Some of the qualities that perfectly describe the Camp Chef Flat Top Grill are quality and portability. The grill’s build is worth noting; made with top-quality metal with impressive metal thickness. The metal appearance and feel show that it has even heat retention, and gives steady temperature control.
The grill comes with 600 square inches of cooking area, which can cater for more than four people comfortably.
The grill weighs in at m144 lbs and has four stainless steel burners. It also comes with two side shelves that you use to store your cooking equipment. The griddle top is made from high-quality metal, and so are the grill frame and body. They might feel lightweight to the touch, but they are sturdy and durable.
The grill’s main body is made of stainless steel, making it easy and quick to clean up. It is also corrosion-resistant, and the quality metal it is made from makes it durable. The grill body is not too heavy, but it is quite sturdy and steady, such that you get the best balance from it, while you are also able to move it around if need be.
It also includes set-in grill grates that allow you to sear your meat over direct heat without using a griddle surface. This is a unique feature specifically for the Camp Chef Flat Top grill, and unlike other flat-top grills, you get a two-in-one grilling experience. While the cooking area is not as big as some other models, it is enough to cater to a small group of people.
The top forms a natural wind guard when it sits on the main burner body. The wind guard helps increase the grill’s heat retention, which helps you save energy, unlike other models with gaps that can lead to heat loss. You can get a wind guard as a separate accessory, but this feature makes it an unnecessary purchase.
- Construction. The grill is made almost entirely of stainless steel, making it super easy to clean up. You can use regular paper towels and rags for the cleaning process. It also has a catch bucket and grease tray that catches fat drippings, making cleaning even easier.
- Two-in-one capability. It comes with removable grill grates and a removable flat top griddle that enables you to convert to whatever cooking method your heart desires. The conversion saves a lot of space and eliminates the need to get different cooking equipment for different cooking methods.
- Built-in wind guard. This is a feature that is missing in most flat-top grills. With the Camp Chef Flat Top grill, the top fits into the space on the burner box, which creates a shield that protects the flames from weather elements. Compared to competitor grills, the wind guard helps it retain more heat. It also allows the grill to heat up quickly and gives you more control over the temperature while it is in use.
- Matchless ignition. You can easily turn the burners on by using the burner knob. The burner knob starts the flames, getting rid of external fire sources or battery ignition.
- Portable. Easy to move even on your own.
- No lid. The Camp Chef Flat Top Grill does not have a lid which can lead to heat loss, which is especially necessary if you want to do two-zone or offset cooking. If this is your type of cooking, you would be better off with a grill that has the option of closing the lid for better heat retention.
- It does not fold. This grill is completely solid and does not fold up like some of its competitors, for example, the PitbBoss Standard 4 Burner. There is another Camp Chef portable grill that folds, but it does not come with grill grates.
Shipping is mostly okay, with the grill packed in a sturdy cardboard box. The griddle top is shipped separately in its own box, and the parts are packed neatly, leaving no wiggle room for any damages or breaks. The boxes are not too big and are easy enough to maneuver, such that one person can comfortably do the setup.
The assembly is also not much of a challenge and can take you about 40 minutes to fully assemble. Unlike other flat tops, this grill is minimally pre-assembled, so you will need to take some time to work on the shelves and the legs.
The Camp Chef grill is also non-foldable, so it might take you some time to get it ready for use. Consult the manual if you get into any problems during assembly to ensure you are doing the right thing and are not damaging the grill.
Preparing it for Cooking
Once you have all the parts assembled, you are now ready to start using the grill. It has a matchless ignition, so all you have to do is connect it to the propane tank and turn on the knob. There is no need for a battery or external lighter to ignite the burners.
Related: 6 Best Propane Tank Gauges – The Ultimate Guide
The grill takes about ten minutes to reach high heat, and then it starts burning off the debris from manufacturing. The flat top is already pre-seasoned, but you can always do an initial burn-off before you start using it. The Camp Chef grill is also incredible at retaining heat even after you switch off the burners.
