Commercial grills and griddles can help a restaurant kitchen cook many kinds of food, from eggs and pancakes in the morning to steaks and vegetables at dinner time. To keep your griddle in good working condition, and to make sure it's always ready when it's in high demand, it is important to clean and maintain it using the right tools. At KaTom, you can find quality accessories to do the job right.
Routine Cleaning is Key
Your griddle should be cleaned frequently according to a set schedule. Between batches, the surface can be scraped clean of grease and loose food particles. After each daypart or at the end of the day, depending on the needs of your restaurant, the grill should be cleaned a little more thoroughly. It is ideal to scrape the surface clean with a griddle scraper, emptying all the particles and grease into the built-in grease chute. Long handled brushes are ideal for cleaning the chute. Then, to remove the leftover grease, the surface can be wiped down with a hot damp rag. After this, you may want to clean with a scrubber, a sponge, or a griddle brick.
Manufacturers provide specific instructions on cleaning their equipment, and many provide specialized cleaning solutions, as well. You should always follow the advice of the manufacturer of your equipment, as cleaning requirements vary by surface materials, frequency of use, and the type of foods that get cooked on your grill. Also, a special cleaning process might be required before preparing food for customers with food allergies.
The most basic of the grill cleaning tools is the scraper; these are made of a metal blade on the end of a handle. They're used for scraping away grease and stuck-on food from the griddle between batches and when it's time to clean at the end of the day. Scrapers are available with wood or plastic handles with blades that are 3 or 4 inches long. They can be used whenever you need to quickly clear the griddle surface of food particles and grease. They are not used for deep cleaning or for seasoning purposes.
A griddle brick is another important tool that can help you keep your griddle's surface clean. These are made of light pumice, a type of rock made from cooled volcanic lava, and can be used to remove tough grease and cooked-on food. In addition to cleaning the surface, these tools are good for helping maintain a good seasoning on the griddle. It is recommended by some manufacturers to use the brick once a day with oil when the griddle surface is still warm but safe to touch. Griddle bricks are consumable items because they wear down over time and need to be replaced. Handles are available that attach to the bricks to make using them more comfortable and efficient.
Occasionally, a griddle surface will require a thorough deep cleaning to maintain sanitary conditions and to keep food tasting fresh. When it's time to do this, you'll need scrubbers and scrub pads. Be sure to follow the cleaning procedures recommended by your griddle manufacturer; using regular soap and water or harsh chemicals can damage the griddle or affect the taste of food cooked on it. After a deep cleaning, it will be necessary to reseason the surface by applying oil while your griddle is warm. You should also follow the recommendations of your manufacturer when you do this.
Seasoning a Griddle
The seasoning on a griddle's surface is one of the most important things to consider when you think about taking care of your equipment. Seasoning is simply a layer of baked on oil that helps preserve the natural flavor of foods. Equally as important, the seasoning also keeps food from sticking as it cooks, so you'll end up with a presentable, evenly-cooked item when it's done. A properly-seasoned surface is the result of good habits, and there are a few steps involved in maintaining one. It is good practice to schedule a thorough seasoning more frequent than you may actually need
When a griddle is new, it will be probably arrive with a protective layer of grease to keep it from corroding during storage and transportation. This will need to be removed with warm water before you can season the grill. The initial coat of seasoning is applied by rubbing the warm griddle surface with the fat of your choice and allowing it to cool. The excess grease is wiped off and the process is repeated a number of times. This procedure will vary depending on which type of griddle you have and how you'll be using it, so it is critical to follow the guidelines set down by the manufacturer for your specific model.
Don't Forget your Basting Cover
Along with the many useful cleaning accessories in this group, you'll also find a basting cover. These are used to cover food as it cooks on the griddle surface, and there are a few benefits of doing this. Some foods ned a little bit more concentrated heat as it cooks on the griddle; one of these tools will help retain some of the heat that would otherwise be lost into the air. This can help get foods cooked quickly and more thoroughly than it would on an open griddle surface. Another advantage of this tool is that it helps contain moisture, which is good when cooking foods that tend to dry out when they get cooked, like vegetables, for example. These can also help contain the juices from greasy items like burgers to enhance the flavor and keep grease from getting on the other items you might be cooking on the griddle at the same time.