Camp Chef Flat Top 600 Review
Camp Chef was kind enough to send me their Flat Top 600 so I could put it through its paces and review it here on Angry BBQ. They also gave me their Griddle Tool Set so I wouldn’t be scrambling to properly use the flat-top grill, which was much appreciated. So with a couple of…
Camp Chef was kind enough to send me their Flat Top 600 so I could put it through its paces and review it here on Angry BBQ. They also gave me their Griddle Tool Set so I wouldn’t be scrambling to properly use the flat-top grill, which was much appreciated. So with a couple of months of use, I’ve gotten pretty familiar with this outdoor griddle.
In this review, I’ll be going over my experience with the Flat Top 600, all the specs and details, and the pros and cons. Let’s fire up the burners and get to it!
|Camp Chef Flat Top 600||CHECK PRICE|
|Camp Chef Flat Top 900||CHECK PRICE|
|Griddle Tool Set||CHECK PRICE|
The History Of Camp Chef
What started in 1990 as frustration borne out of founder Ty Measom’s experience with outdoor cooking equipment turned into a company known for all things cooking in the great outdoors. Recently, Camp Chef added pellet grills to their lineup like the SG 24 WiFi pellet grill that Michael Haas recently reviewed. The company also produces outdoor griddles like the Flat Top 600.
Assembling The Flat Top 600
This Camp Chef flat-top grill comes in a big box and there are a lot of pieces to put together. It took my 11-year-old son and me around an hour or so to assemble. Any concerns that the legs would be flimsy under the weight of the main body and the cooking surface were quickly allayed. Camp Chef made sure that there was plenty of support from the two bottom shelves that anchored into the legs and the cross pieces forming an ‘x’ on the backside of the grill.
One of the handy features that we encountered during the assembly process was the included tank bracket. The bottom shelf has a bracket for the 20-pound propane tank to sit on. It may not be the biggest or most notable feature, but it’s nice to have a spot for the tank without taking away storage space.
Camp Chef Flat Top 600 Overview And Specs
Camp Chef currently offers two different griddle sizes, the 600 and the 900. The Flat Top 600 has 604 sq in of cooking space powered by four burners capable of putting out a total of 48,000 BTUs per hour. While we do tend to recommend getting the biggest size available that still works for you, the FTG600 packs plenty of cooking space. My wife and I have been able to cook side-by-side and make a full meal on the griddle for our family of five without bashing elbows.
What sets the Flat Top 600 apart from other outdoor griddles is that there is an option for removing the griddle surface and cooking on grill grates. Depending on the model, these grill grates are either included or need to be purchased separately. The model that I received for review had the grill grates included, so stay tuned for my thoughts on that feature.
Camp Chef Flat Top 600 Specifications
|Cooking Space, Griddle||604 sq in|
|Cooking Surface Material||True Seasoned cold-rolled steel|
|Cooking Space, Grill Grates||501 sq in|
|Grill Grates Material||Porcelain-coated stainless steel|
|Dimensions with side shelves up||62.5 in W x 22 in D x 37 in H|
|Dimensions with side shelves down||40 in W x 22 in D x 37 in H|
|Grease Catch Pans||Grease drain and catch cup for griddle on left shelf and catch bucket for grilling underneath main body|
Overall Fit And Finish
Camp Chef made the Flat Top 600 to look sharp sitting outside. The stainless steel main body is sharp while the black powder-coated steel of the rest of the body looks smooth and clean. Any concerns about sturdiness are quickly forgotten upon assembly and moving the grill. The one drawback to the design of having two feet leveling is that moving the grill can be difficult on just two wheels without any casters. Otherwise, the Flat Top 600 is a sturdy beast of a flat-top grill that looks good in the backyard.
Flat Top 600 Features
The beauty of an outdoor flat top grill is versatility. You can cook every meal on it, whether you’re making pancakes for breakfast or smash burgers for dinner. As mentioned earlier, Camp Chef took the notion of versatility with a flat-top grill and took it up a notch with the ability to use the Flat Top 600 as a gas grill.
