You don't really want to spend $500 but you really want to own a great Grill/Griddle combo so what do you do? Well currently there's a huge online debate going on about which is best between the Blackstone 36 Inch Outdoor Propane Gas Grill Griddle Cooking Station and the Camp Chef Flat Top Grill/Griddle. The Blackstone is roughly $100 more expensive so i'm going to be discussing what you get for that extra money and then you'll have a better picture about whether it's what you want. I'll let you in on how it does what it does, and i'll give some insight into the quality of the food and the design. So what we waiting for? lets go.
by Blackstone [North Atlantic Imports LLC]
Massive Cooking Surface
Lots of Power
Produces Wonderful Food
Extra investment needed to clean well
Blackstone 36 Inch Outdoor Propane Gas Grill Review:
The Blackstone was designed for function so they haven't tried to produce a wonderful looking unit, instead they've created something that looks rather like a Workbench shoved over a Shopping Cart. Most of these low-priced large Grills look less than great, but people buy them because they can feed the whole family and half the block for less than half of what would usually be paid for a huge Grill. They allow people on a budget to feel like they aren't budgeting. The four wheels are pretty sturdy so will be durable, the measurements are 62.5x22x36 and the weight is a fair 120 pounds. So, it will be portable enough for you to be able to take it out tailgating and camping which is again, what people buy Gas over Charcoal for.
The performance section of this review is going to read like a tragic love story. You'll be moved, surprised, and excited by the some of the wonderful things the Blackstone 36 inch has to offer, but there's a sad ending. How tragic the ending is really depends on your point of view and what you want from a Grill.
Firstly the Set-Up is very easy because you only need a Phillips Screwdriver so it's a case of a few small operations before you're fully assembled and ready to go. The Griddle slate does weigh 50 pounds and this is the only major obstacle so if you feel like you can't pick it up on your own, please don't attempt it. Instead wait until someone else can help. The whole assembly should take no longer than 30 minutes.
You get an incredible 720 square inches of cooking space here, making it one of the largest grills available for under $400, and the Blackstone is easily under that; you can get it for less than $300. You also get 4 Burners, with each one of these putting out 15,000 BTU's of heat an hour giving you a total heat output of 60,000 BTU's. They slightly cut the costs of the Grates by using Steel instead of Cast-Iron but they're of just the right thickness so there's no loss of taste. Cook times are the same as they'd be with Cast-Iron Grates because of the higher than usual BTU output, so the Blackstone 36 Inch is a triumph of good intelligent design. They recognised the need to cut-costs to get down below $300, but after going with Steel Grates they took steps to raise power so that there was no disadvantages.
The food tasted wonderfully good and on a surface this large you can make all the food you'd need for a week; eat what you want and then store all the rest. This could be very convenient for family's who don't have time to cook every night and they'd also find the quick ignition to be an excellent inclusion. The Grill can be easily removed when you want to use the Griddle, the Thermometer is easy to see and accurate, while the whole thing is self-explanatory when it comes to operation so even beginners won't have any trouble here.
Sound like a Grill of epic quality right? And all for less than $300 bucks so what could possibly be the tragedy here? Unfortunately the Grease Drainage isn't connected at all well to the Drip Tray so you'll need to put something beneath the Grill to catch any falling Grease. Grease also doesn't Drip off the Tray very well so some of it collects there which makes the cooking surface hard to clean. In short, there's a major Grease problem. Grease is the word, but rather than having groove and feeling it's just plain annoying. The solution is to either read my Camp Chef review because the Camp Chef also has a Grill/Griddle combo and comes at a good price or spend an extra 10 bucks getting a Griddle Cleaner.
This is one amazing grill for the money. It has a huge cooking surface with a great design, it produces wonderful food and has a whole lot of power. Sure they completely let themselves down with the Grease problem and it would be understandable if some people chose the Camp Chef instead, but I think that once you've got a Griddle Cleaner and something to go underneath the Grill, you'll own one of the best value Grills on the market.