As any chef will tell you, while ingredients and preparation matter, tools and appliances are the heart of any kitchen. As long as your equipment is reliable, you can make practically anything.
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A good chef with the right tools will outperform an okay chef with the best ingredients.
In this article, we’re focusing on one of the most versatile kitchen appliances – the flat top grill.
A flat top grill is a cooking appliance that uses a flat metallic top instead of metal grating. Flat top grills are highly adaptable and can cook most dishes. These appliances are also easy to clean and maintain and last a long time.
What is a Flat Top Grill?
A flat top grill is a kitchen cooking appliance. Unlike barbecue grills, flat top grills use a solid piece of metal with a heating element underneath. Usually, the heat source is fire (natural gas or propane). With most flat top grills, cooks can adjust the flame level in different sections to cook various foods.
What Kind of Material is a Flat Top Grill?
Flat top grills are often made from either carbon steel or stainless steel. Stainless steel models are a bit easier to clean and maintain, but they’re more expensive.
In addition to the material, you should also pay attention to the size and shape of your flat top grill. Most models are rectangular, but you can also find circular grills. The latter option allows you to drain fat and grease more easily while cooking.
How to Maintain a Flat Top Grill
The best way to maintain your flat top grill is to keep it clean and well-regulated. Clean the cooking surface after each use, and be sure to drain the grease trap as well.
Beyond regular cleaning, you should inspect the grill for signs of rust and other wear and tear. If you’re not planning on using the grill for a while, you should disconnect the fuel source and clean out the heating elements so they won’t corrode.
What is a Flat Top Grill Called?
Most people use the term “griddle” to describe flat top grills. In most cases, the two terms are used interchangeably. However, there actually is a difference between a griddle and a genuine flat top grill.
A griddle can use multiple heating methods, including electricity. Heat spreads evenly throughout the cooking surface, so each portion is just as hot as the next. Flat tops almost always use gas, allowing you to adjust the heat in different sections. Think of a griddle as a complete unit, while a flat top grill is a metal plate on top of standard stove burners.
The adjustability of a flat top grill is why these appliances are so versatile and reliable. Since cooks can maintain different temperatures, they can simultaneously prepare multiple ingredients.
Basically, a griddle works well for items that need even heat, such as pancakes, eggs, and bacon. However, a flat top grill can cook virtually anything, including steak, vegetables, and more.
What is a Flat Top Grill Used For?
A flat top grill can be used for virtually any dish you could cook on either a stovetop or a barbecue grill. The only piece that would be missing would be the grill marks on your food. Again, the ability to adjust the heat on different grill sections enables chefs to do more with a single piece of equipment.
How Much is a Flat Top Grill?
Flat top grill prices can vary greatly, depending on the type you want. Consumer-grade models (i.e., those you can find on Amazon and other online retailers) will set you back a few hundred bucks. However, commercial-grade grills often cost several thousand dollars.
How to Clean My Flat Top Grill?
To keep your flat top grill in good condition, you should scrape off any food residue immediately after cooking. Some models have a drip tray or pan in front to collect the remains.
Then, once the grill cools off, you can scrub and wash the surface with a soapy scrub sponge. Be sure to rinse the flat top thoroughly to avoid any soap residue afterward.
Flat top grills are much easier to maintain than barbecue grills because you just have one solid surface. Instead of cleaning individual metal bars, you can wash and wipe down one piece.
In addition, most flat tops are resilient enough to let you use metal utensils, allowing you to scrape off burnt chunks more easily.
Flat top grills are versatile and valuable cooking appliances that work well in any kitchen. Consumer-grade flat tops are an alternative to barbecue grills, meaning they should only be used outdoors.
However, commercial flat tops can be found in restaurants and catering kitchens everywhere. Flat top grills are easy to use and maintain, offering exceptional cooking capabilities.
This article was written by Robert McCall, the founder of bbqdropout.com. Robert also owns and operates the BBQ dropout YouTube channel where he demonstrates his first-hand experience cooking all kinds of meats and strives to provide helpful, authoritative content for people looking how to barbecue.
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