The flat top grill has been a popular cooking appliance in the United States since its conception. Flat top griddles allow you to cook large amounts of food at once and are perfect in the home or a commercial kitchen.
If you live in an area where it is normally humid, is next to the sea, or if you don’t clean your flat top grill regularly, rust may be a problem.
Caked-on food left on grill cooking surfaces may lead to permanent rust damage. As they often corrode and turn a reddish-brown color.
So How to clean a flat top grill that has rust?
Cooking your meal on a rusty griddle is not very risky. But one thing is for sure: it certainly isn’t appealing! Nobody likes a rusty kitchen appliance, as it can be unsightly.
Don’t worry; we’re here to help you find a way on how to get rust off cast iron flat top grill.
Cleaning a rusty flat top grill is pretty easy and can be accomplished with a basic 10-minute deep cleaning. Keep reading for more on how to clean a rusty flat top grill.
What is rust and what causes flat top grill rust?
A flat top griddle made of iron is the most likely to rust. Rust is the red oxide formed when iron reacts with water or oxygen. Rust is a common, often irreversible, metal corrosion.
When iron comes in contact with oxygen and water, the minerals react to form a red oxide called rust. The rust then weakens the metal by breaking down its molecules.
This causes the flat top grill to break easily and makes it more susceptible to other forms of corrosion, which is why it’s so important to treat your griddle before they get rusty.
If a flat top grill has come to the end of its life, you will start to notice rust accumulating. Note that this is rust, which is mostly the result of your griddle getting very old. There’s no way you can grill up a delicious meal on a flaky, brown surface.
You can also check How to Stop Grill Grates From Rusting? 9 Quick Tips
Reasons for flat top grill rust
- The first cause of cast iron flat top grill rust is moisture. If you live in a place with access to moisture, such as near the beach or in an area with high humidity, or in morning dew, your griddle is more likely to rust.
- If you store your griddle outdoors, i.e. on your lawn or in your backyard, it will invariably absorb some of the humidity from the air. A grill is made up of iron and air contains oxygen. So all you need is some water to cause a decent griddle to rust.
- The accumulation of rust on flat top grill can also be caused by the high acidity in the food such as tomatoes and citrus fruit, which interacts with the iron and causes it to corrode.
- If you keep your grill in the kitchen, then it is possible that it will start to rust due to all the water and steam that is produced when cooking.
- Another reason for rust is improper or incomplete cleaning methods. This usually means that the flat top grill doesn’t get dry enough, which leads to having water on it and then rust forming.
You can also check Why is Blackstone Griddle Not Getting Hot? (6 Reasons)
How To Get Rust Off Cast Iron Flat Top Grill
Step 1. Gathering the Things you need to clean rusty flat top grill
To start, gather the below things for removing rust from flat top grill.
-Paper Towels or clothing rags
The oil you are using must be cooking oil. Sesame oil, palm oil, olive oil, etc. are examples of cooking oils that can be used. Regarding rags, clothing rags are often considered the best choice. Paper towels work as well.
Make sure gloves are heatproof because we need resistance to heat when using them on a heated griddle.
You can also get this griddle cleaning kit.
Step 2: Prepare the Flat top grill to clean Rust
Put on a pair of sturdy heat-resistant gloves that protect against heat as well as your hands. Turn on the flat top grill to high heat. Leave it for 20 minutes. This will loosen up the rust so you can remove it more easily. You can then turn off the grill & allow it to cool. The rust will not instantly harden, but cleaning it off sooner is still advised.
Step 3: Removing Rust from Flat top grill
For cleaning flat top grill rust, you will need to use a metal scraper. While the rust is still soft and has not dried out, scrape the flat top surface of the griddle with a metal scraper. The rust on the grill will start to come off easily. Repeat this process until you are sure that your cast iron flat top feels smooth when rubbed with a scraper and you can’t see any more corrosion.
Step 4: How to clean a rusty flat top grill with a grill stone
In order to clean rust off the flat top grill, use a grill stone. To scrub a grill using a grill stone, you need to have the right type of stone. The stone needs to be rough on one side. It is best if it isn’t too heavy and has a handle. You can also use the pumice stone to sand the griddle surface.
There is also no need for any kind of soap, simply drizzle 3-4 tablespoons of oil over the whole surface of the flat top griddle and scrub with a grill stone.
If you can’t find a grill stone, either use steel wool or medium grit wet-or-dry sandpaper.
Start by scrubbing slowly and gently to get the rust off the metal surface and avoid damaging it. When you’re done, your grill should be looking nice & shiny!
To clean the flat top grill thoroughly wipe it down with a cloth or paper towel.
After thoroughly cleaning the residue off, add another 3-4 tablespoons of oil and scrub with a cloth until the oil starts coming off like it is clean. Continue cleaning off rust from the grill surface with oil until there are no traces are left behind.
Step 5: Season the cast iron flat top grill to create a protective coating that avoids rust
As a final step season the grill surface once it is clean and rust-free. Seasoning is essential to prevent flat top grill rust.
It forms a thick, pleasurable coating that has a unique flavor and won’t scratch easily. This ensures that your food will taste the way it was meant to be tasted.
