry, braise, blacken, toast, bake, simmer and more, all on the flat top surface.
How do flat top grill work?
Flat top grills utilize a circular heating element to evenly cook different foods. The cooking surface heats up fast, with heat distributing radially.
Traditionally, flat top grills were powered by natural gas or propane, although nowadays electric varieties are also available. Gas propane flat top grills can be ignited by the flip of a switch, while electric flat tops can be plugged in to start the preheating process.
Once a flat top grill is fired up, it the entire cooking surface heats quickly and evenly. They are revered for maintaining a consistent cooking temperature and the ample cooking space they can provide.
Pros and cons of flat top grills
Like with other types of grills, cooking with a flat top grill has its pros and cons. It is important to consider these, as it can help you decide if flat top grilling is suitable for your needs.
Features to consider in the best flat top grills
Flat top grills are manufactured with a variety of features to suit the needs of all consumers.
To find the most useful flat top grill for your needs, it is important to compare the various features that separate different types of flat top grills commonly sold on the market.
Size should be one of your first considerations when shopping for a flat top grill. To figure out what size may be best for you, it is best to figure out your grilling intentions.
Do you just plan to grill for yourself and perhaps one or two others? Or do you want to grill for large gatherings?
The average cooking surface size of flat top grills range from about 15” to about 40”, with various sizes in between.
Obviously, a small flat top grill is ideal for grilling one or two meals at a time, while large flat top grills are perfect for barbecue parties or restaurants. You may also choose a mid-size flat top grill if you are unsure or can imagine grilling small and large quantities of food.
Along with the size of the flat top, there is another number you need to consider – the number of burners. This applies only to gas powered flat top grills.
These flat top grills utilize burners to distribute heat to certain zones on the flat top surface. Most gas flat top grills utilize anywhere from one to four burners on average.
It is a general rule of the thumb that the larger the flat top grill, the more gas burners are built in.
Do you intend to just use your flat top grill at home or the workplace? If so, portability my not be an important feature to you.
However, if you are someone who enjoys outdoor activities, like camping and tailgating, a portable flat top grill may be perfect for you. Portable flat top grills allow you to grill delicious foods while on the go.
There are many portable flat top grills on the market. Also consider if you want a flat top grill that is safe for use indoors, outdoors only or both, as this can contribute to the portability factor.
Most flat top grills are rectangular in shape. There are also flat top grills that have a circular cooking surface.
Though rectangular cooking surfaces are more common, round flat top grills can provide you with 360° access to your foods. This is an appealing aspect for those who may be cooking different types of foods at once, which cook at different times and temperatures.
Teppanyaki grills are a flat top grill popularly used in Japanese restaurants. These rectangular grills are longer than most, allowing several diners to grill their own food at the same time.
Though all flat top grills share one thing in common – a flat cooktop – basically everything else about them can vary. Many people look for flat top grills that offer something extra.
There are many flat top grills that offer combination cooking styles, such as those that are charcoal powered and those that have griddles.
Charcoal flat top grills can only be used indoors and can be used to cook foods steeped in smoky flavor. Griddle flat top grills are gas powered and have both flat top and grate cooking surfaces.
Like other types of grills, flat top grills take to accessories very well. There are some grilling accessories you can use on a flat top grill that cannot be used on other types of grills.
An example of this can be egg rings. These metal rings are designed to help you cook perfectly formed, restaurant-quality eggs on your flat top grill.
This is especially desirable if you’re making a breakfast sandwich and want your eggs to fit within a bun or English muffin.
Burger presses can also be used successfully on a flat top grill. These cast iron tools have a handle for easy grip and helps burgers achieve a crisp coating and juicy inside.
If you want to grill perfect pizzas, you can place a pizza stone on your flat top grill and safely cook pizzas that have crisp crusts and sizzling toppings.
Waffle lovers may wish to invest in waffle plates. These uniquely designed cast iron plates have the same grooves and raised edges that create the delectable waffle texture.
All of these accessories can be used on top of your flat top grill and can help make an already versatile cooking device even more special.
The most popular outdoor cooking brands manufacture both indoor, outdoor and hybrid flat top grills. Brand loyalty can also help us determine which flat top grill we purchase.
The most popular flat top grills are manufactured by brands like Royal Gourmet, Blackstone, Hamilton Beach and Presto. Many of the highest flat top grill reviews are attributed to grills by these brands too.
