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Do you have to season a griddle or flat top grill? (Explained)

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Do you have to season a griddle or flat top grill?

For your new griddle or flat top grill to work properly, you need to season it. If you turn the burners on fresh off assembly and start throwing food down on the flat top, you are courting disaster.

That surface, whether steel or otherwise, needs to be seasoned to help form that non-stick surface perfect for smash burgers or tacos. While you want nothing more than to fire it up and start cooking, you want to get the best out of your griddle, and that starts with a good seasoning.

Despite the name, there is nothing involving spices or barbecue rubs when it comes to seasoning your flat top. It is a process of repeated oil application to the hot cooking surface to build up that nonstick surface like a well-used cast iron skillet. 

What happens if you don’t season your griddle?

Seasoning your griddle serves two main purposes. It helps with cooking by creating a nonstick surface so your food cooks and makes it to your plate rather than staying behind. Also, the oil you use to season the cooking surface can add some flavor to your food. 

Seasoning your outdoor griddle also protects it from damage. An unseasoned cooking surface can rust while continually seasoning and cooking will protect your griddle. 

How to season a new flat top griddle

If you are seasoning your flat top for the first time, you want to make sure any protective coating that the manufacturer may have put on the surface is cleaned off. Some soapy water and a good scrubbing followed by a rinse will take care of that. Just make sure you let the surface dry before moving on to the actual seasoning.

To season the flat top, you will turn the burners on high to get the surface nice and hot. You will then apply your preferred oil, whether it is vegetable or olive, and wipe it over the entire cooking surface. It will smoke as it cooks in. You will repeat the process until the entire cooking surface is closer to looking like cast iron rather than the original steel surface.

This takes about four or five applications of oil. Once the last coat of oil has smoked off and cooked in, turn the burners off and let the griddle cool down. Now you are ready to do your best impression of a hibachi chef or just flip some excellent burgers. 

How to season a flat top griddle

If you have been using your griddle multiple times, you do not need to go through the full seasoning process every time. After you complete your cook, you scrape and wipe the surface clean, then apply another coat of oil, wipe it down, and your griddle is ready for its next cook.

Every time you cook, you add to the seasoning with the food you use, especially when cooking fattier foods like burgers or bacon.

How to season a Blackstone flat top grill

When most people think of an outdoor griddle, there is one name that comes to mind, and that is Blackstone. They arguably launched the outdoor griddle phenomenon when they debuted their 36-inch griddle back in 2008. It stands to reason that they would know how to properly take care of their griddles.

Much like the steps above, seasoning a Blackstone griddle comes down to three major components.

You need to heat the griddle until it darkens from the heat itself, you need to have oil or their recommended Griddle Seasoning and Cast Iron Conditioner, and you need to repeat it two or three times to get that dark brown coloring all over the cooking surface.

They recommend a quick clean, then add a thin layer of oil or their conditioner between uses to keep that nonstick surface in great condition.

Final Thoughts

Seasoning a griddle is not a one-time process. It needs to be done in an intense matter when you first purchase your griddle, and you need to keep taking care of that surface after each use.

The more you use and season your griddle, the better the nonstick surface gets. Do not neglect the care of your griddle’s cooking surface. The more time and care you invest, the better your food will be and the longer your griddle will last.