Maintaining Your Star or Toastmaster Lava Rock Charbroiler
If your restaurant is known for its burgers and steaks, your Toastmaster or Star charbroiler is a key piece of equipment that lets you cook up your most profitable items. While they can add a serious boost to your bottom line, these charbroilers require some simple care and maintenance steps that, if neglected, can bring your grill station grinding to a halt. Heed the following tips to keep your charbroiler in top shape.
- Lava rock should be replaced every three months in most operations. Lava rock that's past its prime can disintegrate and clog your equipment's burners. Buildup from old rock can also block heat from reaching food on the grates and cause slow, inefficient cooking.
- Avoid using more lava rock than what is recommended in the operator's manual. Excessive rocks will block heat from reaching grates, causing it to build up inside the charbroiler, potentially damaging components. Toastmaster charbroilers should be filled with no more than two layers of rock, with no more than five pounds used per burner. It is recommended that Ultra-Max and Star-Max charbroilers be filled with one layer of lava rock, and the same five pound per burner limit applies to them as well.
- Keep the water pan full. This means filling Toastmaster and Star-Max pans with about 3/4 of an inch of water. Star's Ultra-Max water pans should be kept filled with 1/4 inch of water at all times. The water is there to catch grease and prevent flare ups and grease fires, keeping your employees safe while protecting the equipment from damaging excess heat.
- Make sure the rear or the unit is slightly higher than the front. This not only helps grease drain, but allows heat and grease-laden vapors to escape through the rear protecting the controls and the operator from the excessive heat.
- Avoid pouring water over the broiler grates or on lava rocks to put out flare ups. This can create a drastic temperature change, damaging the lava rocks and potentially even cause the cast iron grates to break.
- Never use ceramic rock or charcoal in a lava rock charbroiler. Ceramic and charcoal reach much higher temperatures than lava rock, and that excess heat can cause severe damage to the components in your charbroiler.
- Never line the broiler's water pan with aluminum foil. Doing so can cause heat to build up inside the equipment and cause damage.