Cooking outdoors can be an exciting and enjoyable experience, especially when you have the right equipment. One of the most essential pieces of gear for any camping trip is a portable griddle. A good griddle offers a large cooking surface that will make it easy to prepare meals for your whole group quickly and conveniently.
With so many models available on the market, choosing one may seem overwhelming, but there are several key features to look out for that will ensure you get the best camping griddle possible.
Here are five reasons why you need a camping griddle and some tips on how to best use your new camp stove once you purchase one.
Camping griddles are extremely versatile.
One of the things you’ll love the most about owning a camping griddle is the sheer versatility it provides. Whether you’re cooking breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you can use your camping griddle to create delicious meals with ease. Personally, my favorite is breakfast. I start out making bacon.
Why make bacon first? Because I always make enough to fill the entire camping stove.
Then I follow up with pancakes. Since I have a camp chef griddle which has a surface area of 448 square inches, I can only fit 5 medium sized pancakes at a time. So I have to make a few rounds of them.
Nonetheless, you can wipe it down and make burgers for lunch. Followed by some steaks, chicken breasts and seafood for dinner.
The possibilities are endless!
You’ll love the compact design of a camp griddle.
Another reason to get yourself a camping griddle is that it is incredibly compact. Most models come with removable legs, allowing you to store them with ease. This makes for easy transportation and storage when not in use.
It doesn’t matter if you’re car camping or heading out on a camping trip with your RV, you’ll easily find room to store your camping griddle.
Since it’s so versatile, you won’t need to bring camping stoves or a gas grill with you. Sure, you can find a camping grill griddle combo, but just the portable camping griddle should be enough to get you through your camping trip.
A cast iron griddle is easy to clean!
Let me start by saying that no matter what kind of cooking surface you have on your griddle, it’ll be easy to clean.
The flat surface of the griddle allows you to easily scrape off any bits of food that may be stuck on. As long as you do this after each use, there should be no need for a deep clean.
Also, most models come with handles or knobs, so you can easily lift your griddle and move it out of the way while cleaning.
The camp chef that I have lets me break everything down so I can thoroughly clean it. In fact, most traditional griddles have similar features.
Don’t be intimidated by the large cooking surface because they’re generally pretty easy to keep clean. You’ll spend more time cleaning up other camping gear than you will this solid piece of cooking equipment.
The huge cooking surface makes plenty of food.
We talked about what kind of food you can make and how easy it is to clean, but what really makes a griddle stand out is the huge cooking surface. Most camping griddles are around 24-36″ long (some are even bigger), so you should have enough cooking space to feed the entire crew.
As I mentioned, my camp chef is a steel griddle with enough space to make 5 medium-sized pancakes at the same time. Could I fit more? Sure, but I like to have a little separation.
Feeding a big family for dinner? You can typically get 12-16 hamburgers on a portable griddle with no problem. Like to cook steak? You can get five to six big 12-ounce sirloins on the non-stick surface with ease.
No matter what kind of food you’re making, you’ll have plenty of room to make it with a camping griddle.
Camping griddles are more affordable than a camping stove.
And finally, the biggest reason you need to look at gas griddles for your next camping trip is that they’re incredibly affordable.
The prices of some camping griddles range from as low as $60 to around $150, depending on the features and size you choose. That’s a far cry from the prices of some full-sized camp stoves that can run up to hundreds of dollars.
That’s a small price to pay, considering everything you get with it. From cooking bacon to making a full meal, you’ll be able to do it all with one piece of gear.
What’s the best camping griddle?
Obviously, if you’re going to make a purchase, you want to ensure you’re getting a quality camping griddle. So we’ve put together a short list of some of the best ones we’ve tried.
Camp Chef Outdoorsman
Of course, this made the list because you’ve heard me mention it several times up to this point. It’s my go-to camp stove and the best portable camping griddle I’ve tried. What I love the most is that it’s the most versatile griddle I’ve ever tried.
This gas grill griddle truly stands out as an all-in-one solution for cooking large meals while in the great outdoors. With two high-output burners at 60,000 BTU each, the Outdoorsman heats large amounts of food quickly and efficiently. I’ve used it to make soups and stews, seafood boils, and even brew coffee in a large percolator.
One of the standout features of this cooking system is its durability. The removable legs make it easy to transport and set up, and the sturdy construction means it can withstand the wear and tear of outdoor use. The griddle is also a great addition, providing a flat cooking surface for making pancakes, eggs, and bacon in the morning.
Blackstone 1971 portable griddle.
Another camping griddle I got my hands on was the Blackstone 1971 camping griddle, and I must say, I was pleasantly surprised by its portability and innovative features. This Blackstone griddle is the perfect size for camping, hunting, tailgating, or any other outdoor adventure. Sure, I love my Camp Chef, but I keep this one around for quick hunting trips. It’s still one of the best camping griddles I’ve ever tried.
