A clean grill is usually the first step to making a delicious and healthy barbecue meal. But what was once a shining beauty still wears out at some point. Hence, the reason I’ve opted to share a few tips on how to clean Blackstone griddle rust off the cooking plate.
The process, whether you have a large or small portable flat-top grill from the brand, is not rocket science, for sure. With the right tools and instructions, you can restore the former glory of your cooker within two hours or less.
Rust is Mostly a Mistake of Your Doing
Unfortunately, this is very true. The main cause of the rust on your Blackstone griddle is negligence. And by “negligence” I mean failing to provide the care and maintenance required to prevent the rust from forming.
While looking at Blackstone 22 vs 28 griddle station, we saw the consumer brand often uses rust-prone steel for most of the construction. The flat cooking plate comprises rolled steel, whereas the frame, side table, and bottom shelf are powdered-steel.
Of course, powder-coated steel is highly resistant to rust. But like the porcelain on the Weber Go Anywhere or Smokey Joe, you must ensure this powder coating doesn’t peel or crack. Otherwise, the moisture (water) and oxygen will reach your steel, which then will react and form the red oxide we call rust.
However, there won’t be rust to worry about when you control the elements that cause it. And the various ways you can do that include:
- Clean and dry your griddle grill after every use
- Avoid scratching your Blackstone griddle with a metal object
- Store your cooker in a dry area- away from water and steam
- Secure your grill with a weather-resistant cover while not in use
- Season your Blackstone grill right to create a solid, impermeable protection
The cooking plate (rolled steel) of a Blackstone griddle grill is more prone to rust than the outer body (powered steel). It’s also the part that will be coming into contact with the food you’re preparing.
So, while every part of the grill is important, extra care will be needed on the flat top plate. Do also remember corrosion is the beginning of metal corroding. And, sadly, the only solution for a worn-out griddle is a replacement.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Clean Blackstone Griddle Rust off the Flat Top
Unfortunately, rusting is sometimes inevitable. A perfect example would be those of us who live in humid areas- such as next to the sea.
So, knowing how to clean Blackstone griddle rust, especially on the cooking plate, isn’t just a requirement. But also a handy hack that can save you hundreds of dollars that you would have used to replace the corroded plate.
Speaking of saving, you can also grab a budget pre-owned Blackstone griddle that the previous owner couldn’t withstand rust. Then use the instructions I’ve shared below to turn it anew- not exactly as a brand-new piece, but neat and usable again.
In the early stages, rust is nothing more than a build-up of dirt and debris. It’s pretty simple to clean off the flat top of your griddle grill:
What You’ll Need:
- A Grill brick
- A Metal scraper
- Paper towels/ clean, soft cotton towel
- A pair of heat-resistant gloves
- A Pair of tongs
- Some water (preferably in a squirt bottle)
- A bit of oil (preferably vegetable cooking oil)
- Drop cloth, tarp, or a couple of newspapers (optional)
What to Do:
Step One: Prepare the Cleaning Area
How’s the floor that you’ll be working on? When you clean the rust off your Blackstone griddle grill, there may be a lot of filthy sludge. The sludge consists of not only the layer of red oxide but also the baked grease from the previous seasoning.
Same as when we clean cast iron grill burners, you’ll want to spread out a drop cloth or tarp where you’ll be working. The idea is to make sure the dark sludge from the cleaning does not fall and stain your beautiful floor. Otherwise, it will be an extra cleaning task, which you might not have time to do.
Step Two: Gather Everything You Need
As with any other care & maintenance practice, gather everything you need to clean your rusty Blackstone griddle. If you have laid the drop cloth/ tarp (optional), place the cooker at the center of it, then proceed with the next step.
Step Three: Preheat the Griddle to Twenty
The next step involves preheating your grill on the highest setting. After about 15-20 minutes, the flat top should be hot enough to loosen up the stuck-on rust (and greasy debris). Thus, making them easier to remove.
But we won’t be cleaning the surface while the burners are still on. Turn them off (completely) to avoid burning yourself.
Step Four: Scrape Down the Rusty Flat Top
Once the griddle has cooled down enough, grab your metal scraper and scrape down all the rust and debris on the flat-top plate.
Try to remove as much rust as you can, including even those hiding on the edges. And good way to make sure of that will be to squirt down some water on the surface. Then continue scraping down until you can’t see any more corrosion.
