Product Buying Guide: Commercial Griddle

There are several different types of Commercial Griddles on the market, so do a bit of research to determine which will best suit your particular needs! Let’s look and compare the different options out there.

MANUAL CONTROLLED GRIDDLE: This is the least expensive option ranging from $545 for a Waring Counter unit to $5,984 for a 72” Star Ultra-Max. The height and intensity of the flame is controlled manually by the grill operator. Since there is no actual temperature measurement, keep in mind that unless you adjust the flame, it will remain constant. If you load the griddle with frozen hamburger patties, and do not adjust the flame, it will take quite a while for the patties to cook. Conversely, if you do not use it for an extended period of time, and try to cook a grilled cheese, or pancakes, the product will burn if you do not manually adjust the flame. For this reason, Manual Controlled Griddles really aren’t very logical in an everyday restaurant. So when is a Manual Controlled Griddle a good option? If you are going to simply load the griddle with food, turn it up, then adjust the flame as it cooks we would suggest this type of unit. Select this option if you are browning and cooking a mass of products like braising off stew meat, or stir fry or hot dog or hamburger buns and tortillas.

THERMOSTATIC GRIDDLES: This the most basic thermostat control option and is typically found in lower priced griddles where some control is necessary but it is not critical to performance. Gas flow is incrementally adjusted to achieve the set point temperature with overshoot. Although these are vastly more consistent than manual control griddles, there are some drawbacks. For example, they can be somewhat sluggish in response to heavy loads of products and they have a history of “creeping” (the griddle temperature may rise throughout the course of the day starting out at 350, and ending up at 450 by the end of the day without you changing the setting). These griddles are perfect if you are cooking breakfast items like eggs, grilled cheese and burgers

SNAP ACTION THERMOSTATIC GRIDDLE: In this type of griddle, the thermostat is either fully open, or fully closed. This causes the temperature to cycle around the set point in a tighter bandwidth. Snap Action temperature is held at + or – 10 degrees from set point which makes it far more consistent than a Throttling Griddle. Recovery is also much faster. For example, if you drop a heap of frozen hash browns on the griddle causing the surface to temp to drop, the griddle will snap back to the set temperature. They can increase productivity by as much as 5 minutes under heavy loads. Snap action is more for high volume applications. Select this option if you need precise temperature control.

CHROME TOP GRIDDLE: Although very expensive, they have a lot of benefits. With next to no flavor transfer, less heat loss through the surface, and easy clean up, the extra cost can easily be justified. The uniformity of cooking and browning is also superior to the other griddles. Easy to clean, non-stick. Never use a metal utensils, harsh scrapers, or chemicals to clean. Dings and scratches will talk away its nonstick appeal.

If you have any questions or need assistance in selecting a Griddle, please contact one of our knowledgeable Sales Team Consultants.