So, you want a great outdoor griddle for the sunny weather and alfresco dining season, but don’t know where to start? Well, we have your back.
One of our absolute favorites for this is the Blackstone 36-inch Classic Grill Station (BS36).
With its flat top design and sheer size of cooking surface, its versatility is what makes it a winner among many other fantastic features.
The restaurant grade, blackstone BS36 took top spot in our roundup of the best outdoor griddles. Let’s take a closer look to see why, in our Blackstone griddle review.
- 1 General Overview
- 2 Key Features
- 3 Manufacturers Specifications
- 4 Ease of Use
- 5 Performance
- 6 Maintenance and Cleaning
- 7 Design and Build Quality
- 8 Warranty and Support
- 9 Blackstone Griddle Review – Final Verdict
- 10 Conclusion
The BS36 is a heavyweight in the arena of outdoor cooking, both in capability and weight.
It might look like a glamorized pushcart with its square body and dolly wheels, but with four independent gas burners for heat control that can chuck out a sizzling 60,000 BTUs, you won’t be left wanting for firepower.
Along with other great features listed below, it has the capacity to flip up to 28 burgers, 16 steaks or a whopping 72 hot dogs at any one time!
Great for any sized get together that you have to feed.
As you probably guessed from the name, the griddle is a 36-inch cooking surface that is made from rolled steel not stainless steel. A purposeful choice that allows the griddle to ‘season’ more easily.
It has 2 side shelves for working areas that fold away, a large shelf under the main griddle, and a front-mounted grease trap.
Its solid steel frame construction doesn’t come lightly, literally, it weighs over 120lbs. Far from portable, but it is still maneuverable with its lockable wheels, so should you need to move it, it won’t take a whole baseball team to shift it.
In our opinion, here are the BS36’s best features:
No one likes to put in a hard day’s graft just to get their new griddle up and running, and luckily the BS36 requires minimal assembly.
Designed without tools in mind you just have to unfold the legs, connect the crossbar for the shelves and use thumbscrews to attach them.
Then simply place the griddle surface on top and you are ready to season it.
Powerful Individual Burners
Each of the four gas burners on the BS36 produce 15,000 BTUs each. That’s a lot of heat, and because they are all independently controlled, you choose how to use each section.
So, whether you’re rustling up pancakes for the kids or griddled sausage for yourself, you can dedicate a section of the griddle to each.
The huge size of this griddle easily allows for full meal preparation and cooking, making the 2-zone method a doddle.
With 720 square inches of cooking surface to work with, you can cater for everyone and keep waiting food warm while you do it.
Gone are the days when half the food was served lukewarm because you had to cook in batches. With this beast you will be able to serve everything at the same time.
It does have pros and cons, ie not being stainless steel, as you get to season the surface like a wok or cast-iron skillet, but it does need cleaning and oiling after every use to prevent rusting. But this isn’t a biggie in our books!
The BS36’s two folding side shelves and large undershelf means space is available for storing supplies such as raw or uncooked food, as well as plates, utensils, or chopping boards.
So no more mad dashes to the kitchen mid-grill.
It’s a well thought out design that puts function over form which works for us. We’d rather have a griddle that is a joy to use as opposed to just looking pretty.
The vast majority of this griddle and frame is steel, so it’s built to last. With weight and good materials comes the feeling of quality and reliability, another reason we like the BS36.
- 60,000 BTUs of heat from 4 burners
- 720 sq. inch cooking surface
- Rolled carbon 7-gauge steel griddle top
- 4 adjustable heat controls with built-in ignition
- Powder-coated steel frame with commercial caster wheels
- Side shelves for additional prep space
- Assembled dimensions: 62.50″ L x 36″ H x 22″ W, 120 LBS
- Space for 28 burgers, 16 steaks or 72 hot dogs
- Can feed 2 to 20 people
Ease of Use
With electric start and individually controlled burners it doesn’t get much easier – just click and go like you would with your indoor hob, with the difference being that you have what is effectively a huge pan surface to cook on.
So, the choice of things you can put on it is endless. From any solid foods you would cook on a normal grill, to eggs, pancakes and small pieces that would fall through a normal grate.
