Griddle Me This
By Mike Hiller
Photos courtesy of LoCo Cookers
What better way is there to cook for a crowd than on an outdoor flattop?
Good things happen when you have a backyard griddle. The one we’ve fallen in love with is the 36-inch Smart Temp 3 from LoCo Cookers, a new propane-fueled outdoor griddle that cooks every bit as good as it looks.
Think of it as a giant saute pan on wheels, a 3-foot-wide, rolled-steel flattop that’s easy to control, move and clean. Dial in your desired cooking temperature for each of the three zones on the griddle, and push a button to fire up the gas burners; each is independently controlled by electronics that accurately maintain the temps you’ve set. That means you could sear in one area, saute in another and use the third zone to keep finished foods warm.
Other griddle brands employ generic knobs that modulate the fuel flow, but that design rarely landed us in a Goldilocks zone. LoCo’s precise digital controls take the guesswork out of the equation.
LoCo’s designers have thought through everything else that’s important, too: an integrated grease trap, adjustable leveling legs, sturdy wheels, a hinged lid, a built-in storage compartment, fold-down shelves, a paper towel holder and a trash container. When it’s time to clean up, just wipe the griddle with a wet paper towel and close the lid.
It’s a really companionable cooker that makes friends easily. Pancakes, smash burgers and birria tacos sizzling on a griddle create instant neighborhood parties. Toss on a stack of fresh tortillas, a pile of hashbrowns and a scramble of eggs on Saturday mornings, and watch your whole family head to the backyard. Want the teens to eat less junk food? No one’s calling Uber Eats if brisket fried rice or blackened salmon are on the LoCo.
Michael Hiller tests and reviews products for 360 West.