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Blackstone Griddle 28″ vs 36″ (Which to Buy)

Blackstone Griddle 28″ vs 36″ (Which to Buy)

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No outdoor kitchen or backyard kingdom is complete without a griddle. This versatile piece of cooking equipment is great for preparing all types of foods for small families and large parties.

When a home chef is in the market for an outdoor griddle for their backyard, they have many choices. Blackstone is one of the most popular manufacturers of griddles, for many reasons.

Blackstone makes many different models, but which is the right one? Many factors, which are covered in this article, come into play in making this decision.

This compare-and-contrast guide should help highlight the many differences and similarities in features to simplify this decision between two specific types of griddles: the Blackstone 28-inch model and the Blackstone 36-inch model.


Where and when you buy the griddle will impact the price. Both the manufacturer and individual retailers hold periodic sales that sometimes lower the price of both sizes of griddle.

In general, though, the smaller size griddle will almost always be less expensive than the larger, depending on the accessories that come with the griddle. This does not necessarily mean that it is a better value, however.

Each chef must consider all of the factors in this article to make the best decision that makes the most sense for them, both practically and financially. For some, the smaller model is more than sufficient and may even better suit their needs, while for others, the higher price for the larger model is worth the additional cost.

If cost is a major factor, plan ahead, and research the best time of year to buy a griddle (hint: it is not the spring). Also, look for deals with individual retailers, such as interest-free credit or store-wide coupons.

Blackstone’s griddles come in a whole lot of options, from the portable 17” models to the full-sized 36” semi-pros.

But since you’re here, I can only assume you like to grill for a crowd, and a 17” (or even 22”) flat-top won’t cut it.

Now you’re left with two main options: the 28” and 36”.

Unlike what you might’ve heard, cooking top size isn’t the only difference. You need to consider the number of burners, heat capacity, portability, and price.

To help you choose, I’ll go over an in-depth comparison of the Blackstone 28” and 36” griddles. Bonus point: I’ll also share with you an alternative option that straddles the line between heat control and portability.

Let’s find you a suitable flat top today!

Quick Overview: Blackstone’s 28” and 36” Griddle Lineup

The Blackstone 28” and the Blackstone 36” are two of the most popular products in Blackstone’s catalog.

However, they’re not just two models. Each griddle size is a catch-all term for a range of models with different designs and accessories.

For instance, the Blackstone 36” Collection currently includes more than 15 models, from the original 36” to the pro-level griddle/air fryer combo.

The Blackstone 28” Collection is slightly smaller but still contains a lot of options, including four equipped with an air fryer.

With all that said, I’d like to point out that when people say Blackstone 28” and 36”, they’re usually talking about the Original Series.

So, that narrows down the options to:

For this comparison, I’ll focus on the 1517 and 1554 since they’re easy to come by.

Price Points

Where and when you buy the griddle will impact the price. Both the manufacturer and individual retailers hold periodic sales as well.

Generally speaking, the 28” Blackstone is budget-friendly. This affordability doesn’t necessarily mean it’s suitable for everyone, though.

Each chef must consider all of the factors in this article to make the best decision that makes the most sense for them, practically and financially.

If cost is a major factor, plan ahead and research the best time of year to buy a griddle (hint: it’s not the spring). Also, look for deals with individual retailers, such as interest-free credit or store-wide coupons.

Size (Beyond the Cooking Top Space)

Own Big Green Egg Blackstone Griddle Forest River Shamrock Rv Travel Trailer

First, let’s break down the actual size difference since 36” versus 28” only refers to the cooking top.

According to Blackstone’s website, here is a breakdown of the exact dimensions of each griddle compared side by side:

Dimensions28” Griddle36” Griddle
Height33.5 inches36 inches
Width44 inches62¾ inches
Length22¾ inches25½ inches

The 36” griddle top is 769 square inches versus a 524-square-inch top on the 28” model. You can deduce that the 28” griddle has around 32% less space than the larger model.

The 36” Blackstone also comes with more preparation space. When I say “preparation space,” I mean the shelving on the sides and underneath the cooktop. These spots are great for storing tools, food to be cooked, and perhaps a beverage.

