Do you want to learn how to season a Blackstone griddle? just follow along with these step-by-syep instructions and you’ll get a perfect seasoning every time.
In this ultimate guide, we’ll cover:
- Why it’s important to season your griddle
- The science of griddle seasoning
- How to season a Blackstone griddle step by step
- When to season your griddle
- The best oils to use when seasoning
- Common mistakes to avoid
- Griddle seasoning tools to make it easier
Do You Have To Season A Blackstone Griddle?
Blackstone griddles do not come with a pre-seasoned surface, so it’s important to properly season your griddle before cooking on it. The seasoning process creates a protective barrier which both prevents rust and provides a non-stick surface to cook on.
Don’t skip this step! A good seasoning will extend the life of your griddle and make your life easier by making cleanup a breeze.
What Does Seasoning A Griddle Do?
The cooking surface of your Blackstone griddle is much like a cast iron frying pan. If you try to fry an egg in a cast iron pan that hasn’t been properly seasoned you’re going to end up with a sticky mess. But if you season the pan, that same egg will slide right off. Easy peasy.
So what exactly happens when you season your griddle?
Here comes the science!
When you heat oils or fats to a very high temperature, they break down in a chemical reaction called polymerization. As a result of this reaction, the compounds released are molecularly bonded to the griddle surface.
Your unseasoned griddle’s surface may seem pretty smooth to the touch. But if you could look at it with a giant microscope you’d see a jagged, uneven surface full of craters that food can stick to. The seasoning process fills in all those microscopic imperfections and creates a truly smooth surface that food won’t stick to no matter how hard it tries.
Remember, seasoning isn’t cooking…it’s chemistry!
How To Season A Blackstone Griddle Step By Step
Seasoning a flat top grill is a pretty straightforward process. Whether you’re seasoning your Blackstone griddle for the first time right out of the box, applying a “maintenance” coat of seasoning, or starting fresh after completely stripping off the old layers seasoning, the process is the same.
First let’s briefly go over the steps of seasoning a Blackstone griddle and then we’ll go into the full tutorial.
- If your griddle is brand new, wash the surface with some soapy water, rinse, and make sure it’s completely dry.
- Turn on the burners and set them to medium heat and let the griddle heat up for about 10 to 15 minutes. As it heats you’ll see the griddle plate start to darken.
- Pour a small amount of oil onto the cooking surface and use paper towels or a cotton cloth to spread the oil all over the griddle’s including the sides, back, and front.
- The oil will start to smoke (that’s what you want) and the griddle color will darken.
- When the oil has almost completely stopped smoking, repeat the process a few times until the griddle surface is evenly seasoned.
Sounds simple enough, right? Let’s go step by step.
Step 1: Clean and dry the griddle surface
Before you start adding new layers of seasoning, you want to make sure the griddle surface is clean and dry. If there are any crumbs, food debris, or sticky spots the seasoning will be uneven and you can actually trap food debris under the seasoning layer which is gross.
If your griddle is brand new, you’ll want to give it a good washing with some hot water and dish detergent. This will remove any dirt, debris, oil, or chemicals that may have gotten on the cooking surface during manufacturing and shipping.
Note – after this initial cleaning, you shouldn’t use soap or dish detergent on your griddle because it will actually wear down the seasoning. The only exception is if you are stripping down the seasoning and building it back up from scratch. For regular everyday maintenance, you can go here for instructions on how to clean a flat top grill.
Make sure the griddle is completely dry and then move on to the next step.
Step 2: Turn on the griddle and let it heat up
Light up your Blackstone and preheat it for about 10 to 15 minutes on medium heat. Some people will say you need to crank the heat to maximum but I think that’s overkill. I rarely cook on high heat (good for searing smash burgers or a steak) and I don’t see any reason to season it that way either.
Remember Blackstone griddles are made of rolled steel and they hold heat like a cast iron pan. Even on lower heat settings they will get plenty hot enough.
As it heats up, you’ll notice the color of the griddle starting to darken in the center. This is normal.
Step 3: Apply a thin layer of oil
Take your oil of choice and add a tablespoon or 2 to griddle. Use paper towels or a cotton cloth to rub the oil all over the griddle surface. Spread the oil as evenly as possible over every square inch of the cooking surface. You should also season the sides, back, and front.
