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Cooking on the flat top.

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Hi all,
Just curious about a guy at my new job who uses lemon (not real) and water to clean the flat top.This seems wrong,any thoughts?
Thanks,
Muriel
post #2 of 32
used that and 7-up, and vinegar+water. always wiped down with oil afterwards. oh and used ice+water also. little free facial action. seemed to work, never cracked a flat top in 20+ yrs. no chemical residue. just don't forget to empty the grease well.
kathee
post #3 of 32
I have used lemon juice when I don't have vinegar, but a few of my eggs go grey and I don't know why.
post #4 of 32
We use the lemon and water method most of the time, also have used ice + water..does a great job, never any problems.
post #5 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your replies,up to now I have only ever used oil to clean the metal surface ,I would have thought that acid (lemon juice) would strip and pit the flat top.
post #6 of 32
Won't really pit it....it won't build up a well seasoned surface though....the
lemon or vinegar is used because of the acidity....gets it real pretty...I am a
fan of just using a brick and oil....one word of caution....ice and cold water will eventually start to bow it a little bit....if not the actual grittle surface...some of the thinner metal encasing the grittle top....as they said above....always oil it down....it will oxidize if cleaned well and left unoiled.
post #7 of 32
We use one of those special bricks for the flat top now. Apply a little oil, scrape the debris off with the brick, wipe it down, and finish it with pan spray.

At my old job we used to hit it with ice, degreaser, and finally lemon juice. I was told the lemon juice neutralizes the chemicals in the degreaser.
post #8 of 32
Was taught to use ice water, scrape down, use the oil and brick and more water. Nothing fancy and seemed to work fine.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #9 of 32
We always scraped the oil and gunk off into the oil drip pan with a spatula, then wiped the surface with a clean rag. Then the 'ol volcanic sulfide brick until the top was shiny steel again. Removed the drip pan and carried it out to the refuse bin, and then wiped with a clean dry rag.

Next morning, they oiled the flat top and brought it up to high temperature and we were ready for another day of cooking.

doc
post #10 of 32
I've always preferred the griddle screen over the brick. No nasty grit to clean up.
post #11 of 32
Surprised to see Luc H hasn't chimed in on this yet.

I've used every technique out there over the years and I've found each one has good and bad attributes. The chemical cleaners are effective and quick, but not neutralzing with vinegar afterwards can be very dangerous.
For me, it's just too big a liability.

The bricks work good, but are very labor intensives and quite messy.

A good, sharp (and very straight) scraper is quite effective but only works if you use it religiously during the shift.

Lemon Juice all by itself, though?
I'm not sure what that would acheive, unless the guys father owns a lemon orchard
post #12 of 32
Depends on what the grill is made of. I had a Keeting that was chrome plated and required only water to clean it (loved that grill). One place I work I use chemical and finish with vinegar. Looks like a new nickel when I'm done. I worked in another place that had what I thought was the same type of grill surface, but when i hit it with the vinegar after the chemical, it immediately started to rust. Had to clean it again and finish with oil. We also used to use pickle juice to finish. Other people have told me they used pineapple juice. I like the chemical because a brick never gets the corners clean. Spic and Span makes a sodium based cleaner that I believe is non-toxic as they use it in hospitals and nursing homes where you are limited to certain cleaners.
post #13 of 32
I've always used margarine and grill screens while grill is hot..When finished I take a paper towel and wipe it it with a thin coat of oil, to make it shine...I have never had a problem this way with any grill I used in 23 years...
When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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post #14 of 32
i always use club soda and elbow grease with a screen, then finish with oil..when i worked with mexicans they used oil and a griddle screen..my flat top never looks as beautiful as theirs..i think the bricks probably do a better job, but they tend to cut my hands to shreds...yes, i have used gloves but the brick is nasty and rips right through the vinyl..haven't tried the huge black heavy duty ones however..they don't make a small enough size to fit me..never heard of lemon juice, but it sure seems to be an expensive cleaner.

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #15 of 32
The really really ghetto way that I used to do before we bought bricks was ice and one of the older grill brushes
post #16 of 32
Like others, I've used every method known to man.
I like the screens unless there is a lot of build-up, then the brick is my preferred method.
I've used lemon juice or chemical neutralizers, but don't like to season my grill every morning, so I prefer just oil, usually dipped from the fryer.

As far as bricks go, nothing wakes you up faster than grill brick napalm on the hand.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #17 of 32
Are we talking flat top as pertaining to a stove with no open burners, or a large grill. They are both cleaned differently.
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #18 of 32
was wondering that myself Ed,

which is it?? most answers seem to be pretaining to a grill???

Nan
post #19 of 32
Yes to regional.

I've been out of the game for a long time, but in California I've never heard it called a flat top, and only occasionally a grill.

