Chef cooking pancakes on a griddle

Best commercial griddle 2023: Buyer's guide

What’s inside this buyer’s guide


  1. Introduction
  2. Fuel/Power type
  3. Types of griddles
  4. Plate style/surface
  5. Control styles
  6. Griddle size
  7. Best makes of commercial griddles
  8. Commercial griddles frequently asked questions
  9. Commercial griddle glossary 
  10. Save your cash, use ours!



Imagine a culinary stage where heat, sizzle, and ingredients come together on an open metal surface.

This is the performance of a commercial griddle, transforming basic elements into culinary delights. 

But just as every performance requires an ideal stage, every commercial kitchen needs the perfect griddle.

That's where this buyer's guide comes into play.

We're here to help navigate the sea of choices, dissecting different models, features, and nuances to assist you in selecting the finest griddle that will seamlessly enhance your culinary creations.


Fuel/Power type 

When shopping for commercial griddles, you'll come across two main fuel and power choices, each with its own unique advantages and considerations.

It is important to acquaint yourself with these options to select the ideal griddle that aligns with your business needs, maximizes energy efficiency, and effectively handles operational costs.

Refer to the table below for a comprehensive summary of the key factors related to each power type.


Key feature

Commercial gas griddle

Commercial electric griddle

Design and function

Burners are located beneath the cooking surface that, when ignited, evenly distribute heat across the griddle plate.

Incorporates electric heating elements beneath the cooking surface, which generate heat when electricity is supplied.


Heat distribution

Heat distribution across the griddle's cooking surface can vary, resulting in distinct zones of varying intensity.

Ensures even distribution of heat across its cooking surface, resulting in consistent temperature throughout.

Temperature control

Offers tactile control with a visual flame to monitor and adjust heat levels.

Provides precise temperature control through a thermostat for accurate results.

Warm-up time

Generally has a faster heat-up time, advantageous during busy service periods.

May require a longer time to reach the desired temperature.

Energy efficiency

Less energy efficient due to energy loss through exhaust gases generated during combustion.

More energy efficient as it converts almost all electrical energy into heat with minimal loss.


Needs a gas line connection and it is recommended to have professional installation for proper setup.

Needs access to an electrical outlet for operation.



Types of commercial griddles

Now that we have examined the different power types, let's explore the different types of commercial griddles.

From the practical and adaptable countertop griddles to the integrated and space-saving drop-in griddles, and the exciting sizzle of Teppanyaki griddles, each type offers distinct features and culinary possibilities to meet a wide range of cooking needs.


Countertop griddle 

Countertop griddles, also known as freestanding griddles, present a practical solution for kitchens with restricted space or a need for flexibility in their layout.

These griddles are designed to be conveniently placed on top of a counter or stand, making installation a breeze and enabling effortless cleaning and rearrangement.

With their easy portability and quick setup, countertop griddles offer an efficient and adaptable cooking option for kitchens of various configurations.


Application and use:

Countertop griddles, characterized by their small footprint, are an excellent fit for confined spaces like food trucks, small restaurants, and catering businesses.

They excel in preparing a diverse array of dishes, ranging from traditional breakfast favorites like bacon and eggs to delectable lunch options such as burgers and grilled sandwiches.

If your goal is to efficiently serve a variety of sizzling and seared delicacies, opting for a countertop griddle is the ideal choice.



Drop-In Griddles

Drop-in griddles, also known as built-in griddles, are purposefully designed to be installed in a pre-cut space within a kitchen counter or custom cooking suite.

This integration provides a uniform appearance, often sought after for aesthetic purposes or to optimize workflow efficiency.

Unlike countertop griddles, drop-in griddles are usually permanent fixtures and cannot be effortlessly moved.

The installation process may be more complex and may require professional assistance.

However, they offer the benefit of liberating countertop space around the edges of the griddle, resulting in a well-organized and roomy cooking area.


Application and use:

Marrying aesthetics and functionality flawlessly, drop-in griddles are highly sought-after in high-end kitchens, upscale restaurants, or any setting where performance and appearance take center stage.

These griddles, with their elegant design, possess the durability needed to handle a diverse menu, whether it involves juicy steaks or grilled vegetables.

If your goal is to establish a visually pleasing and efficient kitchen, incorporating a drop-in griddle will elevate your setup to a whole new level of excellence.



Teppanyaki Griddles

Teppanyaki griddles are flat-top grills equipped with a heating element positioned beneath the cooking surface, crafted for the distinctive Japanese cooking technique called Teppanyaki.


Application and use:

Teppanyaki griddles not only serve as cooking equipment but also take on the role of a captivating centerpiece for culinary performances.

