How To Clean Rust Off A Blackstone Griddle (Easy Guide)

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The change of season to warm sunshine means it’s Blackstone Griddle time!

Wheel it out of the shed and unwrap the tarp, and you can already taste the grill doing its magic.

Instead, off comes the tarp, and to your dismay, you note a layer of brown rust, but fortunately, this may only be a temporary setback.

To clean rust off a Blackstone griddle, turn it on to high heat for 20 minutes.

Then turn it off and scrape the surface repeatedly with a scraper.

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Pour cooking oil onto the surface and wipe with a paper towel until all the rust is removed.

It will be necessary to re-seasoning the griddle plate. 

Blackstone griddles contain iron which is why they cook so well. Unfortunately, iron rusts.

We’ll show you how to clean light and heavy rust from a Blackstone. These easy-to-follow steps will quickly have you grilling on a clean surface again. 

How To Clean Rust Off A Blackstone Griddle

Blackstone Griddle plates are made cold rolled steel with high iron content.

Steels that contain iron are constantly trying to return to their natural state – which unfortunately means a rusty surface.

The steel must be exposed to oxygen and water for this to happen.  

Removing either the oxygen or water from the steel surface will prevent it from rusting.

We can’t remove the oxygen, but it is possible to limit the amount of water or moisture by sealing the surface and effectively blocking moisture from reaching the steel surface.

How To Light Surface Rust From Your Blackstone Griddle 

In most cases, the rust formed on the griddle’s surface is not a serious issue, and it can be easily restored.

Follow the following steps to get your griddle working perfectly.

What you will need:

  • A nylon scouring pad 
  • Paper towel
  • Cooking oil
  • Stainless steel scraper
  • Sturdy tongs (For use instead of gloves)
  • Heat resistant gloves

Most of the above items are available in the excellent Blackstone 5060 Grill & Griddle cleaning kit.

Follow these ten steps to remove light rust from your Blackstone Griddle.

  1. Begin the rust removal process by heating the uncleansed griddle for 20 minutes with the burners set to the highest heat setting.

    The high heat assists in loosening the surface rust.
  1. Turn off the burners and allow the plate to cool to a safe temperature.
  1. Wearing the gloves, take a couple of sheets of paper towel and give the metal surface a good rub-down.

    Loose flakes of rust will be seen on the paper towel as it is removed from the surface.

    Replace the towel when it gets too dirty or tattered. This step takes some effort but is worth doing thoroughly.
  1. Don’t forget to rub down the flat plate’s vertical sides, including the outside facing surface.

    As the rust is removed from the surface, the resistance on the paper towel will get less.
  1. Now that the loose powdery rust is removed inspect the surface for specific problem areas.
  1. For more stubborn spots, use the nylon scouring pad and even the scraper as a last resort to remove the rust. 
  1. Once the surface is clean, use more paper towels to remove any remaining rust flakes. 
  1. Next, re-heat the griddle plate with the burners set on high for 5 minutes.

    Turn off the burners and while it is still hot, pour about three tablespoons of cooking oil onto the surface of the flat plate. 
  1. Using more paper towels, spread the oil all over the surface while giving the plate a good rub. Rub the entire surface down, replacing the paper towel when needed.

    The paper towel should turn red as more rust particles are lifted from the surface by the oil and rubbing action.
  1. Re-heat the griddle and repeat step 8 until the cooking surface looks clean and the paper towel no longer picks up any red rust.

    Leave a thin layer of oil on the metal surface to protect it.

    At this stage, the cooking surface is rust-free and needs to be seasoned to protect the steel from rusting again. 
cleaning-rust-off-a-blackstone-griddle

How To Remove Scale Rust From A Blackstone Griddle

Severe rusting of steel is primarily influenced by where you live.

Hot, dry climates are more iron friendly than damp or coastal areas. 

Moisture that blows in from the ocean is particularly harmful to steel due to the high salt content.

Salt significantly accelerates the rust formation process, so additional care will be required to preserve raw steel surfaces in these locations.

Heavy scale rust requires time to form, so you’d probably be ok if you used your griddle last year.

