As the novelist Tom Robbins once wrote, “There’s birth, there’s death, and in between there’s maintenance.” Dictionary-defined, maintenance is the process of maintaining and preserving. The goal of maintenance is universal: to extend the longevity of someone’s—or something’s—life. In the business world, maintenance has a lot to do with one’s return on investment. Businesses in all industries make critical investments that they hope will boost revenue and incite growth.
The same is true for commercial kitchens, where food service businesses invest in quality equipment to cook and prepare items for customers. In particular, food service operators depend highly on commercial flattop grills and griddles for their operational versatility. Ergo, griddle cleaning is a critical part of taking care of a commercial kitchen and ensuring equipment always functions at its fullest potential. Without regular care to maintain working equipment, you wouldn’t be able to open your doors.
Wondering about how to best fiddle with the griddle? Creating a standard maintenance schedule can work wonders for your business and ROI. Let’s take a closer look at what you and your staff can do to correctly and efficiently handle this task in-house. Here are some maintenance tips and tricks for how to care for your commercial griddle.
Commercial Griddles and Grills: The Basics
As vital workhorse equipment in the heart of a restaurant or quick-service establishment, a griddle sees a wide range of food from day to day. Typically, the griddle is also the last piece of cooking equipment that food touches before it’s served to your customers.
Whether you cook burgers, sandwiches, pancakes, etc., any juices, fats, or food debris can get left behind. If you continue to cook other items on the griddle’s dirty surface, the heat will not transfer evenly and can cause dinnertime beef to taste like brunchtime chicken. Using the right griddle—and keeping it sanitary—is the key to cooking menu items to perfection and consistently offering unmodified taste and satisfactory presentation.
The Different Types of Griddle Surfaces
When you’re wondering how to care for your commercial griddle, consider first the type of commercial griddle or flattop grill requiring maintenance. Cleaning tips and tricks can differ based on the equipment’s material, such as stainless steel, chrome, or composite.
Many of these surfaces cannot be subject to any hard abrasives. Whatever the surface is, you need to ensure the cleaning products you plan to use are safe and effective. Most commercial griddles have a durable stainless steel cooking surface with a straightforward cleaning process to break up and remove built-up food particles. Either way, the best-case scenario is to follow the manufacturer’s directions and recommendations to avoid damaging the equipment.
Invest in Quality Cleaning Tools
Before diving further into specific maintenance tasks, we must discuss cleaning tools and supplies. Commercial-grade cleaning tools are the key to successful commercial appliance care. If you can find items exclusively designed for your type of griddle, use them to remove the grime and grease most effectively.
A typical list of essential supplies includes a griddle scraper, pad holder, scrub pad, cleaning chemical, cooking oil, warm water, cloths, heat-resistant gloves, and other PPE. Have these supplies on-hand to ensure a quick and productive cleaning process.
Clean and Scrape Regularly Between Uses
The main goal of regular commercial griddle maintenance is to avoid the buildup of substantial layers on the equipment’s surface, especially on double-sided grills. This is why the right preventive actions can better equipment performance, ensure top operating conditions, and provide a longer lifespan.
If you can clean and scrape the surface continuously between uses, you’ll find the equipment will be much easier to maintain overall. Removing grease, grime, and crumbs as soon as possible saves time in the long run by preventing efficiency loss.
Daily vs. Weekly Maintenance
Besides scrapping the flattop grill or griddle throughout daily shifts or working hours, be sure to wipe down the front, backsplash, and the inside and outside side splashes at least once a day. Grease and other messy liquids commonly accumulate in these areas. Don’t forget about the catch tray containing excess grease and debris. Empty and clean the grease drawer throughout the day whenever necessary.
Another maintenance recommendation is to thoroughly deep clean the griddle once a week. Depending on the surface material, you can use a grill brick, pad, cloth, and polish to get the job done. Scrub in small circles to remove any surface oils. After each cleaning, dress the cooking surface again with a light coat of oil. If you’ve noticed food sticking or rust forming, you can re-season the griddle for a sleeker, mirror-like finish.
Let It Cool Before Deep Cleansing
Keep in mind you should always begin a thorough cleaning session with a grill that is warm to the touch but never hot. To better protect the equipment and the individual responsible for cleaning, the griddle must be at a safe temperature.
Avoid using ice or ice water to cool or clean the surface, as this tactic can lead to possible thermal shock, lasting cracks, and costly repairs. When using water, be sure the liquid is at room temperature. After the griddle completely cools, you can use water, soap, or cleaning solutions to go over the edges in detail and provide that extra deep cleaning.
Keep Up With a Maintenance Plan
Besides the cleaning methods and tasks mentioned above, other maintenance tasks are essential to keep your commercial cooking unit at its peak performance. Perform visual inspections, recalibrate the temperature, and assess the appliance for any stress cracks or damage. For peace of mind, you can turn to professionals in the industry for high-quality warranty repair services or product replacement.
Choose DSL: Now Serving You
DSL is here to serve you with innovative food service solutions. We carry a selection of high-quality commercial flattop grills and griddles from the reputable manufacturer of Taylor. Any two-sided commercial clamshell grill we supply is sure to benefit your food service establishment. As a product and service solution specialist, DSL is here to ensure you invest in the best and longest-lasting equipment on the market.
Please feel free to contact our team with any questions or inquiries about product quotes or informative brochures. Let us help you boost profits. Start growing your business to the next level today!