Maintaining Grills & Griddles

Griddle and grill maintenance is important from a safety standpoint, since grease build up represents a significant fire hazard. As a result, foodservice staff and service agents should perform a number of regular tasks to keep these units in safe operating condition.

Proper cleaning and maintenance is extremely important with both grills and griddles. Not only will this prolong the service life, but also ensure safe operation.

There are a number of tasks that should be performed on a regular basis.

  • Clean grills and griddles daily. Scrape and clean grill grates with a wire brush on a daily basis to remove all food particles. Submerging hot cast iron grates in a cold sink could cause them to crack. Regularly scrape and wipe down griddle surfaces with either soapy water or a mixture of water and lemon juice to strip off grease.
  • Each day, clean and refill a grill's water tub and regularly empty and clean grease cups.
  • Take apart and wipe down grills once or twice a week, depending on frequency of use and products being cooked.
  • Check and clean in a pot sink grill radiants at least once a week.
  • Grill briquettes need to be rotated weekly to ensure debris is burned off during cooking.
  • Replace radiants and briquettes every six to 12 months, depending on volume.
  • Grill burners should be checked monthly for cracks and pin holes, which can cause uneven cooking and premature wear on the unit.
  • Griddle troughs are the main route for excess grease and need to be kept clean.
  • Most griddles require thermostat calibration, with the exception of units that have solid state thermostats. This may need to be accomplished as often as every three months or twice yearly, depending on the model.

It's important to season griddles as soon as they are installed, or food will stick to the surface.

In addition, griddles flues should be regularly checked for debris. This usually requires griddles to be pulled out from the wall. With new griddles, it is worth checking the flue every two weeks to monitor grease accumulation in this area, which can be a fire hazard.

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