For Luis Fernandez, owner of Mojito's Cuban-American Bistro in Historic Downtown Norcross, Ga., a commercial range is one of the most important kitchen appliances. Ensuring that it works properly is critical to his restaurant's success.
"For us, the toughest part of this business is the constant repair and maintenance, as well as all the challenges that come with managing cash flow," says Fernandez, who uses a Sunfire six-burner, two-oven, small flat-top system for cooking.
Following these simple maintenance tips can help extend the life of a commercial range. Remember to always reference your user's manual for the manufacturer's cleaning recommendations for your specific model.
Once your range cools, wipe up spills immediately to prevent food from getting baked on. If you're using a griddle top, be sure to scrape off excess food particles. At the end of the day, pour water on your griddle and heat it to 175 degrees. Wipe the area clean.
Gas and electric ranges have removable burners for easy cleaning. Wipe down cast iron grates with a wet cloth or soak the grates in warm soapy water to break down the grease. If your range has drip trays, remove them and wipe them down daily. They can also be soaked in warm soapy water for deeper cleaning.
A commercial range with an oven base needs to be cleaned at least once a month. Use a standard oven cleaner for porcelain enamel interiors, but for metal interiors simply use a mild detergent and soft cloth.
After cleaning the range, turn on each burner one at a time and check for a steady blue flame. If the flame is uneven, yellow or white, turn off the burner and adjust the flame shutter until the flame is blue. If the pilot doesn't stay lit, unplug the range and clean the port with a wire brush.
Should your range need repair, the manufacturer can provide a list of authorized service agents in your area. If the range is still under warranty, some or all of the repair cost may be covered.