We've always loved hibachi style restaurants where they cook in front of you. The four of us would often say how cool it would be to have a large griddle, restaurant type cooking surface, to cook on.
For no particular reason one day I searched online for "propane patio griddle" and sure enough there was exactly what I imagined, and it was reasonably priced. The Blackstone 36 inch Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle Station immediately caught my attention. It had good reviews and I researched for anything similar worth considering. The Blackstone model was perfect and nothing else really caught my attention, so I ordered it!
We've cooked on it dozens of times at this point. Everything from hibachi style dinners with fried rice to big breakfasts with all the fixings. Our son Braxton particularly loves cooking on it. He is the one in the picture cooking bacon, sausage, eggs and french toast one morning. The cooking surface is very large as you can see in the picture. You can cook as little or as large of portions as you want to.
Cast iron is really great to cook on. When we first assembled the gas patio griddle we "seasoned" the cast iron cook top. You do that by wiping a thin coat of vegetable oil on the the entire cooking surface. Then you turn on the burners to high and let the heat cook the oil until it stops smoking. This creates a nice non-stick surface as it bonds to the cast iron surface. We did a second coat of seasoning too before we started cooking the first time. Typically you won't ever need to re-season the cooking surface. Each time you cook it will enhance the seasoning further.
With the four burners you can control your heat really well. You can have the left side of the griddle on med-high for bacon and your right side on medium-low for scrambled eggs. We've also done steamed vegetables on one side with high heat and fish on the other side with medium heat. You simply turn on your burners and push the electric ignition button to light the flames and then set each burner knob to where you want it.
Clean up is a breeze. There's a drain slot at the back center of the griddle that you can push grease or food bits right off into. It has a simple bin that hangs right under the drain slot that catches everything. When you are done cooking you just scrape everything to the rear and into that little bin. The bin comes right off for dumping later. After we're done cooking we typically turn the griddle heat to high and use a very wet rag to wipe down the griddle and then let the steam cook off. That's it, you are cleaned up and ready for the next use!
Our patio cast iron gas griddle has done a wonderful job creating another way to make cooking fun! It has also eliminated the smell of bacon hanging around the house for the whole day.
It's easy to recommend The Blackstone 36 inch Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle Station. Friends and family that have been over to eat when we're cooking on it just love it too!
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