The Best Way To Season a Blackstone Griddle
Got a new Blackstone griddle? Don't skip the seasoning procedure to make sure it stays easy-to-clean and delivers its full flavor potential.
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Utah-based Blackstone has been marketing griddles since 2005, and their products have always been popular among backyard barbecue enthusiasts. Their popularity skyrocketed, however, when a series of TikTok videos extolling their virtues went viral in 2021. Sales that year more than doubled. And the good reviews keep coming.
The original Blackstone griddle featured a 36-inch solid steel griddle top with a built-in grease management system. An H-shaped burner with four controls allowed users to separate the griddle into different temperature zones. While your burgers are cooking at high heat on one end, you can caramelize onions and warm buns at the other end.
Newly introduced models come with 28-, 22- or 17-inch griddles. The larger ones, with protective hoods, come mounted on wheeled carts with food preparation areas and a propane hook-up. Lots of other accessories are also available.
When you buy a Blackstone griddle, it’s imperative to season the cooking surface before preparing any food. Although it doesn’t look like it, the steel is porous. Seasoning fills the pores to make the surface rustproof and stick-resistant. If you’ve ever bought a new cast iron frying pan, you know the drill, because the process is pretty much the same.
What’s the Best Seasoning?
The word “seasoning” sounds like you’re spicing up your griddle with herbs. Actually, it calls for an edible oil with a high smoke point. When you spread the oil on the griddle and turn up the heat, it hardens in the pores. The result: A non-stick surface that adds flavor to whatever you cook.
Several household products make good candidates. They include:
- Avocado oil;
- Canola oil;
- Coconut oil;
- Flaxseed oil;
- Grapeseed oil;
- Peanut oil;
- Sesame oil;
- Sunflower oil.
Or you can use Blackstone Griddle Seasoning and Cast Iron Conditioner, which — surprise, surprise — Blackstone recommends.
If you opt for an oil on our list, the choice is largely personal preference, but some are better than others. Avocado and grapeseed oil and the most recommended. Both leave a durable, low-maintenance surface that adds pleasing flavor to the food. Flaxseed oil is also a good choice. It makes a durable surface but smokes more than other oils.
Preparing to Season Your Blackstone Griddle
Start by gathering your materials:
- A bucket;
- Dish soap;
- Microfiber or some other lint-free rags;
- Seasoning oil or Blackstone conditioner;
- Heat-resistant gloves;
- Paper towels.
Before you start, the griddle must be squeaky clean. So fill your bucket with water, add a little dish soap and pour right on the griddle. Rub well with a lint-free rag, making sure you clean every square inch. Then rinse well with clean water, and wipe the griddle dry with another rag.
Heat the Griddle To Darken It
Turn the heat up to its maximum setting and wait 10 to 15 minutes for the metal to turn dark. As soon as you see the metal change color, turn off the heat. You’re now ready to start seasoning.
Spread the Oil
Put on your heat-resistant gloves and grab a paper towel. If you prefer, you can do this part with tongs. The important thing is, don’t touch the hot surface with your bare hands.
Pour two to three tablespoons of oil on a 36-inch griddle (use a smaller amount for smaller griddles) and spread it around with paper towels. You’re aiming to get as thin a layer of oil as possible over the entire surface. If you spread the oil too thick, it will form a gooey mess when you turn up the heat.
Smoke Off the Oil
Turn the heat back to its maximum setting. The oil will quickly begin to smoke, which is what you want. The smoke carries away most of the organic components of the oil, leaving behind the polymers that form the non-stick coating you’re after.
Leave the heat on high until the smoking stops and the metal turns black. This can take as long as 30 minutes, so you might want to have a book or a side project on hand to keep you occupied.
Do It Again … and Again
It takes more than one round to season a new griddle, so put your gloves back on (or grab your tongs) and spread a second coat of oil. Remember to keep it thin.
Turn the heat back up to maximum capacity and let this second coating smoke off, which will probably take another 30 minutes. For good measure, repeat the process a third time and, if you have time, a fourth.
Apply a Final Coat
Let the griddle cool slightly after the final smoking, then apply a final coat of oil or conditioner. This prevents the metal surface from rusting, so you don’t want to smoke it off. Just let the griddle continue to cool down.
While you can use the same oil you did for smoking, it’s not a bad idea to go with the Blackstone conditioner for this step. You can also wipe this on the griddle after each use to keep it seasoned and in top shape.
To maintain your griddle, Blackstone recommends scraping off food after every use. Pour on some water, turn the burners to medium heat and scrape off the water along with the collected residue. When the griddle dries, pour on a tablespoon of oil, spread it around and let the griddle cool.