A Restaurant’s Guide to Maintaining Commercial Griddles and Charbroilers 

When it comes to foodservice, operators know a thriving business can heavily rely on commercial griddles and charbroilers. These pieces of equipment are essential for most foodservice operations to serve up everything from sizzling veggies to perfectly seared steaks. To keep them functioning at their best, regular maintenance is required. From daily maintenance routines to professional troubleshooting, this guide has everything you need to know to keep your griddles and charbroilers going. 

Cleaning techniques 

Proper cleaning is essential for the longevity and performance of commercial griddles and charbroilers.  

Daily cleaning: After each use, scrape off any food residue using a grill scraper or spatula. For griddles, use a cleaning solution specifically designed for removing grease and carbon buildup. Apply the solution while the surface is still warm but not hot, then scrub with a grill brick or scouring pad. Rinse thoroughly with water and wipe dry with a clean cloth.  

For charbroilers, remove the grates and soak them in hot, soapy water. Scrub them clean, rinse and dry them before reinstalling. 

Weekly deep cleaning:  

  • Once a week, perform a more thorough cleaning.  
  • Disconnect the appliance from the power source and allow it to cool completely.  
  • Remove any removable parts, such as drip trays or burner covers.  
  • Soak these in hot, soapy water while you clean the main unit.  
  • Use a degreaser to tackle stubborn grease buildup, ensuring to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.  
  • Scrub all surfaces thoroughly, including the undersides and corners.  
  • Rinse everything well and allow it to dry completely before reassembling. 

Seasoning (for griddles): After cleaning, it’s essential to season the griddle to maintain its non-stick surface. Apply a thin layer of cooking oil or shortening to the surface and spread it evenly using a paper towel. Heat the griddle to a low temperature for about an hour to allow the oil to penetrate the surface. Let it cool, then wipe off any excess oil. This process helps prevent food from sticking and protects the griddle from corrosion. 

Troubleshooting common issues 

Despite regular maintenance, commercial griddles and charbroilers may encounter issues from time to time. Here are some common problems and how to troubleshoot them: 

  1. Uneven heating: If your griddle or charbroiler is heating unevenly, it could be due to a buildup of grease or debris on the heating elements. Clean the heating elements thoroughly and ensure they are positioned correctly. 
  1. Flame or heat output issues: For charbroilers, uneven flame or heat output may indicate clogged burners or gas lines. Inspect the burners and gas lines for any obstructions and clean them if necessary. Also, check for gas leaks and ensure all connections are tight and secure. 
  1. Excessive smoke: Excessive smoke during operation could be a sign of grease buildup or insufficient ventilation. Clean the appliance thoroughly, including the hood and exhaust system, and ensure proper ventilation to prevent smoke buildup. 

Importance of regular inspections 

Regular inspections are essential for catching potential issues before they escalate into major problems that could disrupt kitchen operations. Schedule routine inspections of your commercial griddles and charbroilers to identify any signs of wear and tear, loose connections, or malfunctioning components. Addressing issues promptly can prevent costly repairs and downtime, ensuring your kitchen remains efficient and productive. 

You’ll know it’s time to call the pros when…  

Here are some signs that indicate the need for professional assistance: 

Persistent performance issues: If you notice consistent problems with the performance of your griddle or charbroiler, such as uneven heating, fluctuating temperatures or unreliable ignition, it’s advisable to seek professional assistance. These issues may indicate underlying mechanical or electrical problems that require expert diagnosis and repair. 

Unusual noises or smells: Unusual noises, such as grinding or rattling sounds, or unusual smells, such as burning or gas odors, are warning signs that something may be amiss with your appliance. These signs could indicate mechanical malfunctions, gas leaks or other safety hazards that warrant immediate attention from a qualified technician. 

Visible signs of damage: Visual inspection is an essential part of routine maintenance. If you observe visible signs of damage, such as rust, corrosion, cracks or worn-out components, it’s advisable to contact a professional technician to assess the extent of the damage and perform necessary repairs or replacements. 

Decreased efficiency: A noticeable decrease in the efficiency of your griddle or charbroiler, such as longer cooking times or increased energy consumption, may indicate underlying issues that require professional attention. Technicians can inspect the appliance, identify the root cause of inefficiency, and implement corrective measures to restore optimal performance. 

Safety should always be a top priority in any kitchen environment. If you encounter safety concerns such as gas leaks, electrical malfunctions or overheating, do not attempt to troubleshoot the issue yourself. Instead, immediately shut off the appliance, evacuate the area, and contact Tech24 to assess and resolve the problem safely. 

Maintaining commercial griddles and charbroilers is vital for optimizing performance and prolonging their lifespan. By following proper cleaning techniques, troubleshooting common issues and conducting regular inspections, you can keep these essential cooking appliances in top condition, ensuring they continue to deliver outstanding results for your business.