Ok, so you’ve found yourself in a bit of a mess and now it’s time to clean your griddle with baking soda.
You’ve neglected your griddle a little and you’ve allowed grease to harden and stubborn bits of burned food to linger, and the whole thing is looking and smelling less like something you’d want to cook on, and more like something that should be taken down to your local garbage dump.
But don’t worry, I’ve never seen a griddle that couldn’t be saved yet, and for today’s article I’m going to teach you a tried and tested method that can clean ANY griddle, no matter how bad it is right now.
So, you bring the elbow grease, I’ll bring the tips and tricks, and I’ll teach you exactly how to clean a griddle with baking soda!
Why The Baking Soda On A Griddle?
When I first heard about the baking soda method, I was really confused. How can something that I put in bread and other baked goods to help it rise help me with cleaning?
But after a little research, it became obvious why it’s so great at helping lift dirt, stains, and hardened grease from messy kitchen appliances and griddles.
Baking soda actually produces carbon dioxide when activated at a rapid rate. That’s how it helps dough rise quickly, because the gas bubbles are produced so fast that it lifts the dough.
Baking soda does the exact same thing when cleaning. If mixed with water to produce a paste, it becomes activated and the gas bubbles will literally help to ‘lift’ the stubborn burned bits and hardened grease right off your griddle.
After that, cleaning it is as easy as pie (which, coincidentally, is another baked good that uses baking soda).
First, a quick note, you don’t need a griddle cleaning kit, but having one will make your life a bit easier. Something like this one is an affordable option and works great.
If you are looking for a standard griddle cleaning method, check this one here out.
How To Clean A Griddle With Baking Soda
Now you know why we’re using it, let’s look at how to clean a griddle with baking soda so you know the steps you need to take to make your griddle look like new again!
Step 1: Make Sure Your Griddle Is Cool
The key to success when using baking soda to clean your griddle is to make sure it is completely cool before you get started. Why? Well, first for your own safety.
You’re about to get up close and personal with your griddle, and you don’t want it to be hot when you do.
And second, too high a heat can actually decompose baking soda, making it useless for what we need it for. So step one is to make sure the griddle is completely cool before cleaning.
Step 2: Mix Up A Baking Soda Cleaning Paste
Next is the baking soda cleaning paste. Take around 2 tablespoons of baking soda (you may need to make more depending on how bad your griddle is, so change the quantities as needed here) and add in a pinch or two of salt.
I’ll explain why salt is necessary later on.
Next, add in a splash of water. The baking soda paste should be quite thick, so don’t add too much water initially. Remember, you can always add a little more to help the ingredients combine into a paste, but you can’t take it back.
Step 3: Apply The Paste
Once everything is mixed together and you have thick baking soda paste, apply it to your griddle.
Now, if your whole griddle is full of burned food and hardened grease, then you’ll need to make a big batch of the baking soda paste and spread it evenly across the whole griddle.
However, if there are only a few problem areas, then you can apply the paste to just these parts of the griddle.
This cleaning paste you’ve made is quite powerful, and not only can it remove hardened grease, but any seasoning from your griddle too, so you don’t really want to apply it everywhere to strip the whole griddle back to essentially a factory reset if you don’t need to.
Step 4: Patience
If all the problem areas are now covered evenly in the paste, then your next step is a simple one. Sit down. Crack open a beer or make a sandwich, because you’ve got some time on your hands.
Basically, be patient. I told you earlier how baking soda can literally ‘lift’ the mess from your griddle because of the carbon dioxide gas it produces so quickly, but that needs some time to work.
Depending on how bad your griddle is, you could wait anywhere from 10 minutes before moving on to the next step, all the way up to half an hour or more. I’ll leave that decision in your capable hands.
Step 5: Removing The Mixture
After you’ve waited a little while, you can remove it. To do this, you’ll need a flat head spatula (not metal) and a little elbow grease.
Try to be gentle, because you don’t want to mark the surface of the griddle – you’re trying to remove just the hardened grease and burned bits, not everything.
Remember earlier how I told you to add salt to the mix but didn’t tell you why? Well, it was for this stage.
The salt will work as a gentle abrasive to help remove the REALLY stubborn bits of burned food, so you don’t need to put as much effort into removing it because the salt will help gently coax it off for you. Once all the paste has been removed, it’s on to the next step!
Step 6: Cleaning The Griddle
Now all you need to do is clean the griddle. I’ve covered it before on this blog, so here’s a super quick run down:
- Use a mild dish soap and some hot water
- Use the soft side of a sponge to clean the surface of the griddle
- Make sure you remove all grease and debris
- Get your hands involved to check for any stubborn grease and use more dish soap and hot water as necessary
- If you have an electric griddle, be careful not to get the area around the electrical element wet
Step 7: The All-Important Drying Stage
Once cleaned, take some paper towels and dry every area of the griddle you can get your hands on. This will help prevent rust, so it’s really important you’re thorough at this stage.
When you think you’ve dried everything, leave the griddle uncovered or on a counter if it’s a tabletop griddle to air dry before covering it up or storing it away.
Step 8: Season As Necessary
I said earlier that baking soda paste is quite powerful stuff, so if you feel as though your griddle needs seasoning again to make it easier to clean next time and keep it in its best condition, then you can re-season it at this stage.
Just take your oil of choice, get your griddle as hot as possible and wait until the oil smokes.
Then turn off the heat and allow it to cool – this will provide a nice protective barrier for the next time you use your griddle so it won’t require such a deep clean again.
Final Word With Griddles and Baking Soda
So there you have it, how to clean a griddle with baking soda. It’s easier than you first thought, right?
I hope so anyway, and remember, once you’ve got your griddle looking great again, try to stay on top of cleaning it after every use so you don’t have to return to my guide on cleaning it with baking soda again! Good luck, and happy grilling!