The commercial griddles are generally made of steel or cast iron and irrespective of the material that they are made of, it is important to clean and season them appropriately and periodically, to help in the easy and fast cooking process and to elongate its life and efficiency. Cleaning and seasoning the griddle plate is part of the appropriate cleaning process and this also develops a routine maintenance schedule for this special cooking equipment.
Cleaning the Commercial Griddle
Before proceeding to season the griddle, it is important to clean the griddle as well. And cleaning the griddle depends on the type of material of which the griddle is made up. Generally, the commercial griddles are made of stainless steel, but they could also be made of iron and chrome.
To clean the commercial griddle, we would require a scrapper, pad holder for the griddle, scrub pad, vegetable oil, cleaning brush, cloth, and warm water. It is good to wash the griddle in warm water, rather than in cold water, as the griddle can warp or crack from the thermal shock.
a. Cleaning the stainless steel griddle
Initiate the griddle cleaning process when the griddle is still hot. Scrape its surface from any residual food and grease build-up and pour warm water on it, so that the hot water can ward off the grease build-up. We have to be careful about the steam that is generated in the process.
Keep a griddle screen and scrubbing pad on top of each other and place them on the griddle. Make use of the pad holder and press down the griddle screen and pad. Clean the entire surface of the griddle and wipe it clean with a clean cloth.
b. Cleaning a chrome griddle
Start the cleaning process when the chrome griddle is still hot. Scrape any food debris from the surface and pour warm water. Scrub off the debris with the help of a palmetto brush. It is not a good practice to use an abrasive such as scouring pads and grill bricks to clean the griddle.
Allow the surface to cool and dry completely. The next most important step is to cover the top surface of the griddle with a food-safe polish. Again we have to use a clean and damp cloth to remove all the polishing substances.
c. Cleaning a composite plate
In some commercial establishments, composite plates are used and these plates help with five times fast heat transfer rate and render the fastest recovery times. These composite plates are affordable and help with consistent cooking times, which is essential for a commercial cooking establishment. It helps in lower energy costs and helps with easy cleaning, compared with the other griddle options.
To clean the composite plate, allow the griddle to cool down to 300 or 350 F. Scrape the griddle with the help of a standard scraper, to remove all the debris. Mix water at room temperature with a mild detergent and coat the surface of the griddle. Use a non-abrasive scrubber to clean the surface. Scrape all debris into the grease trough. Clean the detergent thoroughly by flushing it with water at room temperature and pat it dry completely.
To decrease the quantum of time that is required to clean the flat surface of the griddle, it is always important to wipe it down with a backsplash both on the center and the sides of the griddle surface. It is also important to empty the grease drawer of the griddle periodically, as required. Periodic and routine dressing of the cooking surface, with a light coat of oil, is beneficial to easy cleaning after each service.
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Seasoning the Commercial Griddle
Seasoning of the griddle plate is extremely important, as it prevents the food from sticking onto the cooking surface. It is important to season the cooking surface of the griddle with some oil even at rest, to ensure that the food doesn’t stick onto the surface.
Seasoning the griddle is different from seasoning the food, which we do generally with herbs and spices. It is mandatory to season the new griddles and when the griddle has been cleaned extensively, then it requires extensive seasoning. Also, when the food starts to stick onto the surface of the griddle, then it requires seasoning so that it renders a great surface for cooking. The step-by-step seasoning process is as follows.
Before attempting to season the surface of the griddle, make use of a lint-free cloth to wipe the surface of the griddle clean.
- Heat the griddle to about 300°F – 350°F for about 30 minutes
- Turn it off and allow it to cool completely
- When the surface is still warm, apply a large amount of vegetable oil with a high smoking point
- Spread the oil around the surface with a soft and dry cloth or a paper towel
- After applying oil, turn on the heat back to 350°F.
- Heat until the oil that is applied on the griddle begins to smoke.
- Turn the flame off, and allow the griddle to cool down completely
- After cooking, wipe off the excess oil with a soft and dry cloth.
It is mandatory to re-season the griddle surface at least once a week. But it depends on how best we use it. When the food items start to stick, then the griddle requires immediate seasoning. And re-seasoning can be performed once a week. For seasoning, a new griddle, turn on all the burners at the lowest setting and allow them to burn for an hour, and then smear a liberal amount of oil on the griddle and cool it off.
Importance of Seasoning the Griddle
Seasoning is a must to perform treatment for the commercial griddle after cleaning it off thoroughly. Heating the cooking surface to a prescribed temperature and oiling the cooking surface will help in preventing rust formation on the grill grates and also on the cooking surfaces.
Seasoning the griddle appropriately and periodically will also prevent the cooking surface from catching rust and it also renders an exceptional cooking surface every time. seasoning the griddle frequently and as indicated will also help us to maintain it, and prolongs its life for many years.
Maintenance Checklist for a Commercial Griddle
- Daily: Clean the griddle at least once or more frequently with heavy use. Empty, wash, and sanitize the drawer at the end of the day.
- Weekly: Unplug the griddle and allow it to cool completely. Use a non-abrasive griddle cleaner and a cloth to clean its surface and rinse it with water thoroughly.
- Quarterly: Inspect the griddle for stress cracks and address any damage immediately.
- Every 6 months: Perform a visual inspection of the top and the bottom of the griddle and also check the pressure on the gas griddles. It is also better to have a professional service on the heavily used griddles once a year.
A commercial griddle is an important component of any kitchen as it helps them to prepare a range of food items quickly, to attend to a large crowd immediately. It is mandatory to keep the griddle clean and maintained appropriately to enhance the safety and the overall performance of the unit.