The service life for braising pans/tilting skillets is between 7 and 10 years on average, but it can be as few as 3 years and as many as 20 years, depending on a variety of factors.
Use soap and water with a non-scratch pad for cleaning. Steel wool is not recommended as it impregnates stainless, causing rust. Because certain utensils, like square-edge turners, can cause pitting on the pan surface, only rounded-edge utensils should be used with this equipment. It’s also not advisable to use a caustic or strong cleaner as it will impact the aluminum.
Twice a year, or as necessary, grease the tilting mechanism to ensure the crank doesn’t stick or become difficult to use.
One common problem with tilting skillets is uneven heating on the skillet deck. This may occur when there’s debris or dirt underneath and may require a service tech to fix. Also, the pilot or gas tube can become clogged and cause a booming sound during ignition. Delayed ignition is also a common issue that signals the unit requires servicing.
Another sign that it may be time to replace a braising pan/tilting skillet include heavily worn or damaged cooking surfaces that slow down operations and compromise food quality. If the tilting skillet no longer keeps up with production due to inefficient or inconsistent heating, consider a new unit. Gear replacement can be pricey. If the tilting mechanism fails on a unit that’s nearing the end of its service life, it is most likely time for a new tilting skillet.