scrub the griddle?

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Joined Dec 6, 2010
From time to time in the past 15 years or so..I have come across someone in a restaurant saying something along the lines as ."dont scrub the flat top" or even someone throwing a spatula at me yelling "what the F-- are you doing to the flat" over the years I have noticed food comes out soooo much better  on a "unscrubbed" flat. After careful diagnosis I find since most foods water content makes it more dense than oil any time you put oil down before the food , the food sinks and oil gets pushed away and does nothing...food sticks yada yada improper browning ...so on...However burnt on oil/ carbon creates the best surface ever...just like cast iron griddles/ grills/skillets.....Heres the question ...why are ssoooooo many owners, chefs,  "dennys employees" still saying scrub it till it shines?...any input would be appreciated...

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5,374
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
Burnt on oil is not finite--it is not glued on, welded on, or cast on.  It will flake off or chip off, and this becomes undesirable in food. It will also stain eggs

Caramelized meat juices will burn and become bitter, as will juices from vegetables.

Assuming your griddle is very flat and smooth, and your cooking item not so flat or smooth, oil acts as a "buffer" between the two surfaces and transfers heat.  Water will not do this, as it will steam.

Hope this helps
 
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Joined Dec 6, 2010
This does help...I realize your first point and obviously the flakes need to be removed same as with cast iron skillets, dutch ovens and such.

Your second point is something I didnt think about .

not sure what you mean by your third point as the metal is almost too conductive and I find it burns irregularly whereas the carbon is much more distrubutive of heat. as well as ( I notice) hot oil on a hot griddle just gets pushed away by the higher density egg and the egg sticks
 
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Joined Oct 25, 2010
I clean my flat top every night with a powerful product called D9. First I pour on some cold water to cool down the surface so that when i put the product it won't vaporize. Once the top is cool, I add the product and let it react for five minutes. Then I pour cold water once again and use a razor-sharp scraper to remove all the water. The black stuff will com off easily. Then I give it a final rinse with water. Then I pour on white vinegar which will react with the surface and make it shine like new before scraping it off. Finally i add a very thin coat of oil wit a paper towel to preserve the surface. NO SCRUBBING NECESSARY
 
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Joined Oct 25, 2010
As for the egg, turn down the temp of your griddle and it will not stick. I do eggs at 300-325 F.
 
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Joined Aug 21, 2009
 We do a clean at end of day and a re-season every morning... works fine for us and after a year and a half the grills are still pretty shiny
 
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
....not sure what you mean by your third point as the metal is almost too conductive and I find it burns irregularly whereas the carbon is much more distrubutive of heat. as well as ( I notice) hot oil on a hot griddle just gets pushed away by the higher density egg and the egg sticks
O.K. ,look,  Imagine a plain frying pan, smoking hot with no oil and a lean piece of meat, like a chix brst.  Sucker won't fry, you'll get scorching and moisture in the pan, but no nice crust.

Now imagine something deepfried, fries.  Total surface area covered with an even crust, right?

Your griddle is perfectly flat and hot.  Your product is not smooth, nor is it flat.  You only get heat contact where the metal meets the product.  You'll only get colouring where the metal meets the product--think of a charbroiled steak.

Now, if you have a "filler" something that can take any shape or form and transfer heat from the flat hard griddle to the rough, no-so-flat- product, you'll get an even crust or browning for the whole surface of the the product.  This is oil..  No matter how little it is, it fills the void in between the high and low spots of the product and the smooth even surface of the griddle. 
 
 
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Different strokes for different folks. However one thing I would never do is throw cold water on top of a hot grill to cool it down. There is no way I know that will cause warping of the metal as quick as this. Same thing applies to saute or fry pans  COOL DOWN first.
 
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Joined Aug 21, 2009
As for the egg, turn down the temp of your griddle and it will not stick. I do eggs at 300-325 F.

I do eggs on the flat top set to 250F and omelettes set to300F. Anything higher than 250F makes for nasty looking eggs at least with our flat tops.  Omelettes with yolks cook beautifully at 300F and whites only I do at 250F so the plate presentation is nice. 

When we clean our grills at the end of the day we first scrape them with the razor then brush them down with hot water, add keating klenzer and brush like mad, rinse with hot water and brush the spots that need it and then... scrape the water off and buff with a bar mop towel.  The process takes ten minutes or less and our grills are as shiny as they were when they were brand new.
 