The seasoning process creates a protective coating on top of the flat top grill, which acts as a non-stick surface. If done correctly, this coating prevents food from sticking to the surface and makes clean-up much easier.
A seasoned griddle is so easy to clean and does not corrode, which means it lasts longer and has better durability.
To season your cast iron flat top grill, preheat it for 10-15 minutes until the surface becomes super dark and looks almost burnt.
Apply a thin layer of cooking oil to the surface. You can use any type of cooking oil you want. If you have a higher quality one, like flax or olive oil, that’s great! These types of oils will bind better to the metal surface.
Now turn the heat up again and let it smoke. That’s all you need to do. Let the oil burn in high heat to create a bond between the metal and the oil.
After about 30 minutes, the amount of smoke in the air will be minimal and you know it is time to turn off the grill.
High heat will break down the oil and the fatty acids bind together to form a new layer of molecules.
This layer helps protect the griddle surface from the outside environment and acts as a barrier from moisture. Hence helps to keep flat top grill from rusting.
As you cook more on your seasoned griddle with oil, the better it will get. Not only does it enhance the flavor of food, but it also provides a good cooking experience.
Step 6: Apply another layer of oil to keep flat top grill from rusting
When you’re done seasoning, drizzle another 3-4 tablespoons of cooking oil. This will create a protective layer against rust and tarnishing.
The thicker the protective layer is, the harder it gets for water or air to reach the iron part of the grill, rust won’t form so easily, either.
You can also use Cast Iron Conditioner to season the cast iron flat top grill, as recommended by Blackstone.
If you ever encountered mold on the grill, check this How To Clean Mold Off My Grill – Best Way
How to clean a flat top grill that has rust with baking soda and vinegar
To remove rust stains and to minimize scrubbing time, vinegar, and baking soda paste can also help. Entirely mix 2 parts baking soda to 1 part vinegar into a thick paste, then pour it on a still-hot griddle surface as quickly as possible.
The baking soda and vinegar work together to loosen and lift stubborn grease and rust stains from the flat top grill.
Scrape the surface with your griddle brick/pumice stone, making small concentric circles until the surface is clean.
Now clean it with a cleaning cloth and you can easily re-season the flat top grill by rubbing it with a rag soaked in cooking oil.
How to keep flat top grill from rusting?
Below are a few tips to stop a flat top grill from rusting.
- Season flat top grill before each use! A protective layer of seasoning is all it takes to protect your Griddle from the elements. Apply a thin layer of oil each time after cooking. Keep it simple by adding 3-4 tablespoons of oil and wiping it with a paper towel.
- You should store your flat top griddle in a dry place. If you live in an area with a lot of moisture, consider keeping it somewhere that’s well-ventilated. Keep the flat top grill away from bathrooms.
- Getting a heavy-duty canvas cover for the flat top grill -, will keep it safe from any humidity and give you peace of mind knowing that it will be protected from wear and tear.
- After cooking, make sure to store your flat top grill in a nice and safe place until you will use it again. Don’t pile anything on the plate or keep any pointy metal objects nearby – this might cause scratches.
- If you haven’t used your griddle for weeks, it’s a good idea to have a quick inspection at the beginning of the following month. When rust is at its beginnings, it’s easier to remove. On the contrary, when it has already gone too far into the metal, you will need to take special care.
For all Blackstone griddle owners out there, who have a rusty griddle. This article “How to keep Blackstone from rusting” will help you eliminate that pesky rust for good.
How To Take Care Of A Cast Iron Flat Top Grill?
A flat top grill is a heavy-duty cooking surface. It is made of cast iron and can be used for a variety of purposes, such as searing, pan frying, deep frying, and riddling.
A flat top griddle is an investment in quality cooking. Maintaining it properly will ensure that the food you are cooking on it is cooked well.
It’s not hard to take care of and maintain the grill. To maintain a flat top grill, you usually don’t need to scrub or even wash it. All you’ll want to do is a season, and that’s about it –
Seasoning a flat top grill will make the surface nonstick and your food won’t get stuck to it. The secret is to make sure that you oil it for seasoning and store it properly. So that it will last for a long time.
It will last for generations with proper care. The idea of your sweet grandson or even HIS grandson griddling it up is amazing.
Final Words: How to get rust off cast iron flat top grill
To prevent flat top grill rust, it should be taken care of regularly. Cast Iron flat top grills are great for cooking but they can develop a layer of rust over time.
This process can be accelerated when the grill is exposed to water, acidic foods like tomatoes or citrus, or if it’s not properly seasoned before use.
To prevent rust from forming: • Always keep the grill well-ventilated after cooking and remove all food particles from the grill surface before storing.
Clean the surface with hot, soapy water and a scouring pad, and apply vegetable oil to the grill.
I am a writer, editor, and publisher of Grillcuisines.com – an online blog dedicated to sharing grilling tips, accessories, and recipes to encourage more people to get outside and grill.
I’m off to find out the different types of grill foods, their seasons, and how to conduct outdoor cooking properly. I’ll also show you some of my grill-worthy cooking tools & accessories!