A griddle can be an expensive investment. This is especially true for the higher quality ones, like a Blackstone griddle. Because of such, it’s only natural that you know how to keep a griddle in good condition so you can make the most of your investment.
In this article, we are going to offer you some essential tips on how you can maintain your griddle.
Be Mindful About The Temperature
Most griddles are made from durable materials like steel. However, even steel can be susceptible to damages brought on by sudden temperature changes.
Keep in mind that the juices coming out from your ingredients (e.g. meat, vegetables) is relatively cooler than the griddle surface. If you remember from your physics class, metal expands when it heats up. On the other hand, if a metal is cooled, it will also shrink. When the metal expands and shrinks uniformly, it’s not a big of an issue. The problem starts when there’s sudden unevenness of temperature.
In the case of griddles, when the relatively cooler temperature from the juices hits the surface, it will cause the surface of the griddle to shrink. However, the middle and underside layer of the griddle is at a different temperature. This means that the middle and underside layer will stay at the same size. Now imagine this scenario.
The top layer shrinks, and the mid layer stays the same. This movement will cause a lot of stress, which will eventually create microcracks.
Keep in mind that these movements are so minute, and the naked eye can’t notice it. However, if you keep doing it, it will eventually make your griddle brittle. To combat this problem, temperature control is a must.
You can start heating up your griddle at a specific setting for at least 5 minutes. After that, drop down a notch for at least 2 – 3 minutes before you start cooking on the griddle. So if you start with a medium setting, you drop down to medium-low. If you start with a medium-low, take it down to the low setting. By doing so, you can achieve a better “evenness” in heating across the surface.
Also, it’s highly advisable to use a medium or low setting when cooking with a griddle as it minimizes the temperature difference between the griddle and the food items you are cooking. Ultimately, this will also reduce the chances of microcracks and other damages.
Part of proper griddle maintenance includes proper cleaning. When it comes to griddle cleaning, one essential tip to keep in mind is you should do it while the surface is still warm. Warm food particles are easier to clean, which means you don’t have to do hard scrubbing that may lead to nicks and scratches. Also, your best friend is a metal spatula, so it’s best that you get one if you don’t have it yet.
After you have removed all the food bits, you’d want to wash the griddle with mild dish soap and hot water. What you should never use is an abrasive detergent cleaning agent as this can damage the surface and remove the seasoned finish.
Keeping your griddle seasoned is essential as it provides the griddle surface with a “coating.” This coating will help keep the moisture out, which prevents the griddle from rusting too soon. The coating also contributes in terms of providing the griddle surface with “non-stick” properties.
It’s highly advisable that your season you griddle before using it for the first time. After that, you can just season the griddle after each use. Also, only season it after you have thoroughly cleaned it.
Before you do the seasoning procedure, make sure the griddle is completely dry. Then, apply a very thin layer of oil and then turn up the heat afterward. The surface will start smoking soon after. Don’t mind it as this is normal. Continue the heating process until all the smoke has disappeared.
Properly seasoning a griddle is a tutorial by itself. Hence, it’s best that you check some step-by-step guide for it.
The best place to store your griddle is in a clean and dry area. If you choose to wrap it with a bag, make sure you leave an opening and not completely seal it. This is for better air circulation, which then prevents the griddle from “sweating.”
Sweating can make your griddle more susceptible to rust.
Wrapping It All Up
Knowing how to maintain a griddle is not rocket science. It’s a pretty simple and straightforward task. You just need a guide on how to do it properly and the keeping in mind that tips that we mentioned above is a good start.
It’s also a good idea to get a high-quality griddle in the first place as it’s easier to maintain and last longer. Check for a few Blackstone griddles as they are known to be one of the best in the industry.