Before diving into the world of Blackstone cooking, I spent a couple of years contemplating the idea. My family members bragged about their Blackstone griddles and raved about the versatility and wide range of available recipes. Soon, I was curious to try it out as well. I decided to explore beyond my first outdoor cooking companion- a trusty wood pellet grill, and give the flat steel griddle surface of a Blackstone a try.

(Please note: We have no affiliation with Blackstone. This review is the opinion of the writer based on three years of first hand experience using the Blackstone Griddle. We sometimes include links to products for informational purposes, but we don’t get any commission if you buy a Blackstone. Please let us know down in the comments section if there things we missed, and if you have a different opinion, by all means let us know).

Initially, I expected to be met with an extended cleaning regime and increased maintenance. I still took the leap, in search of the perfect Blackstone Philly Cheesesteaks, and three years later, I’m still grateful for that decision. Owning a Blackstone has changed my approach to outdoor cooking, and the journey has been a tasty one filled with valuable lessons. Whether you’re on the fence about getting a Blackstone or have one sitting idle on your patio, I hope my experience will encourage you to get outside and cook up something delicious soon.

Blackstone grill sits on patio with the lid open
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Here are 10 things I learned after using a Blackstone for 3 years

1. Outdoor cooking doesn’t have to be time-consuming

I love outdoor grilling and try to make an effort to do it a few times a week throughout the summer months. However, because of my extensive grilled routine, it sometimes felt like an event rather than something I could easily work into my schedule. Over time, I was getting outside to grill less and less, and instead, just batch cooking so I could enjoy the grilled food for a few days at a time.

While this method works, I love that pulling out the Blackstone isn’t a huge time commitment. I enjoy being able to cook a wider range of foods at a moment’s notice. Whether my family is eating at the dining room table or enjoying a particularly beautiful day dining al fresco, the Blackstone makes outdoor cooking so much easier, meaning I use it a lot more frequently than I expected.

Two steaks cooking on Blackstone next to butter and rosemary sprigs. One steak is being brushd with butter by a blue silicone brush.

2. You can cook an entire meal on the Blackstone – dessert included! 

As I’ve explored a range of recipes on the Blackstone, I’ve realized that you can truly cook a whole meal. Previously, I would have side dishes going on the stove inside while I made the main dish on the grill. Jumping between the backyard and kitchen wasn’t easy. With the large cooking space and separate heating areas of the Blackstone, I can cook everything in one place. The food gets better attention this way and there’s much less fuss around the entire process.

Not only can you cook a juicy steak on the Blackstone but you can also cook up frozen fries, smashed potatoes, and even an assortment of colorful fresh vegetables to fill out your plate. I was surprised to learn that even cookies, a s’more pizza, and even fruit tacos with a cinnamon sugar shell can be made on the griddle for a sweet finish to your meal.

3. Propane makes cooking easier than expected 

The Blackstone was my first experience with using propane. I was intrigued, but intimidated, which led me to first purchase an all-electric Blackstone griddle. This set up didn’t give me the experience I was hoping for, so I returned it and decided to give propane a try. As someone who previously only cooked outdoors with either charcoal or wood pellets, it only took a few griddling sessions to get comfortable with propane and see how easy it is to use.

Not only did I realize how convenient propane is, but I also fell in love with how easily you can control the heat levels with a propane setup. My Blackstone takes just minutes to heat up and I can visually see the amount of heat hitting the griddle for each setting, which has helped me figure out where I like to keep the dials for cooking.

A green can of propane sits next to the Blackstone

4. Griddle Cooking retains more flavor 

If you’ve ever been to a diner, you know there’s something special about food cooked on a well-seasoned griddle. The griddle seems to impart flavor a special flavor in anything that’s prepared on it. From a simple fried egg to a crispy, golden grilled cheese sandwich, the griddle plays a crucial role in the taste of the food. 

In addition to the griddle’s seasoning, its flat design keeps the fat and flavorful juices from dripping down. Instead, it cooks back into the food for a moist and flavorful dish. This is especially useful on cuts of meat that can dry out easily such as chicken breast

5. Cleaning the Blackstone isn’t complicated 

Soon after purchasing my Blackstone, I quickly learned that the maintenance wasn’t as extensive as it seemed. If you stay on top of cleaning right after use, it only takes a few minutes. Similar to a cast-iron skillet, you cannot use soap to clean the Blackstone. The company recommends that you only ever use soap when you first get your new griddle–before you season it for the first time. 

It initially seemed like it would be hard to keep the griddle clean. After all, some recipes can leave a lot of mess behind. But with the Blackstone cleaning tools, it’s actually very easy to maintain a tidy cooking space. Scrapers and non-abrasive scrubbers remove the build-up quickly, just like with a classic grill. The only unique step for Blackstone is oiling the griddle once it’s clean to prevent rust. The full cleaning and oiling process typically only takes about 10-15 minutes, which is much less time than I anticipated.

