New To Commercial Kitchens? Tips For Cleaning Your Cook Top

Your commercial range is likely one of the most commonly used pieces of equipment in your kitchen. As a result, it's important you take proper care of it to keep it functioning at its best. If you're new to managing a commercial kitchen, you may not be familiar with the best practices of keeping your stove clean and maintained for each service. Continue reading more for tips to help you make the most of your stove top so you get the best possible performance throughout every meal service.

Daily Cleaning Expectations

Getting your entire kitchen staff on the same page is an important part of maintaining your kitchen cleaning standards. Here's a cleaning schedule you can post for your kitchen crew to set the expectations:

  • Cleaning up Spills: Any time a spill happens, make sure it gets wiped up right away. The sooner you clean it up, the less risk you'll have of food baking onto the stove surface. If that spill causes the pilot light to go out, let the burner cool and then clean the burner head and pilot light area before you attempt to relight it.
  • Cleaning the Grates: After service, allow the range top to cool, then clean all of the grates thoroughly. You can wipe them down with a damp cloth, or give them a more thorough scrubbing in a sink of hot, soapy water. Dry them thoroughly before you replace them.
  • Cleaning the Burners: When you remove the grates to clean them, it's a perfect time to clean under the burners. Pull out the drip trays and wipe them out. If you do this at the end of every service, they'll be easy to keep clean. Then, wipe down the whole space under the grates with a damp rag soaked in warm, soapy water.

Tips for Certain Range Tops:

Since commercial ranges come with a variety of configurations and styles, there are many different range tops you may have in your kitchen. Here's a look at what you need to know about cleaning each one:

  • Cleaning French Tops: Use a damp rag to spot clean the French top throughout the service. The sooner you wipe up spills, the more consistent your heat transfer will be. At the end of the shift, make sure you wipe the whole surface down with warm, soapy water.
  • Cleaning Griddle Tops: Griddle tops need to be cleaned with a grill brick every day. During your weekly cleaning cycle, make sure the griddle is degreased. Season the surface with shortening or lard as necessary so you don't have problems with food sticking.
  • Cleaning Hot Tops: When your hot top is still a little bit warm, use a rough fabric like burlap and wipe the surface down. This should gently break up food residue. If the surface is dirty, remove the hot top and wash it in a sink full of soapy, warm water. Then, dry it thoroughly and wipe it with a thin coat of oil to keep it from rusting.
  • Cleaning Open Burners: After each day's shifts are over, remove the burner grates to clean and dry them. Then, once they are fully dried, you can put them back on the cook top. Check the burner ports, too, and use a stiff brush to clean the port in case there is any debris clogging it.

When you stay on top of your cook top cleaning, you will likely get a longer lifespan out of your commercial stove. Additionally, keeping it clean will ensure you're compliant with the health department's requirements. With these tips, you'll help your staff understand exactly what needs to be done and when they need to do it.