Often underappreciated, the restaurant kitchen griddle can easily be called the backbone of many a restaurant. Installed most often in diners and quick service restaurants, a restaurant kitchen griddle is one of the most versatile pieces of cooking equipment you can purchase. Once seasoned (the process of a creating a natural, permanent non-stick surface) a restaurant kitchen griddle can cook everything from pancakes and eggs to Ruben sandwiches and even hamburgers. Cared for properly and consistently, a good quality griddle can last a lifetime.
There are also several types of specialty use griddles; but regardless of their intended function, they all operate in essentially the same format. A restaurant kitchen griddle has it’s heat source located directly beneath a thick plate of metal that is most often either cast iron or stainless steel. The power supply for a restaurant kitchen griddle is either gas or electric and all should be located underneath an exhaust system.
Restaurant Kitchen Griddle Accessories
Some of the more popular accessories for a restaurant kitchen griddle are:
- Cutting board, condiment rail, plate rail and banking strip accessories
- Integrated equipment stand with marine edges and casters
- Full or partially grooved griddle plates
- Electric spark ignition (on gas models)
- Chrome plated cooking surface
- Side and rear splash guards
- Rapid heat recovery
It is worth mentioning that not every piece of valuable restaurant equipment must cost several thousand dollars. For restaurant kitchen design concepts who only require the occasional searing a griddle provides, this cost effective burner top griddle plate may just be the solution.
Whether it be for a small cafe or coffee shop, a counter-top griddle can be a very cost effective way to add griddled items to your menu. Depending on your menu and jurisdiction, electric models also may not need to be located under an exhaust system, or may be adequately serviced with a class two exhaust system. Manufacturer Pictured: Star Manufacturing *Always check with your local fire marshal to ensure all equipment will be installed per code. For more information on types of exhaust systems, please refer to our post: Commercial Kitchen Design Guidelines: Exhaust Systems
The workhorse of the diner industry, this heavy duty restaurant kitchen griddle is designed to withstand some serious punishment. Manufacturers fabricate these equipment pieces in 12 inch incremental lengths, all the way up to 6 feet. Manufacturer Pictured: Vulcan
Seen far less often, this combination restaurant kitchen griddle and cheesemelter can be a good investment where space is limited, but culinary flexibility is required. Since items both on a griddle and within a cheesemelter can burn very quickly, it is recommended this unit only be used where the staff are highly trained and experienced. Manufacturer Pictured: Cecilware
Used primarily in fast food operations, these griddles have a heated element on both the bottom and top plates. Also called a “clam shell griddle” these griddles are most often used in hamburger concepts and are probably the most expensive of all the restaurant kitchen griddle styles we are outlining in this post. Manufacturer Pictured: Garland
This type of griddle is most often used to prepare classic Spanish cuisine and literally translates to “grilled on a metal plate.” Plancha griddles (also called plancha grills) are built with very thick pieces of cast iron and are designed primarily for searing meats and vegetables very quickly. Manufacturer Pictured: Vulcan
These drop-in units are used mainly in Japanese or hibachi style restaurants. These units are typically installed within counter tops or tables where the guests sit around or near the griddle to gain an upfront view of their meal being prepared. These units are also becoming popular in the quick service cafe scene and are acting as a marketing strategy as much as they are a piece of cooking equipment. Manufacturer Pictured: Wells Bloomfield