How to Clean Your Carbon Steel Griddle

Keep your Griddle in tip-top shape by brushing up on proper cleaning techniques.

By Sasha Weilbaker
May 19, 2023
shrimp on griddle
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Endlessly versatile in any kitchen, Carbon Steel Griddles are the perfect tool for cooking everyday favorites ranging from pancakes and paninis to grilled fish and charred vegetables. Unfortunately, unlike your dirty plates and silverware, you can’t just throw your griddle in the dishwasher.

While it’s not hard to clean a carbon steel griddle, there are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind. Let’s dive in.

When to Clean a Griddle

griddle with pancakes

Just like any other piece of carbon steel cookware, it’s best to clean your griddle after each use so that oil and food residue doesn’t build up over time. This simple routine will help your griddle retain an even seasoning, so its surface remains non stick and future griddle care stays manageable.

How to Clean a Griddle After Everyday Use

It doesn’t take much to clean carbon steel cookware—just water, mild soap, and a little time. Still, a few pro tips will keep it in perfect condition.

Step 1: Remove Excess Food

While the griddle is still hot, use a griddle scraper or a silicone or wooden spatula to remove any food remnants.

Step 2: Spray With Water

Once you remove excess food, spray water directly onto the griddle’s surface using a squirt bottle and add a drop of mild dish soap.

The water should begin to steam off the hot surface, loosening food particles and residual oils. Gently scrape the griddle surface with your spatula to remove excess water and any remaining bits of food.

Step 3: Rinse and Dry

After you clean away oils and stuck-on bits of food, rinse the griddle with another spray of water before drying.

Fold a kitchen towel and use tongs to wipe the surface, taking care to keep your hands a safe distance from the hot griddle surface. Work methodically from one corner to the next until the griddle is completely dry.

Step 4: Repeat Steps as Needed

You may notice that your kitchen cloth has oily residue on it after you wipe the hot surface of the griddle—if that’s the case, spray it with water and wipe it again until you’re satisfied with how clean the griddle is.

Step 5: Store Your Griddle Properly

Make sure your griddle cools to room temperature and is completely dry before storing it in a cool, dry place.

How to Deep Clean a Griddle

bacon griddle

If it’s been a while since your griddle was properly cleaned, you may need more than hot water to get it back into shape. Rust, excess seasoning, burnt-on food, and oil residue are simple to remove with a griddle scraper, lemon juice, vinegar, and some elbow grease. Here’s how the deep cleaning process works.

Step 1: Heat the Griddle to Medium

Heat the griddle to medium heat to loosen bits of food and grease.

Step 2: Scrape Away Residue With a Griddle Scraper

Using a griddle scraper, remove burnt-on food and debris from the griddle’s surface with the thinnest part of the flat blade.

Investing in a high-quality griddle scraper is worthwhile so you can carefully remove tough residue without chipping or damaging the griddle’s surface or seasoning.

Step 3: Add a Splash of Lemon Juice and/or Vinegar

If a griddle scraper on its own is not enough to clean the griddle, lemon and vinegar are effective cleaning agents. These natural ingredients kill bacteria and loosen stubborn build-up without damaging your griddle.

Squeeze a few drops of fresh lemon juice onto the hot griddle's surface. Then, add a few drops of vinegar for extra cleaning power. The combination of heat and natural acid should loosen up unwanted residue so that your griddle scraper can do its job. Note that the acidity of these ingredients will also strip some or all of the pan’s seasoning, so be conservative with how much you use and plan on reseasoning once your griddle is clean.

How to Re-Season a Griddle

Though all Made In Griddles come pre-seasoned, many brands require seasoning before you use a cast iron or carbon steel griddle for the first time to develop a cook-safe patina. Like most carbon steel cookware, it will periodically require reseasoning after intensive cleaning, cooking with acidic ingredients, or removing rust.

You don’t necessarily need to reseason a carbon steel griddle after each use. If you’re not sure what your griddle needs, check out our guide to reseasoning carbon steel cookware for more insights.

Griddle Maintenance Tips

griddle burgers

When you regularly care for and maintain your griddle, you ensure that it will be around for years to come. Here are some tips to get the most use out of your griddle.

Tip 1: Clean Immediately After Each Use

By cleaning your griddle after each use, you’ll prevent buildup of oils and bits of food. Plus, with regular acid-free cleanings, you’ll build up a strong seasoning and need to perform deep cleans less often.

Tip 2: Never Soak Your Griddle in Water

Like cast iron, carbon steel rusts. And like cast iron, you’re better off cleaning your carbon steel immediately, as letting is soak for hours will strip the seasoning and encourage rusting.

Tip 3: Dry Thoroughly

Along the same vein as above, making sure that your griddle is completely dry will help prevent rust as well. You may find that increased humidity in warmer months also increases rust buildup—our best advice for this is to use your griddle often, and (after washing and drying thoroughly) rub a very thin coating of oil into the griddle’s surface before storing.

Tip 4: Reseason Semi-Regularly

Seasoning (or reseasoning) your griddle is a regular part of the material’s care and maintenance. Sometimes, cooking with fatty foods like bacon will take care of it for you. If you notice your griddle starting to stick, rust, or feel completely dry, it’s probably time to reseason.

Ready to Cook?

A well-maintained griddle is ready when you need it, and can last for years. To keep your griddle in top form, it’s important to clean it properly after each cooking session. With the right techniques and some simple household ingredients, you can keep your griddle clean and ready to tackle a variety of recipes.

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