When it comes to versatile outdoor cooking, it’s hard to beat Blackstone’s Tailgater Combo. For the past few months, I have put this griddle and grill combo to the test. It’s been used countless times for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even just snacks. Once I realized the role it fills, I’ve been duly impressed.
With its H style stainless steel burner, and a round cast iron burner, the Tailgater Combo is a flexible cooking tool. On the left, it’s got a proper grill box. On the right, a flat griddle. Together, they provide 477 square inches of cooking surface. Those two burners with separate controls offer up to 35,000 BTUs for cooking. Both have grease catchers too. And the entire unit sports folding legs that also adjust independently. This makes it easy to level whether it’s on your patio, deck, lawn, or at a campsite.
My Tailgater Combo arrived unassembled, but the instructions were easy to follow. Less than 30 minutes with some basic hand tools, and I was ready to season the griddle. Don’t skip this essential step, as it’s critical for the performance of the griddle. With no one else home, I lugged it from my garage to back patio. While not a fun chore, moving it was still a one-person task.
My previous grill lasted almost 12 years, which is a hard act to follow. Admittedly, it took a while to get this one at the right temperature every time. But having a grill and griddle makes it a winner for fajitas. I can grill the chicken, with my veggies on the griddle. Or grill burgers, while cooking bacon for bacon cheeseburgers. Steak and onions? No problem. Slow cook some jalapeno poppers? Grilled asparagus? BBQ corn? Done. We made a lot of veggies on the griddle, much more than we would usually cook. Perhaps the Tailgater Combo encourages healthy choices? Lol. Officially, you should be able to fit 4 steaks, 9 hamburgers, or 20 hot dogs, per side.
It should be mentioned that Blackstone also provided their Griddle Accessory Toolkit. It’s comprised of a pair of spatulas, a scraper/dicer, and two squirt bottles. All are commercial grade, and have the look and feel of quality grilling tools. Although they are an extra expense, I highly recommend them. We seem to use them often, not just with the Tailgater Combo, but with our smoker too.
Who’s it for?
First and foremost, this is not the grill for your block party. The dual cooking surfaces lend themselves to smaller meals. I’m even tempted to say better meals, rather than bigger. Because I really like the grill and griddle combo for my cooking style. Obviously, it’s great for car camping, or packing into your trailer or motorhome. And if you live in a small home, apartment, or townhouse, it’s got a very small footprint. This makes it ideal for small yards, decks, and patios. It wouldn’t be much work to fold up and store for the winter, unlike a full-size grill. For our family of three, it’s perfect. When we build our new deck off the kitchen, I’m sure we’ll set it up right outside, for easy access.
I’d like to thank Blackstone for providing their Tailgater Combo and Griddle Accessory Toolkit for this review. We’ll continue to put it to good use well into the winter.