Weber Crafted Flat Top Griddle - First Look



We recently bought a 2022 Genesis grill and used it for the first time last night. The Weber Crafted Frame Kit was included with the grill. We ordered the Weber Crafted Flat Top Griddle and also the Pizza Stone. They seem overpriced, but we hope they are "cry once, enjoy for a lifetime" items. It is our hope that when we use the griddle, it will give us something similar to a Blackstone that other family members have.

I wish I could tell you how well it works, but the griddle arrived only yesterday. Furthermore, it requires seasoning before you can use it, so today is seasoning day.

Because it is made from carbon steel rather than cast iron, I expected something thin and relatively lightweight, but the griddle weighs 15-1/2 pounds (7 kg). It was too heavy for the kitchen scale; I had to use the bathroom scale and subtract.

The griddle comes heavily greased in a sealed, thick plastic bag. The griddle itself has a simple flat surface with a raised rim on all four sides. The metal is 3/16 inch (5 mm) thick, measured at the rim. The front rim is lower than the other three rims. You can see that the griddle was made by folding the sides and using weld beads to seal the corners. The corner seal welds were not finished or matched, they are metal blobs. There is no groove or depression to catch grease. There is a small slot near the front. At first I thought it was for a lifting tool, but now I wonder whether it is for channeling grease, where you would allow the grease to fall on the flavorizer bars and into the grill's grease collection system. I wonder if a metal catch cup could be positioned underneath as an alternative. Weber does not mention the slot in the documentation.

The machining along the tops of the rims is not as good as I would have expected. The inside and outside edges are sharp and you can see fine perpendicular saw or grinder marks along the flat top of the rim. I was concerned that I would get cut by a slipping sharp edge as I washed off the protective grease. The griddle was heavy, soapy, and slippery. (The ONLY time you use soap on it!). My concern in real world use is that you could get cut when you put the griddle in or out of the grill's storage locker. Maybe seasoning build-up or heat will eventually roundover the edge. I may take a sanding block and some ultra fine sandpaper and round them over myself. You would think that for $110, Weber would have done a better job finishing the rims.

The fit of the griddle with the frame kit is just okay. I expected a snug fit, but there is some play both left/right and forward/back. By eyeball, the extra space is perhaps 3/8 inch (~9 mm) left/right, and tighter forward/back. Again, more than I would have expected, but it will work fine. The griddle's weight will keep it in place unless you are very aggressive with scraping or push hard against an edge. Weber may argue that the gap is designed as a finger hold when you want to remove it, but they didn't do that with the stainless grill grate.

As I write this, the griddle is in the grill, going through the third seasoning pass. I use flaxseed oil.

Let's be clear that none of these issues will affect the performance or operation of the griddle. We will enjoy using it for many years to come. For the premium price that we paid, I would have expected better from Weber. One reason we chose a Weber grill is that the metal parts have rolled or well-finished softened edges, while their competitors' grills have sharp, unfinished edges on many parts. The edge finishing on this griddle accessory is not up to Weber's standards. We have a very similar griddle that goes with our kitchen cooktop, and it was properly finished with softened edges.

-> I will report back after we have gained some cooking experience with it. That may take a few weeks.

We did not buy the large Weber Crafted grilling basket, sear grate, or any rotisserie accessories. The baking stone is due to arrive this coming week. We may add the basket, but it seems overly large and overly pricey for our needs. We are shopping for a small basket to try first. After 25 years of losing grilled onions between the grates on our previous grill while being unaware of grill baskets, we are ready to try one.

  • Weber Crafted Flat Top Griddle on the Weber Crafted Frame
    • In this photo, the griddle is pushed all the way to the left on the Weber Crafted frame. The gap on the right side shows the amount of left/right "slop" in the fit. In contrast, the regular stainless steel grates are a perfect fit in that same space.
  • Flat Top Griddle Machining and Weld - Front Right Corner
    • Observe the sharp edges and the machining marks on the rims
    • Observe the unfinished weld bead. Compare it with the one on the left side
    • Notice the gap on the right side. This is how much left/right slop is in the fit.
  • Flat Top Griddle Machining and Weld - Front Left Corner
    • The weld bead is larger than the right side.

Weber Crafted Flat Top Griddle.JPG

Weber Griddle Machining and Weld Right.JPG

Weber Griddle Machining and Weld Left.JPG
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First Update:

I finished pre-seasoning the Weber Crafted Flat Top Griddle yesterday morning. It fits in the Weber Crafted frame that came with the 2022 Weber Genesis grill.

