As winter approaches and temperatures outside begin to drop, you may be wondering if you can still use your Blackstone griddle in the winter.
While many people prefer to stop using their gas griddle during the winter season, others don’t want to give up cooking delicious meals on their flat top grill.
Fortunately, if you are in the second camp, you are in luck. You can still cook on your gas griddle in cold winter temperatures; however, there are some essential things to know about using your griddle in cold weather.
Keep reading, and we’ll make sure you have all the information you need to keep cranking out delicious meals on your Blackstone griddle all year round.
Griddle Safety First
While general griddle safety steps should always be taken when cooking on your flat top grill, there are a few additional safety items to be aware of when cooking in cold weather.
Be sure to dress warm but make sure you don’t have loose clothing that could catch or hang over the griddle’s cooktop.
If there is snow or ice present, you will want to be sure to clear it off both the griddle and surrounding area. The griddle will still get piping hot, and you don’t want to risk slipping and getting a nasty burn.
Be Careful of Griddle Warp
You’ll want to be aware of the potential for griddle warp. You will want to be very careful to avoid this as it may be necessary to purchase a replacement griddle top if your existing cooktop gets warped. When your griddle cooktop changes the temperature too quickly, the shape can bend so that it is no longer flat.
Warping can occur when going from hot to cold or cold to hot. When cooking in winter temperatures, your steel griddle cooktop will be very cold. You’ll want to slowly bring the cooktop up to temperature to help avoid the dreaded griddle warping.
Start with your burners set to low until the cooktop has a chance to warm up a bit. Once the griddle has warmed up, you can raise the burners to a higher setting. Just don’t put them on full blast as soon as you turn on your griddle.
Using a Griddle Hood or Basting Cover
One great way to conserve heat is with a griddle hood. Some Blackstone griddle models come with a built-in hood already, which is perfect for cold-weather cooking. The hood creates an oven effect and traps in heat that would otherwise escape. Trapping in heat is a huge help when the temperature outside is frigid.
Many Blackstone models don’t come with a hood, and there isn’t much in the way of aftermarket hoods for sale. If you have one of the models with no hood, do not despair. Consider using a basting cover instead. A basting cover won’t cover the entire cooking surface, but it will allow you to cover your food still. It will provide heating benefits similar to those provided by a griddle hood.
An excellent accessory for cooking in cold weather is wind guards. Wind guards are metal pieces placed on the perimeter of the cooking surface. These are very helpful for a couple of reasons.
They do an excellent job of keep wind away from the griddle’s burners. Wind can disrupt the flame from the burners preventing the griddle from heating properly and maintaining the desired temperature.
Wind guards limit the amount of wind your burners are exposed to, so they can heat the griddle cooktop properly and maintain the temperature.
Additionally, they do a great job locking in heat which is especially helpful in cold weather as you’re trying to get your griddle’s temperature hot enough.
During warmer months, it’s not a great idea to use wind guards unless it’s very windy as they can cause your griddle to get too hot and can impact the quality of the food being cooked.
Blackstone’s griddles already tend to churn through propane reasonably quickly, but this is even more apparent when cooking in cold weather. Your griddle will take longer to heat up, so it will take more fuel to reach your desired temperature.
You’ll also be turning your burners up higher than usual to help combat the cold temperatures. Make sure you have plenty of propane left or a spare tank handy.
It’s also a good idea to use all the burners on the griddle, even if not using the entire cooking surface. Using all the burners is partly to keep the griddle’s temperature hot enough and to help prevent griddle warping, which we covered earlier. You don’t want one side of your cooktop to be freezing while the other side is piping hot.
Cooking on a Blackstone Griddle in the Winter
Once you’ve gotten your griddle heated up to the correct temperature, cooking is the same as any other time you’ve cooked on it. It can handle any dish you typically make on it, but it’s worth noting that if you don’t have a griddle hood or basting cover, you’ll want to cook with smaller pieces of food.
Without the heating benefits of a hood or basting cover, it will be harder to cook larger things like thick cuts of meat. You’ll be better served cutting the food into bite-sized pieces to cook.
Also, once your food is done cooking, be sure to bring it inside right away or wrap it in aluminum foil to keep it warm. Otherwise, you might find yourself having cooked but now cold food.
So now you know that the question isn’t whether your griddle can handle cold weather. It’s whether you can handle cooking in cold weather. If you don’t mind the cold, neither will your griddle.
How cold it gets in winter depends on where you live. Some people will be trying to cook in 40-degree weather, while others will be in sub-freezing temperatures. Regardless, you can successfully cook on your Blackstone gas griddle or alternate brand of flat top grill using the information we’ve provided above.
Still not convinced? Check out fellow Blackstone griddle enthusiast Todd Toven battling the elements in these two YouTube videos.