Want to know how to use a grill brick on a griddle or flat top grill? Learn everything you need to know about a griddle cleaning brick in this guide and get your Blackstone in tip-top shape!
We get a TON of comments and questions every single day on our flat top grilling YouTube channel, and lately it seems like everyone wants to know about using a grill brick on the griddle. So I decided to do a deep dive into if you should use a grill brick, when to use a grill brick, and how to use a grill brick… Basically everything you ever wanted to know about using this little piece of equipment.
Let me start off by saying that I have a ton of experience using grill bricks on a griddle. As a cook in the US Navy, I pretty much used a griddle brick every single day on our large stainless steel commercial grade griddle. But let me make an important distinction…
A commercial griddle is very different than a residential griddle, mostly because of the griddle seasoning. I’ll talk more about that in a minute.
So the question of “Can I use a grill brick on a Blackstone griddle or other flat top grill?” is really a matter of what type of griddle you have and what the griddle seasoning looks like.
Here’s everything you need to know about using a grill brick on a griddle (or not):
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What is a grill brick?
A grill brick, sometimes called a griddle cleaning brick, is basically a pumice stone that is used to deep clean grills and griddles. It feels very similar to a pumice stone that you would rub across your heels to get rid of cracked and flaky skin… which is funny because it can be used to restore cracked and flaky seasoning on your griddle top.
Using a griddle brick is a very aggressive method of cleaning a griddle, definitely tougher than a scouring pad, and I only recommend it if your surface is in poor condition with chipping or rusting, because you will likely remove some of the griddle seasoning. More about that below…
Can I use a grill brick on a griddle or flat top grill?
Using a grill brick on a griddle is similar to restoring a cast iron skillet… You strip it down to a rawer metal (or at least buff off a lot of the seasoning) and then start from scratch with fresh coats of seasoning. It can be a very tedious process, so before you decide to use a grill brick to clean your griddle, ask yourself these questions:
1. What type of griddle do you have?
If you have a stainless steel commercial or restaurant-style griddle top on your back deck and you want to use a grill brick to clean it after every use, then I say go for it.
But chances are, you have a residential outdoor griddle like a Blackstone griddle, Camp Chef flat top grill, or a Member’s Mark griddle. All of these household griddles are rolled steel, and they require seasoning to protect the surface and to keep your food from sticking, just like a cast iron skillet.
Or if you have a ceramic coated griddle, like the Pit Boss Ultimate Griddle, then it comes with a non-stick coating similar to a skillet that you would use on the stovetop. You would DEFINITELY NOT want to use a grill brick on this griddle.
Most residential griddles do not require the use of a grill brick and, in fact, I would not recommend you use a grill brick on these types of griddles at all, unless your seasoning is very damaged. Which brings me to the next question…
2. Do you have chips in your griddle seasoning?
A grill brick is mainly used for deep cleaning and re-seasoning a griddle that has rust or chips in the seasoning that can’t easily be fixed. If you start to notice that your flat top has large “chippy” spots where the black seasoning seems to be chipping off, similar to paint chipping, then you may want to use a grill brick.
This is what I’m talking about:
Or, if you have large areas of rust or rough spots that just won’t go away, it may be time to put in some elbow grease with a griddle cleaning brick.
3. Do you know how to bring your griddle seasoning back to life?
If you’re a Blackstone griddle owner, then chances are you’re comfortable with seasoning a griddle – you had to do it when you bought your brand new Blackstone, after all.
Bottom line, if you don’t want to put in the work to re-season your griddle with multiple coats of oil that are burned off in between each layer, then I would steer clear of the grill brick cleaning method.
Supplies Needed for Grill Brick Use
If you’re going to use a grill brick on the griddle, then be sure to have these supplies on hand:
- the actual grill brick – I used the Earth Stone Grill Cleaning Block on my Blackstone griddle recently, and it worked great! You can also use the actual Blackstone cleaning brick which works the same way.
- paper towels
- water bottle
- vegetable oil – To lubricate the surface of the griddle before scrubbing it (I typically do NOT use vegetable oil for seasoning).
- seasoning oil of your choice – After you scrub the griddle with the brick, you’ll need to re-season the top.
- bench scraper and tongs – To help with cleaning and seasoning the griddle afterwards… Of course these are probably already in your arsenal of MUST-HAVE Blackstone griddle accessories:
How to Use a Grill Brick to Restore a Flat Top Grill or Griddle
If your Blackstone griddle or flat top grill top is in rough condition with areas that are chipping or severe rough spots, then using a grill brick is a great way to bring it back to life.
Just follow these steps to get your rolled steel griddle top back to tip-top shape and ready to cook on once again:
Step 1: Warm up the griddle surface and add some vegetable oil.
To start, turn your griddle on to a low heat, and be prepared to begin the cleaning process as the griddle is heating up (not after 15 minutes when your surface may be 400+ degrees F).
The temperature of the griddle when you start using the griddle cleaning brick is very important. You want the flat top surface to be warm so that it’s easier to get the old chipped seasoning and rust off, but you don’t want the surface to be too hot that you burn yourself.
After a few minutes of preheating, you’ll need to turn the burners completely off. Remember, you only want the surface to be slightly warm, definitely not hot like it would be for cooking.
*And just to say it again… CAUTION – You will be using oil as you’re cleaning the griddle with the grill brick… If your flat top grill is hot, the oil will be hot also and it could splash up and burn you!
Just pour some of the vegetable oil directly on the surface to lubricate it. For a four burner griddle, you’ll probably need about 1/3 cup of oil, but it doesn’t have to be exact.
If you’ve followed along with my YouTube videos, then you know that I never season a griddle with vegetable oil. For this process, however, you’ll be using a lot of oil (especially if your griddle is very chipped, discolored, and rusty like mine), so a cheaper oil is preferred.
