Questions and answers on Pla.Net barbecue cooktops

Outdoor cooking with a stainless steel gas cooktop.

FAQ
Installation

Yes, they run on liquid gas (butane/propane) in canisters, and also methane in certified countries (check the instruction manual). At the time of purchase, it is important to always specify the type of gas that you intend to use as the products must be suitably prepared to function with the type of gas used.

For butane/propane gas, PLA.NET has prepared a gas connection kit with pressure gauge, rubber hose and any country-specific adapters. However, for methane, you should contact an authorised technician.

You can buy the GAS CHANGE SET. In this case, we recommend that the work is performed by an authorised technician and that the product is tested after the “nozzles and gas connection” have been replaced. It is absolutely important to check the flame on low and the quality of the flame on high.

No, because the barbecue has burners (therefore, a flame) under the lava stone, and ash and/or charcoal residues must not fall on them.

Very large bottles or canisters are not needed, which are bulky and heavy. A 5 Kg bottle is more than sufficient because the PLA.NET barbecues have been built with direct heating of the cooktop, which therefore does not consume a lot of gas.

The burner has its own connection, separate from the barbecue. The connection to a single bottle can be made using a “T” accessory (supplied by us) that allows connecting to the two outlets (BBQ and burner) on one side and the gas bottle on the other.

Check the manual to see if the country where you intend to use it is certified. If so, buy a pressure reducing valve with fixed setting and gas connection pipe according to the regulations and operating pressure in that country, as indicated on the rating plate.

FAQ
Products

The PLA.NET products are made of stainless steel, including the cooktop. Please note that there are many types of stainless steel. PLA.NET uses both 304 stainless steel and 430 stainless steel. Although at different levels, both ensure excellent resistance to oxidation, are antibacterial and easy to clean. No difference in terms of cooking.

The PLA.NET products are MADE IN ITALY. They are manufactured in the company’s factory located in San Vendemiano (TV), in a district specialised in stainless steel manufacturing (“Inox Valley”). The company has been manufacturing stainless steel products for the food service industry for more than thirty years.

The PLA.NET barbecues are made of stainless steel; therefore, they will not ruin, even if left outside in the rain. For better protection, especially for products used near the sea or a swimming pool, we recommend using the protective SHEET that we can supply as an accessory. If the barbecue is not used frequently, keep it in a place protected against the weather.

The range of PLA.NET barbecues are modular and customisable, i.e. the barbecues start as a base unit with feet in various sizes, to which can be added a trolley (open and closed). Other accessories can be added later such as burners and a fryer.

FAQ
Operation

The burners, closed inside the combustion chamber, directly heat the cooktop (plate) that is on top. Similar to a stove burner under a pot.

The burners heat the lava stone (distributed on a special grid) and then, by irradiation, the wavy blade structure on top where the food is placed. The fat flows into the blades and then into the drip tray without dripping onto the lava stone, thus preventing smoke or flames that may burn the food.

The modular system of the PLA.NET Barbecue allows interchanging cooktops, accessories and trolleys. In this specific case, the stainless steel cooktop can be removed and replaced with the lava stone kit consisting of the “Lava Stone Trolley” and “Wavy Structure”. Of course, you can do the opposite, replace the lava stone kit with a stainless steel cooktop.

They work in the same way. The ribbed cooktop does not have a specific function, except in terms of aesthetics, since it creates the grilling stripes on the food, just like a traditional grill.

FAQ
Kitchen

Any type of food, from meat to fish, vegetables, cheese and fruit, even crepes. The cooktop gives you a hot surface on which to cook the food. Experience and practice will help you get the best cooking results.

The stainless steel lid has no cooking function, but keeps the air around the food warm. It does not act like an oven, because the cooking occurs by contact with the cooktop and not by effect of hot air retained by the lid like traditional barbecues. The opening of the lid in traditional barbecues causes the hot air to disperse with significant loss of heat, which will then have to reform with the lid closed.

Make sure the pebbles are evenly distributed in the basket. Of course, the temperature is distributed better across the entire surface with cooktop because it is a single piece. The lava stone is similar to coal/charcoal barbecues. White meat (pork and chicken), fish and vegetables need a slow flame at low, and long cooking times, turning often. It is recommended to use the edges to understand the hot areas and the cooler areas. Beef needs a hot grill: let the meat form a “crust” on the outside so that it remains tender and juicy on the inside.

Use this practical method to understand when the cooktop of your PLA.NET Barbecue is in temperature (220/240°C): drop a few drops of water on the surface, if they evaporate slowly, the surface has not reached the temperature, however, if they break into very tiny balls and travel quickly on the surface, evaporating quickly, then the cooktop is ready for use.

