Holds a Master’s degree in Linguistics, loves traveling and learning new languages. Fluent in Spanish, is learning French and Czech at the moment. Enjoys exploring national cuisines every time he visits new countries.
Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous online and offline grilling masterclasses runs his own BBQ accessories shop.
Last updated: February 10, 2021
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Cleaning your Blackstone griddle may not be as fun as cooking on it or eating food grilled on it, but it is a critical step to ensuring it lasts a lifetime like it’s supposed to. Plus, it’s not so bad once you learn a few guidelines on how to clean a Blackstone griddle.
If you have used and maintained an iron skillet before, then your griddle won’t be much more different. It requires regular cleaning, seasoning, and, in a worst-case scenario, rust removal. You just need to know a few things about what cleaning procedures you need to follow, what cleaning materials you can use, and general maintenance requirements.
This is all you need to know about cleaning and maintaining a Blackstone flat-top grill. It’s technically a griddle if it has a flat top, but who’s asking?
Cleaning your griddle after cooking takes only a few minutes, but it is the key to keeping it shiny and operational. While Blackstone griddles are literally bulletproof, a little neglect can significantly reduce their lifetime.
Whichever griddle you have, it will easily outlive you if you give it the right amount of TLC. Plus, regular cleaning after cooking ensures that you won’t need to do a lot of the nastier rust cleaning or resurfacing.
How Do I Know When to Clean My Blackstone Griddle?
Here’s the short answer: clean your griddle each time before and after grilling with it. Doing that allows you to prevent grease and other residues from building up on the cooking surface, which can contaminate your food with foreign flavors.
For the long answer, there are actually different types of cleaning that your Blackstone griddle needs.
An initial clean with soap and water when the griddle is brand new. This first clean removes any odors and contaminants carried over from manufacturing and shipping. Clean the griddle and all its surfaces with soap and warm water, rinse thoroughly, and let it dry before you begin the initial seasoning
Clean the griddle every time before you cook. In most cases, this only involves a simple wipe with a clean dishcloth. This insightful article by The Washington Post helps to explain why you also need to make sure the griddle and the food are well oiled before grilling.
Clean your griddle every time when you finish cooking on it. The procedure for this is described below.
Once or twice a year, you may need to carry out a deep clean on your griddle to restore it to prime condition. This involves stripping off the buildup of oils and seasoning and resurfacing it all over again.
After a period of neglect, the iron or steel surface of the griddle may rust. In this case, a complete stripping down of the rusty surface, resurfacing, and seasoning will be required.
Please note that Blackstone griddle cleaning procedures will vary slightly depending on the type of grill and the material of the flat top surface. Chrome flat-top grills have a slightly different process, and you can find a mention on how to deal with them in this comprehensive article on how to clean a flat top grill.
How to Clean a Blackstone Griddle After Cooking
There are slightly different ways detailing how to clean a Blackstone grill. There are professional guidelines that come from the manufacturer, but experienced grilling chefs have also shared their expert tips.
While there are no hard rules on griddle cleaning, just remember not to use soap or any harsh chemicals to help preserve the seasoning.
Tools You’ll Need
You only need a few tools and supplies to clean your Blackstone griddle after cooking. They are all easily available at home or from the local store.
A food-grade steel spatula or flat grill scraper. Blackstone produces its own brand of compatible scrapers, so it’s best to stick to these
Oil; you can opt for any kind that suits you, but flaxseed, canola, or extra-virgin olive oil is best
Cotton cloth or dish towels
A scouring pad with nylon mesh
Heat-resistant gloves for protection
Blackstone has a 5-piece cleaning kit designed for use with Blackstone grills. It comes with 3 scouring pads, a 6-inch stainless steel griddle scraper, and a griddle scrubber handle. As one satisfied customer put it, “product okay, does job.”
Cleaning Process: Step by Step
Ideally, the cleaning process should start as soon as you are finished with the cooking. Turn off the heat and let the griddle cool down for a bit before you begin cleaning.
Wear your heat-resistant gloves, just to be safe.
