We are back with the second part of our restaurant equipment maintenance do-it-yourself series. In our first piece, we discussed the refrigeration and food preparation segments of your kitchen equipment. In this entry, we will tackle maintenance issues facing equipment used for conventional cooking such as ranges, fryers and hood accessories. Unlike the first part of this series, the items featured here are some of the more thought of and centrally focused appliances in the kitchen. Similarly to the refrigeration and food prep post, regular maintenance of these devices will help to ensure an all encompassing positive dining experience for your customers and a less stressful environment for your employees.
• Ranges, or stoves, are most likely one of the most important appliances found in your kitchen, so it is necessary to take special care of them. It all starts on top with spider grates. This is where most of the action takes place, so check grates regularly for breaks and wear.
• The burners put in all their work underneath the grates and out of plan view. Checking them regularly is an absolute must. Start by examining the port holes on the side of the burner. Clean the holes with a reamer and remove any food particles or debris with a wire brush. Look at the top of the burner, often referred to as the head, for cracks. Replace burners immediately when broken.
• Most of your hands-on work with the range is done when rotating knobs and opening the door with the handle. Replace worn or missing burner knobs to ensure proper temperature on the range. Get a feel for the handle and tighten it when necessary. Broken handles should be replaced as soon as possible.
• You can fry just about anything on the planet to make it even more delicious. That is, of course, if the fryer used is clean and functioning properly. Start by looking at the fryer basket for broken wires. Purchase new ones when old ones break to avoid food waste. Wipe the top of the fryer, called the flue, clear of dust and debris when they appear.
• As with ranges, it is wise to keep readable knobs on fryers to be in full control of the cooking process. Check for looseness in screws on the fryer door's handles, hinges and catches.
• The drain valve is never at the forefront of frying, but examining it is important when evaluating your fryer. If it appears leaky or clogged, check the drain valve, nipple or gasket. If any of those are in bad condition, a change is required.
• Cleaning around your fryer is necessary in keeping a sanitary kitchen, so check the casters underneath for wear and tear. Test the brakes often and double check to see if there is a restraining cable present.
• The initial process of examining a broiler should begin at the top with the grates. If any are chipped or broken, they must be replaced. Check underneath the grates when broiling to make sure briquettes are evenly distributed. Look at burners routinely for deterioration.
• Knobs should be tightened and easy to read on broilers as they are on other appliances. Replace warped or cracked radiants and look at the opening of air mixers and rid them of dirt or food particles.
• Check the dials and replace them when illegible, worn or missing. Look behind the griddle and check the gas hose for kinks and secure the restraining cable if necessary.
• One of the biggest problems facing griddles after repeated use is imbalance. This problem can be solved by adjusting legs, casters, or both. Turn legs clockwise to increase height and counterclockwise to decrease. In altering the casters, loosen the jam nut and turn the caster in or out to adjust height. Casters should not be adjusted by more than one half inch.
• Check the open spaces in between filters and at either end of the hood and put in metal hood filter spacers when necessary.
• Look at the hood lights to determine whether the protective glass globes and wire guards are in proper condition. Replace cracked or broken globes as needed.
• When examining the grease pans, make sure they are firmly secured, and free of leakage or corrosion. Regularly clean grease pans.
• Look at baffle filters for dents, wear, damaged baffles and separation of frames.
• Check for looseness on handles and replace any that are missing as well as any worn or missing knobs.
• If it is noticeably difficult to open a drawer, check the slides and rollers and fix as needed. Check the sealing of drawers to make sure it is fully closed properly.
Replace the gasket if needed.
As with the refrigeration and prep equipment, if you encounter parts that need repair or replacement we are here to help you select the correct piece to resolve your issues.