Cuisinart CGG-888 Stainless Steel 22″ Round Gas Griddle Review
Outdoor gas griddles have started taking the world of grilling by storm. While Cuisinart might be a relatively new name in the grill industry, they certainly waste no time bringing hallmark quality in cooking appliances to bear with the CGG-888 Grill Stainless Steel 22-Inch Round Outdoor Flat Top Gas Griddle.
As the name implies it is largely made from stainless steel construction, which gives it an impressive gleam on your deck or patio. The stainless steel lid has vents built into it for steaming and possibly baking. There’s also a convenient hook to hang the lid.
Underneath you will find a 22-inch diameter, preseasoned, cold-rolled steel griddle top. It was designed to carefully funnel excess runoff to the grease management system. This is essentially a trough at the outer edge of the griddle. This then diverts runoff toward an easy to remove collection cup.
The firebox houses a pair of propane burner elements rated to produce 15,000 BTUs per hour of consistent heat. Turned up to the max this gives you up to 30,000 BTUs and a temperature range as low as 200 degrees up to 550-degrees Fahrenheit.
The grill body itself is very sturdy and has four small casters to make it mobile. There is also a collapsing side table that locks firmly into place. Under it, you will find a convenient paper towel bar.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
Cuisinart is not known for skimping or cutting corners when it comes to material selection and design. For the most part, you see this reflected in the characteristics and stainless steel quality of the Cuisinart CGG-888 Grill Flat Top gas grill.
The cold-rolled steel of the griddle top is also a nice touch. It comes pre-seasoned and you will need to take steps to maintain it, or the griddle top will suffer from constant corrosion issues. Though when well maintained the depth of flavor a properly seasoned cold-rolled griddle top provides is superior to most all other materials.
One area where Cuisinart missed an opportunity is with the lid. For starters, the vent and the gap at the edge of the lid are questionable when it comes to thermal efficiency. At the same time, Cuisinart mentions the ability to do things like steam, bake, and even smoke under the lid. Yet they didn’t think to install a thermometer probe. This leaves you guessing at what’s really going on under the lid.
When it comes to assembly, the Cuisinart CGG-888 Grill Flat Top Gas Griddle was designed to be put together in less than half an hour. The instructions are easy to read and you don’t need a lot of technical skills to complete the job.
Assuming that you are going to take the extra five minutes at the end of every grilling session to properly maintain the cold-rolled griddle tops seasoning layer, then you will notice the depth of flavor building. This is not only due to the fact that griddles essentially refract the flavor of drippings back into the meat, but the hydrocarbons of the seasoning layer also contribute to the overall flavor.
Cuisinart does provide seasoning instructions in the owner’s manual. Though most experienced griddle owners will tell you to simply grill up heaps of bacon the first handful of times you use it. This will help to impregnate the microscopic textures of the griddle top with a naturally smoky flavor which will show up later in the foods you cook.
Of course, the nice thing about a griddle is that you can also use it to make breakfast foods like pancakes, French toast, and even scrambled eggs. If you have an RV travel trailer, you might want to consider bringing this 60-pound grill with you camping!
One minor complaint that you get with outdoor griddle/grills is that you don’t get the classic grid marks. However, Cuisinart sells 12-inch circular grates that you can simply set on the grill top. Once they preheat, they will indeed put sear marks on a Steak.
Cuisinart claims that this griddle can also be multi-purposed for baking and steaming. Which is pushing the limits of what you can realistically do. Especially since there isn’t a thermometer built into the stainless steel lid. You could theoretically get around this by inserting an accurate probe thermometer into a partially open vent.
Something you can reliably do with the Cuisinart CGG-888 Grill Flat Top Gas Grill is making pizza. All you need is a cordite pizza stone to slip under the lid. Turn the flame up on high to let the pizza stone preheat for a solid 15 to 20 minutes. Then lay down the pizza and cover it with the lid. This configuration is technically bigger than many of the outdoor pizza ovens you see on the market, for a fraction of the price!
The 22-inch diameter cold rolled steel griddle top offers an impressive 380-square inch of cooking space. Though like a lot of flat-top griddles, you probably don’t want to push your luck grilling right up to the edge.
The grease management system with its ring trough and an easy to remove collection cup lets you pull away unwanted fat and liquids.
The folding prep table with a paper towel bar is also a nice touch. It collapses when you don’t want to use it yet locks firmly into place when you want a place to keep your platter.
Ease to Clean
The grease management system’s trough ring is handy for diverting the grease and other drippings away from the cooking surface. Just be careful to avoid accidentally touching it with your clothes when reaching over to the far side of the griddle.
The grease management system’s trough just needs to be wiped out, and the grease cup can then be poured off.
With a cold-rolled steel griddle top, the most important part of the cleanup process is maintaining the seasoning layer. Cuisinart includes instructions for this. If you are short on time, you can just apply some cold-pressed flaxseed oil or vegetable shortening as the griddle top starts to cool down. If you ignore this step the metal could suffer from corrosion issues.
The Cuisinart CGG-888 Griddle has a three-year warranty, but you need to register the griddle within 30 days off purchase to activate it properly.
The Cuisinart CGG-888 represents a slight shift in outdoor grills toward griddles that can be used to make all three meals. It makes use of high-quality materials and for the most part, is designed well. The lack of a thermometer in the lid is a bit of a miss, and if you are wearing loose clothes, you need to be careful not to brush up on the grease management system trough.
- Stainless steel construction and thoughtful design
- Cold rolled steel griddle top
- Two 15,000 BTU propane burners
- Easy assembly
- Folding side table with paper towel bar
- Need to maintain seasoning on griddle top
- No thermometer in the lid
- Grease management system can stain loose clothes