The Expert's Guide to Buying A Commercial Grill


Grills are some of the most versatile cooking appliances in your kitchen. Whether it's steak you want to sear, patties you want to grill, or vegetables and eggs to sauté, the grill is the go-to for cooking a variety of dishes - be it morning rush hours or evening full houses. Employing efficient commercial grills in restaurants makes a great deal of difference as it lets you cook several dishes quickly, and it also adds rich flavor to the food. But before you invest in a commercial grill, there are several factors to consider. We discuss the different grills available in the market, the kind of mechanisms and fuel they use, important considerations like capacity, heat, and output in this article. Read on to more. 

What Is a Commercial Grill? 

Commercial grills can become the workhorses behind any commercial food operation. They come in a variety of models, designs, and sizes depending on the kind of food you intend on cooking. While griddles can help you make a bunch of dishes like pancakes, bacon strips, and sandwiches, charbroilers are ideal to give roasted meats that ideal smoky flavor, and can cook a large amount of meat. Outdoor grills come in handy when preparing customer favorites like the classic American burger. These machines add the right amount of versatility to your operation and are a must-have to deliver the breakfast food, roast meat, and barbecue food in the business. 

Types of Commercial Grills

commercial grills

Commercial grills come in a lot of varieties. Before you set out to invest, it is important to know the variants and the types of food each variant cooks best.

●    Griddles: These appliances are some of the most used daily and are capable of preparing several different dishes. Griddles contain a flat metal plate or a tablet that is heated by either combustible fuel or by electricity. Nearly everything can be prepared on a griddle. These commercial grills are most useful in preparing breakfast foods. Griddles come with controls that help the commercial grill maintain temperature, however, there also exist manually operated griddles. Based on the type of fuel used to heat the griddle, they're categorized as:
○    Commercial gas griddles
○    Commercial electric griddles
○    Commercial drop-in griddles

●    Charbroilers: Charbroilers specialize in imparting food that classic smoky, barbecue flavor. The grates on this appliance also give roasted and seared meats their classic patterns and appearance. Charbroilers are also essential for large orders and are on a tight schedule for delivery. These machines are brilliant at cooking tough and large meats due to the high heat they're able to generate. Cooking processes such as searing, roasting, and grilling are also possible depending on the kind of grates you choose. Based on the fuel used, a charbroiler can be any of the following: 
○    Commercial gas charbroiler
○    Commercial electric charbroiler
○    Commercial charcoal or wood charbroiler  
Some models even come with specialized bricks and stones that are efficient at radiating heat.

What You Should Know 

There are several aspects of commercial grills that you must consider before buying one. These tips will help you select the perfect commercial grill for your restaurant and also simplify the process of purchasing a grill. Here's what you need to know: 

●    Fuel Type: Grills use various fuel sources, including gas, electricity, charcoal, and wood. Based on the type of fuel you use, the heat produced, its uniformity, and the time taken to cook food varies. Gas-fueled grills take just a little under 15 minutes to be heated uniformly, this saves time, but these grills also lack the classic smoky flavor added by wood or charcoal. The same can be said about electric grills, though they come with the added advantage of better controls. While charcoal and wood grills are classic barbecue favorites, they do not come with controls, and the heat has to be purely maintained based on the food to be cooked and the kind of flavor you're expecting. Charcoal and wood grills also take longer preparation times and take longer than their gas & electric counterparts to heat up. Choose your grill based on the kind of operation you run and its necessities. 

●    Heat Output: Grills have specific heat output based on their design and the kind of fuel they use. The yielded heat output lets you judge various aspects of operating the commercial grill such as preheat time, cooldown time, and recovery. Heat output is measured with a special unit called the British Thermal Unit (BTU). A BTU measures the heat emitted by each burner for a specific period in a given area. The heat output is mentioned in BTUs in the specification card. A higher heat output doesn't always mean a more efficient grill. It may also hint at a grill that consumes more fuel in a shorter period. Up to 100 BTUs per square inch of a tablet or grate should be the standard expectation on any griddle or a grate for charbroilers. 

●    Rate of Production: Based on the frequency of use, number of expected deliveries a day, and the nature of food you prepare, you must choose wisely as each grill has a certain rate of production. The smaller grills have fewer burners, a smaller surface area, and can cater to occasional customers and only for seasonal dishes. On the other hand, the medium and large commercial grills have a higher number of burners and a larger surface area. These commercial grills are ideal for regular use and for feeding a large customer base. 

