Many grill enthusiasts prefer to purchase an outdoor gas griddle that fits over their freestanding grill, while others invest in a dedicated Blackstone griddle. Personal preference doesn’t change one fact, and it’s that griddle owners face the same problem of learning to clean their griddle properly and effectively. (1)
Most manufacturers include a list of recommended cleaning methods in supplemented manuals, but you never know how the griddle in your possession will react to certain approaches. In addition to mastering the art of cleaning your Blackstone griddle prior and after cooking, you might also consider looking into proper ways of storage and anti-rust treatment. (2)
How often should you clean a griddle?
The first question of any grilling newbie is nearly always about the frequency of griddle cleaning. Most professional advice you will encounter encourages systematic cleaning before and after each use. The main difference between the two is how much effort you’re allowed to give it.
For instance, before cooking you can simply wipe the griddle down without scrubbing, but after the cooking, it’s important to get rid of all stuck-on soils, food debris, and other visible greases. (3)
But what about Blackstone 17” and Blackstone 28” griddle cleaning?
Whether you’re dealing with addon flat tops, smaller griddle plates, 28” Blackstone or 36” Blackstones, the regularity of your maintenance should always be consistent. This includes lightly cleaning your Blackstone before use and putting it through a more intensive treatment after your food has been cleared off and eaten.
Blackstone griddles will also benefit from careful removal of any scent remnants—taking time to do so will ensure the griddle doesn’t stagnate in storage and pass the unpleasant odors onto the food during your next cooking session.
For those who don’t cook with their Blackstone griddles too often, it’s highly recommended to pull them out of storage anyway for regular cleaning. Do it at least every three weeks to mildly clean the griddle and ensure it remains free of various mouldy growths. (4)
What is the best way to clean a Blackstone griddle?
Most griddle cleaning methods are pretty similar and can give you good end results but it all hinges on the state your griddle is in when you decide to clean it. Not every action is going to produce the best possible outcome since every griddle has different levels of seasoning, grease accumulation, and in some cases even some surface damage.
To make sure your griddle comes out as clean as you want it, you need to realize the scope of what you are dealing with. (5)
Cleaning Blackstone griddle after cooking
A good meal—especially one with multiple courses—often means you have to deal with a whole lot of mess in the kitchen afterward, but a well-made barbeque times this mess by ten. Luckily, it’s much easier to clean a griddle in your backyard or on your back porch since you don’t have to worry about damaging any furniture or floors.
To clean a griddle after using it you will need only a few items:
- A steel spatula or turner (it should be safe to use with your flat top)
- Cooking oil
- A scouring pad with nylon mesh
Now you will only need to follow these simple steps:
- Make sure the griddle surface has cooled down before you begin cleaning to avoid the risk of burns.
- Take your scraper and begin scrubbing at the stains and stuck-on bits of food. Try to be patient—you need to get off as much food residue as possible. If your griddle has a rear grease management system, use it to dispose of all scarpings.
- Once all bits and pieces are removed, use paper towels to wipe the surface. Do it several times to get all remaining grease.
- Fill a bucket full of hot water and pour it over the griddle. Add water moderately to control the amount of spillage. Do not mix water with soap as it can damage your griddle.
- As water soaks through the stubborn soils and loosens them, you can start working at those problematic areas with the scouring pad. Continue adding water and scouring until all hard stains are removed.
- Soak the excess water with paper towels and keep wiping the griddle until it’s water-free.
- Dry the surface with a soft cloth.
- Season the griddle for future use before you put it in storage. Use cooking oil of your choice (olive, canola, flaxseed, etc) to coat the griddle with a protective layer of grease.
- Cover the griddle for storage and keep it in a dry and warm place.
Remember to regularly check on the griddle if you don’t use it frequently to see if any rust or mouldy growths have been forming; if you spy the early signs of it, you can stop further deterioration in time.
Removing rust from Blackstone griddle
Blackstones griddles tend to rust when not looked at properly since they are made of iron which can oxidize fast. When iron comes in contact with water and oxygen over prolonged periods of time, it eventually experiences corrosion due to a thermodynamically favored reaction.
If you use your griddle in especially humid coastal or tropical areas, chances are it will be more vulnerable to rust. And when rusty flakes begin to form on the griddle surface, your entire flat top becomes unusable for cooking.
