When you go to a BBQ, you usually expect to see one of two types of outdoor cooker: the familiar bowl-o-charcoal, puffing out its cheery cloud of deliciousness. Or the gas grill, practical patron saint of quick-and-easy outdoor fare.
This summer, though, maybe you’ve noticed a third candidate vying for the hearts, minds, and meats of backyard wallet-voters: the griddle. Another popular griddlemaker, which declined to be interviewed on the record, has reportedly seen its sales rise 600% this year.
The flat-top, however, is not just a meat-crusting machine. “I like to griddle lemons,” says Paul Sidoriak, author of The Flippin’ Awesome Backyard Griddle Cookbook. “Flat tops are so much fun to cook with and experiment on. One of my favorite dishes is a chop salad ramen stir fry. I make the ramen into this kind of giant cake, let it dehydrate, then add the sturdy vegetables and whatever meat I have left over.” This sounds kind of gross, but also potentially amazing. Try it and if it sucks, just scrape the mess off the flat-top and make pancakes, a safer griddle go-to.