From Single Burner To Blackstone Griddle: Evolution Of My Camp Cooking
When it comes to travel, a few options might come to mind when you think of preparing a meal away from home. Often we have grand visions of roasting hot dogs over the campfire, crating s’mores and using a campfire to grill items to perfection. However, many times when you arrive to a site you might notice that not all sites are not created equally. Some lack fire rings or grills, some simply don’t measure up to the vision in our heads and even worse when a site is actually under a burn ban.
So what happens then?? How do we eat on the road??
I can speak from experience that there are a number of options I have experimented with when traveling. While none has been a deal breaker each have had their downside to say the least.
\My first option was a traveling portable single burner campstove. While super handy in size for backpacking and great for smaller items, I quickly noticed that the brand I had purchased had no wind block, making it near impossible to heat food evenly on a breezy day.
I then turned to a propane grill that was sized well for travel. For burgers and chicken breasts this was ideal for getting that nice char traditionally associated with grilling. This option seemed to lock in my flavors a lot more when it came to these type of items, however the grill grate seemed a bit to large for veggies and without crating a foil pack it often made it much more difficult to prepare these items.
Somewhere along the line, I decided to use create thinking and decided to use a large skillet on the grill. That took some time to get the proper placement down with the large handle, resulting still in a lot of heat loss and some uneven cooking on the surface.
So I was completely stumped as to how to successfully have that taste of home with many dishes without having to carry a large set up which quite frankly was not reasonable space wise in my small travel vehicle.
I was then introduced to the Blackstone products which included not only grills but griddles. The idea of a griddle seemed to fill the void I was experiencing within cooking. My cook surface was not flat and even, but the griddle happens to be both. I could also use this surface for a variety of items including smaller vegetables, something previously lacking in my food prep. This seemed to open up the world of cooking to me on the road and bring those comforts to a point of accessibility.
I noticed there was a smaller option on their website which was large enough for me to prepare a meal for not only myself but also for friends which might be accompanying me on my travels. The 17” Griddle seemed simplistic enough to operate and light enough for me to lift it with ease in and out of my car without assistance. Its design and carrying case assisted in it stowing more flatly than my grill in the truck and it could easily be detached from the 1 pound propane bottle.
While I could see how some items might be intimidating to learn how to use, the griddle was easy to initially assemble with only a base, griddle top and propane connection piece to put together. Within a matter of less than 5 minutes I had it assembled and ready to move one step closer to cooking.
The griddle did require one additional step, but this step was detailed in the instructions: How to Season Your Griddle. In addition, Blackstone provided a pretty amazing video online for reference which was easy to follow along with for the novice griddle user like myself.
Following that process I was ready to go!
Now the options appeared limitless from breakfast dishes to dinner items I could make everything fro an egg to a steak in what I would consider a smaller version of a cafe style surface.
Blackstone’s griddle now is a vital part of my travel gear for campsites and locations. But unlike the limited usage of a portable single burner I can also use this at home on my patio when I want to cook outdoors and have that feeling of being outside without having to travel far distances from the home. Ideal for tailgating, beach time, camping or home use the griddle can be much more than something I stow away from the next big trip, it is a part of the family and stored right alongside other popular kitchen items in my home.
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