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Thread: MEAT COOKING: Grill vs. Plancha vs. Range Top

  1. #11
    Range Top, all the way.




    Grills are boring. I say barbeque or cook.

    And Plancha is for short order, IMO.

  2. #12
    Depends on your menu, your style of food, size of your restaurant, size of your kitchen and budget.

    You need some burners/range top in most places. Don't have the control with the other 2 not to have one. During prep these see the most use because you can have six (or however many burners you have) things cooking, each at their own temperature. Not great for cooking fish and steaks in a pan because of the open flame, but doable. During service you are now limited to six (or whatever) items at once.

    Plancha/flat top griddle is nice because you can fit as many items as you can on it, not limited to 1 item per pan per burner. Temperature control is limited, I wouldn't be doing fish or steaks on one in a high end place. Great if you serve lunch or brunch.

    A combination of the first two items, referred to by some as a french top range is nice to have. Like a flat top but with heavy duty cast iron as the surface (as opposed to stainless usually found on the flats) that also gets much hotter, too hot to cook directly on. Great for cast iron or carbon pans, but they have to be flat for plenty of contact. Using a variety of size cast iron pans, you can fit more pans/items in a space normally fitting 6 burners. No open flame means no flare ups or flame jumping into the pan, making your fish and steaks taste like gasoline. Still good for prep, less heat control than burners, as they are usually on full blast all the time.

    Grill is a grill. Probably a little more versatile than the flat top, but if you need grilled items, hey, only way to get it. People love those grill marks.


    I would use a combo of burners and french top and then based on my menu choose a grill or a flat top/plancha. Or both if I had the room.
    "God sends meat and the devil sends cooks." - Thomas Deloney

  3. #13
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    If you are ever going to serve people who have allergies pans are mandatory. I have had to walk out of places that cooked shellfish on the same surface as everything else.
    Spike C
    "The Buddha resides as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain."
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ams View Post
    I'm talking about specifically cooking meats tender enough to use a dry heat method like steaks, burgers, chicken breasts etc. You certainly wouldnt use a deep fryer nor would you use all 3 methods. You wouldnt cook steaks on a plancha then burgers on a grill and lamb chops on a range top in the same kitchen.
    Generally, I prefer a wood burning grill for meats because it adds flavor. But it requires a pretty serious grill cook. As others have said, it depends on the menu. Yes, usually most meats come from one station, but you could design the menu to take advantage of the benefits of each method, as well as divide up the load of the number of entrees/proteins that come from each station (for work flow purposes). Also depends also on your menu mix, i.e., the proportions of each you expect to sell. Seems like you have a handle on the pluses and minuses of each method. These days, allergies and sensitivities are more of an issue, which is a negative for the flattop/plancha.


    I know a place that had 10 burners and a flattop, then replaced and expanded to 18 burners, no flattop, but 2 burners always have a cast iron grill plate and they gained ovens underneath the burners. Worked for them.

    Good luck!

  5. #15
    Senior Member brainsausage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ams View Post
    I'm talking about specifically cooking meats tender enough to use a dry heat method like steaks, burgers, chicken breasts etc. You certainly wouldnt use a deep fryer nor would you use all 3 methods. You wouldnt cook steaks on a plancha then burgers on a grill and lamb chops on a range top in the same kitchen.
    We use all three at my restaurant. All are effective for different reasons. I personally prefer my burgers on the plancha. Better sear, easier to get a consistent/even temp.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Chefdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ams View Post
    I'm talking about specifically cooking meats tender enough to use a dry heat method like steaks, burgers, chicken breasts etc. You certainly wouldnt use a deep fryer nor would you use all 3 methods. You wouldnt cook steaks on a plancha then burgers on a grill and lamb chops on a range top in the same kitchen.
    I respectfully disagree. I certainly would, and have, cooked different meats using different methods at the same time on the same line. Actually I think it's neccessary if you want to get the best out of your product. But, if I had to pick one exclusively it would definitely be a couple good cast iron skillets. Almost anything can be cooked well in a pan, which can't be said about a grill or flat-top.

    I also think that unless you're using hardwood or charcoal, there's no reason to grill. Sure it takes time to train a grill cook to maintain an 800*F wood-burning grill properly, but the flavor of burgers, steak, whole fish, prawns, octopus etc. is miles ahead of just getting some grill marks over a gas burner. YMMV, IMHO etc.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Mucho Bocho's Avatar
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    Sous Vide then a quick pan sear is my favorite and Chuck Roasts are my favorite cut of meat now as a result.


  8. #18
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    You wouldnt cook steaks on a plancha then burgers on a grill and lamb chops on a range top in the same kitchen.[/QUOTE]
    actually, I have in most of the kitchens I have worked in. in exactly that order
    I haven't lived the life I wanted, just the lives I needed too at the time.

  9. #19
    Senior Member brainsausage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sachem allison View Post
    You wouldnt cook steaks on a plancha then burgers on a grill and lamb chops on a range top in the same kitchen.
    actually, I have in most of the kitchens I have worked in. in exactly that order[/QUOTE]

    +1.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ams View Post
    I'm talking about specifically cooking meats tender enough to use a dry heat method like steaks, burgers, chicken breasts etc. You certainly wouldnt use a deep fryer nor would you use all 3 methods. You wouldnt cook steaks on a plancha then burgers on a grill and lamb chops on a range top in the same kitchen.
    In my kitchen we use 3. Wood burning grill for lamb and burgers. Broiler for ribeyes and filets. And a cast iron plancha for tri tip. Same goes with fish, different preparations and cooking methods for different flavors and textures.

    -Chuck

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