If you’re looking to upgrade your cooking machine collection, you’re likely thinking about buying a grill or a griddle. Two of the biggest names you’ll come across during your search are Blackstone and Weber.
Today’s article offers a comprehensive comparison of Blackstone griddle vs Weber grill to help you choose the right cooking machine for your needs. Let’s get started!
Before we dive into the differences in performance between a Blackstone griddle and a Weber grill, we should first discuss how they vary in design, construction, and types.
A griddle is a cooking machine that features a completely flat, metal cooking surface with a source of heat right underneath. It resembles a hot plate but is much bigger and with more sophisticated cooking options.
In a griddle, you prepare the food by placing it on the food directly onto the flat cooking surface. This is quite similar to how you go about using a frying pan, however, there are no side walls or a handle.
Griddles are available in a range of sizes that you can pick from depending on your cooking scale and location. For example, if you’re looking to use outdoors for parties or indoors for simple dinners.
As for the shape of a griddle, it’s almost always a rectangle.
One thing you should always keep in mind when using a griddle is that you need to keep it level. If it’s tilted, the oil, grease, and other liquids will drip off and create a mess.
Generally speaking, there are 3 types of griddles out there that you can also find in Blackstone products:
- Freestanding griddles — these are full-size units that include a stand and a moving cart such as the Blackstone 1554 griddle. They offer the most cooking area and they’re almost always gas-powered.
Freestanding griddles are also equipped with multiple burners, grease trays, and side tables that you can fold.
- Tabletop griddles — these are smaller versions of gas-powered griddles that provide great portability and space-saving advantages such as the Blackstone 1666 tabletop griddle.
Tabletop griddles don’t offer as much cooking area, but they’re more convenient to maneuver and use for average household needs.
- Insert griddles — these units are typically a flat metal addition that goes on top of a heat source such as a stove or a grill, effectively transforming it into a griddle.
Insert griddles are excellent solutions if you’re on a budget and looking to experience cooking on a griddle. They also give you the option of a griddle if you already own a grill but don’t have the space to accommodate another freestanding machine.
A grill is a cooking machine that features a non-flat, metal cooking surface with a source of heat right underneath. Its surface is either a:
- Series of bars with open spaces between them to hold the food over the flames directly.
- A solid steel or iron plate with built-in ridges or grates that prevent the open flame from making direct contact with the food.
The open design is mostly used in barbecue grills, whereas the closed design allows the grease and oil to stay on the cooking surface.
Both designs end up giving your food distinct dark grilling marks, resulting from Malliard’s reaction, where the heated metal touches the food.
Additionally, grills provide a delicious smoky flavor that requires a lot of smoke and heat to produce.
As such, you should only use a grill outdoors or in combination with a commercial filter to make sure the smoke gets expelled outside.
Generally speaking, there are 3 types of grills you can come across in the market when looking through Weber products:
- Charcoal grills — these units are the old-school versions of grills that rely on charcoal as a source of fuel for their flames, for example, the Weber Original Kettle Premium charcoal grill.
These models provide those signature grill marks and the smoky flavor of grilled food. They offer the authentic grilling experience associated with barbeque parties, so it makes sense that they’re extremely popular.
The main drawbacks of using a charcoal grill are that they take a long time to fire up and that you need a certain level of skill to properly cook on their flames.
Also, charcoal isn’t clean-burning, so it’s not the ideal choice if you’re worried about our carbon fingerprint. Not to mention, charcoal is actually a more expensive fuel source than natural gas or propane.
Another downside of using charcoal grills is the mess they leave behind and how much of a hassle clean-up usually is. There’s also the matter of getting rid of ash and burnt charcoal after every use.
- Gas grills — these units are very popular models of Weber grills, for example, the Weber Spirit II E-210 gas grill. They run on gas (either liquid propane or natural gas) as a fuel source for the flames.
Gas grills are typically more portable and clean-burning compared to charcoal grills. So they’re a better choice for grilling enthusiasts trying to reduce their carbon footprint.
