For many home cooks, the thought of outdoor cooking on the griddle can feel daunting, especially if you’re accustomed to a traditional BBQ grill. Choosing the right model, learning how to properly care for your Blackstone, and getting a feel for the temperature control, can seem like a lot for beginners. The good news is…outdoor cooking is for everyone. You can easily learn the basics by jumping right in. 

(DrizzleMeSkinny has no affiliation with Blackstone. This review is based on the personal experience of the author. When we include links to products it’s purely for informational purposes, we don’t get a commission if you buy a Blackstone. Let us know your thoughts on the Blackstone Griddle down in the comments)

The first step, however, is choosing your cooking appliance. With so many great options, it can be difficult to know where to start. Beyond simply price and presentation, there are a lot of important considerations before making your investment. As someone who has had multiple outdoor cooking appliances over the years, including a Blackstone griddle, I’ve learned the importance of not overlooking the minor details. Whether you’re already experienced or just brought home your first Blackstone griddle, I hope my insights can help equip you to approach Blackstone cooking with confidence.

A large Blackstone grill on display in the store
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Here are 10 things I wish I knew before buying a Blackstone:

1. Carefully Consider Size

When choosing your griddle, be sure to put extra thought into the size. It’s important to consider the amount of food you’ll be making and the space you have for storage. It’s tempting to go for the smallest model as your first but you could find yourself regretting the choice once you get the hang of using it. Alternatively, getting the largest size may not work for the amount of backyard space you have. 

Think about what your typical meals look like and if you’d like to cook more than one thing at a time. Consider how much space you’ll need if you host gatherings or like to have family over throughout the year. While getting started for the first time is intimidating, don’t let that stop you from exploring all of the options and thinking of the future. Visiting the store and looking at the models in person can really help with this decision.

2. The Right Tools are Crucial

When you purchase a griddle, don’t skip over the accessories. You’ll need quality tools from day one. Griddle spatulas, for example, are thinner and longer than the plastic ones you may be using in your kitchen skillets. This comes in handy when getting underneath smash burgers or flipping big fluffy griddle pancakes. Investing in those tools from the start will ensure your cooking is more successful. 

While some tools such as spatulas and tongs are essential, other accessories may not be. But don’t let that deter you from exploring the range of options. Burger shapers, bacon presses, and egg rings can all be excellent additions to your collection. They make the cooking process easier, even if they’re not essential. I’ve learned that if you view Blackstone cooking as a hobby, you’ll be more likely to indulge in the accessories that can level up your cooking.

A close up of Blackstone branded tools

3. Temperature Control Takes Practice

Griddle temperature control is a unique learning process. The simplest of charcoal grills allow you to go by feel while more advanced pellet grills and gas grills allow you to set specific temperatures. The Blackstone has numbered dials that correspond roughly to a set of temperatures. When I first started, I would turn it on and look at the size of the flame to get a sense of the heat, but I’ve also learned that air temperature and wind can affect your griddle’s temperature as well. 

When starting to get a feel for how the Blackstone heats, it’s always good to start low and increase as needed. The rolled steel cooking surface holds heat much differently than grill grates and retains heat well. This can sometimes mean food gets hotter than you might expect. Recipes provide general guidelines, but trial and error will help you figure out where you prefer the settings for individual foods. 

4. Prep Work is Key 

Before I got my Blackstone, I had no idea how important recipe prep was. Typically when cooking meat, I would season or marinate indoors, then take the bowl out to the grill. With the Blackstone there’s so much more variety in what I can cook. But that means a lot more prep work has to be done to ensure a smooth cooking process.

When making recipes in your kitchen, it’s easy to grab extra seasoning and garnishes or chop up a side dish ingredient you forgot to add. Since you’ll be cooking outdoors and in some cases, the entree and the side dish at the same time, investing in prep bowls is helpful. Prep bowls allow you to have everything you need so you can add your ingredients at the right time. You can usually find a stack of small prep bowls in the kitchen accessory aisle of your local department store for less than $5. A large tray or cutting board has also been very helpful for moving all of the bowls and ingredients at once to my outdoor prep station so that everything is within reach when I need it.

5. Cleaning is Easier than You Think

The routine for cleaning the Blackstone initially seemed intimidating. Before I had a Blackstone, I thought it would require lots of extra time and expensive products to maintain its quality cooking surface. I was relieved that after its initial seasoning, clean-up typically takes less than 10 minutes. It’s not much more effort than any other outdoor cooking appliance that I’ve used.

If you don’t know much about the cleaning process, it can be helpful to look at the Blackstone website for their cleaning instructions. When I purchased my Blackstone, I picked up a few small cleaning tools but looking back I should’ve gotten the full cleaning kit, scraper included. Proper cleaning right from the start will help maintain your Blackstone and avoid rust and build-up.

An open griddle with a grill brick sitting on top

6. Learn From Those With Experience

Many Blackstone users view outdoor cooking as a relatable hobby and are happy to share their experiences with people online. From types of accessories to troubleshooting, and of course, delicious recipes, there are lots of resources to help you succeed. Look for high-quality blogs and videos that showcase real people who enjoy the cooking process. 

