Even though restaurant equipment are meant to last a seriously long time, that doesn’t mean you can’t do some preventative maintenance. If you have some time, see if you can’t follow a few of these tips:
Clean stainless steel surfaces – It can be easy to smudge stainless steel. And if you want to keep a clean look, then it’s actually a good idea to clean the stainless steel surfaces every once in a while. If you just got your equipment, then you can clean it once a week with this method (dish soap and baby oil works too). If that doesn’t work, then you can get some industrial stainless steel cleaner. Do this regularly, then you won’t have to worry about dirty surfaces or even baked-on food.
Coldline: Check Your Compressor and Make Sure It Keeps at Regular Temperature – In the food service industry, keeping food cool or frozen is a no-brainer (possibly even a negative-brainer, if such a term exists). Not only will you save money on food, you can keep your health inspector happy. Use a thermometer and see if putting the thermostat at 40 degrees F actually turns it to 40 degrees, instead of higher/lower than advertised. You might also have to look at condensers and coils while at it. If you think there are any problems, call a technician.
Hotline: Make sure your burners/heaters are properly calibrated and not over- or underheating. It may not always be your chef’s fault that the food is undercooked or overcooked. Rarely, your range/grill/hotline unit might actually be cooking at higher or lower temperatures than intended. Again, this probably doesn’t happen too often. But if you have a sneaking suspicion that your food’s coming out burnt or slightly raw, your thermostat might need to be recalibrated and/or your burner might need some good cleaning. Again, see a professional for more details.
Sanitation: Don’t just clean, think of using detergents and degreasing as well. Just cleaning everything with soapy water doesn’t necessarily solve the equation. If you have baked-on food that’s hard to go, or if there’s months/years of grease just sitting there, that could leave a bad taste on your food. Use degreasers to dissolve the grease on the surfaces, and use detergents to keep away the soil on the surfaces.
Also: Clean regularly. Either you’re taking once a day or once a week, a clean kitchen is a good kitchen.