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Camp stoves are a must-have item for camp cooking but adding a griddle to them increases their versatility as well as your camp meal choices. Perfect for large breakfasts, burgers, and even steaks, camping griddle gives you a large flat surface that allows you to cook a lot of food in a hurry without the size limitations of skillets.
Camping griddles come in different materials and with a variety of cooking surfaces and features. Some materials are lightweight, others offer a more non-stick surface, and some even give you the option of both a smooth and grated surface to better match whatever food you happen to be preparing at the time. So, whether you’re frying bacon and eggs for an early morning breakfast or cooking smash burgers and steak that night, camping griddles can do it all. For this review, I tested the best camping griddles to find features that fit a variety of camp cooking styles.
- Best Overall: Lodge Double Play
- Best Non-Stick: GSI Outdoors Gourmet Griddle
- Best Steel: Camp Chef Mountain Series Steel Griddle
- Best Easy Clean Up: Coleman HyperFlame Swaptop with Grease Cup
- Best Reversible: King Kooker 2 Sided Griddle
How We Chose The Best Camping Griddles
I tried to test these griddles to see how each one fit over a two burner camping stove, their ease of use, and the cleanup process. Just as I do when cooking at camp, I started the test griddles on a low temperature and let them heat evenly before I started cooking.
Best results came when I cooked over medium heat to prevent hot spots. I cooked bacon, eggs, pancakes, and burgers on the griddles. Once the griddles cooled, I cleaned them in warm water with a bit of dish soap, then dried the griddles over low heat. For the iron and steel griddles, I lightly oiled the surface before storing.
The Best Camping Griddles: Reviews & Recommendations
Best Overall: Lodge Double Play
Why It Made the Cut: The Lodge Double Play camping griddle offers two versatile grilling surfaces and a slim design that make this the perfect pack-along for your next camping trip.
- Reversible with both smooth and grill surfaces
- Materials: cast iron
- Corner handles
- Raised lip to hold grease while cooking
- Fits over a two-burner stove
- Flat, double sided design makes very efficient use of space
- Made in the U.S.
- Solid cast iron for long life
- Useable with metal cooking utensils
- Will rust without proper care
It’s hard to beat cast iron when it comes to griddle construction, and the Double Play from Lodge, who knows a thing or two about cast iron, is no exception. The flat side is perfect for breakfast foods or toasting bread, while the ridges on the grill side leave restaurant quality sear marks on steaks, burgers, fish and vegetables when you’re preparing some of the best camping meals.
Though a bit tough to work with heavy gloves or pot holders, the corner handles are sufficient for moving the griddle around while it is still warm. I was able to raise the griddle to drain bacon grease while wearing leather gloves with no issues. And the raised lip around the perimeter helps to corral and contain grease while cooking, making for an easy clean up. If it were a bit taller, I could have finished a double batch of bacon without draining the grease between rounds. But if you want a versatile griddle that cleans fairly easy and packs great, the Double Play is an excellent option.
Best Non-Stick: GSI Outdoors Gourmet Griddle
Why It Made the Cut: The Lodge Double Play just edged out the GSI Outdoors Gourmet Griddle for best overall, but this lightweight non-stick griddle is easy to cook on and clean.
- Weight: 2.3 pounds
- Materials: stainless and aluminum
- Teflon non-stick surface
- Large carry handles
- Deep sides for grease retention
- Easy to clean surface
- Metal utensil-friendly
- Large handles make moving it easy even when hot
- Fast, even heating
- Griddle easily warped after cooling down
The GSI Outdoors Gourmet Griddle comes in at a third the weight of the Lodge griddle and performed equally as well at evenly heating across the surface. The large handles were easy to grip, even with gloves or potholders. One thing in particular that stands out about this griddle is the laser etched pockets filled with teflon coating, which make the griddle non-stick and easy to clean. And the honeycomb grid construction of the surface sits slightly above the teflon, which allows you to use standard metal spatulas or other utensils without damaging the teflon coating.
