Learn how to season a Blackstone griddle in this easy step-by-step guide! Plus, get tips for maintaining the griddle seasoning for a perfect non-stick surface!
Seasoning a griddle or flat top grill can be one of the most intimidating parts of owning this awesome piece of outdoor cooking equipment. Most people are afraid that they’ll do it wrong and then their seasoning will just flake off or their griddle surface will be too sticky. Or maybe you’re jumping into the griddle game and you don’t even know that you have to season the griddle in the first place.
But don’t worry… in this post I’ll give you step-by-step instructions for how to season a Blackstone griddle, whether it’s brand new and you’re doing the initial seasoning or you’ve had it for years and you just need to do “maintenance seasoning”.
This guide will give you everything you ever wanted to know about seasoning a griddle, including what oil to use, when you need to season the griddle, and detailed steps for how to season a Blackstone griddle or other rolled steel flat top grill so that you get a nice and smooth non-stick finish… and be sure you check out this post for how to clean your flat top grill next!
What Does it Mean to Season a Griddle or Flat Top Grill?
Seasoning is the process of building up layers of baked-on oil or fat on the surface of your griddle, similar to seasoning a cast iron skillet. The “seasoning” on the griddle helps to protect it from rust and creates a nonstick cooking surface, and it naturally wears out over time, so it’s necessary to maintain and replace those layers with a re-seasoning process.
Seasoning a griddle actually occurs through a process called “polymerization”. Polymerization occurs when the right oil or fat is heated at high enough temperatures to form a hard black surface on your griddle.
Certain fats are better for polymerization, which is why it’s important to choose the right oil for seasoning your Blackstone griddle or Camp Chef flat top grill. (We’ll talk about which oils to use in a minute).
Why You Need to Season Your Griddle
When you’re cooking on a griddle, you’re constantly going through layers of seasoning… It’s just natural during the cooking process. You’ll notice that after a handful of cooks, the surface of your griddle will start to look discolored and you’ll see areas that are more bronze or brown in color instead of black. This is the breaking down of your layers of seasoning, and it’s nothing to worry about…
But, you should take the appropriate steps to build those layers of seasoning back up again. Here’s why:
To prevent rusting
A proper seasoning can help protect your griddle’s surface from rust by repelling water. The better seasoned your griddle is, the less chance you have of water penetrating the seasoning layers and reaching the metal surface.
To create a non-stick surface
Think of your griddle surface as a piece of styrofoam… Styrofoam has small cracks, crevices, and bumps, and if you were to pour some scrambled eggs on it, the eggs would seep into those cracks and get stuck there. The same thing goes with your flat top grill surface, except the unevenness on your griddle surface is microscopic.
Applying very thin layers of seasoning (or baked-on oil) helps to fill in those microscopic rough parts on the metal’s surface to create a non-stick, smooth, and glass-like surface. So instead of your food getting stuck in those small cracks and crevices, it just sits on top of the seasoning layers.
What is the Best Oil to Season a Blackstone Griddle?
Before you start the seasoning process, you need to make sure you have a good seasoning oil. Just like seasoning cast iron, high heat oils work best because they won’t burn and they create a nice, strong seasoning layer on your griddle. Solid vegetable shortening is also a great choice because it’s inexpensive and easy to find. Plus, it has a higher smoke point as well. Many cast iron enthusiasts also swear by shortening as a seasoning oil.
My favorite oil to season with is this avocado oil because of its high smoke point, mild flavor, and versatility in a variety of cooking methods… I like to season and cook with the same oil so that I don’t have excess bottles cluttering up my kitchen.
However, when I seasoned my brand new Blackstone griddle, I used solid Crisco shortening because it’s an inexpensive option and the price of avocado oil is a bit higher right now. Seasoning with Crisco gave me a great result as well, just as it has when I’ve used it to season my cast iron pans.
So, in my opinion, avocado oil and Crisco are best for seasoning a griddle, but here are some other oils you can use also:
- Avocado oil
- Canola oil
- Peanut oil
You can also visit this post for an in-depth look at The Best Oils for Seasoning Cast Iron – Any of these oils would work well for your rolled steel flat top grill or griddle also!
