Outdoor cooking is quickly becoming one of my favorite hobbies. It feels incredible to be able to enjoy the weather (which is crazy good in MN right now) and the amazing smell of BBQ smoke wafting through the crisp air. One minor problem though – what on earth should I use to cook nowadays? It used to be easy. Slap some charcoal on or fire up the propane on the gas grill. Now we have options though, and while smoking on a Traeger was trending, in the past few years a new contender came on the scene. I couldn’t help myself, so I snagged a Blackstone Grill, and here are my thoughts.
First, it has to be noted that a Blackstone Grill isn’t just ready to go outside of the box. It takes some time to set up (roughly an hour), and patience. I spent the better part of an afternoon prepping and seasoning mine. There are some great videos to help you along, but I find Blackstone offers the best tutorials out there. Before we get any further, you should also note that these grills take a lot more cleanup than you may be used to as well. When I’m done on my regular grill, I just shut it off and enjoy my food. When I’m done with the Blackstone, I’m cleaning up to make sure the cold-rolled steel stays rust free.
Cooking on the Blackstone Grill is a blast, but just be sure to keep kid hands away from the surface. Oil can easily splash up while I slap my utensils around like a wannabe pro Hibachi chef. This reminds me, I need to get my onion volcano game on! I tend to use a high heat oil like avocado oil. Olive oil, while it tastes amazing, tends to gum up the grill a lot easier making for difficult cleanup. I get worried I’m going to scrape off my seasoning and have to resurface and re-season, so I made the switch. Just me though, others seem to do just fine using vegetable and/or olive oils.
I’ve now tried dozens of recipes on this thing, and I’m going to tell you straight away, from a flavor perspective – yes – this thing is SO worth it. Family favorites are smash burgers, teriyaki chicken with mixed veggies, and breakfast for dinner. The mouthwatering flavors are insane and make me keep coming back for more. It’s not the same as frying something up in a pan on your stove. It just isn’t. I’ve had multiple friends and family convert to a Blackstone Grill after eating just once off of mine.
Will it replace my smoker – no. Will it replace my gas grill – maybe. If I had to purchase one item whether a gas grill or a Blackstone Grill knowing what I know now, I would choose the Blackstone. If I could do both – I’d still do both. It’s just different. Therefore, if you have the patio space or storage, I can’t help but recommend picking one of these up even if you already have grilling options. I have the 36-inch surface option, and I think what I love about it most is it is just so easy to cook for large groups. I’m not doing six million dishes for prep. I’m simply spilling my ingredients out there on the griddle surface and managing wisely. This sucker is just great for a gathering.
I have no problem recommending the purchase of a Blackstone Grill to anyone. Just try a good recipe on one, you’ll be sold on it too. While I haven’t tested a Blackstone with built-in air frying capabilities, they do exist. I’ve only heard great things, and it has to be awesome to chow down on some fries that are done at the same time as my incredible smash burgers. So worth the purchase. Enjoy.
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