The Cuisinart CGWM-056 30-Inch 360° XL Griddle basically lays out all of its key features in its name, and has become known as one of the best gas grills (opens in new tab) for gridded food. That’s because – yes, you guessed it – this is a griddle as opposed to an open grill, which makes it suitable for cooking less consistent foods like eggs and bacon, as well as more exotic stovetop fare such as pizzas or fried rice.
Also known as the Cuisinart CGG-999, this outdoor cooking appliance is extra large, with a 30-inch diameter offering a significant amount of cooking space. And it offers 360 degrees of accessibility, so you can work all the way around it and place it right in the middle of your cookout. In many respects, the Cuisinart CGWM-056 30-Inch 360° XL Griddle is a feature as much as it is a griddle.
It isn't necessarily as restrictive as you might think, either; there's nothing to stop you cooking up a burger or a steak here, as long as you're not desperately seeking the aesthetics of sear lines. The steel surface naturally helps radiate heat, theoretically reducing the impact of any hot spots. So can the Cuisinart CGG-999, priced reasonably at around $400, hold up to its promise? Or should you stick with a more traditional large grill like the Monument Grills 77352 6 Burner Propane Gas Grill (opens in new tab) or a combination griddle-grill such as the Royal Gourmet GD401? Let's find out…
Cuisinart CGWM-056 30-Inch 360° XL Griddle: Spec
- Assembled length: 60.5 inches
- Assembled height: 42.5 inches
- Assembled width: 37.5 inches
- Product weight: 99lbs
- Primary cooking space: 30 inches
- Number of burners: Three
- Warranty: Three years on parts
Cuisinart CGWM-056 30-Inch 360° XL Griddle: Design
Cuisinart is an established brand with a great reputation for quality, and as such the CGWM-056 doesn't look like a misstep. It's a handsome and large three-burner griddle, so large (and heavy, at 99lbs) that it could even cause you problems fitting down a side lane; the 20lb cold rolled steel cooking surface measures the equivalent of 706 square inches, which wouldn't be a problem with a rectangular grill, but when you're looking at a 30-inch diameter circle surrounded by a drip-catching rim things start to get rather cumbersome.
Awkward it may be, but that's a clever design, with the drip catcher angled to funnel everything down a single drain into a grease cup. There's a stainless steel lid with an adjustable vent, which is of the lift-off-and-remove variety rather than sporting a hinge - there's a hanging hook on the inside so you can dangle it from the side of the unit when it's not in use.
A 20L propane tank sits in the base cabinet of the CGWM-056 30-Inch 360° XL Griddle, keeping things tidy (but restricting additional storage). Technically that bottle feeds three burners with a combined 50,000 BTU, but that's a little misleading. There are two side-aligned burners, parallel with the collapsible side tables, which are straight; the central burner loops around to make it twice as long as the others.
Cuisinart CGWM-056 30-Inch 360° XL Griddle: Features
There are a few little extras which help the CGWM-056 30-Inch 360° XL Griddle to stand out. One is a paper towel holder beneath one side table, such a small feature but one which makes quickly cleaning and seasoning the grill a breeze.
There's electronic ignition on its three burners, and they're individually adjustable via a trio of knobs on the front of the cabinet, which allows for some serious variation in temperature on the grill top - for heating tortillas on one side and cooking up a delicious filling on the other, for instance. The CGG-999 stands on lockable casters, so it's easy to move around when the urge strikes you.
As we've mentioned, the side tables are collapsible, giving you more room to move around the grill for complex cook jobs, and while they're certainly not the largest out there, they're more than adequate for some simple food preparation. The grease management functions are handy too, though the flatness of the top means you may need to encourage that grease into the disposal channel around the edge.
We should make mention of that stainless steel lid. It's a very handy thing to have on a griddle, as it gives you a whole host of options on how to use it. Maybe you'll try a little smoking, maybe roast some items on a low heat - this is more versatile than it might at first appear. Perhaps even to the point that you won't miss grill bars at all; there's certainly no chance of dripping fat causing flareups here.
Cuisinart CGWM-056 30-Inch 360° XL Griddle: User reviews
Overall user reception to the Cuisinart CGG-999 30-Inch 360° XL Griddle has been positive. The CGWM-056 30-Inch 360° XL Griddle is a statement piece, and people love the way it looks, and they generally love the way it performs too.
Some have noted hot spots on the griddle top, which is realistically something that's to be expected on just about any grill; there's going to be an acclimatization period where you find out what works and where, but you'll get used to it in no time. Turning down the heat a little would be a plus anyway, as some users have found it burns rather hot and will drink a 20L propane tank in no time.
Very few buyers have any other complaints, particularly given that the CGWM-056 30-Inch 360° XL Griddle lands at a lower price point than some other comparable large griddles. These are cheaper, too, but not with the same presentation or build quality - apart, perhaps, from Cuisinart's smaller 22 inch CCG-888.
Many comment that its materials demand some care. A stainless steel griddle is great until it rusts, and while it's a thick chunk of metal there's a higher chance of it warping over time than there is with cast iron griddles. Regular seasoning is a must, and you may have to invest in special griddle tools to make the most of it, as the standard grill tool set isn't really applicable.
Should you buy the Cuisinart CGWM-056 30-Inch 360° XL Griddle?
It may be awkwardly large, and we're not prepared to make a judgment on how long it'll last long term, but this is a great griddle with a whole lot of upside. If you're into entertaining, we can't think of a grill more suited as a party centerpiece than the Cuisinart CGWM-056 30-Inch 360° XL Griddle.
Whether you're pulling off some Korean BBQ, flipping burgers, or making the most of its lid to roast some serious veggies, this is a standout griddle in looks and abilities.