BUYING A BARBECUE

It’s the ideal scenario for many caterers across the UK. The sun is out, the barbecue is sizzling and countless smiling customers are queuing up for a delicious burger, hot dog or skewer. If you have a beer garden, cater for outdoor events such as festivals or concerts, or simply wish to expand your street food menu, buying a commercial barbecue is an essential summer investment. Simply put, a commercial catering barbecue is a fast and easy way to prepare large amounts of crowd-favourite foods. The combination of beautiful weather and the enticing smoky aroma ensures a great profit margin for as long as the sun lasts! Before you decide which BBQ to buy however, it’s important to consider a few factors.

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CHARCOAL OR GAS

Charcoal BBQ

Ever popular, the traditional charcoal barbecue cooking method has existed for centuries. Perhaps the unmistakable smoky aroma, or delicious distinctive taste has since led to the technique being used worldwide to this day. As a general rule, charcoal barbecues cook food slower, meaning more moisture is retained within the food. As fat drips onto the charcoal, more of the smoky aroma is made, however “flare ups” can occur, where the fat catches light. Careful control of charcoal barbecues needs to be administered to ensure food isn’t cooked too fast, which can either make it taste bad or worse, ruining it altogether and causing waste.

For inexperienced users, a charcoal barbecue can be somewhat tricky to light and regulate at first, however it’s quick to learn the techniques for producing the authentic taste which customers crave. It’s important to note that charcoal barbecues will need refilling occasionally if used for extended periods.

Gas BBQ

Gas barbecues are a much more modern invention, with the concept having been developed in the 1960s in America. The modern commercial catering gas barbecue is rather different from those first machines, as they are now designed for large scale output and reliability. The main benefits of gas barbecues are fast lighting and cooking as well as much more controllable heat. This can help to reduce queue times for your customers, as well as reducing food waste. Some criticise gas barbecues as they don’t always produce food with the same distinctive taste as their charcoal counterparts, however, by using lava rock the smoky taste can, to some extent, be replicated. Another consideration is that gas barbecues generally have more functionality, meaning they tend to be more expensive than charcoal versions.

Gas barbecues, by their nature, use gas canisters so it’s important to make sure you have enough fuel to cater for the whole event, as well as a place to store them safely. Barbecues with more burners generally use more gas, however some have the ability to limit which burners are used, therefore saving energy during quieter periods.

STORAGE & PORTABILITY

The nature of British weather means barbecues aren’t likely to be used often during the winter months, so it’s important to consider what features the barbecue includes to help during down times. Some barbecues can simply be folded away, to take up the least possible space. Others include wheels, so they can be manoeuvred into a more suitable position, such as an indoor storage area once service is finished. Some of the largest commercial barbecues can be somewhat difficult to move, especially if they are designed for permanent positioning. In these circumstances, a weather-resistant cover would usually be advisable to help prevent the barbecue being damaged over time by the elements.

Must Read if Buying a Back Bar Bottle Cooler

FAQs – Dimensions Always check the bar fridge will fit though your doorways and in to the space required.

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Do you need to build the bottle cooler in? Look for a back bar chiller with a grid at the bottom front. Why? Because the bar fridges have a condenser at the back and this is used to reject heat from within the bottle cooler. This heat must be expelled otherwise the motor will overheat. Grids allow the hot air to escape and these grids can be located on the sides or front of the bar fridge. Side grids or bar coolers with no grids require an air space all the way around to help vent the warm air. Front grids allow the bar cooler to be built in
Door Type Hinged doors take up more space in a confined space. Door seals on sliding doors can become sticky and tear from drink spillages (require regular wiping down)
Displaying Chilled Drinks Bottle coolers are the most visible chilled cabinets in any bar – ensure the product has good illumination to display the contents.
Capacity Check how many bottles or items you ideally need to display, check bottle heights per shelf.
Door Locks Do you require the security of a door lock for when the product is not in use?
Interior If your planning on heavy usage of the product ensure you purchase a cabinet with a heavy duty interior say hammered aluminum rather than plastic.
Shelving Adjustable shelving allows flexibility in adjusting the height/space for alternative product sizes.
Temperature Display Ideal for keeping an eye on the air temperature inside the cabinet
Delivery Do you require the product urgently or can you wait for the standard delivery – give us a call to find out more information.
FAQs – Dimensions Always check the bar fridge will fit though your doorways and in to the space required.
Do you need to build the bottle cooler in? Look for a back bar chiller with a grid at the bottom front. Why? Because the bar fridges have a condenser at the back and this is used to reject heat from within the bottle cooler. This heat must be expelled otherwise the motor will overheat. Grids allow the hot air to escape and these grids can be located on the sides or front of the bar fridge. Side grids or bar coolers with no grids require an air space all the way around to help vent the warm air. Front grids allow the bar cooler to be built in
Door Type Hinged doors take up more space in a confined space. Door seals on sliding doors can become sticky and tear from drink spillages (require regular wiping down)
Displaying Chilled Drinks Bottle coolers are the most visible chilled cabinets in any bar – ensure the product has good illumination to display the contents.
Capacity Check how many bottles or items you ideally need to display, check bottle heights per shelf.
Door Locks Do you require the security of a door lock for when the product is not in use?
Interior If your planning on heavy usage of the product ensure you purchase a cabinet with a heavy duty interior say hammered aluminum rather than plastic.
Shelving Adjustable shelving allows flexibility in adjusting the height/space for alternative product sizes.
Temperature Display Ideal for keeping an eye on the air temperature inside the cabinet
Delivery Do you require the product urgently or can you wait for the standard delivery – give us a call to find out more information.