Comparison Table – Out Top 10 Flat Top Grills
|Blackstone Table Top Grill - 17 Inch Portable Gas Griddle||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Presto 07061 22-inch Electric Griddle With Removable Handles||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Blackstone 28 inch Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle Station||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Tilt 'n' Drain Big Griddle 23''||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|DASH DEG200GBRD01 Everyday Nonstick Electric Griddle||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Hamilton Beach 38518R Durathon Ceramic Griddle||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Blackstone 1819 Griddle and Charcoal Combo||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Presto 07211 Liddle Griddle||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Royal Gourmet PD1300 Portable 3-Burner Propane Gas Grill Griddle||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Costzon 35" Electric Teppanyaki Table Top Grill Griddle BBQ||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
Top 10 Flat Top Grills Reviewed
#1 – Blackstone Table Top Grill – 17 Inch Portable Gas Griddle
Blackstone’s 1650 portable flat top gas griddle is our number-one choice, thanks to its phenomenal features and easy portability.
It is powered by propane gas and offers a powerful 12,000 BTUs of heat, distributed in a thoughtful H design. To start the grill, simply push the electric ignition button.
The cooking surface on this Blackstone flat top grill is a spacious 17”, perfect for grilling a few burgers, hot dogs and more. Its simple control knob makes it easy to operate.
Blackstone’s portable griddle is also easy to clean – simply empty the grease trap and wipe down the grill service.
#2 – Presto 07061 22-inch Electric Griddle With Removable Handles
This Presto 07061 indoor electric flat top griddle is our number-two choice thanks to its thoughtful features and versatility.
It boasts a spacious non-stick grilling surface that heats easily thanks to the Control Master heating element. It is full immersible for easy cleaning once the heating element is removed.
This Presto flat top grill also has a removable drip tray and folds for easy storage. The affordable price helps make it an easy option for almost any household.
#3 – Blackstone 28 inch Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle Station
This spacious outdoor flat top grill from Blackstone helps you cook restaurant-quality meals fast and easy.
It boasts two independent heat zones that are controlled with the turn of a knob. Blackstone 1517 is powered by propane gas and can start with the press of a button.
This full-sized outdoor grill also has two locking caster wheels for moving it easily. It is a wonderful option for grilling burgers, steaks and other foods that will be juicy and flavorful.
#4 – Tilt ‘n’ Drain Big Griddle 23”
Tilt ‘n’ Drain’s popular indoor flat top grill makes it easy for individuals and families to cook delicious, healthy foods simply.
Safe to use, this flat top grill boasts safe-touch housing and handles to reduce the risk of burning your fingers. The slide-out drip tray and heavy-duty cooking surface are easy to clean.
If you’re cooking something that gives off a lot of grease, such as bacon, the handles allow you to tilt the cooktop to let the grease drain. This results in crispy bacon that has less fat and calories.
#5 – DASH DEG200GBRD01 Everyday Nonstick Electric Griddle
Dash’s stylish and simple DEG200GBRD01 electric flat top grill is a popular choice for countertops in kitchens everywhere.
It boasts an adjustable heating element that goes as high as 400°F. The non-stick surface is easy to clean, with a removable drip tray below to catch excess grease.
This Dash flat top grill also comes in an array of colors to match your style. It is an excellent choice for quickly cooking tasty breakfasts, lunches and dinners for the whole family.
#6 – Hamilton Beach 38518R Durathon Ceramic Griddle
This handy indoor Hamilton Beach flat top grill makes grilling a variety of foods simple.
What sets this griddle apart from others is its durable ceramic coated cooktop. It resists peeling and flaking and does not release dangerous chemicals, unlike other cooktops.
Easy to clean, this Hamilton Beach griddle boasts a removable and dishwasher-safe drip pan. It can be fully submerged under water once the heating element is removed.
Its versatility and large cooking surface make this Hamilton Beach 38518R ceramic griddle our number-six choice.
#7 – Blackstone 1819 Griddle and Charcoal Combo
Blackstone’s exceptional hybrid grill lets you charcoal grill and gas griddle in one handy outdoor cooking device.
The grill grate is adjustable so you can impart a deep sear on foods if you desire. A grease management system allows you to cook in more healthful manner.
It is perfect for those who love the taste of charcoal grilled foods and who prefer the ease of a gas griddle. This Blackstone hybrid flat top grill is one of our top choices for its convenience and value.
#8 – Presto 07211 Liddle Griddle
As its name suggests, Presto’s Liddle Griddle is the small electric grill with powerful cooking abilities.
