If you’re in the market for a new outdoor griddle, you’ve probably come across the two most popular models from the leading brand Blackstone – the 28” griddle and the 36” griddle.
Both deliver large, rugged cooking surfaces for the ultimate backyard chef experience.
But should you go for the smaller 28 inch 4-burner option? Or size up to the massive 36 inch 6-burner model?
There are some key differences that make one griddle the better choice depending on your needs.
In this detailed comparison, we’ll break down the specs, features, pros and cons of Blackstone’s 28” vs 36” griddles.
Let’s compare these two titans of outdoor flat top grilling to help you decide which upgrade deserves a permanent spot on your patio or tailgating setup!
Blackstone 28” Griddle Overview
Ahh the Blackstone 28 inch model, my first griddle and where I fell in love! The Blackstone 28” griddle kicked off these restaurant-grade outdoor cooktops.
It remains a hugely popular size with home cooks thanks to its balance of ample cooking area and compact footprint. Here are the headline features of the 28” 4-burner:
- 470 sq. in. cooking surface
- 4 independently controlled H-style burners
- Rear grease management system
- 60,000 BTUs total power
- 304 stainless steel build
- Built-in side shelves
- Bottom storage shelf
- 2 locking caster wheels for portability
This smaller Blackstone griddle provides a spacious 470 inches of cooking space. That’s enough room to cook 20 burgers simultaneously, or a full breakfast and dinner spread for the family.
Four rugged H-style burners deliver up to a whopping 60,000 BTUs of searing cooking power across the flat top surface. Dual zone controls let you deftly manage temperature zones.
Like all Blackstone versions, the 28” model features rear grease channels that simplify cleanup by draining oil away from food into a removable drip tray.
Side shelves give you prep space and bottom shelves offer storage for supplies. And caster wheels allow you to easily reposition the 150 pound unit.
Overall, the 28” griddle offers an excellent balance of cooking space in a more compact and lighter package than its big brother.
It’s the most popular Blackstone for a reason – abundant cooking area without occupying your whole patio!
Blackstone 36” Griddle Overview
If you’re looking to really level up your outdoor cooking game, step up to the Blackstone 36” professional-grade behemoth.
With a massive 6 burners and over 700 inches of cooking real estate, this is one of the largest consumer griddles on the market. Let’s look at what you get:
- 720 sq. in. cooking surface
- 6 independently controlled H-style burners
- Rear grease management system
- 96,000 BTUs total power
- Powder coated steel build
- Side prep shelves
- Bottom storage shelf
- 4 locking caster wheels
With 720 total square inches, the 36” model boasts over 50% more cooking area than the 28” option. That’s enough space to cook for an army!
To heat all that griddle effectively, Blackstone equips the 36 with a whopping 6 burners capable of pumping out up to 96,000 BTUs of cooking power.
That outpaces most home gas ranges. Like the 28”, it offers zoned temperature control across the expansive surface.
This larger model also simplifies cleanup with rear grease channels and a removable drip tray. You get the same handy side shelves and lower storage, just bigger.
And 4 caster wheels make moving the 200+ pound steel hulk surprisingly manageable.
The 36” is built to tackle the highest volume cooking demands. If you regularly cook for bigger groups, this is the griddle that says “bring it on!”
Now let’s directly compare the specs and performance of these two awesome grills.
Side-by-Side Comparison: Blackstone 28 vs Blackstone 36
Let’s look at how the key specs stack up between the 28” and 36” in a head-to-head breakdown:
- Cooking Area 28”: 470 sq. in. 36”: 720 sq. in.
- The 36” model boasts over 50% more total cooking space.
- Burners 28″: 4 burners 36″: 6 burners
- Two additional 12,000 BTU burners give the 36” a leg up for cooking across its larger surface.
- BTUs 28″: 60,000 total 36″: 96,000 total
- More burners and higher per-burner output gives the 36” a 36,000 BTU power advantage – that’s like another 2 burners!
- Construction 28″: 304 stainless steel
36″: powder coated steel
- The 36” uses heavy-duty powder coated steel for better heat retention.
- Weight 28″: ~150 lbs 36″: ~230 lbs
- Given its size, the 36” is heavier. Still reasonably portable thanks to the caster wheels.
The 36” griddle clearly has specs stacked in its favor, with extra space, more burners, and higher BTU power.
But how do these differences actually impact the cooking experience? Let’s compare performance.
Cooking Experience Comparison: Blackstone 28 vs Blackstone 36
Beyond the hard numbers, these two popular models cook a little differently thanks to their size and burner configurations.
Here’s how the cooking experience compares between the 28″ and 36″:
- Heat Distribution – With 2 extra burners, the 36” distributes heat more evenly across its larger surface area. The 28” can develop more significant hot and cool zones.
- Temperature Control – More burners also allow superior temperature zone control on the 36″. Get different temps in different quadrants to cook an elaborate meal simultaneously.
- Cooking Capacity – The 36” has 50% more grilling space. Its 6 burners can handle higher volumes of food. Great for large gatherings and parties.
- Searing Power – With 36,000 more peak BTUs, the 36” grids can sear and char at higher heat levels. Great for serious carnivores.