BUYING A CATERING FRYER

Whether you’re frying chips, fish, doughnuts or chicken, a commercial deep fat fryer is the ideal appliance to produce deliciously crispy and succulent foods. However, selecting the right fryer from such a vast range could seem overwhelming at first. For some businesses, a professional fryer is the primary cooking appliance, so it’s vital to understand the features and limitations of the machine before purchase.

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FEATURES & BENEFITS

  • Power and Capacity: Whether you are expecting spikes in demand or a consistent, high turnover of food, careful consideration needs to be made to the power and oil capacity of the fryer. Higher power fryers generally heat up and recover temperature faster (sometimes called the response time), meaning more food can be cooked in a smaller time frame. Likewise, if you only use the fryer occasionally, a smaller light duty fryer could be more efficient in the long term. Although using a higher capacity fryer gives you the facility to cook more in one frying cycle, it also generally means a bigger fryer, which could use a considerable amount of valuable kitchen space.
  • Power type: Commercial fryers typically use gas or electricity connections, with the most powerful versions requiring a direct, permanent hardwired connection to the mains to operate effectively. With the difference between the performance of gas and electricity versions being marginal, the decision would generally be down to user preference and the availability of a gas or electricity connection.
  • Single tank or twin tank: The majority of commercial fryers are available in single or twin tank configurations. This relates to how many separate oil compartments there are. The main benefit of twin tank fryers is the ability to independently fry two separate food types at different temperatures without the risk of cross-contamination. In addition, a twin tank fryer is sometimes considered more efficient as you can use only the tanks that you need. Conversely, a single tank fryer can accommodate larger or more frying baskets, allowing bulk frying during busy periods.
  • Number of baskets: Multiple baskets allow you to cook more than one food type at a time, albeit with smaller quantities than large single baskets. Using a large single tank fryer gives you the option of using either single or multiple basket configurations depending on your menu options.
  • Manual or Programmable: Commercial kitchens can be pretty hectic places, so some fryers have the option to notify you when the cooking is completed. Some of the very top end fryers even raise the fryer basket for you once the food is cooked. Although programmable fryers can cost more, they can save you a significant amount of time.
  • Running costs: Without doubt, the most costly ongoing expense when operating a professional fryer is the cooking oil. Once oil is spent, the quality and taste of fried food can deteriorate – so oil should be changed on a regular basis. Therefore many modern fryers are designed to extend the life of its cooking oil by intelligent filtration or by implementing cool zones which prevent food sediment from burning and contaminating the oil. Due to the size and complexity of filtration systems, they are mainly seen within the stand on free standing fryers. Oil life can also be extended by manually removing food debris using a skimmer.
  • Used oil can usually be recycled. some companies may even pay you to collect it. Note: Used oil can quickly block drains, so make sure to dispose of it responsibly.

