Starting a food business means juggling several tasks at the same time. From hiring your kitchen and wait staff and maintaining inventory, to planning the menu and finding a food distributor to team up with, you’ll have your hands quite full.
But being too busy should never be an excuse to overlook the condition of your tools and equipment. Without them, business operations won’t be possible. Even if you’re running an online food shop, they will still be necessary to ensure that your business thrives.
Want to improve the life of your commercial kitchen equipment? Here, we offer tips on how you can do just that.
Fridges and freezers are used to store food for future use. They keep ingredients and other products fresh until those are needed, offering convenience and cost efficiency for restaurants.
When keeping your refrigerator in good shape, the first thing you need to do is read the manual as it contains information on cleaning and maintenance methods recommended by the manufacturer. You can also ask a certified professional for more technical information.
Of course, there are some things you can do yourself, including:
Make sure there are no cracks in the gaskets that could cause cold air to leak out. You should also take this opportunity to keep these clean, as grease and dirt buildup can wear them down faster.
The evaporator and condenser coils are crucial for refrigerated units’ optimal function. Be sure to brush these regularly and shop vacuum them every three months.
Inspect the air filters of your refrigerators, coolers, and ice machines. Get rid of any grease or dust buildup to ensure that the air is ventilating properly.
You can use your shop vacuum here as well, together with a degreasing solution. Just make sure that you follow the instructions on how to do this as stated in the owner’s manual.
Keep drain pans and tubes in the refrigerator, freezer, and walk-in coolers debris-free. Also, be on the lookout for sludge and slime as these could cause problems like clogging. If there’s a blocked tube, have it replaced immediately.
Want to turn chilled meat into mouth watering steak? Your range top and griddle can help with that.
To make sure this kitchen equipment fulfills its intended function without fail, here are some maintenance tasks you need to perform:
Whether you have burners, grates, or flattops, you must scrub or wipe down every surface every day.
It will also require a more thorough cleaning at least once a month or when the ingredients of any dish you’re cooking leave a mess.
To get rid of grease buildup, you can soak the grates in warm soapy water. This should break up thick substances that have accumulated. Remember to clean out the drip trays and anything underneath the grates or burners frequently as well.
Lumps of grease restrict airflow and can be a fire hazard if not cleaned immediately. The stale grease flavor may even transfer to what’s being cooked and end up ruining the dish entirely.
To prevent this, read about the proper way to clean the filters in the owner’s manual. Replace these in case of damage or excessive grease buildup.
Fryers deliver extra crispy food when working at their peak. Make sure you conduct the following maintenance tasks to prevent them from breaking down.
As a general safety precaution, fryers should be checked every day for gas leaks. Combustion fans need to be cleaned and inspected periodically; around every three to six weeks or so.
You can test leaks in the gas supply hoses by applying soapy water. If bubbles appear along the surfaces, you have a leak to deal with. The smell of gas anywhere in the kitchen is also a dead giveaway, so be sure to check all your equipment immediately.
Aside from grease, debris and carbon deposits can also accumulate in the heating component of the fryer. When this happens, you can boil it out to dislodge them. Do this as frequently as possible, as pushing it to a later date can make degreasing more difficult.
Whether you’re firing up the fryer or cooking steamy pots of delicious stews, the hoods, vents, and ducts help ensure sufficient ventilation in the kitchen. They also regulate temperature and improve air quality.
Keeping these types of equipment working well is tantamount to ensuring your staff and customers’ well-being, so be sure to implement the following cleaning and maintenance recommendations:
Contact a qualified professional to clean the equipment at least biannually. This will ensure that grease buildup from the vapor doesn’t clog airflow.
In between service dates, your restaurant staff should at least clean the visible components.
Regular cleaning, periodic calibration and the strict implementation of manufacturer-recommended maintenance tasks are essential in keeping kitchen equipment working optimally and extending their life span.
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