Commercial cooking equipment is the heart of any kitchen and a huge investment for any owner. For both reasons, commercial grills and griddles should be cleaned and maintained on a daily basis (sometimes more frequently, see cleaning tips below). Daily cleaning any commercial grill or griddle is very important for food sanitation, consistent production of high-quality food, and long-term, proper operation (with minimal part replacement).
Though the reasons for cleaning the grill are very clear, the actual step-by-step process for cleaning commercial grills and griddles is not as well-defined. Every commercial kitchen follows a different cleaning procedure for their cooking equipment. The best answer to the question, “how should I clean my griddle or grill?” is in the equipment manual.
When establishing a cleaning procedure for commercial cooking equipment, the type of grill-top material should always be taken into consideration. There are typically two materials used for the top of grills and griddles: stainless steel and chrome. If the grill or griddle top is chrome, extreme care should be taken not to use abrasive supplies for cleaning. Abrasive supplies can damage the cooking equipment and require premature replacement.
Before the first use:
- Consult the user manual to see if the grill needs to be seasoned before first use and follow directions for seasoning the grill closely.
- Check the manual to see if the equipment needs to be seasoned on a regular basis (such as once a year).
- Do light cleanings of the grill and griddle as often as needed, such as wiping off crumbs and spills.
- Keep proper cleaning supplies close to the equipment (i.e. cleaner, heat-resistant gloves, brushes, blocks, etc.)
- Set a schedule that fits with the amount of use. At the bare minimum, commercial cooking equipment should be cleaned once daily—though it may need to be more frequent. For example, cooking equipment used heavily throughout the day may need to be cleaned between busy times.
- Clean the grill and griddle when it is warm (check the manual for the exact temperature, typically between 200 and 350 degrees).
- Scrape the surface so it is clear of debris.
- Avoid using abrasive cleaning pad that could damage the surface of the commercial cooking equipment.
- Always used a manufacturer-approved cleaner to avoid any issues with the warranty.
- Contact the equipment supplier with any questions or to get a copy of the equipment manual.