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Help, please, with my Viking Range

I have a 48 inch - 6 burner, grill, 2 oven - free-standing Viking Range. I love it. EXCEPT...the grill. No matter what I cook at whatever heat I cook it, everything sticks to the grill and it is near impossible to clean. Are fellow Viking Grill owners similarly afflicted? Have you figured out any fixes for this dilemma? My solution has been just not to use it. Not good for such a pricey piece of equipment. My husband keeps asking him if we can turn it into a griddle instead and I tell him no. Anybody have any ideas that work?

Thanks!

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  1. Mine is not a Viking but a Russel Range grill. Same idea. sorry- no solution. The last time I used mine it took me 4.5 hours to clean it and I asked my husband to have me commited if I every used the thing again. I have also been mentallly ruminating about the idea of turning it into a griddle. I do have a griddle that came with the stove that spans across two burners and I have been thinking of trying to put it on top of the grill area (I rmoved the bricks along time ago to prevent me from thinking about using it again but the gas lame thing under still works.

    1. I do not have a Viking range with a "char grill". I have used indoor gas grills and finds that they have substantially less heat output than an outdoor grill. One's technique must be adjusted.

      I have watched the videos at the Viking site -- http://www.vikingrange.com/consumer/l...

      They appear to grill both meat & fish without sticking. I assume they achieve this this through precise temperature control. You will likely find it easier to adjust the temperature from too hot downwards.

      The heavy cast iron grates are going to take A LONG TIME to preheat to grilling temperature. The whole grill (including the grate and heat reflector) has to get hot enough to sear the food. I would guess 15 minutes on HIGH. Even if you have a high volume hood going this is definitely going to heat-up your kitchen...

      Once the grates are preheated you then adjust the temperature for the required item. Highest for lean beef/skinless chicken breasts, med high for fattier cuts, medium for fish. If you hold your had an inch above the grates and you can keep it there for more than 20 seconds the heat needs to go up. If you can't hold your hand there for at least 10 seconds the heat should be turned down.

      The food has to be properly prepared. Remove the food from the fridge about the same time you start to preheat the grill, too cold and you will get too much moisture flooding the grill. You want the surface of the food to start off DRY -- use paper towel if you have to. Then lightly coat with a bit of oil. Regular olive oil is fine, as is peanut oil. A surface coated with spices will greatly complicate matters.

      Gently place the food onto the grate with either tongs or a large spatula that you slide out from under the food -- NOT the other way around! The idea is that the area of the food that is in direct contact with the grate will sear/char best when it is undisturbed.

      Let it remain in contact with the grate for at least one minute per half inch of thickness.

      When preparing to turn the food have a pair of tongs and spatula OR two spatulas available. Remove the food to a spatula and pre-position on that spatula so that is rests for several seconds instead of being suddenly flipped. This accomplishes several things -- first there is a lot less chance of a grease triggered flair up, second the juices get a chance to migrate back into the food so there is again a dry surface presented to the grate, third the food is not pressed into the grate nor dragged across.

      I find that a properly heated grate minimizes sticking -- the surface of the food cooks and then releases from the grate. Too hot and it will smoke on contact (of course any sugary item would instantly go up in smoke so this limits your choice of marinades/basting sauces). Too cool and the surface of the food will weld itself to the grate.

      For clean up I have found that the super heating the surface works well -- SO LONG AS YOUR HOOD can handle the smoke AND there is not a large accumulation of fat. A large square of several layers of heavy duty foil can be placed onto the grate and the foodd particles are incinerated. Your square of foil must cover no more than about 3/4 of either of the grates, move it around every 5-10 minutes. DO NOT attempt to cover the whole surface with a large piece of foil the superheating would be dangerous.

      4 Replies
      1. re: renov8r

        Thank you. That's very detailed. I will watch the video as well. I can't remember having found it or seen it before. I doubt that I have preheated the grill very long.

        As an aside, I do have a viking hood on the range as well which vents to the outside and it has a heavy duty motor to exhaust it all from the kitchen not just the regular one so I think I'm ok on the heat build-up.

