Any restaurant people here? I need recommendations for cleaning an older flat grill. It gets used a dozen times a year, and the new people assigned to the kitchen would like to learn the best and easiest methods to keep in in good working condition.

Not in the restaurant business, but I think it would be the same as cleaning cast iron skillets. Turn up the heat… add add water, create steam, scrap off the bits and season with oil. If totally crusted maybe a metal brush with coarse salt is needed…. and re-season.. Like I said never cleaned one but just a thought…

Richard has how we used to do it during KP. They do sell at restaurant supply places a porous stone for major cleaning but that would only really be needed if the grill was rusty. Then you use the stone with oil to resurface then clean and season.

Soak in viniger, you will be surprised. but after clean, be sure and season it like you would a cast iron skillet, grease really good.

Here’s how the mess hall people cleaned theirs.
You need a grill scraper and a grill brick.
First, turn the grill off and let it cool for twenty minutes or so. Take the grill scraper (restaurant supply companies sell both of these) and GENTLY!!!! scrape off all the caked-on food. Then put water on the grill and scrub it with the grill brick. When it’s nice and clean, wash it with soapy water, rinse it with clear water and put some quaternary sanitizing solution on it to kill any germs that might be there. Then dry it. Remove the grease trap and clean it out. (If it won’t come off, and some don’t, just clean it out. Vinegar works well for this–buy a gallon of the cheapest vinegar you can possibly get.) The final step is to coat the grill with vegetable oil to protect it. Wash this off before you use the grill again.

I used to clean such a grill for a local bar and grill. I used a flat stone that had a metal handle. The stone was rectangular and had grooves in it, in both directions. The grooves were about 3/4 of an inch apart. I poured cooking oil on the grill to help the stone slide over the metal surface. I did this cleaning procedure once a week. The grill would look like new when I was done. The stones are commercially available. After the stone had been used a lot, the surface of the stone would wear down and the grooves would disappear. At that time we bought a new stone. I cannot remember if I warmed the grill or not, prior to using the stone. We never used chemicals that might alter the taste of the food.

You will want a grill scraper. It holds replaceable blades like a big paint scraper with a L shaped handle. Right when you turn it off throw 2 qts of ice on the grill and use scrapper to get heavy dirt off. However, make sure that the grease pan has been emptied before or you end up with a big mess. Cleaning the pan after every use (which most kitchen workers don’t do) will make its cleaning and empting a snap. Then use the grill stone with some vinager it will come right often just rinse with water and wipe dry. I worked in kitchens for years and this is by far the best method I came up with.
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It has been a while, but you can get a cleaning stone (pumice?) with a handle at a restaurant supply house, we used a stone, some stuff that looked like scotchbrite (the maroon stuff) and ice. before turning the grill off, scrape with a wide spatula, then throw some ice on the grill, use the stone and scotchbrite to clean the grill, then put some oil on it and wipe it down