Grills come in a variety of sizes and types that are geared for a wide range of menu items. Operators need to carefully weigh their options when specifying these units.
Type of Unit
The appropriate grill type depends on the menu, type of operation and volume. Cast iron grills cost more, but retain heat better than stainless steel. Stainless steel radiants tend to be easier to clean and offer better heat recovery. Lava rocks and briquettes are less expensive in the short run, but are consumables that need to be replaced on a regular basis. Operators utilizing natural wood as fuel will need an appropriate storage space.
Top grates are typically cast iron, but can come in different shapes for various applications. Some designs provide finer sear lines on food than others. Reversible grates with a light rib on one side and grease trough are best-suited for grease-laden items, while rod grates work well with more delicate items, such as fish.
Space and Storage Needs
Determine the storage needs when specifying grills. If lack of space is a concern, a tabletop unit should be considered. For higher volume operations, a base with refrigerated storage may be necessary.
Gas and Ventilation Requirements
Because ventilation requirements are an important factor, specifying the appropriate hoods with these units is critical. In addition, proper gas pressure should be considered. In many instances, too little or too much pressure can damage the unit and possibly lead to equipment failure.