How to Clean a Flat Top Grill: The Definitive Grill Wilson Guide
While flat top grills are usually found in commercial kitchens. Some savvy laymen have also discovered the immense power of the almighty flat-top grill. They’re so extremely versatile, they can be used for any and all of your grilling needs—from your basic burger flipping to some sophisticated Teppanyaki.
But since a flat top grill can be a big and chunky appliance, taking care of it can be quite challenging. There could be parts of food sticking to the grill, discoloration, and not to mention that abominably messy grease trough.
If cleaning your flat-top has got you frustrated, then don’t you worry—I’m about to take you through a detailed guide on how to keep that thing clean as a whistle.
Let’s dive right in!
How Often Should You Clean the Flat Top Grill?
Before anything else, you should know how often you need to be cleaning your flat top grill. You definitely shouldn’t wait until the things already rusting before you think about getting a sponge out.
So for your reference, here are a few signs you should look out for to determine if it’s time for a grill cleaning:
- Food excessively sticking to the griddle.
- Food not cooking evenly.
- Unwanted flavor transfers onto new food.
- Excessive grease build-up.
- Burnt oil build-up
- The flat-top is starting to get rusty
Experts suggest cleaning flat top grills before and after use. This way, you can stop bacteria and germs in their tracks before they get a chance to develop on the surface. An unclean grill won’t just affect the taste of your food, but it can be dangerous to your health as well.
How to Clean a Flat Top Grill
I get it, you’re looking at your greasy flat top grill and thinking of how on earth this thing is ever gonna get clean. We’ve all been there, but don’t worry, because flat top grill cleaning isn’t nearly as intimidating when you just take it one step at a time.
I’ll also be discussing how to clean a flat top grill based on their type be it; stainless steel, chrome, composite, or blackstone. Each of these flat grills requires a different type of cleaning.
Here are some of the grill cleaners and cleaning products that you should have on hand:
- Grill scraper
- Pad holder
- Scrub pad or grill-stone
- Grill screen
- Warm or room temperature water
Now once you’ve gathered all these materials, let’s get right into cleaning your flat top grill!
The stainless steel flat top grill is probably the most common type. It’s considered to be durable and holds heat very well, and it’s resistant to rusting.
Here’s how you can clean a grill made of stainless steel:
Step 1: Cool down the grill to 300°F-350°F.
Step 2: When the grill is already hot, use your grill scraper to scrape the surface clean of stuck food or grease buildup. It’s best to use heat-resistant gloves to be safe during this process.
Step 3: Pour warm or room temperature water on the flat surface.
Step 4: Place your grill screen on top of a scrubbing pad and brush the surface of the flat grill.
Step 5: Wash the surface with water to rinse off the debris, then wipe the flat top grill clean.
While chrome flattop grills are more expensive, people choose them because they have certain advantages. For example, a chrome top emits less heat to the air and therefore can heat your food better.
Here’s how to clean a flat top grill with chrome properties:
Step 1: Let the grill cool down to 300°F-350°F.
Step 2: Take your grill scraper and scrape the griddle of leftover debris.
Step 3: Rinse the surface with room temperature water.
Step 4: Scrub off the remaining debris and grease buildup.
Step 5: Make sure to use a non-abrasive and food-safe polish to cover the top grill.
Step 6: Wipe the surface clean with a dry cloth.
Step 7: Remove all the polish with a damp cloth.
Composite plates boast the fastest recovery time and heat transfer rate. Those who use composite flat top grills report more consistent cook times, easier cleaning, and less energy consumption.
If you’re using a composite plate, here’s how you can clean it:
Step 1: Let the grills cool down to 300°F-350°F.
Step 2: Remove all debris with your scraping tool.
Step 3: Use mild detergent with water as a grill cleaner by coating the flat top with it.
Step 4: Just like with the chrome top, use a non-abrasive scrub to scour the surface.
Step 5: Lastly, rinse the surface with room temperature water. Make sure that the detergent properties are removed.
How to Keep the Flat Top Grill Clean
Now that you know how to clean your flat top grill, you should also know how to keep it clean. While this might seem like an annoying extra step, it’s vital for the overall condition of your flat-top.
Good thing is that you don’t need a lot of fancy materials or elbow to maintain the cleanliness of your top grill. Just follow the precautions and cleaning tips below:
Always use a lid or cover the grill
This is especially important if you live in a tropical area; the humidity can facilitate rust like you wouldn’t believe. Aside from that, keeping your grill covered also avoids insects or animals from getting trapped inside, which you absolutely do not want.
Season the plate
Avoid food from getting stuck on the plate by seasoning the grill (INSERT LINK TO SEASON GRILL YO). This is best done when your grill is brand new!
It’s easy! You don’t even need a top grill cleaner for this. The trick? Oil.
To season your grill, you’ll just have to heat it up until it darkens then add oil. Side note: make sure to use oil that’s rich in fatty acids. Flax oil, vegetable oil, and canola oil all work great.
Once you’ve dabbed the surface with oil, amp up the heat until the grill billows with smoke. Then once the smoke is gone, you can turn off your grill. Or repeat the process if you think it needs an extra clean.
A well seasoned flat top grill is a clean flat top grill is, so don’t slack on the oil!
Flat Top Grill Precautions
Just like any kitchen appliance, always check for safety. Make it a habit in your cleaning routine to check for gas leaks.
To determine if there are any leaks, coat the pipes carrying propane or methane with soapy water. For more accurate results, use an old toothbrush. If you see bubbles rising, this means that the pipes have leaks.
Now that you know how to clean your flat top grill and the best practices to keep it clean and safe, you can now practice your Teppanyaki skills with new confidence. Your well-seasoned and grime-free grill awaits you!