That’s right, we said it: almost anything. An egg-and-pancake breakfast? Check. Boiling pasta and grilling chicken for a carbonara? Chef’s kiss. Searing a steak? Piece of cake! (Now that we mention it, cake is just about the only thing you’ll have a hard time cooking on a gas griddle.) Even better, a flat top grill doesn’t have to be your primary cooking appliance — in fact, many backyard chefs use them as companion cookers alongside a built-in grill in an outdoor kitchen island. That enables you to use both at once, though you may find guests gravitating toward the griddle. When they do, join them over the flat top and put on a show with stir-fry skills, breakfast bona fides, and anything else you can dream up!
Benefits of Gas Griddles
They may be called flat top “grills,” but these appliances are capable of virtually any cooking style with help from the right accessories.
Even, High Heat
In addition to producing scorching temperatures, gas griddles are designed to spread that heat uniformly across their flat cooking surfaces.
Not Too Smoky
Rather than letting grease drip onto burners and create smoky flare-ups, flat top grills channel drippings to a built-in pan with no mess.
Cook More at Once
Gas griddles allow you to cook entire dishes on a single appliance — breakfast hash or stir fry, anyone? — or multiple foods at the same time.
You don’t need much oil to cook on a flat top grill, so natural fats from food have the chance to render and run off into the grease traps.
Gathering guests around a griddle for a teppanyaki-style cook session is one of the best ways to get everyone involved at backyard parties.
Fun Ways to Use Flat Top Grills
We’ve hopefully already driven home the idea that you can cook virtually anything on a gas griddle, but we figured we’d show our work a little bit more and share a few of our favorite uses with you. Though gas flat top griddles make the perfect canvas for culinary experimentation, there are a few dishes and cooking styles we still go back to time after time. Each is great for outdoor entertaining — if you’re in the business of dazzling guests (we know we are), a flat top grill is well worth adding to your arsenal of appliances.
Teppanyaki & Hibachi Cooking
Though teppanyaki and hibachi have different histories based on different types of cooking appliances, they’ve come to mean the same thing to hungry Americans — theatrical preparation of Asian cuisine for the entertainment of guests. A flat top gas grill can’t give you the skills to rival your local hibachi chefs, but it does provide the main thing you need: a huge cooking surface to sear meat, fry rice, scramble eggs, and grill veggies for your stir fry. You can take the literal route with Backyard Hibachi griddles, but any model will get the job done.
Family Brunch on the Griddle
Have you ever tried to scramble an egg on a gas grill? Yeah, it’s about as messy as it sounds. A flat top grill, however, gives you plenty of real estate to whip up 2 dozen eggs along with pancakes for the whole family. Or maybe you’re like us and don’t consider brunch to be complete without a heaping helping of bacon, in which case flat top grills become indispensable. We’ve found that Blaze griddles, Lynx griddles, and Evo griddles are all capable of cooking 2 pounds of bacon at once. Somewhat coincidentally, we haven’t gone out for brunch in years.
Flat Top Cooking on the Go
There are many great ways to work a gas griddle into your home-cooking setup, but these appliances are just as effective anywhere else. Portable flat top grills let you take extreme cooking versatility on the road, whether you’re making a trip to the campsite or tailgating before the big game. Even if you’re not putting on a hibachi-style show for your fellow fans in the parking lot — imagine that! — a griddle is more than up to the task of preparing staple tailgate foods like burgers and sausage. Early kickoff? You already know brunch is an option!
Shop Top Flat Top Grill & Griddle Brands
Flat Top Grill Innovations
Despite their remarkable cooking power and versatility, gas griddles are fairly simple in design: a flat, rectangular steel cooking surface on top of gas burners. It’s worked for years, but that hasn’t stopped a few brands from finding new and interesting ways to manufacture flat top grills in the name of improving your experience. Let’s take a look at why round flat top grills and griddle/side burners combos are worthy additions to any outdoor space.
Evo Flat Top Grills | Round Griddles
The unique, circular shape of Evo flat top grills creates many benefits for backyard chefs. Foremost among them is the dual-ring burner design below the cooking surface, a setup that puts you in command of inner and outdoor cooking zones for greater culinary flexibility (as opposed to side-by-side zones found on traditional gas grills and griddles). More practically, round Evo griddles feature a built-in, 360-degree drip pan that catches grease and directs it to a concealed catch basin. A circular cooktop is also better for fitting larger food items or pots and pans, plus it makes Evo flat top gas grills into one-of-a-kind conversation pieces regardless of configuration. Build it into a BBQ island, move it around the backyard on a cart, or take it with you as a portable tabletop model.
Griddle/Side Burner Combos
BBQ grill islands can fit only so much (believe us, we’ve tried to load down at least one or two with as many components as possible). So, what happens when you can’t decide between a flat top grill and, say, a side burner? In this case, a few of our favorite manufacturers thought outside the box so you don’t have to make such a difficult choice! Side burner/griddle combos give you the best of both worlds, combining both companion cookers in a single unit for ultimate versatility alongside a built-in grill. The griddle portion will be much smaller than what a stand-alone flat top grill offers, but it’s still perfect for turning out a handful of pancakes or whipping up a small stir fry next to a teriyaki sauce on the side burner. More options equals a bigger menu — hard to say no to that!