A Guide to Cleaning a Charbroiler
There aren’t many things better than the chargrilled flavor of a juicy steak or chicken. The satisfying, smoky taste and eye-popping grill marks are just a couple of great things about a commercial charbroiler. However, if your unit isn’t cleaned routinely, it can leave be a bad mark on your commercial kitchen. It not only is harder to maintain or degrease, but it also creates uneven and inconsistent heat that leads to poorly cooked product. Luckily, our guide to cleaning a charbroiler has a helpful video and step-by-step instructions to walk you through daily maintenance.
How to Clean a Gas Charbroiler
There are two different types of gas charbroiler: infrared and lava rock. Infrared grills have angled pieces of metal called radiants, or emitters, which sit above the burners and radiate heat to the food. Lava rock charbroilers have a flat surface over the gas with lava rocks on top of that. Keep in mind your emitter panel or lava rocks will need to be replaced based on service hours and types of food being cooked. Here are the steps for cleaning a gas charbroiler.
- Step 1. Burn off the grease - After cooking is finished, allow the unit to run for 10 minutes to burn off grease from the grates.
- Step 2. Scrape the grill and grates - Turn off the unit, and scrape with a grill scraper. Once cooled, flip the grates and scrape off the bottom. Then, set the grates aside.
- Step 3. Clean the sides of the grill - Use a degreaser, if necessary, to clean the sides of the grill.
- Step 4a. Clean the radiant (infrared) - If the unit has a radiant, scrape debris off. Make sure you DO NOT use water on the radiant when cleaning.
- Step 4b. Clean the stones or rocks (lava rock) - If the unit uses ceramic stones or lava rock, flip them using tongs monthly or as needed to help burn off grease
- Step 5. Clean the heat shield (if applicable) - On a weekly basis, remove the heat shield and clean it thoroughly. Make sure to vacuum or collect any accumulated debris from inside burner boxes.
- Step 6. Clean the water pan - Remove the water pan/drip tray from the charbroiler, and clean it in a sink.
- Step 7. Reattach components - Once everything is cleaned, reattach the heat shield, water pan/drip tray, radiant/lava stones and grill grates. Before attaching the pan, fill it with water.
How to Clean an Electric Charbroiler
While they're less common than their gas counterparts, electric charbroilers still are very effective alternatives. Unlike gas models, they use a heating coil with baffles on top. Here are easy steps for cleaning an electric charbroiler.
- Step 1. Burn off grease - After cooking is finished, let the charbroiler to run for 10 minutes to burn off grease.
- Step 2. Scrape of the grates - With the unit turned off, scrape the grates with a grill scraper. Once everything cools down, flip the grates and scrape off the bottom. Then, remove the grates.
- Step 3. Clean the heat shield and baffles - Use a degreaser to clean the grill's heat shields. Remove the baffles and clean them in a sink.
- Step 4. Clean the heating element (if necessary) - If the heating element is dirty, clean it using a dry wire brush.
- Step 5. Clean the water pan - Remove the water pan/drip tray from the unit. Wash the pan in a sink.
- Step 6. Reattach parts - Attach the baffles, water pan and grates back on the charbroiler. If applicable, refill the pan with water before reattaching, if applicable.
How to Clean the Grill & Maintain Grates
The grill grates typically only need a good scraping to clean them. If you thoroughly clean the grates or soak them in a sink, you will have to season them again. This is why cleaning them in a sink is only advised on a monthly basis. Grease buildup will be harder to deal with if left unchecked, and excessively dirty emitters or burner boxes can lead to uneven heating. A little care will go a long way. Save yourself the headache and ensure your staff is cleaning the charbroiler nightly.
How to Season Charbroiler Grates after Cleaning
Seasoning charbroiler grates helps prevent rusting and makes them easier to clean over time. Below is what you need to do to to season grates properly.
- Step 1. Remove and coat the grates - After you remove the grates, use a cloth or paper towel to evenly coat them with canola oil or any high-temperature oil.
- Step 2. Put the grates back on - Place them back on the unit, and turn the charbroiler on to high.
- Step 3. Leave the charboiler on - Leave the charbroiler on for 30 minutes or until it stops smoking. Once it's complete, let the grates cool.
For additional ways to keep your space clean, check out our commercial kitchen cleaning guide.