Flat top grills are great for cooking breakfasts of pancakes and bacon. They can also be used for making sandwiches or cooking burgers and vegetables. Because flat top grills are heated with propane, they don’t have the smokiness of a charcoal grill. However, the grills are convenient and a great addition to any outdoor kitchen. Keep reading for everything you need to know about flat top grills.
Sizes and Dimensions
Consumers picking out a flat top grill should consider the size available in the yard, deck, or patio. Some flat top grills are large and need a lot of space. The total cooking area of the grill is measured in square inches. Small families can suffice with a 300 square-inch grill, while larger families, or anyone who wants to entertain, should look for a grill 500 square inches or larger.
Grill Burners and Surfaces
A grill with several burners allows a chef to make several different cooking zones. For the most flexibility, chefs should also be able to control each burner separately. A grill with more burners will heat up to temperature more quickly.
The surfaces of a flat top grill are usually steel and cast iron. They are thick and do not warp easily. Stainless steel and chrome cooking surfaces are more efficient but more expensive. Cleaning a flat top griddle is simple because their plates are easy to clean, and the grills are designed so any grease drains easily.
Tips for Using a Flat Top Grill
Preheating a flat top grill on high heat is unnecessary and can cause the surface to warp. Instead, turn the grill on earlier over low heat while preparing your ingredients. For most cooking, this is the proper temperature for cooking. When cooking a large amount of food from the refrigerator, the grill can be turned to high. Once the grill has returned to temperature, the chef can turn it back down. In general, lower temperatures produce better food.
Flat top grills are versatile. They aren’t just limited to cooking food. Do not be afraid to put a pot or pan on the griddle surface. Chefs can make broths, sauces, or other liquid food on the flat top. To save time, if the pot contains a large amount of liquid, it may be helpful to pre-heat the liquid indoors before putting it on the grill.
Consider creating a two-zone system when cooking. As a chef finishes cooking food, they can slide it to the cooler area on the grill to keep it warm while the rest of the food continues to cook. Also, different foods cook at different temperatures, so a two-zone system works well when cooking a meal that includes meat, vegetables, and sides. Chefs can also put a wire rack on top of the surface to serve as a warming rack. Wire racks can come in handy when cooking large amounts of food.
Cleaning a Flat Top
Spatulas and scrapers are essential tools for a flat top grill. Chefs will use spatulas to mix, flip, and move food around. A scraper helps with cleaning. While cooking, use the scraper to remove food debris from the grill by moving the scraper from the top toward the grease trough. Scraping the grill while cooking keeps the food from sticking and makes it easier to clean the grill after cooking.
Oiling the surface of the flat top helps to maintain it. After using and cleaning a grill, applying a thin coat of oil to the surface will prevent rusting.
Flat top grills can be a great addition to an outdoor kitchen space. From making pancakes to grilling burgers, a flat top grill is functional and fun for cooking.