A lot of equipment goes into building a commercial kitchen. Unfortunately, no kitchen is big enough for every piece of commercial kitchen equipment, and that means you have to pick between them. For equipment with similar functions, like a grill and a flat top, that may not seem too difficult. But when comparing such similar pieces of equipment, it’s difficult to tell which is best. Keep reading to learn three reasons why grills are better than flat tops.
A Healthier Product-Grill or Flat Top?
The main difference between a grill and a flat top is the type of surface you’re cooking on. While grills have metal slats over an open flame, flat tops are flat metal surfaces heated underneath, almost like a giant pan. Whatever you’re cooking goes directly on either the grill or the flat top. So regardless of which piece of equipment you get, the food will be in direct contact with the cooking surface.
However, the slats in the grill provide an opportunity to cook healthier food, especially meat. When meat cooks, excess water and fat run out of it. On a flat top, this extra liquid just sits on top as the meat cooks. But with a grill, that water and fat can drip through the grates into the fire below. This makes for a healthier product.
Different Types of Heat
The slats or grates of the grill don’t just allow for a healthier product; they also enable the food to be in contact with different types of heat. Firstly, the grates cook the food they’re in direct contact with. Secondly, the flame’s heat comes between the grates to cook the food. This combination of direct and radial heat ensures that your food gets cooked all the way through without becoming too dry.
Flat tops only provide direct heat because the entire cooking surface heats up at once. There’s no other form of heat except the flat top. While using only direct heat can still cook food well, it can also dry out the food if you’re not careful.
In addition to the different types of heating, the open flame provides better browning on grilled food. This browning is due to the Maillard reaction. The Maillard reaction occurs when the right amount of heat causes chemical reactions in the proteins and sugars on the surface of our food and inside it. These chemical reactions create the browning color on the food and bring out new flavors and aromas as it cooks.
The cooking surface needs to be at least 300 degrees Fahrenheit to achieve the Maillard reaction. Most flat tops can’t reach that temperature. But since grills use open flames, they can. These can also produce the Maillard reaction better because they provide a drier cooking surface. Excess water and fat can drip through the grates. The dryness of the cooking surface helps create that mouth-watering brown coloring.
Creating a healthier product, using different types of heating, and providing better browning from the Maillard reaction are three reasons why a grill cooks better than a flat top. If you’re ready to bring a grill into your business to create healthier, more delicious food, then DSL can help. We provide commercial burger grills in various sizes to accommodate any kitchen size. Therefore, you won’t have to choose between creating great food and fitting the right equipment in your space.