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Maintaining Grills

The higher the volume and the more sauces and marinades used, the more often grills need to be cleaned.

Maintaining grills is important from a safety standpoint, since grease build up is a big fire hazard. There are a number of necessary tasks that should be performed regularly to keep these units in safe operating condition and prolong the service life.

  • Although carbon debris acts as a non-stick coating, sealing steel from damaging sodium and citric acids, grill grates should be scraped and cleaned daily with a wire brush to remove excess food particles. Excess soot and grease on the unit's outer edges should be eliminated, as well.
  • Clean and refill daily grill water tubs. Failure to do so introduces the chance of flare ups during cooking.
  • Take apart and wipe down grills once or twice a week, depending on the operation's volume and type of products cooked. Grates should be turned over weekly to even out wear.
  • Radiants should be checked at least weekly and cleaned thoroughly in a pot sink.
  • To ensure food debris is burned off during the cooking process and consistent heating patterns are achieved, lava rock needs to be rotated weekly. 
  • Radiants and lava rock should be replaced every six to 12 months, or as needed depending on the operation's volume.
  • Each month, burners should be checked for cracks and pin holes, which can cause uneven cooking and premature wear on the unit. Burner valves should be oiled regularly.

Electric grills tend to be easier to clean than gas units, because food debris falling below the grates is not an issue. Operators should refrain from turning these units up high to burn off particles, as this can degrade the heating elements.