Are you looking for a quick and easy way to clean your flat top grill?
Great, you’re in the right spot! In this guide you’ll learn:
- How often to clean a flat top grill
- Signs it needs deep cleaned
- How to clean a flat top grill – deep clean or routine cleanings
- And more tips along the way!
Cleaning the surface you prepare food on is a part of the cooking process and your flat top grill is no different.
With proper care and cleaning, you’ll have your griddle around for years to come!
Be aware, though, since they are made of iron, they can rust easily if not cleaned and seasoned regularly.
What's In This Guide?
How Often Should You Clean A Flat Top Grill?
Before you bought it, you probably didn’t look up “how often to clean a flat top grill?”
The good news is, if you treat them well, you won’t need to do a full deep clean that often.
Oftentimes, after using your griddle, you’ll look down and see a cooking surface that looks pretty clean.
I know what you’re thinking, but nope, we can’t skip it. Because food is made on the surface, you’ll want to clean a flat top grill after every single use even if it doesn’t appear to be dirty.
But that doesn’t mean it needs to be a deep clean after each use.
In addition to making sure you’re serving safe food, cleaning after each cook can help make your griddle last much longer.
If you’re not using the griddle often and it’s just sitting in storage, I’d recommend giving it a nice wipe down every now and then just to make sure no moisture is finding it’s way in.
Signs Your Flat Top Grill Needs Deep Cleaned?
If you use them frequently, flat top grills can start collecting gunk in the corners. Here are some signs when flat top grills need deep cleaned:
- You just finished grilling a big, juicy burger. You take a bite and…what in the world is that taste?
- If your food tastes “off,” then there may be built up residue or grease on your griddle.
- In addition to the “off” taste, if you notice the color of your food is a little different, there may also be some unwanted leftovers on your cooking surfaces.
- Lastly, but probably most obvious, if you can visually see any grease or residue, it’s time to clean it.
Related >> Best Flat Top Grills
Supplies You’ll Need
To clean a flat top griddle, you’re going to need a few things other than elbow grease.
The right tools can make this cleaning process easier for you.
On the other hand, if you use the wrong tools, it could damage the grill.
Here’s a look at what tools you need to clean a flat top:
- Grill Scraper: It’s a blade to scrape off the food from the griddle. It usually has a plastic handle so that you can scrape the food while the grill is still hot. As a bonus, you can also chop food with it.
- Grill Scrub Pad: It looks like a dishwashing sponge that is made for scrubbing dirt, debris, and grease from the surface of the grill.
- Grill Brush: A grill brush is necessary while deep cleaning the grill. It comes with thick bristles on a wooden handle so that it is easier to brush off stuck-on food gunk.
- Grill Screen: Grill screens are made of rayon and coated with aluminum oxide. It helps for those deep cleans to clean up the food residue and grease buildup on the surface.
- Griddle Pad Holder: It is basically a holder which can hold the scrub pad and grill screen both. It is needed when you clean the grill while it is still hot. As an added benefit, it also helps to keep your hands clean as much as possible.
- Flat Top Grill Cleaner: You can find all-natural cleaners specifically made for the flat top grill. Some are high-temperature cleaners, which works great to clean your grill after a messy cook.
- Grill Brick: If you want one product to clean the flat top, you have to get the grill brick. It can do almost all of the cleaning all the other tools are capable of doing all in one.
Other than those tools, you will also need oil (for reseasoning), a cloth, warm water, and soapy water to properly clean a flat top grill.
How To Clean A Flat Top Grill – Deep Clean
After your first use of your griddle, you’re likely seeing what I saw. A mess.
Food residue all over the cooking surface. Grease…pretty much everywhere.
Have no fears. Here’s the best way to clean a flat top grill:
Step 1: Let It Cool
If you’ve just cooked a great meal, you may be tempted to start cleaning before you serve up your delicious food.
For safety reasons, I’d definitely recommend allowing your flat top grill to cool down completely.
You don’t want your hand slipping when the grill is still hot.
Step 2: Scrape It Off
After you’ve enjoyed your meal, let’s clean up our masterpiece, shall we?
Using a metal spatula (or a griddle scraper), scrape the entire cooking surface and edges. Make sure to get all debris and grease.
If your flat top grill has a grease tray, push it all there for now (but remember to clean that every now and then too!).
If your flat top grill is really bad…like food from a couple of months ago is stuck on it, and it’s not scraping off, don’t panic.
For really dirty griddles, use a little bit of warm water to help loosen up the leftovers. Don’t be afraid of using elbow grease here, the cooking surface can handle it!
Even if your griddle looks completely defeated, I highly recommend against using chemicals on your flat top grill.
The last thing you’d want is to leave chemical traces where you’re cooking for your family.
Additionally, those chemicals can actually damage your flat top grill and lead to rust.