However, not using your griddle for a couple of years under poor storage conditions may cause more permanent damage to the griddle’s surface.

What you will need:

  • Paper towel
  • Cooking oil
  • Stainless steel scraper
  • Griddle Cleaning brick (Pumice Stone)
  • Sturdy tongs (For use instead of gloves)
  • Heat resistant gloves
  • 150 Grit Water Paper and sanding block

Now that we have all the items we need, follow these steps to clean your heavily rusted Blackstone Griddle: 

  1. Step one is to determine how badly the griddle is rusted.

    Remove the loose flaky crust by heating the plate on the griddles’ highest heat setting for 20 minutes. Turn off the burners and allow the surface to cool.
  1. Put on gloves, and use the stainless steel scraper to give the entire surface a dry scrape down.

    Don’t rub too hard with the scraper as you don’t want to damage the griddle surface. Remove any loose bits from the surface using a paper towel. 
  1. Next, inspect the cooking surface for any stubborn rust flakes or scales that need further attention. 
  1. Badly rusted flat plates will require further sanding or scouring to remove a very thin layer of steel from the surface.

    If an area is pitted by rust, it will be necessary to sand it area with water paper.

    This process will smooth the pitted cooking surface and assist in restoring it to a material that will be easy to clean and care for. 
  1. Once the dry scraping or sanding is done, sprinkle some cooking oil onto the griddle and use the cleaning brick to remove the remaining rust.
  1. Should stubborn rust still be evident, Apply more oil onto the griddle top and rub down again using the cleaning brick or sandpaper.
  1. If you had to use water with the sandpaper, turn on the burners to dry the steel thoroughly once clean.

    Five minutes on high heat should be ample to evaporate any moisture from the surface.
  1. Turn off the heat and grab some paper towels and the oil.

    Spread roughly three to four tablespoons of cooking oil over the grilling surface while the plate is still hot. Give it a rub using a paper towel to spread the oil evenly. 

    Hold the paper with your gloves, or alternately use the tongs to hold the paper towel.
  1. Replace the paper towel when it becomes dirty or falls apart.

    Complete this step by leaving a thin layer of oil rubbed onto the griddle cooking surface so that it doesn’t rust again.

    The rubbing action will further clean the griddle’s surface.
  1. When the rust has been removed from the griddle’s surface, the steel needs to be re-seasoned to protect the cooking surface.
blackstonr-griddle-rusting


How To Season Your Blackstone Griddle

Seasoning your Blackstone Griddles’ cooking surface is vital to ensure that the griddle plate forms a non-stick and rust-proof surface to cook on.

Seasoning is the process of coating the cooking surface with a polymer layer which is created when heating fat or oil on the steel surface. 

A seasoned surface becomes hydrophobic, which means the surface attracts fats and oils but expels water.

This prevents the rust-prone iron in the steel surface from getting into contact with water. 

The griddle cooking surface is effectively re-seasoned when preparing fatty or oily food by absorbing oils and fats.

Four Steps To Season A Blackstone Griddle

Seasoning is an important process that will keep your Blackstone in tip-top condition, even if it will be stored for a long time. 

You will need:

  • A plastic squeeze bottle 
  • Blackstone Griddle Seasoning and Conditioner or vegetable cooking oil
  • Paper towel
  • Tongs
  • Water
  • Heat resistant gloves

Once your griddle has been de-rusted, you apply the same seasoning process as when seasoning a new griddle.

  1. Turn the burners on and heat to high. Allow the griddle to heat up for 5 minutes, then switch it off. While still hot, pour some water evenly onto the surface.

    A squeeze bottle works well for applying both water and oil in a controlled manner. 

    Wipe the griddle’s surface to remove loose dust or grime using a paper towel.
  1. Startup the burners again and set them to medium-high. Allow the griddle to heat for about 20 minutes.

