Whether your restaurant is serving up sizzling mouth-watering steaks, flaming juicy burgers, or delivering delicious Mexican grilled corn, you are using some type of charbroiler. If this charbroiler is on its last legs, or if you are looking to purchase a new broiler to add to your existing line, there are a few important factors to consider. As you may have already noticed there are many options to choose from. Whether to go with Radiant or Lava Rock, the various grill widths, whether to select stainless steel, or steel alloy, or a cast iron radiant, can all be overwhelming.There are a few basic concepts highlighted below to keep in mind when making your next purchase.
Burners are the components responsible for creating the gas flames in your charbroiler. The amount of heat that can be generated by a gas burner is measured in BTUs (British thermal units). The higher the BTU rating, the more powerful the burner. Burners with higher BTUs allows you to cook more quickly and in higher volumes.
Burners are generally made from either cast iron or stainless steel. Cast iron burners are found in higher end charbroilers. They often last longer than stainless, but they are subject to drying and flaking and should be oiled and maintained to enjoy the full life expectancy. If taken care of they are a more efficient unit as they hold onto the heat better than their stainless counterpart. Stainless Steel is a common material and is found in entry level, through upper end grills. There are different grades of stainless steel in addition to different gauges or thickness.
Number of Burners
Charbroilers generally come with one or two burner options per foot. With two burners per foot – or one every six inches – you can heat your grill faster and manage multiple cooking zones more efficiently.
The material a radiant is made of is important when factoring in the expected life span. No matter the material though, all radiants should be considered a semi-consumable, as food acids at some point will work through or warp the radiant, requiring it to be replaced. In general, a stainless steel radiant will not last as long as a cast iron radiant. A steel alloy radiant will last the longest, as it has the strength of steel with the weight of cast iron. Steel alloy radiants are found in the heavy-duty charbroiler product category, such as the Star Ultra Max and Lang below.
Lava Rock Option
In a lava rock charbroiler a bed of lava rocks are placed above the burners. They then heat and radiate towards your grill. As the rock itself is porous it catches and holds the drippings, which some argue enhances the smell by creating more flavourful flareups. This makes the lava rock charbroiler a showpiece item, as you have flames and delicious scents coming from the grill. The downside is that the unit must be cleaned more thoroughly. Most manufacturers suggest replacing the rocks twice a year but if you are cooking hundreds of hamburgers a day it could be more often than that. It is also a good idea to flip the rocks over occasionally. The taste of your product may also be affected in a negative way if the rocks are dirty.
Below is a chart comparison of the charbroilers we carry. Please let us know if you have any questions.