7. Get Creative from The Start

I wish I had been more adventurous with Blackstone cooking right from the start. Of course, the classics such as chicken and burgers will always be excellent go-to recipes, but it’s good to branch out as well. Trying breakfast foods, desserts, and even simple side dishes can be a lot of fun. You don’t have to completely conquer one dish before moving on to try something new. 

When trying creative things, don’t forget the super simple foods either. Meals like grilled cheese can take on a whole new flavor when made on the Blackstone and become a surprising new favorite. 

Four uncooked chicken breast pieces with seasoning on a griddle

8. Have a Solid Storage Plan

It’s important to have a solid plan when it comes to storing your Blackstone. Not only will you need a safe place to store the grill but the propane as well. If you’re venturing into propane cooking for the first time, it’s important to note that you must store your propane tank outdoors in a well-ventilated area. It can be dangerous to store it inside your home or attached garage due to the risk of propane leaks. A shed, covered area out of direct sunlight, or a specialized propane storage unit are excellent options. 

Besides the propane storage, I didn’t realize how many accessories I would collect. Though these aren’t must-have items for some, I like having lots of different options when it comes to Blackstone accessories. You can purchase accessory holders to attach to your griddle and even caddies to make transporting them easier. My collection grew more quickly than expected and I opted for a small three-tiered storage cart to make it easy to roll inside after my cooking session. It’s helpful to have an idea of how much storage space you’ll need and your preferences.

9. My Old Grill Collects Dust

I’ve loved my pellet grill for years. We’ve been through many racks of ribs, chicken thighs, and burgers together. But when I bought my Blackstone, I was truly surprised at how little I went back to my traditional grill. Now, enthusiasts will tell you they each serve their own purpose and one can’t replace another. As a more casual user, however, I do find that my Blackstone has taken the bulk of my attention. 

It’s not because pellet grills don’t cook great. The biggest reason I tend to use my Blackstone much more is simply the ability to quickly cook a wider variety of food. I’ve enjoyed cooking pancakes, bacon, fried rice, and more on the Blackstone, which is something I couldn’t as easily do with my other outdoor cooking appliances. Everyone will have their own journey with cooking but for me, getting a Blackstone allowed me to cook outdoors even when I didn’t have much time to spare. 

A close of sliced smoked brisket

10. The Joy of Cooking Outdoors

While grilling is always an event, with more food options and less set-up than my pellet grill, it’s been easier to get outside and whip up something tasty while surrounded by loved ones. Juggling a variety of eating styles and preferences has been much easier to manage due to the fast cooking times and temperature zones. I can whip up a fluffy meat and veggie-filled omelet for myself while flipping pancakes at the same time. The versatility has inspired me to get outside and cook more while spending time with my family. 

Overall my experience cooking with the Blackstone has been a transformative one. While there have certainly been a few lessons along the way, from mastering temperature control to finding the right tools, the food has been delicious and the journey has been rewarding. I hope that sharing my insights can help guide your own Blackstone adventures and inspire you to explore great food and embrace the joy of outdoor cooking. 

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About Joe Dillard

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  1. Good article. I purchased our Blackstone at WalMart because of sales price. This model has two burners and smaller cooking surface. Just the two of us mostly but plenty of griddle space for family. Buy an infrared thermostat. Especially for cooking eggs. Buy the blue work towels at Costco. More expensive but you’ll use fewer towels and with no lint. Weights are a must. Use avocado or olive oil. I converted my Blackstone to natural gas. No more bottles. You can buy the orifices online and comes with a hose. I’m now looking for the wind shields that are placed on the sides. Ambient air temperature is a big deal. Keeping a steady temperature is a must.

  2. Yeah a BS griddle or any griddle is a pain to clean. Especially after eating dinner when you do not want to at all. They are great but not at all what this spokesman is blabbering about.

    1. I bought a ceramic top pit boss griddle and clean up is a breeze. I’m never going back to a regular grill and I’m not a spokesman for any company. The only thing to watch out for with ceramic top is you can’t use metal accessories or it will scratch the top and ruin the non-stick surface. But the plus side is easier clean up and no seasoning the griddle constantly.

  3. Two weeks after getting my Blackstone, we gave away our grill. This thing totally changes your cooking game. It’s either the flat top or I’m using the smoker.

    And don’t be afraid of cleaning. If you do it right after a cook, it’s 2 minutes. And definitely way easier than cleaning pots and pans.

  4. I bought a Blackstone Tailgater for my RV. It has both a grille and a griddle. I very seldom use the grille (hot dogs, steaks), but cook breakfast, lunch, and dinners on the griddle. Since both of the cooking areas are relatively small, I do use the grille to keep already cooked foods hot (in a foil pan) while I’m cooking the rest of the meal. Cleanup is very quick; just a couple of minutes.

    I still like my grille for certain things, and I’m still looking for a larger combo (both grille and griddle) for my home patio, but have been unable to find, from any manufacturer (I think they are missing the boat here).