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Blackstone 36 Griddle Hacks
The Blackstone 36 is the largest and one of the most popular griddles in the Blackstone lineup. It is so widely used by so many backyard chefs, who have applied a staggering array of ways to creatively customize it.
This includes fixing problems with the grease management system leaking and converting it to run on a smaller propane canister as a large, yet conveniently portable camp grill.
There are also some simple cooking hacks to help you melt the cheese faster, improvise the Blackstone griddle as a smoker or a steamer, and more.
With so much versatility and creative problem solving, we decided to collect these popular Blackstone griddle hacks in one easy-to-understand article.
Common Blackstone Griddle Hacks
Popular Blackstone griddle hacks usually focus on customizing the large griddle to better suit your purposes or to deal with some of its common complaints like the grease management system.
Other popular hacks for the Blackstone 36 include bringing the griddle top indoors in the winter as well as finding ways to use it as a smoker or steamer.
Bringing Your Blackstone Griddle Top Indoors
Blackstone griddles have a cold-rolled steel cooktop that needs a well-maintained seasoning layer to protect it from rust and corrosion.
The seasoning layer can also impart rich flavors to the food being cooked. A lot of people put their Blackstone griddle away in the winter months to cook indoors, only to find rust marring portions of the cold-rolled steel the next spring.
The cold-rolled steel griddle top on a Blackstone 36 can be removed and will fit over the top of an indoor gas range.
This lets you use the griddle daily, while also keeping it safe from winter weather. Though this hack is only effective for a gas stovetop, and should not be used with an electric or glass stovetop.
This hack works better if you have a Blackstone 36 model with a rear grease management system as you can put a shallow metal can or canister in the back to collect any rendered fat that runs off.
Improvising a Blackstone Griddle as a Smoker
Blackstone griddles are not engineered to be smokers, though you can use a model with a hood to add some smoke to the equation by putting wood chips in a heavy-duty aluminum foil pouch.
You then set the pouch on one side of the griddle top with the burners set to a medium flame.
The meat to be smoked is then set on the other side of the griddle top with the underlying burners either off or set very low.
When the wood chips start to smolder and smoke, you close the lid on your Blackstone griddle.
This will trap the heat and the smoke. To apply some smoky flavor. Though this method is meant to add some smoky flavor to a piece of meat like chicken, turkey, or pork sausage, rather than trying to long smoke a pork shoulder or brisket.
Melting Cheese on a Burger Patty on a Blackstone Griddle
Melting slices of cheese on a burger patty is one of the more common conundrums faced by Blackstone 36 owners.
Sometimes the cheese simply doesn’t melt before the other side of the burger starts to burn. This can also be an issue if you like to grind your own burgers to serve them with some juice pink in the middle.
The most common hack to get the cheese to melt on a burger patty on an open griddle is to cover it with a domed lid or a stainless steel mixing bowl.
You can then squirt a little bit of beef broth right next to the patty to create steam. This is usually enough heat to melt a slice of cheese quickly, without overcooking the burger patty.
Using Butter on a Seasoned Blackstone Griddle
Butter adds a lot of richness and flavor to foods, but it has a low smoke point and up to 20% water content, which can potentially affect the seasoning layer on a Blackstone griddle.
When you clarify butter, by slowly heating it to evaporate the water content and skimming off the milk fat, the smoke temperature goes up and lets you use it just like vegetable or canola oil.
Using Your Blackstone Griddle as a Steamer or Broiler
A Blackstone griddle can even be used as an improvised broiler or steamer for making shellfish. All you need is a wire cooling rack like you often find with a half-sheet pan combo and a cover like a large aluminum cake pan.
You set the warming rack on the griddle with the burner element set to high or medium-high. The food you want to steam or broil is laid on the rack. You then cover it with a large cake pan or tent it with crimped sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil.
The heat from the Blackstone griddle top will rise up and get trapped under the dome or tents to broil. If you want to use it as a steamer, you can use a squirt bottle to spray a little water or broth onto the griddle top, under the wire rack.
The grease management system on a Blackstone 36 can sometimes leak grease, rendered fat, and excess marinade down the front leg or the back, rather than into the grease collection cup.
This is usually due to Vander Waals forces encouraging certain fluids to follow a physical structure. You can get around this by placing a wood grill skewer at the mouth of the grease management system.
If your Blackstone 36 has a rear grease management system, you need to make sure that the skewer is set at the lowest possible point, and then make physical contact with the grease collection cup.
If you have a Blackstone 36 with a front grease management system, you need to insert the skewer into the little round hole at the end of the trough. Then make sure it is making contact with the front of the hole as well as the grease collection cup.
Convert Your Blackstone Griddle (or Any Grill) To Use Portable Camping Propane Cylinders
You will need a special adaptor to run your Blackstone griddle or any other type of gas grill off a small propane canister instead of a larger 20 or 30-pound liquid propane tank.
Though there are some minor engineering points to be mindful of to get it to work seamlessly.
Normally a larger gas grill or griddle like the Blackstone 36 comes with a hose that has a low-pressure propane regulator that is designed to fit the coupler of a larger, bulk liquid propane tank.
You will need a replacement hose with a smaller adaptor that is designed to connect to a 14-ounce or a DOT 39 one-pound propane cylinder. You can usually find one at a big box hardware store for less than $20.
You also need to be mindful about how long your propane supply will last. A single one-pound liquid propane canister, like you would use for a camping trip, holds a thermal potential of up to 21,500 BTUs of heat.
You rarely get 100% of the propane out, so you should expect to round that down to 20,000 BTUs.
The Blackstone 36 when turned up to full produces up to 60,000 BTUs per hour. This means your one-pound camping propane canister will only last about 20 minutes on full high heat.
Though you could easily double this time if you simply used half the burners for cooking and reserved the other half of the cold-rolled steel griddle top as a warming area.
Blackstone griddles are very versatile, and with some simple hacks, you can easily solve some of its common minor problems or customize its culinary creativity.
If you want to take your Blackstone 36 griddle with you camping, but you don’t want to lug a big 20-pound liquid propane tank with you, an inexpensive adapter will let you convert it to run on 1-pound propane canisters.
If you have been having trouble with the grease management system leaking down the front leg or across the back of your Blackstone 36, a simple barbecue skewer can let you target the flow of grease and rendered fat.
Just make sure that it is sitting in the front of the circle at the end of a front grease management system, or the lowest point in a rear grease trap.