So, you are shopping for a new griddle grill combo and you saw the Outdoor Gourmet Triton 7-Burner Propane Grill and Griddle Combo from Academy Sports? Well, check out this review and you will find this is the type of griddle that you want to stay far, far away from. Where do we even begin…..
Quick Disclaimer: Hi there corporate nerd attorneys 👋 . The information in my article here is strictly my personal opinion of this product, based on real user reviews published on Academy and Amazon showing their results with your griddle grill combo. Rather than trying to sue me, maybe pressure your executives to make a better product for their customers. Cheers, Mike 🍻
Ok, with that said….
I’m not a big fan of reviewing things that I don’t actually own. However, as you will see from the massive number of unhappy reviews, this is not a grill griddle combo I wanted to waste my money on…..even to review.
So, rather than pretend I own it, I’m going to discuss the overall description and selling points, then focus on the real-world user feedback that has pretty much sealed the deal that this grill griddle combo cannot be recommended.
Stop Buying Big Box Store Branded Griddles
I’m sure I will be receiving some attorney letters in the near future for saying this, but really, stop buying griddles branded from the big box stores. After all, they are just trying to capitalize on a trend and make a quick buck.
Is Academy Sports known for making griddles? Heck, even known for selling griddles in the past? Nope….
Here is the deal, griddle brands like Blackstone, Camp Chef, Cuisinart are in the business of making griddles. They know griddles, they have been through several models and variations, slowly tweaking the design over years to bring to market a quality griddle at a competitive price.
With a company like Walmart, Academy, Sam’s Club, sure, they can source a cheap griddle from China like any other store, BUT, it’s going to be low effort as they know once the griddle craze slows, they will just remove the griddle from their lineup. Again, it’s the quick buck they are after.
What Customer Service?
Let’s play a game…..I want you to close your eyes and envision a scenario where you bought the Academy branded griddle. You get it home, you try to use it, run into some issues, and decide to call Academy customer support for some troubleshooting. Guess who answers the phone? a 17-year old who is making $9/hour on their summer break from college. They are not going to be much of a help.
So, then you have two options, figure it out yourself or return it to the store for an exchange (eww) or a refund. Now, a refund is good, BUT, it’s useless, if you are outside of the return period which for the Academy is 60 days.
However, taking apart a dirty grill is a HUGE pain in the bum. Let alone whether or not they will even accept it.
I was on their Return Policy page today researching this article and found that sales are FINAL on items that contain gas like mowers and boat motors….but also anything that sees flames like Ammo, gas-powered items, etc.
There was no mention of propane-powered grills, BUT, based on the criteria below in the picture from Academy.com, you may be out of luck and searching for a warranty claim.
Again, if the Academy is just branding cheap items for quick sales, the warranty exchange or service will likely be a headache with lots of numbers to call, hold times, and headaches. It may be smoother, I’m not always right (just ask my wife) but chances are this would not be fun to sort out an issue.
On the other hand, a larger brand like Steelmade USA or Blackstone will have excellent support, knowledgeable staff, and a fairly straightforward warranty process.
Overall Build Quality and Materials
Overall, the biggest complaint from users is the build quality being thin metal, cheap and prone to debilitating rust. Upon a little digging on their site, I found they advertise the griddle to be made of “steel” and that’s the ONLY description given of materials….that alone is a red flag. What about the quality of steel, thickness, and hardening process? Many factors are left unannounced so it’s hard to say why it fails.
A customer in the Q&A section asked specifically about the type of steel and the Academy staff response literally only clarified that the steel is “is made of steel so it needs to be maintained often – kind of like cast iron”.
That could mean so many things and leaves so much to be wondered. So, again, not a good buy in my opinion.
As far as heat, on the griddle side it states it generates a measly 9,000 BTUs of heat. Now for comparison, even the small camp griddles offered by Blackstone have at least 12,000 BTUs.
So, I can only assume they are using vague descriptions to conceal the poor materials used. Couple my suspicion with the user reviews and library of rusting griddle photos in the review section and I’ll stand behind my suspicions.
Outdoor Gourmet Triton 7-Burner Propane Grill and Griddle Combo Customer Reviews
So, it doesn’t take an internet sleuth to see that almost everyone who left a review of the Outdoor Gourmet Triton Griddle was not happy. In fact, I checked Academy and Amazon to look at user reviews and found that on both platforms (and all models) the Gourmet Triton Series is extremely poorly rated.
Most Common Negative Complaints
There was a theme in the reviews of the griddle grill combo, mostly addressing the thin metal design and its inability to stand up against ANY weathering that well, you would expect from a product designed to live outside.
Mainly, the rust developed almost instantly, upon leaving it outside. Now, this isn’t fully the company’s fault, griddles will rust. BUT, if you clean them after use and leave a THIN layer of oil, the griddle surface should be fine. In looking at the reviews, it appears no matter how you treat it, the rusting is a bad problem.
Check out our guide here to removing rust and preventing future rust on your griddle surface.
Check out this picture where the customer review stated it was not very old and simply the weight of a propane bottle in conjunction with the rusted out form and the propane bottle shelf completely broke and failed to support a propane tank. There are a couple pics to check out.
Some Better Griddle Grill Options Instead
So, we are all in agreement, this Academy “Outdoor Gourmet Triton” grill griddle combo might be junk. So, let’s explore some better options for your money.
Steelmade USA Griddles and Grills
I can’t in good faith recommend a griddle company more than Steelmade USA. Honestly, they are 100% designed AND manufactured in the USA, Kansas to be exact. Also, they have a Lifetime Warranty that shows they truly stand behind their product. Also, if you have a question, you get REAL support from REAL people to answer your questions and get solutions.
Also, Steelmade USA offers the BEST option for a prospective new griddle owner. They offer a really nice lineup of griddle plates that can be placed on your existing grill or stovetop to allow you the ability to dip your toes in the griddle game without fully committing to a stand-alone griddle.
Maybe you don’t need to try anything first, you know you want a griddle. Well, the Blackstone lineup of griddles is a really good go-to for backyard griddles.
They are well-made, have good support, and have a decent warranty. I say “decent” warranty because it’s a standard 1-year warranty, not a lifetime like over at Steelmade USA.
Here’s the deal, like I said earlier, I never bought this griddle grill combo from Outdoor Gourmet Triton, however, based on the endless reviews of the same disgust, I think it’s fair to say this is one of those items to steer clear of…..at least I will.