While I agree that the additional prep space on the 36” model is very convenient, it’s not always necessary. If you plan to use the griddle in an existing outdoor kitchen or if you have ample table space in the backyard, it may be superfluous.

Portability and Backyard Real Estate

People rarely regret going with a larger flat top. However, when they do, it’s mostly because they want something that’s easy to take camping or tailgating at sporting events.

Don’t get me wrong. You could take the 36” model on a trip, but the additional preparation space can make the process a little harder.

Sure, both units are on wheels. Yet, if the Blackstone is stored in a shed or moved on and off a porch, you will occasionally need to lift it. It’s worth noting that the 36-inch model is more than 50 pounds heavier than the 28-inch Blackstone.

Plus, the 28” might be a better fit for houses in newer developments. Those tend to have smaller yards. I know that in cases like this, backyard real estate becomes even more valuable, especially if you have other items around (a grill, a pool, and whatnot).

Twice the Burners for Less Than Twice the Space

How To Convert A Blackstone Griddle To Natural Gas - Remove Burner Screws

One of the biggest and most important differences between the two models is the number of burners.

The 36” model has four burners, while the 28” has only two. The way I see it, this is a significant difference with a much less significant increase in the cooktop size.

With two additional burners, the heating capabilities of the larger model are greater. In addition, four burners give the chef more control over the heat. The more burners there are, the more the heat can vary from one zone to another.

Using the four-burner 36” model, you can cook meat on one side of the griddle at one temperature while potatoes are cooked on the other side at a different temperature. Doing the same with only two burners would be much more challenging and sometimes impossible.

Keep in mind that having twice the burners doesn’t necessarily mean the griddle can cook twice the amount of food. That is also an issue of space and, as I already established, the larger model is not 50% larger than the smaller!

What the extra burners do mean is that the heating capacity is almost doubled, from 34,000 BTUs to 60,000 BTUs.

For reference, BTUs is the standard measure of heat used in the United States and is an abbreviation for British Thermal Units. Based on BTUs, we can compare two products in terms of heating capacity, fuel consumption, and how well they run in the colder months.

Heating Capacity

BTUs work in much the same way as calories in animals; the more BTUs the griddle can expend, the more heat it’s capable of producing. In essence, it’s a unit of energy in the form of heat.

Therefore, the 36” griddle can get significantly hotter than the smaller model. This perk comes in handy for cooking dishes and cuisines that require a very hot cooktop (one good example is grilled flatbread pizza or Thai cuisine, which often involves quick, hot cooking).

But I’d like to point out that the number of burners and the size don’t impact even cooking, which is very important to many chefs. Both models heat very evenly depending on the burners underneath them, and that’s a benefit of the Blackstone brand itself.

Blackstone uses rolled carbon steel for their griddle cooktops. I could argue that it’s one of the best materials possible since it heats the cooktop evenly.

That said, this is another difference between the two models: the 28” has a 10-gauge rolled carbon steel cooktop, while the 36” has a 7-gauge rolled carbon steel cooktop.

It seems counter-intuitive, but metal gauging runs backward, meaning that the 7-gauge cooktop is actually thicker than the 10-gauge. This feature further increases the heating capabilities of the 36” Blackstone and helps explain the higher BTU range.

Winter Performance

As a general rule, large griddles are easier to use in cold weather.

Colder temperatures will naturally mean that it will take longer for a griddle (or any cooktop) to heat up; if there are more BTUs, that process will be quicker.

The catch? You will likely need more gas!

Fuel Consumption

Speaking of gas, one downside to having more burners is that it uses more propane, regardless of the season. So, you might need to replace the propane tanks more frequently, creating an added expense.

It’s possible to use two or three of the burners only on the 36” Blackstone instead, but then the cooking space is reduced to smaller than that of the 28” griddle.

What Kinds of Foods Would Be Out of the Question on the 28” Model?

Own - Cheese Steaks On The Blackstone - Add Provolone Cheeese Slices

There are a few foods that would be much more difficult to cook on the smaller 28” griddle than the 36”. However, the biggest difference in what can be cooked on them has to do with quantity; the larger griddle can cook much more food at once than the smaller.

