I spent quite a lot to buy my griddle because I was looking for that outdoor cooking experience. The last thing I would like to think of is to see it rusty. Rust affects the appeal of a griddle, and even worse, it reduces its lifespan.
But what happens in case your grill gets rusty? The good news is that you can restore a rusty griddle. Here is how to go about it.
How to Fix a Rusty Griddle
Fixing a rusty griddle involves heating it to loosen up the rust and scrubbing it using a griddle rust remover such as a scraper. After that, clean it with oil and grill stone, wipe it with a cloth or paper towel before finally seasoning it.
What is Rust and What Causes Griddle Rust?
Rust is the reddish-brown oxide formed when iron metal reacts with oxygen and water. Rust is common metal corrosion that, if left untreated, becomes irreversible.
Griddles made of iron are the most likely to rust. Rust breaks down the metal molecules, thus weakening the grill. As a result, the griddle becomes more susceptible to corrosion and breaks easily.
The Blackstone griddle is more rust-resistant and can last a lifetime. However, as it nears the end of its life, it gets more prone to rust. This form of rust results from the grill’s old age.
It is recommendable to treat your grill before it gets rusty. Otherwise, you will not have fun cooking a tasty meal on a flaky, brown surface.
Why Do Blackstone Griddles Rust?
Various factors cause Blackstone griddle rust. They include:
The most rampant griddle rust trigger is moisture. If you live in a high-humidity area or near the beach, your grill is more likely to rust, especially if you do not store it properly.
Leaving Your Griddle Outside
Although the Blackstone griddle has a protective coating against rust, leaving it outside, uncovered for a night or more, is not a good idea. It will absorb humidity from the air. Rust is imminent when the moisture mixes with oxygen and lands on the iron griddle surface.
High Acidity in Food
Some food, such as citrus fruits and tomatoes, have high acidity levels. When the acid interacts with the iron griddle surface, it corrodes it. After some time, rust starts to accumulate.
Storing Your Griddle in the Kitchen
You may think the kitchen is a haven for your Blackstone griddle. Unfortunately, it is not! When the steam produced when cooking lands on the griddle surface, it starts to rust.
Incomplete or Improper Drying
After cleaning your griddle, ensure that you allow it enough time to dry entirely before seasoning and storage. Rust will form on any wet spots left out.
How to Fix a Rusty Griddle
Before you begin fixing the rust, ensure you have gathered all that you need. It’s essential to have the following:
- Paper towels
- Grill stones or sandpaper or steel wool
- Metal scraper
- Cooking oil
- Heat resistant gloves
The oil to use here should be purely cooking oil such as olive oil, sesame oil, or palm oil.
Ensure that the gloves are 100 percent heat resistant because you will use them on a hot griddle.
Step 1: Prepare the grill
First, put on your pair of heat-resistant gloves. They will protect your hands from the heat of the grill.
Turn on the griddle on high heat and leave it for about 20 minutes. The high heat helps to loosen up the rust to ease removing it.
After 20 minutes, turn off the griddle and allow it to cool down. It’s advisable to clean the rust before it sticks back, so we move to the next step.
Step 2: Remove the rust
Scrape off the flat top grill using a griddle rust remover and a metal scraper. Remove the rust repeatedly until the griddle’s surface becomes entirely soft and you can’t see any more corrosion.
You will need to remove the rust fast before it gets to stick on the griddle again.
Step 3: Clean the griddle with a grill stone
To clean the griddle, you will need to have a rough stone on one side and not too heavy. Again the grill stone should have a handle.
Instead of soap, drip about 3-4 tablespoons of oil all over the grill’s surface. Scrub the griddle using the grill stone.
Steel wool or medium grit wet-or-dry sandpaper can act as effective alternatives to a grill stone.
Do the scrubbing in slow and gentle circular motions to protect the grill from getting scratches. It also helps to protect the metal surface.
Please note that this process isn’t that easy,
However, the end result should be a shiny and nice-looking griddle.
Step 4: Cleaning the grill with a cloth
After using a grill stone, wipe your griddle with a cloth or paper towel. This process helps to enhance the cleanliness of the griddle.
Drip another 3-4 drops of cooking oil and wipe the griddle’s surface again with a cloth. Repeat this process until the oil comes off clean and you can’t notice any traces of rust.
Step 5: Seasoning the griddle
After cleaning your griddle thoroughly, it’s time to season it. Seasoning will create a protective cover against rust.
Seasoning results in the formation of a thick coating with a unique flavor, which gives your food a nice flavor.
If you do the seasoning well, it will also prevent your food from sticking to the cooking surface. It also makes the cleaning of your grill easier.
Any cooking oil will be suitable for use in seasoning. However, if you can get extra virgin olive oil or flax oil, the two do a great job. They bond more with the metal.
Step 6: Apply the final coating
After seasoning, your griddle will require the final coating. Again, drip 3-4 tablespoons of cooking oil to provide an additional protective layer against rusting.
The essence of this last layer is that it blocks any contact between the griddle plate and air and water. Once that contact is blocked, your griddle has total protection from rust.
Step 7: Store your griddle properly
After successively removing rust from your grill, you will need to store it properly. Store the griddle in a cool, dry place. Moreover, cover it for protection against humidity and other elements.
How to Prevent Future Rusting
If you have cleaned rust from your griddle, you already know it’s a difficult task. Consequently, you may want to prevent being in a similar situation in the future.
So, how do you avoid it?
- After every cooking, use a paper towel to wipe the grill. Drip 3-4 tablespoons of oil on the griddle and again wipe using a paper towel. That layer of oil will keep air from coming into contact with metal, preventing rust.
- Always store your griddle in a cool and dry place. Keep in mind that humidity highly contributes to rust. As such, keep your grill from any form of moisture.
- Cover your griddle with a heavy-duty canvas cover. Such a cover protects your grill from wear and tear and humidity.
- In case you don’t use your griddle daily or weekly, it’s good to check it often to ensure there is no rust. Always endeavor to clean any rust immediately you identify it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you fix a rusted griddle?
Yes, you can fix a rusted griddle. In most cases, rust only forms at the surface of the iron and does not corrode the entire metal. That means that you can scrub off the rusted top layer, re-season it, and there you have your grill, as good as new.
How do I stop the Blackstone griddle from rusting?
Storing your griddle in a cool, dry place is the first step to safeguarding it from rust. Then, after cooking, clean your flat-top grill and apply a thin coating of oil.
Can you cook on a rusty grill?
Cooking on a rusty grill once in a while is not that risky. But, rust, which is iron oxide, can be harmful to your health if consumed in large quantities. That is why it is recommendable to keep your grill grates as clean as possible.
How do you remove rust from a cast iron griddle?
Use a griddle rust remover such as fine steel wool and scrub the affected areas. Then wash the grill with warm water and mild dish soap. You can also scrub gently with a bristle brush, mesh sponge, or gentle scouring pad.
Wrapping it up
A griddle is among the versatile kitchen equipment. As such, it’s essential to take great care of it to prevent rusting. Rusting can do significant damage to your grill and significantly reduce its lifespan.
Always keep checking your griddle to ensure it has not rusted at all. Moreover, if you detect any form of rust, it’s good that you remove it immediately.
Lastly, it’s always good to store your griddle correctly, away from any form of moisture. Proper storage will protect it from rusting.