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9 Tips For Using Oil or Butter On Griddles

Griddle Oil or Butter

When you are seasoning a griddle or cooking on it most manufacturers, like Blackstone, recommend using a neutral-flavored oil with a high smoke point like canola or vegetable oil.

When it comes to adding flavor to foods that could benefit from a little lubrication, butter brings a lot more flavor to the party.

Unfortunately, store-bought butter has a low smoke point, which can affect food’s flavor when cooking with high heat over 300-degrees.

Butter can also have up to 20% water content, which can potentially affect the smooth hydrocarbon seasoning layer on the griddle top.

To better understand when and how to use oil or butter on a griddle, we are going to have to take a closer look at what each of them brings to the griddle frying equation.


Can You Season a Griddle with Butter?

Butter is not a good option for seasoning a griddle top. While it might offer up a lot of flavors, it also has up to 20% water content and a low smoke point which can affect flavors and potentially strip some of the existing seasoning layer.


Can You Use Oil or Butter on Griddles?

When it comes to preserving your griddle top’s seasoning layer, a high smoke point oil like Canola is best, though butter can be used to add flavor to a lot of foods if it has been clarified.


What Are The Best Oils For A Griddle?

The best oils to use on a griddle are typically vegetable oils and canola oil, which have a high smoke point.

Though, sunflower seed oil, sesame oil, and avocado oil are also very good oils for the griddle with high smoke points and relatively neutral flavor profiles.

You want to avoid oils with a low smoke point, like extra virgin olive oil, unless you will be cooking at a relatively low temperature of 325-degrees or less.


Should You Use Oil Or Butter on Griddles?

Oils with a high smoke point like canola and vegetable oils are better for getting food to release and searing at high temperatures than the typical butter you find at the grocery store.

Though when butter is clarified the smoke point goes up from around 300-degrees to 480-degrees Fahrenheit.

The process of clarifying also removes the water content of butter to prevent any problems with the griddle’s seasoning layer.


How Do You Make Clarified Butter For A Griddle?

Clarified butter or “Ghee” is made by melting high-quality butter over low heat to gradually evaporate the water.

Throughout the process, you will need to occasionally skim off the foamy milk solids that periodically float to the top.

When it is ready, you need to carefully remove the clarified butter with a ladle. Make sure not to take the particulate matter at the bottom, which means leaving a few milliliters of clarified butter behind.  

You can then store the clarified butter in a covered glass container in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Anytime you want to use some for the griddle or a sauce, you can spoon it off, and it will melt quickly, while still maintaining a smoke point around 480-degrees.


What Does Using Oil or Butter Do While Cooking on Griddles 

Oil plays an important role in griddle cooking, as it prevents the food from sticking to your griddle, while also imparting flavor and helping develop a uniform sear.

It can also help to reinforce the griddle’s existing seasoning layer.

Typical store-bought butter is only good for low heat applications, as it has a smoke point of just around 200-degrees, at which point it can give the food an off-putting flavor.

The water content in some types of butter can be as high as 20%, which can potentially affect the hydrocarbon seasoning layer on a griddle.

Clarified butter has the water content and milk solids removed to create a “Ghee” which has a much higher smoke point of 480-degrees.

This allows it to act just like a sunflower or canola oil, while also imparting rich, buttery flavor. This also means it can help reinforce the griddle’s existing seasoning layer.


Should You Be Using Butter or Oil on Blackstone Griddles?

High-smoke point, neutral oils, like canola and vegetable oils work best when cooking on Blackstone griddle tops which are made from cold-rolled steel and have a protective non-stick seasoning layer.

Though clarified butter is also a strong contender and adds a richer flavor. Store-bought butter, with its low smoke point, should only be used to add a bit of flavor toward the end of a cooking session or for cooking foods at a temperature of 300-degrees or lower.


Final Thoughts

Canola, sunflower seed, and other oils with a high smoke point tend to be the best for cooking on a seasoned griddle. It can also help reinforce the existing seasoning layer.

Store-bought butter with its water content and a low smoke point is only really suited for being a last-minute flavor additive or for lightly greasing something like fish filets, cooked at a low temperature.

Clarifying butter into Ghee at low temperatures to remove the water content and milk fats brings the smoke temperature up to an impressive 480-degrees.

While it might take more time and effort, judiciously using clarified butter on your griddle gives the food a richer, buttery flavor, while also helping to reinforce the cold-rolled steel’s seasoning layer.