The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning and Seasoning Your Blackstone Griddle
A Blackstone griddle is a fantastic addition to any outdoor cooking setup, offering versatility and the ability to cook a wide range of foods with ease. To ensure your griddle stays in excellent condition and continues to deliver delicious results, proper cleaning and seasoning are essential. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to clean and season your Blackstone griddle like a pro.
Why Cleaning and Seasoning Matters
Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand why cleaning and seasoning your Blackstone griddle is crucial:
1. Prevents Rust: Cleaning and seasoning create a protective layer that prevents rust and corrosion on the griddle surface.
2. Enhances Flavor: A well-seasoned griddle imparts a unique flavor to your food and prevents sticking.
3. Maintains Non-Stick Properties: Seasoning builds up over time, making the griddle surface more non-stick and easier to cook on.
4. Improves Durability: Proper care extends the lifespan of your Blackstone griddle, ensuring years of cooking enjoyment.
Now, let’s get started with the cleaning and seasoning process.
Cleaning Your Blackstone Griddle
- Scraper or spatula
- Grill brush or scraper
- Paper towels or lint-free cloths
- Warm water
- Mild dish soap
- Vegetable oil or shortening
- Plastic container or spray bottle
- Griddle cover (optional)
1. Safety First:
- Ensure your griddle is entirely cooled down before starting the cleaning process.
2. Scrape Off Residue:
- Use a scraper or spatula to remove any food debris or cooked-on residue from the griddle surface. Be gentle to avoid scratching the surface.
3. Heat the Griddle:
- Turn on the griddle to low heat for a few minutes. This helps soften any remaining stubborn residues.
4. Scrub with Grill Brush:
- While the griddle is still warm, use a grill brush or scraper to scrub away the loosened debris. Work in a circular motion for even cleaning.
5. Soapy Water Wash:
- Mix warm water and a few drops of mild dish soap in a plastic container or spray bottle. Soak a lint-free cloth or paper towel in the soapy water and gently wipe down the griddle surface to remove any remaining grease or residue.
6. Rinse and Dry:
- Rinse the griddle surface with clean water and wipe it dry with a clean cloth.
- If you notice that the seasoning has worn down after cleaning, you may need to re-season your griddle (explained in the next section).
8. Cover (Optional):
- Consider using a griddle cover to protect your griddle from the elements when not in use. This helps prevent rust and keeps your griddle clean between uses.
Seasoning Your Blackstone Griddle
Seasoning your Blackstone griddle is a crucial step to maintain its non-stick properties and prevent rust. Here’s how to season it properly:
- Vegetable oil or shortening (avoid using olive oil or butter)
- Lint-free cloth or paper towels
- Heat-resistant gloves or mitts
1. Preheat the Griddle:
- Turn on your griddle to high heat and let it heat up until it’s very hot. This opens up the pores of the metal and prepares it for seasoning.
2. Apply Oil:
- Wearing heat-resistant gloves or mitts, apply a thin layer of vegetable oil or shortening all over the griddle surface, including the edges and corners. Use a lint-free cloth or paper towels to spread the oil evenly.
3. Heat and Allow to Smoke:
- Continue heating the griddle on high until the oil starts to smoke. This indicates that the oil has polymerized, creating a protective layer on the surface.
4. Cool Down:
- Turn off the griddle and allow it to cool down completely. The seasoning process is now complete.
5. Repeat if Necessary:
- For newly seasoned griddles or griddles that have been deeply cleaned, you may need to repeat the seasoning process multiple times to build up a good non-stick layer.
6. Maintenance Seasoning:
- After each use and cleaning, it’s a good practice to apply a light coat of oil to the griddle surface while it’s still warm. This helps maintain the seasoning and prevents rust.
- Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive scouring pads on your griddle, as they can damage the seasoning and the griddle’s surface.
- If rust does develop, don’t worry. Simply remove the rust with a griddle stone or fine sandpaper, re-season the affected area, and follow the seasoning steps mentioned above.
- Regularly clean the drip tray and grease cup to prevent grease buildup and potential flare-ups.
- Always store your griddle in a dry place, protected from rain and moisture.
