Need A Griddle For Camping? These Rock!

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Camp stoves are ok, and RV factory stoves are not very good. Finding a small, portable griddle for camping is an excellent way to level up your overlanding, camping, vanlife, or RV epic meal time.

The days of relying on a camp stove or a rusty old campground grill are gone. Check out these awesome small, griddles for camping, basically, portable griddles and take your camp chow to the next level.

Ground Rules: The term “griddle” and “flat-top grill” are interchangeable here, depending on preference or country, people use both terms to describe a griddle…..or a flat-top grill 🙂

Why A Griddle For Camping?

Yes! Griddles are excellent for camping. First, they pack up nice and small, so they don’t take up any extra space over what’s necessary. Second, they run off the same little green propane bottles that your old camp stove runs off of.

Third, the cooking options over a grill are HUGE. I once heard some guy on YouTube say “My griddle can do everything your grill can do and about 100 things your grill can’t do”. I gotta, say, I agree!

3 Best Portable Grills For Camping
3 Best Portable Grills For Camping

Put it this way, a little camp stove needs extra pots and pans, can only cook 1 thing at a time (for the most part) and is pretty limited in capability.

A griddle for camping takes all of your meals to the next level. Bacon, eggs, hashbrowns and pancakes all at the same time? Yep! (see snarky quote above, please).

Is the Blackstone 36 Portable?

Many people have said to me that they will just “bring” their Blackstone 36 with them tailgating or camping. In my opinion, NO, the 36 inch Blackstone Griddle is not considered a portable griddle.

Now, Im not saying you cant, iI’m just saying the Blackstone 36 griddles are big, heavy and a bit of overkill for camping and road trips.

I do own a Blackstone 36, and while I love it and would take it places if i didnt have any other options, the fact is, the small portable griddle options listed below are generally under $100 and easy to keep handy for the adventures we head out on.

So, a separate griddle for camping is the way to go.

What To Look For When Selecting a Griddle For Camping

Sure, anyone can throw together the “best of” and list a bunch of griddles, but let’s be honest, we want to know WHY we want to pick said griddle.

So, let’s look at the features and designs that help us pick the right griddle for each of you.

Fuel/Power Source

Griddles come in two different power sources as their means of heating the cooking surface. The most common is LP Gas (otherwise known as Propane). Propane griddles are of the more common outdoor griddles.

The other type of power source for a griddle is electricity. I had previously only used propane griddles, but just recently Blackstone introduced a new indoor-use approved electric griddle in the new E-Series Blackstone 17 and 22-inch griddles.

OK, power covered, its electricity and propane, unless they drop a new solar or wind-powered griddle, its these two options for now.

Cooking Surface Materials

This one is a bit more tricky, there are a few different variations of cooking surfaces to consider. Cooking surface materials come in forms like cold-rolled steel, cast-iron, stainless steel and aluminum-titanium ceramic coated.

The newer Blackstone E-series comes with that new aluminum-titanium ceramic coated cooking surface.

A cold-rolled/cast-iron cooking surface will require a seasoning process, if you are unsure what that is, check out our guide here Easy Griddle Seasoning Guide.

Keep in mind, some griddles come pre-seasoned and others require a seasoning before the first use, so check with your owners manual before jumping into the seasoning process.

Stainless Steel and Aluminum Titanium do not require a seasoning process before use. Personally, I like the seasoning process of a new griddle or when inventing a neglected griddle.

Griddle Cooking Surface Real Estate

The amount of real estate you get to cook on is what I refer to as the “cooking surface real-estate”.

For each make and model, this will vary but for a quick eyeball reference when shopping, the cooking surface real-estate will be oftentimes designated in the model description.

For example, the Blackstone Table-Top 17 has 17inches of cooking space as defined by the dimensions of 17.5 by 18 inches of the cooking space surface. The same can generally be assumed for other models like the 28, 26, etc.

In my own experience, I have found the Blackstone Adventure 17 to be a great balance of size and capability as a go-to griddle for camping.

Burner Element Size and BTU

This is a make or breaks it for some people. Heating elements matter and how well the griddle or flat-top grill handles heat is a big deal especially for the budding backyard chef.

BTUs are an acronym used for the measurement of heat named the British Thermal Units, I’m no engineer but you can read more here if you want to nerd out on BTUs.

Bottom line, the higher the BTU rating, the hotter it gets!

Something to consider with BTUs is propane usage thats associated with the burner size and heat rating.

The higher the BTU, the more propane will be consumed by the griddle while cooking.

Country of Manufacture and Warranty

This is the opposite of the last area, some just don’t care where it’s made, and that’s cool, but personally, for me, I love a good ol’ American Made product.

Unfortunately, not many are made in America, BUT, I have one in our list below so if you’re into Made in USA griddles, give Steelmade USA a look! More on that topic here.

Warranty is another area to consider, after all, if the product isn’t great or needs some fixing, having a good warranty matters.

For most of the big brands that you find in the big box stores, the warranty is generally the same, about a year of coverage from manufacturer defect or craftsmanship.

Here is a breakdown of Each Griddle Companies Warranty:

So, as you can see, not all brands are created equal! Picking a griddle has lots to consider!

Is A Griddle Better Than A Grill?

This is an age-old argument that depending on who you talk to will be swayed in either direction. Some guys swear by griddles, and some swear by grills. The fact is, a griddle is more versatile.

The grill grates alone make cooking some things just difficult or impossible. Try cooking a stir-fry camp dinner on a grill. Try cooking breakfast for the whole family on a grill, you just can’t.

With my griddle, I can whip up eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, and pancakes all at the same time while the grill guys are trying to keep their sausage patties from falling between the cracks of the grill grates.

