Is your outdoor cooking setup due for an upgrade? Do you dream of seamlessly prepping, cooking, and entertaining from the comfort of your own backyard? Adding a flat top grill and outdoor kitchen can transform your outdoor living space into an entertainer’s paradise.
With a flat top grill, you can cook virtually any meal outside with grill marks and smoky flavor. But unlike a traditional barbecue, these versatilegriddles unlock way more cooking diversity. An outdoor kitchen builds on that flexibility by integrating the grill into a fully-equipped outdoor cooking space. Read on to discover how a flat top grill outdoor kitchen empowers you to become the neighborhood’s outdoor chef.
Flat Top Grills 101
A flat top grill, also called a griddletop grill or simply a griddle, is a solid cooking surface with no grates or ridges. The uniform and direct contact between food and the steel or iron surface allows for excellent heat transfer.
Unlike an open-flame barbecue, the flat heating plane distributes consistent and even temperatures. The smoothestriddles mimic the functionality of a stovetop, just outside.
Pros of Flat Top Grills
Compared to traditional lidded grill designs, flat top grills offer some excellent advantages:
- Even heating across the entire cooking surface.
- Direct contact between food and griddle.
- More precise temperature control.
- No flare-ups or charring.
- Effortless cooking of small or delicate foods.
- Limitless cooking versatility beyond just “grilling.”
Types of Flat Top Grills
Modern flat top grills use either stainless steel or cast iron cooktops. Here’s how they compare:
- Stainless steel: More affordable option with excellent durability. Heats up quickly and delivers high heat for fast cooking and perfect sear.
- Cast iron: Cast iron is rugged, retains heat well, and imparts extra flavor. But requires more maintenance like seasoning.
Many grills feature interchangeable griddle plates. You can swap in wok plates, ribbed grates, or other accessories.
Temperature Range and Controls
Quality flat top grills reach scorching hot temperatures up to 700degF. This high heat gives you the flexibility to sear or char. But you can also dial it down for gentler simmering or cooking. Look for precision heat controls, ideally with multiple burners to create different temperature zones.
Outstanding Outdoor Cooking Performance
A flat top grill unlocks a whole world of effortless outdoor cooking potential. The direct contact cooks food fast while locking in juices and flavors beautifully. Smash burgers, fajitas, stir fry, pancakes, and eggs all shine on agriddle.
More Than Just BBQ
With precise temperature regulation, you can cook way more than just burgers and hot dogs outside. Think steaks, salmon, chicken, shrimp, pork chops, kebabs, grilled vegetables, quesadillas, and breakfast favorites like eggs, bacon, and pancakes.
The even heat distribution allows you to cook different foods simultaneously. No need to wait your turn on the grill! Just set up zones for different ingredients and temperatures.
Perfect Sear and Caramelization
Sear meat and veggies over high heat to caramelize the surfaces while locking in moisture inside. The Maillard reaction enhances flavors and textures to perfection.
A flat top mimics a restaurant chef’s griddle with smoking hot temperatures for that craveable sear.
Design and Functionality
With so many brands and models available, it’s important to understand the critical features that make a high-performance flat top grill.
Consider the dimensions of your outdoor space when selecting a flat top grill. Smaller portable sizes start at 15 inches wide all the way up to 60+ inch restaurant-grade monsters.
Portable vs Built-In
Some flat top grills come on rolling carts for mobility. While built-in models seamlessly integrate into outdoor kitchen cabinetry and grilling stations.
Materials and Construction
Commercial-grade stainless steel flat tops provide the best durability and heat retention. Cast iron also performs beautifully. Look for thick gauge construction with strong welds and materials.
Models with hinged lids retain more heat when closed. This allows you to mimic oven functionality for baking, roasting, smoking, etc.
Look for front, side, or rear grease management systems to easily empty excess oils away from the cooking surface.