    The grey color plate should start turning a brown or even a blue-grey color above the burners as it gets piping hot.
  1. The following step is to apply the seasoning or cooking oil to the cooking surface.
  •  Keep the burners going on medium-high
  • Then use Blackstone’s seasoning and cast iron conditioner. Scoop about a tablespoon from the bottle.
  • Drop a dollop of seasoning onto the plate and spread evenly over the cooking surface as it melts. Use a paper towel held in the tongs to spread the seasoning. 
  • If you are seasoning using cooking oil, sprinkle about a tablespoon amount onto the cooking surface and follow the same process as seasoning to distribute it evenly over the cooking surface. 
  • Allow the seasoning or oil to burn off. You’ll know it’s done once the smoke stops.
    Repeat the seasoning multiple times to ensure the surface is thoroughly sealed.
  1. Don’t forget to season the vertical sides of the griddle, as this will make cleaning the griddle far easier and prevent rust from forming in unseasoned areas.

See this helpful Blackstone Griddle YouTube link showing how to season your griddle.

How to Clean and Protect Your Blackstone Griddle 

Cleaning a well-seasoned Blackstone griddle is really easy. Don’t ever use detergents to wash your griddle plate, as this will ruin the seasoning.

What you will need:

  • A squeeze bottle of water
  • A squeeze bottle of cooking oil
  • A scraper
  • Roller towel
  • Heat resistant gloves

The secret to cleaning your griddle is to do so while it’s still hot and directly after you’re done cooking.

Let’s look at two scenarios in which all foods will fall. These are unbasted foods and those that are marinated or cooked in sauces.

How To Clean Baste-Free Food Off A Griddle

Cooking baste-free foods like pancakes, toasted cheese, vegetables, hot dogs and sausages, etc., leaves the griddle pretty much clean after cooking, apart from some fats or grease. 

To clean the griddle only requires any left-over fat, grease, or food to be scraped into the grease pan.

Wear protective gloves and wipe the surface with a paper towel until it is clean.

Next, squirt a little cooking oil onto the grill and spread a thin layer over the entire cooking area to protect the griddle from moisture.

Turn off the burners, and you’re ready for next time.

How To Clean Messy Food Off A Griddle

Cooking foods covered in sauce, especially those containing sugar, can leave your gill looking messy after cooking.

The sugars in the sauces crystallize and burn onto the griddle as the food cooks. 

Yummy foods such as ribs, stir-fry, marinated meats, etc., are the food types that like to leave your griddle looking a mess after cooking.

Don’t worry, though; the griddle is just as easy to clean.

  1. Scrape any left-over foods, fats, and loose charred marinade and sauces into the grease pan.
  1. Next, using only water in a squeeze bottle, squirt water onto the charred marinade and sauces while using the scraper to scrape the charred remains off the griddle.

    The heat will boil the water, giving off steam which assists in melting the remaining sugars.
  1. Wearing your gloves, wipe down the entire cooking surface with a paper towel and reapply water to any missed spots while using the scraper to remove stubborn bits.  
  1. Once the griddle is clean, apply some oil to the surface and spread it thinly over the cooking surface and sides.

    This layer of cooking oil seals the steel plate from the elements, preventing rust from occurring.

Many opinions are out there relating to which cooking oil works best for the final sealing of the grill plate.

Use the proven Blackstone griddle and cast iron seasoning for peace of mind if in doubt.

Please see below a YouTube link showing how to clean your Blackstone Griddle.

How To Prevent A Griddle From Rusting During Storage 

Griddles spend much more time not being used and in storage than cooking. The potential of rust forming on the griddle is thus pretty much always an issue.

We’ll show you how to reduce the odds of rust tarnishing your griddle plate during storage.

Rust, as we know, forms on a metal surface due to direct exposure to oxygen and water.

So to prevent rust from taking hold, you need to protect the griddle’s surface from getting wet.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Vegetable cooking oil or Blackstone Griddle and Cast Iron Seasoning
  • Paper Towels
  • Stainless Steel Scraper
  • Heavy-Duty Griddle Cover
  • A cool, dry storage area
  • Heat resistant gloves
  1. When you are finished cooking, keep the burners going and clean the griddle of any left-over food, fats, and oils by simply scraping these off the surface into the oil pan.
  1. Wipe the griddle with a paper towel while wearing protective gloves to prevent getting burned.
  1. Once the griddle plate is clean, apply a liberal layer of cooking oil and spread the oil all over the griddle pan.

