Cast iron with enamel coating is an essential piece of equipment which have been proven to heat more evenly, retain heat well, and brown nicely. A new cast iron griddle plate is a raw natural metal and, just like our skin, it has pores. When you heat this material, the pores open and absorb the oils and fats from what you’re cooking. The proper maintenance is required to ensure your cast iron griddle can last for many years.
- Use dish soap—Maybe you’ve heard that you shouldn’t use soap on cast iron, but that’s not exactly true. When it comes to new and used cast iron griddle plates — a little soap and water is a good thing. This first wash removes factory residue or rust bits. Make sure you rinse and dry the griddle plate well after this first washing. A soft sponge is just not abrasive enough to clean off all of the hard residues on the surface of your cast iron griddle. If you only rinse your griddle plate, bacteria can grow or grease residue can go rancid. For really stuck-on food, scrub with salt and oil, rinse and wipe clean. If rinsing and scrubbing aren’t enough, pour a few tablespoons of canola oil and a few tablespoons of kosher salt into the griddle and use a paper towel to scrub the griddle with this mixture until it comes clean, then rinse.
- Rubbing the cast iron griddle plate with oil before storing is extremely IMPORTANT. After washing and carefully drying your cast iron griddle, use a paper towel to apply a very thin layer of neutral oil, flaxseed, or vegetable oil. Store it until ready to use again.
- Season your cast iron griddle at least twice a year. In addition to keeping your griddle well-greased after cooking, it’s a good idea to give your griddle a full seasoning at least twice a year with a thin layer of oil. The seasoning process is not only to ensure your cast iron griddle won’t rust but also the “season” on your cast iron griddle plate is what makes your cast iron skillet nonstick. Here’s the short and simple take: Cast iron “seasoning” is the process that occurs when multiple layers of oil bake into the cast iron griddle, creating a rust-resistant and nonstick surface.
- Keep in a dry place
Put your griddle plate away from the wet environment. This is extremely important—Moisture and water will make cast iron rust. If the cast iron is still damp after drying with a towel, set it over a low flame to dry out. If your griddle plate does rust, gently remove the rust with a fine steel wool pad. Then rinse, dry, and proceed with the seasoning process mentioned above.
- DO NOT put your cast iron griddle in the dishwasher. A dishwasher is too harsh and can potentially strip the enamel surface of your griddle.
- DO NOT soak your cast iron griddle. Keep your griddle out of the sink until you’re ready to clean it. Excessive soaking can cause rust.
- NEVER use a stainless steel scrubber