A black stone grill, with its high-quality materials and excellent heat retention, is a prized possession for any outdoor cooking enthusiast. However, maintaining its cleanliness can be a challenging task. This comprehensive guide, updated to 2023, will provide you with detailed tips and real-life examples on how to keep your black stone grill in top condition.
Why Cleaning Your Black Stone Grill is Important
Regular cleaning of your black stone grill is essential for several reasons:
- Preventing Bacterial Buildup: Regular cleaning helps prevent the buildup of bacteria and harmful pathogens that can cause foodborne illnesses. For example, a study by the USDA found that grills not cleaned properly can harbor bacteria like E.coli and Salmonella, which can lead to serious health issues1.
- Preventing Grease Accumulation: Grease accumulation can lead to flare-ups and uneven cooking. A case study by the National Fire Protection Association found that failure to clean grills was the leading cause of grill fires2.
- Extending Grill Life: Proper maintenance helps extend the life of your grill by preventing rusting and other forms of damage. According to a report by Consumer Reports, regular cleaning can extend the life of your grill by up to 5 years3.
How to Clean Your Black Stone Grill: A Step-by-Step Guide
Step 1: Scrape off Excess Debris
After each use, scrape off any remaining food particles or debris using a scraper tool or spatula specifically designed for use with the black stone griddle. Be careful not to scratch or damage the surface while doing so.
Pro Tip: Use a long-handled grill brush to scrape off debris. This will allow you to clean the grill while it’s still hot, making the process easier and more effective.
Step 2: Wipe Down with Hot Water
Using hot water (or warm soapy water), thoroughly wipe down the surface of your black stone grill. This will help remove any remaining food residue and grease build-up.
Pro Tip: Use a microfiber cloth to wipe down the grill. Microfiber cloths are highly absorbent and can effectively remove grease and residue without scratching the surface.
Step 3: Use Oil as Necessary
Approximately every three uses, apply cooking oil onto the surface when it’s still warm, ensuring complete coverage over all surfaces before wiping away excess. This will help prevent rusting by creating a protective barrier between the metal surface and the moisture in the air.
Pro Tip: Use a high smoke point oil like canola or vegetable oil for best results. These oils can withstand high temperatures without breaking down, making them ideal for grilling.
Step 4: Deep Cleaning
If grease accumulation and stubborn food residue have started to build up, it’s time for a deep clean. Use a specialized black stone grill cleaner and degreaser solution to help remove the accumulated grease and debris.
Pro Tip: For a natural cleaning solution, mix equal parts of vinegar and water. This mixture can effectively break down grease and grime without damaging the grill surface.
Step 5: Store Your Grill Properly
Proper storage can also help extend the lifespan of your black stone grill. After cleaning your grill, be sure to store it in a dry place with a cover so that it remains protected from moisture and other elements.
Pro Tip: Invest in a high-quality grill cover. A good grill cover can protect your grill from the elements and prevent rust and damage.
How to Season a Blackstone Griddle
Seasoning a Blackstone griddle involves applying a thin layer of oil to the surface of the griddle, heating the oil, and allowing it to set. This creates a thin layer shield over its surface, helping to prevent food from sticking to it, and protect it against the threat of rust or wear.
- Apply a thin layer of oil: Use a high smoke point oil like flaxseed oil or canola oil. Spread it evenly across the surface using a cloth or paper towel.
- Heat the oil: Turn on the griddle and heat it until the oil starts to smoke. This process is called polymerization, and it’s what creates the non-stick layer.
- Let it cool: Once the griddle has cooled down, you’ll notice that the surface is now a dark black. This is a sign that the seasoning process has worked.
- Repeat the process: For best results, repeat the process 2-3 times. This will create a solid seasoning layer that will protect the griddle from rust and make it more non-stick.
- Avoid using soap: After seasoning, avoid using soap to clean the griddle as it can strip the seasoning layer.
How to Clean a Blackstone Grill
The best action to take is always preventative, so always aim to clean the griddle after each use. Blackstone has their own brand scrapers that are great at doing the job for this. They’re pretty inexpensive, and for the sake of protecting the warranty, it’s often best to stick to branded tools.
- Scrape off food residues: After each use, scrape off food residues using a grill scraper. Be gentle to avoid damaging the seasoning layer.
- Wipe the griddle surface: Use a cloth or paper towel to wipe the griddle surface. This will remove excess oil and prevent it from building up.
- Use a vinegar solution for stubborn stains: If there are stubborn stains on the griddle, use a mixture of water and vinegar. Scrub the surface with a grill brush until the stains are gone.
- Rinse and dry: Rinse the griddle surface with water and dry it thoroughly. This is important to prevent rust.
Blackstone Griddle Maintenance Tips
Regular maintenance can extend the lifespan of your Blackstone griddle and ensure that it performs well for years to come.
- Preheat the griddle: Before each use, preheat the griddle for 10 minutes. This will make cooking easier and reduce the risk of food sticking to the griddle.
- Check for rust: Regularly check the griddle for signs of rust. If rust is found, clean and re-season the griddle.
- Use a cover: When the griddle is not in use, cover it to protect it from the elements. This can prevent rust and other forms of damage.
How to Do a Deep Clean on Your Blackstone Griddle
While a good wipe down after each use can help prevent a lot of forms of wear, you will need to do a thorough deep clean every now and then. Grill cleanliness is important for more reasons than just obsessiveness. Any leftover fat can stick on and then cook the next time you use it. This can be dangerous as it will create more smoke and generate unstable flare-ups.
Deep Cleaning Process:
- Use a grill stone or brick: These tools are designed to scrub off stubborn food residues and stains without damaging the griddle surface.
- Rinse and dry: After scrubbing, rinse the griddle surface with water. Then, dry it thoroughly to prevent rust.
- Re-season the griddle: After a deep clean, the seasoning layer might be stripped off. So, re-season the griddle to restore the non-stick layer.
Cleaning Blackstone Griddle Burners
The burners sit underneath the griddle surface and are the heat source for your grill. Most burners are guarded with protectors, and also have the cooking surface above them. This makes them fairly well protected against wear. However, they are not immune from it, and general use can still lead to a buildup of grease and dirt.
- Remove the griddle top: This will give you access to the burners.
- Use a brush: Use a brush to clean the burners and remove any debris. Be gentle to avoid damaging the burners.
- Check for damage: Regularly check the burners for signs of damage or wear. If any are found, consider replacing the burners.
How to Remove Rust From Blackstone Griddle
If rust has started to develop on your grill’s surface, don’t fret. We can do our best to eliminate most of it.
Rust Removal Process:
- Warm up the grill: This will help to loosen the rust.
- Apply oil and lemon juice: These two ingredients can help to lift the rust. Apply a few drops to the rusted area.
- Scrub off the rust: Use sandpaper or a wire brush to scrub off the rust. Be gentle to avoid damaging the griddle surface.
- Rinse and dry: Rinse the griddle surface with water and dry it thoroughly.
- Re-season the griddle: After removing the rust, re-season the griddle. This will protect it from further rusting.
In conclusion, keeping your black stone grill clean is essential for healthy cooking and for extending its lifespan. By following these detailed steps and tips, you can ensure that your favorite outdoor cooking tool serves you delicious meals without causing any harm or unpleasant odors.