If you have a griddle, keeping it clean is a necessity. If the griddle gets dirty and you do not thoroughly clean it, it will negatively impact the the flavors of foods you cook on the griddle and potentially affect functionality as well. Because of this, you need to be able to get the griddle squeaky clean again before you start cooking. Here are the basics of how to clean a griddle effectively.
Step 1 - Allow Griddle to Cool
After you get done cooking with your griddle, allow it to cool a bit. If you try to clean it immediately, you risk potential injury from steam or hot grease. When you allow it to cool, though, don't let it go all the way back to room temperature. A little warmth will make it easier to clean. When the griddle is just hot enough that you can safely touch it, you can get started.
Step 2 - Scrape
First, the griddle with a spatula or another flat implement. You should be able to get most of the food and residue this way. Scrape it thoroughly to get it relatively clean. Be sure to use a plastic scraper if your griddle has a non-stick surface. For cast iron, you can use a more abrasive material.
Step 3 - Pumice Brick
After you've cleaned off the majority of the food, scrub the griddle surface with a pumice brick. This should remove the majority of the food still on the griddle. Make sure you go with the grain of the surface of the griddle during this process.
Step 4 - Clean the Tray
Take off the tray from the griddle and clean it separately. Some griddles have multiple trays that need to be cleaned. You could potentially put these in the dishwasher, or you could wash them by hand in the sink. Once they are clean, put them back into the griddle.
Step 5 - Wash the Griddle
At this point, you will need to wash the outer surface of the griddle. Use a mild detergent mixed with warm water, and wipe down the griddle with a dish rag. This step should remove any remaining food or oils.
Step 6 - Dry the Griddle
Use a clean rag or paper towels to thoroughly dry the surface. Make sure it's completely dry before moving forward.
Step 7 - Season the Surface
Once you have the surface dry, you can season the cooking surface again. By applying the proper oil to the surface, you will be able to protect the surface of the griddle and prepare it for the next use. Once you are done seasoning the griddle, you are ready to put it away until the next time you cook.