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Mastering Griddle Use 101

Griddling 101

We’ve all enjoyed food cooked on a griddle at one time or another. Griddle cooked food is unmistakably delicious, whether it’s light & fluffy pancakes or the perfectly seared diner-style burger. Maybe you’ve seen photos of smiling families standing around outdoor griddles in sales flyers. Perhaps you’ve noticed more and more online videos featuring outdoor griddle cooking.

You’re interested in the idea of getting an outdoor griddle, but you don’t know where to start. If you’ve never cooked on a large outdoor griddle, starting out can be intimidating. Outdoor griddles are large with huge heated surfaces. After you hook up the propane and ignite the fire beneath the griddle, now what? You’ve got the “griddle thing” down but you’re out of your element. What do you cook and how do you cook it? How do you clean a 55lb. steel griddle top? You might have lots of questions but most answers come with practice.

We’ll talk about the basics and I’ll give you some ideas to get you started on your adventure into the exciting world of cooking on outdoor griddles. If you’re like me, you’ll burn a few pieces of bread along the way. Don’t worry about it. Before you know it, you’ll be wowing friends and family with that perfect culinary creation only a griddle can provide!

Preparation & Maintenance

Think of your griddle top the same way you think of cast iron cookware. However, your griddle top is made of rolled steel. The more you season it, the better your cooking experience will be. Basically, seasoning is applying oil to the griddle top, spreading it around, wiping off the excess, heating it and allowing it to form a non-stick blackened coating on your cooking surface. Regular cooking will provide much of the necessary seasoning.

The Blackstone griddle tops come coated with rust protective oil from the factory. Before you use it the first time, you’ll want to wash it with a grease-cutting dish soap and rinse. Coat your griddle top (both top and bottom) with cooking oil prior to its first use. You’ll notice a brownish, black color start to appear on your griddle top as you adjust the temperature from low to high. Your griddle top is getting discolored. Don’t worry; it’s exactly what you want to happen. You’re on your way to achieving a perfectly seasoned grill that will help to prevent food from sticking to the steel surface. The seasoning also helps achieve that picture-perfect coating on the outside of your food. Finally, the seasoning prevents rust from building up on your griddle top. When you get into the swing of things, seasoning your griddle top will become second nature. You’ll do it before, during, and after each time you cook.

Tools of the Trade

First, you’re going to need the right tools to cook on and maintain your new griddle top. Make sure to purchase two spatulas because you’ll be using both hands like the chefs at Japanese steakhouses before you’re done! It’s also a good idea to have two spatulas so you can avoid cross-contaminating different foods. There are many different types of spatulas on the market. Many have slots in the spatula which allow oils and grease to pass through the spatulas.

You’ll also want to pick up a good griddle scraper and/or chopper. The scraper is the most essential tool you’ll need for your new griddle.  Before long, scraping your griddle top will become as natural as seasoning it. Scrape off particles prior to cooking and scrape off food residue when you’re finished cooking. I personally like a designated scraper with a somewhat sharp scraping end. Scraper/chopper tools allow you to chop & dice up vegetables on the griddle while you’re cooking. I also frequently use metal tongs to do everything from flip steaks to roll sausages.  

Lastly, make sure to pick up a few squeezable oil bottles. You can keep your go-to oils in the bottles. They’re fairly small and easy to pick up when you’re in the midst of cooking on the griddle. I always have a bottle with vegetable or canola oil along with another bottle that’s filled with olive oil on hand. If you plan on cooking plenty of Asian-inspired dishes, you can have a bottle of sesame oil handy. If the griddle looks dry, give it a squirt of oil. You get the point.  

The Joy of Griddling

Pancakes are a great way to start cooking on your griddle. Pancake batter is inexpensive or easy to make from scratch.  For many years, I jumped from one batter recipe to another.  A few years ago, I found a pre-made batter mix that knocked my socks off. It’s called Kodiak Cakes Flapjack and Waffle Mix. If you’d rather make your own batter, you won’t have a problem finding one that works for you. I just Googled “pancake batter recipe” and found 1.5 million results.  

Ignite your griddle zone and prepare your pancake batter while the griddle heats up. You can adjust the temperature as you learn what works best for each type of food you’re cooking. If you burn a pancake, you’re only throwing away a penny or two. Practice and find out what works best for you. The 36″ Blackstone Griddle has 756 square inches of cooking space. Say goodbye to the frustration of trying to use multiple skillets all over your cook top in order to cook enough pancakes for large groups. If you’re cooking regular or smaller pancakes, you can cook enough for several hungry folks at the same time!

