Wondering how to clean a grill, smoker or flat top grill? Our spring cleaning series will have you ready for grilling season.
Whether you call it a flat top, a griddle, or a camp grill, one thing is certain - this style of grill, popularized by Blackstone, has revolutionized the way we cook.
You don’t have to be a trained hibachi chef, or a short order cook to use one, but you can absoluely pretend to be one. Gather everyone around and flick food at their faces like you’re rewarding hungry seals!
Of course, just like knowing how to clean a grill, these griddles need to be cleaned properly to prevent the spread of foodborne bacteria and to ensure your grill stays in tip-top shape for as long as possible.
That’s where we come in to teach you everything you need to know about how to clean a Blackstone.
How To Clean a Blackstone
The flat top grill or griddle has been around for a lot longer than most people know. If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant kitchen, you can attest to its great culinary importance.
This is especially true if you’re cooking breakfast. Being able to cook an entire breakfast with eggs, meat, pancakes, hashbrowns, and toast all at once is not only a time saver, but it also makes the job that much easier.
The steps to cleaning a flat top aren’t much different than that of a standard gas or charcoal grill. The main difference is the cooking surface.
You Will Need:
- Scraper tool or metal spatula in a pinch
- Spray bottle of water
- Paper towels
- Vegetable or canola oil
- 1:1 vinegar cleaning solution, in a spray bottle (optional)
- Heat resistant gloves
Step 1. Scraping
After you’ve finished cooking, you’ll want to get any leftover pieces scraped up and removed. Most griddles have a small cutout at the front or back to push waste into.
Your griddle is slightly vexed to allow oils and fats to naturally flow towards that disposal area and away from your food. I like to do this while the grill is still on and piping hot.
Step 2. Clean the Surface
Once you have removed all the larger chunks, turn off the grill and allow it to cool down a bit. You’re going to be spraying the grill with water and you don’t want it to immediately evaporate to steam.
Once you can spray the grill with water and it pools on the surface, then you’re good to go. This takes about five minutes, give or take. Coat the entire surface.
You’re working with cast iron, so you don’t want to use abrasive chemicals that could strip the coating on your griddle. Go over any problem areas with your scraper or even use a silicon brush for the hard-to-reach areas.
If the surface is too hot to touch, fold up a few pieces of paper towels and firmly grip them with your tongs. Soak up any leftover water and make sure the entire surface is dry, including the sides.
Step 3. Season the Cooktop
At this point, I like to turn the grill back on to around medium heat and let it run for a couple minutes to ensure the surface is completely dry. Moisture is the enemy of cast iron.
Once I know it’s dry, I lightly drizzle some vegetable or canola oil over the surface. Approximately a tablespoon for a two-burner and two tablespoons for a four-burner.
You can always add more if needed. Using your tongs and paper towels, spread a thin layer of the oil over the entire cooking surface, including both the inside walls and outside walls.
Turn off your grill and allow it to cool. While it’s cooling, use a few more paper towels and your water/vinegar solution to wipe down all of your prep surfaces, shelves, and tables.
Remove the disposal tin that you pushed debris into, turn off the gas, shut the lid, and don’t forget to cover the entire grill. It’s important to keep as much moisture out of there as possible.
How to Deep Clean a Blackstone
If your family is like ours, you live a very hectic life where you’re squeezing in meals between kid activities, work, and everything else life throws at us.
Sometimes, we forget to do a proper clean job or forget to cover the grill and then it rains and the griddle surface rusts. You smack your head in frustration.
No need to worry! It’s super simple to get your cooking surface back to perfection.
While the grill is off, spray it down with a simple vinegar cleaning solution. Sometimes I like to add a tablespoon of dish soap for this process to help cut through more of the grease as needed.
Cleaning with vinegar is one of our go-to ways of maintaining everything from our coffee maker to our microwave to our refrigerator and every kitchen appliance in between. It is is effective, non-toxic and budget-friendly.
Use your scraper and get up as much debris as possible.
The steps are pretty much the same as cleaning the griddle. Basically, you want the surface to be as smooth as possible and no pieces of food or rust.
I like to use a grill block, which is like a pumice stone. I spray the surface with plain water and then using the stone, I rub it all over the surface, concentrating on those problem areas.
Once you’re satisfied that all areas have been attended to, scrape all that sludge into the grease trap the same as above.
Lastly, follow the instructions for coating the surface in oil. The next time you use your griddle, it will be primed and cured for you to do your best work.
Planning a dinner party and need some inspiration?
How about looking for a new slow cooker dinner idea?
We’ve got you covered in our ever-growing Facebook group! If you’re not a member yet, why not?!
We’re chatting cooking techniques, dessert ideas, and everything in between. If you’re already a member, invite your friends to join us too!
Ryan is a food and writer from Toledo, Ohio where he's had a love affair with food since 1984. When he's not cooking or writing, he's planning the next he wants to eat.