Gas grills are also easier and faster to fire up than charcoal grills.
- Electric grills — these are electric-powered units that use electricity to heat up the surface of a grill instead of fire like in charcoal or gas grills. For example, the Weber Q2400 electric grill.
You can safely use electric grills indoors and outdoors. They’re excellent options for grilling lovers who live in apartments or places with restrictions against fire applications that prevent using charcoal or gas grills.
Not to mention, electric grills are way easier to use and handle. They’re also the least messy options.
Now that you have a better idea of the design differences between the Blackstone griddle and the Weber grill, let’s take a closer look at the differences in features such as construction, portability, and cleaning.
Blackstone griddles and Weber grills don’t just have varying designs, but they also feature different types of metal in their construction.
The general rule of thumb is that the thicker the metal surface used in the griddle or grill, the better it can retain heat and the higher the cooking quality.
Thicker metal surfaces are also sturdier compared to thinner metals that are prone to warping, resulting in uneven heat distribution and cooking. If you’re planning on cooking denser meats on your griddle, stick to thicker metal.
That said, most griddles including Blackstone units are made out of cast iron or steel when intended for average at-home use. They can be made out of stainless steel or chrome when built for commercial use or higher-end models, in which case they’ll cost a lot more.
Generally, the thickness of griddles ranges between 1/4 inch for household models and 3/4 inches for commercial models in restaurants. Respectively, they weigh somewhere between 10 and 30 pounds per square foot.
As for grills, they can be made out of various metals such as:
- Stainless steel
- Cast iron
- Nickel-plated steel
- Porcelain-enameled steel
- Porcelain-enameled cast-iron
The choice of the material depends on the application of the grill, your budget, the brand, and so on.
Porcelain-enameled stainless steel and porcelain-enameled cast-iron are very popular choices in Weber grills. While the porcelain coating doesn’t affect the cooking process itself, it makes cleaning up afterward easier thanks to its non-stick properties.
If you prefer plain iron cast or steel but you’re worried about rusting and sticking, you can counteract those issues by seasoning the grill. A layer of vegetable oil once you’re done cleaning will minimize rust formation.
Ease of cleaning is a big deal to consider whether you decide on buying a Blackstone griddle or a Weber grill, especially since opinions are mixed regarding both cooking machines.
Some say that the flat surface of a griddle is a lot less of a hassle to clean than the ridged surface of a grill. If you use a grill with an open design, the cleanup becomes even more difficult.
The fact that a grill features a textured cooking area results in nooks and crannies where the grease can fall in, get burnt, and stick to the metal. In this case, you’ll need to put some effort into scrubbing with a stiff-bristled brush to clean the grill.
On the other hand, griddles are easier to clean due to the lack of hard-to-reach spots. A flat scraper and some warm water are usually enough to remove the grease residue.
That said, some people say that the flat surface of Blackstone griddles is actually harder to clean compared to the textured or gapped surface of a Weber grill.
Well, their reasoning includes a few points as follows:
- A griddle has a continuous cooking surface, which means more area to clean.
- A griddle doesn’t feature a mechanism for the grease to run down, which causes all of the greases from cooking to harden and stick to the surface. Blackstone addressed this issue in some of its griddle models by making their surface slightly slanted to facilitate the flow of excess grease down into the drip tray.
- Since you need to use a scraper to clean the flat surface of a griddle, you need to master the balance between applying enough force to remove the stuck residue and keeping the pressure light enough to prevent damaging the surface coating.
The folks who view cleaning Weber grills as easier say that the gaps created by the bars or grates on its surface are what facilitate the process. This is because they allow the excess grease and drippings to flow down to “Flavorizer” bars where they’re vaporized and smoked.
The efficient grease management system in Weber grills leaves you with much less residue to deal with when it’s time to clean.
Additionally, unlike most Blackstone griddles, you can detach the cooking grates on Weber grills. This lets you soak them to make cleaning even easier.