Make sure you have a good coating of oil, spray, or margarine before you drop down your batter and get started on your new role as Proprietor of Pancakes.  Be creative. I routinely make several different types of pancakes. For a special treat, I enjoy making a cinnamon roll-inspired pancake. I add cinnamon, pure almond extract, and pecans to the batter.  I’ll add whipped cream on top of the finished pancake. Next, I drizzle real maple syrup and chopped pecans on the whipped cream.  The end result is a pancake that tastes like a gourmet treat from your favorite breakfast spot!    

One-Stop Cooking Shop

Griddles really shine when it comes to cooking several entrée elements that will later be combined. Take burgers for instance. Start by cooking bacon at one end of the griddle with your desired heat setting. Next, drop your burger patties in the center of the griddle and don’t forget to season them. Lastly, caramelize your onions on the other end of the griddle top.  As your onions reduce, you can slide them into a pile next to your patties. Meanwhile, take a slice of cheese and put it on your nearly cooked patties. Then put the bacon on the patties followed by a pile of the onions.  Now you’ve freed up some griddle space.  Make sure you spray a little oil or butter first, and then drop the heels and crowns of your buns face down on the griddle.  Depending on the temperature of your griddle, you will have perfectly toasted buns in less than a minute.  Your burger patty will be seared on the outside with a tasty coating.  The inside of the patty will be juicy and full of flavor.

You are now a Griddler

The griddle will also take your grilled cheese sandwiches, quesadillas, French toast, fajitas, cheesesteaks, and everything else to the next level.  I recommend Texas toast for your grilled cheese sandwiches.  Use the griddle to cook your homemade flour tortillas or toast your corn tortillas for the perfect street taco.  So long grilled burrito, say hello to the griddle burrito.  From corned beef hash to sirloin steak, it’s a job for the griddle!

Odds & Ends

Once you become familiar with your griddle, you will be able to relax and even socialize while cooking.  With an iced tea in one hand and a spatula in the other, you’ll wonder why you waited so long to purchase a griddle.  Having said all that, you still need to be safe when operating your griddle.  Keep small children out of reach of the hot griddle top.  Make sure not to leave any plastic bags or containers too close to the griddle top as well.  If you’re cooking on an uneven surface, like your backyard, you might have to level the griddle legs/wheels with a few thin sheets of cardboard or wood.  

Closing up Shop

Scrape off all of the food residues after you’re done the cooking.  I also like to wipe my griddle top clean with a heavy cloth or rag.  Make sure you’re wearing heat protective gloves so you don’t burn yourself.  Apply a coat of cooking oil to the griddle top and wipe it in so it will be protected and ready for your next cooking experience.   Empty & clean your grease cup, turn off your propane tank and cover your griddle with a fitted cover or a tarp.

If you want to find out more information on the Blackstone 36″ Griddle Cooking station, this video provides a great introduction:  36″ Griddle Cooking Experience

 

Todd Toven is a lifelong outdoorsman and cook.  He works with and represents many cooking, outdoor cooking, game processing, hunting, fishing, and outdoor product related companies.  His YouTube channel chronicles his outdoor adventures which range from backyard cooking to hunting and from wild game processing to fishing.  You can find more information about Todd at http://www.RockyMountainMeatHunter.com or watch his growing library of over 250 outdoor videos at https://www.youtube.com/user/praisehisawesomename

21 thoughts on “Mastering Griddle Use 101

  1. AMT says:

    Im having a hardtime removing the burnt fat on the surface of my griddle. I tried all the methods in your videos but still one side of it doesnt seem to conduct heat to the food as well as it used too and is very black. My question is could I use something other than water? Vinegar maybe? Or a cleaning agent like shadazzle on it? Is it safe for cooking after?

    1. Venessa Pixton says:

      Your goal is to get the griddle top as black as you can, that is a sign of a well seasoned griddle top. If something is getting stuck and you have seasoned it well according to the seasoning portion of this video (https://www.blackstoneproducts.com/video/page/2/) then I would recommend a little bit of water sprayed on the stubborn spot while the griddle top is hot and it will steam up then you can scrape it right off. Maybe if you would like to send me a couple pictures so I can see exactly what you need. Here is our email address: [email protected]. Let me know, thanks! Venessa P.

