Having a flat top grill is perfect for cooking delicious food like grilled cheese sandwiches or seared steaks. Keeping it clean, however, can be a little frustrating. But whether you’ve got a griddle surface built into your stove top or own a cast iron griddle, the cleaning process is just as important as cooking!
For a flat-top grill, all you’ll need are a scraper, some paper towels, water, and dish soap. Cast iron griddles need the same equipment, plus baking soda and lemon to remove rust. If you need to season your griddle, use vegetable oil!
With this guide on how to clean a griddle, you can unleash your inner hibachi cook without fear. Cook all the fajitas, quesadillas, grilled cheeses, and burgers you want – and simplify clean-up afterwards!
How Often to Clean a Griddle
Ideally? After every use. If you don’t clean the cooking surface, you’ll be leaving food particles and oil on your griddle. That poses a health hazard since the food will spoil, and it will also prevent your griddle from working at optimal performance.
Cleaning a Flat Top Griddle
For those of us with ranges or electric stoves with a counter-top griddle, it can feel daunting to use them since we’re afraid to dirty them. No worries, though – how to clean a griddle is easy enough.
This method works for stainless steel and chrome griddles. For a cast iron griddle, see the next section!
To clean a stove top griddle, you’ll need:
- A metal spatula, metal scraper, or griddle scraper
- Paper towels
- Clean water
- Dish soap
Start while the griddle surface is still hot. If you let your griddle cool, the grease and food particles will cake onto the surface and make it harder to clean.
Use your spatula or scraper to clean off the food and grease. Keep the edge flat against the surface so you don’t scratch the metal. Scrape any crumbs into the catch-tray, which you can clean out afterwards.
Add a few drops of dish soap to water and pour it onto the hot grill surface. Let the water boil so it loosens the grease build-up.
Fold up a paper towel and use the spatula to scrub it back and forth. This will remove the remaining dirty water and debris on the surface. Repeat as necessary until the entire surface is clean.
For metal griddles made of stainless steel, you can also follow our handy stainless steel cleaning guide!
Cleaning a Cast Iron Griddle
There are several kinds of cast iron griddles – the reversible cast iron grill, with one smooth side and one ribbed side; the split grill plate; and the standard grill pan. They all share the same cleaning methods, though!
To clean a cast-iron griddle, you’ll need:
- A non-abrasive sponge
- Plastic scraper
- A stiff-bristled brush
- Dish soap
Unlike a stove top griddle, you should allow your cast iron pan to cool. A hot griddle coming under cool water could weaken the metal and cause cracks.
Use a paper towel to wipe away any grease and food debris on the surface. For any stuck-on food, use the plastic scraper. Do not use steel wool or a metal scraper since this could damage the coating.
Dip your sponge in hot water and add a few drops of dish soap. Wipe down the griddle surface, then rinse with hot water. Wipe immediately with a microfibre cloth.
NOTE: Do not place your cast iron griddle in a dishwasher. This can potentially destroy the non-stick surface and cause rust.
How to Remove Rust from a Griddle
If your griddle is rusty, don’t worry. Unless the rust has weakened the metal or caused holes, you can still salvage the pan. You’ll just need:
- One lemon
- Baking soda
- Stiff-bristled nylon brush
- Plastic wrap
Start by scraping away any loose rust using the nylon brush. Don’t use a wire brush as you could damage the surface.
In a bowl, mix one tablespoon of lemon juice with a cup of baking soda. Scale up as necessary if your pan is big. Use a small brush to apply the paste over the rusted areas. Once you’ve got everything covered, wrap the pan in plastic wrap.
Leave it for about a day so the paste can cut through the rust. Use your nylon brush again to remove the rust and residue. Rinse with hot water, then dry with paper towels. Season your griddle afterwards.
How to Season a Griddle
If food is starting to stick to the surface, your griddle may be due for some seasoning. No, we don’t mean soy sauce – rather, a thin coating of vegetable oil.
Simply add one teaspoon of any vegetable oil (canola, corn, olive, etc.) to the cooking surface of the griddle. Use a paper towel to rub the oil over the entire surface until the metal is shiny. Wipe off any excess oil afterwards.
Set the griddle on medium-low heat for 5–10 minutes. Let the pan cool before storing.
Keep Your Griddle and Kitchen Clean
It’s important to know how to clean a griddle, alongside cleaning your kitchen. Besides maintaining your griddle and ensuring it lasts you a long time, it also keeps your family safe from potential health hazards. Then you can tap into your inner Master Chef and try out new flat-top cooking recipes – just remember to clean up, too!