Let’s find the best camping griddle. It’s not easy to judge griddle performance based on appearances. In this review lineup, I’ll be breaking down the features, BTUs, configurations, and performance of some popular camping griddles to help you find the right one. The picks I’m about to show you proove that you can be a great chef in the wild!
In this article, we’re going to review the following camping griddle models:
- Blackstone Tabletop Griddle
- Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill
- Royal Gourmet PD1301S Portable 24-Inch 3-Burner Table Top Gas Grill Griddle With Cover
- Coleman Gas Camping Grill/Stove
- Cuisinart CGG-501 Gourmet Gas Griddle
- Cuisinart CGG-180TB Portable Propane Petit Gourmet Tabletop Gas Grill
- Country Smokers CSGDL0590 Highland 4-Burner Portable Griddle
A Buyer’s Guide to Portable Camping Griddles
Food is one of the top items on the checklist when planning a camping trip. Relying on prepackaged food gets stale quickly while camping. Exiting nature to dine out at restaurants during an adventure in the wild feels like cheating.
There’s really nothing like the flavors and smells of hot, fresh burgers, hot dogs, fish, or breakfast items cooking by the campsite. Let’s talk about all the things to consider when picking out the right griddle for the job.
Is a Camping Griddle Better Than a Camping Grill?
Both flavor and function need to be considered when deciding between a griddle and grill. When shopping online for a griddle, it’s helpful to know that some people mistakenly use the terms “griddle” and “grill” interchangeably. These are actually two distinct products.
Griddles are often preferred over grills for people who want to whip up lots of popular foods while camping because they provide a cooking experience that’s similar to making food on an actual kitchen cooktop. By contrast, a camping grill offers a more rugged cooking experience that uses grates instead of a solid cooktop surface to drain away juices.
Cleaning a griddle is much easier than cleaning a grill! In addition, camping griddles tend to provide larger cooking surfaces in a design that weighs less. Of course, some purists are willing to give up the ease and convenience of a camping griddle for the sake of the authentic char-grilled flavor that only a charcoal camping grill can provide. There can honestly be room for both at a busy campsite.
Why Choose a Griddle Over Other Camping Stoves?
Camping griddles offer versatility that enhances the campsite culinary experience at all levels. First, you can use a griddle for every type of meal throughout the day. Griddles are especially amazing for making breakfast while camping because most models make it easy to use the same surface for all of your breakfast items.
Like the large griddles used at restaurants, portable camping griddles feature large, wide cooking surfaces that allow you to put down eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, toast, and other breakfast essentials in one spot. You can easily turn and flip with ease to ensure even, made-to-order cooking.
The Advantages of Portable Cooking Griddles Over Other Options
Portable griddles win out over other portable camping stoves and grills because of their even heat distribution, large cooking surfaces, and unrivaled performance for getting meats hot and juicy!
Unlike camping stoves that rely on a flame, camping griddles feature burners that can be controlled for even, thorough heat distribution. This doesn’t just provide a flavor advantage. When using direct flame to cook meats while camping, uneven cooking and raw spots can pose health hazards.
How to Pick the Best Camping Griddle
You have to know what kind of chef you are out there in the wild if you want to pick a camping griddle that meets your needs. While some people want to create restaurant-quality feasts while camping, others are just looking for a quick and efficient way to get burgers cooked. Use the factors below to determine what you need.
The best place to start when shopping for camping griddles is BTU (British thermal unit). A higher BTU indicates a higher-powered griddle. If your goal is to find a griddle with higher power, look for griddles offering between 20,000 and 25,000 BTUs. You’ll even find party-sized griddles with 44,000 BTUs.
After BTUs, a griddle’s size is the most important factor. Pay close attention to the available cooking surface on a griddle. Opting for a larger surface means that you can cook more at each meal without the need to cook in multiple cycles. A good average size to focus on is 22 square inches of cooking space.
It’s fine to either go larger or smaller based on the way you tend to travel. If you’re looking for a griddle that can feed up to 10 people in a single batch, supersized griddles offering nearly 500 square inches of cooking space are available.
