How To Clean Stuck Food From An Electric Griddle

Electric griddles are one of the best breakfast makers around, perfect for everything from pancakes and eggs to bacon and hash browns. Gone are the days of cooking only one pancake in the pan at a time. The griddle's large cooking area allows you to easily make batches of your favorite foods in a fraction of the time. Unlike traditional grills with grates, their flat, smooth cooking surface also helps cook foods more evenly.

But their uses extend far beyond just whipping up a morning meal. You can ditch the skillet and use an electric griddle to make burgers, steaks, grilled cheese, quesadillas, and more. However, despite all their perks, these flat tops are not immune to stubborn, stuck-on food. Fortunately, you don't need any fancy equipment or cleaning products to get your cooking surface looking like new — a little water and a sponge will suffice.

When it comes to keeping your electric griddle in top condition, a good rule of thumb is to clean it while it's still warm after each use. This practice helps prevent food particles and grease from building up and hardening, which can make cleaning easier and prolong your griddle's lifespan.

Clean your griddle while it's still warm

Similar to cleaning a Blackstone griddle, all you need to do is pour a little water onto your electric griddle and gently scrub away any food remnants or grease residue using a sponge or non-scratch pad. (You can use a flat steel spatula, but if your griddle has a non-stick surface, this is not advisable.) For a seamless clean, the trick is to tackle the flat top while it's still warm. A temperature of around 300 degrees Fahrenheit should suffice; however, this can vary depending on the brand, so refer to your owner's manual for the ideal cleaning temperature. It's important to note that you should always turn off and unplug the appliance before cleaning, so be sure to do so once it's warm enough.

Since the griddle will be warm to the touch, ensure your hands don't come into contact with the cooking surface. Use a wooden spatula, tongs, or a pad holder to maneuver the sponge around and scrub the grime away. If you're not comfortable cleaning the griddle while it's warm, you can allow it to cool before scrubbing. Just keep in mind that you may need to use a bit more elbow grease because the particles might be harder to wipe away.

Once you've sloughed away any stuck-on food, simply wipe the water away using a damp towel, and then use a clean towel to dry the griddle once it has cooled completely.

Don't forget to clean the drip tray

Once you've got your griddle's cooking surface squeaky clean, don't forget to wash out the drip tray. The pans are a major perk when it comes to cooking with an electric griddle because they're designed to drain any excess grease or fat from your food, which helps make cleaning the flat top easier. Of course, not all models have a drip pan, but many brands, like Mueller and Black+Decker, do feature built-in, removable trays, which must also be cleaned.

Be sure to let your griddle completely cool down before removing the tray to avoid being splattered with hot juices, which you can dispose of similarly to cooking oil from a pan. Consult your owner's manual to see if the tray is dishwasher-safe; however, it can easily be cleaned in the sink with warm, soapy water. For more stubborn grease spots, consider soaking the pan for about 20 minutes before giving it a thorough scrub. Thoroughly dry the tray before replacing it, wipe the area under your griddle clean, and you're ready to start cooking again.