What Oils Does Blackstone Recommend?
Some of Blackstone’s oil recommendations are similar to mine. Here’s their official recommendations:
- Blackstone Griddle Seasoning & Cast Iron Conditioner – This is one of their most recommended oils… no surprise since it is their own product.
- Canola Oil
- Flax Oil
- Vegetable Oil
- Olive Oil
You may have noticed that Blackstone’s recommended oils (from their website here) don’t include avocado oil. But I still think that avocado oil is a great choice. I’ve used my outdoor griddles about 4-5 times a week for over two years now, and I use avocado oil very frequently for cooking and maintenance seasonings.
Griddle Seasoning Tools
Besides the seasoning oil or shortening, you will also need a few other items when seasoning your griddle or flat top grill. Here are the seasoning tools that I use and recommend:
You may have heard people suggest NOT to use paper towels on your griddle because they can leave little pieces of lint behind, but not all paper towels are created equally. I prefer to use the Costco brand of Kirkland paper towels because I find them to be more durable than other brands.
I have also used blue mechanic’s paper towels or “shop style” paper towels for applying oil to my griddle, and I have no complaints about those either.
If you’re using a liquid seasoning oil instead of solid shortening, then you’ll probably want to add your oil to a squirt bottle first. I find that the squirt bottle helps to control the flow and amount of oil that you add to the griddle much more so than just pouring the oil from the bottle. And when seasoning a flat top grill, you definitely don’t want to apply too much oil at one time.
You can also have one squirt bottle full of water to clean your griddle before starting the seasoning process.
*You can check out some of my other favorite griddle accessories here!
Grill Brick or Sandpaper
If you’re seasoning a new griddle (that didn’t come pre-seasoned) or if your griddle seasoning is in bad shape and you need to even it out a bit to rebuild it back up, then you’ll need some sandpaper or a grill brick. I’ve used both with great success, so it’s really up to personal preference. If you’re using sandpaper to fix some flaking spots, I would recommend a fine grit.
You can find a large variety of grill bricks here… like the EarthStone Grill Cleaning Block that I recently used to restore my Camp Chef flat top grill.
Metal or High-Heat Tongs (optional)
You don’t NEED tongs to help with seasoning a flat top grill, but they do help to elevate your hand from the hot griddle surface. Most often when applying thin layers of oil to my griddle, I use long handled tongs to grab the wad of paper towels and distribute the oil across the surface, in the corners, and around the outer edges of my griddle.
When Should You Season Your Griddle or Flat Top Grill?
Going through the complete seasoning process every single time that you cook on your flat top grill is not necessary. Most of the time you’ll simply apply a thin layer of oil to the surface of your griddle after cooking and be done.
But occasionally, you’ll have to go through the full seasoning process:
After Cooking Acidic or High Sugar Foods
Acidic foods like marinara sauce, citrus, or birria style tacos (that are dipped in an enchilada and beef fat sauce) may be super tasty, but they don’t play well with the seasoning on your flat top grill.
The acids in these foods can break down the layers of seasoning on your grill more quickly than cooking something like pancakes or grilled cheese. That doesn’t mean that you can’t cook these foods on your griddle… but you should take the extra few minutes afterwards to re-season your grill.
Also, if you’re making super sugary foods like this Hawaiian Style Beef Teriyaki, then you may want to complete a full seasoning layer after you’re done cooking.
When Your Food Starts to Stick
If you notice that your food is starting to stick to your griddle surface, then that’s a tell-tale sign that it’s time to add another coat of seasoning. (Remember, this is different than just applying a thin coat of oil to your griddle, which should be done after you clean it each time).
Every 10-15 Cooks for Regular Maintenance
Just like you perform preventative maintenance on your vehicle, you can season your griddle BEFORE you start to have a problem. A good rule of thumb is to follow the seasoning process below after about 10-15 uses. If your griddle is already well seasoned, you’ll probably only need to apply one layer for maintenance.
Seasoning a Blackstone Griddle with Little Effort
If you’re worried about how to season a Blackstone griddle, then it could be easier than you think… As you’re cooking on your griddle, you could be seasoning it at the same time without even knowing it… it doesn’t get much easier than that, right?