Cooking on the Camp Chef Griddle
I tested different foods on the griddle and the grill grates to gauge their functions and see which one performed satisfactorily.
The dual cook-top feature that lets you use either the grill grates or the griddle top makes the grill versatile. The griddle has an excellent heat dispersing design that heats it evenly and protects the burners from losing heat when in use. This saves you a lot of fuel.
You can also sear your meat using the grill grates because of its direct heat cooking. You can either sear your meat directly over the heat from the burner or use a low and high heat side. The grill grates, however, do not have a lid, so a lot of heat escapes, leading to you using up more fuel.
The grill does not live up to its versatility with its non-foldable design. This makes it difficult to transport, thus it is more suitable for your backyard. It is also an attractive piece that can act as a center point in your patio.
You can get a portable version of the grill, but you will have to buy a separate griddle surface. It is up to you to consider which feature makes the most sense.
Related content: The Best Portable Grills of 2021
The metal used on the grill feels a little thin to the touch, but not worry, it is made of high-quality material and is very sturdy. It can hold its own even with regular use.
Its cold-rolled steel griddle top and the burners and firebox, all made of stainless steel, make this a formidable grill. Its griddle is one of the sturdiest, partly because it does not fold and also because of the immaculate construction. Overall, the build quality of the Camp Chef Flat Top grill is of top-notch quality, and its durability is desirable.
The griddle top has excellent heat distribution. The grill’s burners sit just below the griddle top’s surface, and they have a heat dispersing design that maximizes heat retention and saves on fuel consumption. You can also use two-zone cooking on the grill’s surface, meaning you can have two burners off and two on high, and still get a warm side and a high heat side.
Although it is non-foldable, the grill has two adjustable feet on the sides for balance. There are also two smooth and portable wheels that make it easy to move the grill on both flat surfaces and uneven terrain.
The grill is relatively heavy at 144 lbs, but you can easily move it around your backyard. However, It is harder to take it with you to far-off places, as moving it to the car will require two people or more.
Storage and Prep
The grill has two foldable side shelves that you can use during prep, and they also fold down during storage. Due to this, they take up less space, making storage easier. The grill goes down about 20 inches with the shelves folded – from 62.5 inches to 40 inches.
Between the legs, there are also two middle shelves that you can use to store supplies and help keep them stable. The higher shelf can function as a warming tray; only make sure that no plastics melt from the high heat. There is also a bottle opener to the grill’s right that lets you relax with a cold one.
The stainless steel construction makes it easy to clean. You only need a damp rag or some paper towels to get the work done. The grill also has an incredible grease management system with a front grease tray at the top of the griddle, and a hanging grease tray that traps any fat drippings. There is also a middle grease tray, although it is not highly functional.
Check our comprehensive guide on how to clean a flat top grill and find out the best practices.
Alternatives to Consider
There are a lot of competitor grills on the market that you can take into consideration. Some of them include:
Blackstone is one of the most known grill names, and with good reason. This particular grill is foldable, has a back grease trap, and heats up fairly quickly. It also has two unfoldable side shelves and is great even with novice grillers.
This grill, also from Blackstone, is lightweight, compact, and portable. It is easy to carry around and has 339 square inches of cooking space. It also has an innovative grease management system and two burners with built-in igniters. It is a great grill for those summer days out.
The Pit Boss griddle is foldable and easy to carry, has a foldable side shelf, has pre-seasoned surfaces, and has great heat retention. It also has a non-stick cooking surface and can feed up to ten people. It is one of the best griddles for medium to large gatherings.
If you are looking for an efficient, versatile, and durable grill, the Camp Chef Flat Top Grill fits the bill. It has a two-in-one capability that gives you a griddle and a grill in one appliance. It can easily convert between the two, saving you space in the process. To add on, it is sturdy and has some of the best features available. You will not be disappointed!