What to look for when buying a glaswasher

Commercial or catering glass washers tend to be front-loading compact machines for small to moderate usage of glassware, often fitting under a counter or on a bench in a preparation area
Location While they are often sited underneath the bar because of space restrictions, it is better to use the bar area for retailing rather than glass washing. Busy pubs and bars may need to move to a pull-down hood machine which enables rapid washing of a large volume of glasses
Always check size of basket Usually 350mm (12 pints), 400mm (16 pints) or 500mm (25 pints) based on Nonic pint glasses
Electrical Supply Check electrical supply: 13 amp (plug) hard wired single phase or three phase.
Water Connection Check water connection: 3/4 inch BSP will work on both hot and cold fill.
Drainage Do you need a drain pump? If you have an existing machine that when you pull the drain plug out the water drains away on its own then it doesn’t need a drain pump. If you press a switch to drain water your existing machine has a drain pump fitted.
Drain Pump Required when the drainage is higher than the dishwasher drain outlet. Only required to pump water up hill to connect to your existing drainage. In some cases it may be more practical or less expensive to use a stand or lower the existing drainage pipe.
Break Tank otherwise known as Type A air gap. Required to conform to the water regulations so that in the unlikely event of the machine becoming blocked the dirty water will not siphon back into the mains water system. You may need a booster pump to assist – generally used on dishwashers.
Booster Pump Required to boost water pressure therefore ideal where the water pressure is low (below 2 bar). Hot fill machine should consider a booster pump.
Stands Where possible always put the machine on a stand. By sitting on a stand you will not need a drain pump and a stand is much cheaper
Softeners Check if you have hard water if so you will need a water softener. Manual water softeners need to be regenerated manually where the automatic softeners regenerate automatically with no staff assistance. Approx 8 Ltrs for 350mm and 400mm basket machines and 12 Ltrs for 500mm machines. Water softeners reduce your existing water pressure by around half a bar.
Regenerate Manual softeners must be regenerated at least once a week. Regenerating is where you drain the existing water out of the softener, add salt (amount depends on size of softener), flow water through the softener (takes approx 40 mins) until the water is no longer salty. Some internal manual softeners may require regenerating daily (depending on size).Renovator A detergent used for maintenance cleaning the machine. Liquid renovator can also be used for cleaning tanning.
Cold Water For cold water conversion the element and power loading is increased to allow the machine to run on cold water.

View our full range of glasswashers

Slow-cooked spiced lamb with rice pilaf – Easter Special

Let your oven do all the work for you with this amazing melt-in-the-mouth slow-cooked lamb. Laced with spices and herbs, it’s the perfect set-and-forget dish.

INGREDIENTS

  •  2.5kg leg of lamb
  •  3/4 cup plain Greek-style yoghurt, plus extra to serve
  •  1 tablespoon ground cumin
  •  1 tablespoon dried oregano
  •  2 teaspoons paprika
  •  2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  •  2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  •  1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  •  1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  •  2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  •  1 pomegranate, halved, seeds removed
  •  1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves, plus extra leaves to serve
  •  1/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves, plus extra leaves to serve
  •  200g tub baba ghanoush, to serve
  •  Lemon wedges, to serve

RICE PILAF

  •  50g butter
  •  1 small brown onion, thinly sliced
  •  1 garlic clove
  •  1/3 cup dried risoni
  •  2 cups white long-grain rice
  •  1 litre chicken stock

METHOD

  • Step 1
    Preheat oven to 130C/110C fan-forced. Place lamb in a large roasting pan. Combine yoghurt, cumin, oregano, paprika, cinnamon, garlic and pepper in a bowl. Season with salt. Rub yoghurt mixture all over lamb to coat. Drizzle with oil. Bake, uncovered, for 6 hours or until lamb is well-browned and meat is falling from the bone.
  • Step 2
    30 minutes before serving, make rice pilaf. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and risoni. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add rice. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add stock. Stir well to combine. Cover. Bring to the boil or use a rice cooker. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 10 to 12 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat. Stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork to separate grains.
  • Step 3
    Shred lamb. Sprinkle with pine nuts, pomegranate, coriander and mint. Serve with rice pilaf in our range of rice bowls, extra coriander and extra mint, baba ghanoush, extra yoghurt, lemon wedges and some bread.

Difference between a domestic fridge and a catering fridge?