Use the scraper to scrape off food remains including grease, oil, and seasoning. If your grill has a rear grease management system, direct all the scrapings into the grease cup. Otherwise, just use the scraper to lift the grime, wipe it off with paper towels, and deposit it into a trash can. Apply some pressure on the scraper and position it at about 450 for the best results, and repeat until all the leftover bits and pieces are gone.
Wipe off excess grease with rolled-up paper towels or dishcloths. If the grill is still too hot, use the scraper to move the towels over the grill and pick up the grease. Dispose of them when they get too greasy.
Once most of the leftover grease is gone, pour hot water onto the griddle. The heat will help to remove stuck-on residue and burnt spots. Use the scraper again to remove hard residue and dispose of it.
For stubborn residues or if you want to give your grill an extra deep clean, use the scouring pads attached to the handle. Use moderate pressure to scour every inch of the griddle, including the side walls.
When the griddle is nice and clean, use more paper towels or dishcloths to dry up the water and dissolved residue. You might find that paper towels leave a lot of lint, while new cotton dishcloths can also leave fibers. Some people prefer to cut up old t-shirts into small pieces, which work wonderfully well.
Let the griddle dry up completely, then apply a thin layer of oil to protect the grill surface. Again, Blackstone also has branded Seasoning and Cast Iron Conditioner and Non-Stick Cooking Spray.
How to Deep-Clean Your Blackstone Griddle
Even with regular cleaning, your griddle continues building up layer after layer of leftover oil, seasoning, and other residues. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and a lot of grilling experts prefer their grill like that to preserve the seasoning.
However, too much buildup of fats and sugars can lead to the growth of mold or infuse flavors into your food, which will completely ruin it. Also, you might find that the seasoning starts peeling and the surface becomes sticky, at which point Blackstone recommends resurfacing the grill.
That is what a deep clean or resurfacing is all about stripping down the seasoning to the bare metal and laying it on again.
What You Will Need
Lemons or vinegar
Grill scraper, preferably from the Blackstone accessory kit. The kit is designed to be heavy-duty and is safe to use with Blackstone grills, which makes it the best one to use in this case. That’s probably why it has an almost perfect rating on Amazon.
Paper towels or dishcloths
A griddle scouring pad with a handle
How to Deep-Clean a Blackstone Griddle: Step by Step Guide
Conduct a regular clean to remove excess residue.
Turn the grill to high heat, pour on some water, and let it sit for a few minutes.
If you prefer to use lemons, cut them up and squeeze the fresh juice onto the griddle top. Spread it evenly to cover the whole surface, adding a little water as needed. You can also use white vinegar, but stay away from soap and harsh chemicals such as oven cleaner.
Let the lemon/vinegar mixture evaporate, then turn off the grill. The acid in the vinegar or lemons help to loosen the seasoning layer from the metal surface.
Scrape away the residue with the scraper. It should come off much more easily now. The Blackstone heavy-duty scraper lets you exert more force on the scraper to remove caked residue.
On stubborn stains, pour more vinegar or rub lemon juice in and scrub with the nylon scouring pad. Do this until the entire griddle is clean and shiny.
Use the dishcloths or paper towels and some warm water to clean it up and let it dry. You will need to season the grill top again, but we will get to that in a minute. In the meantime, you can also decide to take your deep clean a step further and lean the grill burners as well.
How to Clean the Grill Burners
The grill burner tubes that heat up your Blackstone griddle may also need some attention, especially if grease and dead bugs block some of the holes and prevent proper gas flow. For this process, you will need:
A bottle brush
Compressed air (optional)
A Phillips screwdriver
It is pretty easy to clean your Blackstone grill burners. Before you start, make sure that the gas is turned off and that the grill is cool to touch.
Remove the flat top griddle surface to access the burner tubes below.
Using a Phillips screwdriver, remove the screws holding the burner tubes in place. You may also need to remove the screws holding the control knobs, depending on what model your Blackstone burner is. When the tubes are free, gently lift and pull them out of the griddle.
Use a bottle brush to clean the inside and outside of the tubes and loosen any debris and residue.
With compressed air, blow through the burner tubes to clear any blockages and remove the cleaning residue.