A blackstone grill sits on the patio. On the left side is a small accessory cart. To the right is a Blackstone cleaning kit box.

6. You can effortlessly feed a crowd

When I first purchased my Blackstone, I chose a smaller model because I tend to only cook smaller meals. It soon became clear, however, that even on my 22-inch griddle, the cooking area was surprisingly generous. Because the griddle is flat, you can utilize nearly every inch of cooking space.

Whether you’re cooking in batches for convenience, or you have loved ones over for a special occasion, the Blackstone is an excellent way to serve up delicious food quickly. The separate cooking areas also make it easy to cook different proteins at a time. You can cook beef burgers on one side and chicken burgers or hot dogs on the opposite side so all of your guests have a variety of food to choose from. 

7. Start your temperature lower than you think you’ll need

Because the Blackstone heats evenly, you can generally cook on a lower heat than you might expect. The steel cooking surface retains heat very well, meaning that you don’t need to turn it all the way up to get the perfect sear. 

Additionally, because the surface is evenly heated, you can easily overcook your food if you’re not careful. I’ve learned that you can always turn up the heat if it’s not hot enough, but it’s much harder to cool it down. If food gets too dark or burned on the outside from the high heat, but it’s still raw in the center, it’s going to be more difficult to fix your meal. However, cooking the food lower and finishing it off at a higher temperature is a lot easier. 

Close up of chicken cooked on the Blackstone with vegetables in the background

8. Utilizing temperature zones saves you time

One of the things I love about cooking on the Blackstone is the independent temperature zones. Rather than one set of controls that determine the heat for the entire griddle, it’s separated into areas with their own dials. This means you don’t even have to heat up the entire Blackstone if you’re cooking a small batch. 

Temperature zones also save you time once the food is done. Keeping one side on very low heat as a holding space for food that is finished cooking is convenient. Everything will still be hot, fresh, and melty when it’s time to serve. The other way cooking zones are useful is for those last-minute finishing touches. Using the additional area you can warm your tortillas, toast buttered smash burger buns, or quickly soften some onions to get your meal on the table in much less time. 

9. Prepping ingredients ahead of time is key

Planning ahead is essential for getting the most efficiency out of your Blackstone. Initially, I found myself frequently running back inside for things I’d forgotten, but I’ve learned that prepping ingredients and accessories is key to a smooth cooking experience. 

Because the food cooks quickly, you’ll often find yourself needing all the components of your meal at once. For something traditional like burgers, this can simply mean buns and cheese. For more complex recipes you might not be used to cooking outside, such as Blackstone Chicken Fried Rice, it can be more tricky. 

You’ll need to think ahead to the serving dish, wash and prep your garnishes, and consider ways to keep your food covered outside until it’s ready to be added to the griddle. I find preparing all of my ingredients and placing them in prep bowls covered in plastic wrap is helpful. Additionally, I use a large baking tray as an easy way to carry everything outside. With this method, everything I need including all utensils and clean serving platters is nearby and ready to use. I can focus on enjoying the process and it saves me time.

Close up of fried egg with uncooked yolk and sprinkled with pepper

10. The possibilities are endless

When you first start out cooking on the Blackstone, it’s important to find high-quality recipes to guide you through the process. Once you get comfortable with using the griddle, you can have a lot of fun by letting your creativity soar. 

Don’t limit yourself to specific foods or cooking techniques. Feel free to try new things just as you would in your indoor kitchen. Using unique seasoning blends, different cuts of meat, and finding new ways to adapt your own favorite recipes can be fun and fulfilling. The Blackstone gives you endless opportunities to try out new foods, and you might even discover things you didn’t realize could be cooked on the griddle. Creativity will enhance your cooking experience and lead to lots of delicious meals. 

Blackstone cooking is simple, straightforward, and most importantly, a lot of fun. In practically no time at all, you can create an incredible variety of delicious meals to feed a small family or a large crowd. Whether you’re brand new to the Blackstone or still deciding which Blackstone griddle is right for you, use these tips that I’ve picked up along the way to enhance your outdoor cooking experience!

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About Joe Dillard

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5 Comments

  1. Great info thanks, I have 17.5in. griddle. Made a strong wood table for it for use on pontoon boat

  2. I love my 28” griddle but the side shelves were not designed well… i had to replace the short screws with longer ones & it’s much more sturdy now!!

  3. I haven’t used mine but I can’t wait. I recently purchased caster wheels for mine which elevates the ease of portability. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  4. Cleaning is even easier than the article suggests. Simply squirt on room temperature water (never cold) while it is hot and the steam lifts off all the stuck on food bits. Scrape it off, apply a bit of oil and I can clean my 36” in 3-4 minutes. No scrubbers are needed if you clean every time.