Few things enhance the camping experience like a delicious meal cooked outdoors. That’s true whether you’re cooking over a camp stove, a fire pit, or the open flames of your campfire — and having a reliable camp griddle to cook that meal with makes a big difference out in the wilderness.
Made In has offered a flat Carbon Steel Griddle for a little while now. I love it for camp cooking. But the company released two new versions this year: one griddle with perforations all across its surface that approximates the cooking use of a standard grill, and another griddle that’s half a solid flat surface and half perforated — the Half Grill Griddle.
Of course, you don’t have to be out in nature to cook up some excellent grub with these griddles. They also work great at home. I’ve used my Made In Griddle on the stove in my kitchen, atop my backyard grill, and over a crackling wood fire pit in the yard. The results have been great food cooked up quickly each time, no matter where I’m using it.
I recently got my hands on the dual-zone Half Grill Griddle, as Made In calls it. I’ve been so impressed that it’s become my go-to griddle both for camp and home cooking.
In short: Made In’s Carbon Steel Griddles create a flat, evenly heated cooking surface. Whether you’re searing steaks or fish, cooking eggs or pancakes, roasting veggies, or smashing burgers, these griddles are a useful piece of cookware both in the kitchen and out in nature. And with proper care, a Made In Griddle will last for years. They are not without their limitations. But overall, these griddles will enhance any camp cooking setup.
- (Griddle Only)
- Weight 9.8 lbs.
- Dimensions 24” x 8.5” x 1.5”
- Cooking area 17.5” x 8.5”
- Heats quickly and holds temperature well
- Can be used over myriad heat sources
- Food releases easily
- Backed by a lifetime warranty
- Expensive compared to other cookware
- Too heavy to bring along on a trek
- Proper cleaning and care can be tedious
- Can be damaged by acidic foods
Made In Carbon Steel Griddle: Review
Made In started in 2017, but the family behind it has been providing restaurants with high-end cookware for over 100 years. So, when the folks at Made In made the jump from supplying to creating, they had generations of experience already behind them. They knew what chefs liked, what didn’t always work for them, and which materials were preferred in the industry. They then put all of that knowledge directly into Made In and its products.
The brand specializes in high-end home kitchen cookware. But, some of its products are aimed at the camp cooks — like the Half Grill Griddle.
Carbon Steel vs. Cast Iron?
The first thing we need to cover about the Made In Griddle is its material: carbon steel. Basically, it’s 99% iron and 1% carbon — so, it’s technically an alloy, despite being almost entirely iron. But it’s much lighter weight than traditional cast iron cookware, despite offering similar even heating and heat retention properties.
Separating carbon steel from cast iron is the fact that carbon steel heats up much faster. Case in point, I’ve placed a Made In Griddle on my stove, fired up two burners underneath it, and within less than 30 seconds I needed to use an oven mitt to reposition the griddle. It gets burning hot that fast.
Much like cast iron, carbon steel cookware is not the best when it comes to being nonstick — not at first, anyway. But in fact, the more you cook with these griddles, the better they get at food release over time. That’s provided you clean them properly — which means hand-washing with a cloth and gentle detergent. Don’t scrape them or use harsh cleaners.
I’ve flipped eggs aplenty without breaking yolks on my griddle. I’ve had pancakes come out with perfect browning without char. I’ve even perfectly charred veggies and steaks on my own. And that’s just a few of the foods that cook well on these griddles.
However, I do have to note that not all foods are suitable for this cookware. They can be damaged by acidic foods like citrus, onions, tomatoes, anything with vinegar, and so on.
Also, being so high in iron content, these griddles will rust if not cleaned, dried, and stored properly. So, there’s a level of investment of time and energy not present with most other modern cookware.
Using the Made In Griddle
The Made In Half Grill Griddle is 8.5 inches by 17.5 inches, offering a cooking area of 148.75 inches total. And at 9.8 pounds, it is a pretty hefty piece of camp cooking equipment. It makes up for that, though, in its versatility.
If you have a heat source — almost any heat source — you can cook on one of these griddles, especially with the two-piece stand that elevates the cooking surface between 10 inches and 12 inches. You can adjust the height by sliding the handles into different slots in the stainless steel legs.
Elevated, you can place your cooking surface over a crackling fire or hot embers. And assembling the griddle and legs can barely even be called a “process.” It’s pretty idiot-proof.
Sans legs, you can nest the griddle over the edges of a fire pit or directly on a gas or charcoal grill grate. Or use your stove or oven. The carbon steel surface rapidly heats up and is safe for use with temperatures up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit — which is way hotter than you’ll ever need, for the record.
Cooking on the Griddle
Once that griddle is heated, you can use the perforated half for greasier or fatty foods to shed some of the oils. The flat side is great for everything else. Made In also offers the fully permeated or fully flat griddle options if you prefer one to the other.
With the large stainless-steel lid that comes with the complete Griddle System, you can create a de facto oven. Made In also includes a grill press with the griddle for smashing burgers or pressing meats.
I try to only use wood or silicone tools with my Carbon Steel Griddle. I’d hate to scratch the surface. But with care, you could surely use metal utensils, also.
And speaking of care, regular cleaning with a mild detergent and clean cloth is usually sufficient. That’s provided you dry the griddle off well after cleaning, it. If your griddles ever do develop rust, you can remove that by making a mixture of coarse salt and cooking oil and scouring away until it comes off. Then simply clean the griddle with soap and water and reseason it lightly with oil after drying it out.
As noted, these griddles aren’t exactly small. And that’s great when you’re cooking a dozen hotdogs, eight or nine burgers, multiple pancakes, omelets, or whatever else at once. But the 9.8 pounds of weight (and that’s the griddle alone, without the stand or lid) relegates these to car camping or home use.
The other thing that could be an issue for many is the price. It’s $370 for the entire Griddle System. That comes with a griddle, stand, cover, and grill press. For that price, you’re spending more than you would on any one of GearJunkie’s Best Camp Cooking Stoves, plus the cost of the food you’re cooking.
Just the griddle and grill press is $228, and you can buy the griddle alone for $159. Camp Chef offers a similar product of its own that is twice as large for just $130. But it doesn’t have a leg stand for cooking over a fire, or a lid, and it would be challenging to use in your home kitchen.
And, when you look at the Made In Griddle as a potential lifetime purchase, you can justify it as an investment, not an expense.
Made In Carbon Steel Grill and Griddle: Conclusion
If you love cooking and you love camping, you should definitely consider adding Made In’s Carbon Steel Griddle to your camp cooking setup. If you love cooking and tend to stay closer to home, same story: the even heat, the searing, the quick cooking, and the fact that you can use this griddle over a stove, on a grill, in a big enough oven, or over a fire pit all make it great hardware for home cooking, too.
Made In might have started as a home kitchenware company, but its griddles prove that it’s equally capable of making rugged, functional camp cookware as well. I’ve enjoyed a ton of great meals outdoors thanks to this griddle, and it’s come in handy at home on more than one occasion. It’s a versatile piece of cookware that, if cared for, could outlast you. It’s a purchase I can’t recommend highly enough.