Cooking with gas on a Blackstone 17-inch griddle.

Cooking on our Blackstone

This article explains cooking on our Blackstone griddle. This is a companion article to our article on why we chose a Blackstone griddle. Here is a link to our other Blackstone article. Blackstone Griddle

Cooking on a Blackstone Griddle isn’t difficult but it is a little different than cooking on a standard propane grill. The first difference is that you don’t just get a Blackstone Griddle out of the box and start cooking. Cooking on a Blackstone requires a little preparation.

Before you start cooking on a Blackstone, very little assembly is required, then you need to season the griddle just like you would season cast iron cookware. After you cook on a Blackstone you need to keep the seasoning going and improve the seasoning. This isn’t hard but sure beats starting over or even worse having your griddle rust.

Seasoning

Seasoning is described as a protective coating on the metal that prevents rust and improves the cooking experience and taste. I am not new to cooking on cast iron as you can see in the following photo of my deep skillet on our old grill.

Our previous grill with our cast-iron skillet.
Our previous grill with our cast-iron skillet.

The black color of our skillet isn’t natural, instead, the normal color of the skillet would be brown as rust eats away at the cast iron. The reason the skillet is black is that over time layer after layer of oil has evaporated on the surface. A little of the evaporated oil forms a protective shield on the cast iron preventing rust.

Blackstone griddle seasoning

Seasoning a Blackstone griddle uses the same technique as the seasoning cast iron and is accomplished the same way. The Blackstone griddle’s cooking surface is steel just like large restaurant griddles. Both need to be seasoned just like cast iron. I knew all of this before I chose a Blackstone griddle to replace our series of now dead grills.

No hood

I suppose that this step isn’t necessary but to make sure I did a great job seasoning our Blackstone griddle I removed the hood by unbolting the hinge points.

The Blackstone 17-inch griddle cooking surface on the burner box.
The Blackstone 17-inch griddle with the hood removed.

You are going to need to season both the cooking surfaces and every part of the griddle including both the inside walls and the outside walls. The only part of the griddle that isn’t part of seasoning is the bottom which is in direct contact with the flame from the burner.

On initial conditioning of the griddle surface the first step is to get the griddle very hot.
As the grill gets hot you can see the outlines of the burner tube where the flame spreads across the bottom.

The first step in seasoning is to get the grill real hot without adding any oil to the cooking surface. This step makes sure that any oils that were applied at the factory are burned off. We actually didn’t use oil but rather Blackstone seasoning mix. If you use oil, the results are the same. The griddle is going to smoke during this entire process which will take about a half-hour.

While seasoning the griddle for the first time, you can't get the griddle surface too hot.
While seasoning the griddle for the first time, you can’t get the griddle surface too hot. However, you can get too much seasoning on the grill making a puddle of oil. The best technique is to apply the seasoning to a paper towel and then use tongs to lightly coat the surface over and over again until the entire surface is black.

Since I removed the hood I was able to easily season the sides and corners of the grill. Also, you may note that I didn’t have the grease cup installed during the seasoning process. The key to seasoning is that you are going to use a very light coat of oil, over and over again. If you put on so much oil that you need the grease cup, you are using way too much oil.

Finishing the seasoning

In the above picture, I am about halfway done. Notice that the center of the cooking surface is black but the corners are still a grey color. Note the color of the oil-soaked paper towel. The paper has changed color from white to tan because it is nearly burned.

When the entire cooking surface is black then you can let it sit, with the heat at about medium until the griddle stops smoking. After the griddle stops smoking, then turn the heat off and let the griddle cool slowly before touching it.

After seasoning the griddle the color changes from grey to a black-blue color.
After seasoning the griddle the color changes from grey to a black-blue color.

Give yourself plenty of time to season the griddle before you need to cook on it. Don’t start right before dinner time. If you don’t finish seasoning on your first try, just heat it back up and keep applying very thin layers of oil until the entire griddle is a black-blue color.

Re-install the hood

If you didn’t get a hood with your Blackstone then obviously this step doesn’t apply to you. Whatever you do wait until the griddle is completely cool before you install the hood.

The grease bucket

Commercial grills have the grease bucket in the front corner of the grill to make changing the bucket easy. On a Blackstone griddle, the grease bucket is in the back hanging from the rear wall of the cooking surface. The grease drains out of the back through what I call the hockey goal.

This is a picture of the back of the griddle. When in operation the grease bucket hangs at this position on the back of the griddle.
This is a picture of the back of the griddle. When in operation the grease bucket hangs at this position on the back of the griddle. This port allows for the grease to drip into the grease bucket. When cooking sometimes small items find their way through the port which is why I call it the hockey goal.

I put the Blackstone grease bucket aluminum liner inside my grease bucket to make cleaning it easier.

This is the grease bucket sitting on the griddle surface. We store the grease bucket here when not using the griddle.
This is the grease bucket sitting on the griddle surface. We store the grease bucket here when not using the griddle.

Tools

The three tools I use the most are the tongs, spatula, and the Blackstone scraper. The scraper is especially critical not only for cooking but also for cleaning.

Setup

Through trial and error, I have discovered that getting the grill level before cooking is an important step to getting good results. You want the grease to ever so slowly go to the back of the grill while you are cooking. In the following picture, you can see my level and some small plastic shims at the bottom of the legs that I have used to level the grill prior to cooking.

One of the critical steps in using the Blackstone 17-inch griddle is to level the griddle surface.
One of the critical steps in using the Blackstone 17-inch griddle is to level the griddle surface.

Cooking

If I haven’t mentioned it before, you can cook nearly anything on the Blackstone griddle. I haven’t tried pizza yet but it is on my desire list. I’m going to bet that it works. Typical breakfast foods are a cinch. I recommend that you cook eggs last after you have turned the fire off. We have baked pita bread on the griddle and that worked out great.

Pita Bread cooking on the Blackstone 17 inch griddle.
Pita Bread cooking on the Blackstone 17-inch griddle.

Pita Bread wasn’t on my radar but it is one of the recipes in the included Blackstone griddle cookbook.

Blackstone Griddle Essential Cookbook
Blackstone Griddle Essential Cookbook

Cleaning

I thought that cleaning the Blackstone was going to be difficult. I was wrong. The scraper makes quick work of the griddle surface. All you do is push the grease and any remaining stuck-on food off the cooking surface and into the grease bucket via the hockey goal.

Sometimes, while the grill is still very hot I will squirt water on the grill and let it boil while I am using the scraper. Be careful here, the steam is very hot.

Notice I did not mention soap. Don’t use soap to clean your griddle.

After cleaning I always wipe down the cooking surface with a paper towel. If it looks like I could use a little more seasoning, I will occasionally put some oil on the paper towel and coat all the surfaces while it is hot. Be careful to avoid the sides of the griddle unless you are using tongs on the paper towel.

After that, a quick wipe with a paper towel is all you need. In the next picture, you can see that I put my propane bottle as far away as possible. This is also for cleaning. Grease splatter from the griddle top is going to find its way to every horizontal surface. It is all part of the cooking process.

One of the very best uses for the grill is cooking bacon. The Blackstone griddle here in this picture is cooking one-pound of bacon.
One of the very best uses for the grill is cooking bacon. The Blackstone griddle here in this picture is cooking one pound of bacon.

This is the griddle we got and this link is to the Blackstone website.

Blackstone 17-inch Griddle with Hood

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