How to REALLY Clean a Commercial Flat Top Griddle or Plancha

/ Commercial Griddles & Grills, How-To / December 14

Flat top griddles and planchas are incredible pieces of commercial kitchen equipment. Whether you’re an artistic chef showing off flashy Teppanyaki skills, or just cooking in the back-of-house, the flat top is a restaurant superstar. It’s easy to keep this kitchen workhorse in great shape with some proper care.

A seasoned commercial griddle will clean up easier, but this post covers a thorough cleaning that will require seasoning after. The seasoned coating will help stop food from sticking to the surface and allow for easier cleanup in the future. There are numerous schools of thought on how often a thorough clean and seasoning is performed. Some chefs do this every day while others only do it as needed.

Signs Your Griddle Needs Cleaning



  • Food sticks to griddle

  • Food cooking unevenly

  • Flavor transfer between foods

  • Grease buildup on griddle surface

  • Flakes of burnt oil ending up in food


Material of Griddle Will Determine How to Care for It

Many griddles are stainless steel while others are made of chromium, commonly called chrome. The type of griddle you have will determine how you clean it. Chrome cooking surfaces, for example, should never be subjected to abrasives like grill bricks or screens. Using abrasives may even void your warranty. Consult your service manual if you aren’t sure about the type of surface you have on your griddle.

What You’ll Need to Clean a Commercial Griddle



  • Griddle scraper
    Keating 004894 Palmetto Griddle Brush

                            Palmetto Griddle Brush


  • Griddle pad holder

  • Griddle scrub pad

  • Grill screen

  • Vegetable oil

  • Stainless steel cleaning chemical

  • Palmetto cleaning brush

  • Cloth

  • Warm water (Avoid using cold water or ice, as griddles can warp or even crack from continual thermal shock)


Cleaning a Stainless Steel Griddle



  • Step 1. While griddle is hot, scrape surface clean of food debris and grease buildup.

  • Step 2. Pour warm water on it to start boiling off the grease buildup, being careful of any steam generated.

  • Step 3. Place a griddle screen and scrubbing pad on top of each other and place onto the griddle.

  • Step 4. Using the pad holder, press down on the griddle pad and screen.

  • Step 5. Scour the entire surface of the griddle.

  • Step 6. Rinse and wipe clean


Cleaning a Chrome Griddle



  • Step 1. While griddle is hot, scrape surface clean of food debris and grease buildup.

  • Step 2. Pour on warm water and scrub using a palmetto brush.

  • Step 3. Again, do NOT use an abrasive, such as grill bricks or scouring pads.

  • Step 4. Repeat if necessary.

  • Step 5. Allow surface to cool and dry off.

  • Step 6. Cover the flat top with a nonabrasive food-safe polish.

  • Step 7. Wipe clean with a dry cloth.

  • Step 8. Use a clean, damp cloth to remove all the polishing compound.


Seasoning a Griddle



  • Step 1. Heat griddle to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Then, turn it off and let it cool down.

  • Step 2. Apply vegetable oil or any oil with a high smoking point.

  • Step 3. Avoid corn oil as the high sugar content may cause the oil to caramelize and burn on the surface.

  • Step 4. While surface is slightly warm, spread oil using a cloth or paper towel.

  • Step 5. Turn heat back on to 350°F.

  • Step 6. Heat until oil on the griddle begins to smoke. Then, turn off and allow to cool.

  • Step 7. After cooling, wipe up any excess oil.


Comments

  1. A. Vaden says:

    over the years, the easiest way I found :
    Using backing soda (Costco, big bags), is the best grease dissolvant.
    Powder direct on grease a little time after use, ..and let it be !
    (It also fully prevent any rust)
    Then, scraping the whole thing a day later, then use again baking soda this time solved in hot water spreading the mix with a kitchen brush.
    When dry, scrape the white drying baking soda, and before cooking again, wash the residual with the cheap white vinegar (also fm costco). This neutralize the baking soda, and give you a great surface, all using products that are not dangerous at all for us, even more: the vinegar do neutralize any baking soda that left over !
    Use of lemon is fine too, ..but more expensive than Costco white vinegar !
    ..my 2 cents