The first lesson every chef is taught in cooking school is to keep your workstation clean. The rules are no different for the rest of the kitchen. The cabinets counter tops, refrigerator and even your flat top grill, all need to be spick and span. Whether you are running a kitchen professionally, or cooking for your family at home, cleanliness is of the utmost importance. As chefs are very particular about the sharpness of the blades on their set of knives, having a clean kitchen is as important in cooking, if not more. Regardless of now mouth-watering a meal is, it will not be considered edible if cooked in unhygienic conditions.
However, not everyone abides by the rules of cleanliness as religiously as they should. They let the cleaning part be until the last possible second – whether it be washing the dishes or scrubbing the grill. Not everyone has a strong aversion to dirt, debris and grease. Nonetheless, it is important due to a number of reasons to maintain a clean kitchen. Imagine having to eat something that was cooked in a pre-used pan on a dirty stove. Sounds disgusting? That is not the only reason why you should know how to properly clean up and service your appliances and utensils.
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There are four main reasons to keep your kitchen clean:
- Health code violations
- Unhygienic conditions leads to illness
- Piled up junk is harder to clean
- Remnants of old flavours spoils the new ones
If you own a professional restaurant or eatery where your kitchen is dirty , your license may be cancelled and you may incur a fine.
However, regardless of whether you are a chef or a home cook, a dirty kitchen will affect the flavour or your dishes and anyone who consumes the food cooked in an unhygienic kitchen are likely to fall sick.
Lastly, have you not noticed the longer you wait, the harder it becomes to do an unpleasant task? On top of that, it becomes harder to clean the stains or residual build-up.
One of the things in the kitchen that are the hardest to clean are the flat top grill. Not only does it have to be cleaned after every use, but it is also a very frustrating task for some. You have to wait until the grill cools down, but not long enough for the bits of food to stick to the grill. In addition, if you skip cleaning the grill or do not do it thoroughly, there are chances the grease hardens to a point where conventional cleaning methods fail to remove it, and you have to resort to laborious scrubbing.
On top of that, if the grill is not properly cleaned after the first try, or there are residues of the cleaning agent you used, the next time you cook something, tithe food will probably stick to the grill plate. Therefore, it is crucial to know how to clean a flat top grill properly.
A grill can be used to cook anything from sunny side up eggs, grilled cheese sandwich, premarinated chicken breast, and baste BBQ ribs, to pancakes and French toast. This versatile cooking appliance is put through cheese drippings, grease build-ups, charred pieces of food that are stuck to it and more. Some things can be scrubbed off and others cannot.
If you are a disaster in the kitchen and don’t know how to clean a flat top grill, explore these 12 ways you can make a flat grill top shine. However, before implementing any of these methods you need to use paper towels to wipe the surface of the grill to remove as much oil and debris as possible, so you can identify where the areas that require actual effort.
How to clean a flat top grill
There are innumerable methods of cleaning flat top grills out there that use anything from copper brushes to sponges, dish washing detergent to baking soda, and vigorously scraping to gentle scrubbing. We have compiled a list of 12 most effective ways to clean a flat top grill, so you can extend the life of your asset through proper care.
Dish washing liquid and sponge
The conventional way to clean a flat grill top is by using a dish washing liquid and sponge to remove all traces of oil or dripping.
Vinegar and water mixture
Switch on the grill to hot and spray the water-vingegar (half and half) mixture on it. Use a grill brush to spread the mixture and scrape the grease. Repeat twice or thrice, till the mixture has mixed with all the debris to form a gunk. Then switch the grill off and pour the mixture on it, in a quantity that washes off the gunk. The hot plate will help with this. Repeat the same process and drain.
Lemon juice and water mixture
The process is the same as that of the water-vinegar mixture; however, the composition is different – one third or one fourth lemon juice, and the remaining water.
Water and steam
Switch on the grill to high heat and scrape away all dripping with a grill brush. Sprinkle water and use the brush the spread it on the hot grill to soften up the residue before draining it. Add more water to the hot grill and repeat the process while scraping the now softened drippings. Again, drain the liquid from the flat top grill.
Soapy water and a hard copper brush
Pour some soapy water on a hot grill and let it sit for a few minutes before using a hard copper brush to scrape off any residue.
Hot oil cleaning
Pour oil on a hot girdle and use a griddle brick or pumice stone to scrub in small concentrated circular patterns to mix the oil with the residual grease ananfiscard the fats.
Soda water and carbonation
Pour seltzer water or club soda onto the hot flat top grill. The carbonation loosens and removes stubborn grease. Scrub the surface in small concentric circles with a griddle brick or pumice stone. Scrape remaining liquid into the trough for discarding.
Pour raw vinegar on the grill top, and spread it across the surface. Rub the top grill with a rag, in small concentric circles to polish the top. Scrape the vinegar off the surface and discard.
Lemon and soda water
Heat the grill to soften the hardened debris and grease. Scrape off all residues with a heavy-duty grill scraper. Spray a mixture of lemon juice and soda water on the grill, and wait for 5 minutes so the liquid can seep in. Now scrub the flat top grill in a circular motion with a scouring pad or a heat-resistant grill squeegee.
Use an onion to scrub the surfacex while the grill is still hot, to detach any dripping. Moreover, this method is not just effective for flat top grills, but also trays, which are trickier to clean.
Soak the surface in coffee to loosen up hard to remove dirt, oil and debris. Scrap off the residue and drain the liquid.
Pour beer on a warm flat top grill and scrub with a newspaper or wire brush, before draining the liquid off a sparkling surface.
Do not neglect the drip tray and drain whilst cleaning your flat top grill. Most people get so absorbed in cleaning the top surface that they let there be a grease build-up in the drain or drip tray. Thus, whenever you are cleaning the grill, be sure not to neglect any crucial parts.
When it comes to cleaning a chrome top grill, you should use gentler means, such as warm water and paper towels, so not to ruin the polish. For composite plates, you can opt for mild soap and a sponge However, for the more popular and durable stainless steel grill; you can choose any means necessary.
Yet regardless of what flat top grill you have, after cleaning, use paper towels to wipe and excess liquid off the grill before you season it. The reason here is not just to avoid rust, but also to ensure that no weird, tangy or bitter flavour remains on the grill that might ruin the flavour of whatever you next cook on the grill. In addition, not only are the residue of chemicals and cleaning agents dangerous but they can further ruin your dish by making it stick to the grill.
The thin layer of clean oil will form a protective layer on the surface of the grill, to protect it from rusting. You can use a brush to spread the oil thinly on the surface before draining any excess using paper towels, or you can dip a paper towel in oil and use tongs as an applicator to grease it lightly over the grill.
Regardless of what method you use or prefer, or which method has proven effective for you, it is important to clean your flat top grill regularly to protect it against rust and decay.