If you’re often going on camping trips or you like to host dinner parties outdoors, chances are you’re worried about the portability of your cooking machine.
Whether you choose to opt for a Blackstone griddle or a Weber grill, portability depends on the model you end up buying as well as its material.
For example, if you want a griddle with a large cooking area and a stand, it’s expected that it’ll weigh more and be less portable than a small electric grill.
Similarly, if you’re in the market for a full-blown charcoal grill, you better believe it’ll weigh significantly more than a tabletop grill and also offer a lot less portability.
If you compare cast iron and stainless steel options, you’ll find that iron cooking machines are heavier, and consequently, more difficult to move around and transport.
Additionally, a griddle can be heavier than a grill of the same size due to the lack of gaps created by bars and grates. The flat, continuous cooking surface means that it’s basically a slab of thick metal, which adds to its overall weight.
On the other hand, a Weber grill can be heavier because of the extra weight of fuel tanks, charcoal, and other accessories such as covers and chimney starters.
For most cooking enthusiasts, performance is the deciding factor in the Blackstone griddle vs Weber grill comparison.
So, let’s break down the differences between the two machines when it comes to cooking temperatures, types of food you can cook, smokiness level, and food appearance.
Cooking temperatures differ across Blackstone griddles and Weber grills.
Typically, grills can reach higher temperatures of up to 600 degrees F or even more. On the other side, griddles usually cook at lower temperatures of around 400 degrees F.
The wider range of temperatures in grills gives you more flexibility when choosing the proper temperature for cooking various types of food.
Now that you’re familiar with the cooking temperatures a Blackstone griddle and a Weber grill can achieve, you’re probably wondering about the sort of foods you can prepare using each cooking machine.
Well, you can use a griddle to cook most of the food items that you can typically cook on a grill. However, we can’t say the same thing about using a grill to cook foods that you can prepare on a griddle.
Here are some examples:
- You can easily make fried eggs on a griddle but not on a grill.
- You can whip up pancakes on a griddle, but it’d be unsuitable to cook on a grill.
- You can use a grill to cook steaks or burgers, which is also possible to achieve with a griddle.
Cooking using a griddle certainly offers a lot more flexibility compared to grills thanks to its flat surface that lets you cook a wider variety of foods. Blackstone griddles are excellent for making breakfast food such as hash browns, bacon, eggs, and pancakes.
Griddles are also great for preparing larger portions of meals at the same time because of the roomy cooking area that you can divide into sections for different foods.
What’s more, griddles are phenomenal when it comes to cooking fish. Their flat, gap-free surface solves the issue of the tender fish falling apart and into the bottom of the grill.
As for Weber grills, they’re ideal for cooking steaks, burgers, hotdogs, ribs, vegetables, and chicken. They allow for contact with direct heat and smoke, resulting in amazing searing effects.
There’s nothing that can quite compete with the complexity and depth of the smoky flavor you can get from a Weber charcoal grill, not even a Blackstone griddle.
The charred, savory, and caramelized taste that accompanies cooking with charcoal over an open flame is a grill signature.
The smokiness of grills is such an appetizing flavor that many griddle cooks tried to come close to it, ultimately devising a technique commonly referred to as smoking.
It involves placing a small number of wood chips on the griddle’s surface and then covering it along with the food using a metal cover.
Last but not least, the way the food looks after cooking on a grill is different from a griddle. With a grill, you get brown marks due to the bars or grates.
These grill marks add to the appetizing aesthetics of grilled foods and are often infused with a distinct smoky, caramelized flavor.
Which One Is Better?
There you have it, a detailed comparison of Blackstone griddle vs Weber grill. The question to wrap it all up is: which one should you go for?
The answer ultimately comes down to your cooking preferences. If you’re looking for something more versatile and easier to get the hang of, then you’d be better off with a Blackstone griddle.
If you’re after the legendary smoky flavor and dark marks of grilled goods and you don’t mind a bit of a learning curve, then a Weber grill probably suits you more.
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