Kitchen Appliance Advice

Griddle Top Buying Advice

Griddle tops, works very similar as those that are used for grilling foods, are typically electrically or gas heated and utilized with a number of different types of constructions. Such griddle tops are usually manufactured with steel or iron upper plate to provide a flat, durable and abrasion-resistant cooking surface. Because of the limited thermal conductivity of steel or iron, griddle tops typically provide a relatively even distribution of heat over the ingredients that is in cooking only if the electrical or gas heating sources are positioned substantially evenly within or under the griddle tops.

Griddle Top
One type of griddle top construction uses a plurality of sub-plates or lower plates having cast-in electrical heating elements. These sub-plates are fabricated from a material that has a higher thermal conductivity then either steel or iron so as to more evenly distribute the heat from the electrical heating elements over the steel or iron upper plates. Alternatively, if natural or LP gas-fired burners are utilized, the sub-plate or lower plate may be configured to promote the distribution of the heat produced by the burners over the steel or iron upper plate. Regardless of whether the griddle plate is heated through the use of electrical heating elements or natural or LP gas-fired burners, due to convection and the resulting cooling produced by same, the front of the griddle top is typically at a lower temperature than the rear of the top resulting in an uneven distribution of heat over the cooking surface. Tests indicate that an uneven distribution of heat over the cooking surface of griddle tops results in unevenly cooked foods and the possibility that harmful bacteriological contaminants within the food may not be thermally destroyed during the cooking process.

Griddles are used for cooking directly on the range top surface. The thickness of the steel top and the burner configuration determine the production capacity and how evenly the food will be cooked. Typical griddle tops are a half or 1-inch thick. A 1-inch-thick top is preferred if you are cooking a lot of frozen product. The thicker top will recover temperature quicker and retain more heat than the thinner top, but will take longer to heat up initially.

Most griddles have a separate temperature control for at least every two feet of length. You may want to ensure there are several temperature zones along the length of the griddle if there is a need to grill different products at different temperatures at the same time. Some manufacturers can provide grooved griddles to give product a broiled look. Be sure your products come with adequate splatter guards around the perimeter of the griddle surface and check for ease of cleaning the grease.

A natural or LP gas-fired laminated griddle top structure provides an even distribution of heat over its cooking surface. The griddle top includes an upper plate formed from a relatively thick iron or steel plate and a plurality of relatively thick lower plates formed from a dissimilar material having a high thermal conductivity. A thermal break is provided between adjacent lower plates and each lower plate has a channel provided therein for the receipt of a temperature-sensing device. Besides, laterally extending grooves are provided in the bottom surface of the lower plates increasing the resulting heat transfer surface improving the thermal efficiency of the griddle top. One or more natural or LP gas-fired burners and associated controls are provided adjacent each lower plate permitting the entire cooking surface to be maintained at the same temperature or portions thereof to be maintained at different temperature, if desired.

Buying Tips:
Durability and flexibility have always been the leading factors cooks look for when selecting griddle tops. But there are also more cries for flexibility and operational demands. When you select your griddle tops, ask detailed information about the structure of the griddle top the salesman presents you. Different configuration varies considerably. A slight downward canting of the rear of the burner also assists in the heating of the front portion of the griddle top and the exhausting of combustion gases into the flue adjacent the rear of the griddle. It will also help to even the temperature variations over the griddle tops.

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