How to Season a Griddle or Blackstone in 4 Simple Steps
When you open up your brand-new griddle, you may be surprised to find that the griddle surface isn’t the tell-tale black color that you were expecting.
Most griddles, including the Blackstone, don’t come with a pre-seasoned surface. It’s important to season your griddle before you start cooking on it.
I’m going to share exactly how to season your griddle for the first time, plus a few tips to help you maintain it.
Why do you need to season your griddle?
Like a cast iron pan, a griddle requires seasoning, and the more you cook on it, the more perfectly seasoned it will become.
Seasoning refers to building a layer of baked-on fat or oil on the surface of your griddle. This process is what gives your griddle that beautiful black color.
The seasoning process achieves a few things, but most importantly, it keeps your griddle surface protected from rust and corrosion. It also helps make the cooking surface non-stick.
It’s important to season your griddle before you start cooking on it, and to maintain that layer of seasoning over time.
After each cook on your griddle, you may notice compromised areas of the cooking surface that need to be re-seasoned.
If you start to see areas turning a bronze or brown color, it means that the seasoning has been removed.
It’s good to get into the habit of coating your griddle surface in oil after every cook so that you continue to build up the seasoning every time you fire it up.
How to season your griddle
1. Clean and dry your cooking surface
Before you start seasoning, you want to make sure that you have a clean surface to work with.
You also want to make sure that you remove any chemicals leftover from the manufacturing process. You don’t know what the griddle may have come in contact with during the packing and shipping process, so it’s a good practice to give it a nice scrub before you get started.
Use 1 tbsp of dish soap and 4 cups of warm water to clean your cooktop.
Scrub down the entire surface, then dry it completely with a clean towel. Be sure to get the corners and edges of the griddle as well.
2. Coat the surface
Before you turn on the griddle, coat the entire surface in the high-heat oil of your choice.
Pour a bit of oil in the center of your griddle, then use a clean paper towel to rub the oil across the entire surface.
Don’t forget to oil the sides of the griddle as well.
3. Fire it up
Turn on all of the burners on your griddle to medium heat.
After a few minutes, you will see the oil on the griddle start to smoke – this is normal and exactly what you want to happen.
As the oil burns, you will see the griddle start to darken and change to a dark black color.
Let the oil cook on the surface of your griddle for about 15 minutes or until the surface stops smoking.
4. Repeat the process
Depending on the size of your griddle, the seasoning process will need to be repeated a few times to get the entire cooktop evenly seasoned.
I find that when you are seasoning a griddle for the first time, it usually takes between 3 and 5 applications of oil to get a good, solid seasoning on the entire cooktop.
You may notice that the edges of your griddle have a more bronze color than the center of your cooking surface – this is normal.
The more you cook on your griddle, the darker the seasoning layer will get, especially with proper maintenance.
When you are happy with the seasoning, you can shut off the burners and let the griddle cool.
Apply one more thin layer of oil to the griddle when you are done, and let it sit on the griddle until the next time you fire it up.
What oil should you use to season your griddle?
You want to use a high-heat oil to season your griddle. Make sure that the smoke point of the oil is high enough that it won’t burn so you can create a thick layer of seasoning across the surface of your cooktop.
Peanut oil is my oil of choice. It has a high smoke point and a thick enough consistency to get an even layer across the griddle.
Other great options include canola oil, avocado oil, and vegetable shortening.
You could use olive oil if it’s what you have, but it has a lower smoke point and will require more layers of seasoning to get the desired result.
When do you need to season your griddle?
You don’t need to season your griddle every time you cook on it. Some foods won’t affect your seasoning layer at all, but others may compromise it.
Most of the time, you can get away with adding a layer of oil after cooking, and your griddle will maintain its seasoning.
The following are times when you do need to season:
1. When you assemble the griddle for the first time
Most griddles do not come pre-seasoned. When you open the box, you will find that the cook surface is a smooth, silver, or bronze color.
Before you fire up the griddle to start cooking, you want to complete the full seasoning process to ensure the longevity and performance of your griddle.
2. After cooking acidic foods
I love incorporating citrus marinades and other highly acidic sauces into my cooking, but I notice that foods and sauces with a high acidity tend to wear away the seasoning on my griddle faster than less-acidic foods.
You will notice areas of your griddle begin to turn a bronze color after cooking certain foods, so it’s best to re-season the griddle to keep the cooktop in the best shape possible.
3. If you notice the surface isn’t adequately non-stick
A properly seasoned griddle should essentially be non-stick.
If you are cooking on your griddle and you notice that your food is sticking to the surface more than normal, it’s probably time to re-season.
4. Every 10-12 cooks as part of regular maintenance
Even if you’re not cooking anything saucy or acidic, the seasoning will still wear over time. It’s a normal part of the cooking process.
It’s good to get into the habit of planning to do a full seasoning about every 10 cooks or so to keep it in great condition.
Each time you cook on your griddle, it’s essential to remove any leftover food or debris on the cooking area.
If you have areas of stuck-on food that are too hard to remove with your spatula, you can coat them in a thin layer of salt to help scrub away the remnants.
After you apply the salt, add a bit of warm water and scrub the surface with a rag or sponge.
As I mentioned, it’s good to get into the habit of rubbing down your entire cooktop with a light layer of oil after each cook.
This oil will prevent the griddle from rusting between cooks and also add a fresh layer of seasoning while you are preheating your griddle next time.
If, over time, you notice that areas of your seasoning are uneven, you can rub the cooking surface down with a sheet of sandpaper or a griddle brick.
This will pull off any uneven layers of seasoning and give you a smooth surface to start the seasoning process over again.