Grills have heat sources located below the cooking grate, while griddle controls determine how much thermal energy is stored.
Grills cook a variety of foods at high production levels with as short a recovery time as possible. Culinary staff can prepare almost any type of meat, fish or vegetable on these units.
Staff typically use griddles to prepare breakfast items like pancakes, French toast, eggs and bacon. These units also cook a variety of meats, including hamburgers, steak and chicken breasts, in addition to stir-fries.
Light-, medium- and heavy-duty grills come in both floor and countertop models. A common configuration is a counter-mounted unit on a refrigerated base. Choose an alternate profile model for installations with higher counters, different refrigerated bases and operations that need an altered working height. Manufacturers size grills in 1-foot increments, with the most common being 24, 36, 48, 60 and 72 inches.
Grills offer a choice of heat sources, including charcoal, wood, gas or electricity. The majority of commercial units utilize cast-iron radiants, which are durable and may emit more heat than sheet metal radiants. Operators can also choose between grills that use lava rocks or briquettes.
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. These units typically allow one burner for every 6- to 12-inch width of cooking grate area. Cooking temperatures typically range between 450 degrees F and 850 degrees F.
These units’ exteriors typically feature stainless-steel construction and aluminized steel burner boxes and chassis. Grill grates are constructed of either cast iron or fabricated steel. Reversible grates offer an inclined position or a mechanical adjustment to provide greater flexibility to compensate for temperature variances across the cooking grate.
Like grills, griddles can mount on stands, refrigerated bases or other pieces of equipment. Countertop models are also available.
Griddles can run on electricity, gas or propane. Gas units generally have a rating of 20,000 to 30,000 Btus per hour per burner. Electric countertop models run from 8 to close to 33 kph.
Griddles have flat or grooved plates that measure from 2 to 6 feet wide and 18 to 30 inches deep. These generally measure ½-, ¾- or 1-inch thick.
Burners on these units are either manually or thermostatically controlled with either spark or electronic ignitions. On thermostatically controlled griddles, the thermostat is typically located in 1- to 2-foot intervals.
Griddle plate surfaces are constructed of cast iron, polished steel, cold-rolled steel or a chrome finish. Cabinets can have either welded or bolted frames.
The type of controls helps determine how much thermal energy the griddle can store and how quickly the griddle plates transfer heat to the product for cooking. Manual griddles with gas valves across the front can reach temperatures in excess of 800 degrees when run wide open. Electronic controls provide faster temperature recovery.