How to set up and care for your griddle

By Shaune Hall, development chef for Falcon Foodservice Equipment

Summary

Setting up your griddle is straightforward but makes such a big difference to it’s long-term performance and life expectancy. Take the time at the start and you will reap the benefits long-term. 

If you are planning on buying your first griddle, it’s important you spend the time to set it up and care for it correctly – as this will mean your food will taste better and your equipment will last longer!

Taking it out the box

When you receive any new catering equipment you MUST clean it and sanitise it. After production in a factory and transportation and possible storage, catering equipment is not suitable for food preparation without a good clean, so make sure you clean it thoroughly before even turning it on!

Seasoning

You need to season your griddle before you use it. Seasoning a piece of catering equipment  means creating a layer of oil to stop food from sticking and protecting the metal from corroding.

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Heat the griddle

Take your new griddle and turn it up to its hottest setting – leave it for 10 – 15 minutes and then turn it down to its lowest setting.

Step 2: Add Salt

To begin the seasoning process, sprinkle salt onto the surface and work it over the metal.

This is a final, deep clean, as the salt acts as the perfect abrasive medium, and prepares the metal surface for the layer of oil you are about to apply.

Step 3: Turn off the griddle and clean off the salt

Use water to wash off any residue of the salt, as you don’t want there to be taste transfer from the salt to any food you are cooking.

Step 4: Dry the Griddle

As you’re about to put oil onto a hot griddle, make sure it is totally dry.

Step 5: Heat the griddle

Again heat the griddle to its hottest setting and then bring it down to its lowest heat.

Step 6: Add the oil

Now take oil – any oil – and pour it onto the hot griddle. Spread the oil evenly around the whole plate until it appears to disappear, burnt off if you like. You can repeat this process a couple of times but more than that will make little difference.

Your griddle is now ready to use!

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Long Term Care

Oil first – then wait

A good rule of thumb is to put some oil down on the griddle before you put food onto it to cook. In fact the best method is put the oil down and let it heat up before putting on your food. This will reduce sticking as the oil will be the medium carrying the heat into the food, not the metal of the griddle.

Apart from this, the main way of looking after your griddle is rather simple:

The key to long term care is regular care

Clean the machine down at the end of every service and make sure food does not get caked on to the metal surface. Have a scraper to hand at every moment during the day and when you cook an egg and there is residue left over, don’t leave it on there – scrape it off and drop it down the drain at the bottom of the griddle. Don’t allow ANY food residue to build up.

Over time, getting into this habit will help your griddle work better. If you don’t the steady build up of food matter will result in taste transfer to the food you are cooking, (burnt bits sticking to food isn’t a great look). This will also result in your griddle working less efficiently, as the machine also has to heat up all the residue before getting to cooking temperature. This means the griddle will have to work harder to work normally, will take longer to cook food and will have a shorter working life.

Conclusion

When you buy a griddle remember these steps to get the best out of the equipment and to extend its working life:

1: Clean and sanitise it as soon as you take it out the box

2: Season it properly before you use it

3: Put oil down every time before you cook something

4: Scrape off food residue immediately

5: Fully clean the machine every day to reduce food build up

 

Learn More

If you are interested in the range of Falcon  griddles, have a look at our website. We offer a variety of flexible procurement methods meaning that whatever your situation, and whether you want to rent or buy, we will have something that will suit you.  Click on the link below to see our complete range of Falcon griddle products.

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