Reinstall the burner tubes with the screws. Turn the burners on briefly to confirm that the gas flows and burns with no obstruction.
How to Clean the Rust off a Blackstone Griddle
Ideally, your Blackstone flat-top griddle surface should be a lovely matte-black from its seasoning. If you don’t use it for some time, however, rust may creep onto the iron or steel surface and turn it brown.
The griddle is even more likely to rust if you live in a humid or coastal area, or if you leave the griddle out in the open without a griddle cover. Luckily, you can always reclaim a rusted griddle top with a few supplies and a lot of patience.
Tools You’ll Need
Cooking oil of any type
A grill scraper
Rust Removal: Step by Step
Turn on the griddle to high heat. The heat loosens the rust from the metal below and makes it easier to remove.
Wear your heat-resistant gloves. You will be doing some of this work on a very hot griddle, so it’s important to avoid burns.
Use the grill scraper to scrape off the rust and scale. Keep the griddle dry at this point and keep scraping until most of the rusty top layer is gone, then turn off the griddle and let it cool down.
Wipe off the debris from the scraping and pour a liberal amount of cooking oil onto the griddle.
Use the grill stone to scrub the whole area to get the rust off and keep adding more oil as you go. If you don’t have one on hand, this pumice grilling stone is a perfect option. Many people prefer it to wire brushes because it is more effective, doesn’t scratch the griddle, and lasts longer. Learn how to clean a Blackstone grill with bricks first for the best results.
Be patient and go over every square inch of the griddle to ensure that all the rust is gone. If the rust is stubborn, squirt a bit of lemon juice or vinegar on the area for some spot treatment.
Clean off the gunk with warm water and lots of paper towels, then let the griddle dry.
Remove the cooking surface and check the burners and burner tubes for corrosion. You can wash these with some warm water and wipe them down with a towel.
Once your griddle is clean and dry, it is time to season it again.
How to Season a Blackstone Griddle
Seasoning a griddle is a crucial process that creates a protective non-stick layer on the cooking surface. The layer is created from the reaction between hot metal and oil. A properly seasoned griddle has a shiny, smooth black surface.
You need to season your grill surface every time you do a deep clean or after rust removal. Seasoning is easy enough, and all you need is some high-quality cooking oil such as extra-virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, or canola oil.
If your grill is brand new, remember to wash it with soap and water first, then let it dry completely.
Using a rolled-up paper towel, spread a thin layer of oil onto the griddle surface.
Turn on the grill to its highest heat setting.
Leave the griddle on for about 15 minutes, or until the oil starts to smoke before you turn it down.
When the griddle stops smoking, repeat the process. The griddle will discolor a little more each time – that’s good! The oil bonds to the metal to create the protective layer.
Do this 3 or 4 times until the griddle is nice and black.
Once you are done and the griddle is cool, apply a final thin layer of oil to protect it from the elements, then it’s ready for storage or use.
How to Maintain Your Grill
Blackstone flat-top grills are designed to last a lifetime with minimal maintenance. For the most part, the only thing you need to do to maintain your grill is regular cleaning and seasoning to prevent corrosion.
You also need to perform a few other procedures to prevent rust, mold, and other degradation processes as much as processes.
Always clean the griddle after cooking, don’t wait for the next day. Leftover oils and sugars are prime spots for the growth of mold
Store your Blackstone griddle in a cool and dry place. Do get yourself one of these top-quality grill covers to keep away moisture and dust when your grill is in storage
Even when in storage, be sure to take out your grill regularly to clean it up and season again to prevent rust.
Don’t place any sharp metals on top of the griddle to prevent scratches
Always cook and clean in an outdoor space with plenty of ventilation
Don’t leave anything flammable such as plastics on the griddle top.
Blacktop griddles are a dream for the cooking enthusiast. However, like all good things, they involve a fair amount of cleaning and maintenance procedures to keep in pristine condition.
Train yourself on how to clean a Blackstone griddle properly and develop a cleaning routine. Be sure to take special care so the seasoning on the cooking surface is always thick and smooth. Of course, the best way to keep the griddle going is to use it often, so don’t keep it in the garage too long!