Servicing Your Small Equipment
While the large units in your kitchen are typically focal points that get a lot of TLC, it’s the smaller pieces of commercial equipment that can sometimes get left on the back-burner when it comes to maintenance and cleaning. Do a quick walk-through of your restaurant kitchen to identify your smaller commercial equipment and create a checklist. You’ll likely find that many of these areas only get a brief wipe-down, but most are in dire need of some serious service.
Smaller pieces of commercial equipment are what fill in the blanks that your larger units simply can’t do. From hotdog grills to blenders to rice cookers and scales, there are a multitude of units that consume a small kitchen footprint but still need the same attention that your larger units require for regular maintenance. Here are some tips for servicing your smaller units.
Hotdog Grill : Think about it: Raw meats go on the grill and get left for upwards of a few hours to rotate and deposit grease. It’s a continually-moving grill that accumulates tons of dirt, grime, and even dust (as it’s exposed to the open air), and we typically just do a quick wipe-down at the end of the night. On a regular basis at the end of a shift, use a combination of baking soda and vinegar as an abrasive cleanser, and then make sure to use a gentle scouring pad to clean the grill of all buildup.
Can Opener : Your can opener is likely used on a daily basis, and yet we typically only wipe away visible buildup when we see it. But when you consider all types of food that comes in a can that may have gotten stuck in the working parts, then you’ll realize the germs and bacteria that may be festering in your can opener. Use white or apple-cider vinegar and a toothbrush to scrub away the rust, then rinse off the vinegar thoroughly. Dry the opener with a hair-dryer (be careful, though — the metal may get hot), making sure to get into all of the crevices. When it is dry, lubricate moving parts with a little mineral oil. Remember that replacement blades can be purchased when your can opener starts to struggle with its primary function.
Rice Cooker : Rice cookers house sticky, sweet rice and can accumulate buildup rather quickly. Since there’s quite a bit that goes into cleaning a rice cooker.
Toaster : Commercial toasters can be in constant use (for instance, in a bakery or sandwich shop) or may be used only sparingly, but the general cleaning methods are the same. Always power your toaster to off and unplug it before cleaning (for safety reasons). Pull out the crumb drawer and consider using foil as a liner to prevent having debris buildup directly on the pan. Dislodge crumbs from the toaster coils, and use soapy water and a scrub brush for any wire racks. You can also use a commercial degreaser sprayed on your rag (not on the toaster directly) to clean the walls of the inside cavity. Don’t forget to wipe the outside of the toaster walls as well for a clean appearance!