Griddles from various manufacturers come with a variety of features that may or may not be important to you. One common feature is a grease trap that funnels grease away from your food. This can be an especially important feature if you tend to cook lots of burgers on your griddle because it makes your food healthier while also reducing the mess left behind on the surface of your griddle after cooking.
Think about the conditions you usually camp in for this next special feature. Some griddles come with side tabs that protect your food from high winds and extreme temperatures during the cooking process. You can even find a few griddle models with side tabs that fold down to act as side tables when the weather isn’t extreme.
Prep space is another feature to consider. Most portable griddles don’t feature any surface space beyond the grilling space. The reason for this is that a portable griddle’s design is meant to be as economical as possible to prevent the need to lug around something heavy. You won’t need prep space built into your griddle if you’re bringing along folding tables for your campsite kitchen.
However, some built-in side consoles may come in handy if you’re planning to “rough it” by only bringing along a griddle without packing many cooking accessories. Just keep in mind that any “extras” for storage or prep work will add at least a little bit of weight to a griddle. Finally, some griddles have special “pot areas” that make it easy to boil water, boil eggs, heat up soup, or make coffee and tea using the same power that you’re accessing while grilling food instead of turning on a secondary stove.
The word “portable” can take on different meanings based on which portable griddle you choose. The decision really comes down to portable griddles with legs versus portable griddles without legs. Here’s a look at the different styles you’ll find when shopping for the best portable griddle:
- Tabletop griddle without lid.
- Tabletop griddle with lid.
- Tabletop griddle with handled lid.
- Upright, grill-style griddle with folding legs.
- Kitchen-style griddle with folding legs.
Don’t just judge a griddle based on how it looks when it’s all set up for cooking. You also want to pay attention to the configuration of a griddle when it’s in “packing mode.” This configuration will determine just how easy a griddle really is to lug to a campsite. Griddle weight is another factor to consider. Smaller doesn’t always mean lighter. Some of the compact-looking tabletop griddles are actually surprisingly heavy because they are made of stainless steel. Meanwhile, larger models that appear bulky may actually weigh less because they’re made of lightweight synthetic materials. Finally, put a griddle’s dimensions in context by comparing them to the griddle’s weight. This will give you an idea of the actual profile of the griddle once it’s up at your campsite.
Modern camping griddles are generally designed to be safe. However, the configuration of a grill can pose specific risks. Will you be camping with kids in tow? Griddles that stand on legs can be slightly riskier because they can be knocked over with enough force if a child runs by, grabs on, or pulls down.
Of course, every griddle style comes with some degree of risk. A griddle that is placed at either ground or tabletop level can be accessed by a child. It goes without saying that every griddle must be monitored closely during cooking.
However, envisioning what the flurry of activity at your campsite may look like can help you to decide what works best for you.
Some griddles feature cooking surfaces with porcelain enamel. While not necessary for a smooth cooking experience, porcelain helps to reduce sticking for a cleaner, neater cooking experience. High-end portable camping griddles will use a material called cold-rolled steel for the cooktop.
Cold-rolled steel has a strength that’s up to 20% greater than normal hot-rolled steel. That’s why makes it such a great choice for high-stress cooking in outdoor settings. In addition to having a smooth, shiny surface that resists rust sand scaling, cold-rolled steel can also take pressure from knives during cooking.
How Do Portable Camping Griddles Work?
The standard is for portable griddles to be powered by portable propane tanks. You’ll need to read the manual on any griddle you buy to learn about the tank size needed. In some cases, griddles will actually let you use a hose hookup. Propane tanks are not usually included with griddles. Factor in the extra cost when budgeting your griddle purchase!
What Can You Cook on a Portable Camping Griddle?
Camping griddles are perfect for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The large, hot surface area is perfect for making sizzling eggs, bacon, pancakes, and more for breakfast. Portable griddles can also replace grills when cooking burgers, hot dogs, chicken, fish, vegetables, paninis, and more.
Can You Cook Hibachi on a Portable Camping Griddle?