        Do you think there would be a benefit to curing the cast iron grates in the same way one cures a cast iron skilled? (oiling them and baking them in an oven for a few hours)

        1. re: KingsKetz

          You might want to buy a grill brick. They are cheap, usually come in cases of 12, and work very well. I know you can get them on Amazon.

          1. re: mojoeater

            What is a grill brick? Keep in mind that this is an open fretted grill...not a griddle with a solid surface like the old Garland stoves. I will check out the grill brick tho I have never used one.

            1. re: KingsKetz

              I've only used it on griddles, but assume it will work on a grill too. It's really easy. There's also Grill Cleaner, a spray that works great on our outdoor grill.

      2. KingsKetz, I've had my 48-inch with grill Viking for about 7 years, and have never encountered the problems you describe. Are you preheating the grill on high before putting anything (including grease) on the grill?

        When I grill, I always preheat on high for about 15 minutes. Then, depending on what I'm cooking, I either apply canola or grapeseed oil to the grills with a paper towel held by tongs, or lightly oil the protein itself (a steak, for instance) before placing on the grill.

        I don't attempt to turn the protein until it's ready to be turned. This might be your problem. Just as with searing in a pan, a piece of meat or poultry will stick if you try to turn it too soon.

        I have no problem cleaning the grates. After each use, with the gas still going, I use a wire grill brush dipped in water to scrape the food residues, repeating a few times. When they've cooled down, I soak the grates in extremely hot, sudsy water and scrub with an abrasive sponge.

        1. Maybe I'm just not preheating it long enough and/or trying to move it too soon. What level heat do you cook say a steak? boneless chicken breasts? I gather you oil it after it's heated? I'll try again. Thanks for the advice.

          5 Replies
          1. re: KingsKetz

            I usually put the steaks on the grill over high heat and reduce to medium-high immediately. For chicken breasts, it's medium. I usually flatten boneless breasts (and boneless thighs, my preference) a bit before cooking - this creates an even thickness, resulting in greater control over cooking to proper doneness without over-cooking.

            1. re: FlavoursGal

              Flavours Gal -- Hope this isn't a dumb question, but when you're done cooking and the grill has cooled, besides washing the grill itself do you wash/scrumb the metal plates beneath where the fat falls or do you set the heat up high and let it burn off. Does it matter? I really want to make this grill work at long last and there seem to be enough people for whom it does work that it seems I should be able to learn! So thanks for the advice.

              1. re: KingsKetz

                Not a dumb question. I tend to ignore the metal plates for quite awhile before I bother cleaning them. The guck turns to ash when the grill is preheating for the next use, and doesn't give off any foul odours. Hope this helps.

                1. re: FlavoursGal

                  FINALLY! My wife and I have been trying to find an answer to this question since we got our Viking grill two years ago. Because it takes about an hour to clean if we clean all the insides we have just avoided using it.

                  One clarification: Under the grill grate are 'flavor generator plates'. Below these are some metal plates around the flame. Fat drips from the grill onto the flavor generator plates down onto these lower metal plates and, eventually, into a drip pan. I'm sure you need to clean out the drip pan after (almost?) every use but are you saying that you don't clean any of the other parts between the grill grates & that pan? Because there is fat residue on these parts, does it ever lead to odors between uses of the grill?

                  Thanks again for the info, we've had a really hard time getting an answer from Viking so this info from other users is really helpful!

                  1. re: btaub

                    You don't need to wash the grill. When you are finished cooking, crank the heat to maximum, close the cover, and let the gunk burn off. Then scrape off the grates with a wire brush. Before your next use, wipe the grates with a cooking oil soaked rag and preheat. This takes minutes.

                    The plates below the cooking surface shouldn't need to be cleaned. There shouldn't be fat residue - just carbon.

                    You don't want the drip pan to overflow or to flare. When you need to clean it is really a judgment call. My BBQ uses a disposable foil pan to catch drips. I washed it once and replaced it once during the past BBQ season.

                    This info applies to most barbecue grills - not to any specific brand.

          2. He's right. Crank up your vent fan and burn it off with high heat after finishing grilling. Then all you have are ashes to brush off or scrape.