If it’s really bad, you can, however, pour warm soapy water on it and scrub the surface of the grill with a grill pad or a grill brush.
Step 3: Wipe It Up
Grab a few paper towels and wipe it all down.
While wiping up any leftover residue, make sure to also target any spots with water.
In this step, we want to ensure we’re getting the last bits of grease, residue, and especially any water left behind.
Doing this can help protect your griddle from rusting.
Step 4: Oil It Down
Now that your griddle is clean, there is one step left. Almost there.
Grab your favorite oil or cooking spray, and apply a thin layer over all cooking surfaces.
This helps protect against rust and helps maintain the non-stick layer you worked hard to build during the seasoning period.
Read More: How To Tell If Steak Is Bad (5 Simple Steps)
How To Clean A Flat Top Grill – Routine Cleaning
Now if you’re looking for routine cleans instead of a deep clean for your griddle, you’ll want to follow these steps.
Doing a light cleaning after each cook will not only help keep your food tasting great, it will extend the life of your flat top grill.
Step 1: Scrape Leftovers
After each use, use a griddle scraper to scrape all the leftover grease or food residue.
Step 2: Use Warm Water
After the flat top cools down, spray with water and give the entire surface a good rinse.
Step 3: Dry It
Use a paper towel or rag to completely dry the surface. Leaving moisture on it can lead to rusting.
Step 4: Re-Season It
I recommend that you re-season your griddle after each cook.
You don’t have to do a complete seasoning again, but put a light layer of oil across the surface
How To Re-Season A Flat Top Grill
Seasoning your flat top grill (also called a griddle) will create a protective layer over the cooking surface. If you do a deep clean, you want to make sure you nail this step.
And if you’re doing research and about to buy your first one, make sure to season it right before using it.
This protective layer helps to minimize wear and damage as well as reduce the risk of rust. Before seasoning your griddle, it starts with a bit of cleaning, even if it’s brand new.
To get your flat top grill clean, use soap and water to clean the cooking surface. This removes built up grease and any residue.
After cleaning, dry it thoroughly. This will ensure it’s ready for seasoning. Have your flat top grill all cleaned? Great, it’s time to season your griddle!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Oil – vegetable, flax, extra virgin olive, or coconut oil will do the trick
- Paper Towels
- Cooking Utensil – metal spatula or tongs work well (just don’t forget to click them twice before using)
- Heat Resistant Gloves – you can thank me later for this one
Now that the griddle is clean and you have your supplies, it’s time to season your flat top grill.
- Crank the heat up to high on all burners for 10-15 minutes
- Apply a thin layer of oil and spread it all over the cooking surface, edges, and the sides using your paper towel and cooking utensil (or grill glove)
- Allow the grill to heat the oil to a smoke and monitor it until the smoking ceases. This may take 30 minutes or more.
- Once the smoking stops, turn the grill off and allow it to cool completely.
- Round 1 of seasoning finished. Now it’s time to repeat all of the steps 2-4 more times depending on your desired finish.
- Once done seasoning, wipe down with cooking oil to prevent any rust
At this point, you’re either ready to store it or ready to get cooking on it!
I recommend doing this step after each deep clean. No need to fully season after each cook, but I do leave a light layer of oil after each cook to help prevent rust.
Related >> How To Cook a Steak on a Griddle
How To Store Your Griddle
When you’re planning on how to store your griddle, think about these three things:
- How often will you use it?
- Will it be exposed to the elements?
- Is it in the reach of children?
1. How often will you use it?
If you plan to use your flat top grill on a regular basis, having it in a convenient location will make your life much easier.
I use mine just about every other day, so it’s on our screened porch. With it being so close to the kitchen, it feels like an extension of inside.
2. Will it be exposed to the elements?
If you’re storing your griddle outdoors, you’ll want to make sure that you have some type of grill cover for it.
Moisture can more easily creep in and cause rusting when you store flat top grills outdoors.
Depending on where you’re located, be cautious of how hot your propane tank is getting if it’s in direct sunlight.
3. Is it in the reach of children?
Because most flat top grills can so easily be turned on, it’s important to note if kids will have access to it.
If it’s not an option to keep them completely away from it (with 8 kids, I understand this more than most!), then make sure to store it with the propane disconnected.
Safety Tips Around Your Flat Top Grill?
- Be mindful of kids. They can easily turn the knobs on your griddle and burn themselves, the food, or anything stored too close
- Check your surroundings. If you’re too close to vinyl siding or if the kids are throwing a football nearby, an accident can happen
- Avoid storing items on top of your griddle. Bags, containers, or other flammable products can spark up quickly
- Cook in an open, well-ventilated space
- Pay attention to your propane. If you smell too much gas, stop cooking and place a damp cloth on the tank.
- If you feel that you’re unsafe because of a gas leak or fire, call 911 and leave it up to the professionals to tame the situation.