Apr 18
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Griddles: Direct Vs Indirect Heating

18 April 2024

When selecting the best equipment for your business, it’s important to have an understanding of the technology used. The technology will ultimately effect equipment performance, reliability, and determine if it offers true value for money.

Griddles are generally powered by direct or indirect heating technology.

Consistent Cooking Results

Direct heating involves the use of a heating element or gas flame which directly heats the cooking surface.

Griddle surfaces often develop hot spots and cold spots. Hot spots usually occur near the heat source, while cold spots occur in areas furthest away from the heat source.

An experienced Chef will have a solid understanding of where the hot and cold spots are, but the inconsistency and loss of productivity associated can be frustrating.

It’s even more challenging for those not formally trained. More often than not, inexperienced operators will cook everything the same amount of time.  Imagine 30 burgers on a griddle. Some will be undercooked, and some will be overcooked.

This is where a griddle powered by indirect heat can be a real game changer.

In the case of the FlashGrill, instead of direct heating, the griddle uses indirect heat via heating elements submerged in a diathermic liquid. The heating elements heat the liquid and not the surface of the grill. This creates a blanket of consistent heat, across the entire griddle surface – no more troublesome hot or cold spots, and more consistent cooking results.

With no hot or cold spots, cooking is easier and more uniform, reducing guesswork and training required.

Plus, you get the benefit of using the entire surface area, cooking more at a time, and speeding up orders.  

Precision Temperature

Direct heating generates a lot of heat very quickly. While it can cook quickly, its very challenging to control the heat.

Indirect heating offers more control of the heat. For example, the FlashGrill uses diathermic liquid, which is used in a range of manufacturing processes, including the creation of plastics.

One of the key reasons why this technology is used, is the temperature is more precisely regulated. Controlling the heat is really important when cooking steaks, burgers, and delicate products such as fish, seafood, and vegetables, as well as pancakes and flatbreads.   

These are products that require precision cooking, to avoid inconsistent results and costly food wastage.

Cooking from frozen

Traditional grills typically don’t handle frozen foods well. They really suck the heat out of a traditional grill. With indirect heat and the use of diathermic liquid, the recovery time is much quicker. The diathermic liquid travels to the colder area and restores the heat much quicker compared to a direct heating system. This makes indirect heating ideal for operators wanting to cook from frozen. It’s also much more energy efficient. Not only will it save you time, but it will also reduce your power consumption.

Energy Consumption

A great deal of heat and energy escapes and dissipates with direct heating.  With indirect heating, and particularly for heating systems using diathermic liquid, the element is protected and covered in the liquid. This means it directly heats the plate and energy doesn’t easily escape. This significantly reduces energy consumption.

In addition to this, the FlashGrill features a 75mm grill plate and chamber, as opposed to traditional grills on the market that are typically 12mm. Think of a grill plate like you would a house. A traditional grill can be likened to a weatherboard with no insulation. It’s not going to keep the heat in. Whereas a FlashGrill is your double brick insulated home. It’s going to create a much more energy efficient environment.

The FlashGrill requires a much smaller power input/connection than a traditional grill of the same size. When trying to power multiple cooking appliances, this makes installation much more seamless.

Cook at a lower temperature

Due to the high level of energy dissipation, a traditional grill often needs to run at full throttle. The intense, unregulated heat will pull the moisture out of the food much quicker and increases the risk of burnt and dried out food.

One of the key benefits of indirect heating is you can cook on a lower and more controlled temperature. As the heat is better contained and spread uniformly, cooking is less harsh and aggressive on the product, which results in a more consistent cook, enhancing food quality and texture. As a bonus, cooking at a lower temperature further reduces energy consumption.

Happier Work Environment

The use of lower temperatures considerably decreases the amount of radiated heat and cooking fumes. This significantly reduces the area temperature and cooking smoke. This is ideal for operators cooking in an open kitchen and offers a much more pleasant experience for staff to work in.

For more information on the FlashGrill, contact Meris today on 1800 265 771 or via our contact form.

What our clients say

“The FlashGrill is so good. Always such an even cook. Never have to worry about re-heating, it’s always at temp. Super easy to clean and nothing ever sticks. We cover the plate with 30 frozen burgers, cook them, then add another 30 straight away with no change in cooking time between the first lot and the second and get the same great result. It’s really impressive” Katrina Sanderson, Food Operations Manager - Bowser Bean and Vantage Fuels

It enhances flavours by cooking at low temperatures.

"FlashGRILL completes any food. It enhances flavours by cooking at low temperatures. It can perfectly caramelise and grill the products. It is great for white meat and fish. It is very satisfying to cook different kinds of meats and ensuring clients can fully perceive the differences in tastes due to the specific flavour of each product being preserved."Chef Francesco di Maria, - LA FIORENTINA Ristorante-Pasticceria Roma - Italy
“Since I have had the possibility to cook at lower temperatures, meat does not stiffen or burn. It remains evenly cooked and intact, and enhances flavour. Thanks to FlashGRILL, which keeps the temperature even on the full cooking surface, I managed to optimise cooking in my work kitchen. I also use the CLOCHE every day. Thanks to it, I obtain great results with meat and fish, like tuna. I am extremely satisfied.”Chef Diego Asara, - GINGER SAPORI E SALUTE Roma - RM
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