You can just move different foods around separately heated areas for the various stages of cooking. Or you can just light one side if it’s a quick steak or a few eggs.
When it comes to seasoning the griddle and grease management, it isn’t the quickest of processes, and Blackstone recommends a seasoning process of 5x ‘oil and heat’.
BUT believe us when we say this is the most important step so factor it in. Get this right and you will have a well-seasoned griddle that will serve you with great flavor for years to come.
One slight downside to note is the front-mounted grease trap which isn’t the best of designs as it sometimes tilts away from the griddle and can fill up and leak creating extra mess.
However this is easily overcome with a grease collector placed underneath.
To give you an idea of how the BS36 really performs let’s start with unboxing.
It is a cinch to set up, simply unfold the legs and attach the sides as previously mentioned and just place the griddle slate on top. It’s a big piece and weighs around 50lbs, so be sure to lift it safely. Then attach your gas bottle and away you go.
Once the top is seasoned, you’re ready to cook.
You will have noticed when you put the top on that the gas grates are stainless steel not cast iron. This was one of the ways that Blackstone kept the cost down on the BS36. They are, however, designed thicker than most, and with the higher than usual output of 15,000 BTU’s per hour the cooking time is the same as with cast iron.
This just goes to show that despite the low cost of the BS36, it still performs like a top rate griddle. The food that you can produce on this is consistently good due to its precise heating controls on that quadruple burner setup.
Maintenance and Cleaning
The BS36 needs a good clean down after use to ensure that the top remains non-stick and you get the best performance out of it.
Although the rolled steel top is hard-wearing, it isn’t corrosion resistant, so you need to clean it and oil it when you’re done, or it will develop surface rust.
Let’s be honest, a cheeseburger with a side of metallic dust is not on anyone’s menu.
The front-loaded grease tray tends to leak and create a mess, so this will need extra attention when it comes to clean up time. The griddle top will need scraping to get rid of the excess grease and debris and wiped down with a wet cloth, and then you need to oil it and re-season it.
Blackstone have provided a helpful on how to do this quickly and easily:
Design and Build Quality
First impressions of the BS36 don’t shout sexy or pick me, but when you get close to the rolled steel top and quality turned control knobs and fittings, you realize it’s built to last and perform well.
The heavy steel means it doesn’t feel like it will collapse under load or blow away with the wind.
The black powder coating on the steel keeps is hard-wearing and weatherproof, so it should look the part for many years.
Warranty and Support
All Blackstone products come with a one-year warranty that covers all parts, workmanship, and finishes. Plus, all grills and griddles come with a 30-day money-back guarantee if you aren’t happy with it.
Their website is full of info that offers details of accessories, a list of FAQs, and links to instruction manuals if you misplace yours, which is handy.
Blackstone Griddle Review – Final Verdict
This might not be the sexiest griddle on offer, but boy is it one of the best performing and biggest for the money. So, what’s not to shout about?
What We Like
- Large griddle surface allows cooking for many people.
- Easy heat zone setup with 4 burners
- Near-restaurant quality griddle
- Great griddle flavor when seasoned
- Very durable and stable stainless-steel construction
- Built to last with a powder-coated black steel frame
- Extendable side trays and a shelf are a useful addition
What Could Be Improved
- The front grease trap to a rear and better designed grease trap
- It could be more aesthetically pleasing
- Adding a lid to protect the grill surface
Value for Money?
This is hands down, a very good value for money product. With the huge capacity and performance, this griddle can cook for a huge amount of people with ease.
Is this a Recommended Product?
The amazingly well-engineered BS36 is a quality piece of catering equipment that is effortless to cook on and produces top quality results.
Thank you for making it to the end of our Blackstone griddle review.
Home grilling is becoming seriously popular, people are doing their utmost to recreate their favorite restaurant meals at home, and the BS36 allows you to do just that with little to no effort.
This is a big ol’ piece of kit that will make you feel like a top rate chef in the comfort of your own home.
So, if you’re a fan of gathering the family or a group of friends to break bread, then the BS36 will have you breaking everything from a great steak or burger through to fantastic fish dishes and beyond.