It is lightweight and carry-friendly, making it easy to pack up and take with you wherever you go. The 267-square-inch cooking surface is surprisingly spacious, and it can easily feed up to 2-4 people. I’m able to cook a variety of foods, including hamburgers, fish, hash browns, pancakes, eggs, bacon, veggies, and more. Of course, it’s not as big as most griddles, but it’s great if you’re looking for a smaller, more portable option.
One of the standout features of this countertop griddle is its powerful gas burner that produces 12500 BTUs of heat. This ensures consistent heat distribution and no hot or cold spots, even when cooking large amounts of food. The innovative grease management system is another great feature. The rear grease trap collects all the mess for easy cleanup after cooking bacon or any other juicy meat. The sturdy feet keep the griddle steady on any surface, from grassy hills to muddy terrain.
Pit Boss portable camp griddle.
If you’re looking for a portable griddle that you can easily take with you on camping, tailgating, or outdoor adventures, the Pit Boss portable griddle is definitely worth your consideration.
One of the most impressive features of this griddle is its compact size. It’s lightweight and easy to carry, making it perfect for outdoor activities. With assembled dimensions of 23” x 17” x 8.5” and weighing only 23.5 pounds, it’s one of the most portable griddles available.
Despite its small size, the Pit Boss portable griddle boasts an impressive 289 square-inch cooking area, allowing you to grill a variety of foods to perfection. With two independently controlled 9,000 BTU stainless steel burners, you have better heat control of each side of the griddle surface. The 3 mm thick griddle surface is pre-seasoned with organic oil, so you don’t have to worry about seasoning it yourself.
The griddle is also designed with portability in mind. It has an easy push-and-turn ignition and comes with a handy cover to keep it clean and protected during transport. The black powder-coated steel with four adjustable non-skid feet ensures stability on any surface. Plus, with the two-year limited warranty, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that you’re investing in a high-quality product.
Tips for using your new camp griddle.
Now that you have your new griddle, you’re probably ready to jump in and start cooking. We get it.
However, before you get too far ahead, here are some tips to help you get started.
Always preheat your griddle.
Preheat your griddle before cooking to ensure uniform heat distribution. Typically, I like to turn on my propane cylinder and get the propane burners going around 5-7 minutes before I put the food on. That is one thing we like the most about griddles is how fast they preheat.
Use a food thermometer to verify the griddle temperature.
Most griddles will have a built-in thermometer, but to ensure accuracy, use an external food thermometer. This is especially important when cooking different foods as they require different temperatures to be cooked properly.
Do not overload the griddle with too much food.
Too much food can lead to uneven heat distribution and even burning of your food. Start off with smaller batches and work your way up if necessary. You’ll quickly learn how much your large cooking surface can handle.
Clean your griddle after every use.
Food residue left on the surface of the griddle can cause sticking, so make sure to clean it off immediately after each use. Use a spatula or brush with warm water to scrub away any debris and excess grease from your griddle top. I also find that if you heat up the griddle and squirt some water onto the surface, and scrape the water with a griddle scraper, you’ll get almost everything. And never use soap or other cleaners on your griddle.
Oil and season your entire surface.
Always use an oiled paper towel or kitchen brush to apply a thin layer of oil on the cooking surface after preheating; this helps prevent sticking and ensures even browning for foods like pancakes, eggs, and bacon. Most seasoned surfaces don’t need this treatment, but it never hurts if you want the best-tasting food in the campground.
The downsides of a camping griddle.
While we’re confident you’ll love your new camping griddle, there are a few downsides worth mentioning. We just figured we’d be completely honest about it so you can make an informed decision.
- Preheating is required for even heat distribution.
- Food thermometer is needed to ensure accuracy.
- A propane cylinder or propane tank is required.
- Cleaning after every use is necessary to prevent sticking.
- Oiling and seasoning the surface regularly is important for the best results.
- May not be suitable for all types of foods.
There might be some other drawbacks, but we didn’t feel they’re all that accurate. For example, we’ve heard other campers talk about the longer cooking times on griddles compared to their gas grills. From our experience, cooking times aren’t much longer (if at all) than a stove or any other cooktop.
If you can get by with all of that, then you’ll have an amazing time cooking up delicious recipes with your camping griddle. It’s really one of the best pieces of outdoor cookware you can own and will add a lot to your backcountry culinary experiences.
You’re ready for some outdoor cooking!
There are literally hundreds of camping griddles on the market and most of them are half-decent. I think the best camping griddles are the Camp Chef and Blackstone, but you might find you like a good ol’ fashioned cast iron griddle for the campfire. It’s completely up to you.
Regardless, once you have a portable griddle for camping, meal time will be so much fun. You can cook anything from pancakes to steaks and everything in between.