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Joined Oct 25, 2010
Different strokes for different folks. However one thing I would never do is throw cold water on top of a hot grill to cool it down. There is no way I know that will cause warping of the metal as quick as this. Same thing applies to saute or fry pans  COOL DOWN first.
Yeah you may be right, I will bring it up with the chef. That actually never occurred to me but I've seen the warping happen with sauté pans. I just assumed that since the flat top was much thicker that it wouldn't warp.

Do you ever put pots on the flat top when you don't have enough fires?
 
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Joined Dec 11, 2010
A dirty griddle is never acceptable.  Sorry, that's just the way it is.  I don't like using chemicals on the griddle.  I found that while the griddle is still warm a douching with seltzer water does a nice job of picking up all the crud.  Brush, rinse with vinegar wipe down with a little oil and your good to go.

Chagal
 
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Joined Oct 22, 2005
Quote:
I clean my flat top every night with a powerful product called D9. First I pour on some cold water to cool down the surface so that when i put the product it won't vaporize. Once the top is cool, I add the product and let it react for five minutes. Then I pour cold water once again and use a razor-sharp scraper to remove all the water. The black stuff will com off easily. Then I give it a final rinse with water. Then I pour on white vinegar which will react with the surface and make it shine like new before scraping it off. Finally i add a very thin coat of oil wit a paper towel to preserve the surface. NO SCRUBBING NECESSARY

Yea, last kitchen I worked at used something similar. Made cleaning the flat top so much easier (no grill brick needed :D), took 5 minutes and looked brand new after :D
 
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Joined Dec 16, 2010
i use scotchbrite's griddle cleaner.  spread it on the flat-top while its still fairly hot, give it a few minutes to work/cool down, then rinse with water/vinegar solution.  rub with oil before i lock the doors.

had a few issues with sticking first thing in the morning..but a little butter helps ;-)
 
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Joined Dec 7, 2010
A dirty griddle is never acceptable.  Sorry, that's just the way it is.  I don't like using chemicals on the griddle.  I found that while the griddle is still warm a douching with seltzer water does a nice job of picking up all the crud.  Brush, rinse with vinegar wipe down with a little oil and your good to go.

Chagal
Brush, or scrub with a brick?   Did a little time as a short order cook, there was always something on the griddle, most everything was cooked on the griddle, the harder I tried to keep it clean the more problems I had with off burnt oil flavors.  Never did really figure out the best way to deal with that.  Less diligent cleaning may have been better.  
 
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I can't even imagine not cleaning the flat top.

When I was short order cooking I often scraped during service, to keep crud to a minimum. Then, at closing, scrape again and go to work with a grill brick. Wipe down with damp towels, rebrick any spots that needed it, wipe again. When dry (which didn't take long, due to residual heat) a light coating of oil.

Anyone who thinks food cooks better on a dirty surface (putting aside health concerns) is kidding themself.
 
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Joined Dec 22, 2010
I would write my staff up if the left the grill dirty like that. I keep my griddle clean and shiney and the food always comes out beautiful. As another poster said, not only does burned oil flake off on new foods, it is just nasty to leave the griddle like that.
 
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Joined Dec 7, 2010
I would write my staff up if the left the grill dirty like that. I keep my griddle clean and shiney and the food always comes out beautiful. As another poster said, not only does burned oil flake off on new foods, it is just nasty to leave the griddle like that.
 What happens when it starts getting bad and its still covered with food?  Try and make a space and use the brick, wipe it off and then spread the food back over it, didnt work well for me.  

What kind of metal are most griddle plates? Never really thought about it.  On Vulcan website it says "proprietary composite".  If its just a plate of steel, like a rolled steel saute pan, you have to wonder why you would want to keep it shiney.  

Anybody ever seen a commercial cast iron flat top griddle plate?  
 
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
Don't use the brick when there's food on the grill!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What's next, telling you to wash yer hands after going wee-wee?

And don't tell me "I'll be carefull" not to get brick dust in the food.

Grill bricks are made of ground glass, an abrasive--look at the packaging, made by Corning.  Stuff tastes nasty, damages your teeth, and won't do much good for your gastro-intestinal tract either.

Grill doesn't have to be shiny, it has to be CLEAN!!!! No burnt on/carbonized oil, burnt on meat juices, or burnt on other juices.

Sure as (deleted)-well  hope your employers aren't reading this thread. 
 
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Joined Dec 22, 2010
What the hell? If your grill is getting black in the middle of cooking, you have the heat up too high. No grill bricks or chemicals should ever be used on the grill WHILE it is being used. That is both phsycial and chemical contamination. I'd sure like to know where you and lazychef work so I warn anyone I know to stay the heck out of your establishments.
 
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