*This is another reason why I pretty much exclusively cook with avocado oil.
When you start to cook on the griddle, you should already have a thin coat of oil applied from the last time that you used it… Remember, after every use of a traditional rolled steel griddle, you should clean it and apply a thin coat of oil with some paper towels.
So, when the griddle gets to a high enough temperature while you’re cooking, that leftover coat of oil will start to bond to the griddle surface and add to your seasoning layers… assuming that the griddle surface reaches the temperature of the smoke point of the oil.
That’s why many griddle users will tell you that the seasoning of your flat top grill will get darker over time as you cook on it more.
How to Season a Blackstone Griddle – Step by Step
Before we get into the full guide for how to season a Blackstone griddle, I want to make a distinction… Seasoning a brand new Blackstone griddle is different than seasoning your griddle for regular maintenance.
The Blackstone griddles do NOT come pre-seasoned right out of the box like the Camp Chef flat top grill or other griddle brands. So you’re starting from scratch and you need to build up multiple layers of seasoning before actually cooking on the griddle for the first time.
Because of that, there is one extra step listed below (the grill brick or sandpaper step). If you’re seasoning a brand new Blackstone griddle, then you will want to use the grill brick first, but if not, I would skip that step completely. The reason is that the grill brick or sandpaper is meant to scrape off the rough parts of the new griddle surface. If you were to use a grill brick on a well seasoned griddle for maintenance, then the abrasiveness of the brick would remove your seasoning layers that you worked so hard to build up and maintain. And that’s no good!
Step 1: For a brand new Blackstone griddle, use a grill brick or sandpaper to “knock off” the rough high points on the griddle.
IMPORTANT – Only do this step if you’re seasoning a brand new Blackstone griddle OR if your griddle seasoning is in really bad shape (like you have a lot of flaky areas that resemble paint chips) and you need to start from scratch.
Before you turn your griddle on, run your hand across the surface and you’ll probably feel some sharper, rougher high points. The goal is to knock those down a bit before you start the seasoning process.
Just rub the grill brick or sandpaper across the surface of your brand new Blackstone griddle to smooth those rough points out a bit… You shouldn’t need to bear down hard.
I used a 120 grit sandpaper to knock off the high points on my new Blackstone griddle. You should definitely notice a difference in the smoothness of the griddle surface before and after your rub it down with sandpaper or a griddle brick.
Step 2: Clean and dry the griddle surface.
Before you can apply fresh layers of seasoning, you need to be sure that the surface of your flat top grill or griddle is clean and dry. You can go here to see how to clean your flat top grill.
*Note – If you’re seasoning a brand new Blackstone griddle, then you will probably want to use hot soapy water for the initial cleaning before you start the seasoning process. However, if you’re only applying some seasoning layers for maintenance or re-seasoning, then you probably won’t need soap. You should be able to just squirt the griddle down with some water and use paper towels to wipe it clean.
For my brand new Blackstone griddle, I used an old rag to apply some hot soapy water to the cool griddle surface. Then, just wash it down well, being sure to get in the corners also.
*NOTE – I’m only using soap to clean the griddle because it’s brand new and it has not been seasoned yet. I wanted to make sure that I got all of the gunk, debris, sticker residue, dirt, etc. from the manufacturing and transit. If you’re seasoning a griddle that has already been used, you shouldn’t need to use soap to clean it. Instead, you can follow the tips here for how to clean your griddle.
After you’ve wiped it with soap, just use a squirt bottle of water to rinse the griddle surface. You may have to rinse it a few times to get all of the soap off. Then, use paper towels to dry the griddle off completely.
Step 3: Turn your griddle on low and allow it to preheat for about 10-15 minutes.
I always preheat ALL three of my griddles on low. These flat top grills can get super hot even on the low heat setting because they use propane, which is constantly on. It’s very different than cooking on an electric stove which regulates its own temperature by cutting on and off automatically to maintain a low temp.
Mainly, I recommend to preheat and cook on low to avoid warping of the griddle surface.
