Pros & Cons – Blackstone 22 XL Griddle Pellet Grill Combo

Hi, I’m Chris. About Me

Blackstone is one of if not the leading brand when it comes to outdoor propane griddles. Well, they have now decided to play the pellet grill game as well, with the 22 XL, which is a pellet grill/gas griddle combo. Well, its more of a pellet smoker and gas griddle combo, but we’ll get to that. Anyway, scroll below to review the pros and cons…

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The benefits of being both a pellet smoker and a gas griddle mean the capabilities and limitations of each cooking technology complement themselves.

The pellet smoker side purely has to fulfill the function of adding flavor to the food and for ‘low and slow’ cooks. The gas griddle side can handle your searing needs.

Being both a pellet smoker and a gas griddle means the Blackstone has a lot of cooking functionality
Combining both cooking technologies into a single BBQ provides a lot of functionality

There are some pellet grills/smokers on the market that cannot provide the functionality and high temperatures of a gas griddle. Likewise, a gas griddle cannot impart smoke flavor to your food.

Therefore, the benefits of combining both technologies together are pretty obvious.

Blackstone has chosen to go with a cross-hatch grate design on the pellet smoker, which is unfortunate, as this grate design has been tried before, and customers weren’t too happy.

The design of these cast-iron grates previously appeared on pellet grills as a part of the second generation of Pit Boss Pro Series models.

The cross-hatch grate design on the Blackstone pellet smoker/gas grill combo can be hard to clean.
This design of cast-iron grate has been shown to have its problems

The problem with this cross-hatch grate design is you cannot quickly clean them by pushing and pulling a grill brush up and down the grates as you normally would.

This is why when Pit Boss used this design on the second generation of the Pro Series pellet grills, they went back to a traditional straight grate design on the third generation of the Pro Series.

The Blackstone pellet smoker/gas griddle combo benefits from a roll-top lid on the pellet smoker, which is a design I’m personally a big fan of for two reasons.

First, I generally believe the roll-top lid design does a better job of keeping smoke in the cooking chamber for longer, as most grill lid seals are pretty poor or none existent.

The roll-top lid design and stow away racks of the Blackstone pellet smoker/gas griddle combo are both plus points.
I consider both the roll-top lid and the stow away upper cooking racks as Pro’s for the Blackstone pellet smoker/gas griddle

The second reason I like a roll-top lid design, as opposed to a traditional hinged lid, is that they are more practical for shorter people to use, and you’re less likely to burn the underside of the arm opening the lid.

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Ok, so to many people, this Con is going to sound a bit odd, and it needs a bit of prior knowledge to understand where I’m going with this.

Yes, all pellet smokers will produce smoke, but some will produce more smoke than others.

While the controller features temperature accurate PID technology, it lacks a separate smoke setting.
It’s disappointing that the controller does not feature a dedicated smoke setting to increase smoke production

Some PID controllers, such as those fitted to this pellet smoker, while they can hold an accurate temperature, they will produce less smoke than older pellet smokers, unless they have a dedicated smoke setting.

The reason we know this is because this controller is very similar to that fitted to the second-generation Pro Series pellet grills from Pit Boss I discussed above in reference to the cross-hatch grates.

With those pellet grills, they also lacked a dedicated smoke setting to add some swing to the temps to make the pellet fire less efficient and for it to produce more smoke at lower temps.

Here is a specific example of the benefits of a pellet smoker/gas griddle combo. With reverse seared steaks, you first smoke them, and then you sear them at a high heat for some additional flavor and a nice texture.

You can, of course, cook reverse-seared steaks on any pellet grill/smoker. However, some pellet grills won’t actually get up to as high a temperature as the griddle for the same quality of sear.

Second, on a standard pellet grill/smoker, you will have to wait a while after the smoking stage for the grate to get up to temperature for the sear. With this setup, you can smoke and then sear instantly.

So, as of writing this article, the Blackstone pellet smoker/gas griddle has just come onto the market, and it is priced at $1,199 (check our database for the latest price).

As I’ve stated several times above, when it comes to the pellet smoker side of this cooker, its very similar to several previously released Pit Boss models.

The controller appears to be very similar to a Pro Series second generation, and the roll-top lid appears very similar to that fitted to some Pit Boss Competition Series models.

For the features/capabilities, its debateable whether the Blackstone pellet smoker/gas griddle is good value.
For its price point, I would argue you can get better value from other products on the market

If you review our database and you check out the Pit Boss models I’ve mentioned above, which are very similar to this Blackstone pellet smoker, you will see that, on the pellet side of things, you can get something with better features for around half the price, maybe even less.

You would then have between $500 to $600 left to get a stand-alone gas griddle, which again, you could get a lot for the money.

My Final Thoughts On The Blackstone 22 XL Griddle Pellet Grill Combo

I like the principle of combination pellet grills/smokers with gas griddles/grills. However, you do have to be careful to check if you are actually getting good value compared to buying separate products.

In this instance, I think Blackstone has made some choices that I personally wouldn’t have with regard to the specific controller they have used and cross-hatch cast-iron grates.

Anyway, check the full details of the Blackstone 22 XL Griddle Pellet Grill Combo in our database through the link below, and you can review all your options at the same price point.

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