Warped Flat Top Grill Cooktop

What's in This Article?

Understand normal expectations, causes, and resolution steps when a flat top grill's cooktop warps. 

 

Understanding Warping vs Thermal Deformation

Warping and thermal deformation are two very similar symptoms that often get confused between each other. Let's first understand the differences to make sure we're troubleshooting the right symptom. 

Thermal Deformation

Thermal Deformation is a barely-noticeable change in the cooktop's shape that occurs any time the cooktop heats up because of thermal growth. This is normal and should be expected every time you cook. 

SYMPTOMS: The cooktop will remain stable on its supports but may cause some liquids to pool when the cooktop is hot.

Look closely at the cooktop in this comparison image of thermal deformation. You can see the slight difference in how level the cooktop is.

ThermalDeformationComparison.png

Warping

Warping is a larger change in shape that is typically noticeable by eye. The cooktop may not be stable on the supports and may rock back and forth if pressed.

Warped_cooktop_-_in_use.png

Is Warping Normal?

Cooktop warping is completely normal, and we've seen it occur across every brand of flat top grills the we tested. In fact, we have found that Traeger flat top grill cooktops warp far less and on fewer occasions than any other brand we tested.

While not every cooktop will warp; those that do will typically warp one to five times. Because warping occurs during extreme temperature changes, the cooktop should return back to its level state once the cooktop gets back to the temperature it was prior to the change (usually within 5 minutes).

Warping every time you're cooking on it is unexpected behavior and may need to be replaced.

 

What Causes Warping?

Cooktop warping occurs when the cooktop experiences sudden, extreme temperature changes. Some example scenarios that could cause warping include:

  • Placing frozen food on the cooktop after allowing the grill to preheat for a long time
  • Using large amounts of cold water to clean the cooktop after use
  • Trying to cool down your cooktop quickly by adding ice or cold water
  • Leaving a zone off while using other zones on high

What to Do if a Cooktop Warps

To help prevent your cooktop from warping, avoid the following common causes discussed earlier:

  • Placing frozen food on the cooktop after allowing the grill to preheat for a long time
  • Using large amounts of cold water to clean the cooktop after use
  • Trying to cool down your cooktop quickly by adding ice or cold water
  • Leaving a zone off while using other zones on high

Warping Mid-Cook

Warping mid-cook occurs when the cooktop is extremely hot and cold/frozen food is added.

  • This is normal and the cooktop should return to its level state once it gets back to the temperature it was at prior to the frozen/cold food was added (usually within 5 minutes of warping). 

Warping during Cooldown or Cleaning

Warping that occurs during cooldown or cleaning is likely due to adding a large amount of cold water in an attempt to cool the cooktop more quickly.

  • Warping during cooldown is normal, especially when cleaning with large amounts of cold water.
  • The cooktop should flatten once it heats up again. Depending on how hot the cooktop was when it warped, getting back to that temp may take up to 30 minutes.
  • It is normal for a cooktop to return to a warped state once cooled again.

How can you fix the warped cooktop?

  1. Reignite the grill and allow the cooktop to reheat. 
  2. The cooktop should completely level again within 30 minutes.
  3. If the cooktop still does not level out, contact our Customer Support team, and we'll troubleshoot with you to get it resolved.

Warping Occurring Every Cook

Warping more than 5 times in a row when following best practices is not normal. Contact our Customer Support team, and we'll troubleshoot with you to get it resolved.

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