The Difference Between Chargrills and Griddles

By Shaune Hall, development chef for Falcon Foodservice Equipment

Summary

Chargrills and griddles have overlap in their functionality, but if you are looking for a multi-functional device, look to a griddle, if you want to build a business around the grilled elements of your menu (steaks, burgers and chicken) then a chargrill would be a fantastic addition to your kitchen.

Buying the right catering equipment is vital for any business, and sometimes there can be a huge range of options.

If you’re buying for the first time, different pieces of equipment can seem very similar and you aren’t really sure what you are buying and why.

So below, I outline what the differences are between chargrills and griddles, with some important tips in how to choose the right type of production equipment for your business.

The differences

The differences

A griddle uses a solid heating base to cook food, and is very versatile – many models are simply a flat sheet of chromium or steel, which is heated up and can be used to cook food.

The versatility of the griddle is its big strong point – you can cook burgers, bacon, eggs and mushrooms. Anything you would cook in a frying pan or on a chargrill, you can cook on a griddle.

This makes them perfect for smaller establishments where kitchen real estate is at a premium – so if you need one piece of cooking equipment to grill and shallow fry on, then a griddle is your best choice.

You can get griddles that have raised bars on it to create some ‘branding’ bars on your food if you are cooking steaks or burgers, which can be a nice cosmetic touch.

Chargrills are an open cooking grid over flames or heated coals. The cooking ‘medium’ is both hot air and the hot metal of the grid bars. Electric griddles cook with heated elements which you place the food directly onto.

This creates very clear ‘branding’ on the food you cook on a chargrill – much clearer than that you get on a griddle with the raised bar areas.

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Who should use a griddle?

Griddles are a more versatile piece of kit, which makes them right for smaller businesses, such as cafes, coffee shops and smaller pubs. If you have a tight kitchen space and need all your kitchen equipment to ‘double up’ and do more than one job, then this is the piece of kit for you. To get the most out of the equipment, it’s good to get one with half flat metal and half ribbed.

Chargrills are for those businesses that want to build a reputation for chargrilled food – that taste and look is distinctive and right now, grills are a very popular trend in the food industry.

You Can’t pass off Grilled as Chargrilled!

A really important point to make is that you can’t put ‘chargrilled’ anywhere on your menu if you DON’T have a chargrill. It sounds a bit obvious when you state it like that, but if you use a griddle with the ribbed metal side, you can get branding which looks a bit like it’s chargrilled, but it will never be as pronounced as you get with a proper chargrill.

In fact, if you DO state you chargrill when you DON’T that constitutes false advertising under the unfair trading regulations, and you can face fines, so if you want to sell chargrilled food and get the boost from using that trend, buy a chargrill!

Conclusion

Chargrills are fantastic pieces of kit geared towards just one task: chargrilling food! So if you offer a lot of steaks, burgers and chicken on your menu, I’d suggest it’s worth the investment of getting in this specialised bit of kit!

If you are pressed for space and need a more versatile, multi-function piece of equipment, then a griddle is the one for you. To get the most out of it buy one with a ribbed section and give your meat a bit of cosmetic boost.

Learn More

If you are interested in the range of Falcon chargrills and griddles, have a look at our website. We offer a variety of flexible procurement methods meaning that whatever your situation, and whether you want to rent or buy, we will have something that will suit you.  Click on the link below to see our complete range of Falcon chargrill products.

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