As the summertime approaches and the lovely warm weather starts kicking in, nothing beats the joy of going outside and enjoying the day with friends and family.
However, no activity will get the party going like having a BBQ that is cooked to perfection. For that, you need a good grill, and that’s what today’s article is all about.
If you’re buying a grill, you’ll probably hear a lot of people recommending Blackstone and Camp Chef flat top grills, so which one should you go for?
To help you answer this question, today, we’ll walk you through a comprehensive guide that puts Blackstone vs Camp Chef in a head to head comparison, so you can pick the one that suits your needs the best. So without further ado, let’s dive right in!
A Brief Overview of Blackstone and Camp Chef
One of the best ways to find out more about two different manufacturers is to have a quick look at the history of the two brands.
This can give you an idea about the kind of product they’re expected to build, their target customer, their experience in the field, and much more.
In the following section, we’ll compare the brand recognition of both Blackstone and Camp Chef, so let’s see what they both have to offer!
Blackstone is an outdoor cooking equipment brand that specializes in making griddles and flat top grills.
The company was founded back in 2008 and has been skyrocketing in popularity ever since. So despite being a relatively new company, they managed to prove that they know what they’re talking about!
Blackstone is an American company that has its headquarters in Logan, Utah. The folks at Blackstone build their products themselves and they currently have around 300 to 500 employees.
Most of the Blackstone products are made from cold-rolled steel, which is an excellent material when it comes to heat distribution, and therefore, Blackstone griddles offer a great level of control of the cooking surface.
Besides griddles, Blackstone also makes and sells a variety of outdoor cooking accessories, including griddling kits, griddle care tools, grilling apparel, sauces, and seasoning!
Camp Chef is another Logan, Utah-based outdoor cooking products manufacturer. But unlike Blackstone, Camp Chef has been in the market since 1990, so they’ve been around for longer and have a deeper experience with the market.
The current president of Camp Chef, Ty Measom, founded the company due to the lack of portable outdoor grills that have enough power to provide even cooking.
Camp Chef’s products have also seen noticeable success and the company has diversified its product portfolio to include various related products.
Today, Camp Chef offers a wide range of outdoor cooking equipment, including griddles and flat top grills as well as pellet grills, cast iron pans and burners, grilling apparel, and many grill box attachments.
The company is characterized for using quality materials that provide even heat distribution and durability against the elements, such as heavy duty steel
What Are the Most Popular Grills by Blackstone and Camp Chef?
Both Black Stone and Camp Chef offer a plethora of excellent products to choose from. However, you might be wondering which one of them has a larger variety of options. Here are all the different grills and griddles that are offered by both Blackstone and Camp Chef:
The company arranges its products by the size of the cooking surface. For example, Blackstone offers table-top griddles in a size range of 17 inches all the way up to 36 inches.
The most popular products offered by Blackstone are:
- The Blackstone 28 Inch Gas Powered Flat Top Griddle Station
- The Blackstone Tailgater Combo
- The Blackstone 1666 Tabletop Griddle (22 inches)
- The Blackstone 1825 Griddle with a Side Shelf (36 inches)
- The Blackstone griddle with an air fryer (36 inches)
Camp Chef has a wide variety of options to choose from, including both grills and smokers. The company has over 25 models that are on the market today and offers its products in the form of series that have similar designs but differ in size.
The most popular options among them are:
- The Camp Chef Flat Top Series
- The Camp Chef Woodwind Series
- The Camp Chef Apex Series
- The Camp Chef SG Series
- The Camp Chef DLX
- The Camp Chef Pursuit 20
Blackstone vs. Camp Chef in Terms of Essential Features of a Grill
Now that you know more about the two brands and the products they offer, it’s time to put the two grills in a direct comparison.
As you can see, Blackstone mainly offers griddles while Camp Chef offers several other products, so it’s only fair to compare the two in terms of their flat top grills only.
One of the best ways to compare two flat top grills is to assess them in terms of all the essential features that you need to look for while buying a new one, so we’ll use these aspects as points of comparison. Here’s what each one of these brands is all about:
Materials and Build Quality
One of the first things that you need to keep in mind while buying an outdoor grill or griddle is the materials used to build them.
Like most griddles and flat top grills on the market, both Blackstone and Camp Chef use cold-rolled steel to make the grilling surface.
However, what makes these two unique is that they both use a relatively thick surface to ensure excellent heat retention, but more about that later.
Unlike grills that are made from non-stick ceramic, this material is extremely durable and provides an unmatched cooking quality when seasoned properly. In fact, rolled steel cooking surfaces can last for decades if you clean and oil them up after each use.
The main body of the grill is also made of coated steel, which protects the grills from the elements of weather and helps them stand the test of time.
