Now it’s time to share the 5 Things you MUST-DO steps to take BEFORE using your griddle for the first time to ensure it works the way it should and lasts a long time!
Got a new griddle or flat-top grill? Good! Is there anything better than a new toy? Nope, let alone a new griddle! I was hesitant about my first griddle until I started using it and was blown away.
Griddles can do almost anything your old grill can do and a million more things than your old grill can’t do.
I’m writing this article the day after Christmas. As I was scrolling Instagram yesterday, I was pleased to see all the new happy owners of griddles.
Whether it’s Blackstone, Camp Chef, Blue Rhino, or Whatever, it doesn’t matter, it’s time to stop comparing griddles and start making great meals! (P.S. Tag me on Instagram with your griddling for a feature!)
5 MUST DO Steps for the FIRST Griddle Use
When you first get that griddle home and crack open the box, it’s easy to let those recipes start flowing through your mind and start preparing for that first tasty meal.
However, there are a few things you must do before you cook to make sure you don’t ruin this new griddle and to ensure all your cooking goes the way it should. We want this griddle to last you a LONG time and for your food to taste great!
Wash your Blackstone Griddle BEFORE You Use IT
So, this doesn’t always come to mind when most people think about their new griddle. However, washing your griddle is a really important step and in-fact, the first step to take after putting it together and BEFORE cranking it up for the first time.
Fact is, these griddles are manufactured overseas in a factory, boxed, and shipped with potentially dust, debris, and other surface irritants that you will not want on the surface of your griddle when you season it.
Steps to Washing your Griddle for the first time:
Items Needed: Bowl or bucket for water, the water, mild dish soap, and 2 washcloth’s or a sponge and a towel (No Paper Towels)
- Step 1: Place water into a small bowl or bucket.
- Step 2: Add a small amount of soap (really, don’t do much)
- Step 3: Use your Washcloth or Sponge to gently clean the griddle surface and remove any factory grease or debris/dust from your griddle surface.
- Step 4: Use the 2nd washcloth (dry) or a dry towel to gently dry the griddle surface.
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Select a Cooking Oil:
Oh boy, this is a controversial topic! Depending on who you ask, you will be told all sorts of things about what the “best” cooking oil is to use on a griddle. While many of the options you hear will be good, the reasons are generally people’s own bias in their ways.
Now, me being the Griddle King, I like to think I know a thing or two about the “best” cooking oil, but again, it’s a bias issue.
So I won’t tell you which is the “best” but I will tell you which cooking oils to consider.
When selecting a cooking oil for a griddle surface, you want a cooking oil with a high smoke point and one that will help create that slick layered coating that helps keep your griddle slippery like grandmas old cast iron pan.
So, What Is The Best Cooking Oil For A Blackstone Griddle?
Now, this is a controversial topic! Some will swear by grape seed oil and others will say you need whatever their favorite is. What matters is that you find a good quality cooking oil that has a high smoke point and good taste.
The oil you select for seasoning will affect the food taste as the oil binds to the cooking surface in the seasoning process.
For more on what a smoke point is and the science behind it, check out this great write-up from masterclass.com.
- Grape Seed Oil: One of my personal favorites that leaves a nice compliment of taste couples with a high smoke point of 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Avocado Oil: A excellent choice for searing meats and for those meat eaters out there as the Avacado Oil carries as the smoke point at a blistering 520 degrees Fahrenheit!
- Olive Oil: A classic go-to for grandma’s cast iron and carries a smoke point of 40o degrees Fahrenheit.
- Flaxseed Oil: Another great option that does wonders for creating that slick surface seasoning but has the lowest smoke point of 225 Fahrenheit.
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Season Your Griddle
This is a step that cannot be ignored. Well, I guess it could, but it would ruin your cooking experience and leave you wondering why people love griddles so much.
The fact is, a seasoning of your griddle is just as important as having gas for your griddle, without either one, your food will suck. If you don’t know the first thing about seasoning a griddle, check out our complete Guide to Seasoning a Griddle For The First Time.