Pre-Seasoned Cooking Surface
Typically with flat-top grills, you’ll need to go through an extensive seasoning process before you’re able to cook. Camp Chef decided that was too much work for someone who just finished assembling their flat-top grill. They instead pre-seasoned the cold-rolled steel cooking surface so that after you do a quick burn-in, you can get to cooking. That’s a nice time saving feature.
Removable Flat Top Cooking Surface
Camp Chef has three versions of the Flat Top 600 available for purchase on their website. The model that they sent me for review was the Flat Top 600 With Grill Grates. Yes, this model is a combination flat top griddle and gas grill. The full set of grill grates doesn’t even have to be removed because the large griddle can sit directly over them. You can also purchase the grill in flat top only or grill grate only version.
Dual Grease Trays/Pans
With two ways to cook on the Flat Top 600, that leaves two separate spots where grease will end up. So Camp Chef designed the grill’s grease management system to have two grease pans in two different areas. When using the Flat Top 600 as a flat-top grill, the cooking surface has a large channel in the front that runs to the grease pan mounted on the front of the left shelf.
When you remove the flat top cooking surface to use the Flat Top 600 as a gas grill, the drippings collect in the centrally-located grease tray mounted to the bottom of the grill. Having two separate grease trays makes for easy clean up regardless of how you are using the Flat Top 600.
The 604 sq in griddle cooking surface is heated by four separate gas stainless steel burners, each putting out 12,000 BTUs per hour. You can utilize as much or as little of the cooking surface as you need. I’ve cooked entire meals using all 604 sq in of the cooking surface as well as using just two of the burners. You can also set one area of the grill to be hotter for certain foods while keeping another section cooler for a more gentle cook.
That ability was handy when making a breakfast meal of pancakes and sausage. We were able to brown the sausage over a higher heat while keeping the pancakes cooking perfectly at a lower temperature so we didn’t burn them.
Let’s be honest. Even if your back deck or patio was professionally installed, you still might notice that your flat-top griddle doesn’t sit perfectly for grease to flow easily into the grease pan. Camp Chef gave the Flat Top 600 two adjustable leg levelers on the left side of the grill so you can make adjustments wherever you decide to put it.
Folding Side Shelves
Camp Chef made sure that you have plenty of extra prep space with the two side shelves that also can fold down when not in use. Just remember, at a minimum, you need to have the left shelf up during the use of the flat top because that’s where the grease pan is located.
Cooking Experience On The Flat Top 600
This is my first Camp Chef flat-top grill, so I will preface this section by saying this has been a learning experience. All that being said, the Flat Top 600 is a great flat-top grill. The ability to create different cooking zones works beautifully for making an entire meal where you need to be able to handle cooking foods at different temperatures.
Camp Chef says that their cooking surface heats evenly and by all accounts that’s true. Sure, there may be fluctuations of a few degrees here and there, but for the most part, if you’ve got the burners set to the same levels across the grill, you’ll get even performance.
Speaking of setting the burners to an equal level, the only time I’ve turned the burners on high was during the initial burn-in process. Even the medium setting on the burners is plenty for browning sausage or getting a wonderful sear on most meats I cooked.
Speaking of heat, the Flat Top 600 puts out a lot of heat along the sides of the cooking surface. I accidentally melted a bit of the handle of one of my spatulas when I left it sitting too close on the side shelf. So be careful where you put your utensils or squeeze bottles.
One meal I really wanted to test on the Flat Top 600 was a breakfast of eggs. I prefer scrambled while my wife likes fried eggs. I was able to fire up two burners, plenty for both our preferred styles of eggs while we still had room to throw on four slices of bread for toast. I was able to get a good hard scramble on my eggs and get crispy edges on the fried eggs for my wife. The toast was a nice golden brown without getting anywhere close to burning.
When we cooked pancakes, they turned out better than the vast majority of pancakes I’ve cooked on the stove. The Flat Top 600 really shines when cooking breakfast (or breakfast for dinner.)
Grilling Performance Of The Flat Top 600
If you want to use your Flat Top 600 as a gas grill, it’s a simple process. All you have to do is remove the flat-top cooking surface and find a safe place to put it. Then you’re ready to fire the grill up and get to grilling. As I noted above, the grill grates don’t ever have to be removed from the grill.
