INDIANAPOLIS, February 19, 2008 — Foodservice investments like countertop griddles have the potential to last many years in commercial kitchens– as long as they are setup properly and regularly maintained. The guidelines for proper setup and maintenance are basically the same for both gas- and electric-powered countertop griddles.
Before the first use of a countertop griddle, be sure that the placement is safe. Check the owner’s manual or the manufacturer’s Web site for clearance requirements. Place the unit on a sturdy surface that is large enough to hold the unit’s size and weight, and that positions the unit at a comfortable working height. Equipment stands and worktables that are 24″ in height are good choices for countertop griddles.
For gas units, ensure that the unit is close enough to the appropriately-sized gas connection that a hose can comfortably hang. For electric units, ensure that the unit is close enough to an outlet that can accommodate the unit’s voltage.
Once the countertop griddle is safely placed and connected to either the gas or electric supply, completely clean the cooking surface with warm, soapy water to remove dust and any protective coatings from the factory, and then wipe dry.
Once completely dried, the griddle plate should be seasoned before cooking on it. The purpose of seasoning is to fill the pores of the cooking surface with grease or oil to reduce product sticking. Turn the countertop griddle on to +350°F to +400°F. Once the unit has reached the temperature range, spread a layer of cooking oil over the entire griddle surface. Let the oil set for at least three to five minutes, and then wipe off any excess oil and begin cooking.
To keep the countertop griddle working properly, be sure to clean the griddle plate with a grill scraper to remove excess food and fat particles between batches. At the end of the day, remove the grease drawer and clean the area around the drawer. Empty and wash the grease drawer before returning to the unit. Also, wipe down the exterior of the unit, excluding the griddle plate.
At the end of each week, or whenever necessary, thoroughly clean the griddle plate with warm, soapy water. If needed, use a pumice or griddle stone to rub with the grain of the metal while the plate is still warm. Do not use steel wool on the surface. After each weekly cleaning, the griddle plate will need to be re-seasoned.
Following a few simple procedures when setting up and maintaining a countertop griddle can extend the lifetime of the unit. For more information on countertop griddles and charbroilers, visit Central Restaurant Products.
About Central Restaurant Products:
Central Products opened in 1981 near downtown Indianapolis and has grown to become one of the nation’s leading distributors of quality commercial restaurant equipment and supplies. Central’s knowledgeable Product Consultants with industry experience are available during convenient hours–phone lines are open for business Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST. They can be reached at 800.222.5107. Shop online; request a 300-page color catalog or sign up for e-mail promotions at centralrestaurant.com