    Ensure that the entire cooking surface, including the vertical sides, inside and out, are coated, then turn the Blackstone off and let it cool down. 
  1. Empty and wash out the oil collection pan.
  1. Next, place the grill into storage before the evening dew starts forming on the surface.

    Ensure that the propane tank tap is closed and cover the griddle with a heavy-duty Blackstone Griddle cover.

A good practice is to check on the griddle at least once a month while in storage to ensure no rust has started forming.

Blackstone Griddles can be stored outside if needed.

However, regular inspection is required to ensure moisture hasn’t built up under the griddle cover due to evaporation or condensation from the damp ground below.

Super Deep Cleaning Your Blackstone Griddle Plate

After years of use, some people want to strip the old seasoning off the griddle plate and start fresh with a new layer.

Deep cleaning is needed when the griddle seasoning changes color, flakes off in less used areas on the griddle, or even because the surface has become unsanitary.

Fresh lemon juice can be used on its own or as an alternative to vinegar. A dozen lemons should do.

Both vinegar and lemon juice contain acids that are very effective at removing stubborn fats and oils and are an excellent alternative to harsh chemicals.

Here’s how to go about the deep cleaning process using white vinegar. Inviting a friend to assist is a good idea as lots of scraping is required.

What you’ll need:

  • White vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • A Scraper – a heavy-duty double-handed version with a sharpened edge
  • Water in a squeeze bottle
  • Grill Stone
  • Cooking Oil
  • Paper towels

Eight Steps to Deep Cleaning Your Griddle Plate

  1. Start by heating the griddle plate on the high setting. 
  1. Squirt enough vinegar to soak the surface onto a manageable area of the griddle, then add some water to the vinegar to dilute it a bit
  1. The mixture will start boiling off, so add more of the mix when the griddle begins to dry.

    Swirl the water and vinegar mixture around on the griddle’s surface for about 5 minutes, then start the scraping process to break the hard crust of the seasoning.

Don’t be tempted to scrape the surface using the scraper’s edge, as this will leave permanent lines on the griddle’s surface. 

  1. Turn off the burners and allow the water and vinegar mixture to evaporate.

    The seasoning on the griddle should now be tacky, allowing the scraper to remove the seasoning in thin slivers.
  1. The soaking and scraping steps will need to be repeated as often as required.
  1. After a fair amount of soaking and scraping, you should start seeing bare metal appearing. Keep going until the surface is to your liking.
  1. Once most of the seasoning has been removed, pour some cooking oil onto the surface and use the grill stone to rub-down the surface further.

    This step will smoothen the griddle’s surface and remove any loose bits.
  1. Rub the surface with a paper towel and cooking oil. You’ll know the griddle is clean when the paper towel doesn’t discolor anymore.

The re-seasoning process can begin once the griddle plate has been stripped of its protective seasoning layer.

After deep cleaning the griddle, seasoning should be done as soon as possible to prevent moisture from tarnishing the surface.

Is It Safe To Grill On A Rusty Griddle Plate?

We couldn’t imagine why anyone would cook on a rusty griddle plate, but it is possible that you may not notice a thin coat until you spy specks on your food.

The good news is that small traces of rust residue won’t cause any harm and are safe to ingest occasionally. 

If the rust flakes are visible specks, it is advisable to discard any food that has picked it up as this could cause internal damage if it is ingested.

Thoroughly clean your griddle surface to remove all traces of rust before using it, and keep it well seasoned to prevent rust buildup in the future.

Conclusion

Getting your rusted Blackstone Griddle back into working condition is pretty straightforward.

Surface rust can easily be removed by applying heat and cooking oil to the rusted areas, then using paper towels to wipe the rust off. All that’s required is a little effort and some time. 

Heavy rust buildup requires heating the griddle plate, scraping down with the scraper, oiling, and then rubbing with a grill stone to remove all the rust.

Clean the griddle, re-season, and you’re good to go.