Patina on a flat grill question

Discussion in 'Whats Cooking? Food, Drink, & Gear' started by Von blewitt, Dec 19, 2018.

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  1. Dec 19, 2018 #1

    Von blewitt

    Von blewitt

    Von blewitt

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    5D130133-3B1B-460B-8138-9EF86B871757.jpeg I recently purchased a restaurant with an old range ( I’m guessing it’s 40 years old)
    It has a flat grill which has what looks like a beautifully seasoned patina that some knuckle head has tried to clean off in some parts.

    Am I best to strip the whole thing back and start again or will the cleaner sections catch up?
     
  2. Dec 19, 2018 #2

    Greenbean1224

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    Looks like they might have put a coating on it and it’s peeling. Is that possible. We have a 6 ft grill that’s probably 30 years old and it gets almost a mirror finish when we clean it. Have you tried taking a grill brick to it. I would start with a grill brick and see what your dealing with.
     
  3. Dec 19, 2018 #3

    panda

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    Strip it
     
  4. Dec 19, 2018 #4
  5. Dec 19, 2018 #5

    Von blewitt

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    I’m interested, who is of the opinion to clean it back with caustic/grill pad every night, and who thinks building a patina over time is best
     
  6. Dec 19, 2018 #6

    Greenbean1224

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    We clean ours everyday. It performs fantastic.
     
  7. Dec 19, 2018 #7

    Ryndunk

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    Strip it. Every day.
     
  8. Dec 19, 2018 #8

    panda

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    i've never thought to build up patina on a flat top, these things get gross. clean dat shiz daily!!
     
  9. Dec 19, 2018 #9
    Patina? If we were discussing cast iron / carbon steel cookware that would be called "seasoning", and you would WANT to keep it, or strip and restore it, right?

    I have a 30" outdoor flattop and I keep it seasoned. Just keep it clean and oiled.

    I guess it comes down to what the local Board of Health wants you to do.
     
  10. Dec 19, 2018 #10

    Von blewitt

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    370BBDFD-2660-49CC-83D6-D9D214881A24.jpeg Yeah, seasoning is probably a better word for it, I managed to get it back to this without any chemical
     
  11. Dec 19, 2018 #11

    Jville

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    In restaurants I've always cleaned them totally every night. I'm about to have my food truck that I will develop a seasoning and keep it like you would a cast iron, carbon steel pan. I have a buddy who has an outdoor flat grill that develop a seasoning and it's way more nonstick than the ones I've used in pro kitchens. I will still clean it, but not strip it.
     
  12. Dec 19, 2018 #12

    stringer

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    That's not seasoning or patina, it's just baked on carbon. A flat top should be cleaned to bare metal every day. Grill bricks with cheap vegetable oil to lift the crud. Scrape the residue off. Wipe with wet rag. Wipe with dry rag. Use pan spray instead of butter or oil when cooking on it to minimize how much crap builds up.
     
  13. Dec 19, 2018 #13

    Jville

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    Are you just referring to the pic or the flat tops in general? I've seen them season. They have carbon steel in them and will season, even though they are usually stripped. It takes away their non stick properties. Some carbon can build up,but they can season.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
  14. Dec 19, 2018 #14

    stringer

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    My experience in general is working with these things for hotel and club breakfast buffets. They use them for everything. Scrambling eggs, frying omelets, pancakes, French toast, hash browns, caramelizing onions, etc. I don't believe that you get any nonstick benefit from the gunk that builds up on them while you are using them. The best surface to work with is hot and clean with a couple thin layers of pan spray. If you don't clean them back to bare metal after the breakfast shift then they will be smoking by dinner time. The thicker the carbon crust the more difficult it is to get rid of. At a previous job we used an 8 foot flat top and did enough business that we would usually clean it at midshift between breakfast rush and lunch rush on busy weekends. They must be made of some kind of carbon steel because they will rust if you leave the bare metal wet after you clean it. But this is red rust and the gunk you are cleaning is burnt food and oil particles. Neither of these is patina.
     
  15. Dec 19, 2018 #15
    If it had been seasoned like a carbon steel pan, then the "gunk" would have come off easily and cleaning it would have been much easier than taking it down to bare metal. Much easier.

    I suspect that the "clean down to bare metal" has become a standard because it takes a certain amount of care to maintain a seasoned surface, care that the average worker cannot or will not give. So, like house knives, flat top grills are abused and then brought back to a measure of serviceability.
     
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  16. Dec 19, 2018 #16

    Jville

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    I agree. Most people I worked with didn't even season them. They would just constantly try to clean them . Even me when I was seasoning them, I wouldn't have enough time to develop a deep seasoning since every day it is ripped off.
     
  17. Dec 19, 2018 #17

    Kippington

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    Many of the ones I've used wouldn't get hot enough to build a proper non-stick patina. The hot spots are so narrow in comparison to the surface of the grill, it would be difficult to maintain a seasoning across the entire surface. I've never seen it get done properly.

    Come to think of it, I've never seen it get done with woks either. I think the amount of wet foods that come into contact with these things changes the effectiveness of a built-up natural coating. At a certain point it starts to make some foods taste like everything you cooked in the last week.
     
  18. Dec 20, 2018 #18

    stringer

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    I've argued with people about how to take care of these things for years and let people try all sorts of methods to clean it and season it. The one thing I forbid is the dumping of giant buckets of ice or water while it's piping hot. If you're lucky it won't crack and split in two. It will just slowly develop all kinds of little micro chips that will clog with crud and make it harder to keep clean.
    In the end the thing that works best is don't let it get dirty. If it does get dirty, clean it. Otherwise it will season your food. Season it with a scorched flavor and flakes of black crud. Temperature control and pan spray are the key to non stick success. There are some old school French style cast iron plate things that I think you could "season" to a certain extent. But that's not the type in the picture. And as far as the health inspector. They want you to clean them thoroughly and often.
     
  19. Dec 24, 2018 #19

    Cashn

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    I use ones that range from 4ft to 8ft long depending on which food truck I’m on. We use it for everything how stringer explained earlier, eggs anyway you can think of, pancakes, hash browns, sandwiches, you name it, in the morning and then I’ll be searing whole NY strips, fish fillets, and veggies or whatever I have on the menu after breakfast. Completely different menu every day. We scrub it clean every night. Soon as you turn it off scrape and maybe throw a little water to deglaze it and remove big residue. Veggie or fryer oil with a grill brick while it’s still screaming hot should take no longer than 1-2 min of work with the grill brick. Re oil and when you fire it up the next morning it will season itself in no time.
     
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  20. Dec 26, 2018 #20

    Furminati

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    Anybody else have trouble cleaning the debris left from the grill brick. I used to HATE grill bricks
     
  21. Dec 26, 2018 #21

    Cashn

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    I just wipe it off, you can add a bit more oil so the towel or paper towels slide a bit easier. Refresh your towels till black crap stops coming off. Little bit of lemon juice at the very end helps cut through the last bit of oil/gunk and makes it shiny.
     
  22. Dec 27, 2018 #22

    panda

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    i just hate the sound it makes
     
  23. Dec 27, 2018 #23

    Ryndunk

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    The smell. I hate the smell.
     

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