Flat vs Char Grill

Grilling is one of summer’s most traditional ways to cook meals. Meats such as burgers and steaks are the perfect match for your grill, and customers always appreciate this standard cooking method. When it comes to grilling, though, there are a few ways to achieve the perfect results. Flat-top grilling (aka griddle) and char grilling are two typical grilling methods, and both are preferred for different reasons and in their own right. While one is not necessarily better than the other, there are a few things to consider when making the decision between flat and char grills.

Flat-Top Grill (Griddle)

What is it? As the name implies, flat grills or griddles utilize direct heat over a flat surface wherein juices and grease can drain out to the outer edges of the cooking surface. With higher efficiency, more accurate heat controls, and a wider distribution of heat, these types of grills are used often in restaurants and can achieve a variety of tasks.

What are the PROS? Because these grills are more precise, the risk of over or undercooking meals is lower. Juices are eliminated slower than standard chargrills, leaving burgers and meats juicier. Griddles are easy to learn how to work with, making for quick training times. And with a variety of foods that can be cooked such as pancakes, meats, and eggs, the griddle is versatile and reliable.

What are the CONS? While this type of cooking method may be efficient, it does take longer to reach the final cooking temperature as opposed to char grilling. Also, you can’t achieve the charred outside.

Char Grill

What is it? Char grills utilize raised surfaces to lift items off the cooking surface, giving foods a distinct charred pattern.

What are the PROS? When items are lifted off the cooking surface, they are also lifted away from collecting grease. This helps make for healthier entrees! Also, the ridges give char grilled items a distinct charred pattern which is both attractive and tasty. The charred sections give foods a smokier flavor, and the aromas from a char grill simply cannot be beat.

What are the CONS? While this method may be quicker, the grill master must have a thorough knowledge of how to use the appliance in order to prevent uneven cooking. Also, as the juices are drained from the items, your meats tend to be drier than when using a griddle. You clearly will be limited on what you can cook on a char grill, as pancakes for instance just simply will not work on this cooktop.

While many (if not most) restaurants will opt for the griddle, you may consider adding a char grill to your lineup as well to give customers a variety and to spice up your menu!


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E Friedman Associates Inc

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CKitchen, an E Friedman company, is a FULLY AUTHORIZED Food Service Equipment and Supplies Dealer that represents all major brands of commercial kitchen equipment. Since our inception in 1984, we focused on quality products and upscale projects. Our projects division is responsible for some of the largest food service projects in the country including Hotels, Restaurants and Institutions. We are loyal to our customers as well as our employees. Our average sales professional has been with us for over 8 years. This accounts for the fact that they are some of the most knowledgeable in the Restaurant Equipment industry. We continue to strive for value added service while maintaining the lowest prices in the industry. The bottom line is that we would like you to be pleased with your purchase today and for years to come...
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