The magic of a griddle is the ability to create a non-stick surface that retains heat easily. Griddles are great for cooking eggs and pancakes, making burgers, and searing fish. But when the griddle surface gets sticky, it can quickly turn into a disaster. The good news is that preventing a Blackstone griddle, or any cast iron griddle, from getting sticky isn't difficult. Follow these steps to fix your sticky griddle surface and prevent it from happening again.
Why Does the Griddle Get Sticky?
The primary reason for a griddle to get sticky is because it has too thick of a layer of oil on the cooking surface. A properly seasoned griddle has a very thin layer of oil applied that burns into the surface to create a permanent, hard, non-stick surface.
What tends to happen is that the oil will pool or puddle on the cooking surface when the griddle is seasoned. The thick layer never hardens all the way, leaving the surface gummy. When it is reheated, instead of making a smooth, slick surface, it is a partially burned, sticky mess.
The same effect happens when the griddle surface isn't cleaned correctly after cooking. A lot of the time, the surface gets scraped off to remove burned-on bits of food, then a layer of oil gets applied. The problem is that the food residue is then trapped between the surface of the griddle and the oil. When it is used the next time, it turns into a gummy, oily mess.
Can You Over-Season a Blackstone Griddle?
When it comes to seasoning cast iron or a Blackstone griddle, you need to use the right amount of oil. Too much or too little will create problems and leave you with a griddle surface that doesn't cook the way it should. You should read the instructions that came with your Blackstone griddle for the proper way to season a brand-new griddle before use.
What Kind of Oils Are Good?
Using the wrong type of oil to season your grill can lead to problems like sticking food and burning. Always select oils that have a high smoke point. Good picks are grape seed oil and avocado oil. Avoid using oils with a low smoke point like olive oil. Those oils simply burn up and can create toxic carcinogens that leech into your food.
The Best Oil for Seasoning Blackstone Griddles
If you want the best oil for seasoning a Blackstone griddle, we recommend using Blackstone's own Griddle Seasoning & Cast Iron Conditioner. It is a special blend of several oils that creates the perfect product for an initial seasoning or regular maintenance.
How do You Get Sticky Residue Off Blackstone Griddles?
The surface on the Blackstone griddle will need a deep clean to remove the excess layers of oil or burnt-on food residue in order to solve the problem. A good way to start to loosen everything up and get the griddle ready for cleaning is to get it as hot as possible for several minutes.
Slowly pour hot water onto the griddle surface enough that it will pool and boil. This helps remove the layers of cooking oil. You can add a few drops of dish soap also. The hot soapy water works well to remove built-up, black, sticky residue. This gives the griddle a steam cleaned surface.
Once the excess oil is removed, you can go through the cleaning and seasoning process. Start by getting the cooking surface as clean as you can. It is fine to use a metal scraper, a wire brush, or even sand paper to remove the layers. You'll want to put in the elbow grease to make sure the surface is as perfect as possible.
Using a Grill Stone
A super-handy accessory for cleaning Blackstone griddles is called a grill stone. This is a pumice-like block that quickly strips layers of burnt-on black residue and leaves the cooking surface ready for seasoning. Just work it around the surface, keeping it flat.
With the metal clean, you'll heat the griddle and apply very fine layers of oil, heating and cooling each time. We have a detailed breakdown of our Blackstone griddle cleaning and seasoning process for more information.
How Much Oil Should You Use On Your Griddle?
The main reason that the cooking surface gets sticky is because too much oil is used between cooking sessions. The trick is to use only a small amount – somewhere between a quarter-size and a nickel-size drop of oil on a very hot, clean griddle.
We use our barbecue gloves and heavy-duty paper towels to quickly spread the oil and work it fully around the surface in a fine, even layer. Using too much oil will make the Blackstone griddle sticky after seasoning. It's better to do several, thin layers rather than one, thick layer of cooking oil.
How to Take Care of Your Griddle
The best thing that you can do to have a griddle surface that performs the way you want is to keep it as clean as possible. Don't just use your metal scraper to push off the gunk and oil, actually take a moment to clean it up. A trick we use is to have a barbecue spray bottle handy with water. We will spray the griddle surface down pretty well before scraping it. This picks up all the gunk and leaves the griddle top ready for a light layer of oil.
Maintaining the Burners
One of the less-common reasons that a Blackstone griddle becomes sticky is because of improper burner performance. It's a good idea to periodically access the burners and make sure they are all working correctly. Sometimes, dust and grime can build up on the burner surfaces and cause the flame to be inconsistent. Usually, a quick wipe down with a damp cloth – with the burners off of course – is all that you need to keep them working great.
How to Tell if a Griddle is Seasoned Correctly
There are a few things you can see that tell you a griddle is seasoned correctly before you even start to cook. The first thing to look at is the cooking surface of the griddle. If it looks like it has rust on it, it isn't seasoned. If you can see streaks or globs of residue on the surface, it isn't ready to cook a meal on. Those are signs of too much oil.
Testing the Surface
Once the griddle surface is hot, test it with a metal spatula. It should slide easily across the surface. If you feel stickiness, chances are that you've got too much oil on the griddle top. You'll need to clean it up before you start to cook.
How to Fix Too Much Oil
Before you start cooking, if you notice that your griddle is over-seasoned, you can use paper towels and water to wipe the surface of the griddle. This will help to remove excess oil. Do this several times to remove as much oil as you can, then do a very thin layer before you start to cook. Make sure to hold the paper towel with barbecue tongs or using heat-resistant gloves.
Quick Tips for Preventing a Sticky Griddle
- Always clean and season the griddle after each use.
- Use as little oil as possible to season. Several fine layers are best.
- Use a high-smoke oil or an appropriate griddle seasoning oil. Bacon fat and meat drippings are not suitable seasoning agents.
- Always let the griddle get hot before cooking.
- Don't use harsh chemical cleaners to clean a steel or cast iron griddle top.
- Keep the burners clean and working correctly.
Bottom Line – Keep Your Griddle Clean
A sticky griddle surface is a common issue that happens to everyone sooner or later – usually sooner. There is an art to getting the griddle surface perfectly seasoned that takes practice. One of the things that make Blackstone griddles special is that you can endlessly clean and season the metal, so it's pretty much impossible to ruin them. It just may take a little more work to get the griddle surface ready for use if you burn too much stuff on the griddle.
The key to keeping a Blackstone griddle in perfect shape is keeping it clean. A regular deep cleaning and re-seasoning can restore the performance of any cast iron griddle and the Blackstone griddles are no different.
When a cast iron or Blackstone griddle is properly seasoned, you'll be able to fry an egg and it will slide around easily on the surface. You'll be able to sear fish and have the skin stay on the meat. Your steaks will get a perfectly even char. A sticky griddle surface is an easy fix that makes cooking on a griddle enjoyable.