Most products that are fully or partially constructed from iron are already protected from potential corrosion, usually with layers of zinc and paint. Blackstone griddles, however, need to be protected on a regular basis, and it’s not with paint or zinc but with constant seasoning. When coated with oil, a griddle’s iron top will resist rust for much longer.
The good news is—rust affects only the top layer of the griddle and doesn’t form below the surface level. Removing surface level rust is much easier than having to replace the entire flat top. To save your griddle from flaky rust you will need only a few items and a lot of patience.
Here’s a list of tools you will need for effective rust removal:
- Heat-resistant gloves
- Grill stones A scraper (use only metal scraping tools made for grills or griddles)
- Cooking oil (choose at your preference)
- Paper towels
If all required items are on deck and you are ready to go, set up your griddle in the backyard, veranda, or porch, and follow the instructions:
- First, you will need to heat up the griddle in order to make the rust more pliable so it can come off easier under pressure. Keep the high heat going for at least 20 minutes.
- After the hot treatment, your griddle needs to cool down. Don’t rush to clean it while it’s still hot.
Put on your heat-resistant gloves—you can never be too careful when it comes to dealing with fire.
- Use the scraper of your choice to work across the entire top layer of the griddle. Scrape it thoroughly to remove surface corrosion. This takes time and dedication, so be ready to exert a lot of energy.
- Now it’s time to use your cooking oil: add 3 to 4 tablespoons to the griddle and spread it (you can do it with the grill stone to save time). Scrub the now oily surface of the flat top with the grill stone.
- Wipe the griddle clean with a cloth or paper towels. Remove all oil and loosened rust flakes with paper towels. You can always use a cloth or dishtowel instead.
- Repeat the process by adding oil (again, 3 to 4 tablespoons should do) and work the grill stone over it. Wipe the griddle afterward.
- Depending on the state of your griddle, this process may take many attempts, so repeat the previous step as many times as you need to remove all rust flakes and residue.
- When your griddle is finally rust-free, it’s time to season it for storage. If you don’t do this, all your hard work would go to waste. Use any cooking oil at hand to coat the griddle for protection against humidity and rust.
- After the griddle is seasoned, you can also drop another 3 or 4 tablespoons of oil just to make sure the coating sticks and holds its own against the elements.
- As always, choose dry places to store your griddle. It needs to be properly covered as a protective measure against humid air and water.
Sanding Blackstone griddle
Resurfacing your Blackstone griddle may seem like an improbable task on a first glance—especially if the flat top is particularly weathered by constant use—but this type of restoration is actually very much achievable.
Over time a griddle collects scrapes and scratches from metal cooking utensils that come in contact with the surface. Fortunately, it is possible to revert the flat top back to its former glory and make it smooth and slick again with the help of some sanding materials.
For sanding a Blackstone griddle you will need only six things:
- Wetordry sandpaper, 800 grit
- Steel wool, #0000 grade (quadruple-ought or four-ought)
- Dish sponge
- Paper towels
- Cooking oil
Keep in mind that sanding a griddle involves a lot of patience. Your approach also needs to be rather careful. Now onto the actual process:
- Clean the griddle of any oil and grease beforehand.
- Make sure the griddle is cold.
- Take the dish sponge and wrap the sandpaper sheet around it.
- Add water to the flat top. Spray or pour it moderately. Water acts as a lubricant for both smoother sanding and to allow Wetordry to actually work since sandpaper is meant to be used wet.
- Spread the water with your sandpaper-wrapped sponge. Avoid pressing too hard. This needs light but firm touch.
- Keep rubbing the griddle’s wet surface with the sandpaper until you are sure you have filed down the scratches. Scratches do not disappear but their top layer is knocked off and the carbon layer evens out.
- Take a steel wool pad and begin working at the still wet surface without pushing too hard. This is done to smoother over the scratches that the sandpaper has created. Polish the top until you feel it’s slick enough.
- Wipe the griddle with paper towels to get rid of the remaining water.
- If you see that the towels come off slightly tinged with carbon grease, you can add more water and wipe it down with paper towels again to get rid of the unpleasant residue.
- Now the griddle has to be seasoned. Do it with a light coating of oil and spread with the paper towel. Turn on the heat—the higher the better—and let the oil burn off.
