Cleaning your flat top grill after each cooking session allows you to cook delectable food items every time you use it. Also, it prolongs the lifespan of your cooking appliance and keeps it in optimal working condition.
But if you neglect its cleaning process, bad things happen, like rust, grease buildup, and unhealthy cooked foods.
Therefore, many griddle users take its cleaning seriously and want to know how to clean a flat top grill properly so that they get ideal cooking results without compromising its longevity.
The Importance of Cleaning a Flat Top Grill
Cleaning the flat top grill or griddle when required can be beneficial in different ways. But at the same time, neglecting its cleaning process can have bad impacts.
So, let’s quickly go through the importance of cleaning a griddle when it requires the most.
Optimal Cooking Performance
If you don’t clean the griddle’s surface after cooking, it can leave food particles and grease behind, which can impact the quality of your food in several ways.
For example, unpleasant food taste, mixed-up flavors of previously and freshly cooked food items, and potential health risks due to the presence of grease.
In contrast, cleaning your griddle after each cooking session ensures that your food maintains its authentic taste and flavor, prevents flavor contamination from previous meals, and significantly reduces health risks.
In short, a successful and optimal cooking experience awaits you when you cook on a thoroughly cleaned flat top grill.
Extended Lifespan Of Griddle
Regular cleaning promises a griddle that will serve you well for years, offering optimal cooking performance and longevity of the appliance at the same time.
But if you neglect its cleaning and keep cooking on a rusty grill, you will not get a better taste from your food, nor will your griddle stay in good condition for a long time.
Food Stickiness Issue
A complete cleaning session of a flat top grill also includes seasoning which is really helpful in repelling the issue of food sticking to the griddle’s cooking surface.
An uncleaned griddle can result in continuous food sticking, making cooking and cleaning a frustrating and time-consuming process.
Therefore, always season and clean the cooking surface nicely if your food often gets stuck during the cooking process.
How Frequently Should You Clean A Flat Top Grill?
If you have just bought a new griddle, it is recommended to clean and season it before the first cook because it removes any dust or grime that remains during the manufacturing process.
Furthermore, for optimal cooking performance, cleaning your griddle after each cooking session is highly recommended.
In case you don’t clean it after each use, the maximum duration of wait should not be more than 1 or 2 days that too if you don’t cook in the period.
To conclude, spend 10 to 15 minutes after each cooking session and clean your griddle to keep it in good shape and optimal working condition.
Accessories Required For Cleaning A Flat Top Grill
Cleaning a flat top grill effectively requires the right tools and materials. So, here’s a list of must-have tools that you’ll need before you start cleaning.
- Heat-Resistant Gloves: Sometimes, you have to clean the griddle when it is hot. Therefore, use heat-resistant gloves to protect your hands from hot surfaces while cleaning.
- Grill Scraper: First of all, you need a flat, metal grill scraper because it is essential for removing food residue and grease buildup from the surface.
- Grill Brush or Grill Stone: It can be an alternative to a grill scraper if you notice that there are stubborn, stuck-on residues or burnt-on debris on the flat top grill’s surface.
- Cleaning Solution: For a rusty grill, you will need a cleaning solution for which you can opt for a commercial griddle cleaning solution, a mixture of water and dish soap, or even a combination of water and vinegar.
- Seasoning Oil: If you are willing to season your griddle as well, make sure you have a suitable seasoning oil, such as vegetable oil, canola oil, olive oil, etc.
- Paper Towels: During the cleaning process of a griddle, you will be repeatedly wiping down the cooking surface. This is where you will need paper towels, as they are convenient for absorbing and disposing of the loosened grease and food particles.
- Grease Bucket: Lastly, you will have to collect the grease and debris removed during cleaning. In this situation, a grease bucket or container is a handy tool to gather and get rid of these waste materials efficiently.
So, having these tools on hand will make the cleaning process of your flat top grill more efficient and ensure that it is properly maintained for safe and effective cooking.
How To Clean A Flat Top Grill – Practical Steps To Follow
So, you now have an idea regarding how important it is to keep your griddle, how often you should clean it, and the tools you’ll require while cleaning.
Let’s move forward and explore the step-by-step process of cleaning your flat top grill for optimal cooking results and a prolonged lifespan.
Allow The Griddle To Cool Down Completely
Once you have finished cooking and are serving food to your guests or family members, let the griddle cool down entirely before you start cleaning it.
It is essential to let it cool because it helps you prevent burning your hands and makes the cleaning process much easier and quicker.
Begin Scrapping The Cooking Surface
When your flat top grill has cooled down, gather all the necessary tools required for cleaning, especially the griddle scraper, as you are going to start with removing any loose debris and food particles from the cooking surface.
So, simply start by scraping the griddle’s cooking surface completely, paying special attention to its edges because this is where food particles and grease tend to accumulate, ensuring a thorough cleaning process.