Step 2: Scrub the grill brick across the griddle surface.
Once you add the oil, just rub the griddle cleaning brick across the surface, spreading out the oil as you go.
You can scrub the griddle in a circular motion or up and down… There’s really no right or wrong way to do it. Just use whatever motion is most comfortable to you, and apply the appropriate amount of pressure for your griddle. If your surface is really in rough shape, you may have to press down a bit harder in certain areas.
Notice how chippy the seasoning is on my Camp Chef griddle surface below? For the purposes of this tutorial, I intentionally neglected the surface so that the seasoning would wear out and I could show you how to fix it:
Those chipped areas really required a good amount of elbow grease. Let’s just say that you can skip arm day at the gym after using a grill brick on the griddle!
PRO TIP – As you’re rubbing the grill brick across the surface, be careful that you’re not scraping against the sides too much. The sides of the griddle are typically a bit more difficult to build up layers of seasoning, so there’s no need to strip them down too much, unless you have a lot of built up rust there.
Continue scrubbing the brick across the surface until it is evenly smooth and the rough spots have been knocked down. For me, it took about 15 minutes of continuous scrubbing to even out the surface and remove the chipped areas. Then, you’re ready to move on to the next step.
And don’t be surprised if you’ve literally scrubbed your brick in half… When I was done, the thickness of my brick was about 25% of what it was when I started, more like a shim than a brick. See what I mean:
Step 3: Use a bench scraper to scrape the excess gunk off the griddle.
See all of the black tar-looking goo on the surface in the photo above? You’ll want to remove that before you clean the griddle and re-season it.
Just use your scraper to scrape the surface clean, directing all of the black substance to the grease trap.
And notice that black goo under my fingernails? I told you this was a messy process!
Step 4: Clean the griddle with water/steam.
Next, turn the griddle back on to a low heat. Once the griddle is warm, add water to the griddle to clean all of the nooks and crannies and bits of leftover grease. If you want, you can also add soap at this point, but I chose not to because I felt like I was able to remove the residue with only the water and steam cleaning.
The important part is to get the griddle top super clean at this point, because the next step is to re-season the surface, and you don’t want to start building up layers of seasoning on a dirty griddle surface.
Simply add water using your squirt bottle (a must-have griddle accessory!), and then use your bench scraper and a wad of paper towels to clean and dry the water off the surface. You’ll need to repeat this process many times.
When you’re done cleaning the griddle, it will probably look something like this:
And don’t worry about the white spots… That’s where you’ve stripped away the seasoning, which is pretty much the point of using a griddle cleaning brick in the first place. You’ll build the seasoning back up in the next step.
Step 5: Season the griddle.
Once all the surface is completely clean and dry, it’s time to start the re-seasoning process. I have a full in-depth tutorial on how to season a griddle here: How to Season a Blackstone Griddle (Easy Step by Step Guide)
But here are the basic steps:
- Allow the griddle to preheat for about 10 minutes.
- Apply a thin coat of seasoning oil (avocado oil or Crisco are my favorites for seasoning) using a paper towel and tongs.
- Allow the oil to heat up and burn off until the smoke starts to dissipate (probably about 10 minutes).
- Once the smoke has died down, repeat steps 2 and 3.
Since you’ve just stripped the griddle top down to a rawer steel, you’ll probably need to apply about 4-6 coats of fresh seasoning, so plan for the seasoning process to take about 45 minutes to an hour.
Watch Me Use a Grill Brick on the Griddle on YouTube!
If you’re more of a visual learner, I suggest that you watch this video on my YouTube channel:
This video takes you through step-by-step with detailed instructions, and you can actually see how I scrubbed the surface with the brick, how I cleaned the griddle afterwards, etc.
Other Tips for Using a Griddle Cleaning Brick
Here are some other important things to note when you’re using a grill brick on a griddle:
Don’t overwork the sides.
When using a grill brick to even out the surface of your griddle, be careful that you’re not scrubbing too much on the sides. The sides and edges of the griddle are typically the hardest to season and to build back that nice non-stick layer… if you’ve ever seasoned a Blackstone griddle, then you know what I’m talking about.
Wear old clothes when you’re using a grill cleaning brick.
As you can tell from some of the photos above, using a grill brick on the griddle can be quite messy. Be prepared to have gunk all over your hands and in your fingernails, and I definitely recommend wearing old clothes that you don’t care about getting dirty.
Don’t use a grill brick as a “crutch” when cleaning the griddle.
If you’re using a grill brick on a residential flat top grill or griddle after every single use because you have stuck on food, then you might need to review some of the basics of griddle cooking. Instead of using the griddle cleaning brick as a “crutch” to help you remove debris on your griddle, you should be following some of the standards of griddling like:
- Cleaning as you go
- Using your bench scraper properly to remove stuck on food
- Adding water to the hot griddle surface to create steam and help release the fond or food debris
Don’t expect the entire griddle surface to be the same color when you’re done.
You may think that after you use the griddle brick to “strip down” your surface that the entire surface will be the same color, but that’s definitely not the case. Just see the photo above with all of the white spots.
If you were to use a power tool to completely remove the griddle seasoning, then the surface may be more uniform in color, but not with a grill brick. As you remove the spots that are chipping or rusty, the color will be lighter, but not to worry. You can re-season your griddle so that you have a nice black, non-stick surface again.
I hope this guide to how to use a griddle cleaning brick on a Blackstone or other flat top grill has been helpful! If you’re willing to put in an hour or two of your time and a good amount of elbow grease, you can have your griddle top looking brand new again!
Comments or questions? Just use the comment form down below, or reach out to me on my YouTube channel. Cheers!