Blackstone, bbq’s or campfire cooking?

Canoe2fish

Active Member
Apr 14, 2014
425
Ontario, Canada
Hey camp chefs, What is your go to when you’re at the campsite and why?

For years we’ve used a small propane barbecue/grill accompanied by the trailers two burner cook stove. We have a nonstick aluminum tray that we do bacon on with the grill, but I’m starting to like the idea of having a 2 burner blackstone instead of our small barbecue/grill thinking that if I really want a steak and baked potatoes I’ll just do it over the fire.

What are you guys think of blackstones? I’ve never had one.
I really like the idea of being able to cook up a pile of grilled veggies & onions, mushrooms, hashbrowns, bacon and eggs right on the griddle.

Oh great now I’m really hungry….
 

kitphantom

Super Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Dec 26, 2009
14,036
Albuquerque, NM
Old thread, good subject.
Personal preference. Many seem to like the Blackstone, but it just doesn't fit the way we cook and eat while camping well enough to add to the mix.
In 33 seasons of camping, we have never had a wood campfire, let alone cooked on one. I bet we both could still make good fires, we just choose not to do so. Good thing, since there are so often fire bans where we camp, so cooking over a campfire or with charcoal is not a sure thing. We took a charcoal grill a few times, again, didn't earn its cargo space and fuss.
We do more cooking inside than we expected to do with the popups and now the small TT. Being able to cook inside out of the wind is very handy here in the SW. For outside cooking, we mostly use our white gas Coleman camp stove, either the 425 or the larger 413, which is still 2-burners but more space.
I also added a single burner propane camp stove to the mix last year, along with a 1-gallon LP tank.
We have a 2-burner griddle that works inside or out. I have 2 top of stove ovens (the Omnia and Wonder Ovens), which I can use either in or out too + the Coleman Camp oven (don't take that very often).
We do simple cooking in camp, and now often take meals we've cooked and frozen at home, one huge advantage now that we have a freezer that works well.
 

neighbormike

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Oct 6, 2012
4,166
WI
It all depends on the trip, what’s on the menu and how many people will be with… I always have my old 2-burner Coleman and a tripod along. I have no problem using my camper stove and oven if I want to cook inside. For bigger groups I will bring my CampChef Pro90 & two burner griddle. I have also occasionally brought crockpots and an electric griddle…
 

GalsofEscape

Super Active Member
Nov 26, 2013
1,140
Maryland
we use our Blackstone all the time. we do prefer to cook outside and the Blackstone is well suited for a lot of our dishes. And clean up is easy - no pots or skillets to clean. but i also have the grill - there is just something about steaks or hamburgers on the grill and we don't often have a fire so we don't plan to cook over fires at all. And depending on the menu - i may haul along the cast iron dutch ovens....
 

jmkay1

2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah
Oct 10, 2013
7,971
Northern Virginia
I bought a BBQ grill for camping trips but found I never bothered to bring it for most of my trips. I bought a grate to go over the campfire and found between the stove and the grate I got everything I need. As far as a Blackstone, as cool as it is, I just don't see myself wanting to bother with the extra weight, space, and setup when a cast iron griddle over a propane stove works well enough and takes way way less space. Then again I'm not cooking for a lot of people. I also wouldn't want to lug the Blackstone to and from the bear box when camping in bear country. My trips are mostly 3- 4 nights max. In short when camping I try and follow the keep it simple method.
 

J Starsky

Super Active Member
Aug 3, 2017
1,427
East Central MN
Yes. All that cooking. All types are my jam. Don't be afraid of your freedom!
DO and Live Firepit ops: https://www.popupportal.com/threads/driveway-dutch-oven-challenge-easy-ribs.133429/post-1468516
 

p

Super Active Member
Jun 9, 2014
827
Alberta
Blackstones are meal versatile (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). It also connects to your low-pressure system of your trailer. Make sure you get one with a lid. The single burner is big enough for a family of four and can be purchased with a lid for under $200. Season it properly and they are super easy to clean and maintain.
 
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Jimbow

Super Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Nov 30, 2012
2,143
Blackstone has gotten the most use the past couple years but my twenty plus year old Coleman pulls it's weight. I also have a propane grill with us plus some cast iron dutch ovens and such. Occasionally a Weber charcoal grill or smoker makes the trip. We'll even use the microwave, stove, or oven on the inside. I'm fairly agnostic when it comes to cooking tools.
 

Johneliot

Active Member
Jan 1, 2022
312
Chico, CA
My Weber propane go anywhere grill has been on every trip for the last 30+ years. I also have an orange coleman propane stove I use. I love my coleman lanterns but I do not like to cook on a white gas stove. Go figure. I have not cooked in either of the two tents trailers I have owned/own. I do cook inside of my Lance.
 

Dingit

Super Active Member
Mar 8, 2017
2,183
I have a camper because I don't like setting up a kitchen. I like having everything in its proper place with water and fridge handy.


My popup trailer has 3 decent burners and oven inside and 2 high output (I guess) burners that fold out the side. It's plenty.



The most I'm willing to set up is the 2-burner Coleman stove, but it really only gets used with the truck camper which has 2 crummy burners (and an Omni oven).
 

lot_lizard

Member
Aug 18, 2019
24
As others mention, it’s really a preference bit related to what, how much, and the style you like to cook. I own a proper MASSIVE griddle at home (swims laps around Blackstone products) and a 2-burner table top Blackstone for the camper. Griddles are great at:
  • allowing you to cook many unique foods at once with a large single surface
  • use multiple temperatures simultaneously by taking advantage of hot spots
  • contain messes while cooking (basically a gigantic skillet)
  • gas supply mods to run off the camper’s LP lines
  • better flavors and non-stick behavior over time as seasoning builds (again, basically a cast iron skillet)
  • maintains temperature once up to temp (beauty of cast iron)
  • shielded flames are much less sensitive to wind
  • relatively easy cleanup (one large item vs multiple, though more awkward)
  • easier experience for kids and cooking novices
  • can cook much more advanced dishes if you become talented (think complete meals by taking advantage of food separation)
  • can use cooking domes (think upside down bowl) to trap moisture
  • A tank that holds up to insane abuse
Downsides:
  • heavier than a classic 2-burner stove if you are weight-sensitive
  • slower to come up to desired temps
  • not ideal for heating liquids (basically anything needing a pot). “Works” but the experience is “meh”
  • cooking multiple items at once where temperature needs to be drastically different (has hot spots, but those are only so flexible)
  • slow to cool down for cleanup and storing
  • no flavors directly from the heat source (cooking over a open-wood flame is a special thing in many cases)
  • More expensive
  • Blackstone frankly has a crude cooking surface when compared to a real griddle. It’s obnoxiously rough and takes MANY meals to ever turn into an amazing cooking surface as the seasoning continually builds. Other Blackstone owners won’t like this comment :). I still like it, but those that have used proper griddles made from sheet metal will be frustrated by it.
Myself… I like some sort of grate over an open fire for anything where wood flavoring is ideal, there is a need for a pot to heat a liquid, or just bored of gas cooking and want to go back to our roots. The griddle for everything else. A griddle really is an amazing device with extreme flexibility.

If you are going to cook the same style as you always have with your 2-burner gas stove, then stick with it. If you are wanting to cook more advanced dishes or more complete meals from a single appliance.. griddle hands down.
 

Blue411

Member
Jul 4, 2020
37
We bought a blackstone and stopped using our Coleman grill. The blackstone is so versatile and can cook for 4, 8+ people and we do have people to feed. Easy to clean. We make a lot of fish tacos, fried rice, burgers, hot dogs, stir fry, sausages and peppers, chicken…

I really want to buy a cast iron pot to cook over fire.
 

Tonya Harding

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Jun 15, 2018
1,948
Virginia
Jet Boil & a butane fired single burner mini Coleman stove for us; have a propane 2 burner Coleman we may use once a year, used to do cast iron skillets over a fire grate, but rarely anymore. Wife will bake eggs pre trip usually, we generally don't do big food fests...
 




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