Weber recommends that you start with fattier foods like bacon or burgers. We cooked up a pound of bacon and made bacon, lettuce, tomato, and avocado sandwiches. We had a loaf of sourdough bread from the bread machine, so we were all set.

There isn't really much to say about the performance of the griddle. I pre-heated the grill for approximately 20 minutes with the lid thermometer reading 400 F (204 C). I had all three burners on low,

Weber advises that the griddle can get hotter than the temperature reading on the lid thermometer. Checking with the tip of the instant read thermometer, the top of the griddle stayed lower than that. The bacon sizzled and cooked just as you would expect. It stuck a little at first, but came off easily as it cooked, just as you would expect.

The liquid bacon grease pooled up at the back and left side of the griddle, but did get in the way much, so I left it in the griddle. I could have used a spatula to scrape it in the oval hole on the griddle. If I had done that, the grease would have poured over the hot flavorizer bar and into the foil tray, which is fine, but it seemed messier than just leaving it for later. After the food was cooked, I turned off the grill with the liquid grease still in the griddle. I left it overnight, but was concerned that insects or critters might notice it. The bacon grease hardened by morning. We brought the griddle in the house, scraped the grease off and wiped it clean. A wet rag and a plastic Lodge scraper got the stuck-on bits. I put it back on the grill, gave it a light coat of flaxseed oil on the top part, heated it for 20 minutes, and it looks good.

Additional Lessons Learned:

Level Your Grill If You Plan to Use a Flat Top Griddle
I had not thought about the griddle when we positioned our newly assembled grill. If you cook with grill grates, it doesn't matter if your grill is not perfectly level. If you plan to use a flat griddle on your grill, getting it level helps. Otherwise, liquids (e.g., grease) will flow to the lowest corner of the griddle and pool there. You don't have to make it perfectly level, but it is a consideration.

For Cooking Bacon, the Weber Flat Top Griddle on the Grill Is Less Messy than a Skillet or Griddle on the Cooktop in the Kitchen
My partner was thrilled with the results of our bacon test on the Weber griddle, because it eliminated the spatter mess that comes from cooking bacon in a pan or griddle in the kitchen. She does not like the spattered grease that lands on the cooktop and counter. A few droplets always get to the floor somehow, making it slippery, too. There was very little mess when we cooked the bacon on the Weber griddle. There was a little spattering on the edge of the grill in front of the box, but none on the back or sides. The spattering and mess were well contained, and my partner was very happy with how it all worked. We don't make bacon that often, but I predict that in the future we will make it on the Weber griddle, not in the kitchen.

The Weber Griddle Made Great Tasting Bacon
The flavor and crispy texture of the bacon were as good as any I have eaten. Heck, it's bacon ... even my vegetarian nieces like it. Unless you fall asleep and burn it, it takes real effort to mess up bacon.
P.S. I was right about the sharp edges on the Weber Crafted Flat Top Griddle. One of those razor sharp edges cut my thumb while I was cleaning it for the first time. It slipped slightly, sliding along the inside joint on the thumb. It made a fine thin cut, like a "paper cut".

It is clear that those square-cut, 90-degree inside and outside edges of the rim are dangerous. They are razor sharp along the full perimeter of the griddle. If the heavy, 15-1/2 pound griddle slips and slides along your skin, the rim edge could leave a nasty cut. Weber expects owners to swap the griddle with other accessories in the grill locker, so handling should be a consideration. The rim edge is the obvious "handle" for gripping the griddle.

I reported the issue to Weber through their customer support email address and await Weber's reply. The delay is not unexpected. (Last week I reported a manufacturing problem that caused assembly issues for us. It could affect customers on a large scale. It took several days before Weber responded.)
I think the 2 sized beads and saw cuts are acceptable. Its a cooking utensil not for show or appearance.
The sharp edges are dangerous, that shows a lack common courtesy to the consumer.
It would only of took a few minutes for them to hit those edges with a grinder or file.
Probably made overseas, rush, rush, no QC.
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Nice hunk of steel. I have 2 issues with griddles on grills;
1 - You really need to remove the flavorizers to get it hot and not waste a lot of fuel. That gets messy.
2 - The grease winds up in the grill instead of a dedicated cup that I then strain and use for weeks to cook my eggs;-)
I think the 2 sized beads and saw cuts are acceptable. Its a cooking utensil not for show or appearance.
The sharp edges are dangerous, that shows a lack common courtesy to the consumer.
It would only of took a few minutes for them to hit those edges with a grinder or file.
Probably made overseas, rush, rush, no QC.
My thoughts exactly. See my update below.