Pro Tip: Don’t use too much oil. You’ll end up with a griddle that has uneven seasoning and is more prone to sticking, peeling, and flaking. You don’t want to see any puddles or pools of oil. You want the griddle to look like you just dripped a little oil on it and you then wiped it up as best as you could. You can see there’s a layer of oil on it but it’s super thin.
Take your time and use caution when applying the oil. It’s a good idea to wear gloves or use tongs to hold the towels so you don’t burn yourself. And watch out when rubbing near the corners as the oil has a tendency to splash up at you if you’re not careful.
Step 4: Let the oil smoke off and repeat the process as needed
This is where the magic happens. As the oil reaches its smoke point, the polymerization process begins. This is when the oil starts to break down at the molecular level and bond with the griddle surface.
Let the oil cook until the surface stops smoking, about 10 to 15 minutes. Then repeat the seasoning process a few times. As you season the griddle you’ll see the cooking surface darken to a golden brown and then black.
When the griddle is pretty universally black you’ll know you’re done. Don’t worry if the outer edges are still more bronze than black, it will continue to darken as you cook on it. I find it takes about 4 or 5 applications of oil to get a solid seasoning on the cooking surface, so take your time and enjoy a cold drink while you work.
Note – It’s tough to get the edges and corners of the griddle perfectly black, but they’ll blacken naturally as you cook on it.
When you’re satisfied with your griddle’s seasoning, turn off the burners and close the propane tank. Then, while it’s still warm, apply a final layer of oil and let it stay there until the next time you cook.
When To Season A Blackstone Griddle
I could give you the sarcastic jerk answer and say “Season your griddle when it needs to be seasoned.” But that’s not very helpful, so I won’t say that.
Though in a way it’s kind of true. You definitely don’t need to season your griddle after every cook. How often you need to season it will depend on how often you cook on it, what you cook on it, and even your local weather.
Over time you’ll become one with your griddle and you’ll just know when it needs some extra loving. In the meantime, here are some some helpful guidelines so you know when your griddle needs attention.
When your griddle is brand new
You’ve torn open the box, laid out the pieces, put everything together, and rolled it into position. But before you fire up the griddle and start cooking, take the time to season it.
Blackstone griddles don’t come pre-seasoned and they are prone to stickiness and rust if not treated properly. Adding a few coats of seasoning is easy to do and it will improve both the performance and longevity of your griddle.
When food starts to stick
If you’re cooking on your griddle and notice your food is starting to stick, that’s a good indicator that it’s time for some seasoning. Make sure the surface is clean and give it a good seasoning to get that non-stick surface back.
After cooking acidic or sugary foods
Cooking foods that are high in acidity can cause your griddle’s seasoning to wear down more quickly. If you’re cooking with citrus, cherry tomatoes, or the Italian seasoning in my Blackstone tortellini recipe, expect to spend some time re-seasoning your grill afterwards.
Sugary foods can also be a mess, so if you cook something with a sweet barbecue sauce, maple syrup, or honey you’ll have to do some extra scraping to clean it off and that will wear away some more of the seasoning.
Approximately every 10 cooks
You don’t need to keep notes or a scoreboard to track how many times you’ve cooked on your griddle. Ten is just an estimate on how often you should do a “maintenance” seasoning.
Think of it as changing the oil in your car. Keeping up on the regular maintenance items will head off problems before they occur and keep your car (or griddle) running smoothly.
What’s The Best Oil To Use When Seasoning A Blackstone Griddle?
Avocado oil is my preferred oil for seasoning a griddle or cast iron pan. It has a high smoke point and a neutral flavor so it won’t affect the flavor of whatever you cook on it. It also polymerizes very well, leaving a durable surface that will last a long time.
Other options for seasoning your griddle include:
- Blackstone Griddle Seasoning and Conditioner
- Grapeseed oil
- Canola oil
- Olive oil
- Vegetable oil
- Peanut oil
Blackstone’s Griddle Seasoning and Conditioner is actually a mix of several different oils and it takes the best properties of each and combines them into one product. You can find it in many stores or but it right on Amazon through the link below:
One thing you should NOT use to season your griddle is bacon.
Don’t get me wrong, Blackstone bacon is amazing and it will quickly become one of your favorite things to cook on your flat top. It just doesn’t do a good job on the initial griddle seasoning so I prefer to wait until I have a few good layers built up before tossing on the bacon.