The burners are made of stainless steel to provide a matching performance without corrosion or rusting under high temperatures.
Assembly and Design
When it comes to design, Blackstone griddles and the Camp Chef Flat Top grills are quite similar.
They both have a classic cart style design with shelves at the bottom, allowing you to store multiple items and ingredients as you work.
So, in terms of aesthetics, both of them are basically the same, although personal preferences may play a role in anyone’s favor here.
With that said, if you’re looking for a griddle that you can also use for grilling, the Camp Chef griddle has a removable surface that lets you do that easily.
Both griddles come in various parts and you’ll need to assemble them on your own. Luckily, both of them are very easy to put together, and both companies offer helpful video tutorials that walk you through the assembly process.
Here’s a video that shows you how to assemble the Blackstone 28 inch Griddle and another one that shows you how to assemble the Camp Chef Flat Top Grill.
Storage and Portability
One thing that you’ll be able to notice right away is that Camp Chef griddles have 2 bottom shelves while Blackstone options typically have one.
Both the Blackstone and Camp Chef come with two side shelves that will give you extra space to store your plates and supplies while preparing food. However, the design of the side shelves in the Camp Chef is relatively more convenient to adjust.
This gives Camp Chef a slight edge in terms of storage, although you can fit a basket inside the Blackstone griddle and hold as many items.
Both griddles also have wheels that allow you to move around easily, although Camp Chef typically has two large wheels while Blackstone usually offers four small ones.
With that said, it’s fairly noticeable that Blackstone is geared toward maneuverability and ease of storage better than the Camp Chef.
The Blackstone griddle also has foldable legs and is almost fully collapsible while the Camp Chef doesn’t have any collapsible parts, so you can only store it as is or take it apart completely.
Based on this information, if you’re looking for a griddle that you can move around very easily with decent storage space, you should go for Blackstone.
But, if you want a better balance between storage and portability, Camp Chef would be a better pick for your needs.
The size of the cooking surface is another essential aspect that you need to keep in mind while buying a griddle.
The larger the surface area, the more food you’ll be able to cook on the griddle at the same time, which is essential if you’re cooking for a large gathering or you have an exceptionally big family.
The Blackstone griddle comes in a wide range of sizes. The 28 inch griddle offers a 720 square inch surface area, which is remarkably large and can cook a huge amount of food at the same time!
On the other hand, the Camp Chef griddle has a griddle surface area of around 604 square inches, so this one is a clear win Blackstone, despite being fairly lighter in weight, which adds to its portability value in picnics.
As we pointed out earlier, both surfaces are made from the same material and have relatively similar thicknesses, so there’s a little difference between the two when it comes to heat retention and cooking quality.
Burners and Ignition System
Both the Blackstone and Camp Chef use propane as a fuel source to fire up the grill. However, Blackstone may also offer some electric griddles in tabletop models.
Firing up the griddle in both brands is simple and you can control each burner independently to optimize your heating surface.
Yet, we can’t help but notice that the Camp Chef ignition system is more convenient and easier to work with, especially since the burners don’t need batteries like the case in some Blackstone models.
For example, you can simply fire up any two random burners in the Camp Chef. As for the Blackstone, it can only work in sequential order.
While this won’t really matter if you cook large batches, it would’ve been nicer if you can have better control of your system.
That said, you should know that Blackstone has a generally higher BTU output than Camp Chef.
The Blackstone has a 15,000 BTU output per burner, and it has 4 burners, so the total BTU output of the griddle is 60,000 BTU.
On the other hand, The Camp chef has 4 burners that produce 12,000 BTUs each. This gives it a total BTU of around 48,000 BTU, which translates to a relatively lower maximum temperature and slower heat up time for the Camp Chef.
Both options have grease management systems built into them. The Blackstone unit has a rectangular hole that allows the greases to drip into a collecting bucket that hangs at the back of the grill.
Although the system works, it’s not as efficient as you’d expect, especially if you’re cooking on relatively uneven terrain. This drives the grease to collect at the side of the griddle until they start leaking to the ground.
As for the Camp Chef side, the grease collection mechanism is similar but the front collection design makes the whole system a lot smoother when you want to remove the greases.
Although the collection hole is quite small, you don’t have to worry about clogging issues because the heat from the burners prevents the grease from sticking around inside.
Ease of Cleaning and Maintenance
As previously established, the grease collection system in the Camp Chef is much more convenient and well designed when compared to the Blackstone.
This means that the Camp Chef will also give you a head start when you’re done cooking and ready for cleaning.
