How To Clean a Flat Top Grill

Updated: Jul. 25, 2023

Flat top grills are selling like hotcakes (wink!). If you get or have one, be sure you know how to clean it properly so it lives up to all the hype.

Next Project

5 to 30 minutes




$5 - $10


There are many sizes and brands of flat top grills — Blackstone, Pit Boss, Traeger and Camp Chef, to name a few. All function basically the same way, and they all need to be cleaned after each use.

Wait, don't cringe! I'm here to show you how to clean a flat top grill in a few simple steps so it's always ready for your next great meal.

Cast iron, ceramic and stainless steel cooking surfaces will serve you and your family well for many years when cared for properly. And you'll be a happy chef, because your food will stick less and taste better when prepared on a clean flat top.

When is the best time to clean your flat top grill? Right after you finish cooking. The cooking surface is still hot, and the food bits haven't had time to bond to the surface.

Now, if you're like me, you're thinking, "My food is hot, and I can't wait to sit down and eat it." Believe me, cleaning your flat top doesn't take long. And the cleaner you keep your grill, the less time it takes.

So let's get started.

Tools Required

  • A good and sturdy scraper
  • Heat-resistant gloves

Materials Required

  • Baking Soda (optional)
  • Damp cloth or non-scratching sponge
  • High-temperature cooking oil
  • Hot or warm soapy water
  • If storing outside - a grill cover for when the grill is cool and not in use
  • Paper towels

Tools and Materials for cleaning a grillAllen Lecuyer for family handyman

Project step-by-step (11)

Step 1

Scrape the surface

  • Scrape the entire cooking surface of your flat top grill. This will pull up any loose food bits, along with the remaining oil or grease.
  • Scrape and move the debris into the grease collection bin for easy disposal.

scraping food off of flat top grillAllen Lecuyer for family handyman

Step 2

Use water to loosen stuck-on bits

  • If any caramelized food bits remain stuck to the cooking surface, loosen with warm water.
  • Pour the water onto the bits on the hot/warm flat top surface. The water will start boiling and steaming almost instantly.
  • Repeat Step 1 above, scraping all the leftover bits into the grease bin.

Step 2 Water To Unstick Food Clean Flat Top Grill Allen Lecuyer For Fhm JveditAllen Lecuyer for family handyman

Step 3

Wipe down the surface

  • Put on your heat-resistant glove, grab your damp cloth or paper towel and wipe down the griddle surface.

wiping grill while wearing a heat resistant glove Allen Lecuyer for family handyman

Step 4

Season the surface with oil

  • Pour a small amount of high temperature cooking oil, like vegetable or avocado oil (my preference), onto the cooking surface.
  • Take a new piece of paper towel or a clean, lint-free cloth and rub the oil into the cooking surface. This will season it, making the food less likely to stick.
    • The more you do this step, the more non-stick your griddle will become over time.

oil on griddleAllen Lecuyer for family handyman

Step 5

Protect your flat top with a cover

  • This accessory provides a layer of protection against the elements.
Step 6

Deep clean, as needed

After a number of cooks — 10, maybe 30 — you may notice oil building up on your cooking surface. This can happen over time due to incomplete cleaning. Eventually, you’ll need a deep clean. I have had some success using water and baking soda.

before deep cleaningAllen Lecuyer for family handyman

Step 7

Use baking soda

  • With a cool cooking surface, sprinkle a light coating of baking soda over the built-up areas of oil on the flat top.
  • Add a little hot soapy water to those areas and rub gently with your fingertips until a paste forms. Add more water or baking soda as needed. You’re looking for a paste thin enough to scrub the grill top.
  • Let it sit for 25 to 30 minutes.

baking soda on griddleAllen Lecuyer for family handyman

Step 8

Use a sponge

  • Using the scrubbing side of your non-scratching sponge, scrub the built-up areas. You will notice the paste start turning brown. That’s the oil.

scrub baking soda on grillAllen Lecuyer for family handyman

Step 9

Rinse and repeat

  • Once the built-up oil is removed, rinse off the paste with water.
  • If some built-up oil remains, sprinkle more baking soda and water on those spots and repeat the scrubbing process.

spray water on griddle to riseAllen Lecuyer for family handyman

Step 10

Wipe and clean

  • Wipe the cooking surface clean with paper towels and a damp cloth. You’ll see a flat top that looks like new.

Optional Step Photo 5 After Clean Flat Top Grill Allen Lecuyer For Fhm JveditAllen Lecuyer for family handyman

Step 11


  • Re-season, as you did in Step 4, above.

That’s it! You did it. Cleaning your flat top grill every time you use it is the best way to keep your investment in peak condition and provide you with years of enjoyment.

after cleaning grill and seasoning Allen Lecuyer for family handyman