For eggs, bacon, burgers, chicken, buns, and so much more, commercial griddles are the perfect piece of equipment for a wide variety of delicious recipes. The flat-top equipment offers many configuration choices from plate thickness, finish, controls, sizing, and power options. Consider these features when shopping for your new commercial griddle to maximize efficiencies and production in your kitchen. 

Plate Thickness 

The thickness of the plate determines the durability. If the plate is thick (1” to 1-½”), it can withstand repeatedly being heated up and cooled down without warping. Thick plates also distribute heat more evenly and retains heat longer. These thick plates are ideal for heavy-duty operations such as 24-hour diners. 

Thin plates range from 3/8″ to 3/4″ thick. The benefits of thin plates are that they come up to temperature fast. There is quick heat transfer and faster heat recovery. Also, thin plates require less energy to achieve a set temperature. The disadvantages are few, but should be noted. For instance, thin plates may warp if preheated at high temperatures, so be careful when preheating. Also, they distribute heat less evenly. Thin plates are designed for light and medium-duty operations, such as breakfast-only diners. 

  

Griddle Plate Type 

 

Advantages 

 

Disadvantages 

Thin Plates
(3⁄8″ to ¾”) 
  • Quick heat transfer 
  • Come up to temperature fast 
  • Faster heat recovery 
  • Require less energy to achieve the set temperature 
  • May warp if preheated at high temperatures 
  • Distribute heat less evenly 
Thick Plates
(1″ to 1½”) 
  • Retain heat longer 
  • Distribute heat more evenly 
  • Less likely to warp 
  • Slower response time to changes in set temperatures 
  • Requires more energy to bring up to the desired temperature 

Plate Finish 

All commercial griddle plates are made with stainless steel, but some models feature a top layer of chrome for added benefits. Why would you want chrome on your plate? Chrome is less likely to transfer flavors between eggs and chicken because the material is non-porous. Chrome is also non-stick and does not require oil to season the cooking surface. 

Controls 

Manual controls give operators the ability to adjust the heating of each burner from low to high while thermostatic controls allow operators to precisely adjust temperature changes (typically between 150 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Also note that because griddles feature burners with separate controls, operators can cook two different types of foods at differing temperatures. 

Sizing 

Commercial griddles are available as small as 12” wide and as large as 72” W for heavy-duty operations. Understanding how often the griddle will be operated will determine the size that is needed for your commercial kitchen.  

BTUs 

The amount of energy (heat) needed to warm the griddle one degree is measured in BTUs. Griddles that feature high BTUs (30,000 BTU an hour per burner) quickly heats, maintains, and recovers better than griddles with little BTUs (20,000 BTUs an hour per burner). If operators are consistently introducing new, cold food to the griddle to be cooked, a model with high BTUs is important so that the temperature quickly heats back up to cooking temperatures. 

Want more information on BTUs? Find a detailed explanation of all things BTU here! 

Electric Griddles 

Gas griddles are the main option, however, electric griddles offer advantages as well. Electric griddles are often cheaper than gas, often available where gas isn’t, and is perceived as safer than gas.