Why Does Your Establishment Need a Commercial Charbroiler?
If your foodservice establishment features a menu with burgers, a lot of meat, fish, or even veggies, your kitchen needs a charbroiler. The charbroiler allows you to create a grill-like effect even if you do not have the actual capability to grill. Charbroilers have the ability to cook with either gas or infrared/electric heat. You can add accessories like lava rocks (we’ll get to those later) for a more smoky effect, or simply use the grates to give your food that “grill mark” quality that is so popular. Based on your kitchen space and the amount of room available, you can choose between a countertop or floor model, you can choose larger or smaller units with different amounts of burners, and so on. Read on to learn more about commercial charbroilers before you head back to the site to purchase the right one for you.
Choosing the right Charbroiler
Popular for commercial kitchens, restaurants, and other foodservice establishments, charbroilers are grilling surfaces with raised edges with heating elements underneath. These edges are what creates the dark, straight lines that are seen on grilled foods — commonly known as “grill marks”. The main difference between a charbroiler and a grill is that grills are mainly used outdoors, and charbroilers are used indoors. The burners on charbroilers are usually closer together and are able to put out much more heat. Charbroilers are made for grilling at high heat and quickly cooking food. Charbroilers are great for grilling steaks, chicken, burritos, veggies, BBQ and much more. Charbroilers are available in full size and countertop designs, ranging in size from 1 burner to up to 16 burners total. These cooking appliances have several types of fuel sources they are capable of utilizing, which we will explore in this article. When purchasing a charbroiler, there are a few things you will need to consider. Gas charbroilers are the highest energy consumers of all commercial cooking equipment. This is an important factor to weigh again other factors such as cooking space required, productivity, and efficient energy usage.
Like the majority of commercial cooking equipment, charbroilers are available in floor and countertop models. These range in size anywhere from 15” in width to 72” in width or more. It’s a good idea to determine how much floor or countertop space you have to work with before selecting a model. A good rule of thumb is one burner for every 12” of width, although some smaller models offer burners every 6”. Charbroilers can be either free-standing, or they can sit on a stand or a refrigerated base. Usually made of highly durable stainless steel, charbroilers are not much wider than their grates. For larger volume restaurants, a larger charbroiler will allow you to cook for multiple orders at the same time.
Charbroiler Maintenance and Mechanics
This is one of the more important aspects to consider for your charbroiler selection. Charbroilers are not known for consistent cooking temperatures, with most of the heat being drawn to the center due to a plume effect. When it comes to this effect, you’ll be able to determine the hottest spots on the grate because as you cook, a noticeable white ash will be left as behind due to the higher temperatures. Because of this, it’s important to pay special attention to the three main characteristics of the charbroiler: the burners, the radiant, and the grates. The burners provide the heat source for the cooking surface, which is then diffused and absorbed by the radiant, usually a tent-shaped piece of sheet metal. The grate or cooking grid is the surface of the charbroiler, and are available in a variety of styles. The grate design is what gives your food the distinctive sear markings customers find attractive. In most charbroilers, the grates are easy to remove and clean, or can be scrubbed clean with a grill brush. Proper air flow can distribute heat more effectively, and a higher BTU rating means your charbroiler will recover quicker and have a positive effect on cook times. Most manufacturers offer information on the gas orifice size, and any heat deflectors or burner divider plates that can dramatically improve performance.
Charbroilers are energy intensive, rated between 15,000 and 30,000 BTU per burner, in most cases. Many high performance burners are now being offered with 40,000 BTU rated “U” shaped burners for even faster recovery. The fuel types for charbroilers come in a variety of types from natural gas and propane, to lava rocks or charcoal. Lava rocks and charcoal are designed to offer higher heat while burning cleaner than wood. Lava rocks and charcoal are usually used in the form of briquettes that distribute heat better while also self-cleaning by vaporizing any drippings from cooking food.
- BTU rating ranging from 15,000 to 390,000
- High performance, independently controlled burners
- Heavy duty cast iron top grates can be repositioned
- Lava Rocks and charcoal distribute heat evenly
Popular Manufacturers of Charbroilers
Magi-Kitch’n offers the 600 Series and Focus lines of charbroilers that have updated heat patterns that provide the most heat of any charbroiler. The computer designed cooking pattern allows for better control and easier operation, especially during busy times of the day. With cooking temperatures reaching up to 700 degrees using 40% fewer BTUs than other models, these highly efficient charbroilers provide even heating across the entire surface.
APW Wyott features the Champion Series charbroilers. The Champion Series have newly designed heat dials that turn 180 degrees, and heavy duty stainless steel radiants. The Champion charbroilers offer some of the highest BTU ratings in the foodservice industry.
Charbroiler Lava Rocks: If you prefer the smoky, charred flavor that lava rocks provide, you need them for your charbroilers. Some chefs prefer lava rocks rather than radiant heat burners because when meat cooks, the fat drips onto the lava rocks below, creating the smoky grill aroma that many customers and chefs prefer. It is definitely worth purchasing a few packages for your restaurant’s charbroiler.
There are 2 different types of charbroiler lava rocks: briquettes and rocks. You can find briquettes in different shapes and sizes, but the char rocks are generally all made to look like rocks.
If you still have questions about finding a charbroiler for your restaurant, call our customer service team at 877-236-5780 or use the chat feature on the website to ask us your questions.