Learn Your Griddles Heat Zones
Cooking on a griddle is a blast and to be honest, there isn’t much your griddle cant do…..however, like all things, you need to learn your new griddle quirks just like anything else. One area to learn and learn fast is where your griddles heat zones are.
What is a heat zone? Well, I don’t know if it’s even called a “heat zone”, but here is what it basically is: A heat zone is an area of heat on your griddle surface and what temperature that portion of the griddle carries.
Because under the griddle surface is multiple burners and there is space in-between the burner areas.
Now because of this, you will have varying temperatures all over the griddle surface. If you don’t familiarize yourself with these heat zones BEFORE your start your first feast, you may end up over-cooking some areas and under-cooking others.
The best way to learn your heat zones is with an infrared temperature gun. Don’t let the name scare you away, they are safe, cheap, and easy to use.
Just point it at the different areas of your griddle surface while it’s hot and you will see what areas offer different heat zones.
I recommend using a laser temperature gun and measuring all areas of the griddle surface.
You will want to take these measurements when the griddle heat settings are at the Low, Medium, and High settings, just to fully understand what your working with in regards to your specific griddle.
Bottom-line, all griddle manufacturers and cooking surfaces will have different BTU ratings that give different heat zones based on the cooking surface material, thickness, heating element placements, and BTU strength.
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Griddle Accessories You WILL ACTUALLY NEED
This is another big one. While your griddle does come ready to use….its missing some really BASIC items you will need.
Im not a fan of pitching products you dont need, however, these are good ones you will find to come in very handy and will protect your investment.
- Griddle Spade and Spatula: These are the backbone of griddle chefs all over the world. Due to the flat-top design of a griddle, you will need to have metal surfaced griddle spatulas and spades. Something simple like this works great, see it here on Amazon.
- Griddle Hood: This is a bit of a bigger deal than many think initially. A quality griddle hood will help you cook better by controlling heat and creating a “oven” as well as protecting your griddle cover from coming in contact with your griddle surface that can either be dirty or really hot. Something like this works great, see it here on Amazon.
- Griddle Cover: I didn’t think I needed one either. But, I found out very soon how great of a job they did from preventing unnecessary wear and tear from the weather when being stored in my back yard. Its a small investment that pays back big time. Something like this works great here on Amazon.
- Infrared Temperature Gun: See Step 4 above, these are really crucial to fully understand what your griddle can do and what areas are putting out the heat you need, and what areas can be used to just keep the food warm while working on others. This is a great option that won’t t hurt your wallet, check it on Amazon.
- Grease Tins: These are dirt cheap and save you an unnecessary headache when cleaning up. Simply drop them into the grease trap and toss them when you’re done! Check these here on Amazon.
- Griddle Bottles: Another must-have, you really only need two. One for water, and one for your chosen cooking oil. If you are not sure what I mean, check out our Guide to Griddle Bottles here. These on Amazon work great and are cheap, check them out here.
- Griddle King Apron: I know what you’re thinking “I’m not wearing an apron” and yeah, I get it. But all that changed when I got a griddle and realized how much grease is popping off the griddle surface and landing on my clothes. A simple apron solves that and my signature “Griddle King” or “Griddle Queen” apron is a cheap easy fix for you, grab it here on Etsy.
- 1lb To 5lb or 20lb Propane Adapter: Like mentioned above, just swapping out your tiny 1lb propane bottle will save the world and your trips to find a camping propane bottle every hour. Grab one here on Amazon.
Ok folks, I hope your new griddle gets you as happy as it does for me. Follow these steps before you use your griddle for the first time and by taking care of your griddle, your griddle will take care of you (well, your hunger at least).
I hope this was helpful and I look forward to you tagging the Griddle King in your new griddling adventures, just tag @the_griddle_king here on Instagram, and ill shout you out! See you in the backyard! Griddle King, out