Let’s face it. No other appliance keeps your commercial kitchen cooking like your oven does. You can’t afford to have it break down, so routine equipment maintenance and cleaning is a must. Aside from check-ups with a technician, there are some things you can do between regular service appointments. These basic but important commercial oven cleaning and maintenance tips will help keep your unit running smoothly.
Clean Your Interior and Cooktop Burners Daily
Since you’re always cooking up a storm, it’s important to clean your oven’s interior every day. Remove the racks, and soak them in the appropriate cleaner for about 10 minutes. Your owner’s manual should include a recommended cleaner, but a mixture of water and mild dish soap should do the trick as well. The same cleaning solution can be used to wipe down the interior. Just make sure to avoid getting it on the heating element and temperature probe.
If your unit has a cooktop, you also should scrub down the burners daily. Give the burners and grates a thorough cleaning at least once a month by soaking them in a warm, soapy water. This should help remove any stuck-on grease and grime.
Inspect the Door Frequently
Over time, the seal on your oven door will wear down from heavy usage. Whenever you notice damage or cracking on the seal, be sure to replace it immediately. Operating your oven with a faulty seal not only keeps the interior from staying hot, but it also drives up energy costs. One way to reduce damage is by closing the door gently without too much force.
Look for Grease Buildup on Fans
A couple of times a month, look for grease buildup on your commercial oven’s exhaust fan, fan motor or blower. Too much grease not only can restrict airflow in the unit, but it also can harm ventilation throughout your kitchen. Your owner’s manual should have specific de-greasing instructions. If you notice damage to any of these part, replace them immediately.
Recalibrate the Thermostat
Since your unit runs frequently, the thermostat’s calibration can be thrown off from time to time. Every three months, check the accuracy by placing an oven thermometer inside to compare the difference in temperatures. If you notice a disparity, consult your manual to recalibrate the thermostat or have it replaced.
Cleaning for Specialized Ovens
If you have any of the following specialty ovens, use the guidelines above as well as the dedicated tips below that are associated with each unit.
- Convection oven – Since the intake fan is essential to a convection oven, try to clean it on a weekly basis. You also should check the fan’s hinge and surrounding area routinely for grease, grime and other particles.
- Conveyor oven – A conveyor unit has a lot of different parts that make it operate, so you’ll have to remove each separately and clean them. You should thoroughly clean impingement fingers, crumb trays and the conveyor belt. Depending on its use, maintenance should either occur on a daily basis or at least a few times a week.
- Deck oven – Whether it’s pizzas or pitas, a deck oven can get dirty from a lot of sticky dough. Since water and cleaners can wear out the deck, turn up your oven’s heat until any remnants turn to ash. Use an oven brush or scraper to remove any remaining particles.