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First Look: The New Camp Chef Gridiron 36″ Flat Top Grill

Camp Chef officially announced the new Gridiron flat top grill on May 20th. It boasts a lot of new and upgraded features from their previous flat top grill, the Flat Top 600. Here’s what sticks out to me.

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By Jeremy Pike

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On Monday, May 20th, Camp Chef officially announced the Gridiron 36″ flat top grill. I personally reviewed and continue to use their Flat Top 600, so of course I want to see how these two flat tops stack up. Let’s take a look at the newest flat top grill’s features, shall we?

Gridiron Features

Cooking Space616 sq inches
BTUs48,000 BTUs
Cooking Surface MaterialPre-seasoned
Weight134 pounds
Dimensions With Side Shelves Up69Wx40Hx32D
Dimensions With Side Shelves Folded44Wx40Hx32D
Grease Catch PansLarge bucket behind front door
Warranty1 year
Product Image Product Name / Pros Primary Button
Pros:
  • Improved Grease Management System
  • Easy Griddle Leveling
  • Folding Side Shelves

Flamethrower Ignition

Sometimes, it’s hard to light a gas burner. My Flat Top 600 uses a traditional spark igniter, and it usually gets the job done. However, it can take some time and multiple attempts to light. Camp Chef went back to the drawing board and came up with an electric flamethrower design that ensures a consistent start every time.

Completely Redesigned Grease Management System

One of the biggest issues I ended up having with my Flat Top 600 is the grease management system. I very much like that it’s on the front of the grill and has a nice “v” shape so I can put both grease and food debris in it. However, it funnels to one very small opening above the grease tray. If you’re cooking a lot of food and get some debris, it can back up and cause problems.

Camp Chef Gridiron Grease Trough

On the new Gridiron, Camp Chef went with an even bigger trough on the front of the grill plus a much larger opening to allow unobstructed grease flow. This is one of the most important parts of a griddle, and they nailed it.

Camp Chef Gridiron Grease Bucket

On top of that, Camp Chef is using a bucket rather than the smaller pan on the Flat Top 600. The bucket sits behind a door on the front of the grill and easily slides out for dumping and back in. That’s a lot easier than the sliding pan mounted on the left shelf of the Flat Top 600.

New Approach To Griddle Leveling

Camp Chef has gone through a couple of different approaches to leveling their griddles. On my original Flat Top 600, it had adjustable legs on one side to help raise or lower the cooking surface as needed. It wasn’t the best option, but it was certainly better than nothing. On the future versions of the Flat Top 600, they kept the leg adjustments but added a screw adjuster to the griddle surface itself.

With the new Gridiron, the leg adjustments have gone away. Now you can adjust the griddle level simply by adjusting screws at the rear of the grill. This can even be done while the griddle is hot if you discover that something is out of balance.

Magnetic Accessories

The Gridiron has two nice side shelves, but space is always at a premium when cooking. Camp Chef has a line of magnetic accessories to help address that problem. You can get a bottle holder, tool hooks, and even a paper towel holder that all stick to the side shelves. When it comes time to store, you simply can detach the accessories and fold the shelves down.

Comparing The Gridiron And Flat Top 600

Overall, the Gridiron is simply a better flat top grill. That’s not to say the Flat Top 600 is a bad griddle. I’ve enjoyed using it and continue to do so. However, Camp Chef addressed a number of issues with the Flat Top 600. The leveling system on the Gridiron is easier and more precise, the grease management system is much better, it has a better ignition system, and it even has a little more cooking space.

Plus, if you’re into aesthetics, the Gridiron just looks fantastic in all-black with red highlights. It mimics the new Camp Chef look with the slightly angled legs started with the Apex that carried over to the Woodwind Pro. It also sits on four swivel casters, making it easier to move around than ever before.

Final Thoughts

The new Camp Chef Gridiron is a massive upgrade for Camp Chef on what I considered a solid offering in the Flat Top 600. And somehow, Camp Chef is coming in at a lower price point as well. Keep an eye out for a long-term test review to get our full, in-depth thoughts on this new flat top grill!

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