The only thing that kept this griddle from the top spot in the test was the fact that it warped slightly while cooling down after cooking. While it straightened out slightly after fully cooling, it did hold a bit of the warped shape. Additional cooks produced the same tendency as the griddle cooled. It remains usable, but it no longer sits completely flat on the stove. Other than this drawback, the GCI Outdoors Gourmet griddle is an easy-to-use unit that can prepare food for a crowd with a hassle-free cleanup.
Best Steel: Camp Chef Mountain Series Steel Griddle
Why It Made the Cut: The Camp Chef Mountain Series Steel Griddle is just as rugged as your favorite cast iron yet less likely to crack with rapid heat changes or if you happen to drop it.
- Materials: Carbon steel
- Cooking surface: 11.5 inches x 19.5 inches
- Raised lip for grease control
- Built-in handles
- Includes storage and carry bags
- Rugged construction
- Surface seasons with repeated use
- Easy to clean
- Even heating surface
- Lack of handles makes moving the hot griddle difficult
The Camp Chef Mountain Series is an all around excellent choice for your camp cooking needs. Like cast iron, steel griddles become more seasoned with every use. I like to cook bacon, burgers, or both, to break in a new steel or cast iron griddle, and with each additional cook, this griddle’s surface got darker and slicker fast. While the Camp Chef griddle performed well during the cooking tests, I would love to see larger handles to make gripping and moving the griddle easier while it is hot. The clean up was easy, and it’s one of the best camping griddles for that reason. A plastic scrub pad and some hot water removed any small bits of stuck-on food, and a quick wipe down and a little oil got it ready for storage and the next use.
Best Easy Clean Up: Coleman HyperFlame Swaptop with Grease Cup
Why It Made the Cut: The large, cast iron construction and handy grease trap make cooking and cleaning a breeze on the Coleman HyperFlame Swaptop.
- Weight: 10.5 pounds
- Materials: cast iron
- Designed to fit Coleman HyperFlame series stoves
- Non-stick surface
- Large 189 square-inch cooking surface
- Removable grease cup
- Large size
- Easy-clean surface
- Raised sides keep grease contained
- Designed specifically for Coleman Hyperflame stoves
- No handles
If you have one of the Hyperflame Series stoves from Coleman, this is the griddle you want. The grease trap is a great addition, which allows the grease to drain through an opening in the side and into the trap below. However, it is only held in place by the side of the Hyperflame stove, which makes it difficult to use with other stove brands.
The griddle itself is a solid design that heats evenly and holds that heat well. The smooth cast iron surface is perfect for breakfast or burgers, and everything I cooked on it came off with minimal sticking. While the griddle will work with other stove brands, getting the grease trap to stay on can be a bit tricky. Bottom line, this is a great griddle that has an easy-to-clean surface that doesn’t make food stick.
Best Reversible: King Kooker 2 Sided Griddle
Why It Made the Cut: This large, reversible cast iron griddle from King Kooker allows you to cook everything from breakfast to steaks.
- Weight: 30 pounds
- Material: cast iron
- Reversible flat and ribbed cooking surfaces
- Two large handles
- Raised rim on both sides for grease control
- Large handles are easy to grip
- High sides corral grease while cooking
- Comes ready to cook
- Rough texture needs some work to reach maximum cooking potential
- Small cooking surface
The King Kooker 2 Sided Griddle is an all around excellent cooking tool. Like the Lodge Double Play, the griddle is reversible with one smooth side and one grill side. This makes it perfect for the camp kitchen since you can cook everything from breakfast to steaks on it. The large handles on each end make gripping and lifting the griddle easier than the small corner handles on the Lodge. The King Kooker has a nice heft to it and heats evenly on a two burner stove.
