Cuisinart 360 XL Griddle Outdoor Cooking Station$400
- Three independent stainless steel tubular burners
- 30-inch diameter cooking surface for 700 square inches of cooking area
- Three zone cooking area
- Solid steel plate cooking surface
- Wrap around grease tray with removable grease catcher
- Two fold down side tables
- Mounted on four locking casters
- Stainless steel lid with holding hook
- Vent in lid
- Paper towel rack
- Total weight of 119 pounds
- Made in China for Cuisinart
Full Review - Cuisinart 360 XL Griddle Cooking Center
Last year saw the introduction of the Cuisinart 360 Griddle Cooking Center. While cheap in many ways, this unit had a good combination of heat output and solid cooking surface. Afterall, when it comes to flat top grills, it is the cooking surface that makes all the difference. That unit had a 22-inch diameter cooking plate with about 380 square inches of griddle. This XL version has a 30-inch diameter surface with over 700 square inches of griddle top. That is a lot of space.
There are three main burners for three cooking zones. While the cooking surface is round, the heat zones divide the cooking area into the two sides and the middle. It is a little counterintuitive, but I think anyone can get the hang of it. The cooking surface itself is heavy steel. This is where the real power comes from. This heavy surface absorbs and holds heat. Drop cold food on top and the cooking surface barely notices. This is what you want from a good flat top griddle.
You have to season and care for the surface and I certainly recommend getting a cover for this grill if you are leaving it outside. Yes, it has a lid, but that lid has a vent in the top and lets water get through. Moisture is the enemy of a cooker like this. The advantage of this kind of cooking surface is that the longer you use it the better it gets. In no time it will be nonstick and ready to handle most any food.
Now For the Downside
While you can get the Cuisinart 360 XL Griddle Cooking Center for around $400 you need to understand that you are getting what you pay for. The entire unit weighs around 120 pounds and a large portion of that weight is just the cooktop. That means that the cart, the grease tray that runs around the cooktop, the burners and everything else is pretty lightweight. I wouldn't say that this is a high quality flat top grill, but for the price and the size it isn't bad either.
Flat top grills are a lot of fun to cook on and they are very versatile. This unit is open and several people can cook on it at the same time. The round design makes for a very useful cooking area, but you do that to make sure that things don't get too close to the edge. This unit is available from a number of retailers and I will do my best to keep this page updated to the best price.