Here are some side-by side comparisons of actual foods to give potential griddle owners a better idea of what they can cook at one time (all amounts are approximations):

Food item28” Griddle36” Griddle
Max. Hot dogs4575
Max. Hamburgers2030
Max. Steaks1520

Think about typical occasions and gatherings during which you will use the griddle. If they are large, the 36” Blackstone griddle makes more sense.

How large? The 36” model can easily cook for 15 people in one batch.

Even if you don’t ordinarily host large gatherings, do you want to spend less time cooking and more time with the guests? I know I do.

Obviously, a large cooktop on which you can prepare food for everyone at once will free up time to mingle. Otherwise, you’d be stuck cooking in batches for a while.

Quantity aside, let’s look at the sort of meals that would be harder to prepare on the 28” Blackstone.

1. Meals That Need Large Workspace

Anything that requires a large surface area is going to be hard to tackle. Think stir fries, fried rice dishes, and paella.

Plus, many chefs in the market for a griddle aspire to master a full hibachi meal. A larger model would make this goal easier to accomplish since most professional hibachi chefs have very large cooktops, and that cooking style is tailored to the larger workspace.

2. Meals That Require More Heat Control

Consider how much heat you need.

While both griddles can become intensely hot, the larger model puts out more heat at once. So, foods that require a very hot cooktop, such as pizza, may not cook as well on the smaller model.

It’s also more challenging to prepare a meal with multiple dishes on the smaller model, for example, steaks, scallops, and potatoes. If three different heat levels are necessary for this meal, the chef is out of luck.

They may have to cook them in batches, which means some of the food will sit out and cool off before you serve the meal.

3. Meals Than Need Zone Separation

Also, consider how close together you want your food items to be. If you are making pancakes, bacon, and eggs, you may not want the bacon grease to reach your pancakes, and that will be harder to prevent on a smaller cooktop.

It’s not just a matter of convenience, either. This proximity of foods can sometimes be dangerous.

Do you know how raw meats excrete juices as you cook them? Well, these juices might contain bacteria that can be harmful if they get on other foods that are eaten before the juices have time to cook off. Cross-contamination is no joke!

What Do the Blackstone 28” and 36” Griddles Have in Common?


Now you know the main differences between the two Blackstone griddles. However, it’s also important to note which features are the same (or at least somewhat similar).

Construction and Core Features

Both griddles are mostly made out of the same materials and parts. Neither has superior metals or other parts, and the burners on both models are the same, composed of stainless steel.

Plus, both are on the same wheels and have grease management systems (so grease does not drip onto the ground), the same burner controls, and the same propane tank attachments.


The assembly process is similar in both sizes; the larger model just has some slightly larger parts.

You’ll find video tutorials and a user guide that walks you through the steps for the two griddle sizes.


The two sizes even have similar optional accessories, including a cast iron seasoning kit, basic tools, and a cover. Of course, it all depends on which package you select.

You can get the basic set of any size to save money on the initial purchase and upgrade as you go. But I’d recommend looking into the bundles that include a hardcover or a hood.


Blackstone protects both griddles with similar manufacturer’s warranties and customer support.

Middle Ground: Blackstone 28” XL

The Blackstone lineup has a new arrival that works as a middle ground between the 28” and 36” models: the 28” XL.

As a step up from the 28” model, the 28” XL griddle features three burners rather than two.

The cooking surface also got expanded a bit. While the width is still around 28 inches, Blackstone increased depth here from 18¼ inches to 21½ inches.

All in all, the cooking space is around 612 square inches, with 45,000 BTUs.

Final Thoughts

For many chefs, the decision will come down to portability versus cooking capacity. If you are looking for a semi-professional griddle to feed a crowd, the 36” model is the way to go.

If you ever plan to take the Blackstone on the go, or perhaps if you are new to griddle cooking, the smaller 28” model might be more sensible.

In conclusion, a Blackstone is a big purchase, not only in terms of expense but also because it’s an item that most owners hope to keep and enjoy for many years. So, be smart about the purchase and consider all the similarities and differences first!

Either way, Blackstone products will provide a decent value for money!


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