Blackstone griddles are some of the most durable designs out there and will last for many years when the griddle surface is properly cared for. Unfortunately, accidents happen, and even the toughest griddle surfaces can get scratched.
But don't fret about a scratch on your Blackstone griddle, fixing the problem is easy. We'll show you the step-by-step process to fix even the worst scratches.
What Causes Scratches on a Griddle Surface?
The most common way that a griddle surface gets scratched is from metal utensils like spatulas, knives, and scrapers that are used to clean the griddle or prepare food. We hate to say it this way, but usually, it happens because of user error.
Don't beat yourself up if you made a mistake and scratched your griddle. We have all done it at some point. You can avoid scratches in the future by being more cautious with your tools.
The other way that scratches happen is when the wrong cleaning products are used to clean the griddle surface. Brillo pads, steel wool, and metal grill brushes should not be used to clean a griddle surface because they can easily scratch through the seasoning and damage the surface.
We know how it is, though. Sometimes the temptation to grab a heavy-duty brush to scrub off stuck-on food is just simply too much to avoid. Thankfully, scratches from grill brushes are easy to fix with our step-by-step guide.
Repairing a Scratched Blackstone Griddle
There are two types of scratches that happen when cooking on a Blackstone griddle – scratches that affect the seasoning layer but don't go into the metal and scratches in the metal surface. Both types of scratches can cause the food you cook to stick.
The good news is that even the most scratched-up surface can be repaired to good-as-new condition. All it takes is a little elbow grease and the right tools for the job.
Scratches in the Seasoning Layer
Scratches in the seasoning layer are very common and are usually the result of a scraper that isn't straight or too aggressive use of tongs and spatulas when cooking.
You will know that the scratch is only in the seasoning by the appearance of the scratch. You may be able to see the metal surface, but it will be dark.
If the scratch is shiny, it means that the surface of the griddle has been damaged.
When the griddle is completely cool, feel the scratch with the edge of your fingernail. If your nail catches on the scratch, you will need to repair it. If the scratch is just superficial and you can't feel it with your nail, a good seasoning layer will fix the problem.
If even after you have done a good job re-seasoning the griddle surface the scratch is still visible, you will need to put in a little more work to get it into tip-top shape.
Light scratches on the surface can often be fixed with a grill stone. However, a grill brick should be used as gently as possible to prevent damage to the surrounding areas when addressing minor scratches.
Repairing Scratches in the Seasoning Layer
Start with the grill surface completely cool and clean. Wipe the griddle surface down with clean, dry paper towels making sure there is no food residue remaining.
Next, you will need to remove the seasoning layer in the area around the scratch. We like to use a sanding block for this step to prevent the sandpaper from creating grooves. Start with 600-grit sandpaper and use as little pressure as possible, sanding in a grid pattern over the scratched surface. As soon as you cannot see the scratch anymore, you should stop sanding.
We have seen lots of times when a griddle surface has scratches all over the surface that are not particularly deep but require that the entire surface of the griddle is stripped and re-seasoned. Sometimes, it is better to start fresh rather than try to refinish the griddle in a few spots. If you strip the entire surface of the griddle, you should use 1200-grit wet-or-dry sandpaper as a final step to ensure the surface is as smooth as possible before re-seasoning.
Once you are satisfied that the scratch has been removed, light the griddle and set the burners on high. Allow the griddle surface to get very hot, then apply a few small drops of high smoke point oil where the scratches were removed.
Use paper towels to gently spread a thin layer of oil over the area and allow the griddle to smoke.
Once the smoke has stopped, turn off the griddle and allow it to cool down.
Apply a thin layer of avocado oil or Blackstone griddle seasoning to the entire surface to prevent rust and keep the griddle ready for next time.
Repairing Scratches in the Griddle Surface
Scratches that gouge into the metal can create opportunities for rust to form and can make your food stick. Plus, they are just unsightly. Fixing the damage is a little more work than repairing light scratches, but it isn't very hard.
The first thing you need to do is strip the seasoning off the griddle in the area around the scratch. Deep scratches may be impossible to completely remove, but you should at least follow the steps to repair scratches on the griddle surface to remove sharp edges and minimize the impact of the damage when you are cooking.
Really bad scratches usually require the entire surface of the griddle to be striped before repairing the damage. This is done to prevent inconsistently thick layers of seasoning from building up on the griddle.
The goal is to have one uniform layer of seasoning from edge to edge on the griddle.
Time to Break Out the Heavy-Duty Tools
It's okay to use power tools to remove the seasoning layer on a Blackstone griddle. The surface is made from carbon steel, so it won't be easily damaged by wire wheels, palm sanders, and other power tools.
But we don't recommend using a grinder on the griddle because the steel might be damaged during the process.
Keep in mind that you want to use as little pressure as possible when using power tools on the griddle to prevent making the scratches worse or creating new ones.
Once the seasoning layer is removed from the griddle, you will use coarse-grit sandpaper to smooth the metal surface. Usually, 500 or 600-grit sandpaper is appropriate, but we have also used as coarse as 180-grit on badly-damaged surfaces.
After sanding the scratches as smoothly as possible, use increasingly fine grit sandpaper to get a smooth surface. We usually finish ours with 1200-grit wet-or-dry sandpaper so that the surface is practically polished.
Finally, you will need to apply a new layer of seasoning.
The seasoning process should be followed carefully from start to finish to get a like-new griddle surface. Take the time to create several thin layers and avoid using too much oil to get the best results.
We have a great guide on the proper step-by-step process for seasoning a griddle that you can refer to after removing the scratches from your Blackstone griddle.
Problems From Scratched Griddles
Fortunately, scratches on the griddle surface are rarely a problem. Sometimes, a scratch might make it more difficult to flip food or you might notice more sticking when cooking delicate foods, but it won't cause the griddle top to fail. Most light scratches don't even need any attention as the seasoning process will fill them in.
A good seasoning layer can even fix some deeper marks, so don't underestimate the power of a proper re-seasoning.
The biggest issue that comes from scratches is rust. Just like your cast iron pans, even the best seasoning won't stop rust from happening.
When your griddle top is scratched, it makes it easy for rust to begin forming. A rusty Blackstone griddle is unsightly and if left untreated, will eventually ruin the surface.
We broke down all of the issues with rust and how to remove rust easily from any cooking surface in this handy guide.
Step-by-Step Guide to Fixing Scratches on Blackstone Griddles
- Identify how deep the scratch is in order to determine the process.
- Scratches that cause cracking or flaking in the seasoning layer should be fixed. Lighter scratches will fill in over time as the griddle receives maintenance seasoning.
- If repairing a small scratch, use a griddle stone or sandpaper to remove the seasoning where the scratch is located. Stop once the scratch is no longer visible.
- For deeper scratches that gouge the metal, sand the metal surface until the scratch is as small as possible. Avoid creating an uneven griddle surface by working in a grid pattern, not in circles.
- Use successive rounds of light sanding moving to finer grit options as the scratch is removed. Leave the finished surface as smooth as possible.
- Re-season the griddle surface before cooking on it.
A seasoned griddle will resist most scratches from metal tools. It is a good idea to wipe a thin layer of seasoning oil on the griddle with a paper towel before and after cooking on your griddle to ensure a strong seasoning layer.
While some people will say that only wood or silicone tools should be used on a griddle, we think that metal is just fine as long as the griddle master uses the tools intelligently.
Accidents do happen, but the good news is that even the worst scratches can easily be fixed.
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