August 2017, I went to Wal-Mart to check out what kind of discounts there could possibly be in the outdoor section. August is the time of the year when places like Wal-Mart, Lowes and Home Depot begin marking down different grilling and barbecue accessories, and sometimes — sometimes — grills. I had spent many months of that year lusting for a 36″ Blackstone griddle, because everyone was posting about them on social media within the BBQ/grilling community. I wanted to see what the fuss was about, because I didn’t think it would be a big deal since it was just a flat-top griddle powered by propane. “So what?,” I thought. Keep in mind this was before Wal-Mart’s licensed agreement with Blackstone. Anywho, I walked in, saw that they had the 36″ Blackstone griddles marked down to $200 and within moments I was at the checkout buying one along with a 20 lb. propane tank.
I got home and barely read the instructions, because I was so excited to get the thing together. After hurriedly piecing the beautiful thing together, I got some ground beef, bacon and sliced onions…
See what I did?
I didn’t season her up!
What you are supposed to do with these griddles is, you fire up all four burners upon the first go, rub them down in a layer of of cooking oil, let it burn off over the course of 10-15 minutes, apply another layer of oil, repeat the process a few times, wipe it down and you’ll have a nice, dark layer of seasoning to create a non-stick surface.
Lo and behold, my griddle ended up being A-OK, because I scraped it down after this cook, applied oil and continued cooking on it, and it eventually created a gorgeous non-stick surface. It happens. I was a dope for being way too excited to cook on it.
Fast-forward to February 2018. I had not used my griddle since about September or October from the previous year, and it had rusted. I used oil, kosher salt and a couple of grill stone/blocks to scrub it to remove the rust and reseasoned it with some canola oil. The Blackstone website recommends using flaxseed oil to oil these griddles up, but you can use whatever you want, and I don’t care for flaxseed oil since the smoke point is too low. Sure, canola oil doesn’t have a top notch smoke point either, but it gets the job done just the same. Use whatever oil you want and it will get the job done when it comes to seasoning up your griddle.
My Blackstone surface looked pretty rough in the top photo, but she looked cured after I scrubbed her and reseasoned in the bottom photo. Yes, the bottom photo looks too oily, but I was allowing the oil to burn off. Shoutout to Blackstone Products for reposting this photo to their Instagram back in early 2018 when I posted about it.
I’m a huge Blackstone enthusiast, because I fell in love with this griddle so quickly. I love making smashburgers, tacos, cheesesteaks, stir-fry, chicken wings, diced potatoes and little pizzas (with tortillas) on it. I bought the 17″ tabletop Blackstone griddle with the new rear grease management system a couple of months ago and, thankfully, I used better judgment (and exercised patience) by seasoning this one up with cheap vegetable oil 3-4 times before frying a pack of bacon on it.
I picked up the 17″ tabletop Blackstone griddle because I was enticed by the idea of its portability uses, for one, and for two, it is fantastic for smaller cooks, because this little baby can still cook up a damn good bit of food in a hurry. Yes, there are cold spots, but using an infrared thermometer helps you find where they are pretty quickly. It still gets piping hot on high and you can do so many things with it.
Don’t be like how I was in August 2017! Sure, do what I did and buy a Blackstone, because they are amazing and the customer service is top notch, but please season it up prior to cooking.
Blackstone Products, if you are reading this, please create a new lid/hood for the rear grease management system versions of the 17″ tabletop griddles! At this time, one does not exist, so I’ve been using aluminum foil as a cover for the tabletop, which is a pain in the ass to say the least. You can flip the griddle surface upside down for storage, but I don’t want any oil falling onto the burners.