After trying out this simple sanding method, you will find your griddle shiny, smooth, and ready to fry all your favorite foods without them sticking and turning to char.
Why is my Blackstone griddle sticking?
If you find your food sticking to the surface of your Blackstone griddle, there might be an issue with seasoning. If you haven’t seasoned the griddle at all, avoid preparing any food until you fix the issue. If you have seasoned your griddle, you may have not done it properly, so your only option is to go back and do it all over again, this time with multiple and even coatings.
Another possibility for burn-in and sticking food is the amount of oil you are using. Too much oil can cause gumming and sticking, so try adding less oil when cooking on a griddle. Certain oils that come with higher burning or smoke points are best to use in this situation, for example olive pomace, corn, soybean, or peanut oils.
How do you clean a seasoned griddle?
Cleaning a seasoned griddle is not much different from cleaning it after cooking. All you need is warm water, paper towels, a pre-heated plate, and a scraper.
What to do with a seasoned griddle:
- As described in the cleaning method at the beginning, scrape off the remnants of food with a metal scraper, then add warm water and scrape some more.
- Keep adding water in small amounts and scraping the sticky and caramelized bits of food and carbon until no hard bits and residue remain.
- Once you’ve finished scraping, wipe away all remnants of water and grease using paper towels but always wear heat-resistant gloves or use tongs.
- When all of the water has burned off, turn off the heat. Wait a bit and while the plate is still hot add cooking oil to re-season your seasoned griddle. A light coating will do just fine.
What not to do with a seasoned griddle:
- Do not add soap or detergents. These cleaning products are only used with new griddles that have not yet been seasoned. Never use cleaning products such as detergents and washing powders since can lead to surface damage and even corrode the flat top.
- Do not clean with too-hard scrubbers. Abrasive pads and wipes can seriously damage the top layer of your griddle. You don’t want to have your plate scraped all over after cleaning. Use only soft sponges, towels, and cloths.
- Do not add cold or icy water to the hot flat top since the rapid change in temperature can damage the metal.
How to clean Blackstone griddle with a cleaning kit?
One of the best ways to keep your Blackstone griddle in shape is by tending to it regularly with the help of a cleaning kit. Luckily, Blackstone offers a variety of cleaning products designed for the maintenance of their griddles, including five-piece and eight-piece cleaning sets. You can also find separately sold items such as grease liner cups, grease keys, or heavy-duty scrapers for refurbishment.
Using Blackstone cleaning kit
A standard cleaning kit consists of a few simple tools designed for scrubbing and scouring. This is a very handy collection to have at home since you never know when your griddle needs to be promptly cleaned before a surprise barbeque gathering over the weekend.
In a five-piece kit you would normally find the following tools:
- 1 six-inch griddle scraper in stainless steel
- 1 scouring handle
- 3 replaceable scouring pads
Each tool is meant to be used for separate steps of the griddle cleaning process to maximize efficiency and reduce damage to the flat top.
First comes the heavy-duty scraper designed for scrubbing off the hard-set stains and bits of food from the griddle plate. Use it on the pre-heated griddle before you proceed to the next step.
Compared to random old wash sponges, scourings pads are much better at removing food residue when combined with warm water. They are detachable, so you can discard the used pad and replace it with a new one on your scouring handle.
Eight-piece cleaning kits feature all of the aforementioned tools but also add an extra handle with replaceable cleaning bricks. As evidenced by their name, cleaning bricks are sturdier and more heavy-duty than normal scouring pads. They are used for treating particularly problematic areas covered in grime and grease. Bricks can also clean the griddle when it’s cold which is a massive advantage over scouring pads.
Taking care of your Blackstone griddle is an important part of cooking, for leisure or otherwise. If you can’t keep your flat top in good shape, you won’t be able to produce quality food. When a griddle is neglected, nothing you can cook will seem good enough, or it will come away with unpleasant odors and have an odd aftertaste.
Keeping your griddle clean and free of rust is extremely easy but it requires a methodical approach and patience. And since not everyone can adhere to a regular cleaning schedule, griddles can become too dirty or rusty to be used in record time.
All you need to do to ensure your griddle puts out long years of service is to be consistent with your cleanings, seasonings, and resurfacing. Check up on your griddle in storage to assess its condition, always clean before and after cooking, and don’t forget to season your flat top well.
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