Attention BBQlovers! If you enjoy using Blackstone griddles for your outdoor cooking endeavors or planning on getting one, you might have wondered whether or not they are susceptible to warping.
The answer is yes, but don’t be alarmed.
Metal griddles, including the Blackstone griddles, may occasionally warp as a result of uneven heating or rapid temperature changes.
We’ll look at the causes of griddle warping in this post and we’ll see what to do if your griddle has already warped.
I’ll also give you some advice on how to minimize the risk of warping, so you can use your Blackstone griddle for many more wonderful meals to come.
Table of Contents
- Why Do Griddles Warp?
- How Are Blackstone Griddles Protected Against Warping?
- What Should You Do If Your Griddle Has Warped?
- How Do You Prevent the Blackstone Griddle from Warping?
- Final Thoughts
Why Do Griddles Warp?
Griddles are made of metal. The type of metal varies but it’s generally one of these:
- Cast iron
- Carbon steel
- Stainless steel
All of these metals expand when heated and contract when cooled. This expansion and contraction are what cause the warping in griddles when there is a temperature differential in the material.
The common reason for this is uneven heating, which can cause the griddle to expand or contract unevenly and lead to warping.
This can happen if the heat source is not evenly distributed such as when you have one burner set to high heat and the others turned off.
Another problem that arises from using the griddle is sudden temperature changes. These happen when you for example put a lot of frozen food onto the griddle at once. This causes the metal to contract unevenly and can lead to warping. A similar issue is caused by heating up the griddle too quickly, ie. when you set all the burners on high right from the start. This time the griddle expands unevenly again leading to warping.
Finally, griddles can also warp due to physical damage, such as being dropped onto the ground or hit with a heavy object. Physical damage is very unlikely to happen in normal use.
Fortunately, most minor warpages will fix themselves once the griddle cools down. Apart from the physical damage-induced warping of course.
Here’s a video that shows pretty severe warping. The most likely cause is running the burners on high and using too much water at once for cleanup. The resulting thermal shock was too much for the flat top to handle. Fortunately, the user reported it flattened itself once it cooled down.
How Are Blackstone Griddles Protected Against Warping?
Blackstone griddles are made of cold rolled steel which is perhaps slightly more susceptible to warping than for example cast iron.
The griddle tops are reinforced from the bottom with steel reinforcing bars. The number of bars and their placement depends on the size and specific model of the griddle.
Still, even with these bars of steel in place, the griddle top can and does warp. Although the bars are pretty strong, sometimes the welding snaps and the flat top is then free to warp as it pleases.
One way for the manufacturer to at least slightly mitigate this problem would be to use a thicker plate of steel. That however would end up costing more money and would cause the griddle to weigh much more than it does. And as you know, Blackstones are already not exactly lightweight.
What Should You Do If Your Griddle Has Warped?
What you do depends on how it happened in the first place and how badly warped it is.
Sometimes it may happen that the griddle you bought might have been warped from the start. For example, someone did a poor welding job at the factory. In that case, you should return the griddle or contact Blackstone customer support to see what they have to say. They usually just send replacement parts.
If the griddle has warped when you were cooking, it usually flattens itself out when it cools down.
If it doesn’t flatten out you can try to slowly heat it up again to about 400°F and let it slowly cool down again. This often helps even if the warpage is fairly pronounced. I’ve seen reports of griddles that warped 5 inches upwards in one corner but in the end flattened out perfectly after they cooled down.
If it doesn’t fix itself within a couple of cooking sessions and you are still covered by the Blackstone warranty, I wouldn’t hesitate to contact customer support.
If you are out of warranty then I would perhaps contact a professional welder to see if they can take a look at it and fix it for you. I wouldn’t try going down the “hammer it down with a mallet” route.
As the last resort, you could simply replace the whole griddle top. You can either replace it with the genuine Blackstone top, for which you would have to contact the support. Or you can replace it with a third-party griddle top such as the one made by Steelmade.
How Do You Prevent the Blackstone Griddle from Warping?
Unfortunately, it’s 100% preventable as minor warping is not uncommon. There are however some steps you can take to minimize the risk.
- Warm up your griddle slowly, don’t just go full afterburner mode.
- Don’t heat up the griddle to extreme temperatures without any reason. In fact, I fail to see a reason to heat it up to 500°F apart from perhaps searing a steak. 500°F is certainly not the best griddle temp for cooking bacon. Most cooking on a griddle is done between 350 and 400°F.
- Avoid putting large amounts of frozen food on a hot griddle all at once
- When cooking frozen food such as frozen sausages or frozen burgers, start at lower temperatures and increase it gradually to the level you need. This at least slightly reduces the sudden temperature shock the steel plate receives.
- Avoid leaving some burners off. Even if you are cooking a small meal, it’s better to turn all the burners on instead of just cooking on one.
- It’s fine to set up multiple heat zones but make sure the temperature difference is not too big.
- When cleaning the griddle after cooking, let the griddle cool down a bit and apply only a small amount of water from the squeeze bottle at once.
Despite the fact that Blackstone griddles can warp, there are ways to reduce the possibility of warping. You can ensure that your griddle stays in excellent condition for many years to come by sticking to some basic suggestions, such as slowly warming up your griddle and avoiding excessive temperatures or abrupt temperature changes.
And if your griddle does happen to warp, don’t freak out; in many situations, it can straighten itself out as it cools down. Also, you can always get help from the Blackstone help desk.
So heat up your griddle and get ready to sizzle up some delectable griddle classics!
Do cast iron griddles warp?
Yes, cast iron griddles and other cookware such as cast iron skillets can warp just like steel cookware. There seems to be this “cult following” preaching that cast iron is the best solution to every cooking problem, but that’s simply not true. Cast iron has its fair share of problems too.
Will minor warping affect my cooking?
Warping may affect the cooking experience because oil and other liquids may start to pool in one spot. And usually not in a spot you want it to. Minor warping is usually not so bad that it would prevent you from using the griddle.
Can I still use a warped griddle?
Unless it’s warped so badly that it rocks or wobbles so wildly that it would be a safety hazard to use, there’s nothing stopping you from using your griddle. It just may not be as easy and pleasurable to use.