Nice hunk of steel. I have 2 issues with griddles on grills;
1 - You really need to remove the flavorizers to get it hot and not waste a lot of fuel. That gets messy.
2 - The grease winds up in the grill instead of a dedicated cup that I then strain and use for weeks to cook my eggs;-)
1. Despite its heavy weight, it seems to heat up fairly quickly even with the flavorizer bars in place. I set the two burners under it to medium, and was grilling breakfast sausages on it after a 10 minute warm up. That small oval drain hole lines up with one of the flavorizer bars, so I would not want to remove it.

2. So far, the two times I have cooked a pound of bacon, I left the grease on the griddle rather than pushing it down the hole. I removed the griddle carefully and cleaned it up elsewhere. I could have saved the grease for later use. I have thought about placing a metal cup on top of the flavorizer bars underneath the hole to capture the grease, but that metal cup would be spot on the heat source. Perhaps a capture cup could be suspended from the Weber Crafted frame.

The sharp edges on that griddle are very dangerous. I made bacon yesterday. The bacon grease made the griddle slippery. It re-emphasized the danger of those sharp edges.

Report on Weber's Response:
  • On 16 June, I reported the defect as "DANGER, SAFETY ISSUE" to Weber using the email contact on their website.
  • On 17 June, I received a reply informing me that "one of our GENESIS specialists will contact you shortly."
  • On 20 June, Weber requested contact information and photos of the issue.
    • I responded with the requested information and photos that same day.
  • Later that day (20 June), Weber requested an additional photo (which I had already sent in the previous response) and a copy of the receipt.
    • I responded with the requested receipt and the same photo I had sent earlier, still the same day.
  • On 26 June, Weber informed me that "Your case has been assigned to one of our Consumer Care Specialists..." and "We will be reaching out to you shortly ..."
  • Last week I received a phone call from Weber.
The customer service person who called was sympathetic, but I felt no sense of urgency or concern. Weber does not get it. They offered to refund my money or send a replacement. I declined. I am planning to use the griddle anyway, and replacing it with another griddle that has the same sharp edges serves no useful purpose. Besides, I had already invested time and effort to season this one.

What I really want is for Weber to change their manufacturing to make their flat top griddle a safe product. Weber must round over or soften those razor sharp edges to make them safe. It is as simple as that, and there is no other reasonable solution. (Weber could add handles or include a lifting and carrying tool, but neither seems good to me.)

After I pressed hard that I wanted Weber to fix the manufacturing problem to prevent others from being injured, the customer service person finally admitted that the most they could do is notify Weber's QA (quality assurance) department about the issue. It would be up to Weber QA to determine whether to do anything further. I asked the person to escalate my call to someone in greater authority, but they claimed that the supervisor could not do anything different, and connecting me to someone who could talk to manufacturing (and who might understand better) was not possible.

I asked to be kept informed when Weber takes action and what actions they take. The customer service person said that the best he could do is include my request and contact info in the QA referral. He could make no promises that QA or others would act on the request.

Clearly Weber is not going to do anything in any reasonable timeframe for me. It is time to get out the tools and soften those sharp edges myself. I believe that this is necessary for personal safety; I have already been cut by this griddle once. I will add a post to this thread when I am done with the job. I should not have to do this, but it is necessary.

-> I expected Weber would deliver a ready-to-use griddle that is safe to use, hold, handle, and carry. For the rather high price of $110, I did not expect Weber to give me extra work just to make it safe to use.

-> The Weber Crafted Flat Top Griddle is UNSAFE as delivered. In my opinion, Weber needs to fix this manufacturing issue quickly. If Weber does not correct this issue, then it is only a matter of time before a customer experiences a severe cut from this heavy griddle with its razor sharp edges around the inside and outside of its entire perimeter.
I softened the edges of the Weber Flat Top Griddle myself using sandpaper. Here are some helpful tips:
  • Wear a dust mask! Fine metal dust is bad for your lungs. No exceptions - that means you!
  • Wear old leather gloves or be extra extra careful with your hands. You are about to sand or file some sharp edges by moving your hands back and forth over those same edges. Be careful not to cut yourself while you do it. (That is the whole point of this exercise, is it not?)
  • Your hands will become very black and dirty with metal dust. The black dust will transfer to everything you touch until you wash your hands.
    • Soap helps, and a gritty "lava" type soap helps more.
    • Disposable gloves could help more, if you can avoid tearing them while you work on the griddle. Good luck with that! Based on enough previous experience like this, I didn't bother to try.
  • Tip the sandpaper or file at many angles as you round over the edges. Some of your passes should be nearly flat with the top or nearlyflat with side of the rim, others at 45 degrees and others in-between.
    • I wrote "nearly flat". Try to avoid scratching the sides as you sand or file. The top of the rim doesn't matter.
  • Remember to round the edges all the way into the corners.
    • You may have to round over the corners by rolling the sandpaper over the edge in the corners, rather than gliding along the edge. If you do that, give it a few passes along the edge to clean up any "horizontal scratches" that you may leave behind.
Lessons Learned:
  • Start with course sandpaper or use a file. I wish I had.
    • I started with 1000 grit silicon carbide paper, hoping it would go quickly, I was wrong.
    • I tried 500 grit silicon carbide, then 280 grit aluminum oxide. Both were very slow but worked.
    • I stuck with the 280 grit paper, but should have switched to 150.
    • Recommendation: Try 150 grit sandpaper or just start with files.
  • Be careful to avoid scratching the bed of the griddle while sanding the inside edges of the rim.
    • I held my fingers between the sandpaper and the inside flat part of the griddle while sanding those inside edges.
In the end, the 280 grit sandpaper did the job well enough, but it took longer and more effort than necessary. A courser grit sandpaper or a file would have made quick work of the job. With courser grits or files, you may have to go back with finer grits to clean up deeper scratches, which is what I was trying to avoid with the fine sandpaper.

  • Weber Flat Top Griddle with Sandpaper
  • Griddle after Sanding the Edges
Please ignore:
If anyone is interested, that sanding block is called a "Preppin' Weapon." It is made locally here in Orange, California. I highly recommend them! (Disclaimer: No affiliation, just a satisfied customer.)

Griddle and Sandpaper.JPG Griddle with Softened Edges.JPG
Yah, or even a grinding disk on an angle grinder would make short work of the edges. It may not look as pretty as hand sanding the edges, but really what we are looking for is functionality, I think.

I would like to see some ideas on how to collect the grease dripping through the drain hole. My first thought was an aluminum drip pan or similar but that would be right over a burner as mentioned above by Emory.
Yah, or even a grinding disk on an angle grinder would make short work of the edges. It may not look as pretty as hand sanding the edges, but really what we are looking for is functionality, I think.

I would like to see some ideas on how to collect the grease dripping through the drain hole. My first thought was an aluminum drip pan or similar but that would be right over a burner as mentioned above by Emory.
One big "I forgot":
The burner under the griddle's drain hole is the sear burner. The instructions say to leave the sear burner off when using the griddle. No doubt that could help with a catch cup design.

What about a catch cup over the sear burner flavorizer bar, with wire supports over the adjacent "hot" burner flavorizer bars just for stability? Hopefully the wires won't carry too much heat to the catch cup. I am not a metal worker, but it seems like it would be easy enough for someone with experience in that area.
Could slide a grease bin from a gasser or Smokefire to catch the grease. And they’re cheap, although it would have to straddle flavorizer bars and I havent tested to see.

The corners should be knocked down and rounded at factory with a flap wheel, 20 seconds tops and it’s done.

I debated long and hard about griddle inserts for grills, and ended up with a Blackstone. They are far less quality than I expected but it works great and that’s all I need.
Thanks for all the insights. I was thinking of getting two of these for my 435, but had not considered grease management.

It's a shame that Weber compromised the griddle design again to fit more grills. The Genesis II and 2022 have plenty of space for a catch cup up front, but the Spirit and Smokefire do not. Hence, the compromise drain hole.

I'm sure the risk of the grease pan catching fire under the griddle factored into the decision to use the original grease management.

I guess I'll have to make space for the 28" Blackstone on the deck, after all. It was actually cheaper than 2 Crafted racks and griddles.

If I find that I really like griddling, I may yet get a griddle for the 435, but not this one. Instead, I'd design a custom one with a front grease drain to use the small Blackstone foil pans.