After about 15 minutes of preheating, this is what the surface of my brand new Blackstone looked like. You can see the darker black coloring in the center of the griddle:
Step 4: Apply a thin layer of seasoning oil to your flat top grill.
When the griddle is hot, squirt on the seasoning oil of your choice and rub it in to the surface with a wad of paper towels. You should focus on applying an even, thin layer of oil to the grill and make sure that there aren’t any areas of pooled oil. If the oil is too thick, it will become sticky after heating instead of completely curing on the surface. If you’re using Crisco shortening, then a good spoonful for each seasoning layer should be good.
*CAUTION – The oil will be VERY hot, so when you’re rubbing it into the griddle surface, be sure that it doesn’t splash up in the corners and burn your hands.
And don’t forget about the sides, outside edges, and grease trough (if you have a Camp Chef flat top grill)! Wipe those down with the oiled paper towels also.
Step 5: Wait about 5-10 minutes until the smoke starts to slow down, then repeat as needed.
This is the most important step to seasoning a flat top grill, and it’s the step that most people never actually do. If you never heat your oil to its smoke point, then the polymerization process doesn’t happen, and the layers of oil never actually get baked on to the surface.
And while it DOES take a little extra time, this step is not difficult.
Once you have a thin layer of oil down, simply allow the heat to continue to build… You may turn your flat top grill up to low or medium heat if you wish. If you’re a seasoned flat top grill user, no pun intended, then you know that the griddle can get SUPER hot, even on the lower heat settings. In fact, all three of my outdoor griddles reach temps of about 475-500 degrees on the low setting after about 15-20 minutes of preheating.
Once your oil has been smoking for about 5 minutes, you should start to notice a decrease in the amount of smoke. Sparing you all of the chemistry speak, that’s because the oil is basically turning into the hard layer of seasoning. The smoke will start to slow down and the griddle will not be smoking as much as before. You should also notice that the surface of your griddle appears slightly darker than before.
If you’re seasoning a brand new Blackstone griddle, then the darker patch in the middle will start to grow wider with each seasoning layer. Don’t be surprised if after 5 seasonings, your corner areas are still bronze in color instead of solid black. The Blackstone griddle seasoning will continue to build as you cook on it.
After the smoke has dissipated, you can go ahead and apply another thin layer of oil or Crisco and repeat the process again, allowing the smoke to build and then eventually dissipate after a few minutes. Then applying another thin coat of oil. Here’s what my Blackstone griddle looked like after 3 seasonings:
The number of times that you need to repeat the process largely depends on the condition of your griddle surface.
I recently re-seasoned my brother-in-law’s Blackstone griddle for him, because it was in rough shape. He hadn’t used it or even lifted the lid in over 3 months, and it had started to rust. I went through the seasoning process about 4 times on his Blackstone, and then it was good as new and ready to cook on once again.
When I seasoned my brand new Blackstone griddle, I applied about 5 layers of seasoning to get it to this stage:
You’ll notice that the outer edges are more of a bronze or darker gold color… That’s completely fine! The griddle surface should still be well seasoned and non-stick at this stage, and the color will continue to darken as you cook more and more meals on it.
When you’re happy with your flat top grill seasoning, go ahead and turn off your griddle. Then, apply a final coat of seasoning oil or Crisco while the griddle is still warm. This final coat won’t actually burn off, but rather it will act as a protectant for the surface until you cook on it again.
Step 6: Maintain the Blackstone griddle seasoning by rubbing the surface down with an oiled paper towel after each use.
As I mentioned before, after each use you should clean the griddle surface (probably just with a good squirt of water and a wipe down), and then apply a thin coat of seasoning oil or Crisco.
Then, when your griddle preheats for the next cook, the surface should get hot enough to polymerize that thin layer of oil to create another layer of seasoning.
If you’re more of a visual learner, then you can watch the full video of How to Season a Blackstone Griddle here… I’ll walk you through the entire process start to finish:
I hope this guide helps you to be more confident when seasoning your griddle or flat top grill, whether it’s brand new or you just want to make sure that you’re keeping it in tip top shape.
And for more Blackstone griddle care and maintenance tips, or to get some general tips for griddle cooking, check out these posts: