Learn which one reigns supreme for summertime cooking.
As anyone who’s worked in one will tell you, one of—if not the—best parts of a restaurant kitchen is the flat top grill. With enough surface area to handle multiple ingredients at once, it makes for easy cooking and often even easier cleanup.
Since most home kitchens don’t have the capability for industrial-sized flat tops, griddles that can be placed atop stove burners and grills have become increasingly popular. These offer the same versatility and increased space, but at a much more manageable size for a home cook that’s not firing dishes for a twelve top during peak rush.
Two popular griddle brands for home cooks include Blackstone and Made In. Here, we’ll compare these two kitchen tools to determine which is the best option for your budget, space, and needs.
Created in 2008, Blackstone specializes in outdoor appliances, most notably their griddle. This tool was engineered to cook everything outside—not just typical barbecue fare like steaks, burgers, or vegetables. For this reason, they’ve become a top choice for outdoor cooking aficionados.
Their griddles come in a range of sizes, with the biggest being 36” (the original) all the way down to 17” or so. Blackstone’s larger griddles look and act functionally the same as a grill, along with knobs to reduce temperature and create different cooking zones, but the cooking surface is entirely flat instead of covered only with grates. Smaller sizes are portable, and all Blackstone griddles are either electric or have an adapter hose for cooking with propane.
Founded in 2017, Made In Cookware aims to provide both home and professional chefs with restaurant-tested and quality tools that are just as comfortable in restaurant kitchens as they are at home. Their four generations of expertise in kitchen and restaurant supply led them to the release of their award-winning carbon steel griddle in 2022, with size and shape variations (including a perforated and non-perforated version) joining the lineup in 2023.
The Made In Griddle is a solid piece of carbon steel with a flat cooking surface area of 8.5” x 17.5”, and features raised edges and handles. Their Griddle is designed to fit on the grill, atop two burners on the stove, or be used over a campfire, while the new modular griddle system creates a portable cooking solution. The carbon steel construction, similar to cast iron but much lighter weight, promises high-heat capabilities while remaining extremely responsive to temperature changes.
Now that you’re up to date on the two competitors, here’s how they fare based on factors like cooking surface, portability, and overall performance.
Blackstone griddle tops are made from solid steel and are offered a variety of sizes, ranging from family-sized (36”) to tabletop-sized (17”).
Made In Griddles are constructed from solid carbon steel and come in just one size (8.5” x 17.5”). They have a few different surface options, including solid carbon steel, fully perforated, and a best-of-both-worlds half perforated, half solid.
The difference in material used to construct the Blackstone and Made In Griddles results in varying heat distribution. Both steel and carbon steel are excellent heat conductors that distribute heat throughout the entire cooking surface, and can be used for dual zone cooking—i.e., searing burger patties on one end while gently toasting buns on the other. Carbon steel can typically handle higher temperatures than steel, and is more responsive to heat changes—meaning it cools or heats quickly once the temperature has been changed.
Since Blackstone griddles come equipped with temperature control dials, they are very responsive to temperature changes and can go from ripping hot to gently warm in a matter of moments.
Carbon steel cookware has remarkable heat control and also responds quickly to changes in temperature. Though the Made In Griddle doesn’t have dials to turn the heat down immediately on the griddle itself, it responds quickly to changes in temperature on the grill, stovetop, or when moved around over an open flame. This is an important factor for any cooking tool, since overcooking can happen in a matter of seconds.
The larger Blackstone griddles are intended to stay in one place—i.e., on the patio, deck, or in the backyard—and are not portable. The smaller versions, on the other hand, are able to be transported and used with a propane hookup or electrical outlet at a campsite or in an RV.
The Made In Griddle and Griddle System are designed for mobility, allowing you to go from backyard to backwoods with ease. The handles make for easy carrying when serving or cleaning, and at only 9 pounds it’s simple to carry and transport.
Steel is a versatile material that can be used for a variety of cooking methods. Blackstone griddles can be used to cook almost any ingredient, instead of just ones that are typically associated with grills—hamburgers, hot dogs, kebabs, and the like. The flat surface expands the possibility of what can be cooked, from small ingredients like shrimp or onions to larger dishes like steaks or pork chops.
That said, the nature of Blackstone griddles as an appliance (that is, needing to be plugged in or used with propane) limits its usage.
Carbon steel is lauded for its ability to get—and stay—ripping hot, making this the perfect material for cooking on the grill, across the stove, or over an open flame. The Made In Griddle, along with its perforated and half-perforated variations, is perfect for whipping up a campsite breakfast, grilling proteins and vegetables side-by-side, or getting crispy edges on smash burgers and paninis.
Note that carbon steel is a reactive material, meaning that cooking with acidic ingredients like tomatoes and citrus can strip the seasoning and impart a metallic taste into the dish.
Material and Construction
The cooking surface of Blackstone griddles is made of solid steel and is manufactured in the USA, while Made In uses pre seasoned French-made carbon steel. Both construction materials and methods used are durable and long-lasting with the proper care, though we’re partial to carbon steel as it’s remarkably easy to care for.
Like most cookware tools and appliances, the longevity of your griddle (regardless of brand) depends for the most part on how you care for and treat it. If you follow manufacturer care recommendations and maintain your griddle to the best of your ability, then you’ll likely be enjoying the many benefits for years to come.
Maintenance and Cleaning
Blackstone griddles come equipped with a patented grease management system that simplifies cleaning when cooking greasy meals. They also come with detailed owners guides and maintenance tips for extending the life of your appliance for many years to come.
As Made In Griddles are a portable piece of equipment rather than an appliance, they are significantly easier to clean. As these Griddles are constructed from pre seasoned carbon steel, cleaning is simple (depending on the level of mess and cleanup required), while maintaining them requires occasional reseasoning to prevent rust. When cared for properly, carbon steel can be an heirloom tool passed down for generations.
When deciding between these two griddle rands, it's important to keep in mind what sort of tool you're actually looking for. The Made In Griddle converts your existing grill into a griddle, eliminating the need for an entirely new appliance. Instead, this one versatile tool can go from your stovetop to the grill to over a campfire with ease, without needing to be plugged in or used with propane.
Griddles may seem like niche products for a specific use case, but they’re actually an incredibly versatile addition to any kitchen—capable of handling high-heat sears to low-and-slow pancakes. The Made In Griddle and Griddle System are versatile tools, as opposed to an appliance, that can go indoors and out, over open flame or the grill. This comparatively lightweight summertime hero is all you need to set up a foolproof camping rig or host an unforgettable barbecue.
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