The four burners are covered by heat shields so you won’t be directly exposing the burners to drippings. That prevents the burner from getting clogged while also providing some extra flavor from the drippings vaporizing on contact with the shields. If you are grilling fattier meat, you will deal with flare-ups, so be aware of that. I encountered some nice flare-ups when grilling burgers made with 73% lean ground beef.
The one major difference I encountered between cooking on a standard gas grill versus the Flat Top 600 was the lack of a lid. This changes how grilling a thicker cut of meat works in my experience. Rather than cooking the burgers from the bottom while also using convection heat from the closed lid, the Flat Top 600 only cooked the burgers from the bottom. That meant I just had to be more aware of how quickly the surface was cooking versus the middle of the burgers.
Camp Chef does offer a lid version of the Flat Top 600 below.
Overall the ownership has been very positive. The grills is only a couple months old but is proving to be a reliable and quality cooktop.
The biggest learning point I’ve encountered is temperature control. As I said earlier, I’ve never cranked the burners up to high except when I originally fired the grill up. Even the medium setting on the burners can be a bit high for certain foods.
Regardless of that, the Flat Top 600 has been wonderful for cooking meals for my family of five. I have yet to host a group over while cooking on the flat-top grill, but the 604-sq-in cooking surface is more than plenty for my family. I can imagine that it will be just fine for cooking up a bunch of burgers and hot dogs, regardless if I’m using the flat-top or the gas grill.
Plus it’s got an included bottle opener for cracking open a bottle of your preferred cold beverage. My son enjoyed opening a bottle of root beer with it.
Professional Griddle Tool Set
As I mentioned in the beginning, Camp Chef was kind enough to include their Professional Griddle Tool Set when they sent me the grill. It has two different spatulas, two squeeze bottles, a scraper, and a flexible cutting board.
One spatula is long and has a curved end. It’s perfect for flipping pancakes or large amounts of light food at once. The second spatula is shorter and thicker with the sides and ends squared off. The edges are tapered, perfect for chopping ground meat.
The squeeze bottles are perfect for storing necessary liquids. I keep one in the house filled with oil to bring out whenever I cook. The second one is typically filled with water to help with cleaning. Speaking of cleaning, the scraper tool is perfect for scraping any stubborn bits off the grill at the end of the cooking session. Read our flat top grill cleaning guide here.
Flat Top 600 Pizza Oven
This might just be the coolest accessory that Camp Chef offers for the Flat Top 600. You can set the pizza oven accessory directly onto the grill grates after removing the flat-top cooking surface. It includes a pizza stone set into the base of the oven, perfect for replicating brick-oven pizza. The top of the oven is double-layered to help retain high heat for cooking the toppings quickly. No one wants burnt crust and un-melted cheese.
Flat Top 600 Griddle Cover
You can also purchase a hard cover to help protect the cooking surface. The solid top is sloped to help moisture run off and away from the flat-top grill. While you use the grill, the cover’s built-in hinges allow you to hang it off the back of the grill rather than finding a place to set it.
Would I Recommend the Camp Chef Flat Top 600?
I’ve very much enjoyed my time with the Flat Top 600 and would recommend it to anyone looking for a flat-top grill.
What I Like…
- Leveling legs for when using the grill on uneven surfaces
- Ability to use as many or as few burners as needed while setting up multi-zone cooking
- The ability to use the Flat Top 600 as both a flat-top grill and a gas grill
- Pre-seasoned out of the box so you can get cooking quickly
What Makes Me Angry…
- Not the easiest to move around due to only two wheels
- Can be a bit prone to getting hot, so just need to be aware of how high the burners are set
Final Verdict On The Camp Chef Flat Top 600 Flat-Top Grill
I have truly enjoyed having the Flat Top 600 in my backyard for cooking all sorts of meals. It has plenty of space for cooking an entire meal, sides included, for my family.
It may not have the high-end bells and whistles of Blackstone’s air-fryer combo, but the package of a flat-top grill and gas grill in one absolutely makes this one of the more versatile flat-top grills on the market. This will continue to get plenty of use from me.
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