So you’ve got your new Blackstone Griddle. Congratulations, and welcome to the fastest growing outdoor cooking appliance revolution in America! Assembly is quick and easy although depending on the model and size you purchased there may a bit more for you if it is the rangetop with deep fryer combo versus the 17″ tabletop griddle. But whichever griddle you have it is an absolute must that you season your Blackstone griddle top prior to your first cookout. No I’m not talking about sprinkling some salt and pepper on it. Seasoning refers to the process of applying a fat medium to your cooktop to ensure a nice slick, non-stick cooking surface. Check out these instruction on how to season a Blackstone griddle for the first time!
Blackstone Griddle Recipes to try: Griddle Biscuits recipe.
Blackstone griddle tops are made from genuine 100% cold rolled carbon steel. The closest thing that it can be compared to is cast iron. Many of you may already have some cast iron pots/skillets in the home and are perhaps familiar with how they need to be maintained. And while both cast iron and carbon steel both require seasoning to operate at their best potential, and the process is really quite simple, you’d be hardpressed to find a more hotly debated topic on how to undertake such an endeavor. Before the arguments begin, there is one thing that everyone should agree on: cleaning your griddle top.
When it ships, your Blackstone griddle top will have a sticky coating on it from the factory that is absolutely imperitive to remove prior you season a blackstone griddle. This is the only time you should ever clean your griddle with soap and water. Using a soft scouring pad and some warm soapy water you will wash/scrub away that coating off of the entire griddle top, including the sides, inside and out. Rinse away the soapy suds with clean water and dry completely with ordinary paper towels. Now even though you just dried the griddle top there are still microscopic water droplets present, so the best way to ensure it is supremely dry is to fire it up and let the heat do that job.
How To Season A Blackstone Griddle
Now the real debate begins, what should you use to season your Blackstone griddle. The instructions say you can use any oil, but ask 20 people and you might get 20 different answers. The old school folk will tell you you must use lard or bacon fat, the modern scientific folk will insist that you must use 100% pure cold-pressed organic flaxseed oil. Some will say you need a high smoke point oil like canola, some say a lower smoke point oil like olive oil works just fine, but after scouring the internet and researching the topic for hours I have determined that it really comes down to personal preference. You really can’t go wrong with whatever you decide upon, but the first initial seasoning is paramount to having a great non-stick griddle top that performs to expectation.
Since it is an investment that can last a lifetime with proper upkeep, I ultimately decided on Blackstone’s own griddle seasoning and cast iron conditioner to season a blackstone griddle. This is a proprietary blend that I assume has been concocted by a team at Blackstone who researched the topic of seasoning. Although some say it is a waste of money, at around $10 I don’t feel it breaks the bank, and figure I can’t go wrong with the company’s own product. It contains a blend of palm, soy and canola oils, along with shortening and beeswax. In my opinion it is best applied to a griddle top that is warmed up. Warming the griddle opens up the microscopic pores in the steel and allows for the product to fill those tiny gaps in the molecules. You will want to use a clean lint free cloth for this application so as not to have hundreds of small fabric bits mixed in with the oils as they too will more or less permanently adhere to the surface.
Since the griddle is warmed up and the water used to clean it has by now evaporated, it is time to apply your seasoning. Using heat resistant gloves or some long tongs, apply the amount of oil/fat, etc. needed for your size griddle. You will want to make sure you don’t over apply your medium, as you only need enough to coat your griddle top with a fine patina of sheen. It should look almost dry, so really spread it on thin and be sure not to neglect the the inside and outside walls of the griddle surface. This is important because the griddle top, just like cast iron, is prone to rust when moisture is allowed to come in contact with it and sit for extended periods of time.
Once your first coat is applied, go ahead and crank the heat up to maximum. Eventually you will see it begin to smoke, this is good. What is actually happening is that the oils are beginning to molecularly bond to the metal itself in a chemical process known as polymerization. The oils and the metal literally become one! After about 15 minutes or so, or once the smoke stops, it is time to apply another layer of seasoning. The general rule is to apply 3-5 coats during this process, and I would say that is a good bare minimum. I figured since this is the only time I plan on seasoning the blackstone griddle top, I took the little extra time to ensure it is thoroughy done and applied 8 coats of the product. During this time you will notice the color of your griddle top changing from a grayish steel color to a very dark brown almost black, hence the name Blackstone. These layers will not only protect your griddle from the elements, especially if you plan on keeping it outdoors like me, but they also create the super slick cooking surface you desire. After you have completed your seasoning, you may immediately begin cooking. Finally!