Cooking with griddle grills is a convenient and easy way to pump out tons of bacon, eggs, burgers and other foods you are partial to. However, to maintain the integrity of your cookware, it is imperative that you season your griddle. You might be wondering “What does it means to season a griddle?” “Seasoning” a griddle does not refer to spices, as one might assume. It refers to the process by which one bakes oil on the surface of a flat top cooking surface, such as griddles, to create a non-stick, non-scratch coating that adds flavor to your food. This ritual should be performed before each time you cook, not just to improve the quality of your cooking, but also because it serves to preserve the durability of the cooking surface and make it rust-proof. Let’s go through all the steps necessary for seasoning your indoor or outdoor griddle.
You will need six easy-to-acquire supplies for your first time performing this process:
- A water bottle
- Paper towels
- Oil (Olive/Canola/Flax/Vegetable/Coconut)
- Spatula (or other scraping tool)
Cleaning Before Cooking
If this is your first time cleaning your griddle grill, you will need soap in addition to water. Pour water with a little soap mixed in over the entire surface of your griddle, then rinse with clean water. This is to ensure debris, dust and any coatings from manufacturing and shipping is removed. For every time after, simply rinse the griddle surface with clean water. This softens caked on foods from previous grilling sessions so they can be easily scraped away.
Preheat and Apply Oil
After cleaning, preheat the griddle grill until the cooking surface starts to brown or blacken. This should take approximately 10-20 minutes and serves to burn off residual oils. Once the color changes, turn off the burners. Apply a layer of oil over the entire surface, including corners. Use paper towels (held with tongs for safety) to spread the oil evenly, making sure no thick oil puddles or dry spots remain. Your oil layer should be very thin after spreading.
Heat and Repeat the Oiling Process
Now turn up the heat for approximately 30 minutes and watch as your griddle billows with smoke. No need to be alarmed, this is normal during the seasoning process. The oil burning removes organic compounds, leaving a polymer which creates a natural non-stick coating to your griddle. To ensure the integrity of this coating, you will need to repeat the application of oil and heating at least two to three more times. You will know when to stop when you notice the surface of the griddle plate is dark brown. Now your griddle is ready to whip up the tastiest pancakes, grilled cheeses, fajitas and other meals in your culinary repertoire.
Cleanup Afterwards and Griddle Preservation
When your cooking is done, spread some water on the griddle surface while it is still hot. This makes it quick and easy to scrape off any stuck-on foods with your spatula. Then, use your tongs to rub any remaining grease and particles off with a paper towel. For outdoor griddles, put a final thin coat of oil on the surface, then turn off the heat, let it cool down and cover it to protect it from the elements until you are ready to use it again.
How often do you season a griddle?
Regular use of your griddle would require you to re-season it on average once a week. However, this may vary depending on the frequency of usage.
Is it healthy to cook on a griddle?
Griddles do not require an abundance of oil, and whatever minimal oil remains on your griddle is meant solely to create a non-stick surface. Therefore, your foods will not be saturated with oil and grease.