Tilting Skillets

A tilting skillet cooks large batches of food with a braising pan that tilts to easily allow food to be transferred to a container.


Tilting Skillet Cleaning and Maintenance

Don’t use steel wool to clean a tilting skillet, says Dennis Black, a service tech at Baltimore-based EMR. “This impregnates stainless-steel and causes it to rust,” he says. Instead, it’s best to use non-scratch scrubbers.

Because certain utensils, like square-edge turners, can cause pitting on the pan surface, use only rounded-edge utensils with this equipment. Refrain from using a caustic cleaner or one that is too strong as it will impact the metal. “This will get into the metal and cause rot, which is an expensive repair,” Black says.

Operators will also want to avoid getting the tilting skillet too wet underneath when it’s in an upright position, or they risk shorting out the electronics. This will require a service call. “For cleaning, we recommend using soap and water with a non-scratching pad,” says Black. “These units don’t require much preventative maintenance.”

Black does recommend greasing the tilting mechanism every six months to ensure the crank doesn’t stick or become difficult to use. “One common problem with this unit is uneven heating on the skillet deck,” he says. “This may be caused by debris or dirt underneath and require a service tech to remedy.”

Debris could also fill the pilot or gas tube and cause a boom sound during ignition. Delayed ignition also is a common issue.

These units should never be turned on high heat when there is no liquid inside. Doing so repeatedly will eventually cause the pan to warp, compromising the heating surface.

New tilting skillet pans should be seasoned by covering the bottom with oil and heating every few minutes. This helps prevent sticking and makes cleanup easier. The seasoning process should be repeated after heavy cleaning.

Residual heat can warm up water in the skillet, which will make it easier to remove food debris from the bottom of the pan at the end of the day.

“The service life for tilting skillets is between 7 and 10 years on average, but it depends on the kitchen,” says Black. “It can be as little as 3 years and as much as 20 years.”

A service tech can determine if a unit needs replacing, but if the tilting mechanism goes bad or there is a gas leak, and the unit is older or the cost of repair is high, replacement is most likely warranted.

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