- Griddle Access – The 28”’s smaller surface makes accessing all areas easier. Flipping food is more convenient than on the vast 36”.
- Wind Susceptibility – The wider 36” surface is more impacted by wind while cooking. The 28” is slightly less affected.
- Storage Space – Both have rear shelves, but the 36” has more spacious shelves to stash seasonings and platters.
While the 36 undoubtedly out-muscles the 28” in terms of raw power and capacity, the 28” offers a more intimate cooking experience.
Its smaller size makes flipping foods easier. Now let’s consider how price and other factors come into play.
Price and Other Considerations: Blackstone 28 vs Blackstone 36
Here are some other key points of distinction shoppers should keep in mind when weighing the Blackstone 28” vs 36”:
- Price – The 28” is typically $100-$150 cheaper than the 36” version. Great value given its abundant space.
- Weight – At about 80 pounds lighter, the 28” is easier to move and wheel around your patio or stow away.
- Side Shelf Depth – The 28” has deeper side shelf space for more prep room. The 36” shelves are more narrow.
- Griddle Materials – The 36” uses commercial-grade powder coated steel while the 28” is 304 stainless. Both durable.
- Warming Rack – Only the 36” comes with a fold-down warming rack for keeping food ready on the sides.
- Single Cook – For solo cooking, the 28” provides plenty of room with less power to heat. The 36” is overkill for individuals.
- Tabletop Use – The 28” can be used on sturdy tables, unlike the heavyweight 36” model. Added versatility.
The 36” does cost a bit more given its larger capacity and extra features like the warming rack.
But you can often find both models on sale. In terms of ease of use, the 28”’s smaller cooking surface may have some advantages for flipping foods and maneuverability.
So which griddle is right for you? Let’s summarize the key differences…
Blackstone 28 vs 36 – Which is Better for YOU?
Now that we’ve compared these two star griddle models across all major specs and features, let’s boil it down to the key differences to consider:
- Cooking Area – The 36” offers 50% more space. Go bigger if cooking for large groups is a priority.
- Power – With 96K BTU, the 36” has more heating power for searing at extreme temps. The 28” still packs a punch.
- Temperature Zones – 6 burners gives the 36” superior multi-zone control. 28” has smaller differential.
- Portability – At 150 lbs vs 230 lbs, the 28” is easier to wheel around and stow away when not in use.
- Price – The 28” gives you pro-grade cooking for less. But the 36” extras may justify the bump in cost.
- Single Chef – The 28” is ideal for solo chefs. The 36” gives lone cooks more space than they need.
At the end of the day, it comes down to your griddling needs. For most households, the 28” hits a sweet spot of ample 480+ square inches cooking space without occupying your whole patio.
But if regularly cooking for big groups of 6-10+, or craving the ability to sear meats and other foods at extreme high temps, the 36” is worth the extra investment. Six burners and over 700 square inches lets you grill feasts!
Either of these Blackstone griddle models are excellent choices made by a company that dominates the outdoor cooking game.
Your crew will be thrilled no matter which one you pick. Just keep your specific needs and grilling ambitions in mind as you choose between the smaller 28” or larger 36”.
Blackstone Griddle: Frequently Asked Pre-Purchase Questions
If you’re thinking about buying a Blackstone griddle, you probably have plenty of questions before taking the plunge.
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions by prospective Blackstone owners:
Q: How much cooking space do I really need?
A: Consider how many people you cook for most of the time. The 28” model provides over 400 sq. inches, enough to cook about 20 burgers at once. The 36” jumps to over 700 sq. inches for even bigger meals.
Q: Are Blackstone griddles good for searing steaks?
A: Yes, Blackstone griddles can reach high temperatures above 500°F+ for perfect steak searing. Pre-heat on high 10-15 minutes before use. The 36” model has the most searing power.
Q: What fuel source do they use?
A: Blackstone griddles are designed for 20lb propane tanks. Some models are available as propane/natural gas combo units. Propane offers the most portability.
Q: Is a Blackstone griddle worth the cost?
A: Given their commercial-grade quality and versatility, Blackstone griddles are an excellent value investment for serious outdoor cooking. Expect decades of use.
Q: How heavy are Blackstone griddles?
A: The 28” model is about 150 lbs. The 36” is heavier at 230 lbs. But the caster wheels make moving them manageable for one person.
Q: Can you grill on a Blackstone griddle?
A: Not directly, but you can get grill marks using the ridged side on reversible griddles. You can also buy grill box accessories for open flame grilling.
Q: Are Blackstone griddles easy to clean?
A: Yes, Blackstone’s rear grease management system contains mess and drippings for quick cleanup. Just scrape, wipe and empty the catch tray.
Q: What accessories do I need?
A: A basic griddle tool kit includes a metal spatula, scraper, brass brush and cleaning pads. You may also want grill boxes, cutting boards, etc.
Q: Where are Blackstone griddles made?
A: Designed in the USA, Blackstone griddles are imported and assembled in China. Quality control done in America.
And remember – no matter which you choose, you can always expand your Blackstone outdoor kitchen down the road! Happy griddling!