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The Benefits of Flat Top Grills and Griddles

Learn about the many benefits of flat top grills and griddles and why you should add one to your outdoor kitchen. Learn more about the flat top grill and griddle advantage.

When you think of a flat-top grill or griddle, there’s a good chance you’re envisioning your favorite diner, with eggs, bacon, or smash burgers sizzling away. After all, they’re the cooking tool of choice in commercial kitchens, thanks to their firepower and large cooking area.

But have you ever thought about getting one for your own home?

Flat-top grills and griddles are becoming an increasingly popular addition to outdoor kitchens and for good reason. They’re incredibly versatile and extremely fun to use!

From breakfast to burgers and just about everything in between, flat tops give you the ability to cook up just about anything with a tremendous amount of cooking power. Plus, much like their commercial counterparts used in restaurants and diners, they can handle a lot of food at one time, so they’re perfect if you enjoy cooking for a crowd.

If you aren’t familiar with flat-top grills and griddles and the benefits they can deliver to your outdoor cooking operation, don’t worry! 

In this article, we’ll give you a breakdown of what exactly makes a flat top a flat top and plenty of reasons why you’ll want to invest in one yourself. We’re huge fans of flat tops and griddles, and we know you’ll be too.

Let’s dive in!

What Are Flat Top Grills & Griddles?

A flat-top grill offers a flat cooking surface with multiple round heating elements but no grates like you might expect on a traditional grill. The way their heating elements are arranged means you can not only cook directly on them but also place pots and pans anywhere on their surface.

Griddles have that same flat surface but are heated instead with straight heating elements that run lengthwise across them. Griddles still offer plenty of cooking power, but their heating element arrangement means they’re not as suited for pots and pans as a standard flat-top grill is.

Why Buy a Flat Top Grill or Griddle?

Our top reasons for buying a flat-top grill or griddles are their insane versatility and how fun they are to use. But there’s so much more to these powerful cooking tools than you might think from just seeing them used in a diner or restaurant!

Here are more reasons for buying a flat-top grill or griddle.

There Is a Low Learning Curve

Even if you’ve never used one before, cooking on a flat-top grill or griddle is pretty straightforward!

Their flat space gives you a ton of room to flip food and move it around, so you’ll never run into an issue like, say, accidentally flipping a pancake onto the side of your pan (we might be speaking from experience there).

Plus, without the grates and flames of a typical grill, you don’t have to worry about adjusting the coals or having a flare-up when grease hits the fire. Just simple, worry-free, and fun cooking!

They Provide a Large Space for Cooking More at Once

With a flat-top grill or griddle, you aren’t constrained by how many burners you have or how many pans you can fit on your stove. Instead, these grills provide a large enough space that you can cook more food at one time, just using a single appliance.

This extra space is perfect if you like cooking for a larger group — no matter your guests’ preferences, you’ll have room to cook their favorites on your flat top.

They Get Hot Pretty Fast

When you have a flat top or griddle, you won’t have to do much waiting around while it heats up. Thanks to their multiple burners and firepower, your flat top will heat up quickly and uniformly across the entire surface.

They Offer Versatile Multi-Zone Cooking

Just because the entire surface of your flat top or griddle can hold a steady, uniform temperature, doesn’t mean you have to use it that way!

You can turn a burner or griddle zone down or off completely to achieve multi-zone cooking just like you can on a standard grill.

This practice is perfect if you’re cooking multiple types of food — you can turn the heat off under one ingredient or food item when they’re done (like pancakes, or onions for burgers and brats) while others continue to cook (like sausages or burger patties).

They Produce Even, High Heat

Griddles and flat-top grills pack a lot of firepower into their burners, which will help you reach searing temperatures across the entire cooking surface.

It Is Easier to Flip Food

On your indoor kitchen stove, you’re pretty limited to the sides of the pan or pot you’re cooking in. Miss the mark by a few inches, and your food can go flying over the side and onto a burner.

On a flat top or griddle, that problem is essentially nonexistent since the entire surface is fair game for flipping food onto. No more messed up pancakes or finding veggies scraps all over your stove when you’re done cooking!

They Are Excellent for Creating an All Over Sear

Thanks to their powerful burners, flat tops and griddles can reach searing temperatures across the entire cooking surface. That means whatever part of your food is touching the surface will be seared to perfection, every time.

They Are Not Too Smoky

Flat tops and griddles eliminate the risk of flare-ups that occur when sauces or grease drips down onto a standard grill’s burners. As a result, you won’t have to brave a big cloud of smoke in order to keep cooking.

Even Cooking & Searing

While a griddle or flat-top grill won’t leave you with classic grill marks, their even cooking surface means the entire surface of your meat can receive a nice, crispy sear.

Healthier Grilling

Flat-top grills and griddles require very little oil to cook, so using one can actually help lighten up your recipes and make them healthier. So go ahead, eat that extra hot dog!

You also won’t get the char that contains unhealthy carcinogens from cooking over an open flame.