●    Indoor & Outdoor Grills: Indoor commercial grills are best suited for establishments that will make use of the grill on an almost daily basis. This is a more standard and solid solution for preparing your grilled dishes. In case your restaurant serves grilled food occasionally or only during the brighter months, you should consider having a portable or an outdoor grill, which can be used occasionally and stored after use. 

The Top 5 Commercial Grills for Restaurants

Below, we list our top five picks for the best all-round commercial grills in the market today. 

The Best Commercial Gas Griddle 

Countertop Gas Griddle

Electrolux Professional 169112 EMPower 24" Countertop Gas Griddle

A part of the EMPower range from Electrolux, this appealing commercial gas grill offers a 24" x 22" cooking surface made of stainless steel with a thickness of 1". The griddle is designed for quick recovery and efficient operation. This model boasts of a thermostatic controls panel with a total heat output of 52,000 BTU/hour. The griddle runs on natural gas and comes with a propane conversion kit. Thanks to its sleek finish, cleaning is never a hassle with the 169112 EMPower. It is controlled with two knobs and has a grease tray with half a gallon capacity. It opens at the front, allowing for easy emptying. Electrolux offers a two-year parts warranty and a year's worth of labor warranty. 

The Best Commercial Electric Griddle

Countertop Electric Griddle

AccuTemp EGF2083B2450-T1 AccuSteam Countertop Electric Griddle

The AccuTemp EGF2083B2450-T1 comes with a stainless-steel plate measuring 24" x 24" and offers a sizable 574 sq. inch cooking area. The stainless-steel plate is 7-gauge and is heated uniformly by the unique and patented AccuSteam technology that utilizes steam to generate heat. This model comes with a digital control aisle and thermostat. Temperature settings can be used as presets to make cooking easier. A grease tray of about 6.5 quarts opens up in the front to aid in easy cleaning. The griddle is energy efficient and runs on a 208V supply. Available to you in Chef Buyer's catalog, the appliance comes with a one-year parts and labor warranty. 

The Best Wood Charbroiler

Wood Smoker Charbroiler

Southbend P36W-CCC Platinum Wood Smoker Charbroiler

This is a full-width charbroiler that comes with both a chute for loading wood and an optional gas outlet. It comes with burners, and a total heat output of up to 96,000 BTU. The Southbend P36W-CCC comes with a thermostat with a range between 150 and 500 Fahrenheit. While the wood rack remains stationary, this model is equipped with a removable drip tray. A 5" flue riser and 25" front rail are included in the purchase. The purchase does include a 3-year parts and labor warranty. This commercial grill is best suited for some heavy-duty barbecuing.

The Best Gas Charbroiler

Gas Countertop Heavy Duty Radiant Charbroiler

Garland US Range UTBG24-NR24 23.63" Gas Countertop Heavy Duty Radiant Charbroiler 

This machine comes with a heavy-duty non-adjustable cast iron grate. It offers nearly 24" of width with over 546mm of depth. The unique attribute of the UTBG24-NR24 is its large crumb tray. Though equipped with a single burner, this device manages over 72,000 BTUs. Optional accessories such as spatter guards, cleaning tools and rack holders can be purchased separately. A simple valve to control the rate of the burner is included with this gas charbroiler. For a heavy-duty machine this efficient, this item includes a single-year warranty. 

The Best Outdoor Commercial Grill

Outdoor Commercial Grill

Southbend HDC-18-316L Outdoor

Southbend offers premium quality outdoor/ portable grills in the form of HDC-18-316L. This model has a modern gas-powered countertop design and has a width of 18 inches. It is gas-powered and includes two burners, yielding a total BTU of around 40000. A pressure regulator and gas connector are included with this commercial grill. For simpler cleaning, Southbend also offers a 4" grease trough. Splash guards measuring 5" are placed aptly at the sides and rear. Stainless steel round rod grates also come with this appliance. The purchase includes a year's labor and parts warranty. 

Chef Buyer is proud to offer you premium commercial grills to diversify your menu. We offer the best prices on products. If you have further questions about commercial grills, be sure to contact us via email or through our customer service telephone line. Chef Buyer regularly offers buying guides and blogs to improve your purchases and sales at your restaurant. Be sure to browse through our catalog and satisfy all of your commercial grill needs!

Posted by Damon Shrauner on 
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