Commercial Griddle Maintenance for Optimal Performance
By Pat Finley – Master Certified Lead Technician
A commercial griddle is a versatile cooking equipment commonly found in restaurants and commercial kitchens. It is used for grilling, frying, and searing a wide variety of food items such as burgers, pancakes, eggs, and vegetables. Commercial griddles are typically made of stainless steel and have a large flat cooking surface that is heated by gas or electricity. With it being so versatile, the griddle has become a vital piece in a lot of commercial kitchens making it essential that it is running at peak performance.
To ensure the longevity and optimal performance of a commercial griddle, regular maintenance is essential. Here are some important steps to maintain a commercial griddle:
- Temperature Control: If your griddle is over-temping, you can burn food and we all know that can be costly. Undercooking causes slower cooking times, leading to less production and fewer customers.
If you suspect your griddle temperature is off, it may be in need of service. You can always verify the temperature yourself with a surface-type thermometer. If it is off, reach out to your local General Parts Group branch and have them calibrate your thermostats. In most cases, we can dial right back in, but occasionally there may be more to it than just calibration. The thermostat can only be calibrated so far before it will need to be replaced. Keep in mind that your griddle may have hot or cold zones when it is in need of calibration or service by a professional technician.
- Gas Connections: If you have a gas unit, pilots need to be clean and properly adjusted. There should be a blue flame with just the tips being yellow. There are a lot of items that contribute to the proper operation of a gas griddle. Let’s start with the gas hose; if it has a quick disconnect, make sure it is fully seated and locked into position. If not, it will impede the flow of gas. Quick connects can often look fully connected but are not. A symptom of this can be the pilot will light but when the main burners come on, everything goes out.
Low gas pressure can also wreak havoc on your griddle’s performance. Potential causes of this are a low gas pressure supply, a bad or out-of-adjustment regulator, or a low volume of gas in the unit. High gas pressure can also damage your unit and cause cooking issues. To verify you are having gas-related issues, reach out to a trained technician.
- Cleaning: The cooking surface is also a huge part of your cooking and your patron’s experience. A dirty griddle surface can cause all sorts of issues. Food can stick to built-up grease or product. Burnt on products or grease can cause uneven cooking. Make sure you follow your manufacturer’s specific cleaning instructions to avoid damaging your griddle surface.
By following these maintenance practices, you can extend the lifespan of your commercial griddle, ensure food safety, and maintain the quality of your cooking. However, for complex repairs or issues, it is always recommended to seek the assistance of a professional commercial griddle repair service to avoid further damage or safety hazards. Give your local General Parts Group location a call with questions or to schedule a service call.