How to clean a flat-top grill

How Best to Clean a Flat-Top Grill

How to clean a flat-top grill


Ever wondered how to clean a flat-top grill the right way? Want to keep your flat-top grill in pristine condition? Or do you love your flat top like I do and use it so frequently that maintenance has fallen by the wayside? If so, keep reading on how I keep my flat-top in excellent condition with a few simple tips and tricks.

Why Do I Need To Clean a Flat-Top Grill?

Cleaning your flat-top grill is essential not only for hygiene but also to maintain the quality of your cooking surface. Regular cleaning ensures that your flat top grill’s surface remains in tip-top shape, free from food debris and excess oil, ensuring a consistent cooking temperature.

Cooking on a flat-top grill

Understanding Your Flat Top Grill

What Does it Mean to Season a Griddle or Flat Top Grill?

Seasoning flat top grills involves applying a thin coat of cooking oil to the entire cooking surface with the use of a paper towel for example.

This process creates a protective layer, preventing rust and making the grill surface non-stick. It’s a bit like treating cast iron pans. You can use all sorts of different oils, even olive oil, to season a cast iron pan.

What Oils Does Blackstone Recommend?

Blackstone, a popular brand among flat top grills, recommends using high-quality oils like avocado oil or vegetable oil. Applying a layer with paper towels or a clean cloth works a charm. However, avoid using lemon juice or other acids as they can damage the griddle surface.

Blackstone flat-top grill

Tools for Cleaning Your Flat Top Grill or Griddle

To clean flat top grill effectively, you’ll need a few essential tools. A grill scraper is crucial for removing stubborn food. Paper towels or a damp cloth are great for wiping down the grill surface.

For deep cleaning, a grill stone or steel wool can be handy. And don’t forget the dish soap for that extra cleaning power!

Flat-top grill cleaning equipment

Use a Scraper to Remove Food

To clean a flat top grill, a flat-edged metal spatula or a specialized grill scraper is perfect for scraping off all the leftover bits from your cooking surface.

Paper Towels Or Cloth

Either! Just have a few paper towels or a clean cloth handy. They’re perfect for wiping down the griddle surface after scraping off excess food.

Metal or High-Heat Tongs (optional)

These can be really useful for holding hot items or moving things around on a hot griddle with ease.

Use a Grill Screen

This tool helps in giving your flat top grill a deep clean, especially when there’s a grease buildup. Pick up one for yourself here.

Grill screen to clean flat-top grill

Use a bench scraper to scrape food debris and residue into the grease trough

This ensures that your entire flat top remains clean and free from food particles.

Regular maintenance, the right tools, and ensuring you season your grill regularly are the keys to a clean and long-lasting flat-top grill

Step-by-Step Cleaning Process

Let the Grill Cool Before Adding Oil

Before you start cleaning your grill, ensure the grill is cool for about half an hour. This makes it safer and more effective when you clean a flat top.

Scraping Off Residue

Using your grill scraper, gently but firmly scrape off any leftover food and grease from the flat top. This step is crucial to ensure the entire cooking surface is free from food debris.

Use water to loosen stuck-on bits

Warm water can be a lifesaver. Pour a little onto the cooking surface and let it sit for a few minutes. This will help loosen any stubborn food debris.

Mix a Drop of Dish Soap Into Your Water

For a deeper clean, mix some dish soap into warm water. This mixture helps break down grease and leaves your flat top grill surface sparkling.

Sponge to clean flat-top grill

Clearing The Excess Grease

Ensure that all excess oil and grease are directed towards the grease trap. This prevents any future buildup and keeps your grill in tip-top shape.

Wipe down the surface

Using paper towels or a damp cloth, wipe down the entire surface. This ensures that any leftover residue or dish soap is removed.

Use a paper towel or rag to wipe down the surface of the flat-top grill while it is still warm

This helps in removing any excess oil and leaves your flat top looking pristine.

When your food is almost done cooking, turn off the heat

This ensures that the grill’s surface doesn’t overheat, making the cleaning process easier.

Wait about 5-10 minutes until the smoke starts to slow down, then repeat as needed

This allows any remaining food particles to burn off, making the cleaning process more efficient.

Cooking on a flat-top grill

Dealing with Special Cleaning Situations

How to Fight Baked Food on Your Flat-Top Grill

For those stubborn food debris, a mixture of baking soda and warm soapy water can be a game-changer. Apply the mixture, let it sit for a few minutes, and then scrub away with a grill stone.

Removing Rust Spots on Your Flat Top Grill

Rust can be a menace, but it’s not unbeatable. For a rusted flat top, use a grill brick or steel wool with a bit of cooking oil to gently scrub away the rust.

Remove Rust in Just a Few Minutes

Rust can be a real pain, especially when it affects the cooking surface of your beloved flat top grill. But don’t fret; with a bit of elbow grease and the right tools, you can get rid of it in no time. One effective method is using a flat-top griddle cleaner or a grill stone.

If you’re a fan of natural solutions, a mixture of lemon juice and baking soda can work wonders. Just apply the mixture, let it sit for a few minutes, and scrub away with a grill brush or steel wool. Remember, always ensure the grill is cool before starting the process.

Cleaning a Rusted Flat Top Grill

If your grill’s flat surface has seen better days and is showing signs of rust, it’s essential to give it a deep cleaning. Start by scraping off any loose rust with a grill scraper. For those stubborn spots, a camp chef might recommend using a grill brick or even a specialized rust remover.

Once you’ve removed the rust, it’s crucial to re-season your grill. Apply a thin layer of seasoning oil, ensuring the entire flat top is covered. This not only protects the grill from future rust but also creates a non-stick surface, enhancing your cooking process. And remember, routine cleaning and maintenance can prevent rust from forming in the first place.

Rusted blackstone flat-top grill

For a brand new Blackstone griddle, use a grill brick or sandpaper to “knock off” the rough high points on the griddle

This ensures a smoother cooking surface from the get-go.

What to do if your griddle surface is already cooled

If your griddle surface has cooled down, use hot water to warm it up slightly. This makes the cleaning process more effective. Or just turn on the heat again and wait for a few minutes to warm the grill.

Seasoning and Maintenance

Seasoning flat-top grill with oil

To create a non-stick surface

Once your flat top is clean, apply a thin layer of cooking oil, like avocado oil or vegetable oil, to the entire surface. This not only protects the grill but also creates a non-stick surface.

Apply a thin layer of seasoning to your clean flat top grill

The seasoning oil, when applied in a thin coat, can protect your grill from rust and enhance the flavour of your food.

Preventative Maintenance Tips

Regularly cleaning your flat top grill, avoiding chemical cleaners, and ensuring the grease trap is clean are just a few ways to keep your grill in pristine condition.

Common Questions and Mistakes

Can I use soap to clean my griddle cooking surface?

Yes, a bit of dish soap mixed with warm water can be used. However, ensure you rinse thoroughly to avoid any soapy residue left on the grill. Hot soapy water can be really helpful in tackling stuck on grease.

Things You Should Never Do When Cleaning Your Flat-Top Grill

Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive tools like steel wool unless dealing with rust. Always ensure the grill is cool before cleaning and never leave leftover food on the grill surface.

Flat-top grill with food


Taking care of your flat-top grill is essential for both its longevity and the quality of food you cook. Rust can be a challenge, but with the right tools and a bit of effort, your grill can look as good as new.

Whether you’re using a high-end camp chef grill or any other outdoor cooking equipment, regular maintenance and cleaning are key. And if rust does appear, now you know the steps to tackle it head-on. So, keep those grill grates clean, avoid chemical cleaners, and happy grilling!

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