The iconic kettle grill has become a symbol of the American summer. Just the smell of smoldering charcoal means a burger is never too out of reach. But even if you’ve converted to a propane model, it can be easier to replicate the flavor and texture of the patties from your favorite burger spot on a griddle. Think about it: When was the last time you watched a short-order cook flipping burgers over grates?
Swapping out the metal bars for a solid slab of steel has a few advantages. It delivers a more uniform crust on whatever you’re cooking—more steel touching a greater percentage of the food’s surface area means more even cooking and a better Maillard-packing crust. Although you might miss the fancy diamond grill marks your Weber leaves behind, we think the trade-off is worth it. With a griddle, you can lean into smash burgers until your heart’s content, but that’s just the start.
Long the preferred cooker of tailgaters and car campers, griddles are getting a luxury makeover. Sure, you could add a cast-iron griddle or skillet over your grates, but that space is limited, especially if you plan on cooking a big breakfast outdoors in the sunshine (and you should be). Here are six gas-powered models that are sure to deliver as much golden-brown deliciousness as your summer can take.