How to Clean a Roller Grill for Optimal Food Safety

When you’ve got those (hot) dogs a-rollin’ on the grill, it’s essential that food safety is a top priority. No one wants to eat a hotdog, brat, or sausage from a dirty roller grill.

If you’ve invested in a quality roller grill, keeping it clean and well-maintained is crucial. Whether you’re running a roller grill at stadiums, restaurants, or convenience stores, sanitation and safety are imperative.

Why a Roller Grill is a Great Choice

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The capacity of a hot dog roller grill can vary by size. Many can hold over 30 hotdogs, sausages, brats, taquitos (or any other hotdog-shaped food). As the rollers turn their cooking surface, food is evenly and uniformly grilled to delicious perfection.

The added bonus with hotdogs and brats is that you can leave them on the roller grill for several hours to stay heated, provided they remain within the safe temperature range. A quality roller grill will help you keep them hot and delicious.

If you’re serving a stadium full of fans or running a restaurant specializing in sausage, a hotdog roller will help you keep up with capacity. A roller grill is a must-have for cooking multiple hotdogs at once. It’s an ideal option for amusement parks and fairground vendors as well.

The grill rollers are typically coated with a nonstick surface material, keeping the dogs turning smoothly without sticking or tearing. Many commercial roller grills feature a sneeze guard or cover to keep the hotdogs clean and safe.

Save your bacon by investing in a high-quality hotdog roller. Not only will a quality roller grill be easier to clean and maintain, but the moving parts will last longer and require less maintenance. Whenever you invest in restaurant equipment, it’s best to seek the top-of-the-line for your budget. In the long run, you’ll save on maintenance and stress (and lost product).  

How to Clean a Roller Grill

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In the following, we break down the general details of how to clean a hotdog roller grill. It’s important to note that your commercial roller grill may include additional or specific cleaning instructions or suggest a roller grill cleaner product. Always consult your manufacturer’s guide to be sure that you’re properly cleaning your roller grill.

If you’re using the roller grill for several hours, it’s best to clean it every few hours, with a more thorough cleaning at the end of the day. Be sure to clean the grill after each use and before storage to help keep your roller grill in optimal shape.

Roller Grill Pre-Cleaning Preparations

Before cleaning a roller grill, you should remove all the food from the grill. Then, you’ll turn the rollers on and the grill on high. The hot temperatures help loosen the grease and food particles from the grill surface.

Be sure to wear protective, heat-safe gloves when you clean the grill. Grills can get extremely hot, so use caution and on all the necessary safety gear. You’ll want a soft, clean, slightly damp rag to work with.

Cleaning the Roller Grill Surfaces

Remove the roller cover and sneezeguard as needed. Work from the outside, toward the center of the grill on each roller. It’s very important to wipe toward the center rather than toward the outside of the grill to prevent food particles from getting caked into the rollers.

Never use any harsh or abrasive cleaners on the grill surface. The nonstick surface of the rollers often has a special coating, which can become scratched and damaged with abrasive cleaning. Mildly soapy water will help you to loosen any stuck-on particles.

Once you’ve cleaned the grill, wipe it down with a damp cloth to remove any final residue. Be sure to continue working from the outside toward the center of each roller.

Cleaning the Roller Grill Exterior

When the interior of the roller grill is clean, you’ll also want to wipe down and clean the outside of the grill. Many commercial roller grills are stainless steel, and it’s typically safe to use a stainless steel cleaning spray on the outer surfaces that don’t come in contact with food.

Wipe down the front and sides of the roller grill. Clean and sanitize the sneeze guard and any knobs, especially those that may come in contact with customers, such as at a convenience store or gas station.

Once the inside and outside of the roller grill are clean, you can resume regular use.

Degreasing and Sanitizing the Roller Grill

At the end of the day, or before storage, it’s essential to clean and degrease your roller grill more thoroughly. This will help ensure a residue-free surface, preventing food from sticking, tearing, or heating unevenly.

Remove any remaining food from your roller grill. Turn it up to high if it isn’t already on. Once the grill has heated up, you’ll turn the heat to hold, low, or warm. Follow the process above with a soft, damp cloth and warm water, working from the outside toward the center of each roller, removing excess food bits.

Next, use a cloth dipped into a hot, mild detergent solution to wash each roller from the outside to the center. Wipe the rollers to rinse off and remove any soap using another wet cloth. Turn the heat off and dry the rollers with a cloth (or allow to air dry).

Once the rollers are clean, remove the drip pans beneath the hotdog roller machine. You’ll want to clean the pan using soap and hot water to cut grease and food. Rinse the drip pan and dry it with a soft cloth.

Wipe down the outside of your roller grill and shine the surface with stainless steel cleaner. Be sure to clean the knobs and get in any hard-to-reach areas of your grill.

Should your hotdog grill require further cleaning and sanitization, check the manufacturer’s recommendations for an appropriate product that won’t damage the surface of the rollers.

Maintenance Tips and Best Practices for a Clean Roller Grill

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The biggest thing you can do to preserve the life of your roller grill is to clean it regularly. Regular cleaning will prevent greasy buildup that can damage your machine and ensure that the food cooked on your machine is clean and safe.

Follow all food safety guidelines to prevent cross-contamination of any surfaces in your kitchen or establishment.

Your roller grill should be cleaned every few hours during use. When you finish using the grill for the day or shift, it’s important to thoroughly degrease and inspect all the components. Make sure that everything is in good working order on the roller grill.

As with any commercial kitchen equipment, good record-keeping is vital. Write down any issues with your grill and document each time it Is cleaned completely. If you suspect uneven heating or another problem, like a stuck roller, be sure to address the concern right away.

Great Food Starts at Eleven36

Whether it’s a roller grill for hotdogs or another piece of commercial food equipment, Eleven36 has everything you need to serve your customers safe, delicious food.

A commercial roller grill is one item that can really help your kitchen keep up with the masses. If you’re running a food establishment at festival grounds, a stadium, or even a convenience store, a commercial hotdog roller will keep your visitors happy and satisfied. Best of all, it frees up your staff for more involved cooking processes, so they don’t need to stand at a grill and turn dogs.

Maintain your grill with regular cleaning and wipe downs every few hours. Take measures to protect yourself from heat when you clean. Always work from the outside of the grill toward the center to protect the bearings in your rollers. Never use harsh chemicals or abrasives, like scrub brushes, on your grill. Hot, soapy water is usually enough to keep it clean and safe.

Degrease your grill at the end of each shift or day of use (and always before storage). Remove the grill pan and wash it completely. Clean the outside of the grill with a stainless steel cleaner and dry the machine completely.At Eleven36, we carry hotdog roller grills and all the supplies you need for a well-equipped kitchen. Reach out today with any questions, and we’ll help you get cooking!