The primary function of a grill is to cook meat, fish or vegetables at high production levels with the shortest recovery time possible. These units provide a seared quality to food, imparting a smoky flavor and grill marks.

The grill's top grates impact the appearance of the sear marks on food. These can take on a variety of shapes, including round and rolling, round and fixed and diamond-shaped. Meats like hamburger and steak can be prepared on any type of grate, but the rod design is more suitable for delicate items like fish. Some operators prefer finer lines with more definition on meats. A diamond style grate provides a more limited contact area.