Cuisinart 36-inch four-burner gas griddle review: Flat cooking is excellent

Once the giant a propane griddle was assembled on the porch of my parent’s house, friends and family passed by in succession, many confused as to what you would do with such a large cooking area. Not my sister, though. She got the idea right away.

“I want to cover this thing with bacon.”

The magic of the Cuisinart 36-inch Four-Burner Gas Griddle (CGG-0036) is the sensation that you can coat it with a metric ton of food. Maybe with all the bacon you’d like to make pancakes for a group all at once instead of one or two at a time in a skillet on the stove. Later, you can also top it with vegetables of all sizes – there’s no grid for them to fall off – or spread it all out to make a dinner for four on top.

Cooking on this thing, flipping chops on one side and a big pile of onions on the other, reminds me of Argentinian chef Francis Mallmann floating above his grills and flames like an artist painting to music. Once you get into the griddle groove, you might find yourself doing the same thing.

A giant griddle (sometimes called a flat grill) is a great way to feed a busy group of people. Hot plates aren’t new, of course. I grew up with my mom’s electric version on the kitchen counter. Restaurants from greasy spoons to upscale joints use large, flat platters to great effect, and at nearly 3 feet wide and 21 inches deep, this one rivals the size of some professional griddles. Other highly ranked models in this category, usually in the $300 to $450 range, include versions from Nexgrill and Blackstone. (Cuisinart also sells a 28-inch, two-burner model of this griddle for $300.) In a 2018 popular science article, Joe Brown used a review of a Home Chef flattop as a vehicle to illustrate the popularity of outdoor griddles, and his story helped ignite the jets for the category.

While a propane-powered outdoor griddle may still be new to many home chefs, the shape is familiar: take a four-burner gas grill and replace the grates with a large, rolled-steel griddle, remove the lid and just about everything else. will be similar. On the Cuisinart (as on most grills), the burner elements extend front to back and the two front corners have holes that lead to metal grease cups that collect oil and grime.

The setup could have been easier with this model, especially the seasoning process, where you rub “shipping oil” – whatever it is – on this giant, heavy hob and then hit it with high heat and slick canola until seasoned, repeating mixing until cooking surface is smooth and black. More than putting everything together, this re-greasing took quite a bit of time. Just like my carbon steel pans which were unseasoned when I bought them, I wish the griddle had been pre-seasoned with the Lodge Cast Iron Skillet.

The seasoning process also made it clear that the heat is concentrated along the centerline in the width direction of the griddle. With all the burners on at the same setting, the temperature would ideally be uniform all over the cooking surface, so that’s bad. What surprised me was how quickly I got used to it. Yes, well, even heat would be easier to work with, but how far are you going to go when cooking 20 burgers at once? I just stood there, flipping and moving the food from the center to the back or the front, and vice versa, depending on what it needed.

Gas problems

While we’re talking about heating, I’ll also mention an issue where the flame would sometimes start or drop to a low level no matter where the knobs were set. At first I thought it was a low tank issue, but it happened again with a different tank. To fix it, it would be enough to detach and reattach the tank. I can’t be 100% sure that the problem was with the heating plate and not the reservoirs, but it definitely seemed to be the case. I a m 100% sure if I owned the griddle this problem would get really annoying.

I also wish there was some sort of three wall backsplash to keep grease from splashing off the porch and the side of the house. (Sorry, Mom and Dad!) Also, I wanted a cover to shelter the grill when it rained, to contain the heat and cook thicker foods more easily, and to keep the cover out of the way. in contact with the cooktop when not in place. use. The combination of wheels at one end of the griddle and adjustable feet at the other didn’t make much sense when it came to leveling it. Surprisingly cheap buttons and slightly wobbly legs didn’t help.

I loved that grease fires are a thing of the past on the outdoor griddles because you’re just scraping all the gunk into what’s called a grease pit. On other top rated models these are in the back allowing you to keep everything away from you in the well. The Cuisinart has two metal grease cups that work well, but for reasons I don’t understand they’re on the front corners, forcing you to clumsily and carefully scrape hot grime towards your bric-a-brac. No thanks.

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