No Fear! Commercial Foodservice Equipment Maintenance Tips are Here

It’s no secret that maintaining foodservice equipment can be a daunting process. When there’s a well-constructed plan in place, though, it doesn’t have to be. It’s possible to extend the life of foodservice equipment and experience a continued return on investment by performing proper maintenance on that equipment.

Commercial kitchen maintenance is an integral part of daily operations, and there are several steps restaurant managers and operators should use in a kitchen maintenance schedule to ensure equipment lasts longer and runs efficiently. Let’s run through some best practices for maintaining different types of foodservice equipment.

Commercial Ranges

Maintaining a commercial range is mostly a matter of keeping range tops clean. After each use, ranges should be cleaned with warm, soapy water. Grates should be removed to ensure access to all areas of the cook surface. Try to avoid using abrasive pads or cleaners, particularly on knobs. Speaking of knobs, don’t forget to clean them, as well, and make sure they’re returned to the off position when placed back on the range. Lastly, for gas ranges, make sure tubing is clean to ensure the free flow of gas to the burner.

Commercial Griddles

When people think about commercial griddle maintenance, they usually envision daily cleaning. Even though cleaning the flat-top griddle plate is essential, other tasks must be done regularly. The cooking surface will need to be seasoned from time to time. And don’t forget to clean out the grease trap every day. Some tasks can be completed less frequently. For example, the thermostat should be inspected and calibrated at least once a month. The cooking surface should also be checked for cracks every few months. And don’t forget to check the knobs from time to time. If the controls look like they are getting worn out, replace them.

Commercial Ovens

The oven is a vital part of kitchen operations and must be maintained daily. The bottom of the oven liner should be wiped clean to remove crumbs and debris. Periodically inspect oven doors to ensure they’re aligned and closing tightly to avoid air escaping. Also, the thermostat should be tested and calibrated at least once a year to ensure food is cooking at the correct temperatures.

Commercial Fryers

When a commercial fryer is clean and operating efficiently, the food quality will be better and fry times will be quicker. Cleaning fryer baskets should be a daily task, as well as filtering oil. Every month, pull the fryer away from the wall to inspect behind it. Clean up if there is dirt, dust, or oil behind the unit. Also, don’t forget to examine the pilot light to ensure it’s working and clean the air vents about once a month to keep them free of debris. 

Commercial Ice Machines

Ice machines can harbor bacteria, mold, and diseases if not maintained correctly. Regular maintenance on these machines is critical to help eliminate the dangers of commercial ice. Staff should inspect all commercial ice machines on-site daily. If temperature settings are off, make sure to adjust them. Drain pipes also need to be checked every day so they don’t get clogged with debris. Once every few months, the interior bin should be cleaned and sanitized to reduce the chances of contamination. At the same time, the machine’s condenser should also be cleaned to maximize the efficiency of the ice maker. Replacing the air and water filters every few months can also help provide quality ice to customers.

Commercial Steamers

Several tasks need to be completed for steamer maintenance. Inspect the drain lines and gaskets daily. Once a month, remove and inspect the unit’s steam generator to ensure no lime buildup, which can impact food flavor and the amount of steam output. Descaling the steamer periodically is critical, and will also remove lime deposits and other contaminants that interfere with the system. Also, make sure staff are replacing the water filter every few months and conducting a visual inspection to ensure there are no cracks or frays on the unit or electrical cords.

By putting all equipment on a commercial kitchen maintenance schedule, foodservice businesses can help extend the life of the units and help save money on repairs. Daily work to keep equipment clean and in good working order pays off in the end.

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Food Safety Magazine

Topics: Foodservice Industry Trends