The number of pieces of equipment available to commercial kitchens is always growing. Ovens, ranges, fryers, griddles, holding cabinets, microwaves, and more — foods can be prepared with a plethora of different kinds of equipment. Think about a piece of chicken: It can be baked, pan-seared, deep-fried, or grilled just to name a few. With so many cooking options for one food, how do you decide which pieces of equipment are best for your kitchen? Let’s break it down and compare. Today, we will review the charbroiler vs. the griddle. 

Charbroilers 

Charbroilers use dry heat to cook, reheat and brown foods. Think of a charbroiler as a firebox with a grate over the flame to cook foods. These devices are used primarily for meats, including fish, hamburgers, chicken, and steaks, but can be useful in finishing off dishes and reheating entrees.  

Restaurant Charbroilers operate at high temperatures (usually 550 degrees Fahrenheit and up) with burners that are spaced at regular intervals for even cooking. Burners are usually spaced 12” to 15” apart with high-end units featuring burners with less space to allow for more concentrated cooking and more control in the cooking process. 

Some key features include:

  • Open-flame taste in a convenient low profile, countertop design 
  • Top grate adds appealing sear marks to foods 
  • Gives food a smoky, flame-cooked taste 
  • Some models feature tilting grates, which allow for grease to run down the grate instead of dropping into the heat source 

Griddles 

Commercial griddles are an invaluable piece of restaurant equipment. They work by burners or elements located below or embedded into the griddle plate heating the griddle plate to then cook foods, and can either be electric or powered with gas. Griddles cook a wide variety of foods from pancakes and bacon to hamburgers and chicken by transferring heat from a metal plate directly into the food product. 

The thickness of the griddle plate is important, as it affects the cooking process, determining how quickly the desired temperature is reached and the overall product lifetime. A thin griddle plate heats quickly with less energy but may distribute heat less evenly and may warp at high temperatures. Thick griddle plates retain heat longer, distribute heat more evenly, and are less likely to warp, however, they have a slower response time to changes in set temperatures and require more energy to bring up to desired temperatures.

A variety of griddle accessories are available, such as braising pans, serving plates, baskets, warming racks, and much, much more.

 

Griddle Plate Type 

Advantages  Disadvantages 
Thin Plates
(3⁄8″ to ¾”) 
  • Quick heat transfer 
  • Come up to temperature fast 
  • Faster heat recovery 
  • Require less energy to achieve set temperature 
  • May warp if preheated at high temperatures 
  • Distribute heat less evenly 
Thick Plates
(1″ to 1½”) 
  • Retain heat longer 
  • Distribute heat more evenly 
  • Less likely to warp 
  • Slower response time to changes in set temperatures 
  • Requires more energy to bring up to desired temperature 

Some key features include: 

  • Creating desirable effects on food, including golden-brown color and crispy crusts 
  • Individual heating controls allow you to cook a variety of foods at once 
  • Side and backsplashes contain grease splatter 

Final Thoughts 

Depending on what is being prepared in your commercial kitchen, a charbroiler, griddle, or both may be needed. Knowing the differences between the equipment allows operators to set themselves up for success from the beginning. Central offers every kind of charbroiler and griddle in a variety of sizes and styles. Find the best model for your commercial kitchen with the help of Central! 

Featured Brands:

Since 1921, Star Manufacturing has produced a range of cooking equipment, from popcorn poppers and conveyor toasters to hot dog grills, specialty warmers and more! Star strives to produce durable and reliable equipment that can stand up to the most rigorous foodservice demands.

Vulcan is among the world’s largest manufacturers of commercial cooking equipment. The company’s broad line includes ranges, convection and combi ovens, fryers, counter cooking, steam products and heating cabinets – all of which are ideal for both the foodservice and food retail end-user segments.

Globe offers a wide selection of products from slicers and mixers to fryers and griddles to scales. Each product is constructed with high quality materials to ensure you can prepare the freshest food in the easiest, most consistent manner. Because after all, every day begins with how you slice, mix it or grind it.

For the most affordable commercial refrigerators, freezers, and cooking equipment, look no further than Kratos. From reach-in refrigerators to commercial prep tables and more, Kratos provides extensive lines for all of your kitchen equipment needs.

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