What You May Not Know About Flat Top Grills

September 15, 2022

Dozens of cooking appliances and accessories are available today, and the market for outdoor versions of those tools is rapidly growing.

As any backyard chef will testify, a grill is an essential addition to a patio, deck, or outdoor kitchen. With so many types of grills available, there’s no end to the possibilities. Grills are becoming increasingly versatile, and people are growing ever more creative with their grilling recipes. Having said that, traditional grills have their limits. As a result, flat top grills are quickly rising to the tops of the popularity charts. 

Exploring Flat Top Grills

As the name indicates, flat top grills work much like conventional grills, but they have flat cooking surfaces rather than grates. Several versions are available. Most are powered by gas, but some models use charcoal or even pellets. They come in a wide variety of sizes ranging from small and compact to expansive enough to cook for a small army. Different brands and models have different features, but they all give you a larger cooking surface to work with. Those are a few basic points to think about. Read on to learn more about flat top grills.

What Are Some of the Advantages of Flat Top Grills?

Flat top grills work much like griddles, and they offer numerous advantages. Flat tops have different heat zones across their surfaces. That allows users to cook foods that require different temperatures at the same time. Since there are no grates involved, users don’t have to worry about small foods slipping through the gaps and being lost to the flames below. Though aluminum foil can be used to cover the grates on a grill, it tends to tear, so it’s not a very effective solution. That, alone, is reason enough for many people to make the switch, but it’s certainly not the only benefit of cooking on a flat top instead of a standard grill

Versatility shouldn’t be overlooked, either. You can cook a range of foods on a flat top that just wouldn’t work on a regular grill. That includes eggs, bacon, sausage links, breaded meats and vegetables, and countless others. Cooks can also use pots and pans more easily and effectively than on a traditional grill. That expands your repertoire to include soups, sauces, and an endless array of sides. You can make your own barbecue sauce and transfer it straight to your chosen protein on a flat top. Of course, all the grilled essentials like burgers, hot dogs, chicken, fish, and kebabs are possible, too.

What Are the Downsides of a Flat Top Grill?

While flat tops offer many benefits, they also have a few downsides. They don’t leave those highly coveted grill marks so many people enjoy. They don’t add that signature smoky flavor people tend to expect from grilled foods, either. Though you can use liquid smoke to recreate some of that essence, many people argue it’s just not the same. Although the varied heat zones on a flat top’s surface can be beneficial, it’s only fair to look at the disadvantages of that feature as well. Some outdoor chefs have trouble finding the right areas for different foods, so using them takes a certain amount of trial and error.

Flat top grills don’t allow grease to drip away from foods the way traditional grills do. You have to scrape the grease away and usher it into traps that need to be emptied or cleaned on occasion. Some of the larger, higher-end models can also be a bit pricey.

Making the Most of a Flat Top Grill

Quite a few outdoor cooks love the versatility of flat top grills. That’s one of the main reasons they’ve become so popular. Though they have a few disadvantages, many users argue that the pros far outweigh the cons. Think about the points mentioned here to help you decide if a flat top grill would make a good addition to your outdoor kitchen.

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