Which camping griddle is best?
Just like with what you cook over the campfire, the best camping griddle is mainly a matter of taste. Camping purists swear by cast iron over an open fire, while modern campers might prefer the convenience of a self-contained griddle/grill combination. Camping griddles run the gamut from the basic to the extra-fancy, with something in between to satisfy everyone.
If you’re more of a moderate camper, the Royal Gourmet Portable 3-Burner Propane Gas Grill Griddle might be the best camping griddle for you. It offers the spirit of the cookout with the convenience and function of a stove.
What to know before you buy a camping griddle
Camping griddles can use a variety of different fuels, including 1-pound propane tanks, 20-pound propane tanks, white gas, electricity and good old firewood. If you don’t want to lug around a huge propane tank for a quick weekend away, a lighter stove with a more compact fuel source might be best for you.
If you are cooking large amounts of food for many people several times a day, a plain cast iron camping griddle heated over a fire is going to be challenging. You’ll need to keep the fire going, which means a constant hunt for wood. A camping griddle with a 20-pound propane tank might serve you better.
How many people you’re cooking for
Size matters when it comes to choosing a camping griddle too. Larger griddles have space for different temperature zones, which means you can cook different foods simultaneously or keep food warm in one area while cooking in the others.
Camping griddles can get expensive quickly, depending on the features you choose and the type of griddle you buy. Set a budget for this piece of camping gear and stick to it.
Don’t want to buy a fuel-powered camping griddle? Check out the BestReviews guide to camping griddles you can use over a campfire or on an existing grill.
What to look for in a quality camping griddle
Portable fuel-powered griddles can be as small as a carry-on bag with just one or two burners. Propane tanks for the portable camping griddle are usually small, with the option to attach a regulator for a larger tank.
Freestanding camping griddles are the same types of grill you’d have in the backyard. Mount these on a cart or wheels to make them easier to use. If you’re planning a longer stay in the woods, you may want to take a freestanding camping griddle with you.
The original camping griddle is a flat cast-iron surface that goes directly on a campfire or over the grill provided in many car camping spots. They are simple, easy to use and don’t require any fuel beyond firewood to operate.
How much you can expect to spend on a camping griddle
As you might expect, cast iron camping griddle pans can be found at the lower end of the price range for around $20. Freestanding camping griddles and some of the more expensive portable griddles can easily cost $200 or more.
Camping griddle FAQ
What’s the best thing to cook on a camping griddle?
A. Nothing beats waking up to the delicious smell of breakfast in the woods. Pancakes, eggs, bacon and hashbrowns are all great choices for a camping griddle. But really, your camping griddle is capable of cooking most of the same foods you enjoy at home.
How do I care for a camping griddle?
A. Caring for a camping griddle is different depending on which you select. Check with the manufacturer and follow all directions for safe operation and cleaning. In general, clean your camping griddle immediately after each use. Scrape off excess food, and if the grill portion is removable, clean thoroughly.
Make sure that your camping griddle is clear of all food when you store it. Some griddles have a grease trap. Remove this and clean it completely.
Store your camping griddle in a clean, dry space. Take it out each year and check for any noticeable wear or damage. Cracks in the lines to the propane tanks or in any of the other areas where fuel enters the stove mean it’s time for a new griddle. Remember that camping griddles should never be operated indoors.
What’s the best camping griddle to buy?
Top camping griddle
Royal Gourmet Portable 3-Burner Propane Gas Grill Griddle
What you need to know: This is an all-in-one package for creating a kitchen in the great outdoors.
What you’ll love: This grill features a detachable porcelain cooktop with three 9,000 BTU burners. A 20-pound propane tank regulator attachment means you can cook for hours without a refill.
What you should consider: Some users found the legs to be too flimsy for the weight.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top camping griddle for the money
Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Reversible Grill
What you need to know: This reversible cast iron grill is for purists only.
What you’ll love: Use this griddle anywhere: in the oven, on the campfire, over induction burners or on a propane grill. The ample cooktop has two sides and comes pre-seasoned for immediate use.
What you should consider: It’s heavy and requires seasoning to stay non-stick.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods
Worth checking out
Camp Chef Professional Double Grill Box
What you need to know: Turn your plain propane grill into a low-and-slow BBQer’s dream.
What you’ll love: Designed to use with a pre-existing grill, this grill box has removable cast-iron grates that are seasoned for non-stick perfection and heat retention. Fit for most two-burned stoves, this grill box uses a lid damper to control temperature and smoke.
What you should consider: It does not have its own heat source and requires an additional grill. This is best for long campouts.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.