Commercial kitchens, restaurants, and professional food service establishments are held to the highest standards when it comes to health and safety codes. One of the places where this matters most is inside a commercial oven. Not only do commercial ovens serve as baking and roasting appliances during a single daily service, but they are also sometimes asked to serve as warmers and even reverse searing devices.
All this usage and load puts a lot of strain on the oven. It also opens up a lot of opportunities for accidental spatters, burned-on spills, and grease that can build up on the walls, door, and surrounding surfaces at an alarming rate.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that maintaining a properly clean commercial oven goes beyond essential food health codes. It also has a lot to do with safety, heat control, and energy efficiency.
More than one improperly cleaned commercial often has suffered problems with soot on the food, grease fires, grime peeling off the internal surfaces, and temperature control issues that leave certain foods undercooked or overdone.
That’s why so many commercial kitchens and restaurants have established procedures for daily maintenance and deep cleaning for their ovens. If your oven is the beating heart of your foodservice establishment, then you can use the following information to help you get it clean, keep it clean or just give it the professional-level deep clean that it needs to work at its best.
Daily Cleaning Tips For A Commercial Oven
When you consider all the things your commercial oven is asked to do in the course of a single day, it only makes sense to plan for some cleaning and maintenance as part of your kitchen’s daily routine. This might call for spot cleaning between breakfast, lunch, and dinner service, or waiting until the thoroughly cleaning the entire kitchen gets at the end of each day. This typically includes doing some of the following things:
- Pull out the racks and thoroughly wipe them down
- Wipe any spills off the door and sidewalls
- Remove any spilled food or burned on debris from the bottom of the oven to prevent smoking
- Check all of the flame ports and make sure they are burning cleanly
- Weekly & Monthly Cleaning For Commercial Kitchen Ovens
Diligently adhering to daily cleaning measures is a great way to keep your commercial kitchen oven performing properly through each service. Though even the most well-maintained, high-end kitchen oven will need a thorough deep cleaning from time to time.
How Often Should I Deep Clean My Commercial Kitchen Oven?
Just how often you need to deep clean your commercial kitchen oven will depend on how much use and abuse it suffers. A restraint that features a lot of roast meat dishes and oven-braised stews are going to be more prone to spatters and grease accumulation than a commercial kitchen oven that bakes bread and biscuits.
Most commercial kitchen ovens benefit from a weekly deep cleaning. At the very least you should be given your commercial oven a very thorough deep clean at least once a month. You can also expect the oven to be one of the first things an inspector looks at after stepping into your commercial kitchen. So, be sure to put cleaning your oven at the top of your to-do list when you know there is a scheduled inspection coming up.
Tips For Deep Cleaning A Commercial Kitchen Oven
You can use the following tips to help give your commercial oven the deep cleaning it needs. Whether that be on a weekly, or monthly basis.
- Step One: Turn off the oven, and let it cool down. Turn off any gas lines.
- Step Two: Take out all racks and removable components.
- Step Three: Thoroughly soak, wash and/or degrease the racks and removable components according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Step Four: Empty the crumb trap and remove all crumbs from the bottom of the oven.
- Step Five: Inspect all the element flame ports. You can use a bamboo grill skewer to poke out and release any stuck-on material from a clogged flame port.
- Step Six: Wipe down the sidewalls, door, and other flat surfaces of the commercial oven with an industrial cleaner and a clean wet rag. Only in the most severe of situations should you need to use a heavy-duty degreaser to deal with significant grease, soot, or grime buildup.
- Step Seven: Once dried reinstall the racks and other removable components.
- Step Eight: Turn on the oven and preheat it just like you would for service. This ensures that everything is in good working order and any lingering water will steam away without affecting any food during service.
Can I Use A Self-Cleaning Feature To Deep Clean My Commercial Oven?
In the past, self-cleaning features were limited largely to residential electric ovens. They automatically lock the door and heat the oven to very high temperatures beyond what you would cook, braise or bake at. In recent years, more gas ovens have been engineered with self-cleaning features. If your commercial oven has one, you can use it to burn away stuck-on grease and crumbs as a “Head Start” on the cleaning process. Though it does not count as a thorough deep cleaning.
Can I Use Chemical Oven Cleaner Spray On My Commercial Oven?
Most of the chemical oven cleaner sprays you find available at the retail level aren’t suited for cleaning a commercial oven. They can also leave behind chemical residue that needs to be burned off and might also need to be wiped down afterward.
Calling In The Professionals To Deep Clean A Commercial Oven
Many restaurants reach out to professional cleaning companies like Building Services Inc. to handle their weekly or monthly oven deep cleaning. Not only do you get the peace of mind that comes with knowing a trained and experienced professional is deep cleaning every square inch of your commercial oven, but it also lets you keep your service staff and cooks focused on the things they do best. All at a cost that is typically lower than assigning an inexperienced cook or sous chef to handle the oven.