All the Best Advice on How to Clean a Flat Top Grill

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Last updatedLast updated: January 27, 2021
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Flat top grill anatomy

The flat top grill, a favorite among restaurants and passionate home cooks, is a simple and effective piece of cooking equipment that can be maintained easily to last you a long time. They’re different from conventional grills and griddles because of their flat stainless steel (or chromium) surface that you can cook directly on top of. You can also cook anywhere on the surface and get relatively even results, unlike a traditional griddle or stovetop. This cooking surface is where the food will be, so it will obviously need the most regular cleaning.

Other important parts to keep clean would be the gutter where all the food debris and grease goes, and the heating element underneath the cooking surface. There are no grates for dripping fat or marinade like on other grills.

How to clean a Blackstone flat top grill

All the Best Advice on How to Clean a Flat Top GrillBlackstone grills are hardy appliances made to last you a lifetime and will easily do so if it’s properly maintained. Luckily, it’s not difficult to follow the right procedures before and after use in order to keep your Blackstone grill in tip-top shape.

Before you get to using your Blackstone for the first time (straight out of the box), you need to give it a good soapy wash. All you’ll need to clean it is detergent soap, hot water, a clean towel, and several paper towels.

Note: This is only for when you get the grill straight out of the box. Avoid soap on used flat top grills.

Before you get straight into cooking, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Prepare your hot soapy water mixture
  2. Scrub off the residue from the surface. This residue is from shipping and storing the unit.
  3. Dry the surface with the paper towels and let it dry completely before using or storing it.
  4. Season the grill for a good nonstick surface, like you would for any metal cookware.

After you get to using the grill you need to take some different measures once you’re done. You’ll need a water bottle, a clean napkin, a metal scraping spatula, and nonstick oil for protecting your grill overnight:

  1. While the grill is still hot, squirt the surface with water to soften the food residue.
  2. Use your spatula to scrape the grime off the entire surface. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until you find no residue left.
  3. Dry off extra water with the clean napkin to prevent rust, then clear out the gutter.
  4. Use the nonstick spray to coat the surface and turn the grill off.

It’s important to remember to store your grill in a cool, dry place, so rust won’t develop before the next time you use it.

How to clean a flat top grill without chemicals

There are plenty of special cleaning products there that look tempting, but these tend to be chemical-based and might do more harm than good. Whether you’re conscious about that sort of thing our you just prefer to use household ingredients that are just as easy and effective, here’s how we recommend cleaning a flat top grill without a grill cleaner.

All the Best Advice on How to Clean a Flat Top GrillCleaning a flat top grill with lemon juice

Lemon juice is a useful ingredient for loosening up the accumulated grease and grime from foods commonly made on a flat top grill. Follow these steps to clean your grill surface with lemon juice:

  1. Keep your grill heated to soften up the tougher residue.
  2. Use your grill scraper/spatula to scrape off the residue. Be sure you’re able to get in the corners as well.
  3. Make a mixture of lemon juice with soda water, spray it on the surface, and let it rest for about 5 minutes.
  4. Use a scouring pad to scrub off the softened food residue and use a heat-resistant squeegee or cloth to get rid of the rest into the gutter.
  5. Wipe the surface dry with a clean rag to avoid rust.

Cleaning a flat top grill using vinegar

You can use vinegar to prevent rusting of your grill and help it last longer. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Make your vinegar/water mixture, pour half of it into a spray bucket and the rest into a separate container on the side.
  2. Spray the surface and wait about 5 minutes to soak the residue.
  3. Use a grill brush to remove the debris.
  4. Dip a clean rag into the side mixture, wring it, and use it to clean the grill’s inside.
  5. Wipe the grill with another rag dipped in oil to avoid more buildup.

How to clean a rusty flat top grill

All the Best Advice on How to Clean a Flat Top GrillIf you grill in an area with high humidity, chances are you’ll find rust developing on your grill. You’ll need to take extra measures to prevent that, but here’s what you need to do if it’s already gotten rusty:

  1. Put your grill on high heat for 20 minutes to “loosen” the rust
  2. Once the grill cools down, use your scraper to scrape the entire surface, and get rid of the corrosion
  3. Add olive oil (3-4 tbsp) to the surface and use a grill stone to scrub.
  4. Wipe clean with clean cloth or paper towels.
  5. Add more olive oil (the same amount) and wipe again. Repeat until evidence of rust is all gone.
  6. Season the grill surface to prevent further rusting later.
  7. And another protective layer of olive oil.
  8. Store your grill in a cool, dry place away from humidity.

How to clean a restaurant flat top grill

Flat top grills look and work great for restaurants, making them valuable for commercial use. Maintaining it is important if you want to keep your workplace efficiency at its best.

If you have any of the following indicators, it’s time to clean your commercial flat top grill:

  • Sticky food
  • Uneven cooking results
  • Grease buildup
  • Burnt oil flakes

Note: Depending on the material of your grill, it will require different cleaning tools. Under NO circumstances should you use abrasives like grill bricks or scouring pads on a chrome grill

  1. Scrape food debris and grease buildup while grill is hot
  2. Pour on some warm water to boil off grease buildup. For chrome, use palmetto brush to start scrubbing and repeat as many times as necessary.
  3. For stainless steel, use a screen and scrubbing pad to scour the surface. Rinse the rest and wipe clean.
  4. For chrome, let the surface cool off and dry before covering it with a food-safe nonabrasive polish. Wipe clean with dry cloth, then remove the polishing compound with a damp one.

All the Best Advice on How to Clean a Flat Top Grill

How to clean a flat top grill with a grill brick:

Using a grill brick is also an easy option for cleaning your abrasive-friendly flat top surfaces. It removes the grease without absorbing any, making itself easy to clean too.

  1. Pour some olive oil (about 1 cup) onto a surface that’s still hot.
  2. Scrub with the brick in circles and scrape the residual oil into a grease trough. Repeat twice, with soda water then either vinegar water or lemon/soda water mixtures.
  3. Use a clean rag to rub the flat top until it looks polished and clean.

From the many options of grill bricks to choose from, here’s our best recommendation.


In order to extend your grill’s longevity, you’ll need to maintain it after every use. Luckily it’s very simple and hardly a hassle to keep a flat top grill in its best shape.

We’d like to end it off with some extra tips. It’s super important to season your grill and apply some oil every time and storing it, preferably with a thick heavy-duty cover, is crucial for ensuring your grill stays rust free in even the most humid conditions.

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