The best Blackstone griddle for you depends on your specific needs, budget, and preferences. Blackstone offers a range of griddles with various sizes and features to cater to different cooking styles. Here are some popular Blackstone griddle models to consider:
Blackstone 28-inch Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle Station (Model: 1517):
- This is one of the most popular and versatile Blackstone griddles.
- 28-inch cooking surface provides ample space for cooking for a family or small gatherings.
- Features two independently controlled burners for precise heat control.
- Foldable legs and four caster wheels make it easy to transport and store.
- Durable and easy-to-clean design.
Blackstone 36-inch Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle Station (Model: 1554):
- A larger option for those who need more cooking space.
- Spacious 36-inch cooking surface can accommodate large groups and parties.
- Four independently controlled burners for versatile cooking options.
- Equipped with a side shelf and bottom shelf for added workspace and storage.
- Foldable legs and four caster wheels for mobility.
Blackstone 17-inch Tabletop Portable Gas Griddle (Model: 1650):
- Ideal for camping, tailgating, or small outdoor spaces.
- Compact and portable design with a 17-inch cooking surface.
- Single H-style burner for even heat distribution.
- Easy to transport with a built-in handle and convenient grease management system.
Blackstone 22-inch Tabletop Griddle (Model: 1666):
- A slightly larger tabletop griddle with a 22-inch cooking surface.
- Compact and portable, suitable for outdoor events and picnics.
- One H-style burner for consistent heat distribution.
- Easy to clean and maintain.
Blackstone 28-inch Adventure Ready 2-Burner Griddle (Model: 1856):
- Designed for on-the-go cooking adventures and outdoor enthusiasts.
- 28-inch cooking surface with two burners for versatile cooking.
- Collapsible design and sturdy side handles for portability.
- Suitable for camping, hiking, and tailgating.
Blackstone 17-inch Tabletop Propane Gas Griddle with Hood (Model: 1814):
- Compact tabletop griddle with a 17-inch cooking surface.
- Comes with a hood for added versatility in cooking options.
- Perfect for cooking burgers, steaks, and more with a grilling experience.
- Portable and easy to transport.
When choosing the best Blackstone griddle, consider factors such as cooking space, portability, the number of burners, and additional features like shelves and hoods. Also, ensure that the griddle you select aligns with your cooking needs, whether you plan to use it for small family dinners, large gatherings, or on-the-go adventures. Reading customer reviews and comparing prices can help you make an informed decision based on your preferences and budget.
In addition to Blackstone griddles, there are several other reputable brands that offer high-quality griddles for outdoor and indoor cooking. Here are some griddle recommendations from other well-known brands:
Camp Chef Flat Top Griddles:
- Camp Chef is known for its versatile flat top griddles that are compatible with Camp Chef stoves and outdoor cooking systems.
- Options include a range of sizes and features, such as multiple burners, foldable shelves, and grease management systems.
- Camp Chef griddles are durable and excellent for camping, tailgating, and backyard cooking.
Lodge Cast Iron Reversible Griddle:
- Lodge is renowned for its cast iron cookware, and their reversible griddle/grill combo is a popular choice.
- This cast iron griddle can be used on stovetops, grills, or in the oven.
- Its versatility makes it suitable for both indoor and outdoor cooking.
Royal Gourmet Portable Propane Gas Grill and Griddle Combo:
- Royal Gourmet offers a grill and griddle combo unit that provides flexibility for various cooking styles.
- The griddle side features a large cooking surface, while the grill side is equipped with burners for grilling.
- Ideal for outdoor gatherings and tailgating.
Cuisinart 360° Griddle Cooking Center:
- Cuisinart’s 360° Griddle Cooking Center features a circular griddle design with a 22-inch diameter cooking surface.
- It has two independently controlled burners, foldable side shelves, and a built-in grease management system.
- Great for cooking breakfast, lunch, or dinner outdoors.
Presto Tilt ‘n Drain Big Griddle:
- Presto offers an affordable and versatile electric griddle with a non-stick cooking surface.