There Is Little to No Mess to Clean Up

With a standard gas or charcoal grill, the grates can make cleaning a frustrating chore. You need a brush (wire-free, of course) and the patience to get into every little corner to make sure it’s clean and free from grease. There is no ash to worry about either.

On a flat top, the entire surface you need to clean is right there, and easy to reach. All you need is some dish soap, warm water, and a rag or sponge, and you’re good to go!

They Are Durable

Griddles and flat tops are typically made from stainless steel, which makes them incredibly durable and rust-resistant.

The fact that their burners are shielded from the elements also makes it easier to use outside during windy or rainy weather.

Many Are Portable

Depending on what model of flat-top grill or griddle you purchase, you may be able to fold it up and take it with you!

That means you can have the full flat top cooking experience at a friend or family member’s house, the beach, while camping, at a tailgate, or anywhere else you want a fun, social way to cook. Speaking of which…

Don’t Forget the Social Experience

A flat top or griddle’s large, flat surface makes it easy for you to cook up a variety of food to make everyone at your party happy. Plus, they can hang around and watch you cook without worrying about getting clouds of smoke to the face!

The flat-top experience is sight cooking at its finest and a great way to get everyone involved.

You Can Cook Breakfast!

A griddle or flat top’s flat surface is the perfect place to cook up your breakfast favorites like pancakes, potatoes, sausage, bacon, eggs, and even toast. There’s a reason your favorite breakfast spot uses a flat top to handle the breakfast rush, and now you can experience it for yourself at home!

Smash Burgers! Need I Say More?

You won’t need to hit up a fast-food place the next time you want to enjoy a crispy, lacy-edged smash burger — you can make them at home on your griddle or flat top!

Just toss your patty onto the flat top and smash it down with a spatula or specialized press to give it that toasty flavor and charred look. In just a few minutes you’ll have smash burger perfection!

Where Is the Best Place to Shop for Flat Top Grills & Griddles?

Like just about everything, there is a great variety of flat top grills & griddles available online! We’re fans of BBQGuys offerings of flat top grills & griddles since ordering is simple, and they’re incredibly knowledgeable about all things outdoor cooking. They have a wide selection of awesome flat top and griddle brands and models.

They even have agents on standby 24/7 to answer all your questions with a simple chat feature.

Final Thoughts on the Benefits of Flat Top Grills & Griddles

Flat-top grills and griddles are a fun, easy-to-use, and easy-to-maintain addition to any outdoor cooking setup.

Whether you’re planning on buying one for home so you can cook big, diner-style breakfasts for your family or investing in a portable one to take with you to cook for a crowd at a tailgate or while camping, we hope this guide has helped you add some more benefits to your list of reasons to get one of your own!

From their ease of use and cleaning, their durability and portability, to the insane variety of food you can cook on them, we’re huge fans of flat top grills and griddles — and we know you’ll feel the same way once you have one.

Honestly, the hardest part of purchasing a flat-top grill or griddle won’t be making the actual decision to buy one — it will be choosing what you want to cook first! Smash burgers? Pancakes? Fajitas? The options are endless!

As always, if you have any questions about griddles or flat-top grills, or would like to see us dive into more on these appliances in the future, drop us a line via email or leave a comment below!

Next Steps:

The Ultimate Flat Top Grills & Griddles FAQ

Ultimate Flat Top Grills & Griddles FAQ

The Ultimate Flat Top Grills and Griddles Buyers Guide

Ultimate Flat Top Grills and Griddles Buyers Guide

The 10 Best Built-in Gas Grills

The 10 Best Built-in Gas Grills on the Market Today

Now It’s Your Turn

I want to hear from you:

Have you ever purchased a Flat Top Grill or Griddle before?

Do you have any tips on buying Flat Top Grill or Griddle or have any feedback on a particular brand or model to share?

What features do you typically like to see in a flat top or griddle?

Are you going to be purchasing a new grill in the future? Do you plan on looking at a Pellet Grill, Smoker, Built-In Gas Grill, or Charcoal Model?

Let me know by leaving a quick comment below.

If you still have questions, please feel free to send me a message.


Pat G.

Disclosure – At The Grilling Life, I am committed to researching and writing thoughtful, informative and editorially independent reviews of the best products for your outdoor cooking needs.  If you like what I do, you can support me through my chosen links, which earn me a commission.  This allows me to continue sharing with you my love for all things barbecue.  Your support is truly appreciated.

Patrick Ginise

A backyard warrior, certified carnivore, lover of good whiskey, grill master and I’m Living The Grilling Life!

I have a passion for cooking with live fire and smoke, no matter the weather. I’m a real person just like you, who loves outdoor cooking and BBQ. Food, fun, and time spent with family and friends are what it’s all about! It is my mission to take my passion and knowledge for outdoor cooking and all things BBQ and share this expertise in techniques and grilling equipment with you. In other words, Living The Grilling Life!

I have personally tested over 150+ Grills and Smokers and hundreds of grilling thermometers, temperature controllers, grill brushes, grilling tools, fire starters, and other BBQ products.