11 Reasons Why Food Sticks to Your Blackstone Griddle

If you’ve ever cooked on a Blackstone griddle, you know that it can be a dream come true – delicious, evenly cooked food with minimal effort. But there’s one downside to cooking on a griddle that can be a major pain: when the food sticks to the surface.

There are a few reasons why this might happen, but don’t worry – we’ve got some solutions for you.

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Why Is Food Sticking to My Blackstone Griddle?

The two most common reasons for food sticking to a Blackstone griddle are inadequate seasoning and food debris and grease buildup on the cooking surface. Griddles should be thoroughly cleaned and seasoned after every use to prevent sticking.

So these are the two most common reasons, but there are a few other things that can cause food to stick to your griddle. Let’s take a look at all the potential causes.

Reasons Why Food Is Sticking To Your Griddle

Here’s a list of 11 common reasons that may cause food to stick to your griddle, along with solutions for each problem. There of course may be more that I didn’t think of and I will try to add them as I find them.

1) Your Blackstone griddle is not seasoned properly

Unlike some other griddles by competitors, Blackstone griddles are not shipped preseasoned. This means your griddle top will be bare metal. Since the top is made of cold-rolled steel which has zero non-stick properties, you must season it before use.

That of course doesn’t mean you should cover your griddle in your favorite herbs and spices. Seasoning is the process of oil bonding to the surface of your griddle. This forms a barrier between the metal and your food, giving you that nice non-stick surface. It is the same technique that is used for cast iron pans.

2) Your Blackstone griddle is new

Even if you followed the steps in the previous tips, food may still stick to the surface of your griddle when you first start using it. This is because the seasoning has not had time to build up yet. It is perfectly normal that your seasoning layer is not 100% effective immediately.

The key is to be patient and keep cooking! The more you use your griddle, the better the seasoning will become. Eventually, you will have a nice non-stick surface that is perfect for cooking pretty much any food.

3) Your seasoning layer is damaged

You made sure that your griddle is perfectly seasoned and has that nice black non-stick surface. But suddenly, food is sticking to the griddle again! What gives?

One possibility is that the seasoning layer has taken damage. This can happen if you scratch the seasoning layer by digging into the surface with a spatula with too much force.

It also happens frequently when you use the griddle top as a cutting board.

Most scratches in the seasoning can be repaired by applying another coat of oil and heating it again. However, some serious cases where the seasoning starts peeling off can only be remedied by stripping the seasoning layer down and re-applying it from scratch.

4) Your griddle is not-preheated

When you are cooking something on a skillet, you always heat up the pan before you add oil or any food. The same goes for your Blackstone griddle, which is in fact a giant pan!

If you don’t preheat your griddle, the food may stick when you try to cook it. The best way to preheat your griddle is to turn all the burners on medium-high and let it heat up for about 10 minutes.

Pre-heating the griddle also ensures that the whole surface is at about the same temperature. Although there will still be some hot and cold zones on the griddle top due to the placement of the burners, it is still much better than throwing the food on the griddle right away.

5) Your Blackstone griddle is not cleaned regularly

If you have been using your griddle for a while and the food suddenly starts sticking, it may be caused by inadequate cleaning. If there are any bits of burned food left on the surface of the griddle, it will cause sticking.

The general recommendation is to clean your griddle after every use. The sooner you do it after you are done cooking for the day, the better. This is because the food debris will start sticking to the surface as the griddle cools down.

Metal griddle spatulas are the best tool for cleaning the griddle top. The edge of the spatula will loosen any bits of food that are stuck to the surface.

6) Not using enough cooking oil

Some food cooked on a griddle doesn’t require much if any cooking oil. This is especially true for meats that have a high-fat content such as bacon or burgers that follow the 80/20 rule. There’s no need for oil with these because there’s already plenty of fat in the meat which will render out during cooking and keep the food from sticking.

You don’t necessarily have to apply the oil to the griddle itself. It’s often enough to just lightly oil the food before cooking. For example, if you are going to griddle some sliced veggies, you can put them in a bowl, drizzle them with oil and toss them to coat. Now the veggies are ready for some sizzling time on the griddle.

Some people like to use Crisco for cooking on their Blackstones.

7) You are trying to flip the food too soon

Once you throw a bunch of burgers on the griddle, it can be tempting to start flipping them right away. But if you do that, there’s a good chance that they will not come off easily. The same goes for other types of food such as pancakes, eggs, and grilled cheese sandwiches.

