Rust is not just unsightly on your griddle surface, it can also ruin the flavor of the food you cook. Most rust problems are easy to fix and will not damage the griddle. But if rust has gotten too bad, you might have to replace the entire cooking surface. Most griddles, including Blackstone griddles, do not have a rust-resistant coating to prevent rust so you will want to take steps to prevent rust from happening in the first place.
Can You Fix Rust on a Blackstone Griddle?
Blackstone griddles are high-quality cooking tools but even the best griddle surface can develop rust. Fixing a rusty griddle surface requires a few steps and quite a bit of elbow grease, but once you have removed the rust, you can cure the surface and prevent rust from reappearing. To start, you want to get a few tools handy – paper towels for cleaning, and a good-quality griddle seasoning or high-heat oil.
The process of removing rust can be time-consuming and often takes a lot of work. This is not a task you want to tackle when you are planning on using the griddle within an hour. This is a task that should be done a day ahead of time.
How to Remove Rust from Your Griddle
The first step to removing rust from a griddle is to identify what type of rust you are dealing with. Many of the foods that you cook regularly can encourage rust to form either because of a chemical reaction or because of food that gets burned onto the surface. These types of rust on a flat-top grill are the easiest to deal with because they are on the surface. Surface rust is a very minor problem to deal with but it is also very common, particularly when you live in humid areas.
The worst type of rusty griddle surface to deal with is one where the rust has penetrated the surface and eaten into the metal. This can cause extensive damage that is impossible to fix. At a certain point, a deeply rusted griddle surface will not be able to be fixed and you will need to replace it. That is why preventing rust from forming in the first place is the best way to treat it.
Removing Surface Rust
Start by scraping the griddle with a metal scraper to remove gunk and rust. A grill stone can help to quickly remove burned-on food and most surface rust issues. A griddle's surface is supposed to be smooth and slick with an even, black color. Griddles that do not look like that are in need of seasoning. We've got a great guide for you that details the steps for seasoning your griddle whether it is brand new or many years old.
More intensive surface rust that will not just scrape away needs to be removed with a more abrasive option. Steel wool or medium grit wet or dry sandpaper is a good way to remove rust from a griddle. Use gentle circular motions to prevent causing an uneven surface. Stop when the metal is shiny and bright.
Removing More Intensive Rust
There are times when a griddle will get so rusty that you will want to take things beyond a simple cleanup. You will need to remove as much of the cooked-on protective coating that has formed along with rust. The easiest way to do this is with a palm sander and coarse-grit sandpaper. Avoid using too much pressure because you want to prevent deep scratches and uneven spots from happening. Most griddle surfaces out there are either made from steel or cast iron. Steel is the most common and is the easiest to clean.
One trick that you can use when the surface of the griddle is flaking and rusty is to get the griddle very hot then use water to clean the grill the water will boil quickly and will help to lift the coating from the metal and make it easier to clean. Always wear heat-resistant gloves and a proper protective layer on your arms to avoid burns from super hot oil and water.
When Too Much Rust is Too Much
Eventually, if left to its own devices, rust will eat through a piece of metal no matter how thick it is. Griddle rust that has compromised the surface of the griddle will require that you replace the metal. If after you have used a sander to clean the griddle, you still see pockmarks then you will know the rust has gone too deep. Once you can no longer get a flat surface, the griddle plate is too far gone.
How to Keep Blackstone Griddle From Rusting
A properly seasoned griddle is not likely to rust and will resist wear and tear even when using steel utensils. The process for seasoning a grill involves some time and it is not something that you'll do spur of the moment. You need to remove all of the prior seasoning (and any rust) before beginning.
Once the griddle is clean of rust and seasoning, you will start the process of heating the griddle with a very fine coating of olive oil or another suitable high-heat oil, allow the griddle to smoke off, then cool it and start over. After a few times through the process, the griddle surface will develop a nice, even brown surface that is impervious to most damage and will allow you to fry eggs, cook fish, or sear steaks to perfection.
Cleaning the griddle surface in between cooking sessions is one of the key things to preventing rust. Always scrape the griddle clean and apply a thin layer of oil when you are done cooking to prevent your Blackstone griddle rust problem from returning.
You should also invest in a high-quality cover that will protect your Blackstone griddle from rain and dirt. Storing the griddle in a garage or storage shed when not in use can also help prevent rust. Grillers who live in humid areas should pay close attention to rust forming on the griddle surface, burners, grease traps, and the lid of the griddle since these areas are prone to condensation forming even when the griddle isn't in use.
In addition to our griddle seasoning guide, we also have a post troubleshooting a sticky griddle.
Thankfully, taking the proper steps to avoid rust from forming on the top surface of your griddle plate will also help create a non-stick surface that is more corrosion-resistant. Taking proper care of a flat top surface will ensure that it lasts a long time. If you prevent rust from forming in the first place, you will have an easier time keeping your griddle ready for use when you are ready to cook.
That way you won't even have to think twice about the condition of your griddle the next time you want to try out one of our favorite Blackstone griddle recipes!