A Blackstone griddle is a great addition to any outdoor cooking setup, but over time it can become covered in gunk and rust. Especially if you didn’t season it properly and didn’t clean it after each use.
At that point, you may be wondering if you can sand your griddle top to get it back to looking like new again.
Does sanding a Blackstone griddle sound like a bad idea to you? Well, it turns out that sometimes it may be a necessity.
Yes, you can sand your Blackstone Griddle when the griddle top starts to look rusty or when there are scratches on the surface. Sanding will remove the rust and scratches and make the griddle top look new again. The process is relatively simple and only requires a few tools that you probably already have around the house such as sandpaper or steel wool.
With that out of our way, let’s talk a bit more about why and how would you want to sand your Blackstone griddle.
Table of Contents
- Why Would You Want To Sand Your Blackstone Griddle?
- What Can You Use To Sand the Griddle?
- What To Avoid When Sanding Your Griddle?
- Are There Any Alternatives To Sanding?
- Final Thoughts
Why Would You Want To Sand Your Blackstone Griddle?
The most common reason why people want to sand their Blackstone griddle is to remove rust. Rust can form on the griddle top rather quickly which is the unfortunate side effect of being made of carbon steel.
Some of the common reasons for sanding include:
Rough griddle top
Although I don’t have a personal experience with this issue with a Blackstone griddle, some people have reported that the griddle top they received was not as smooth as they would have liked. Consequently, sanding the griddle top may help to smooth it out.
Still, I believe this is not necessary in 99.9% of cases. Just let the seasoning do its job. If you receive a really terrible griddle top, just send it back.
Scratched griddle top
As strange as it may sound, the steel griddle top can get scratched. Although most of the time, the scratches are only affecting the seasoning layer, the metal may get scratched as well. Sometimes even the manufacturing process can leave some scratches on the griddle top (which I again believe is a good enough reason to send it back).
If you do get some scratches on your griddle top, sanding it may help to remove them. Especially, if they are shallow.
Rusty griddle top
As I’ve mentioned, rust is the number reason people want to sand their Blackstone griddle. Leaving your griddle out in the downpour is not a good idea. Even with proper seasoning rust can sometimes form. In this case, sanding the griddle top will take care of the rust and your griddle will look brand-spanking new again.
What Can You Use To Sand the Griddle?
Various tools can be used for sanding the griddle top. Here are some of the most common ones:
Sandpaper is the most common choice for sanding a griddle. The advantage of sandpaper is that it comes in different grits meaning you can start with a coarser grit to remove the rust quickly and then switch to a finer grit for a smooth finish.
As a starting point, I would recommend medium to fine-grit sandpaper (around 220 grit). If the rust or scratches are not too bad, you can start with a finer grit. If the scratches are deep, try using 120 grit or even 60 grit.
Of course, sanding the whole surface of the griddle by hand with a piece of sandpaper is an incredibly boring job and requires a lot of time and elbow grease.
If you want to make the process easier, you can use an orbital sander or a sanding attachment for drills.
Whichever power tool you choose, you can expect some problems when sanding the inside corners of the flattop. Tight spaces are best served either with hand-sanding or with detail sanders.
Steel wool is a fine choice for removing smaller rust spots, but it’s not the best choice for removing scratches. Besides, using steel wool without any other tools is tedious and time-consuming when you need to remove a lot of rust.
Wire brush or wire wheel
Again, a wire brush or wire wheel is a great choice for removing rust. Just like steel wool, it’s not the best choice for removing scratches. As a matter of fact, it can introduce some new scratches, if you are not careful or use the wrong wire brush.
You see, wire brushes are made of different materials and you should choose one that’s a bit softer than steel such as a brass wire brush.
Instead of using a hand-held wire brush, you can use a power drill with a wire brush or wire wheel attachment. This will make the job a lot easier and quicker.
What To Avoid When Sanding Your Griddle?
It’s nearly impossible to ruin the griddle top by sanding. You’d have to sand all the way through the steel to do that which is highly unlikely to happen.
Still, there are some things you should keep in mind to avoid problems:
Don’t sand the surface unless you are absolutely sure it is needed
Sanding may sound like a good idea but in inexperienced hands, some sanding tools can do more harm than good.
Light rusting can be for example removed with white vinegar or using a grill stone.
Don’t use too coarse of a grit
If you use sandpaper that’s too coarse, you run the risk of scratching the surface even more than it was. Unlike with some other materials, removing deep scratches from steel is not an easy task.
Don’t apply too much pressure
Similar to the above, applying too much pressure while sanding can introduce more scratches to the surface. Let the grit do its work instead.
Don’t sand an electric Blackstone griddle
For the love of the griddle, don’t sand an electric Blackstone griddle. The tops of the E-series products have a non-stick titanium-ceramic coating that can be easily damaged.
Are There Any Alternatives To Sanding?
If you don’t feel like sanding, or if you are not confident enough to do it, there is always an alternative way.
First, you can buy a new griddle top, but that’s something I would only consider if I was sure my old one was ruined beyond repair.
Also, I believe ruining a griddle top requires some serious years-long neglect and improper storage. Or perhaps an unlucky accident like dropping a concrete slab on it or bashing it with a sledgehammer (not that I would know anything about that).
Another way to deal with a rough, rusty, or scratched griddle top is to have it sandblasted.
This is a much quicker process than sanding. Moreover, unless you already have a sandblaster or know someone who has it, you will need to find a company that offers sandblasting services.
It’s not gonna be as cheap as sanding, but it will probably be cheaper than buying a new griddle top.
So, can you sand a Blackstone griddle? The answer is yes, with some caveats. Apart from the basic sandpaper, you can use an orbital sander or a sanding attachment for drills. With these, you will be able to remove both rust and scratches from the surface of the top plate.
Steel wool, wire brush, or wire wheel can also be used to remove rust. Just be careful not to damage the surface more than it is.
If you want to avoid sanding altogether, you can try some alternative methods of removing rust like using a grill stone or white vinegar. These will not help with scratches though.
You can also consider having the griddle top sandblasted.
I hope you found this article helpful. Thanks for reading!
Can I use a Dremel tool to sand my Blackstone griddle?
Technically, there’s no reason why you couldn’t use a Dremel tool. The problem I see is the small surface area of the Dremel sanding accessories. It would take forever to sand a large Blackstone griddle top with it. But if you are patient enough, go for it.
Can I use a belt sander to sand my Blackstone griddle?
Belt sanders are generally too large and unwieldy to use on a griddle top. They also pack a bit too much power for such a small task. An orbital sander would be a better choice.
My Blackstone griddle is electric. Can I sand it?
No, you can’t sand the flattop of an electric Blackstone griddle unless you want to turn your non-stick coating into a mess.
Can I use a sanding foam pad to sand my Blackstone griddle?
Yes, you can. Foam pads work just as fine as regular sandpaper. Just make sure to buy the correct grit.
Last update on 2024-01-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API