If not for a couple of issues, this might have been the top griddle in the test. The first issue was the texture, the surface texture on the smooth side is rough. Really rough. Like all modern cast iron, a little sanding goes a long way, and you can smooth it out in no time. Of course, if you smooth the surface, the griddle will need to be re-seasoned to keep food from sticking and prevent rust. The second issue is the size. With a cooking surface measuring just 15.75 inches by 9.5 inches, the surface is a bit tight when cooking for more than two people.
Things to Consider When Buying a Camping Griddle
Match your griddle to the camping stove you use most often. For most applications, pick the largest griddle that will fit your stove without interfering with the lid or side wind guards. Most griddles are interchangeable, but the Coleman HyperFlame Swaptop, was designed to work specifically with the HyperFlame series Coleman stoves. Not that it can’t be used with other brands or models, but it fits the HyperFlame perfectly.
Common griddle materials include cast iron, carbon steel, and stainless steel. Each material has its upsides as well as drawbacks. Cast iron, while heavy, is extremely tough and heats evenly. While cast iron can be broken, it takes a major blow or extreme change in temperature to do so. However, cast iron does require a bit more maintenance than other materials. To ensure that cast iron remains non-stick, you have to maintain the seasoning layer by keeping the griddle clean, lightly oiled, and dry.
Carbon steel shares many characteristics with cast iron but tends to weigh less. It can be seasoned just like cast iron but is more prone to warp or bend when exposed to extreme temperature changes. Like cast iron, it will rust when stored in wet or damp conditions.
Stainless steel is less prone to rust, but food tends to stick if it isn’t treated with some sort of non-stick surface or applicant. And non-stick surfaces, like the teflon on the GSI Outdoors Gourmet Griddle, can flake off over time.
Griddle surfaces can be either smooth or rigid. Smooth surfaces work perfect for bacon, sausage, eggs, pancakes, and the like, while ridgid ones, works well for burgers, steaks, or fish. Some griddles, like the Lodge Double Play and the King Kooker 2 Sided Griddle offer both surfaces on a reversible design.
If you plan on cooking bacon for a crowd, then grease containment will be an issue. Some of the tested griddles, like the GSI Outdoors model, have high sides that will keep the grease contained inside the griddle. Others, like the Coleman HyperFlame, have a built-in tray that allows the grease to drain as it cooks.
Ease of Movement
Griddles with built in side handles are easier to move on and off hot surfaces than griddles without handles. If you plan to cook a main course on your griddle, then cook side dishes in pots on the stove, and look for a model with extended side grips so that you can move the hot griddle safely.
Q: Is a cast iron griddle better?
A cast iron griddle can be better than other materials, but this all depends on what you expect to get from it. Cast iron heats evenly, becomes more seasoned with use and extra care, and is nearly bullet proof. Rolled steel is just as tough and also gains non-stick seasoning with use, but the thinner construction heats fast and can have hot spots. Stainless steel is often coated with a non-stick surface like teflon, making clean up easy. But camping conditions can be tough and applied surfaces can chip with use. Aluminum heats fast and is the most light weight, but it can have hot and cool spots, making even cooking difficult. But if you’re looking for a durable griddle that will last you for years, and you don’t mind the extra maintenance that comes with it, cast iron might be the way to go.
Q: How much does a camping griddle cost?
One of the best things about adding a griddle to your camp kitchen is that they are relatively inexpensive when compared to most camping gear like the best camping grill stove combo. Ranging from $35 to around $70, camp griddles can fit just about any budget.
Q: Can you cook steak on a griddle?
For those times when you can’t make a fire and a charcoal grill isn’t close at hand, a camping griddle is more than up to the task of making a great steak. Models like the Lodge Double Play or the King Kooker 2 Sided Griddle with a ridged surface even leave perfect grill marks.
Final Thoughts on the Best Camping Griddles
The best camping griddles can increase the versatility of your camp stove and expand your options when it comes to your camp kitchen. Once you find one that fits your camping stove, decide which material can best suit your expectations, and enjoy a hot, sizzling meal outdoors.