Fast Food Grills, Griddles and Chargrills Buying Guide
Many fast food establishments offer grilled food and for that purpose it is important to have the right type of grill/griddle and chargrill in place to ensure good quality food that can be cooked as quickly as possible. Grills are used for three different styles of cooking, high heat direct cooking (when food is placed above the source of heat, for example, lamb chops, steak etc.), indirect heat convection (for example, for roasting chicken), and indirect heat smoke roasting (when a lid is closed, for example barbeque style food). Additionally grilled food is gaining in popularity today as it is a much healthier option because during the grilling process, excess fat is drained off.
If your establishment only offers a small amount of grill cooking then a small capacity grill is an energy efficient way of cooking food. The smaller footprint means this type of grill can fit into a limited space. Contact grills cook food from both sides at once therefore speeding up the process. They are constructed with ribbed or flat plates so choose the plates you need according to the food you cook, for example, if you offer grilled sandwiches or Paninis, the ribbed plates work best as they give that wonderful chargrill stripe mark.
Larger fast food restaurants might benefit from conventional grills which are mainly powered by gas but there are others using electricity. The big advantage of gas or electrical grills is that you can control the temperature and they are much easier to clean than chargrills. However, do remember that gas is explosive if not handled correctly.
There are many different types of grills available for fast food businesses on the Alliance website, including freestanding appliances and countertop equipment to suit your requirements and space.
Of course, if you have a restaurant or fast food business which specialises in grilled kebabs then you will need a specialist kebab grill which cooks Doner kebabs for takeaways. These types of grills can be connected to a gas supply or electrical supply as necessary.
Griddles are very useful pieces of equipment usually constructed out of stainless steel with one single piece of metal so, unlike a chargrill; the fat does not drip in between the slats. Food is cooked beautifully in its own juices so does not dry out, leaving a moist, succulent finish. There are different surfaces available on a griddle, for example, smooth chrome plates which are excellent for heat distribution so food does not stick, cast plates which are used for burgers and sausages or white steel plates which are used for cooking eggs and more delicate food such as pancakes, crepes, breads and flat breads. Choose from free standing appliances or smaller, countertop versions and when you are making your choice look for energy saving dual heat (allowing just one part of the griddle to be used when your restaurant is quieter). Also check the drainage channel to make sure it will be easy to clean.
There is a difference between a chargrill and a grill. A chargrill uses a lid with coal and keeps the heat inside; these are used especially for barbequing and for grilling meat to have that delicious smoky taste. They get much hotter than standard gas grills and are excellent in creating a crisp finish to steak and lamb while keeping them moist and succulent inside. Do remember that chargrilling needs good maintenance when cooking is complete as dirt and food residue can build up so it is important to clean them out regularly to prevent burnt food and sparks which can be dangerous. Always use gloves and tongs when using a chargrill and choose a chargrill with power to spare.
Pizza is staple fast food so having a good quality pizza oven will ensure you serve up delicious tasting food in minutes. Most pizza ovens are available to buy in either gas or electric and depending on how much pizza you have on the menu, you can choose from two or more decks which are easily stackable giving you more capacity when you need it. Pizza ovens heat up to very hot temperatures and it’s worth knowing that they are also able to cook other food from beef, chicken, lamb to baking desserts.
Hot Dog Machines
If your fast food restaurant specialises in or offers hot dogs then a hot dog machine will be a very useful piece of equipment to invest in. These machines are small and compact so can easily sit on a countertop and won’t impact on your kitchen if you are limited in space. Think about how many hot dogs you cook in an hour and choose something suitable, for example, the Roller Grill Hot Dog Machine stores up to 40 hot dogs and has a useful feature where it can keep cooked and uncooked sausages separate.
Points to Remember:
- Think about your requirements and the future so you buy the right size for your business (take into consideration expansion).
- Check the output of the appliance you are considering for example, how many pizzas per hour?
- Choose easy to clean equipment especially if you are running a very busy business.
For further information on Fast Food Grills, Griddles and Chargrills visit the Fast Food Equipment pages in the Catering Appliances section or contact the Alliance customer care team