Blackstone griddles are some of the most used flat-top grills all over the world. They stand out for their high durability and portability. Compared to many of the other brands on the market, Blackstone griddles are some of the most durable you’ll get on the market today.
As most of these grills are made from iron, they are liable to rust and corrode over time. A griddle will likely rust after extended use, even with proper maintenance steps. To prevent rust from spreading and getting compounded, you should clean off any rust as soon as it is noticed. But how do you get rid of this problem? Let’s take a look at how to remove rust from a Blackstone griddle.
What Is Rust, and What Causes Rust?
Rust is the red oxide formed from a reaction that occurs when iron comes in contact with oxygen and water. It weakens metals by breaking down the molecules in an irreversible process. Because griddles are mostly made of iron, they typically go through this form of corrosion.
One thing that makes Blackstone griddles stand out is that they are significantly rust-resistant. Nevertheless, after extended periods of use, you can expect an accumulation of rust as the griddle gets old.
The rusting process can be more rapid when the griddle is kept outdoors, where it is exposed to moisture from dew and the water in the atmosphere. Nonetheless, contact with water and steam in interior spaces can also cause rust. In addition to the natural causes of rust, bad cleaning practices can cause and amplify rusting.
Removing Rust from Blackstone Griddle
1. Collect the Necessary Tools and Supplies
To start, gather all the tools and supplies you need to get rid of the rust and adequately clean the griddle. While these supplies may vary from time to time, some of the materials needed include:
- Cooking oil
- Gloves (heat-resistant)
- Metal scraper
- Sandpaper or grill stones
- Clothing Rags (Paper Towels)
- Citrus acid/vinegar
Note: Make sure the gloves you’re using are resistant to heat and that you use only cooking oil.
Before you get into the cleaning proper:
- Put on your heat-resistant gloves, so you don’t get burned.
- Turn the griddle, set it to high heat, and leave it for about 30 minutes. The heat should help loosen some of the hardened crust on the griddle’s surface such that the rust becomes a bit easier to remove.
- Turn off the power and let it cool down. The rust will take some time to harden, so you should probably clean it off before it does.
3. Clean off the Rust
While the rust is still loose and not hardened, scrape the griddle’s surface with a metal scraper. You may need to apply much pressure and be a bit tough to get to the root of the rust. Continue the process until you’ve removed all the rust and the surface feels smooth when you run the scraper on it. Dispose of the dirt scraped off.
4. Scrub the Blackstone Griddle
After scraping off as much of the corrosion as possible, pour a few spoons of cooking oil on the griddle surface, depending on how big it is. Cover the entire surface in a thin layer of oil. You can add some vinegar or lemon juice to help the cleaning process.
Next, scrub the surface with sandpaper or grill stone. Use small, gentle circular motions to ensure that you don’t miss any spots. Take care not to apply too much pressure as that can damage the metal surface.
Clean the black mess off with a clothing rag or paper towels. Apply oil again and repeat the entire process as many times as required until the oil starts looking clean. The grid surface should be significantly shinier and smoother when you’re done.
If you have vinegar, mix some with warm water and wash off the remaining oil from the griddle surface. This will also get rid of any rustic smell.
How to Season Your Griddle?
Now that the griddle is sufficiently clean and free from rust, you should go ahead to season it. It’s also recommended that you season your grill before the first use, as this creates a thin protective layer that protects against corrosion and makes the surface quite easy to clean.
So, it’s pretty much helpful if you season your griddle surface before using the griddle for the first time and after every thorough cleaning.
To season your Blackstone griddle, preheat at a high heat level for about 15 minutes. Apply little cooking oil, such that it forms a thin layer over the surface. You can choose to add more oil layers once the first dries up. This protective layer keeps rust water and air from getting in touch with iron.
How to Protect Blackstone Griddle from Rust?
One of the most critical steps to protect your Blackstone griddle from rust is to keep it from water. The combination of water and oxygen will cause rust to set in. Rust is almost inevitable in griddles, but there are quite a number of things you can do to slow it down or even prevent it totally.
- Keep your griddle in a dry, cool place after use. If you live in a humid area, keeping the appliance indoors in a properly ventilated space would be best.
- After cooking, add a couple of spoons of cooking oil and wipe down quickly with a paper towel or clothing rag. This will lock out moisture and keep the griddle seasoning intact.
- Note that harsh scrubbing when cleaning can compromise your seasoning.
- If you don’t use your griddle regularly, check it once in a while for signs of rust. It’s easier to remove rust when it starts setting it than when it has covered the whole griddle surface.
- Get a heavy-duty canvas to cover the griddle after every use. The fabric should keep moisture from touching the surface.
Cleaning Blackstone Griddle Burners
Griddle burners are how the flat griddle top gets heated. They sit underneath the griddle surface and usually have protectors guarding them. Although they are reasonably protected against wear, they collect dirt over time and have to be cleaned from time to time.
To clean the burners, you’ll have to remove the griddle top from the body. The appliance should feature a latch that allows this.
Remove the burner guards and soak them for a short period in warm soapy water, and then wipe down with a sponge. Rinse and wipe clean with a towel and dry.
Removing rust from a Blackstone griddle surface is like removing rust from any other iron appliance. However, a griddle is more delicate, and cleaning it requires quite a bit of tact. You can protect many iron structures and materials from rust by painting them, but you certainly can’t do this to griddle because they are made for cooking.
In this article, Hempen Hill BBQ has broken down the rust phenomenon that’s common to griddles and explained in detail how to remove rust from Blackstone griddles and some other maintenance steps to keep your griddle in good condition.