Yes! Hibachi with fried rice is actually a common dish cooked on griddles because the heat allows for the rice to get hot and crispy.
How Do You Clean a Portable Griddle?
First, it’s important to know that the directions provided by a grill manufacturer should be followed before using any tips for cleaning portable propane griddles on the Internet. One smart cleaning hack is to use a metal spatula to lift any food particles from the cooking surface while the griddle is still warm. This helps to prevent caked-on food particles that require intense scrubbing at the end of the night when you want to crawl into your tent for rest.
Most griddles can be washed using hot water and mild dish soap. Always rinse thoroughly before drying. Most griddle parts are not safe for the dishwasher. Only place items in the dishwasher that have been labeled safe for the dishwasher by the manufacturer. Lastly, scouring is discouraged when cleaning griddle parts because you may remove protecting enamel and seasoning.
Do You Have to Season a Camping Griddle?
Generally, it is necessary to season your own camping griddle. Grapeseed oil can be a great choice for seasoning a griddle. Some portable griddles come already seasoned.
What Is Considered a Good Power Level for a Propane Griddle?
Most portable propane camping griddles have BTU levels ranging from 5,000 to 50,000. Most people will do just fine in the range of 20,000 to 25,000 BTUs. If you’re looking to feed up to 10 people quickly, a super-powered, oversized griddle with a BTU level closer to 50,000 could be a good pick for ensuring that large batches of food can get hot enough.
Can You Use a Portable Camping Griddle Inside?
While it can be considered safe to use a portable propane cooking griddle indoors when you need to heat food in an emergency situation where proper ventilation is available, indoor propane cooking creates risks for explosions, fires, carbon-monoxide poisoning, and propane poisoning.
Don’t purchase any kind of propane cooker with the intention of using it indoors. There are plenty of electric-powered, plug-in griddles that are intended for everyday use in the kitchen that you can purchase instead. This should be a separate product from the outdoor portable griddle you purchase for use when camping.
Reviews of the Best Camping Griddles
This heavy-duty flat-top griddle station is perfect for camping, tailgating, and outdoor tabletop cooking. The 22-inch model provides a generous amount of cooking area for a group using 339 square inches of cooking surface. There’s plenty of room to keep a little distance between eggs, bacon, hash browns, and pancakes when making a sunrise medley at the campsite. Expect to fit 12 burgers, 30 hot dogs, or 16 eggs during a cooking session.
It’s no secret Blackstone makes beautiful equipment. You can actually use a knife to cut directly on the surface of this griddle because the top is made from cold-rolled steel. This model offers 24,000 BTUs of heat for fast, event cooking. Blackstone also does something interesting with the burner design on this model that’s worth talking about for a bit.
This tabletop griddle uses H-shaped burners for even heat distribution that ultimately leads to even cooking. Both burners on the griddle feature built-in igniters that can be controlled separately to allow you to cook different foods at different temperatures.
Do you cook bacon frequently while camping? You’ll love the way this griddle performs with greasy meats. Blackstone has implemented an innovative grease-management system that features a rear grease trap that easily collects all of the thick, greasy juices that roll off meats and other foods during the cooking process. Cooking can be done using either a 1-lb propane bottle or 20-lb propane tank with propane adapter hose with regulator. They are not included with the product.
Overall, the Blackstone Tabletop Griddle performs beautifully in outdoor environments by offering the perfect mix of generous space and stability. The dual-cooking features, grease trap, and wobble-free legs all help to make a campsite chef’s life easier. The dimensions on this 32-lb griddle are 22.5 x 19 x 9 (inches)
- Generous cooking surface.
- H-style burners allow for thorough, even cooking.
- Collects grease.
- Stable, sturdy design.
- Cold-rolled steel surface.
- Easy to clean.
- No lid or cover included.
It’s impossible to start any review of this portable griddle without mentioning the fact that it has a fold-and-roll design that allows you to cart your grill around with ease! Offering a grilling power of up to 20,000 total BTUs, this grill has three adjustable burners with precise temperature control. The generous grilling area of 285 square feet is certainly enough when feeding a small campsite crowd.