Public Service Announcement
I’ve seen people post in forums or Facebook groups asking “what’s the best oil to use on a Blackstone griddle?” Most responses they receive are from people trying to be helpful, but there’s always some knucklehead that tells them to use something like WD-40 or motor oil.
Obviously they are trying to be funny and their suggestion should not be taken seriously. I do worry that someone who doesn’t know better will follow their advice with deadly results, so I wanted to mention it here because I take your safety seriously.
Mistakes To Avoid When Seasoning Your Griddle
Seasoning a griddle is a relatively simple task, but there are some common mistakes people make (and I’ve made these mistakes too when I was new to griddling).
Mistake 1: Using too much oil
As I mentioned earlier, you only want to use a small amount of oil when seasoning your griddle. You’re not trying to drown the griddle in oil. Use a squirt bottle to drizzle on a tablespoon or so at a time and add more as needed until the entire surface is coated evenly.
If you use too much oil, the seasoning won’t cure properly and it will start to peel and flake. Or it will be uneven and some spots will wear away more quickly than others.
Mistake 2: Not going hot enough
It’s very important that whatever oil you’re using reaches its smoke point so the polymerization process can take place. If your griddle heat is too low and never gets hot enough to make the oil smoke off, you won’t actually be adding a layer of seasoning and you won’t get the protective barrier or non-stick surface you’re looking for.
Mistake 3: Not adding enough layers
Your goal is to stack multiple layers of seasoning to both protect the griddle from corrosion and give it a non-stick surface to making cooking and cleanup easy.
Once you get a good seasoning on your griddle, you’ll only need to do one or two layers as “maintenance”. But when you’re starting with a new griddle you need to season it st least 3 to 5 times.
As you go through the seasoning process you’ll see the surface change from silver, to a brownish gold or bronze, and then finally a dark black. When almost the entire surface is black you know you’re done.
Griddle Seasoning Tools
You don’t need much in terms of tools when seasoning your griddle or flat top grill. Here are the seasoning tools I use myself and recommend:
Your seasoning of choice
We already went over this topic in depth above so I won’t dwell on it. You know avocado oil is my oil of choice but you can use other options if you want.
The oil you choose is less important than taking your time and doing a good job.
We always have plenty of paper towels handy so this is what I typically use. I know some people complain that paper towels can leave lint behind on the griddle surface. But as long as you use a good quality paper towel like Bounty or Costco’s Kirkland brand you should be fine.
You can also use some of those blue shop towels that mechanics use, or a 100 percent cotton rag. You can buy either of those at Costco, Home Depot, or on Amazon. If you buy a bulk box they should last you for a long time.
Do NOT use a microfiber rag to season your griddle. Microfiber can’t hold up to the high heat put out by a Blackstone and the fibers will actually melt and leave an awful mess on the griddle surface.
Squirt Bottle (optional)
If you try to pour oil right from a big bottle, there’s a good chance you’ll accidentally pour out too much too quickly. That’s not only wasteful but it will give you inferior results too.
I like to fill a Blackstone squirt bottle with oil so I add just a tiny amount of oil at a time. You can certainly season your griddle without it, but I find it’s it makes life much easier to use one.
Metal Tongs (optional)
I usually just use my hands (and have the burn marks to prove it) but if you want to keep your hands safely away from the hot griddle surface, you can wad up a bunch of paper towels and and use the tongs to hold them while you spread the oil around.
Make sure the tongs you use are metal or heat-safe. Rubber and silicon pieces can melt under high heat.
BBQ gloves (optional)
Another way to keep your hands burn free is to wear BBQ gloves. These are heat resistant up to temperatures of up to 1000 F or more, so plenty of protection when seasoning your griddle.
I often don’t where them because they can be kind of clumsy and you lose dome dexterity with them, but they are excellent at preventing burns.
Time To Get Cooking!
Now you know how to season a Blackstone griddle so you can get that baby seasoned up and ready to cook! Here are a few of my favorite recipes to make on my Blackstone. Try them out and let me know what you think of them!
- Blackstone fried rice with steak and shrimp
- Homemade Blackstone smash burgers
- Pork roll egg and cheese on the Blackstone
I did my best to make this guide to griddle seasoning as thorough and complete as possible. If you found it helpful please take a moment to share with a friend. It’s the best way to help support and grow this site.
PS – here’s a quick video from Blackstone themselves on how to season a griddle: