Buying a Blackstone griddle opens up a world of grilling, cooking, and baking, one you may have yet to explore. With so many recipes and cooking skills involved, knowing what skills you should learn can be challenging. Blackstone makes it easy to start griddling, but where do you start if you want to take your skills to the next level?
Guess what? You don’t need a culinary degree to maximize the potential of your Blackstone griddle. Instead, you can use the 10 skills listed below to brush up on tips and techniques. Like any other life skill, it’s all about trial and error and having fun as you learn. If you want to put on a chef’s hat as you griddle, we won’t judge you!
1. Griddle Safely
One of the first skills every chef learns in the kitchen is safety, from the utensils you use to the cooking appliances you control. Griddles, or flat-top grills, provide hundreds of degrees of heat to cook your favorite meals. The same heat that chars your steak can also burn you badly if you’re not careful.
When you’re cooking on a Blackstone griddle, remember that you’re working on a hot surface. Take care in igniting the propane that flows to the griddle burners to avoid flare-ups. Ensure you remove and dispose of grease properly to prevent grease fires or other hazards.
2. Preparation is the Key to Efficiency
Managing a griddle can be challenging, especially if you’re still a beginner. Add cutting up vegetables, peeling rinds, or shucking corn to the list of your tasks, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Take the time to prepare your ingredients before you light your Blackstone griddle. It’s the same process as making any of these 23 low-calorie meal prep ideas.
Accidents happen, but you can create a safer environment by spending time in the kitchen preparing your food for the griddle. Bring a cart outside to carry your ingredients and take away the dirty dishes if you have to. You’d be amazed how an extra work surface can improve efficiency.
3. Rely on Accurate Temperature Readings
Chefs who’ve been cooking for decades have a knack for gauging the heat level of their cooking elements. However, until you’ve developed this sense of temperature, it’s best to rely on the good ol’ thermometer to assist you. Investing in a quality instant-read thermometer can help you accurately temp food to avoid undercooking and overcooking.
You can also use butter as a quick test of temperature. If you put a pat of butter on the griddle and it immediately turns brown, your griddle is too hot. These heat settings will burn delicate breakfast items like eggs. However, your butter should sizzle and bubble when it hits the griddle surface. Otherwise, your heat settings are too low.
4. Learn How to Create Dual Zones
If you’ve ever grilled with charcoal before, you know that creating separate warm and hot zones can help you manage how cooked your food gets. You can replicate similar conditions with your Blackstone griddle. The key to manipulating your griddle surface in this way requires knowing the griddle’s heat zones.
Your Blackstone griddle is typically hotter in the center and cooler at the edges. Avoid lighting only one burner, as this massive heat differential can cause undue warping. However, you can create a hot zone in the center for searing and use the outer edges to cook more delicate foods or keep them warm. You can also add a raised rack near the edge to warm hamburger or hotdog buns before you serve the meal.
5. Add Pots and Pans to Your Blackstone Griddle
When you use your Blackstone griddle, you can take advantage of more real estate than just the griddle surface. Instead, you can add pots and pans to prepare sauces, side dishes, soups, and other ingredients. As long as the pot or pan you’re using is rated for high-temperature use, you can add it to the griddle top and cook other elements of your meal simultaneously.
6. Taste, Experiment, and Be Creative
Watch practically any cooking show out there, and you’ll see chefs taste their creations at various stages, gauging how to adjust the flavor and cooking times if necessary or determine if something went wrong. These chefs also put their own spin on recipes to showcase their talents. With your Blackstone griddle and plenty of creativity, you can create unique dishes just like your favorite chefs.
One trick to adding flavor and speeding up your cooking times is to use water. Water on a Blackstone griddle will create steam and help inject flavor into your food. You can also experiment with water and other ingredients to achieve the flavor you’re looking for.
7. Baking on the Blackstone Griddle
Did you know that you can actually bake on the Blackstone griddle? Baking on your flat-top grill may look slightly different than in the kitchen, but you still end up with delicious desserts to please even your harshest critics. Plus, you can add a smoky flavor if you prefer.
When baking on the Blackstone griddle, you can use dome lids to create a convection-like environment and parchment paper to prevent burnt bottoms. You’ll typically use the lowest heat setting to bake on the Blackstone griddle. Baking times may vary from the package directions, requiring more or less time than quoted.
8. Create Your Own Smash Burgers
With a pair of flat spatulas and some muscle, you can create your own smash burgers at home to save a buck or two. A few seconds after placing the hamburger meat on the grill, cross your spatulas in an X formation. You can also use a parchment or wax paper sheet between them to keep the meat from sticking. For a healthy alternative, try these Cracked Chicken Burgers or these Turkey, Salsa, and Cheese Stuffed Burgers.
9. Achieving the Perfect Seared Steak
Savoring the sear on a steak could be the entire reason you purchased a Blackstone griddle. The best steak cuts that do well on griddles are thick. You can also use a thin layer of oil to crisp up the steak’s outer crust. Just be sure to watch your temperatures as griddles can easily overcook and dry out quality cuts of steak meat. If you’re looking for inspiration, try out these succulent steak and shrimp recipes.
10. Cleaning Up Like a Pro
It might not be a job you look forward to, but cleaning up after your griddle escapades can help protect your investment and keep your griddle well-seasoned for the next session. Scrapers are a great tool to have on hand because you can easily scrape up any stuck food and funnel it toward the grease trap.
Take a few moments after your Blackstone griddle is clean to wipe it down with oil to maintain the seasoning. Proper maintenance is vital to tasty results every time.
Take Your Skills to the Next Level with the Blackstone Griddle
Owning and experimenting with a Blackstone griddle can help you perfect your cooking techniques and even learn a few new ones. Griddle cooking also makes spending time outdoors with the ones you love a treat. When you bring together good food, good friends, and a good time, that’s the stuff cherished memories are made of. What chef skills have you learned from cooking with your Blackstone griddle?