A grease tray would be particularly useful in collecting the loosened debris, so use it if you have one to keep the environment clean.
Deep Scrapping (For Rusty Griddle)
If you regularly clean your griddle, quick scrapping for around 5 minutes is enough to clean it thoroughly and make it ready for the next cooking session.
However, if you have not cleaned it for a long time and it contains plenty of stubborn residues and built-up grease, you may need to invest more time and effort in scraping and cleaning it to restore the griddle’s optimal condition.
In this condition, I suggest making a cleaning solution by mixing up hot water with a suitable griddle cleaner or dish soap. Once you’ve created the solution, apply it all over the cooking surface and begin scrapping it.
As a result, this cleaning solution will soften and loosen the stubborn residues, making them easier to scrape off and restoring your griddle’s appearance as well as its cooking performance.
Wiping The Cooking Surface
Whether you’ve gone through a quick and regular scrapping process after cooking or after a long time, the next time is to wipe down your cooking surface. This is where you’ll need paper towels.
So, use paper towels to thoroughly wipe down the surface, which helps in removing any remaining cleaning solution, water, grease, and residue. At the end of this step, your griddle will be clean, safe, and ready for the next cook.
Seasoning The Griddle Surface
Though you have implied the major griddle cleaning steps, seasoning its cooking surface after cleaning is highly recommended as it helps you in various ways.
For example, it prevents rust formation, doesn’t let the food stick to the surface while cooking, and promises optimal cooking performance.
So, in short, seasoning is a simple and quicker yet essential step to ensure your griddle remains in top condition for excellent cooking results.
For visual guidance, see the video attached below.
How To Season Your Flat Top Grill?
Seasoning a flat top grill completely differs from when you do it after cleaning, as it includes a couple of extra steps you need to perform.
Firstly, here’s what you’ll need;
- Vegetable oil, canola oil, flaxseed oil, olive oil, etc
- Clean towels or paper towels
- Heat-resistant gloves
- Griddle Scraper
Here’s the step-by-step guide on how to season your flat top grill.
- Preheat the Grill: Start by preheating your griddle, for which you’ll need to turn it on and set it to high heat. Then, allow it to heat up until it begins to smoke.
- Clean the Surface: Use a scraper or a griddle brush gently to remove any loose debris or food particles from the grill’s surface. It’s essential to begin with a clean grill.
- Apply Oil: With the grill hot and clean, pour a small amount of oil you’ve onto the cooking surface. Use a paper towel or a clean cloth to spread the oil evenly across the entire griddle, including the edges.
- Heat the Oil: Allow your griddle to continue heating for approximately 10-15 minutes after applying the oil. During this time, the oil will start to smoke, forming a protective layer on the griddle’s surface.
- Cool Down and Wipe: After that, let the griddle cool down and use a clean cloth or paper towel to wipe off any excess oil. Once this step is completed, the griddle should have a shiny, non-stick surface.
- Repeat as Needed: Depending on the condition of your griddle, you may need to repeat the seasoning process (mentioned above) several times until the surface becomes shiny and completely non-stick for the food.
Some Useful Griddle Cleaning Tips
- Regular Cleaning: Make a habit of cleaning the griddle after each use to prevent the buildup of residue and grease. This will make the cleaning process quicker and effortless.
- Cleaning Solutions: Choose a griddle cleaner or use the proper cleaning solution and avoid using harsh chemicals that may damage the grill’s surface or leave unwanted residues.
- Scrub Gently: When scrubbing the griddle’s surface, be gentle and ensure not to scratch the metal. Use even pressure to remove residue effectively.
- Season After Cleaning: Always spend a few extra minutes to season the griddle after cleaning to maintain its non-stick properties and protect the surface.
Cleaning a flat top grill is an essential task you can’t overlook if you want it to consistently cook delicious meals, maintain its longevity, and ensure a safe and enjoyable cooking experience.
Also, its cleaning is pretty quick and straightforward if you do it on a regular basis or after each cooking session. However, if you leave it uncleaned for a long time, it’ll become rusty, making cleaning time-consuming and annoying.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is food sticking to my griddle?
It can happen due to a couple of reasons, such as when you don’t keep your griddle clean or don’t season it before you start cooking.
Why do you spray water on a griddle?
Spraying water on the griddle helps in removing stubborn food particles, making the whole cleaning process easier and quicker.
Do I put oil on the griddle before cooking?
Yes, putting oil on the griddle before cooking is a good practice as it prevents the food stickiness issue and allows you to cook tastier meals.
Robert Gill, a BBQ enthusiast, and Senior Author at FaveGrills.com bring his extensive knowledge of BBQ equipment and exciting recipes to the team. With his outgoing personality and love for BBQ, Robert plays an essential role in the FaveGrills community, sharing his passion and expertise through informative articles and gear reviews.