  2. mitch says:

    i see alot of vidoes using the griddle inside garage with door up is this safe to do

    1. Venessa Pixton says:

      I cannot speak for anyone else, but it is not safe to cook indoors with Propane and we strongly suggest against it. If you have questions speak with a local gas company or fire marshal regarding the dangers.

      1. Bart says:

        Guess I should sell my 48″ Platinum Blue Star gas range.

  3. Sunny says:

    Can you cook in your house with this griddle we use propane to heat our house I have a place to hookup to
    Thank you.

    1. Venessa Pixton says:

      You should not cook indoors with Propane. It should only be used outdoors for safety reasons.

  4. Kevin says:

    can I hook-up the griddle to my gas line from my house

    1. Venessa Pixton says:

      Is the gas line from your house propane or natural gas? We do not currently have a natural gas conversion kit but should in the very near future. Customers tell me frequently that they have converted there griddle to natural gas by changing the orifices. Legally I am unable to offer any solid information at this time where we have not completed the testing. We recommend you work with a natural gas professional or a plumber to ensure your safety.

      If the gas line is propane, our regulator will still regulate the gas properly. Thank you.

      1. Justin says:

        Is there any update on this propane to natural gas conversion kit? Love my 36″ Blackstone Griddle and we are moving to a new house with a natural gas supply in the back yard.

        1. Venessa Pixton says:

          Justin currently we do not have a conversion kit. Customers tell me that they have done it. Something to do with the orifices being drilled to the correct Natural Gas size. Then any standard conversion kit should work. We recommend you work with a Natural Gas professional or a plumber to ensure your safety. I hope this helps. Where we have not fully tested this we cannot legally provide any information. I apologize for the inconvenience.

      2. T Freeman says:

        “should [have a natural gas conversion kit] in the very near future” !!

        We’re now in February of 2017!! Help a brother out!

        1. Venessa Pixton says:

          Hi,

          We are hoping to have the conversion kit ready in early to mid summer. Thank you for your interest.

          1. Venessa Pixton says:

            We are a propane griddle company.

        2. Rafael says:

          LOL! I have been wanting ones of these FOREVER, but since I only have NG, I am never going back to propane. Mid-Summer…. 🙁

          #CantWait

  5. Casey Dudek says:

    My griddle to doesn’t seem to be getting as hot as I would like it to. I have a full bottle of propane, and the weather has been great. Am i just not letting it heat long enough? Do i need to turn on all 4 burners for it to gwt to searing temps? Anything thoughts you have on getting it hot enough in general?
    I have the 36″ griddle

    1. Venessa Pixton says:

      Thank you for reaching out to us. There are a couple things to check, one thing is the air gates. There are air gates at the front of each burner that we leave adjustable for the customer to set at their preference. To adjust the air gate there is a tiny silver screw if looking up from underneath the griddle station at the front of the burner. You loosen this screw and there is a small metal gate that you can slide more open or closed. We typically cook with the gates half closed. If the environment is windy then we close them a little more.

      If that does not solve it, you can email us at [email protected] with a copy of your receipt and your address and we will send you a replacement regulator and provide tracking. Thanks in advance! Venessa P.

  6. AG says:

    I have had my 36 in griddle for 6 years now. I live in Houston so I can use mine all year round. The first time I did not get the griddle seasoned correctly so for the first couple of years I was not completely happy. I cleaned , sanded and seasoned it again and it is my go to backyard cooker. I take it camping, to the deer lease and I am adding new things to cook constantly. Anyone not satisfied with theirs needs to put it on Craigslist or Ebay so I can buy another one so I don’t have to move mine so much. I use mine almost every Sunday to cook breakfast for us. When family comes over fajita’s are easy to cook and come out perfect. This cooker is so handy for burgers, steaks, pancakes what ever you can dream up it will cook. After it cools, anything I cooked comes off with the spatula and a rag. I put a light coat of oil and it’s ready for next time. If yours is rusting you AIN’T using it enough, and it saves me a lot of time not washing pots and pans.

    1. Todd Toven Todd Toven says:

      Thank you very much for the outstanding review and for being a loyal Blackstone customer. Keep griddling!!

  7. Harolene Thomas says:

    I still am looking for the black cover over the grill part. Where you can cook vegetables pancakes or anything you want and it will not fall through.

    1. Todd T. Todd T. says:

      Hello,

      You can reach Blackstone customer support at
      [email protected]
      or
      435-252-3030

      They will be able to answer all of your questions! Thanks 🙂

      Thank you

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