Camp Chef FTG600 Flat Top Professional Griddle Grill Review
A propane-fueled griddle can be very convenient if you need to cook food for a large number of people. While the first image it probably conjures up is breakfast, a griddle can actually a lot more.
When it comes to a beef item like hamburger patties and steaks, the flat surface refracts some of the fat and natural juices back up to the meat, along with water-soluble proteins. This invokes a food chemistry term known as the Maillard process which creates a flavorful crust that some argue is more intense than what you get from direct flame and grill grates.
Now if you are in the market for a grill, you might be tempted to look past the Camp Chef FTG600 Flat Top Grill. Camp Chef understands this, and they offer it with an interchangeable grill surface. This allows it to work as a griddle or a grill depending on what you want to cook!
The heat source comes from four independently controlled propane burners. Each is capable of generating a scorching hot 12,000 BTUs for a total of 48,000 BTUs. There is also a natural gas conversion kit available for it, which is nice if you have a municipal supply available at your home or deck.
The frame has four leg levelers and roller wheels for a firm and adjustable base. It also has two large, sturdy, and folding side shelves. It also has a propane tank holder to lock is securely into place.
The Camp Chef FTG600 was also designed with a thoughtful grease management system. It includes an easy to clean grease tray and catchment bucket, as well as micro-adjustable griddle levelers.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
Camp Chef always makes an effort to use quality materials with the products in their line. This includes using a thicker gauge of metal compared to competitors in the same price range.
The Camp Chef FTG600 is stout, but still not overly complicated. It should even take you a little less work to assemble than a propane grill of the same size. Assuming you have a household tool kit, you should be able to put this grill together in about two hours.
Keep in mind that it is kind of big and heavy. It would be a good idea to recruit a friend to help you put it together. It might also give you a chance to show it off a little bit!
The versatility and quality of the Camp Chef FTG600 allows you to make just about anything you can imagine. You could probably even make a pot of soup if you set it on the griddle side.
As a griddle Camp Chef has tested the capacity, at 40 strips of bacon, 30 large hamburger patties, and a staggering 72 bratwursts! Let’s say you have a family of four and you wanted to make a deluxe breakfast. You could fry bacon, hash browns, and eggs all at the same time, while still having enough griddle space for pancakes or some French toast.
Each of the four propane burners under the griddle has its own independent controller. So, you can set each zone to the temperature for the food you are cooking. Medium-low for perfectly crisp yet chewy bacon, medium high for hash browns, and low enough to cook eggs over easy.
When you switch it over to the grill side, the Camp Chef FTG600 does everything you want a propane or natural gas grill to do. It is a tad bit smaller than the griddle. Still, it rings in at 501 square inches, which is more than enough to grill up a giant mess of hamburgers, chicken breasts, or Steak. The only thing it doesn’t have is a way to attach a rotisserie.
The Camp Chef FTG600 doesn’t have a specific warming rack. Still, you could just dial back one of the four burners to it’s lowest setting to hold over food that gets done early. A light tent of heavy-duty aluminum foil will help keep the heat in.
The interchangeable griddle and grill surfaces provide different cooking areas. The griddle offers a copious 604 square inches. When it’s switched over to the grill you have a 501 square inches.
The ability to switch between a classic flat top griddle and a traditional gas grill is what really takes the Camp Chef FTG600 to the next level.
At the same time, you shouldn’t look past the grease management system. It is specifically designed to funnel grease and excess drippings efficiently from the grease tray to the catchment bucket. This is a big factor for griddles. The ability to make small adjustments to the pitch and angle of the legs, as well as micro-adjustments with the griddle levelers further ensures that runoff moves efficiently away.
It’s also worth noting that the Camp Chef FTG600’s griddle comes pre-seasoned and ready to use.
Ease to Clean
The Camp Chef FTG600 is very easy to clean. The grease management, when it’s perfectly dialed in will send all excess drippings to the catchment bucket. You don’t need to do more than a wipe down of the grease tray with a couple of clean paper towels and pour out the catchment bucket.
The flat top griddle does need a little extra TLC. Anything that’s stuck on can be easily scraped down with an offset spatula or a board scraper. Maintaining the seasoning layer is relatively simple. Just wipe it down to maintain the hydrocarbon layer. Never wash it! As time goes on the seasoning layer will continue to develop which will protect the griddle surface, maximize its natural non-stick properties, and even add a little extra flavor to the food you cook on it.
Like most mother Camp Chef products in this class, the Camp Chef FTG600 comes with a three year “No Hassle” warranty.
There are very few perfect 10’s in the world, and this might be one of them. The more you use it as a griddle or as a grill, the more ways you will think of being able to use it. It might be a little big if it’s just you and a significant other that you need to cook for. If you have a larger family, you need to cook for an organization, or you are just thinking about remodeling your kitchen and you need something to cook on the deck for a few months. It fits just about any situation.
Just make sure to maintain the seasoning layer on the griddle surface and it’s sure to take care of you.
- Interchangeable griddle and grill
- An effective grease management system
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Large grill and griddle surface
- Four independent heat controls
- Might be a little big
- Probably needs two people to assemble
- Seasoning layer needs to be maintained