Your kitchen is the heart of your restaurant. Without a well-functioning, clean kitchen, you wouldn’t have won the hearts of your many loyal customers. While cooking food is one of the most important parts of your business, maintaining your equipment is even more important. Without a kitchen full of robust, working equipment, you wouldn’t have been able to open the doors for your favorite faces to enjoy your favorite meals.
Your commercial griddle sees a lot of food on a day to day basis. In most cases, it’s the last piece of equipment that a dish touches before it is served. Fats, juices, and crumbs get left behind with every use, which can affect the taste and presentation of the next meal. This is never a good thing for a commercial kitchen.
That’s why we’ve put together this quick commercial griddle maintenance guide. You’ll learn how to clean your commercial griddle, so every dish is cooked to perfection and presented beautifully.
Scrape Between Uses
Cleaning your countertop griddle after every use is crucial for two main reasons. First, this will keep your unit fresh for any new items that you need to cook. There will be no taste or debris transferred from dish to dish, which will ensure that the integrity of your food remains its best. Second, this will help make daily cleaning much easier. Throughout a shift, your commercial griddle can cake on layers and layers of grease and crumbs, creating a substantial build up. By cleaning it throughout the day, it will make daily maintenance faster and much, much easier.
Invest in a Quality Scraper
Investing in commercial grade cleaning tools is great for maintaining all appliances, but finding tools made explicitly for griddles is key to their performance and lifespan. A grill brush or griddle brush is often crafted with stainless steel bristles and a metal scraper at the end. These two components are specifically tested and proven to rid the surface of griddles of caked on grease and other build up. Without the right tools, you and your staff may struggle through the process and spend unnecessary time scrubbing and cleaning.
Let it Cool Slightly Before Cleaning
After a shift, it is so common to hop right into cleaning. For polished stainless steel griddles start by shutting off the griddle and using a scraper to get as much debris off as possible while the griddle begins to cool down. Apply a small amount of cooking oil or oil from the fryer to the cooking surface and with long vertical strokes use a grill brick to grind off all the rest of the debris. Take your time and go at an easy pace because the griddle is still hot and can cause burns. Use a wet rag and tongs to mop up the surface. Once the griddle is completely cooled you can use sanitizer or soap and water to detail the edges or do extra deep cleaning. Do not ever pour ice or ice water onto a hot griddle. This thermal shock will warp the plate and depending the thickness of the griddle can permanently disfigure or destroy your griddle.
Chrome plated griddles must be scrubbed with light soap and hot water with a palmetto brush once the griddle has been turned off and cooled to 300 degrees. Do not use a grill brick or harsh chemicals on chrome plated griddles, they will scratch.
Don’t Ignore the Catch-Tray
The catch-try is there to catch any excess grease, debris, or other unnecessary waste that your griddle produces. As you are cooking on a griddle and cleaning between uses, this is where you scrape everything in to before cooking the next item.
Unless you like to mop up grease and debris from the floor, do not forget about this necessary component to the griddle. This catch-tray should be monitored all day and dumped out before and after cleaning. At the end of the night, dispose of all of the accumulated trash in the tray, send it through the washer, and replace for the next person who uses the griddle.
Frequently Maintain Your Griddle
Of course, all kitchen equipment needs to be maintained frequently. The same goes for your griddle. Ensure a proper maintenance schedule is put into place so you can keep a routine for your griddle. A few things you can do to make sure your griddle runs as good as the day you bought it is to recalibrate knobs, deep clean the entire unit, and inspect for any damage or signs of wear to the plates.
Finding the Best Maintenance Routine for Your Griddle
No matter if your commercial griddle is brand new or has been in your kitchen for years, it is always important to evaluate your maintenance plan. If you don’t know where to start or if you are having issues, contact the supplier. By simply sending the make, model, or serial number of your griddle, they can quickly relay a maintenance plan, tips, and send for repairs. These specialists know everything from how to clean a griddle surfaces to when plates may need to be replaced.