The grilling surface on this griddle is split between three temperature zones that can be controlled independently. The griddle’s configuration also allows for the chef to swap out the grill gates that are included with stove grates. The chef is also pampered with two sliding side tables that keep utensils, sauces, and more handy.
With an attractive stainless-steel frame, this grill offers a sturdy cooking experience for the chef. The integrated temperature makes it easy to keep an eye on how things are progressing even if your cooking skills aren’t exactly intuitive. In addition, matchless ignition with the press of the button to start cooking with a 16.4-oz propane cylinder allows for hassle-free meals. The 46.6-lb Coleman RoadTrip 285 has dimensions of 32.1 x 18.5 x 15.45 (inches). This grill is a portable delight with above-average heating capabilities.
- Built-in cover protects foods.
- Transports easily.
- Available in several colors.
- Lots of prep space.
- Good heat distribution.
- Slightly heavy.
- Slightly tough to clean.
Combining fast heating with a spacious cooking surface, the Royal Gourmet PD1301S griddle gets things cooking with the touch of a button. The push-button piezo ignition really makes it easy to get started.
The cooking surface on this griddle covers a generous 312 square feet. Overall, you can really get a lot done using 25,500-BTU cooking power combined with easy operation. Heat is distributed using three independently controlled heat zones.
In addition to being one of the easiest griddles out there, this griddle is also a dream for clean cooking. A removable grease cup that collects oil during cooking slides out easily. The top of the griddle detaches for easy washing.
There’s also a built-in flavor “hack” with this griddle because the porcelain-enameled griddle top is designed to lock in juices to make meat tender. The dimensions on this 29.3-lb griddle are 26.69 x 16.14 x 7.87 (inches).
- Easy to use.
- Enhances meat flavors.
- Tidy with greasy foods.
- Includes PVC-coated grill cover.
- Easy to clean.
- Lack of cooking settings.
This shelled grill offers a two-in-one design that lets you use a grill and stove at the same time. With just 130 square inches of cooking space, it’s slightly smaller than competing griddles. However, there is the bonus of being able to fit a 10-in pan on top for sautéing and boiling. The cooking power on this model is 20,000 BTUs. It hooks up to a small propane cylinder.
If you’re an extreme camper, you don’t have to worry about this grill bailing out when conditions get rough. Coleman uses a pressure-control technology with this grill that provides consistent performance in extreme conditions. The perfect-heat technology used in this design is also consistent with extreme camping because it allows you to cook efficiently using less fuel.
Another feature rugged campers will like is a set of side panels that shield burners from wind. These adjustable panels can be moved to fit larger pans. They can also be folded down to function as side tables in calmer weather.
While this grill isn’t necessarily designed for fancy culinary tricks, it does provide two burners with decent temperature control. There’s also a removable grease tray that captures drippings during cooking. Finally, the heavy-duty clasp on this grill deserves some attention. You’ll appreciate the way it latches securely for easy, safe transport.
This is a great lightweight pick if you just can’t stand the hassle of bringing a heavy griddle along for the ride. Weighing just 7.5 lb, this design has dimensions of 24 x 6.5 x 15.75 (inches).
- Compact and lightweight.
- Keeps cooking in rough weather.
- Works with a pan.
- Easy to clean.
- Slightly lower power.
- Synthetic material feels a little cheap compared to stainless steel.
This is a sturdy, solid griddle that brings a taste of a professional kitchen to a campsite. Featuring a 285-square-inch cooking surface made of cold-rolled steel, this griddle provides 20,000 BTUs of power with a twist-to-start ignition. The gorgeous twin burners on this griddle are made of high-quality stainless steel. A grease tray helps to ensure that the whole operation stays clean.
At 30 lb, this griddle is slightly on the heavy side. However, the heft comes from the high-quality parts and components used. The dimensions are 21 x 20.5 x 9 (inches). This is one of the only griddles on the market to actually have a built-in hose that’s designed to work with a 20-lb tank. This is important for anyone seeking an option for longer cooking that’s still very efficient.
