Flat top grills have been in a market for decades but it is only recently that they have gained popularity among the community of BBQ lovers. Although they look similar to griddles, they consist of a circular heating element which offers even distribution and fast conduction of heat.
Flat top grills are opted for because of their versatality and flexibility. They also provide a wide service area for cooking and can be used for several techniques such as grilling, stir frying, shallow frying and even baking. Additionally, a flat top grill can easily accomodate a pan or a pot.
However, flattop grills require regular and maintenance to ensure sufficient performance levels. Since these grills go through alot during the cooking procedure, cleaning them is a neccesity rather than a luxury.
Although it is suggested to clean your grill after every use, some may clean it after a few uses or even after some months. Cleaning your flat top grill is also important to ensure that your invesment is worthwhile and lasts you a long period of time.
How Often Should You Clean a Flat Top Grill?
Practically speaking, you must clean your flat top grill after every use. Once you have finished cooking, allow the surface to cool down. Then scrub it with a scouring pad or a soft grill brush. If you wish to clean troublesome fat, food particles, grease, and other drippings, it will be easier to do so when the grill is still warm.
If you have bought your flat top grill for household use, you don’t need to deep clean your grill every day. Depending on your usage, you can thoroughly clean it every four to six months.
Deep cleaning your grill requires disassembling the parts and inspecting the gas pipe, exterior, and burners for leakages, rust, cuts, or other issues.
Remember that you should cover your grill to protect it from harsh weather. This is especially important if you leave your flat top grill outdoors.
Signs Your Flat Top Grill Needs Deep Cleaned?
Although it is usually recommended that you clean your flat top grill after every use, professional users prefer to clean their grill after multiple uses.
Most of the flat top grill users want their grill to cook food evenly. However, when the grill is greasy or dirty, it will hamper the even distribution of heat. This will also impact your food as it will be cooked unevenly.
The second indication is if you find flakes of burnt oil in your food. Everyone, including yourself, wants that your food should be clean and fresh and should not contain any foreign particles. If your grill is unclean, it will have burnt oil on the cooking area, affecting your food.
If you find out that your freshly cooked food has an odd taste or an undesired flavor, there are strong chances that you will prepare your food on an unclean grill. Cross-contamination is a likely outcome of an unclean grill.
If you observe the buildup of grease and troublesome fat that won’t go away, it is a sign that your grill requires cleaning. Leaving the grill unattended will cause disease-causing pathogens and bacteria to grow on your grill.
If your grill is left unattended over a period of time, it will develop rust on its cooking surface. If you don’t use your grill frequently, give it a thorough wash and cover it before storing.
Supplies Needed to Clean a Flat Top Grill
The supplies needed to clean are subject to variation depending on the method that you opt for.
Usually, you will need water and dish wash to clean your soap.
A grill scraper is a blade that is used to scrape off the food from your flat top grill. It is equipped with a plastic handle that allows you to clean it even when the grill is hot.
A grill scrub pad is a necessary supply when you are deep cleaning your grill. It has thick bristles placed on a wooden handle so that it is easy to brush off the food that is stuck on the grill surface.
A grill screen is made from rayon and has a coat of aluminium oxide. It is especially useful when you are deep cleaning your grill and need to brush off the buildup.
A flat top grill cleaner is a natural cleaner which is especially made for a flat top grill.
If you are interested to purchase just one tool to clean your grill, opt for the grill brick. It has the potential to perform all the cleaning functions that each of the above-mentioned tools performs individually.
Clean a Flat Top Grill Using Deep Clean Method
If you have just finished preparing a meal on your flat top grill, allow it to cool down before you start the deep cleaning process. Once the grill has cooled down, use a griddle scraper or a metal spatula scrape the entire edges and surface of the cooking area. If your grill comes with a grease tray, push all the debris in that. But don’t forget to clean it on a regular basis as well.
If your griddle is extremely dirty, you can make use of warm water. It’ll help to losen the leftovers. Even if you are unable to clean your grill, try not to use chemicals on it. You wouldn’t want to end up cooking for your family on a grill that has chemical traces on it. Simply use warm water and a grill pad to scrap off the leftovers. Now make use of a few paper towels to wipe down the surface area. In this step, you ought to clean up any of the leftover grease, water or residue.
By now, you have almost finished the cooking procedure. Simply take your favorite cooking spray or favourite oil and put a thin layer over the entire cooking area. This layer will protect against rust and ensure that your grill is well-seasoned by preserving its seasoning layer.
Clean a Flat Top Grill Using Routine Cleaning Method
If you wish to clean your flat top grill on a regular basis, you will have to follow the following steps.
After every use, scrape the leftovers using a griddle scraper. Once the cooking surface of the grill has cooled down, spray the surface with water. Then give the entire grill a good rinse. Now make use of a rag or a paper towel to dry the surface. If you leave out the moisture, it can lead to the formation of rust. Once done, re-season your grill once again. You need not do complete seasoning once again. Instead, just put a light layer of oil on the cooking surface of the flat top grill.
How to Season a Flat Top Grill Before the First Cook?
Seasoning your griddle facilitates the creation of a protective layer on the cooking surface. The primary function served by this grill is to reduce wear and tear as well as the likelihood of forming rust.
Before you start seasoning your griddle, you need to clean it even if it has just been bought. You can use soap and water to clean your grill. Once you’re finished cleaning, dry it thoroughly. Now your grill is ready for seasoning.
To season your griddle, you will need oil, paper towels, cooking utensils, and heat resistant gloves. You can use any oil such as vegetable oil, coconut oil and olive oil.
Set the heat to the high setting on all the burners for 10-15 minutes. Put a thin layer of oil. Spread it across the entire cooking surface using a cooking utensil and paper towel.
Let the oil be heated to a smoke. This might take approximately half an hour or more. Once the smoking has stopped, turn off the grill and let it cool down. This marks the finish of round one. All you need to do now is to repeat the steps as mentioned above two to four times, depending on your requirement. When you are finished seasoning, wipe it down with cooking oil to avoid the formation of rust.
How to Store a Flat Top Grill?
When planning on storing a flat top grill, start by thinking about how often you will be using it. If you will be using your grill on a regular basis or relatively frequently, store it at an easy accessible place.
Next, consider if your grill is going to be exposed to the elements. If you plan on using your grill outdoors, you have to use a cover.
In addition, you must also consider that if there are kids in your house, you store your grill at a place where it is unreachable for them. If it is not a viable option to keep it away from the reach of children, simply make sure that the propane is unconnected.
Safety Tips Around Your Flat Top Grill?
- Make sure kids don’t lurk around your grill. Since the flat top grills are easy to turn on, they are a hazard for kids.
- Keep a thorough understanding of your surrounding areas. If your kids are playing football nearby or your grill is very close to vinyl siding, there are strong chances of an accident.
- Avoid storing things such as containers, bags, or other products in your bag.
- Make sure your cooking area is nicely ventilated.
- If you feel unsafe due to the occurrence of a gas fire, simply call 911 and let the professionals take care of the rest.