- The “Tilt ‘n Drain” feature allows you to adjust the griddle’s surface for cooking at different angles, making it suitable for various dishes.
- Perfect for indoor cooking and easy cleanup.
Black & Decker Family-Sized Electric Griddle:
- Black & Decker’s electric griddle is family-sized, featuring a large cooking surface with a non-stick coating.
- The removable drip tray makes cleanup a breeze, and the adjustable temperature control ensures precise cooking.
Electric Teppanyaki Table Top Grill Griddle:
- Teppanyaki griddles are popular for their even heating and suitability for Japanese-style cooking.
- This electric tabletop griddle is great for grilling meats, seafood, vegetables, and more.
When choosing a griddle from these or other brands, consider your specific cooking needs, available space, and whether you prefer a gas, electric, or cast iron griddle. Pay attention to features such as cooking surface size, temperature control, and ease of cleaning. Reading user reviews and product specifications can help you select the right griddle for your culinary adventures.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Griddles and Griddle Cooking
What’s the difference between a griddle and a grill?
A griddle typically has a flat, smooth cooking surface, while a grill has raised grates that create grill marks on food. Griddles are ideal for cooking items like pancakes, eggs, and sandwiches, while grills are better for searing and grilling meats.
How do I clean a griddle?
To clean a griddle, scrape off any food residue with a spatula, wipe it with a damp cloth or paper towels, and rinse with warm water. For stubborn residues, use a grill brush or griddle stone. Season the griddle with oil after cleaning to prevent rust.
What is seasoning, and why is it important for griddles?
Seasoning is the process of applying a thin layer of oil to the griddle and heating it to create a non-stick, rust-resistant surface. Seasoning enhances the griddle’s performance, prevents food from sticking, and extends its lifespan.
Can I use soap to clean my griddle?
It’s best to avoid using soap, as it can strip away the seasoning. Instead, clean the griddle with water and a mild dish soap sparingly, if necessary, and re-season afterward.
What types of food can I cook on a griddle?
Griddles are versatile and can cook a wide range of foods, including pancakes, eggs, bacon, burgers, grilled cheese, vegetables, stir-fries, and more.
Can I use my griddle indoors?
Yes, many griddles, especially electric ones, are suitable for indoor use. Just ensure proper ventilation, and follow safety instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Do I need a specific type of oil for seasoning my griddle?
Use oils with high smoke points, such as vegetable oil, canola oil, or flaxseed oil, for seasoning. Avoid using olive oil or butter, as they have lower smoke points.
How do I prevent food from sticking to the griddle?
Proper seasoning, preheating, and using a small amount of oil or cooking spray can help prevent food from sticking to the griddle surface.
Are griddles suitable for outdoor use?
Yes, many griddles are designed for outdoor use and are perfect for backyard cooking, camping, and tailgating.
Can I use metal utensils on a griddle?
Yes, you can use metal utensils, such as spatulas and tongs, on a griddle. However, be gentle to avoid scratching the surface.
How do I control the temperature on a griddle?
Griddles often have temperature control knobs or settings that allow you to adjust the heat. Experiment to find the right temperature for different types of food.
Can I cook frozen food on a griddle?
Yes, you can cook frozen foods on a griddle, but it may take a bit longer than thawed items. Ensure even cooking by using a lid or covering the food with a dome.
What safety precautions should I take when using a griddle?
Follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions, ensure proper ventilation when cooking indoors, and use heat-resistant gloves or mitts when handling hot surfaces.
Can I use my griddle to make breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes?
Yes, griddles are versatile and can be used to cook a wide variety of meals, from breakfast items like pancakes and omelets to lunch and dinner options like burgers, stir-fries, and grilled sandwiches.
How do I store my griddle when not in use?
Store your griddle in a dry place, protected from rain and moisture. Consider using a griddle cover to keep it clean and rust-free between uses.
Remember that griddle cooking is not only delicious but also highly customizable. Experiment with different recipes and ingredients to discover your favorite griddled dishes.
With proper cleaning and seasoning, your Blackstone griddle will continue to be a reliable tool for outdoor cooking, providing delicious meals and lasting for years to come. Happy griddling!