So, is a griddle better? To me, yes, but each has its place. With that said, I’m not here to sway your mind about getting a griddle, after all you are already here so let’s show you the best portable griddles for camping.

Best Griddle For Camping, RV’s, Vanlife and Travelers

Blackstone Adventure 17 Portable Griddle

I couldn’t kick off the best griddle for camping debate without starting with my own, go-to kick butt griddle, the Blackstone Adventure Ready 17 Griddle.

Blackstone is a name that has become the “king” of griddles. Some companies make grills and offer a griddle as well, Blackstone just does griddles, and they do griddles well. Because of this, I started the list with Blackstone, it just seems logical.

I personally own the Adventure 17 from Blackstone and well, it’s been a camping game changer. Its small packs up neatly, and cooks up a feast. Can you tell I like it?

Featuring 12,000 BTUs of heating power and 17 inches of real-estate.

The Adventure 17 Griddle runs on 1lb propane bottles but can be upgraded to fit larger bottles with a new propane hose and adapter. I got mine for around $99 and at that price, it’s a steal!

Manufacturing Country: China

Warranty: 1-Year

Camp Chef Versatop Flat Top Grill

Camp Chef is another big player in the griddle/flat top game. In fact, I am pretty sure the Camp Chef brand is made around, well, camping! So it’s no surprise they have a little beast of a griddle for camping.

I’ve reached out to Camp Chef to get some details but never hear back, so what I’ll share is strictly what is published already from Camp Chef. Featuring 247-inches of cooking space and a BTU rating of 18,000, this little griddle can cook. Powered by a 1lb Propane Tank.

Manufacturing Country: China

Warranty: 1-Year

Blackstone Table-Top 22 Portable Griddle

Another popular griddle for camping from Blackstone due to the size and versatility, is the 22-inch cooking real estate this guy offers. There is plenty of room to cook for the family, but no so big that you’re using up all your gear packing space.

Featuring 339 inches of cooking space and a two-burner system with a scorching 22,000 BTU rating. Powered by a 1lb Propane Tank.

Manufacturing Country: China

Warranty: 1-Year

Camp Chef Versatop Flat Top Grill XL

The larger, older brother to the Versatop, the Versatop XL is well, you guessed it, larger! Featuring a two-burner 16,000 BTU burner and with 416 square inches of cooking real-estate, this bad bow lives up to the XL name. Powered by a 1lb Propane Tank.

Manufacturing Country: China

Warranty: 1-Year

Blue Rhino Razor Portable Griddle

blue rhino camping griddle

Im not sure how I feel about a propane comany making grills and griddles. On one hand they know the propane business, so at least its related. On the other hand, thats like saying you can do surgery on me because you make scalpels…..I’m not sold.

BUT, people seem to like Blue Rhino products and they make a nice looking portable griddle, so here we are.

Featuring a builtin stand with shelving, 20,000 BTUs and 318 square inches of real-estate, this bad boy has a lot to offer a perspective griddle buyer.

Manufacturing Country: China

Warranty: 1-Year

Blackstone E-series 17 Electric Griddle

I personally own this little guy as well. It’s interesting, to say the least. First off, it’s the ONLY griddle Blackstone authorizes for indoor use, so apartment folks and bad weather griddles have some new options.

Second, the aluminum-titanium ceramic coated cooking surface does NOT get seasoned which leads to less butter and oil and in-theory, healthier cooking as well as a non0-stick finish that is truly non-stick!

Featuring 238 inches of cooking real-estate and a digital display that allows programming temperatures to be precise between 200 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Manufacturing Country: China

Warranty: 1-Year

Steelmade USA Flat Top For Grill

portable-camping-griddle

I love this idea. Have a grill? Not sure if you want a griddle? Check out the handy work from Steelmade USA. They are making quality, Made in USA griddle tops for your grill.

Personally, I’d even take this camping and place it over the fire pit for epic griddle meals at camp.

Featuring a 16 1/8th x 23 7/8 in cooking real-estate and a built-in grease drain, this was designed to be placed on top of your existing grills to give you the griddle experience without having to go all-in on a new griddle.

Steelmade uses a 3/16 steel for a very strong surface that distributes heat better as well.

Manufacturing Country: USA

Warranty: Lifetime

Griddle Accessories You WILL ACTUALLY NEED

This is another big one. While your griddle does come ready to use….its missing some really BASIC items you will need. 

  • Griddle Spade and Spatula: These are the backbone of griddle chefs all over the world. Due to the flat-top design of a griddle, you will need to have metal surfaced griddle spatulas and spades. Something simple like this works great, see it here on Amazon. 
  • Inferred Temperature Gun: See Step 4 above, these are really crucial to fully understand what your griddle can do and what areas are putting out the heat you need, and what areas can be used to just keep the food warm while working on others. This is a great option that won’t hurt your wallet, check it on Amazon.
  • Grease Tins: These are dirt cheap and save you an unnecessary headache when cleaning up. Simply drop them into the grease trap and toss them when you’re done! Check these here on Amazon. 
  • Griddle Bottles: Another must-have, you really only need two. One for water, and one for your chosen cooking oil. If you are not sure what I mean, check out our Guide to Griddle Bottles here. These on Amazon work great and are cheap, check them out here. 
  • Griddle King Apron: I know what your thinking “I’m not wearing an apron” and yeah, I get it. But all that changed when I got a griddle and realized how much grease is popping off the griddle surface and landing on my clothes. A simple apron solves that and my signature “Griddle King” or “Griddle Queen” apron is a cheap easy fix for you, grab it here on Etsy.

Conclusion

So, there you have it, folks, your small, portable griddle options explained. hopefully, this was helpful and it aids you in making a griddle purchase decision.

Again, griddle cooking when camping is a bit of a game-changer.

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself never going back to the old camp stoves again.