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Cleaning and Maintaining Grills & Griddles

Maintaining grills and griddles is important from a safety standpoint since grease buildup is a big fire hazard.

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

It’s important to season griddles as soon as they are installed or else food will stick to the surface. Clean grills and griddles daily, as well as scrape grill grates and use a wire brush to remove all food particles. Do not submerge hot cast-iron grates in a cold sink, or they could crack. Regularly scrape griddle surfaces and wipe them with either soapy water or a mixture of water and lemon juice to remove grease. Clean and refill a grill’s water tub daily. Empty griddle grease cups and clean them regularly. Take apart and wipe down a grill once or twice a week, depending on frequency of use and products being cooked.

At least once a week, grill radiants should be checked and cleaned in a pot sink. Grill briquettes need to be rotated weekly to ensure debris is burned off during cooking. Both radiants and briquettes should be replaced every 6 to 12 months, depending on volume.

Once a month, check grill burners for cracks and pinholes, which can cause uneven cooking and premature wear on the unit. Griddle troughs are the main exit route for excess grease and need to remain clean. Most griddles require thermostat recalibration. This may need to occur as often as every three months or twice yearly, depending on the model.

In addition, regularly check griddles’ flues for debris. This usually requires pulling griddles away from the wall. With new griddles, it is worth checking the flue every two weeks to monitor grease accumulation, which can be a fire hazard.

When properly maintained, grills and griddles can last 10 years or more. However, there are issues that indicate replacement may be necessary.

When grills or griddles are taking longer to heat up or complete a cooking task, this will negatively affect food quality and/or speed of service. For older or heavily used units, this may be a sign that the unit’s service life is ending.

When repair costs for these units start adding up, it may make sense to replace the equipment rather than fix it. Also, if grills or griddles show signs of corrosion, pitting and/or excessive rust, the equipment’s operation may be compromised, and replacement should be considered.

Major menu overhauls or a move to a different facility may necessitate a new grill or griddle to accommodate the space or volume.