What is the difference between a domestic fridge and a catering fridge?
Domestic fridge and a commercial fridge look similar, but are not.
Domestic Fridges The power of the compressor is designed around the few number of times a domestic fridge door is opened during the day. A quite modestly-powered compressor will be able to cope with the heat gain without food safety risks. The construction of both the cabinet and the motor is only robust enough for light domestic use, so used in a commercial environment, not only do they pose a food safety hazard, they need replacing far more often than commercial fridges, so are not even cost effective.
Commercial Fridges These commercial catering fridges are designed to work in a busy working kitchen, the door is going to be opened very regularly and probably be exposed to a far hotter kitchen. The compressor needs to be powerful enough to rapidly pull down the internal fridge temperature to replace heat loss.
Most commercial fridges also incorporate fans for fast draw down time and evenly spread the cool air through the cabinet, a feature domestic fridges do not have. Commercial fridges are better insulated, designed for easy cleaning and some are able to electronically record temperatures.

In addition to fridges for the catering kitchen, take a look at commercial display fridges – the fan assisted cooling allows fast pull down of the temperatures, particularly useful for new products added to the fridge ie back bar bottle coolers.

What to look when buying a commercial dishwasher

Dish washers tend to be front-loading compact machines for small to moderate usage of crockery, often fitting under a counter or on a bench in a preparation area
Location While they are often sited underneath the counter because of space restrictions. Busy cafes and restaurants may need to move to a pull-down hood machine which enables rapid washing of a large volume of dishes
Always check size of basket Usually from 400 mm, 450mm, 500 mm (most common) baskets
Wash Cycle The wash cycle time helps you determin how many washes the dishwasher is able to process per hour.
Electrical Supply Check electrical supply: 13 amp (plug) hard wired single phase or three phase.
Water Connection Check water connection: 3/4 inch BSP will work on both hot and cold fill.
Drainage Do you need a drain pump? If you have an existing machine that when you pull the drain plug out the water drains away on its own then it doesnt need a drain pump. If you press a switch to drain water your existing machine has a drain pump fitted.
Drain Pump Required when the drainage is higher than the dishwasher drain outlet. Only required to pump water up hill to connect to your existing drainage. In some cases it may be more practical or less expensive to use a stand or lower the existing drainage pipe.
Break Tank otherwise known as Type A air gap. Required to conform to the water regulations so that in the unlikely event of the machine becoming blocked the dirty water will not siphon back into the mains water system. You may need a booster pump to assist – generally used on dishwashers.
Booster Pump Required to boost water pressure therefore ideal where the water pressure is low (below 2 bar). Hot fill machine should consider a booster pump.
Stands Where possible always put the dishwasher on a stand. By sitting on a stand you will not need a drain pump and a stand is much cheaper
Softeners Check if you have hard water if so you will need a water softener. Manual water softeners need to be regenerated manually where the automatic softeners regenerate automatically with no staff assistance. Approx 8 Ltrs for 400mm basket machines and 12 Ltrs for 500mm machines. Water softeners reduce your existing water pressure by around half a bar.
Regenerate Manual softeners must be regenerated at least once a week. Regenerating is where you drain the existing water out of the softener, add salt (amount depends on size of softener), flow water through the softener (takes approx 40 mins) until the water is no longer salty. Some internal manual softeners may require regenerating daily (depending on size).
Renovator A detergent used for maintenance cleaning the machine. Liquid renovator can also be used for cleaning tanning.
Cold Water For cold water conversion the element and power loading is increased to allow the machine to run on cold water.

 

View our full range of commercial dishwashers and glasswashers

Happy St Patricks Day 17th March

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! How much do you really know about this famous Irish holiday?

Saint Patrick, who lived during the fifth century, is the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland. Born in Roman Britain, he was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave at the age of 16. He later escaped, but returned to Ireland and was credited with bringing Christianity to its people. In the centuries following Patrick’s death (believed to have been on March 17, 461), the mythology surrounding his life became ever more ingrained in the Irish culture: Perhaps the most well known legend is that he explained the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) using the three leaves of a native Irish clover, the shamrock.

Since around the ninth or 10th century, people in Ireland have been observing the Roman Catholic feast day of St. Patrick on March 17. Interestingly, however, the first parade held to honor St. Patrick’s Day took place not in Ireland but in the United States. On March 17, 1762, Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City. Along with their music, the parade helped the soldiers reconnect with their Irish roots, as well as with fellow Irishmen serving in the English army.

Over the next 35 years, Irish patriotism among American immigrants flourished, prompting the rise of so-called “Irish Aid” societies like the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick and the Hibernian Society. Each group would hold annual parades featuring bagpipes (which actually first became popular in the Scottish and British armies) and drums.