Despite that, the cleaning process is fairly identical in both the Blackstone and the Camp Chef, as they’re both easily cleaned with the following procedure:
- Start by letting the griddle cool down after cooking
- Use the metal spatula to gently scrape any food remains on the surface, then wipe down the whole surface with some paper towels
- Apply some hot water to scrape off any remains that are heavily stuck to the surface
- Rinse off the surface with some water, then dry it up with paper towels
- Season the surface by applying a thin layer of flax, grapeseed, coconut, or canola oil on the surface, then slowly heat up the surface to the smoke point until the oil is burnt.
As previously mentioned, cold-rolled steel is supposed to last for a very long time. But, to achieve that, you need to take care of the heating surface by cleaning and seasoning after every use.
The budget you’ve set for a flat top outdoor grill can have a huge impact on your choice. Ideally, a good mid-sized grill should cost you anywhere from $300 to $700.
On the other hand, a relatively large one could go as much as $800 to $1,100, depending on the specific features of the model you’re going for.
When it comes to both Blackstone and Camp Chef, both of them offer most of their products within the higher end of that price range. In other words, they’re not the cheapest options out there, but they still pack a lot of value for their prices.
However, Blackstone typically offers their griddles at a relatively lower price range when compared to grills from Camp Chef that have similar features.
Yet, you should know that both of these sellers offer their products at a discounted price in various locations, so you can typically find both of them at decent prices if you look in the right places.
With all that said, however, you’re typically going to get a relatively higher-end option for the same price when you buy Blackstone models, as they’re typically more affordable when compared to the same griddle from Camp Chef.
If the price of the product is your main priority, Blackstone might be the right choice for your needs, although Camp Chef isn’t too far off.
Last but not least, when you’re investing in a product that should last for a very long time, you should make sure that the product is well supported by its manufacturer, especially through its first years, as most manufacturing errors will show up during that time.
Although both products are very well crafted and rarely need special repairs, both of them have a disappointing warranty policy that only extends for one year.
That said, Blackstone’s coverage includes finishes and paints while Camp Chef doesn’t, so it’s a point in favor of Blackstone, although a single year warranty would be a downside of either of them when compared to other options on the market.
What Are the Advantages and Drawbacks of Blackstone Grills?
To sum things up, here’s a brief look at some of the most notable advantages of Blackstone grills as well as some of the downsides you need to keep in mind before buying one:
- High quality heating surface construction
- Relatively lightweight and easy to maneuver with 4 wheels
- Offers more features than Camp Chef within the same price range
- Doesn’t offer a griddle/flat top grill combo like the one in Camp Chef
- You can only use the burners in sequential order
What Are the Advantages and Drawbacks of Camp Chef Grills?
Similar to Blackstone, Camp Chef Grills also have their fair share of special features that makes them an excellent choice as well as points of weakness that put them at a disadvantage when compared to other models. Let’s check them out:
- A versatile heating surface that you can use as a griddle or as a grill
- You can fire up any burners independently
- The Grease management system is much easier to work with
- Can be a little bulky and heavy to move around
- Slightly more expensive on average
Who Should Buy a Blackstone Griddle?
Looking back at the top features that you get with Blackstone products, you’ll find that it’s a great choice for anyone who’s looking for a decent flat top grill that offers a decent bang for the buck.
This means that you can enjoy a relatively large flat top grill or a griddle at an excellent price, allowing you to host a lot of BBQ parties where you can cook a lot of food for large groups of people, all the while not worrying about the greasy mess!
Additionally, the grill features a great heat control system that improves the versatility of the cooking surface, allowing you to cook various items at the same time.
Portability is also one of Blackstone’s strongest suits, thanks to its rugged design and powerful wheels. So if you want a griddle that is easy to move around, Blackstone is your way to go!
Who Should Buy a Camp Chef Flat Top Grill?
Camp Chef Grill is an ideal choice for anyone who doesn’t mind spending a little more in order to enjoy some extra versatility and advanced features.
The Camp Chef flat top grills are technologically advanced and extremely easy to control. They’re also quite portable and stable regardless of the surface you’re using them on.
Camp Chef’s flat top grills provide super accurate temperature and heat zone controls, making it a preferable choice for seasoned BBQ experts who are serious about their steaks!
The versatile griddle is remarkably hassle-free, as it comes pre-seasoned and is very easy to clean, thanks to its set of griddle levers that collect all the greases into a bucket.
There you have it! A brief guide that puts Blackstone vs Camp Chef in a head to head comparison in order to help you choose the ideal one for you!
As you can see, both options are durable, reliable, and easy to use, so it’s quite difficult to name one as the ultimate best between the two.
However, if you’re looking for a relatively more affordable and portable option with more heating power, you should go for the Blackstone.
But, if you prefer easier cleanup and better head controls, the Camp Chef should be a better pick!
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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