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Care

How to Care for and Use Your Carbon Steel Griddle

One guide to keeping your griddle in excellent working condition, coming right up.

By Rachel Baron
May 18, 2023
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Though they’re not as common as they used to be, you probably already know how versatile and convenient a carbon steel griddle can be. Not only does its vast surface area make cooking large volumes of food a one-and-done task, but well-seasoned carbon steel also makes for fool-proof cleanup and minimal sticking.

While a carbon steel griddle isn’t exactly a high maintenance tool, a little bit of extra care can make it even easier and more efficient to cook with. From cleaning to seasoning to proper storage, here’s how to keep your griddle in excellent working condition.

What Is a Griddle?

griddle asparagus

Wide, flat, and typically made of heavy-duty metals like carbon steel or cast iron, griddles are crucial for diners and teppanyaki-style restaurants where chefs cook up multiple orders simultaneously. They’re less common among home cooks, but with enough space to cook the heartiest breakfast spread, several whole fish, and/or a slew of vegetable sides all at once, the right griddle can also make a great addition to your home kitchen. It’s no small feat to replicate commercial flat tops in residential kitchens, but  our pre-seasoned carbon steel griddle—designed to fit over a standard home kitchen stovetop or a grill—does just that. Plus, it’s easy to pull out and use whenever you want to cook a lot of food for family or guests.

Though truth be told,carbon steel’s superior heat retention and control usually results in the Griddle becoming a semi-permanent stovetop fixture.

How to Prep Your Griddle for Use

A baking sheet with parchment paper on a patterned countertop, featuring a brownie mix box and a uniquely designed spatula.

Before you get cooking, here’s how to get your griddle set up for success.

Seasoning a Carbon Steel Griddle

While our griddle comes with a layer of seasoning already added, other carbon steel and cast iron griddles may require seasoning before you cook with them for the first time. If you’ve seasoned carbon steel cookware before, seasoning a carbon steel griddle works more or less the same way: You’ll preheat your thoroughly clean, dry griddle, rub a few drops of high-smoke point oil or carbon steel seasoning wax onto its surface, and bake it in a preheated oven to until the thin layer of oil polymerizes. Check out our designated guide to seasoning your carbon steel griddle for more detailed instructions.

How to Use a Griddle

Once your griddle is nicely seasoned, you’re ready to get cooking. Before you pull out the bacon and eggs, however, make sure you’ve properly oiled and preheated your pan. First, preheat your griddle over medium-low for 2 to 3 minutes, then add enough oil to thoroughly coat the surface of the griddle. Use a paper towel or clean dishcloth to spread oil into the edges and soak up any excess. Once the oil heats, proceed with cooking.

To prevent thermal shock, we also recommend tempering (or bringing your ingredients as close to room temperature as possible) before adding them to the hot griddle.

How to Clean Your Griddle

A cast iron griddle on a stovetop beside a leather-handled metal spatula.

A clean griddle is essential to a smooth cooking experience, and it’s important to clean it thoroughly after every single use. Otherwise, you’ll end up dealing with burnt-on food and grease, which can be tough to remove without messing up the seasoning or non stick coating. Here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning your griddle.


1. Scrape Off Any Remaining Food

While the griddle is still hot, use a silicone or wooden spatula or griddle scraper to get rid of any bits of leftover food. Do not use metal utensils on carbon steel cookware.

2. Spray With Water

Using a spray bottle, spray water directly onto the hot griddle; it should steam up immediately. As the water boils off, use your spatula or scraper to remove any residual oil or food.

3. Spray Once Again

Spray the griddle again, using a cloth or kitchen towel to thoroughly wipe the surface while the water is still hot and steaming (you can use a pair of tongs to hold the towel so you don’t burn yourself). Repeat as needed.

If you’re dealing with tough stains or buildup that still won’t come off after you’ve gone through the above steps, you can try deep cleaning your griddle using lemon and vinegar to further loosen food particles and grease. You can find additional step-by-step instructions for deep cleaning and reseasoning  in our dedicated guide to griddle maintenance.

How to Maintain Your Griddle

bacon on griddle

While a carbon steel griddle can last a lifetime or longer with proper care, neglecting to properly maintain your griddle can lead to rust, corrosion, or warping. Fortunately, carbon steel is virtually indestructible—we once restored a carbon steel pan that had been left outside for a month to like-new condition. Here’s how.

First, make sure your griddle is seasoned properly. Not only does this make for a naturally non stick cooking surface, but it also serves as a protective barrier that prevents rust from forming. So does drying your griddle thoroughly before storing, as well as storing it in a cool, dry spot away from any moisture.

Second, never add fridge-cold food directly to a hot pan, as this can cause thermal shock, which can result in warping.

Third, always hand wash your griddle. Griddles are tough by nature, and ours is twice as thick as the average piece of carbon steel cookware, but the high temperatures and harsh soaps of the dishwasher can still do a number on your pan. Putting the griddle through the wash will also invariably strip the seasoning you’ve worked so hard to build.

As you cook with it, your griddle’s seasoning will deepen and evolve. At some point, however, you’ll have to re-season your griddle, whether it’s rusty from disuse or just starting to stick.

How to Troubleshoot Common Griddle Issues

griddle system over live fire

Even if you take excellent care of your griddle, you might still run into issues like rusting, scratches, and a sticky surface. Luckily, there’s a fix for most of these common problems.

Rust

To remove rust, thoroughly scrub the still hot pan with coarse salt and oil or an abrasive tool like steel wool or a scouring pad. Heavier rust on the interior of your pan may require scrubbing with vinegar and water. For additional insight, check out our post on how to clean rust off your carbon steel cookware.

Pan Feels Sticky or Tacky

If your pan feels sticky, it’s probably because you added a bit too much oil when seasoning it. To fix it, make a paste of oil and coarse salt and use a sponge or kitchen towel to rub it into the surface of your pan, then rinse and dry thoroughly This will remove the sticky layer, as well as some of the seasoning. Make sure to reseason before using your pan again.

Scratches and Other Surface Damage

If your pan appears to be scratched or scuffed, or if you can see unseasoned metal peeking through, don’t panic. This, along with any other color changes, is totally normal and easily fixable. Unlike traditional non stick pans, you can easily restore the non stick surface of your carbon steel cookware by re-seasoning it.

Ready to Shop?

If we’ve made it seem like a carbon steel griddle is super high-maintenance, remember that pretty much any pan you buy requires regular upkeep and TLC, and properly cleaning, storing, and caring for your griddle always pays off: Not only will it last longer, but it’ll deliver consistently great results whenever you cook with it.


Above all, one of the best things you can do for your griddle is to use it—a lot. Not only will this help prevent rusting, but you’ll also build up a thick non stick patina over time. Need more convincing? Check out all the great dishes you can make on a griddle.