In 1848, several New York Irish Aid societies decided to unite their parades to form one official New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Today, that parade is the world ‘s oldest civilian parade and the largest in the United States, with over 150,000 participants. Each year, nearly 3 million people line the 1.5-mile parade route to watch the procession, which takes more than five hours. Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and Savannah also celebrate the day with parades involving between 10,000 and 20,000 participants each.

Up until the mid-19th century, most Irish immigrants in America were members of the Protestant middle class. When the Great Potato Famine hit Ireland in 1845, close to 1 million poor and uneducated Irish Catholics began pouring into America to escape starvation. Despised for their alien religious beliefs and unfamiliar accents by the American Protestant majority, the immigrants had trouble finding even menial jobs. When Irish Americans in the country’s cities took to the streets on St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate their heritage, newspapers portrayed them in cartoons as drunk, violent monkeys.

The American Irish soon began to realize, however, that their large and growing numbers endowed them with a political power that had yet to be exploited. They started to organize, and their voting block, known as the “green machine,” became an important swing vote for political hopefuls. Suddenly, annual St. Patrick’s Day parades became a show of strength for Irish Americans, as well as a must-attend event for a slew of political candidates. In 1948, President Harry S. Truman attended New York City ‘s St. Patrick’s Day parade, a proud moment for the many Irish Americans whose ancestors had to fight stereotypes and racial prejudice to find acceptance in the New World.

As Irish immigrants spread out over the United States, other cities developed their own traditions. One of these is Chicago’s annual dyeing of the Chicago River green. The practice started in 1962, when city pollution-control workers used dyes to trace illegal sewage discharges and realized that the green dye might provide a unique way to celebrate the holiday. That year, they released 100 pounds of green vegetable dye into the river–enough to keep it green for a week! Today, in order to minimize environmental damage, only 40 pounds of dye are used, and the river turns green for only several hours.

Although Chicago historians claim their city’s idea for a river of green was original, some natives of Savannah, Georgia (whose St. Patrick’s Day parade, the oldest in the nation, dates back to 1813) believe the idea originated in their town. They point out that, in 1961, a hotel restaurant manager named Tom Woolley convinced city officials to dye Savannah’s river green. The experiment didn’t exactly work as planned, and the water only took on a slight greenish hue. Savannah never attempted to dye its river again, but Woolley maintains (though others refute the claim) that he personally suggested the idea to Chicago’s Mayor Richard J. Daley.

Today, people of all backgrounds celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, especially throughout the United States, Canada and Australia. Although North America is home to the largest productions, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in many other locations far from Ireland, including Japan, Singapore and Russia.

In modern-day Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day was traditionally been a religious occasion. In fact, up until the 1970s, Irish laws mandated that pubs be closed on March 17. Beginning in 1995, however, the Irish government began a national campaign to use interest in St. Patrick’s Day to drive tourism and showcase Ireland and Irish culture to the rest of the world. Today, approximately 1 million people annually take part in Ireland ‘s St. Patrick’s Festival in Dublin, a multi-day celebration featuring parades, concerts, outdoor theater productions and fireworks shows.

The Shamrock

A popular legend about St. Patrick is that he used the shamrock, a native Irish three-leaved clover, to explain the Holy Trinity. The shamrock, along with the iconic Irish landscape, is believed to be the origin of the tradition of wearing the colour green on St. Patrick’s Day.

Irish Potatoes

Potatoes became an important food source for the Irish people when they were introduced to the country in the 16th century. And while the potato famine of the 1840s decimated much of the crop, potatoes are still a popular staple in the Irish diet today

Corned Beef and Cabbage

You may be surprised to learn that the traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal of corned beef and cabbage is not an authentic Irish dish—it’s actually Irish-American. Pork was actually the preferred meat in Ireland, especially in the form of Irish bacon, but when Irish immigrants came to the United States, they adopted a tasty alternative from Jewish delis: corned beef. When cooked together with cabbage, it became a simple, hearty, and inexpensive favored dish.

Which recommended Catering Water Boiler should I buy?

Hot beverages offer some of the best profit margins in catering, ingredients costing a few pence and a beverage selling in excess of one pound. On Demand Hot water is essential for every catering operation used for hot drinks to chefs needing quick hot water supply. Here are some common FAQ’s
Wall Mounted or Counter Top Counter top  water boilers tend to cost a little less and are easier to install. (Most use a 13 amp plug and so you don’t need a qualified electrician to hard-wire them in.) Counter top water boilers generally have the option of a drip tray – handy for over spill and easy to empty. The down-side is they take up valuable counter space and are less flexible in use.

