How to Clean a Cast Iron Griddle
Cast iron griddles are used for various things like pancakes, grilled meat, sandwiches, etc. Their versatility makes them popular for use because of the large surface area that they provide for cooking. They make cooking convenient with the facility of carrying out an indoor barbeque. Like any other griddle, a cast iron griddle heats up quickly and is an excellent heat conductor. Cleaning a griddle after each use is a must for it to retain its properties and not get withered.
How Often Should You Clean a Cast Iron Griddle
Ideally, you should clean your griddle after each use to get rid of the leftover food particles. Leaving these remnants or the oil drippings or grease will deteriorate the condition of the griddle. Seasoning the pan regularly will make the cleaning job easy for you as it prevents the food from sticking to the griddle or the surface of the griddle rusting.
If you take proper care of it, an iron cast griddle will last a lifetime.
Following is the cleaning equipment you will need to clean your griddle.
- Non-abrasive sponge
- Stiff-bristled nylon brush
- Dishwashing liquid
- Vegetable oil
- Paper towels
- Baking Soda
- Lemon Juice
- Plastic bag
Most cast iron griddles are sold with a pre-seasoned finish or ready for use. If the griddle is unseasoned, although very unlikely, then you can follow the procedure for seasoning your cast iron griddle.
In brief, seasoning a griddle is the process of heating up some oil in the griddle and then evenly coating the surface of the griddle with that oil. The best oil for seasoning is flaxseed oil because it creates the most chemical-resistant, durable, and smooth layer of seasoning possible.
Before cleaning, the important part is to season your griddle on a regular basis.
Following are the steps you need to follow to clean your cast iron griddle:
- Cool down the griddle
Allow the griddle to cool down to room temperature after you take it off the burner. Do not directly plunge the hot griddle into the water-filled sink as it will damage the surface of the griddle and weaken the iron.
- Wipe away the leftover food
When the griddle gets moderately warm, take a paper towel and clean the surface of the griddle to rid it of any leftover food particles. If the food is stuck to the surface, use a plastic scraper to loosen the food. Do not use a metal scraper as it will scratch the griddle surface.
- Apply Soap and Rinse with water
Damn the cleaning sponge with some hot water and squeeze some dishwashing soap on the sponge. Wipe the griddle and cover the whole surface in a lather. Now, rinse the soap off with water. Never leave the griddle in a sink full of water though!
- Rinsing and Drying
After rinsing off the griddle properly with water, immediately dry the surface with a dishcloth or paper towels. Do not leave the griddle to drip dry, it will leave water stains on the iron and the moisture causes the iron to rust which will permanently damage your griddle.
- Season If Needed
If the food is repeatedly sticking to the surface of your griddle, then you need to season it. Always season the griddle after washing it first and before storing it away. Heat some oil and rub it evenly on the griddle’s surface till the cast iron is shining. Wipe away the excess oil with a paper towel.
Now, heat the cast iron griddle on the stovetop at a medium flame at the temperature of 250 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit for about five to ten minutes. Let the griddle cool down before storing it away.
- Storing the griddle in the right way
Do not store the griddle in a damp cabinet because that will cause the iron to rust and damage it. If you have a vintage or a rusted griddle, then sometimes they can be restored if proper care is taken. If the damage has been too severe and caused holes in the iron then it is beyond repair.
Restoring a Damaged Griddle
Scrape away iron with a non-metallic scraper or a stiff-bristled nylon brush to remove as much rust as you can. Take one tablespoon of lemon juice and one cup of baking soda in a small bowl. Mix them to create a paste. Cover the rusted area with the paste and seal it in a plastic bag for a minimum of 24 hours.
After waiting scrub the rust again with a bristled brush. If the rust remains then repeat the process above and then rinse off the griddle with hot water and season it.