I wanted to review the Camp Chef Flat Top Grill because these Grill/Griddle combinations can be hit and miss with one side often outperforming the other. Sometimes they're so poorly imagined that one side doesn't perform at all, leaving you with limited cooking options. They can also be awkward too, with difficult procedures for flipping sides and this results in less than convenient outdoor cooking experiences. So, I took an in-depth look at the Camp Chef to see if any of these problems existed and I'll provide a detailed account of what I found here along with a discussion about what the grill offers you as a consumer.
by Camp Chef [Camp Chef]
- Cast-Iron Grill and Griddle
- Quick Ignition
- Nice Wheels
- Fantastic Food
- Easy Assembly
- Large Cooking Area
- Quick interchange between Grill and Griddle
- 48,000 BTU's
- Cleaning is a slight issue
- Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
Camp Chef Flat Top Grill Review:
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so the famous phrase goes and it's very true here. As an experienced outdoor cooking enthusiast I see in the Camp Chef something that looks like a Commercial Grill. It's designed to look exactly like a Grill you'd find in a restaurant kitchen, so I was happy with what I saw. The problem is that Commercial Restaurant Grills are made for functionality, so they're not beautiful meaning some people could see the Camp Chef as an ugly unit. If your neighbours come over and can't recognise what a commercial grill looks like, then they'd think it's ugly too, and who would blame them? After all, it looks like a Cart with a cooking unit placed on top of it. On the plus side, the Camp Chef is one giant commercial style grill for the money measuring 62.5 inches by 37 inches by 22 inches so you get a big model for your money. Because of the size and the fact that it's made of steel the weight is 147 pounds , but they have provided well-made wheels so I must call it outstanding in terms of portability. You can basically wheel this anywhere with next to no problems.
The assembly was refreshingly easy and since you only have to set-up the Cart, before placing the Cooking Area on top, you're looking at a short time of 20 minutes and the whole thing is ready to go.
For $350 you get a cooking surface of 501 square inches when you're using the Grill side and 604 square inches when you're using the Griddle side. This certainly represents good value for money because it's on the cheaper end of the spectrum of large family Grills so no complaints here. 4-Burners are present, with each one putting out 12,000 BTU's an hour giving you a total of 48,000 BTU's an hour which is about right for a Grill of this size.
I was happy at this point but honesty I didn't expect a problem with the size or heat output so i moved swiftly on to Grill vs Griddle performance and set-up. Both Grill and Griddle are made of caste-iron so the heat dispersal was great on both making the cook times quick and the heat retention was also fine. Changing over between Grill and Griddle was easy too, and I was impressed by this because usually this is an arduous task. Here it's a case of simply flipping sides and bolting down, so again no problems. Both sides perform equally well and while we're not talking epic quality like you'd get on the best Weber models, we're also not talking about Weber prices. You'll be able to cook Egg's, Bacon, Chicken, Steaks, Ribs and any other type of food to high standards on the Camp Chef so in terms of taste it was surprisingly good. The whole cooking experience was enjoyable, quick and the easy to operate controls mean't there's a high degree on functionality common in Commercial Grills.
Here's the problem. You knew it was coming because nothing is perfect and when you come to clean, although the Camp Chef boasts a Non-Stick Surface, unfortunately it's not entirely true. Some debris will stick to the cooking surface and this will mean some extra cleaning you wouldn't normally have to do on other models. They did however include an easy to remove Grease Tray so the debris and Grease that does drip-off will be caught, and the Grease Tray is very easy to clean.
Other points are that the Thermometer is visible and easy to see. It's not digital but it is accurate enough to enable good heat control and the ignition is matchless so it's safer than match ignitions
If you don't mind putting a little extra effort into the cleaning then this is a great deal. Perhaps lesser known than some of the more famous Gas Grills but it does an amazing job. You get massive space at up to 604 square inches, with 4-Burners and 48,000 BTU's an hour. The Grill and the Griddle are designed well, so there's no issues when changing between the two and performance is equal on each one, thanks to the terrific use of caste-iron. It's looks like a metal box thrown onto a Cart so if you care about looks then you should avoid, but if you're more personality focused then this Grill has tons of character. Great food, quick cook times and a nice outdoor experience.