The key is to let the food cook for a while and if everything else is OK, the food will form a delicious crust and then release from the griddle surface when it’s ready to be flipped.

For example, if you are griddling smash burgers, give them at least about three minutes of cooking time before you try to flip them.

8) You are griddling food that is prone to sticking

As mentioned in one of the previous sections, some food is just more prone to sticking than others.

Foods such as vegetables or lean meats are some examples. Some fish are also notorious for sticking to griddles if there’s no oil used during cooking.

Pancakes with maple syrup
Pancakes are prone to sticking

Also, food that is high in sugar content is very likely to stick. This includes things like pancakes, waffles, or french toast. Many of the premade liquid marinades and premixed seasonings contain sugar. Once the sugar heats up on the griddle, it will caramelize and I am sure you know that caramel is a sticky mess.

9) The temperature is too low

Although it may sound strange, setting the temperature too low can also cause sticking. This is because the food will cook too slowly and the juices will have time to seep out and start sticking to the surface. When the temperature is higher, the food will form the awesome Maillard reaction crust everyone loves.

10) The temperature is too high

Yeah I know, I’ve just said that keeping the temperature too low is a bad idea. Keeping the temperature too high is a bad idea as well because it can quickly cause the food to burn on the outside making it stick to the griddle. It is also a surefire way of ruining your food.

You have to find the fine line between too cold and too hot. For most foods, somewhere between 350°F and 400°F is the sweet spot.

11) You are using the wrong type of oil for cooking

If you are griddling at a high temperature, you should use an oil with a high smoke point. The smoke point is the temperature at which the oil starts to break down and smoke. This is not only bad for your health but it will also give the food an unpleasant flavor. Furthermore, if the oil breaks down, it will obviously not be preventing sticking.

Some of the best oils to use are avocado oil, canola oil, olive oil, and grapeseed oil.

How Do You Make a Blackstone Griddle Non-Stick?

Blackstone griddles don’t have non-stick Teflon coatings. The only way of making your Blackstone gas griddle non-stick is by seasoning it before use.

When you first receive your griddle, wash it with warm soapy water and leave it to dry.

Next, apply a small amount of cooking oil to a paper towel and spread it evenly across the surface of the griddle. Turn your burners on high and let the oil heat up until it starts smoking. The surface of your griddle will start turning black. This is normal! The black coating is your seasoning layer.

Before the first use, the seasoning should be applied at least five times. After that, it should be applied every time the griddle is used to build it up.

Use the Right Tools for Flipping if the Food Is Sticking

Sometimes food sticking to the surface of the griddle is inevitable. By using the right tools, you can overcome the sticking situation and make sure your food comes off the griddle in one piece.

The best tool for that is in my opinion a metal griddle spatula. There are many different designs on the market. Some have perforated surfaces to let the oil and fat drain while flipping. Some have notches to help you get under the food more easily. And some have both features.

There are also spatulas of different sizes. For example for flipping smash burgers or pancakes, you are better off with a wider spatula. For steaks, the size is not that important because the steaks have pretty much zero tendencies to disintegrate into several pieces when you try to flip them.

Final Thoughts

This concludes my guide on why food sticks to Blackstone griddles and what you can do about it. I hope you enjoyed reading it and that you found it useful. The most important thing you can do to prevent sticking is to season your griddle well and keep it free of burned food bits.

Other than that, make sure you use the right type of oil and that the temperature is not too low or too high. If all else fails and the food still sticks, use the right tool for flipping it without tearing it apart.

Now go and enjoy your griddle cooking!


Why is my griddle sticky after seasoning?

You have most likely applied too much oil. When seasoning, you should only use a very thin layer of oil.

How can I clean my griddle if there's food stuck on it?

The best way to remove stuck-on food is by using a metal spatula. Heat the griddle to medium to loosen the food debris and scrape it off.

If necessary, use a little bit of water to help loosen the food more.

I seasoned my griddle but the food is still sticking!

Some degree of sticking is normal, especially when you are first using the griddle. The more you use it, the more non-stick it will become. Don’t expect the cold-rolled steel griddle top to be as non-stick as a Teflon pan.

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John Carder

John Carder is the founder of FreshAirChef.com. He loves to cook outdoors, especially over a campfire. John has a lovely wife and two cats who he loves dearly. In his spare time, he likes to play soccer and paint; he's not particularly good at either, but he enjoys the process nonetheless. He also has silly long hair which often gets in his way while cooking!