Why Does My Griddle Smoke So Much? 4 Easy Fixes

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When you cook on your griddle, do ever notice that your griddle surface smokes excessively? Let’s look at why it smokes and how to fix it. Spoiler alert: It’s easier than you think!

Your Griddle smokes so much because you either have too much oil or it hasn’t been cleaned properly after previous uses. Follow the tips below to have that slippery, smoke-free, griddle kings and queens experience!

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Cooking with your griddle should be an enjoyable experience, a little smoke can be managed, reduced, and put you back in the smoke-free drivers seat of griddling greatness for your family’s feast!

Reasons Your Griddle Smokes Too Much

The four main reasons why you are having problems cooking with your cast iron pan can be found below. Essentially, it boils down to heat, the oil used cleaning, and seasoning.

While these four areas may seem like a lot, in fact, it’s pretty easy to manage all of these on each use, leading to care-free griddling. Let’s take a look at all four reasons and in each, I will share what I have learned over the years as an owner of 3 different Blackstone griddles and numerous mistakes I learned from along the way with each.

Heat Management

The temperature of your Blackstone griddle cooking surface will have the biggest impact on your griddle smoking. When a griddle surface reaches extremely high temperatures, it will smoke regardless of other factors.

At the end of the day, all cooking oils have a smoke point, and if your griddle is cranked up too high for an extended period of time, you can bet your griddle will start smoking. Unlike most metals iron will get hotter at lower cooking temperatures; though, iron will be slow to warm up. Smoke production increases when you put oil in an overheated pan made from cast iron or cold-rolled steel.

Cooking Oil and Seasoning Oil Selection

It all starts with the first seasoning process. From the very first seasoning, you need to pick the type of seasoning/cooking oil that will bond to your griddle surface and create the non-stick seasoning that makes griddle cooking famous. It’s important to understand that all cooking oils have what is referred to as a “smoke point”.

A smoke point is a pre-determined temperature that your selected oil is rated to start smoking at. For example, the smoke point of Extra Virgin Olive Oil is 320 Fahrenheit, and the smoke point for Virgin Olive Oil is 410 Fahrenheit, a 90-degree difference in what appears to be very similar cooking oils.

On the other side of things, a cooking oil like Avocado Oil (refined) is around 520 Fahrenheit, a searing 200 degrees more than Extra Virgin Olive Oil. As you can see, the type of seasoning oil at its core has a lot to do with who your griddle starts to smoke.

Most griddles from Blackstone can reach a max temperature of 560 degrees Fahrenheit, and at even that max temp, all oils will smoke.

Couple this with the fact that sometimes we don’t use the same oil to cook as we do to season, your cooking oil could have an even lower smoke point.

In theory, that means that at a temp of 550 degrees, your griddle could have smoke from both the seasoning and the cooking oils used, respectively. So, remember, from the start, the type of cooking and seasoning oil you select will have a big impact on how much smoke you see.

Seasoning Process and UpKeep

A Blackstone Griddle does not come seasoned, therefore, it’s up to you to start the seasoning process and maintain it with each meal cooked. A raw steel griddle will be grey, while a seasoned one will turn black.

When you season your griddle, it is maintained by ensuring the food and excess fats/oils are cleaned off, then a very thin layer of oil applied when you are finishing up cooking and putting the griddle away until the next use.

If you are unsure where to start with a seasoning process, you can check out our easy seasoning guide here. When you season your griddle, it’s very important to not use too much oil, this also applies to the amount of oil used when cleaning and storing your griddle. Essentially, the more oil left behind will be left to just smoke off the next time you cook.

A very thin layer of oil applied at the end of cleaning while the griddle is still hot, will bond to the seasoning and add to the non-stick seasoned surface. Too much oil on the other hand will just leave it sticky and smoking.

Lack of Cleaning

Improper cleaning is another reason your griddle surface could be excessively smoking. If food particles, grease, fats are left on cast iron surfaces, they can (and will) become burned onto the pan resulting in smoke the next time you cook.

To prevent this from happening you need to clean your pan well after each use and season it properly.

For your pan to remain seasoned longer it needs to be cleaned without dish soap. Dish soap will slowly erode away your griddle’s protective seasoned coating. Instead of cleaning your griddle with soap, you will need to use the griddle bottle of water and blast some water on while it’s still very hot, this will allow you to use a griddle scraper to remove surface foods and oils without stripping seasoning.

Once no food particles remain you can rinse off your pan with some more water, and dry with a paper towel or a kitchen towel.

I personally use paper towels, while it is a bit wasteful, the amount of blackened food and oils really do a number on kitchen rags and basically turn them into garage rags. So, either use some paper towels or designate some dish rags to be griddle cleaning rags.

What To Do If You Already Messed It Up?

Well, I have good news, you can fix almost anything on the griddle when it comes to seasoning and surface care. If you are reading this and thinking yours is a lost cause, it isn’t! In fact, you can strip the surface of your griddle and re-season it today and you will be back to griddling on a smoke-free griddle sooner than you think!

Check out this video from Blackstone, you can use this method to strip and re-season your griddle in no time:

Final Thoughts

Caring for your griddle’s cooking surface correctly will prevent it from smoking when in use, and will make the experience of cooking with cast iron more enjoyable. Just remember to manage the heat, oils, cleaning and seasoning and you will be good! Griddle king, out.