Posted: Sep 05, 2007
Kitchen Applications: Grills and griddles prepare items ranging from breakfast egg dishes, omelets, crepes and pancakes to fish, hamburgers, sausages and steak.
One manufacturer offers an induction griddle that disperses energy equally across the surface. When a cold product is placed on the griddle, the unit immediately compensates by generating more heat in that area, while at the same time maintaining heat levels in the other sections. As a result, this griddle achieves greater energy efficiency, consistent cooking, moisture retention and recovery speeds four-times greater than traditional griddles.
Types:Griddles cook foods on a smooth, solid surface with a heat source below. Floor and countertop models are available. Specialty griddles include Japanese style Teppan-yaki grill, Mongolian Barbecue grill, clamshell or panini grill for sandwiches, French crepe griddle, and a grooved griddle for a charbroiled effect on hamburgers and steak.
Unique Features/Technology: One grill model features an innovative dual surface with controls that automatically adjust the cook time and temperature based on product thickness. This unit’s upper and lower grill plates cook both sides simultaneously, reducing cook times by 50%.
Another manufacturer produces a gridddle that uses steam to heat the cook surface, resulting in uniform surface temperatures, near instant heat recovery and complete use of the griddle surface.
Another griddle, which is geared for smaller kitchens with minimal ventilation, offers a device that locks out gas flow to the unit should the flame extinguish.
Newer griddle features include aeration baffles located between burners and a full-width rear flue to improve uniform temperatures. “U”-type burners are located on newer units to provide even heating across the entire griddle surface.
Capacity: Determine your food service operation’s volume to select a unit with an appropriate surface area to match anticipated capacity. A 24” wide x 16” deep wide cooking surface will cook approximately 300 burgers per hour; a 36” wide will produce approximately 400 burgers per hour.
Footprint: Standard griddles range in width from 24” to 72”. Tops can range in length from 150 countertop models to 720 floor units, with 200 to 320 of depth. Additional depth is available in half-foot increments.
Energy Source: Griddles can run on electricity, natural gas or propane. Many operators laud gas models for their more even heat distribution. Electric countertop models’ energy requirements range from 8 to nearly 33 kph. Gas models generally have a rating of 20,000 to 30,000 BTU per hour per burner.
Temperature Range: Most griddles are thermostatically controlled up to 570°F. The element on a crepe griddle can reach 575°F.
Construction: Which griddle surface you select depends on the foods they prepare. Choices include cast iron, polished steel, cold-rolled steel and chrome-finished. Some grills and griddles feature grooved plates to provide the seared look customers appreciate on steaks, hamburgers and filets.
Grills and griddles have some built-in food safety features, such as a splashguard along the back that keeps food from falling off the cooking surface and catches flying grease. Another is a trough designed to capture food particles and built-up grease. The metal out of which a griddle’s plate is constructed can affect cleaning. For example, chrome is easy to clean by using a scraper, water and chemical powder. Frozen food tends to stick to cast iron, and is tougher to remove. Polished and cold-rolled steel are both easier to clean than cast iron.
Maintenance: Cooking surfaces should be cleaned at about 150°F to 175°F. Depending on your production volume, grease troughs must be emptied at least once a day. Connecting cables and controls must also be wiped down frequently.
Cleaners work best when they are spread and left on plates for up to 10 minutes before scraping or wiping. All cleanser residue must be wiped off afterward; some chefs use vinegar or lemon juice for this.
Electric grills can be cleaned with a brick pumice stone. The stone should be pulled in the same direction as the metal grain during cleaning. Avoid using steel wool as it will scratch the grill’s surface. Griddles should be re-seasoned after use each day.
Manufacturers: ACityDiscount offers a wide range of electric and gas griddles and flat grills to complement your food service business, from all the major manufacturers, including Anil America, Imperial Range, Toastmaster, Star Manufacturing, Bakers Pride, American Range, Comstock Castle, Royal Range, and Cecilware.
View a video on the Imperial Range line of griddles here.
Recommended Optional Products: Add griddle versatility to your existing restaurant or residential gas range with Flat Griddle Trays.