- Made with high-quality stainless steel.
- Cold-rolled steel surface signifies quality.
- A little heavy/clunky.
- Heat is slightly uneven.
- Grease tray isn’t as innovative.
- Slightly tough to clean.
This looks and feels like a sturdy grill you can toss around without worries. A 150-square-inch porcelain-enameled cooking grate welcomes all of your burgers and hot dogs to a specious surface that distributes heat evenly when full. The full cooking surface on this grill is 15.5 x 9.75 (inches).
The 5,500-BTU burner can feel slightly weak compared to other options. However, it gets the job done when whipping up simple campsite favorites if you’re willing to be patient with slightly longer heating times.
In addition, this model shows off an impressive twist-to-start ignition. The precision temperature gauge with strong temperature control makes it easy to keep tabs on how things are going along while socializing with the camping crew. A drip tray does a decent job at collecting drippings as you cook.
One nice touch on this model is a gas regulator that monitors the flow of gas from your propane tank to your grill during cooking. At just 17 lb, this grill is easy to take places. It also has folding legs that shrink the grill’s profile during transport. It should also be said that this grill sets up easily in seconds. When you’re done, its briefcase-like, handled design is very appreciated. The dimensions on this grill are 16 x 18 x 11.5 (inches).
- Fairly even cooking.
- Great performance from porcelain enamel.
- Very portable.
- Lid adds safety during cooking.
- A little hard to clean.
- Underwhelming power.
While this portable griddle can appear intimidating at first, it offers a little something for first-time campsite chefs, culinary connoisseurs, and beyond. First, this model stands out due its durable, high-quality stainless-steel build. The design includes a restaurant-quality steel griddle top. The griddle’s high-quality steel top comes already seasoned with organic plant-based oil.
The standout feature with this portable griddle is that you’re getting 597 square inches of cooking space! Yes, this is a griddle to consider when looking for a way to feed a large crowd during everything from a camping trip to a social gathering. It can easily make a hearty meal for 10 people.
This 42.2 x 21 x 31.2 (inches) griddle weighs 48.4 lb. It gets its bulk from the fact that it’s made from real stainless steel. While this griddle has a large profile, its collapsible legs make it very portable.
It’s not just the size of this griddle that makes it impressive. It’s also powered with 44,000 BTUs. You’ll be cooking with four independent burners that feature ultra-long protective sides that help to shield the cooking experience from winds and temperature swings.
- 597 square inches of cooking space.
- Made with durable stainless steel.
- Protects from winds and extreme temperatures.
- Legs can feel slightly unstable.
Final Thoughts on the Best Portable Camping Griddles: Here’s the Winner
All of the camping griddles featured above made the list of finalists because they provide the durability and even cooking you need when you’re trying to make satisfying, consistent meals during a camping trip. A few of them were definitely a little more underwhelming in the power department than I prefer.
However, I think that weekend campers will ultimately find that they more than deliver when it comes to whipping up simple grilled favorites without much fanfare. Next, I’ll announce my winner.
The Blackstone Tabletop Griddle won me over with its H-shaped burners that deliver consistent heating with zero thought required. The 22-inch cooking surface with room for up to 30 hot dogs at once provides more than enough room for a feast. I also find the 24,000 BTUs of heat to be a sweet spot where quick heating and efficiency meet. I also like that you can choose to either use a standard propane tank or go with a hose hookup when cooking.
This tabletop griddle uses H-shaped burners for even heat distribution that ultimately leads to even cooking. Both burners on the griddle feature built-in igniters that can be controlled separately to allow you to cook different foods at different temperatures. This is a stable, high-performance cooker that easily wins my pick as the best camping griddle you can buy online today!
Fueled by his own lifelong passion for the outdoors, Ryan is dedicated to sharing his knowledge to help others experience the life-changing beauty and majesty of nature. He enjoys planning expeditions throughout the United States. He also has a passion for finding gear and methods that enhance the experience of enjoying nature.