Also a "French top" and a "piano." The ones I'm familiar with have varying ranges of temperatures depending on how close to the burners you put your pans. There's a smooth range of temps from sear to simmer you can "play like a piano" simply by sliding your pans about.

Yep.
Yep.
Yep.
Yep.

BDL
What were we talking about?
 
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What were we talking about?
 
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post #20 of 32
PLEASE someone give me advice on fry eggs on flat top grill
post #21 of 32

Are you referring to a standard griddle?

 

For me, a:

  • Grill has raised or separate bars/grates, and is not flat
  • A griddle is a smooth, solid surface
  • a flattop is a type of range
  • a plancha is a thinner griddle? (this one I'm not real sure about and probably need to be educated)

 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #22 of 32

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteMcCracken View Post

:a plancha is a thinner griddle? (this one I'm not real sure about and probably need to be educated)

 

In regular hispanic homes I think there are two common uses of the term, one being identical to a flat griddle. The other is similar to a panini press, sans ridges which you find in restaurants, esp those that press sandwiches (cubanos, medianoche, pan con bistec, etc).  I think there may be another adopted reference like you mention, which is the flat griddle but a more commercial version of what you'd find in a home...and in different countries/professional kitchens there may be other more specific uses (kind of like a "griddle" can be cast iron, stainless or kind of like there are multitudes of variations of a "grill"). It's also used as a common term "a la plancha" like "bistec a la plancha" which is usually a pounded steak (usually lesser cuts that can still be cooked with dry heat) cooked on a griddle :D. Granted that's a known recipe, but you get the idea.

 

Forgot to add, it's an iron as well...but context solves that :)


Edited by zoebisch - 4/19/12 at 11:56am
post #23 of 32


wow we have worked together before?.lol . thats soo me .like totally feel you.

post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteMcCracken View Post
 

Are you referring to a standard griddle?

 

For me, a:

  • Grill has raised or separate bars/grates, and is not flat
  • A griddle is a smooth, solid surface
  • a flattop is a type of range
  • a plancha is a thinner griddle? (this one I'm not real sure about and probably need to be educated)

 

I agree, a grill is as you noted in your first bullet point. However, when someone asked for their sandwich grilled, it is never on that piece of equipment.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #25 of 32

This is a question that has bothered me for longer than a minute.

 

I watched a bunch of vids of different chemicals and the brick. NONE of the griddles in the vids look like my griddle at the end of my night...black and encrusted with coke.

 

All of the griddles in the vids looks pretty clean already.

 

During my shift, I use a small blade scraper between uses (when possible) and every once in awhile I use the big two-handled blade scraper.

 

I used to use the grill brick, but quickly get frustrated because I find it difficult to keep it flat. I always end up with an angle on the bottom of the brick and it loses its effectiveness.

 

I now use a chemical grill/griddle cleaner. I don't really like to use chemicals, but it gets the griddle clean. I rinse and wipe repeatedly with water and fresh paper towels after I've scraped off the cleaner and all of the goodies it's loosened.

 

But my griddle isn't shiny. Not by a long shot, even after cleaning with chemicals and scraping and wiping.

 

In the above posts, I find differing methods and ideas, but I don't think I see anything to help me further.

 

I'm doing something wrong. Help?

post #26 of 32

Is it hot when you are cleaning it?

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #27 of 32
Sooooo if you have everything I like to splash some oil on the flat top, maybe from the fryer, turn all your burners off, and hit it with a grill brick. Pull all the grease back with a dough cutter or a bench scraper or a metal spatula. This will pull most most of the grit up. Then you hit it with vinegar or lemon juice or pickling liquid- really any acid OR your degreaser cleaning gel or agent. Then add a scoop of ice. This should bring all the oil out and cool your flattop a little. Pull all the oil/vinegar mix back with your scraping tool. Now your flattop should be pretty clean and cool. To get that final polish I would then go over it with steel wool and some diluted degreaser or soap and water wiping with a rag throughout.
post #28 of 32
Also when everything is done wipe it down with a healthy dose of fresh oil otherwise everything will stick to it in the morning
post #29 of 32

I turn the griddle off at at eleven PM. I give it a good scraping with the long scraper, then douse it with four cups (customer cups...16oz?), then hit it with degreaser.

 

I give the water/degreaser a gentle stir to make sure there's good distribution, then go about with other closing tasks.

 

After about 10 minutes, I take the small blade scraper and begin scraping the whole surface. I then take a lot of wet paper towels and begin wiping. It dries pretty fast, so I get another set of towels and do the same thing about 4-five times.

 

It cleans the surface, but it stays not shiny.

 

I generally apply a light coat of frying oil when I open in the morning. The coke still starts to build after about five minutes of cooking and I spend the day scraping and the cycle starts again.

post #30 of 32

What are you cooking on it?

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