If you’ve invested in an electric griddle, you want it to last long. Like grills , griddles are versatile pieces of the appliance where you can cook various foods. Most griddle owners use it for cooking eggs, pancakes, bacon, hamburgers, paninis, and other breakfast favorites.
To make sure that it works for as long as you need it to, always make sure that it’s kept clean. Most electric griddles follow some basic rules when cleaning, and your main concern is to preserve the cooking surface by regular cleaning.
Guide for Cleaning your Electric Griddle
If you don’t know how to clean your electric griddle, fret no more! Here’s a guide to help you.
1. Gather your tools.
First, gather what you need. Typically, you’re going to use warm and soapy water and a damp cloth with no rugged sides. A regular kitchen sponge can also suffice. You may also want to prepare a flat-headed spatula to scrape off any cooked-on food residues on the griddle and a pair of heat-resistant gloves to protect your hands while removing grease.
As with any cleaning task, you also need patience. Take your time to clean to prevent damaging the appliance. Be gentle with cleaning to keep it in good working condition for a longer time.
2. Remove the grease.
The best technique to loosen the grease from the griddle is turning it on and scraping it off with a spatula. Though it’s not the most thorough method, it’s a great way to remove grease in bulk to polish the griddle off with traditional methods afterward.
Put your griddle on low heat and let the grease heat up. Then, take your flat-headed spatula and slowly scrape it off – you’ll find that it comes off a lot easier. Make sure to keep your distance from the griddle plate while doing so. Using heat-resistant gloves to hold the griddle while hot will help make scraping off grease easier. Once you’ve removed the excess grease, let the griddle cool by turning it off.
After removing excess grease, you may find that there’s still some grease left. Once you’ve turned the appliance off, make sure you unplug it too, to ensure that you can proceed safely.
3. Proceed to the actual cleaning.
Dip your sponge or cloth in warm water and clean off any remaining grease. This won’t take long, but it can become more difficult to clean if your griddle has been sitting on dirt for a long time. Once your griddle has enough cleaning solution (liquid dishwashing soap and water), leave it to soak up the grease for 30 minutes to an hour. After that, you can easily wipe off any leftover grease that remains. Then, rinse it thoroughly and wipe up excess water to prevent hard water stains from appearing.
Besides the actual griddle surface, you also need to clean the drip tray. It’s important to note if it’s dishwasher-friendly to make cleaning easier. If it is, make sure to double-check any cleaning instructions in the manual and make sure it’s in place securely to prevent it from coming loose.
If you’re going to do it by hand, use a basin and fill it with warm, soapy water. Let it soak for at least 20 minutes to soften the grease, so you can give it a wash-over with a cloth or sponge.
4. Finish it off.
This one is optional, but you probably want to do this extra step if you hate air marks. Finish off your electric griddle by using a cloth. Soak it up with cold water and gently wipe the surface of the griddle. Drain the cloth, and repeat it three to four times. You can observe that after this process, your griddle looks brand new. Do the same for the drip tray if you want to go even further.
General Cleaning and Maintenance Tips
Whatever model, brand, or type of electric griddle you are using, here are general cleaning tips to help you:
1. Make sure the griddle is nice and clean before using. After buying it brand new, wash it first in soapy water, rinse, and dry before cooking anything in it.
2. Don’t ever let the electrical control elements get wet, and keep them from getting any cleaning products on them. Don’t put your electric griddle in the dishwasher.
3. To ensure that you don’t need to spend more time cleaning the griddle than the actual cooking, it’s best to invest in a non-stick griddle. Most griddles come with a non-stick surface already, but if yours doesn’t, you’ll most likely spend more time cleaning in it. If you want to invest in a new griddle, you may want to consider a grill and griddle combo.
4. When scraping off food from the surface of the griddle, use only plastic, wooden, or nylon utensils. While metal utensils may be more effective at removing cooked-on food, they can scratch and ruin your electric griddle’s non-stick surface. Remove excess oil from the electric griddle using paper towels.
5. After using your griddle, always clean it to prevent buildup that is hard to remove. Wait until the surface is cool, then try cleaning it first with a regular, non-abrasive kitchen sponge and water. Most of the time, it’s enough to clean the electric griddle. But if there’s some residue left, you can use a mild abrasive like soft scrub. You can also mix a little baking soda with water to make a mild yet effective scrub that’s safe and non-toxic. Scrub it gently using a fine cleaning pad.
6. Abrasive kitchen cleaners like steel wool can ruin the surface of an electric griddle, so avoid using it.
7. Always clean the griddle after using. For many people, cleaning is a boring, tedious task left for later. But to help your future self to save more time, clean the griddle right after you’re done cooking. The remaining grease will still be loose and easy to clean, which means less time scraping things off.