Commercial charbroilers provide attractive grill marks and a rich, smoky flavour to popular meats and vegetables. Furthermore, charbroilers provide a more controlled distribution of heat, and are designed for mainly indoor cooking. Essentially, broilers make a great option for establishments that want similar capabilities to a grill. These units are ideal for high temperature cooking, with the ability to operate at 550° F and up.
Gas connected commercial charbroilers are the most common as it delivers the performance required by most businesses. However, it is important to keep in mind that these units will consume the highest amount of energy. Alternatively, electric models provide convenience for establishments requiring mobility.
Your facility space and menu offerings will also factor into your charbroiler of choice. Good news; commercial charbroilers come in a variety of dimensions. Whether you’re looking for a built-in or countertop model, these units generally range from 15” – 72” in width.
Components of a Charbroiler
Commercial charbroilers are made up of three main components. These components are burners, radiant/lava rock, and grates. The burners provide the heat source, while the heat is diffused and absorbed by the radiant. The choice of grate essentially determines the type of grill marks achieved.
Burners are spaced every 12 inches within the unit. Generally, each burner is rated between 15,000 – 30,000 BTU, while high performance, fast temperature recovery “U” shaped burners can achieve a rating of up to 40,000 BTU. The type of metal used to design the burner will play a significant role in its shelf life.
Cast iron burners are for heavy duty use. They are more resistant to cracking and breaking. Furthermore, cast iron burners are more efficient at coming up to temperature – both during preheat and recovery. As a result, these types of burners also hold temperature better as well.
Steel burners also provide reliable heating. However, these burners have a shorter shelf life than cast iron. This means more maintenance and a higher frequency of replacement is necessary. Steel burners make a great option for many businesses as these types of burners are less expensive initially.
Radiant charbroilers direct heat through a piece of metal that extends from the front to the back of the unit. This piece of metal is called a radiant. These units make a great option for kitchens looking to minimize flare ups when grease falls. There are two common types of radiant charbroilers your establishment may consider; stainless steel, or cast iron.
Stainless steel radiant charbroilers have a cleaner look, and are generally much easier to clean and maintain. These units are ideal for long durations. Generally, a stainless steel radiant comes with most standard, economical commercial charbroilers. While reliable, the radiant will eventually warp and crack over time due to heating and cooling cycles.
Cast iron radiant charbroilers are a more durable type of radiant. These heavy duty units will not warp, rust, or break. As a result, this type of radiant is harder to clean compared to steel. However, a cast iron radiant will provide a longer shelf in the long run.
Lava rock charbroilers utilize ceramic lava stones above the burners instead of a radiant. These stones are heated by a flame and do not get as hot as a radiant. Lava rocks are especially useful for enhancing the aroma and flavour of your food.
Lava rocks distribute heat more evenly than a radiant. However, these charbroilers are ideal for shorter durations. Furthermore, lava stones require more maintenance and cleaning than radiant options. This means that stones must be flipped regularly, especially if greasy foods are cooked daily. Many manufacturers also recommend replacing these rocks at least twice a year. As a result, lava rock charbroilers are more costly and labour intensive.
Grates create the cooking surface you will be working with. Some grates are reversible; providing one side for thicker items, such as burgers, and one side for more delicate ingredients, such as fish. Grates help drain the fat off food and achieves grill-like results. Much like a burner or radiant, grates are crafted either from stainless steel or cast iron.
Cleaning & Maintenance
Generally, most of the heat distribution takes place in the centre of the charbroiler. This area will require consistent cleaning to maintain optimal flavour and presentation on ingredients.
When using a charbroiler, it is essential not to overload the cooking surface, but do use it to full capacity. Also, ensure your facility has the proper ventilation to facilitate a safe working environment. It is also important to perform regular cleaning on the cooking surface, as with any piece of commercial kitchen equipment.
When the equipment is not in use, save energy by turning it off. This includes during food preparation tasks, close down, and slower periods.
Finally, it is important to season grates before use. This helps prevent ingredients from sticking and reduce rust build up. It is also important to maintain your charbroiler by cleaning grates with a wire brush. This will ensure that your ingredients are able to achieve consistent grill marks.
Upgrade your next Charbroiler Today!
Your next commercial charbroiler will keep guests coming back for your delicious, charred main courses. If you’re ready to upgrade your kitchen, Babak Food Equipment is ready to help you find the right charbroiler for your foodservice establishment. Browse our website, or drop in to inquire about your next investment.