Your commercial griddle might be the most versatile, frequently-used piece of restaurant equipment in your kitchen. Essentially a large, flat cooking surface, the commercial griddle is used to cook everything from pancakes, to burgers, eggs, fajitas, and much more. Before purchasing a commercial griddle for your restaurant, consider your menu. Do you serve all day breakfast? Or do you cook large amounts of frozen food? These types of questions will help you determine buying features like the griddle thickness, heating option (gas, electric, induction) or manual versus thermostatic options. At Tundra Restaurant Supply, we sell a varity of commercial griddles from the industry's leading manufacturers such as Star Manufacturing, Toastmaster, Cadco and more!
Why Grill Plate Thickness Matters
The thickness of your commercial griddle is key to long-lasting performance. Thick metal plates heat more evenly and are less likely to warp than their thin-plate counterparts, making it a great option for those grilling large meats, frozen items and more. That said, thin plates will heat more quickly and require less energy. Items that cook quickly (think bacon, pancake and other breakfast items) do well on a thin griddle plate. However, if your business often cooks frozen items, large meats or other heavier items, a thicker plate may provide better long term performance.
Commercial Gas Griddles, Commercial Electric Griddles and Induction Griddles
Gas griddles may save you in some energy bills over time, but it can cost you more upfront. Because the burners are located beneath the griddle plate, gas griddles often reach temperatures (and recover more quickly) than their electric counterparts). Chefs also tend to prefer gas griddles due to its heating precision.
Electric griddles feature a heating element either below or embedded in the griddle plate. When the element is turned on, it generates heat. Though you may find it takes longer for electric griddles to reach temperature, they are a great alternative for kitchens who do not have access to gas. Plus, electric griddles are often cheaper than gas griddles and with some models becoming more energy efficient it could be a more sustainable option.
Induction griddles, while used for decades in Europe, are starting to gain in popularity here in the United States. The most sustainable option with the least amount of energy loss, induction cooking is more efficient than either gas or electric griddle options. That's because induction cooking utilizes magnetic fields to generate the heat—instead of having a hot surface to create the heat, the heat is generated by the pan itself. Plus, with heat going through the pot instead of surrounding it, the chef is not emitting as much heat and energy than with gas and electric options. And precision? Well induction cooking is the most precise and accurate type of cooking method available to you.
Manual Griddles Versus Thermostatic Griddles
Griddles come in manual or thermostatic options. Manual griddles offer you the most flexibility when it comes to adjusting temperature, which could prove useful if you often cook different types of food throughout the day. With ultimate control does come responsibility, and it'll be up to you to constantly adjust the amount of gas/electricity that is feeding the griddle to attain your desired temperature. On the other hand, for those just looking to flip burgers or cook up fajitas regularly, then a thermostatic griddle enables you to set a desired temperature and then forget it; the thermostatic griddle will automatically adjust to hold the desire temperature.