Grills: An Overview

Grills have heat sources located below the cooking grate and food, and as the protein's fat drips onto the heat source it vaporizes to create a char broiled flavor.

Light, medium and heavy-duty grills are available in both floor and countertop models, though the most common configuration is a counter-mounted unit on a refrigerated base. Alternate profile models are available for installations with higher counters, different refrigerated bases and operations that need an altered working height.

These units come in 1-foot increments, with sizes ranging from 18 to 72 inches in length. The most common grill sizes tend to be 24, 36, 48, 60 and 72 inches. Grates on gas-fired units typically measure between 24 and 72 inches.

Grills offer a choice of heat sources, including gas, electricity and wood. The majority of commercial units utilize cast-iron radiants, which are durable and emit more heat than sheet metal radiants. Lava rock or briquette-style grills are more popular with display cooking concepts.

While heavy-duty grills can burn between 18,000 and 20,000 Btus every 6 inches, entry-level units provide 15,000 Btus in the same amount of space. There are an array of burners underneath, with as few as two and as many as 14. There is typically one burner for every 6- to 12-inch width of cooking grate area. Cooking temperatures typically range between 450 and 850 degrees F.

These units' exteriors are typically made of stainless steel for ease of cleaning. Aluminized steel burner boxes and chasses provide added strength and corrosion resistance.

Grill grates feature either cast iron or fabricated steel construction. Lightweight grates weigh between five and seven pounds, while heavy-duty versions can weigh up to 15 pounds.

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