Cooking Healthier Meals

2 Ways To Keep Your Professional Kitchen Stove Clean And Safe

by Paul Watson

If you are a restaurant owner, then you understand the stress that comes along with a surprise visit from an investor or a health inspector. As you walk through the kitchen with that professional and listen to suggestions, you might wish that you had paid more attention to that stove covered with drips, food particles, and dangerous pans of extra grease. However, keeping this crucial piece of equipment in tip-top shape doesn't have to be stressful. Here are two ways to keep your professional kitchen stove clean and safe, so that you don't have to worry:

1: Teach Stove Anatomy

You might assume that every member of your kitchen stove understands the intricacies of using that professional-grade stove, but what if you are wrong? If employees don't know how to clean or assemble removable stove components, it might be hard for them to troubleshoot problems on the fly. To keep your kitchen running smoothly, take the time to teach each of your cooks about these key pieces of stove anatomy:

  • Surface Burners: If you have a gas stove, it might contain removable ceramic surface burners. Unfortunately, if these burners or dirty or placed in the wrong position, they can prevent the lighting system from working properly—which might cause flammable gas to fill your kitchen. Make sure that each employee understands how to properly remove, clean, and replace burners and trivets.
  • Grates: Once stuck-on food burns to a crisp, it can turn black and blend in with your grill grates. Unfortunately, this buildup can create problems with food quality or spark devastating kitchen fires. As you train your employees, show them what a clean grill grate looks like.
  • Controls: Your high-tech industrial range might have a wide range of features, but unless your employees understand how to use the controls, those extra options might go to waste. Read your range manual to learn the difference between controls, then teach your workers how to use each section of the stove.
  • Drip Trays: As workers hurry through dinner service, food particles, sauces, and grease can drip through surface burner openings and into your stove's drip tray. Unfortunately, if these trays aren't cleaned regularly, they can pose fire hazards. Teach employees where drip trays are located, and ask your staff to clean them after every service.

Once you have trained your employees, hold regular meetings to make sure that everyone stays up to date on stove anatomy. It might seem like a lot of extra work, but it might help your cooking areas to stay clean and safe. 

2: Assign Dedicated Workstations

It might seem like a good idea to change which employees man the stove from time to time, but the fact of the matter is that your cross training might create more problems than it solves. Here are a few reasons you should think about assigning dedicated workstations, and keeping the same crew on grill duty:

  • Understand System Quirks: Every stove is different, which might make it hard for each employee to keep up with the quirks. If workers don't know which burner tends to flare or which section has trouble sparking, it might cause problems during busy times. However, if you assign certain employees to stove duty, they will become innately familiar with your equipment.
  • More Employee Accountability: When everyone works everywhere, it can be difficult to hold workers accountable for messes or problems. However, when you assign dedicated work areas, you will be able to tell who is doing their job and who needs to be corrected.    

By adding structure to your kitchen and taking the time to thoroughly train your employees, you might be able to enjoy a more functional restaurant. You can learn more about your stove and its parts by clicking here.