Wall mounted water boilers are handy as they don’t take up valuable counter top work space.  Easy to use if you need to fill large mugs or cafeterias etc as you can create a larger access under the tap.  On the downside wall mounted water boilers are usually hard wired (by an electrician) and don’t usually have a drip tray to catch those over spills etc.
How many people will the water boiler serve, at times of peak demand and on an hourly basis? If you work on 1 litre or 4 mugs, thinks about whether you have fixed breaks or not. For example, a school with 20 teaching staff all needing a cuppa at morning break would need a boiler with at least a 5 litre draw off. An office with a staff of 40 people but where the breaks are not fixed, could easily manage with a 3 litre boiler. Don’t forget meetings etc where there may be a high spot-demand.
What are you filling? Cups and mugs or air pots and urns? All water boilers can fill cups and mugs, but if you are filling larger vessels, you will either need a taller counter top model or a wall mounted water boiler.
Draw Off It is important to understand the actual draw off the water boiler is capable as this is the amount of water available for immediate use. Calculate how much water you will require during your busy periods when assessing the right water boiler for you.
Heat up time Check heat up times from cold, as this may be important, different models and capacity take different times to initially heat up the water from cold before use.
Water filters Filters are necessary to reduce lime scale build up any odours and ensure your customer experiences the right taste from their beverage.
Free to all or restricted access? Can all staff / patients / visitors help themselves to hot water, or do you require a lockable push-button dispense; for example in care homes, shared-use venues etc?

What should you look for when buying a griddle

The griddle is a a popular piece of equipment for caterers, used to simply heat food on a metal plate, but any kitchen will find that it has many uses and desirable effects. In most cases, griddles are available as either gas or electric, but these days in some places steam powered griddles are offered on the market too. Flat griddles are by far the most popular due to the ease of cleaning. However, both ribbed and half ribbed griddles are available on the market.
Griddle Uses

Having a griddle in the kitchen can offer many positives, including;

– The development of flavour that occurs with the browning (caramelising) process.
– The tenderising of meats such as steaks and chicken breasts.
– The development of crispness or a crust.
– The drying out of products such as pancakes, bread and buns.
– The melting off of fats, especially in food like sausages and bacon.
Facts to Consider When Buying When it comes to buying a griddle, things to consider include:

• The kitchen requirements for the grill; this will help when considering the size to suit the needs.
• Ask for advice when buying a griddle and tell a dealer what the needs will be; they are there to help.
• Choose equipment which is easy to clean.
• Griddle plates should have no gaps to allow grease to seep into the body. Look for fully welded plates or one-piece castings. Splash guards should be integrated for the same reason.
• Larger units should offer the flexibility and energy saving capacity of a dual heat zone.
• Major manufacturers offer a wide range of griddle plates including machined steel, ribbed, half-ribbed and chrome. Chrome griddles radiate less heat into the atmosphere and so are more energy efficient than steel plate models. This contributes to a more pleasant working environment.
• Check the drainage channel – will it be easy to use and keep clean?
A griddle can be a handy instrument to have in a commercial kitchen as it can be utilised in many ways.
Making Decisions When Choosing a Griddle

Other than the fact that griddles come in different shapes and sizes, there is another key decision to make when buying them; what type of metal will be used for the plate and what the finish of the surface will be. As with contact grills, griddles are available in cast iron, but rather than aluminum, are usually available in different types of steel as the alternative.
Plate Thickness

Once a decision has been made about the metal for your griddle, the thickness of the plates has to be considered, as both have varying successes.
Thin plates are more responsive when adjusting temperature, come up to temperature quicker requiring less energy and are generally cheaper. But they can warp if preheated at high temperatures and distribute heat less evenly causing hot and cold spots.
Thick plates are less likely to warp, retain heater longer and distribute heat more evenly. But they respond slower to changes in temperature control and they require more energy to bring up to the desired temperature.
Electric or Gas

One key decision a customer will make is whether to use a gas griddle or electric griddle. Gas is often seen as heavier duty and tends to be more responsive to temperature control. However, electric has the benefit that it doesn’t need to be installed by an engineer and easier to move to a different location if needs be