How to season a Blackstone Griddle with Bacon
Before use, a new Blackstone Griddle must be seasoned, just like any other piece of uncoated metal cookware. Careful and proper seasoning will protect the surface of the grill from rust, and extend the life of the griddle. Also, seasoning provides a smooth coating that prevents cooked food from sticking.
Many cooks like to season cookware with bacon or bacon grease before use. The instruction manual that came with the Blackstone griddle recommends against using bacon or bacon grease, and instead recommends using one of many liquid cooking oils or solid cooking fats from an approved list.
Nevertheless, if you still wish to season your Blackstone griddle with bacon and bacon grease, the process is similar to any other seasoning process. The griddle is heated, and then successive coats of oil, cooking fat, or bacon grease are applied until the entire surface of the griddle takes on a smooth, dull black patina.
To season the griddle, you will want to follow the steps listed below:
1. Take the cover off the grill with a screwdriver and wrench or pliers. You will need to reach all parts of the griddle surface, including the inside and outside of the lip around the edge of the griddle.
2. Heat the griddle for 15 or 20 minutes until the surface begins to darken slightly.
3. Cook bacon on the grill. The bacon grease should flow into the grease, and then into the grease trap. To speed the process up, the grease can be moved towards the drain using a spatula. Be careful never to touch the hot griddle with your hand.
4. Remove the bacon once cooked. Using a turkey baster, draw some of the bacon grease out of the grease trap at the side of the griddle, and deposit this back onto the surface of the griddle.
Using a cloth, held by grill tongs or an oven mitt, spread this grease evenly over the surface of the griddle, as well as the inside and outside of the lip surrounding the edge of the griddle.
Never hold the cloth in your bare hand near the hot surface of the grill. It should take 15 or 20 minutes for the bacon grease to polymerize and season the griddle surface.
How much bacon would you need to season a Blackstone Griddle?
If you want to use bacon to season your Blackstone griddle, you can probably expect to cook two one-pound packages. This amount should yield enough bacon grease to season your griddle properly.
Remember that the bacon we buy today in the grocery store is not the bacon our grandparents used for seasoning cookware.
The bacon our ancestors had was an all-natural product, with no sugar and no chemical additives. This is important to bear in mind because the bacon fat that was rendered out of old-fashioned bacon was a uniform product, and provided a uniform cooking grease that was ideal for seasoning cookware.
Modern cured and flavored bacon, with sugars, other flavors, and nitrites, is not a chemically uniform product.
While the bacon grease will still season the griddle top, there is no predicting what the other additives in the bacon will do.
The sugar may caramelize, and turn parts of the grill surface sticky or tacky. Neither the sugars nor the nitrites will form a protective polymer coating, which is the purpose of seasoning the griddle.
In selecting a bacon to use, choose an organic or natural uncured variety which contains no sugars and no additives. The bacon grease that results from cooking should be more like the bacon grease our grandparents had, and should be better for seasoning a griddle.
Why would you want to season a Blackstone Griddle with bacon?
The purpose of seasoning any cast iron cookware or untreated metal griddle is to provide a protective coating that will prevent the surface from rusting, and which will prevent food from sticking when cooked.
There are many liquid cooking oils and solid cooking fats which might serve as well or better than bacon grease for seasoning a grill.
Several are listed in the instruction manual that came with the Blackstone grill, including coconut oil, olive oil, vegetable or soybean oil, and canola oil. Solid cooking fats that are recommended include lard and vegetable shortening.
All of the oils and fats recommended for seasoning are chemically uniform, and have a smoke point between 350 and 450 F. Other possibilities exist, including peanut oil.
Despite the recommendation, many cooks continue to season cast iron cookware of all sorts, and outdoor grills and griddles with bacon and bacon grease.
In part, this is due to tradition. Earlier generations of cooks used bacon and bacon grease, and so it seems like the ‘right thing to do.’ Also, cooks notice that cookware seasoned with bacon provides a better, richer, flavor and aroma to any food cooked.
Certainly, flavor enhancement is a good reason to consider bacon and bacon grease, but any oil or fat selected has to first meet the purpose of seasoning, which is to protect the surface of the griddle.