Top positive review
Outstanding griddle for the money.
May 30, 2017
This review is for the 36” Blackstone griddle (model 1554) which I have been using for over a year now. Overall I have found this griddle to be an outstanding value, especially for its price point. You might be able to find a better griddle, but you will spend a LOT more money.
Some simple assembly is required. My griddle came in a single box. Cut the two plastic straps and the box lid lifts right off. The components seem well packed. I used a 10mm wrench, an adjustable wrench, and a Philips screwdriver to assemble. Once I had it unpacked, assembly took about 15 mins. If I had someone assisting, we probably would have been done in 10 mins or less. Blackstone has a helpful 3 min assembly video you can watch either on Blackstone’s site or on youtube search for “Blackstone 36" Griddle Assembly”. I weighed the griddle top in at 55.5lbs. If you’re not comfortable lifting a bulky item of this weight, get someone to help you.
If you discover a problem with your new griddle, email or call Blackstone directly. Page 23 in my manual had their customer service phone and email. I had a small issue and found their customer service to be extremely helpful. Replies to email were prompt and when I phoned, I was talking to a real human being within seconds (a real human being who spoke American as a primary language). Keep in mind, customer service operates M-F 9a-5p Mountain Standard Time.
The griddle top comes coated in a protective oil to prevent rust. As noted in the instructions, your first step after assembly is to wash this oil off. I used dish soap in hot water. I followed this up with plain hot water to get the soap off. I towel dried the surface and then fired up the grill for a few mins to cook off any remaining moisture.
The top is carbon steel (not Teflon nor stainless steel) and if not seasoned it will rust. For many griddle users, at this point they slap on some oil or bacon and immediately start cooking. Over time they build up the seasoning that helps protect the griddle surface from rusting and the food from sticking. In my case I wanted to do a more methodical seasoning.
For a methodical, long lasting seasoning of the griddle, you follow similar steps as you would with seasoning cast iron cookware. Blackstone has a youtube video called “Blackstone Griddle Top Recovery”. This video was made to show people how to restore a rusted griddle top; however, at 2min39sec into this video they cover the topic of seasoning.
The Blackstone video agreed with several articles I read about seasoning cast iron cookware with flax oil. Make sure you get the organic, cold pressed, unrefined, refrigerated flax oil. You don’t want any ingredients in the oil other than flax oil. Check the date on it, and shake well before using. It is expensive oil, but you don’t need a large bottle. I did 6 coatings on my griddle and used just a little more than 3oz total of the oil. Each successive layer used less oil.
The seasoning coat/layer consisted of :
1. wiping on a thin layer of flax oil over the cooking surface (I applied with a paper towel).
2. wipe off excess oil (I used paper towel).
3. turning on all the burners for 30 mins or so to basically burn the oil in (I ran a little longer than 30 min).
4. turn the burners off and let the griddle cool
Repeat the process. Blackstone recommends at least 4-5 coats. The cast iron cookware seasoning articles I read recommended 6 coats.
Optimal seasoning will leave you with a shiny black cooking surface. After 6 coats of flax oil, I was nearing the optimal shiny black surface.
Check level. Before starting to cook on the griddle, check level. Use a construction level or a marble or anything you have handy. You want to be sure that liquid will flow towards the drain. My patio slopes away from the house, so I had to set the left wheels of the griddle on a scrap of plywood to get the grease to head to the drain hole.
Cooking. Even with a great seasoned cooking surface, I add a dash of oil with many of the things I cook (for example, eggs).
Cleaning the griddle: Helped along by my well seasoned cooking surface, I find the griddle quick to clean. It typically takes me 3-5 mins. I found a video from a griddle user on youtube that was helpful. Search youtube for “Easy way to clean the Blackstone Griddle (Revised)”. Guy in the video uses spray oil, but I use liquid oil.
My only complaint about the griddle would be the same issue that other reviews have mentioned: Blackstone still hasn’t conquered the grease drain problem. Randomly the grease running off will miss the cup and start running down the griddle leg. So use a paperclip or a piece of wire. If you stick it in the hole down to the grease cup, the grease will run down the wire instead of the surface tension causing fluids to flow up under the grease gutter. Or you can wrap a small piece of foil around the end of the drain to direct grease down.