Tip: make sure you put on your heat-resistant gloves if the grill is still a bit hot. Also, you can use a spatula to scrape the surface rust if you don’t have a dedicated metal scraper.
Step Five: Wipe off the Sludge with a Clean Paper Towel
Now wipe all the rust and debris you’ve just removed from your flat top. Use clean paper towels at this stage since they’re disposable.
The next step involves further scrubbing with oil. So, make sure you also wipe off all the water that may be hiding on the edges and corners.
Step Six: Drip a Bit of Oil & Scrub the Surface
In this stage, drip some oil (2-4 tablespoons depending on your grill size) on the flat top. Then use a grill stone to scrub the whole surface to get out the stubborn rust that’s still present. Try to scrub the surface in a circular motion and also go into those corners to get out all the rust.
Tip: In case you don’t have a dedicated grill stone, steel wool or medium grit wet sandpaper could work as well. The only difference is that you might have to work extra harder.
Step Seven: Scrape Down & Wipe the Dirty Oil
Grab your metal scraper and scrape all the dirty oil and debris you have gotten from the scrubbing. Scrape the surface while starting from the edge down to the middle for easier collection of the greasy sludge.
Step Eight: Squirt More Water, Scrape, & Wipe
Once you’re done removing all the sludge, squirt down a bit of water while you scrape and wipe it down with paper towels.
Repeat the step a couple of times until there’s no sign of the rust debris. You can do the last wiping with a clean, soft cotton towel to ensure the surface is ready for the next step.
Step Nine: Season the Flat Top of your Griddle
Yes, this step involves to season your Blackstone griddle grill to give it a protective coating against rust. You can use about any cooking oil for the process. But for a solid and lasting shield, I’d recommend an oil with a high smoke point.
Moreover, a nice and solid seasoning that doesn’t come off easily will be with four or five coating layers. Do remember to apply your oil in small but enough doses that will have each of the protective layers thin and even.
Tip: seasoning with too much oil will cause the amount to pool, which will create thick or uneven layers. Contrary to what many think, seasoning the Blackstone griddle flat top plate with thick layers of oil causes premature chipping.
Step Ten: Finish Off with a Protection against Oxidation
Once done seasoning three or four layers, apply a final protective coating to protect against oxidation in the near future. You can treat this as another layer of seasoning with the same oil you’ve used in Step Nine. But a coat of the Blackstone Non-Stick 3-in-1 Griddle Spray will be much better (if available).
Common Related Questions
How often should you clean the Blackstone Griddle?
Like any other cookware, you should clean the Blackstone griddle after every use. In doing so, the baked-on food and grease will be easy to come off before it solidifies. But after you clean, it’s also wise to apply an extra layer of cooking oil to protect the surface from rust.
How do you get the rust off a flat-top grill?
You can easily get the rust off a flat-top grill by first scraping it down with a metal scraper and wiping it off with a towel. Then, pour a bit of oil, scrub the surface with a grill stone, and wipe it again with a towel. You might want to repeat the application multiple times until all rust debris is gone.
Is it normal for a Blackstone griddle to rust?
Yes, indeed, it’s normal for Blackstone grill to rust when exposed to the causing elements: water (or moisture) and oxygen. The company makes the cooking surface with rolled steel, which is more prone to rust than stainless steel. Hence, the call for seasoning and cover the equipment when not in use.
Can you season a Blackstone griddle with bacon grease?
The company doesn’t recommend you season a Blackstone griddle with bacon grease. They mostly argue bacon fat can cause the seasoning to chip prematurely. But another truth is that it has a low smoke point (of around 370°F). And that’s less than ideal considering many people will cook at 400+°F at some point.
Check Your Griddle Every Month
Well, that’s how to clean Blackstone griddle rust off and restore its shiny look. The shining beauty in this case refers to the glossy texture that you achieve after seasoning- the outer part will still look a bit old.
Anyhow, some people still find the process to clean the rust off the top flat plate a bit intimidating. Even for those of us who understand it’s our duty, the task can be a little boring and tiring to some extent. So, it’s really necessary to take precautionary measures to prevent that rust from forming.
As mentioned in the beginning, though, the issue will still be hard to escape with Blackstone griddle from its choice of material. If you don’t use yours every other week, I’d recommend checking it at least once a month to make sure it’s safe.