The great thing a contact grill is that it offers the ability to cook food like steaks and sandwiches without ever having to flip it like you do on a stovetop or grill. The folding design makes it ideal for cooking meat. This locks in the natural juices, giving it a full flavor and taste, and also providing a high nutritional value. Not only can you cook meat and sandwiches, the contact grill can also grill veggies like bell peppers and asparagus.
Consumers and professionals alike love contact grills. After all, they can cook quickly without a lot of mess, and can guarantee even cooking on both sides. Many restaurants will use contact grills to cook sandwiches such as the Panini. Many other party favorites can be cooked using the contact grill as well.
What is a Contact Grill?
A commercial contact grill (commonly called a panini press or panini maker) is a powerful professional appliance which uses a combination of heated plates and pressure to cook food quickly. Available in single or double plate versions, these are highly versatile machines and are perfect for use in restaurants, takeaways, kiosks, cafés and more
Contact Grill Plates Explained
Contact grills work by using powerful elements to heat up cooking plates. As such, each different type of plate has different cooking properties, leading to unique end results.
- Flat Plate Contact Grills maximise the cooking area. As more of the cooking plate is in contact with the food, heat is distributed quickly, leading to faster cooking times.
- Ribbed Plate Contact Grills have two main advantages. Firstly, the channels between the grooves help to draw away food grease and fat, leading to healthier dishes. Secondly, as only part of the cooking plate is touching the food, attractive “branding” lines are left, adding value to steaks, skewers and panini.
- Mixed Plate Contact Grills offer a combination of the two. “Mixed plate” usually refers to a flat lower plate and a ribbed upper plate. This leads to fast cooking and attractive branding lines. However, branding is usually only applied to the top of the food. Some larger contact grills have both flat and ribbed lower plates for maximum cooking versatility.
What You Should Know About Contact Grills
Contact Grills or clamshells as they can also be known are increasingly being seen as a must have gadget for many food outlets, with the heavy duty grills now in the domestic home with the launch of the George Formby range contact grill and other manufacturers following suit. A contact grill offers the benefit of allowing your food to be cooked without the need for turning so the food is sandwiched together and therefore it locks in the foods natural juices and tastes to give it a fuller flavour providing a high nutritional content as it cooks the food between two heated even plate surfaces which shortens the cooking times and in using this method has benefits over the conventional metal pan. They can perform well using either fresh or frozen food like pork belly loins to vegetables like peppers.
Contact grills can provide the caterer with a faster and possibly a more capable and competent way of cooking a healthier leaner gourmet food for your customer, as the deep grooved plates keep the food raised up, and any fat that maybe in the food drains down the back into a grease tray, with some having a high splash guard to keep this away from the operator. Sandwich based snacks like the panini are still a popular choice with many food retail outlets, with customers asking for more adventurous fillings and looking to spend more than ever. With the endless possibilities and being able to cook the likes of steaks and burgers on the grill with the texture of either rare too well done that you can cook together side by side. The contact grill gives you have the opportunity to add the ‘hot snacking’ options to any kitchen menu