What comes in the box
The Griddle & Charcoal Grill Combo comes with everything you need to get started, including the griddle surface, grill grate, charcoal tray, and ash catcher. There is a hook-type tool for adjusting the height of the grill grate. It also includes a set of tongs and a spatula, an adapter hose for connecting to a 20-lb propane tank, and a user manual.
Design and Build Quality
1819 Griddle and Grill Combo, also called Blackstone Duo, is not the most beautiful thing in the world, but it is a very well put together product. It features a 17″ wide griddle top made out of thick cold rolled steel and stainless steel H-style burner. The burner has a heat output of 12000 BTU, which is good enough for searing and fast cooking. You can use it with a little propane can on the side, or you can hook it up to a 20 lb propane tank using an adapter hose included in the package.
The grill portion of the 1819 consists of a cast iron grate with an adjustable height charcoal tray. The sides of the griddle are raised and the grease is channeled towards the back, to a container. The rear grease management system solves the notorious grease dripping problem that older griddles have. Overall, we liked the design, minus a couple of issues, the main one being the lack of any kind of hood.
The build quality though left us a little disappointed. This is not a cheap grill, and it’s got the name to live up to, so we were a little taken aback by some of the corners that were cut. The black powder coat finish on the steel frame is not very good. It tends to chip and flake off easily, which makes the grill look old and beat up. Also, some parts really could use a couple of more screws or rivets, like the base that holds the coal. The little side table looks like it will bend under anything heavier than 2 lbs.
Ease of Use
The Blackstone Duo is very easy to use. It comes with electric ignition, so it lights up quickly and evenly, and the H-shaped burner provides good heat coverage. The grill side is just like any other charcoal grill, with adjustable height. The lack of a hood is a bit of a downside, and makes it harder to control the temperature. The griddle side is where this grill shines. The thick cold rolled steel heats up quickly and evenly, and the grease management system takes all the hassle out of dealing with the grease. The cooking surface is big enough to cook multiple items at once, and the raised sides make it easy to keep things from sliding off.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Cleaning this griddle grill combo is easy. Both the griddle surface and the grill grate are removable so you can clean them thoroughly. The grease trap is accessible and easy to unload. The ashtray is also easy to remove and clean.
It is a bit more demanding regarding the maintenance because it’s very likely to start rusting if you do not clean it regularly, keep it covered when not in use, and season it BEFORE and AFTER every use.
Seasoning the grill is the important part to make sure you have a non-stick surface. Seasoned grill masters recommend seasoning your grill or griddle before and after every use, to protect it from corrosion and ensure your food doesn’t stick. This is a simple process and only requires you to brush on a layer of oil with a high smoke point and heat the surface to the highest temperature. There are even special products for seasoning a griddle that make the whole process easier.