Commercial charcoal grills can be a costly investment, so thorough research will prove to pay off the hassles and time spent. If you are an owner of a restaurant, hotel, or bar and looking to get new commercial grills to replace older ones, it is best to consult with your chef and see what they have to say. After all, it is them who will be using the charcoal grill the most.
If you are an entrepreneur looking to start a business serving barbecue meat, whether indoor or outdoor, you’ll find some useful information about general things to consider when you plan to buy commercial charcoal grills and reviews of popular models amongst professional chefs and caterers.
How To Choose A High Quality Charcoal Grill
There are many factors that you should look at before you choose a commercial charcoal grill for your restaurant, business, etc. We will go through each factor that you should consider; if you have any doubts about charcoal grills, you can use the comments section below, and we will do our best to help you.
1. Price Range
When you go after industrial-grade charcoal grills, expect to pay ten times more than if you would spend on a home or residential grills. The price can vary significantly from brand to brand, depending on size, features, cooking quality, and durability, anywhere from around $500 to above $10,000.
While cheaper charcoal grills can be used to cook the occasional steak, chops, ham, burger, kebab, sandwich, etc., you would need a commercial charcoal grill that can be used regularly and has a higher cooking capacity than the lower-end charcoal grills.
But as the demand becomes more commercial in nature, like frequent grilling of barbecue in restaurants, you need to get one of the heavy-duty stainless steel models with large cooking space and full smoking features, such as temperature control, timer dial, etc. The initial investment will prove to be more cost-effective in the long run, considering all the man-hours that can be saved on more specialty-skill demanding tasks.
For most home barbecue grilling, durability is often overlooked to compensate for a lower-budget charcoal grill. But when it comes to commercial charcoal grills, you should make durability a top priority in the list. Imagine how much money will your business lose if, out of a sudden, the grills stops working and you can’t quickly find someone to fix it? Always consult with knowledgeable people in the field, like seasoned chefs or restaurant owners with first-hand experience with their commercial meat smokers.
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Charcoal grills involve burning wood lumps or commercially processed briquettes. When cooking in large capacity, these burners produce a large amount of smoke and poisonous carbon monoxide, which can quickly pollute the air in the kitchen or your whole restaurant. Some expensive charcoal commercial smokers come as a total unit with an in-built ventilation system to minimize the smoke leaking. Some others might require an external ventilation system installed and connected to the grill. If you mainly do catering outdoor, this won’t be an issue, but if you make food in restaurant or hotel setups, plan ahead and choose a type of commercial smoker that will fit into your working kitchen the most.
Are you buying a commercial charcoal grill for outdoor food servicing or for restaurants and hotels’ gourmet food cooking? If you do a lot of outdoor barbecue service, for example, at festivals, holiday carnivals, or sports events, make sure the grill is designed as mobile trailer-mounted units that are easy to transport with your car or truck.
5. Cooking Capacity
If you are the owner of brick and mortar business, you know pretty well how many customers you serve in a day and when is the busiest time. So choosing the correct size commercial smoker grill for your need won’t be a problem. But if you, however, plan to serve food outdoor in mobile truck types, it would be wise to do some research first to see how many customers you’d likely receive. Buying too big commercial grills that you will need has a severe impact on your cash flow, especially at the beginning when your business would benefit from even minor savings. While not having large enough smokers will leave some potential money on the table. So calculate and predict the use thoroughly before you invest in commercial bbq grills.
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6. Ease Of Cleaning
Cleaning your charcoal grill regularly will enhance the durability and duration of the charcoal grill works. Charcoal ash that is left in the bottom of the grill can be harmful, especially if the ash is wet. Wet ash has high alkalinity and affects the steel used to make the charcoal grill; besides this, damp ash can also get mixed with food droppings, thus forming a flammable mesh that can ignite randomly.
Cleaning can be made a lot easier if you choose a grill that has an easy clean mechanism. Grills with an easy clean mechanism will have features such as an ash basket or drawer that can be removed from the grill. These features make cleaning a lot easier and faster, which can also help the chefs get the grill ready to use at a moment’s call.
Note: For any cleaning system that your commercial charcoal grill uses, ensure that you do not throw the ash in your garden or an exposed area. Wet ash can take on caustic properties of lye and can burn your pet’s paw or someone’s foot.
7. Types Of Charcoal Grill
3 types of charcoal grills are popular and used regularly; there are Ceramic, Barrel, and kettle charcoal grills. All the three grills can be used to grill, barbeque, and smoke ingredients, although each type is a specialist in different aspects.
I. Kettle Grills
Kettle grills are small and are usually around 22 inches in diameter. The grill is big enough to comfortably fit in 15 burgers without it being cramped up. Kettle grills are also available in 26 and 36 inches if you are looking for one with a higher capacity.
The kettle grill is almost spherical shaped, which helps it retain and reflect the heat inside, helping the food cooks evenly. Another plus of the kettle grill is that they are easy to maintain and have removable ashtrays.
If you consider buying a Kettle Charcoal grill, you expect them to start around $100, making them quite affordable and versatile.
II. Barrel Grills
Barrel grills are usually bigger than Kettle grills as they are around 36 inches long and come with a cooking area of about 435 square inches. Barrel grills are designed for smoking, while they can also perform the tasks of grilling and barbequing.
In the Barrel grill, the coal or wood goes in the bottom half, while the top half forms the lid. You will also notice barrel grills having air vents, chimneys, and a wheel stand that makes it easier to move the charcoal grill around.
Since barrel grills are bigger, they are also costlier than kettle grills. Barrel grills start around $200, but considering the capacity and the features, we would say they are worth the cost.
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III. Ceramic Grills
Out of all the three types I have mentioned in the article, Ceramic grills are the costliest. Starting from around $700, Ceramic grills are not something you would consider if you are a beginner looking to learn your way around a grilling machine.
The ceramic construction of the grill offers superior heat control and enables the user to cook at temperatures above 200 degrees Fahrenheit, with a maximum temperature reaching around 500 degrees Fahrenheit. These temperatures allow you to cook delicious pizza on the grill.
Ceramic grills are available in various sizes; some manufacturers state that their smallest grill can cook around 4 burgers while the bigger ones can cook around 40 burgers.
These are all the factors you should consider when buying a ceramic grill. If you have doubts about charcoal grills, use the comment section below and help you out as soon as we can.