The latest flat top grill tech includes hybrid infrared burners, combination grill/griddle designs, dual-sided cooking, and smart features like Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity for controlling your grill from an app.
Integration into Outdoor Kitchen
Integrating a high-powered flat top grill into a full-service outdoor kitchen amplifies the experience exponentially. An outdoor kitchen offers the ultimate in backyard entertainment.
Complete Your Outdoor Cookspace
Start with a professional flat top grill head and combine it with a double side burner, sink, fridge, cabinets, and more. Include prep space like islands and countertops next to your grill.
Consider nice accent touches like stylish vent hoods, cozy seating areas, lighting, and soundsystems.
Choose materials optimized for outdoor use including:
- Stainless steel appliances and cabinetry
- Concrete, stone, or tile countertops
- Weather-resistant storage and cabinets
- High-performance kitchen sinks
Design A Custom Layout
Focus on a layout that supports the way you cook and entertain. Think about:
- Work triangles – clustering grill, fridge, sink
- Multiple work zones for multi-tasking
- Circulation space around appliances and islands
An outdoor kitchen designer or landscape architect can help create your ideal outdoor living space.
Outdoor Kitchen and Flat Top Grill Brands
When designing your flat top centered outdoor kitchen, look to premium grill and appliance brands known for innovation and quality craftsmanship.
Here are some top-rated flat top grill brands for residential outdoor kitchens:
- Blaze: Known for pro-level performance at affordable pricing.
- Cal Flame: Features integrated grill islands with storage and prep space.
- Hestan: Offers powerful flat tops like their 36-inch dual-sided model.
- Solaire: Sleek designs approved for both indoor and outdoor use.
- Weber: Legendary brand now offering built-in flat top grills.
DIY Custom Designs
You can also work with specialty contractors to hand-build a customized outdoor kitchen to your exact specifications and layout.
Ready-to-Assemble Outdoor Kitchens
A convenient option for installing a flat top centered outdoor kitchen is to use a modular, ready-to-assemble system.
Affordable & Customizable
RTA outdoor kitchens offer an affordable and customizable solution. They come with pre-fabricated grill stations, cabinets, counters, and accessories that make installation a breeze compared to a fully custom build.
Quality RTA outdoor kitchens utilize materials optimized for outdoor performance and longevity. High-performance concrete stands up to weather beautifully while retaining smooth and stylish finishes.
RTA kitchen components assemble easily on-site in a fraction of the time of a traditional build. This makes adding an outdoor kitchen more approachable for DIY homeowners.
Work with designers to customize your layout and features, then enjoy fast and simple professional installation.
Transform Your Outdoor Cooking Experience
Upgrade your al fresco cooking game with a flat top grill-focused outdoor kitchen. Effortlessly grill gourmet meals, entertain friends and family, and enjoy all your favorite outdoor living activities.
BBQ Like a Pro
With a flat top as your outdoor stove, it’s easy to grill up smashburgers, steaks, or anything else with speed and precision.
Entertain in Style
Your outdoor kitchen becomes party central for holidays, game days, birthdays, and relaxed nights in. Guests will love the vibe of an outdoor chef at work.
Maximize Patio Living
Spend more time outdoors enjoying beautiful weather all year round. Cook, dine, lounge, and gather in your new favorite space.
Simplify Al Fresco Cooking
Whip up backyard meals with ease. Your outdoor kitchen has everything you need from grill to fridge and prep space steps away.
Stop dreaming and start cooking! Bring effortless outdoor flat top cuisine home by designing your ideal grilling kitchen.
A flat top grill outdoor kitchen takes your patio cooking and entertaining ambitions to the next level. Unlock more cooking diversity with fast sears, even heat distribution, and precise temperature control. Build out a fully-equipped outdoor cookspace complete with cabinets, fridge, sink, and ample prep space. Choose high-performance brands and materials made to last outside. With creative design, your new flat top and kitchen creates a backyard paradise for cooking, dining, and gathering in comfort and style all year long.