If you want to expand your outdoor cooking capabilities beyond grilling, then you need a griddle. Blackstone, a leading brand name in griddles, features a steel cooking surface made of iron and carbon, which allows you to cook hamburgers and bratwurst as well as pancakes, scrambled eggs, and hash browns. Most outdoor griddles are powered by portable propane tanks and range in size from small units for camping to huge griddle surfaces that feed up to 20 people.
Caring for a steel griddle is very similar to caring for cast iron grills or cookware. The steel will rust unless it is cleaned properly and regularly seasoned. Fortunately, it takes very little time to clean—and it only takes a few supplies you probably already have on hand.
How Often You Should Clean a Blackstone Griddle
It's important to clean and season a new Blackstone griddle or any griddle before you use it for the first time to remove any dust, grime, and residue that remains after the manufacturing process. After you use the griddle for the first time, it's best to properly clean and season it after each use.
Equipment / Tools
- Microfiber towels
- Metal spatula or scraper
- Non-metallic scouring pad or brush
- Pumice grill stone
- Dishwashing liquid
- Paper towels
- Vegetable oil
How to Clean and Season a New Blackstone Griddle
Once the griddle is assembled, be sure to start with a cold surface and follow these steps before you use a new Blackstone griddle—or a griddle of any brand—for the first time.
Mix a Cleaning Solution
Fill a bucket with one or two gallons of hot water. Add a couple of squirts of a good dishwashing liquid and stir to mix well.
Scrub the Cooking Surfaces
Dip a microfiber towel in the cleaning solution and wring until it is not dripping. Carefully scrub all of the cooking surfaces, and try to rinse the towel in the cleaning solution frequently as you cover the entire surface.
Rinse and Dry the Cooking Surface
Next, you should empty the cleaning solution from the bucket and refill it with fresh hot water. Dip a microfiber cloth in the clean water and wipe down the cooking surface to rinse away any soap.
After the surface is free of suds, use a dry towel to carefully dry the griddle. Allow the surface to air-dry thoroughly before attempting to season the griddle.
It's especially important to ensure there is no residual moisture on the griddle, as any moisture left on the surface can cause rust to form.
Season the Cooking Surface
Seasoning the steel griddle surface is not totally how it sounds—no spices necessary. Seasoning your griddle is simply bonding oil to the steel to create a nonstick surface for cooking and help deter the formation of rust.
Use around two to three tablespoons of vegetable oil—corn, canola, flax, olive, or solid shortening—to coat the griddle. Use a paper towel to spread the oil and rub it into every part of the griddle, including the sides and back rim.
Turn all of the griddle burners on high. Allow the temperature to remain on high until the oil begins to smoke, usually around 10 to 15 minutes. The griddle will discolor as the oil bonds to the steel. Turn off the griddle burners and allow the surface to become cool to the touch.
Repeat the steps with additional oil two more times for a total of three heating sessions. After the third time, turn off the griddle and let it cool completely. The griddle should be black in color, and you're ready to cook.
How to Clean a Blackstone Griddle After Cooking
Start with a Cool Grill
Always allow the griddle to cool down completely after cooking before you clean it.
Scrape Away Food Particles
Use a wide metal spatula or metal scraper to remove food particles and juices from the griddle. You should scrape toward the drip pans and then use a paper towel to capture any remaining grease on the cooking surface.
If there are stuck-on food particles, spray them with hot water to help loosen them and then scrape them away.
Scrub the Surface
After removing your newly cooked food, spray the surface with hot water and use a non-metallic scrubber to clean any remaining residue from the griddle.
Do not use a wire brush, as it can leave tiny bits of metal that can rust or get captured in the next food you prepare. Wipe away any debris with a paper towel.
Dry and Season the Griddle
Use a microfiber towel to carefully dry the griddle, and then use a paper towel to spread about one or two tablespoons of vegetable oil over the entire cooking surface so it is completely covered. Do not leave puddles of oil on the griddle.
How to Clean a Rusty Griddle
If a griddle has been allowed to rust, it can usually be restored. However, it's going to take lots of elbow grease and much more time than a well-maintained griddle.
Heat the Griddle
Rust is easier to remove from a hot griddle. So, it's best to always wear heat-protective gloves and clothing before getting to work.
Turn the griddle to high heat and allow it to get really hot before you begin working. The griddle will need to remain on high for much of the cleaning time.
Scrape and Scrape Some More
Working on the hot griddle, use a metal scraper to remove the rust. Work in a methodical pattern so that you don't miss any part of the corroded surface. Do not add water and be sure to keep the griddle's surface dry.
Cool and Wipe Away Loosened Rust
Allow the griddle to cool completely and use a scraper or a paper towel to remove all of the loosened rust from the griddle surface.
Oil and Scrub the Griddle
Pour four or five tablespoons of vegetable oil on the surface of the griddle and scour it with a pumice grill stone. You can use a non-metallic scrubbing brush, but a pumice stone will make the task easier. Wipe away the oil and debris with paper towels.
If there is still visible rust, repeat this step until every bit of rust is gone, and it's best to always add more oil each time you scrub the surface.
Season the Griddle Surface
Once the rust is gone, season the griddle with fresh oil. Be sure to store it in a cool, dry place—and you won't have to do all that scrubbing again.