In some models the burners are independent (they can be turned on separately), however, it is advisable to keep all the burners on, at least on low, even if you only cook on one portion of the cooktop. This is to prevent the temperature in the area “fuelled” by the fire to disperse to the “unfuelled” part”

The first time you use the product, turn it on, leave the flame at low for a few minutes, this will allow the cooktop to “stabilise,” then raise it to high. At an average room temperature (15-25°), the cooktop should be ready for use after about 5-7 minutes. If it is very cold, it should be ready after about 8-10 minutes. IMPORTANT: after checking that the cooktop is at temperature, immediately start cooking the food. Do not wait, otherwise the cooktop will overheat, burning the food with the risk of darkening the surface (like a pot left on the fire with nothing inside) and/or deforming the material due to overheating. For healthy and genuine cooking, do not spread oil or other fats on the cooktop. The food will initially stick to the cooktop, but once its surface starts to cook, it will unstick. After the first burning, place the flame at low to save gas. Raise the flame only if you need to. We recommended adding salt and/or oil to the food towards the end of cooking, looking through the hole provided.

FAQ
Maintenance and cleaning

The outer structure of the barbecue and the trolley should be cleaned with normal stainless steel, non-abrasive cleaners. We recommend our “CLEAN INOX” cleaner which does not leave any marks and does not require rinsing. The cooktop (plate) should be cleaned only when it has cooled down, using warm or hot water, dishwashing detergents and cloths or abrasive sponges depending on the type of dirt to be removed (light or thick or a few days old). We recommended using our special scraper and abrasive cloth to remove stubborn dirt. However, the material is not delicate and can be scraped off with some effort. Before proceeding, let the water soak for a few minutes in order to soften the dirt. Even more practical is the use of a specific product, such as “CLEAN PLANET”, which is an excellent degreaser and carbon remover that when sprayed on the cooktop and left to act for 7-10 minutes effectively removes caked or carbonised dirt. Rinse the cooktop thoroughly with water. To clean, do not use cold water, or worse, ice on the cooktop (risk of thermal shock/deformation of the plate).

The lava stone grill should be cleaned when it is cold, using a degreasing spray. Since the surface is not flat, the spray tends to fall, so it should be sprayed a few times. Or with the grill still warm after cooking, use a stainless streel brush or an abrasive cloth. Another method, remove the grill and place it in a bath with water and detergent, leave the dirt to soften and then remove it.

Over time and due to the heat/cooking effect, the stainless steel cooktop darkens but does not go black. It only blackens if the cooktop is heated too much (above than 300°). This can be remedied by taking a dry, professional abrasive cloth and rubbing it energetically in the direction of the surface finish (not in a circular motion).

Leaving the barbecue on high or waiting too long to cook can cause the cooktop to overheat, and then when it comes into contact with cold/frozen food or with cold/ice water, it suffers a thermal shock that may cause it to deform.

The burners in lava stone barbecues are more susceptible to wear because they are more exposed to humidity/water, they suffer from falling dust and dirt generated by the lava stone that, when wet, attacks the galvanised sheet and maybe some drops of oil/fat that may then catch fire. It is important that lava stone dust does not get on the burners. If so, blow away the dirt and dry. If the burners need to be changed, at the time of replacement, we recommend placing the burners with the widest part facing upwards (the holes where the flame comes out should be at the bottom). This is to prevent dust and/or dirt from clogging the holes where the flame exits.

In areas highly exposed to salinity (sea) or to the use of certain chemicals, including cleaning products (for swimming pools), stainless steel may be affected and show signs of rust. It is advisable to remove these spots with specific products and normal non-abrasive cloths, such as “scotch brite.”

Models with ELECTRONIC (battery operated) ignitors, with or without thermocouple

If you do NOT hear the classic ignition “clicking” sound, the reasons may be:
a) Low battery = replace the battery and check to see if the barbecue works;
b) Problems with the control unit or connection cables = inspect the cables, make sure they are secure and intact;
c) Oxidation of the cable terminals that connect the control unit to the spark plug (white pin) = remove and clean them with an abrasive cloth, and then replace;

If you hear the ignition sound, the reasons may be:
d) Closed or insufficient gas = check that the gas is open and make sure there is enough gas inside the canister;
e) Dirty nozzle = have a technician check whether the gas exits from the burner properly. Small insects could enter the gas tap (nozzle) and obstruct the passage of gas;
f) Malfunctioning of the spark plug (white pin on the side of the burner = check that the spark plug is intact and that it is not more than 2-4 mm away from the burner.

This only applies to barbecues, the position cannot be moved in burners.

For models with push-button PIEZO ignition, see points d, e and f, or it may be caused by the failure of the igniter.

The knob must be held down for about 10 seconds after the flame has been ignited. If the flame goes out:
a) Check that the thermocouple (metal peg) is not too far away from the flame. The peg should be 3-4 mm from the burner
b) Clean the cable terminals as they may be oxidised due to humidity
c) In case of a built-in barbecue, check that there is sufficient ventilation under the system. An aeration window about 10 cm high and wide should be left in closed structures.
The space underneath the barbecue must be sufficiently clear to allow air to circulate freely. The flame inside the combustion chamber consumes a good amount of oxygen, absorbing it continuously from below. Therefore, the circulation of air must not be obstructed.

FAQ
Purchase

Our company does not make direct sales. To find the retail outlets in your area, contact us by phone or email.

Yes, our company produces barbecues throughout the year. They are not imported.

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