There are few appliances in the commercial kitchen as versatile as the griddle. These are used for a plethora of cooking purposes, like making breakfast and grilled sandwiches, burgers, frying eggs, and even searing steaks. Perfect for crisping up bacon, sizzling ham, and sausage for some incredible egg sandwiches, griddles are the workhorse grills of any commercial kitchen. Griddles employ a flat cooking surface for even frying, and generally have a large surface area to cook multiple items simultaneously. Because of their plate-style cooking surface, they tend to sink grease downwards into a collection tray, from where the drippings can be disposed of appropriately. The majority of commercial griddles available on the market are countertop models, but full-sized models with more features are also available. These models target both breakfast establishments and restaurants alike, and depending upon the type of appliance, they can be either used for a limited period in the day or run for a longer time for all-day use.
Types of Commercial Griddles
Gas Griddles: As the name suggests, these griddles are powered by gas and can be either standard or high-output. The difference lies in the amount of time the griddle can be used. Standard output griddles are usually used in establishments that serve for a restricted period, such as breakfast-only cafes and bodegas. These are usually the more cost-effective version of the griddle as they not only save on the initial purchase cost but also the gas bill. The high-output variants can run all day and are more suited for restaurants that serve their menu all day. These are more powerful in terms of their BTU rating and are more robust than their standard counterparts.
Electric Griddles: Useful in establishments where gas is either unavailable as a fuel type or to even save on gas costs, electric griddles are mostly standard output options that operate at the common 120 volts. These are less expensive to use than gas griddles and quite efficient in terms of electric consumption. Electric griddles are also available in higher output variants that run on either 240 volts or a three-phase 208-volt option that can rival most gas-powered grills. While the power of gas griddles is measured in BTUs, electric griddles use watts as the unit of thermal measurement.
Factors to Consider when Buying a Commercial Griddle
Plate Thickness: The flat cooking surface of a griddle can vary in thickness to suit the needs of the customer. Thinner surfaces heat up and cool down quickly and are more suitable for short batches of cooking time. These are also less expensive than their thick-plate counterparts, which have longer heating and cooling times. Griddles with a higher gauge thickness are more robust and are less susceptible to warping under constant changes in temperature. The cooktop heats more evenly and stays at the same temperature for a greater period, allowing for more consistency while cooking food.
Plate Materials: Griddle cooktops are mostly made up of either steel or some kind of steel alloy, and are given a shiny chrome finish to make them nonstick. This makes them minimally inclined to alter the natural flavor of food. Because of a smooth, non-porous surface, these finishes require little to no oil to cook the food and once the food is done, it is very unlikely for flavors to transfer to the next batch of meals being prepared. Unlike surfaces like cast iron, steel surfaces are a breeze to clean and require very low maintenance.
Measurements: Depending on the volume of food being prepared, the griddle width can range from anywhere between 24 to 72 inches. The front-to-back measurements are more modest to accommodate for countertop placement and can range between 20 to 30 inches. Choosing a proper size for your needs requires a measurement of the available space and the allowance of proper clearance for surrounding equipment.
Temperature Controls: Griddle temperature controls can be either manually controlled (thermostatic) or automatic (non-thermostatic). Thermostatic griddle temperatures can be dialed in to adjust the heat required for the type of food being prepared, usually within the range of 150 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. The controls for these griddles can take various forms: Modulating (which keep the temperature within 30-40 degrees of the set temperature), Snap-Action (which maintain the temperature in the range of about 15 degrees of the dialed setting), and Solid State (which keep the temperature within 5 degrees Fahrenheit of the desired heat level). The non-thermostatic variants require more care on the part of the cook as they operate within a range of temperatures and stop heating when the maximum temperature is reached.
Best Small Scale and Heavy-Duty Commercial Griddles
Admiral Craft GRID-16 Griddle, Electric, Countertop
The Admiral Craft GRID-16 is a smaller size electric griddle that has a 15.5” x 16” cooktop surface, stainless steel construction, and a 3” splash guard around the back and the sides. Cooking temperature ranges from 120-570 degrees Fahrenheit, controlled with an adjustment knob. The grill features a bottom-mounted grease collection pan for drippings and is easy to run with a conventional 120-volt wall outlet. The grill provides 1750 watts of power with 14.5 amps of electrical flow. Available at Chef Buyer.
Grindmaster-Cecilware GCP15 Griddle, Gas, Countertop
The Cecilware GCP15 gas-powered griddle from Grindmaster is a countertop model with a 15” x 20” cooking plate surface area. The griddle plate itself is a solid 1” thick and made of stainless steel. Powered by a 30,000/hr steel burner, the appliance features manual control over temperature settings, independent cooking zones, and a shiny stainless-steel construction. The griddle comes with a standard 2-year parts and 1-year labor warranty. Preventative maintenance is required for the second-year warranty and Grindmaster-Cecilware requires proof of proper maintenance done to activate the warranty in the second year of ownership. This gas-powered griddle can be yours at Chef Buyer.
Eagle Group CLAGGD-24-NG-X Griddle, Gas, Countertop
This natural gas-based griddle from Redhot’s Chef’s line sits on your countertop, measuring 24" W x 28-5/16" D x 18" H with a plate thickness of ¾”. The cooktop has a polished steel griddle plate and features a 4” tall splash guard on the back and both sides. The front is aluminized stainless steel and houses three comfortable 45-degree angled manual controls. The stainless-steel grease trap can hold up to 7.5 quarts of fluids and sits right above the adjustable cast metal legs with wide feet. The CLAGGD-24-NG-X griddle can go up to 62,500 BTU of heat and is a special Eagle Plus item. This excellent piece of kit can be availed at Chef Buyer.
Lang Manufacturing CCSE12A Griddle Contact Clamshell Hood
The Lang Manufacturing CCSE12A griddle is an electric-powered griddle with options for a 208 volt, 20.2 amps per line, 4.2 kW model, a 240 volt, 17.5 amps per line, 4.2 kW model, and a third, high powered 480 volt, 8.8 amps per line and 4.2 kW variant. The steel cooking surface is 11” wide and 21.5” deep and features a snap-action thermostat with a remotely mounted digital control box that goes from 150-450 degrees Fahrenheit. The special feature on this grill is two top-mounted platen-leveling non-stick sheets that land flat on the cooktop for that extra pressure on food being prepared. The appliance is covered by a 1-year parts and labor warranty that covers the continental U.S.A., Hawaii, and Canada. All yours for at Chef Buyer with an instant price match guaranteed.
Toastmaster TMGE48 Griddle, Electric, Countertop
The electric griddle model TMGE48 from Toastmaster sits comfortably on your kitchen countertop and features a 48” x 21” polished steel cooktop with a thickness of ¾”. The temperature controls are thermostatic and the surface is heated by four steel radiants. The 3-¼” grease trough is excellent at catching any unwanted grease and the fluid drip-tray takes care of the rest. The griddle is protected by the rear and side splash guards and the front panel has a stainless-steel construction. The appliance sits on sturdy 4” nickel-plated steel legs and has a removable tray for easy cleanup. The device runs on 208/240 volts and has a rating of 12.0/16 kW, which is field convertible. Made in the USA, the griddle comes with an exclusive on-site 1-year parts and labor warranty for the USA as well as Canada. The Toastmaster TMGE48 electric griddle can be purchased from Chef Buyer with no extra freight charges.