Its cast aluminum non-stick cooking surface distributes heat evenly and reaches up to 400°F. The size of this Presto griddle’s cooking surface is ideal for use in apartments or for one or two diners.
A simple to use heating element helps you cook to the precise temperature you desire. When the heating element is removed, you can submerge the griddle fully in water for an easy cleanup.
Thanks to these features and its thoughtful grease trap, it is a clear choice for our number-eight flat top grill.
#9 – Royal Gourmet PD1300 Portable 3-Burner Propane Gas Grill Griddle
Our number-nine flat top grill choice is a portable outdoor gas griddle by Royal Gourmet.
This Royal Gourmet griddle is built with three stainless-steel burners which provide 27,000 BTUs of heat. Its large porcelain-enameled cooking surface can grill a vast quantity of delicious foods at once.
Push a button to start this flat top electric griddle’s ignition system fast and easy. A drip tray catches excess grease.
Its thoughtful design, easy portability and included cover make this Royal Gourmet outdoor griddle one of our favorites.
#10 – Costzon 35″ Electric Teppanyaki Table Top Grill Griddle BBQ
Cook delicious teppanyaki style meals at home and on the go with this Costzon electric griddle.
This table top grill is rectangular in shape and ideal for cooking meats, veggies and more with friends. It is built with non-slip feet for security and a large grease trap for healthy cooking.
Costzon’s flat top grill includes accessories like six wooden spatulas and two egg rings. It boasts five adjustable temperature settings and is simple to clean.
Thanks to its unique design and portability, this teppanyaki flat top grill is our number-10 selection.
Even after considering the flat grill reviews, you may still have questions about what to look for in a flat top grill. Check out consumer’s frequently asked questions about flat top grills and our answers below to make a more informed decision.
Do I need a flat top grill?
If you want a grill that is both versatile and simple to use, a flat top grill may be perfect for you.
As we have discovered, flat top grills all have a flat cooking surface. Many also come with accessories and built-in features that make them even more versatile.
You may decide a flat top hybrid grill that also has a secondary cooking surface with grates is perfect for your needs.
You may also opt for a flat top grill that is charcoal powered as opposed to propane gas powered, giving you the ability to impart rich barbecue flavors into your food.
Flat top grills are also simple to operate and heat up evenly and quickly.
Also, because there are many portable flat top grills available, they are a great option for grilling on the go.
Are flat top grills easy to maintain?
Yes, most flat top grills are easy to maintain. For the most part, you just have to clean them after every use to keep them working well.
Pumice bricks and scrapers are common tools used to clean leftover grease and debris left one flat top grill surfaces. These may be included with your flat top grill in a bundle, or you may have to purchase them separately.
If your flat top grill has a built-in grease trap, it is important to safely empty this trap after each use too.
If your flat top grill is an outdoor model, keeping them covered when not in use is a great way to keep it protected from the elements.
Are flat top grills environmentally friendly?
Your flat top grill may be more or less environmentally friendly depending on its heat source.
Flat top grills powered by charcoal release dangerous chemicals into the atmosphere.
It has been estimated that propane gas powered grills produce three times less dangerous gas emissions than charcoal grills. If you want a gas powered flat top grill, opting for one that utilizes natural gas is even better for the planet.
Flat top griddles do not release smoke into the air, making them a sound choice for the environment. These indoor flat top grills run on electric and burn little electricity when operating.
Grilling tips and tricks
Make the most of your grilling season, whether it is just for the summer or all year long, by following these simple tips and tricks.
Kit out your flat top grill with all the accessories you will need to make grilling fun and easy. Whether it is an indoor or outdoor model, keeping spatulas, steam lids, burger presses, removable grills grates and plates and more on hand will enhance your grilling experience.
The same goes for seasonings, sauces and spices. Although gas and electric powered flat top grills cannot create a smoky barbecue flavor on their own, marinades and seasonings can.
Flat top grills, as mentioned, do not take much care to maintain. Keeping the grill surface and drip pans clean is the easiest way to maintain your flat top grill and ensure it lasts for many years.
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the best care practices for your grill.
Manufacturer instructions may also contain a recipe guide. Enhance these recipes by researching top blogs and videos created by grilling masters and challenge yourself to create new flavor combinations on your grill.
Flat top grills are classic cooking devices that continue to gain popularity and evolve to suit the needs of modern consumers.
Their versatility, ease of use, and superb features make them a wonderful seasonal or year-round cooking device.
By following this handy guide, your knowledge about flat top grills should be complete. Finding the best flat top grill for you and your needs should be as easy as possible.