Service Agent Q&A with Josh Taylor, American Kitchen Machinery and Repair, Philadelphia

FE&S: What type of maintenance do these units require?

JT: Quarterly maintenance includes greasing tilt mechanism bearings and overall inspections, while the burners on gas braisers should be removed and cleaned annually by a service agent.

FE&S: What are some common mistakes operators make when using this equipment that can impact use or the service life?

JT: These units typically include drain valves that users will overtighten. This causes damage to the stopper inside the pan, which can then trigger leakage. Also, we find users will be liberal in cleaning pans with hoses, which can dampen and damage electrical components. In addition, it’s not unusual to see braising pan faucets that are broken off from being bumped or jarred.

FE&S: What are the signs a braising pan needs servicing?

JT: Signs service is needed include uneven heating in the bottom of the pan. Also, if the tilt mechanism becomes hard to tilt and sluggish, it needs to be looked at. Any water leaks need to be immediately addressed, or controls can be damaged. It’s important to keep an eye on the lid mechanism, which needs to be inspected to make sure the spring isn’t damaged. If a raised lid falls, it can injure the user.

FE&S: Describe the best cleaning regimen for braising pans.

JT: Operators want to make sure these units are cleaned properly but should not use chemicals that may damage stainless steel. It’s best to clean braising pans after every meal and at the end of the night. Regularly wipe down the exterior using any mild stainless steel food-safe cleaner.

FE&S: What are signs a unit needs replacing?

JT: When seams inside the braising pan crack, it is no longer repairable. An operator will typically notice leaking when this occurs. Overheating can cause cracking, as can cold water being poured in a hot pan. If operators are too rough with cooking utensils, this can scratch and damage the bottom of the pan, which causes problems and compromises use.

FE&S: What’s the average service life of a braising pan?

JT: The typical service life is about 10 years but may be longer if regular maintenance is performed.