They are commonly featured in open-kitchen setups, allowing guests to witness the spectacle of their meals being prepared right in front of their eyes.

Whether it's the swift searing of thin beef slices or the artful tossing of vegetables in the air, these griddles are meticulously designed to create an interactive and enthralling dining experience.

If your establishment aims to deliver not only delicious food but also an unforgettable culinary show, opting for Teppanyaki griddles is the perfect choice to elevate your guests' experience to an entirely new level.


Plate style/surface

The plate style of a commercial griddle serves as the foundation for achieving successful cooking and delivering exceptional results. 

Selecting the ideal plate style involves careful attention to crucial details, including the material composition and thickness.

These factors significantly impact cooking performance and overall durability. Let's delve deeper into these important considerations to gain a better understanding.


Plate material

The table below will give you a comprehensive understanding of the frequently utilized plate materials in commercial griddles.

It offers valuable insights into the different options accessible and their respective properties.


Plate Material

Key Features


Common Uses


Exceptional durability.


Excellent heat conductivity.


Emits more heat, due to its high thermal emissivity.


Offers a consistent and uniform cooking surface.


Endures constant usage, resisting warping and denting.


Provides robust performance, albeit requiring more cleaning effort.

Perfect for demanding culinary environments that involve high-volume and high-temperature cooking techniques such as grilling, searing, and achieving caramelization on a wide range of ingredients.



Easy-release surface




Remarkable heat retention due to its highly reflective nature and low thermal emissivity

Operates with lower BTU consumption for operation.


Rapid heat-up and recovery times.


Easy to clean.


Reduces radiant heat, resulting in a cooler kitchen environment.

Perfect for delicate items like eggs and pancakes.




The thickness of the griddle plate plays a vital role in commercial kitchens, as it directly impacts cooking performance.

Thin plates are exceptional at swiftly transferring heat, making them ideal for breakfast foods like pancakes.

Alternatively, thick plates effectively store and distribute heat, ensuring efficient cooking of larger lunchtime servings such as hamburger patties.

For establishments that experience high volumes of both breakfast and lunch orders, utilizing separate griddles can optimize workflow and ensure consistent outcomes.

The table presented below offers a synopsis of duty levels and the associated plate thicknesses for commercial griddles:


Duty Level

Plate Thickness

Light duty


Medium duty


Heavy duty



It is important to note that these plate thicknesses should be taken as general guidelines and can differ between manufacturers.

Specialized griddles, like Teppanyaki models, may showcase distinct performance attributes despite having the same plate thickness.

These variations can be attributed to differences in the arrangement of heating elements and the intended usage of the griddle.



Control styles

There are two main styles of heat control commonly employed in griddles: thermostatic and manual.

In the subsequent section, we will delve into these control styles, offering an in-depth examination of their features and advantages.



Thermostatic control in a griddle entails the use of a thermostat to regulate and sustain the desired temperature.

This mechanism guarantees a steady heat level, granting chefs enhanced control over the cooking process.


Precise temperature control

Thermostatic griddles empower chefs to set precise temperatures, ensuring optimal heat levels for dishes with specific cooking requirements.

Uniform heat distribution

The thermostat maintains consistent heat across the entire griddle surface, minimizing hot spots and promoting even cooking.

Automatic heat adjustment

Thermostatic controls automatically regulate the griddle's heat output to maintain the set temperature, accommodating variations in cooking load and facilitating consistent results.

Enhanced cooking accuracy

The ability to maintain precise temperatures allows chefs to achieve desired levels of doneness and consistency, essential in commercial kitchens where consistent quality is vital.

Energy efficiency

Thermostatic controls provide just the right amount of heat required to maintain the desired temperature, resulting in reduced energy consumption and improved efficiency.


With precise temperature settings, thermostatic griddles offer versatility for cooking a wide range of foods, accommodating delicate items like eggs and seafood that require lower temperatures, as well as high-heat requirements for steaks and grilled meats.



Manual control entails adjusting the heat output of the burner or heating element using a knob or dial.

Unlike thermostatic controls that regulate precise temperatures, manual controls enable the adjustment of the heat source intensity rather than maintaining a specific temperature level.

Features and benefits:


Ease of use

Manual controls offer a straightforward and user-friendly experience, requiring no complex settings or adjustments.

Quick heat adjustment

They provide the ability to make immediate changes to heat levels, ensuring faster response times to the chef's needs.

Zonal cooking flexibility

Manual griddles often enable zonal cooking, where different areas of the griddle can be set to different heat levels, allowing for versatility in simultaneously cooking multiple items.

Chef's control

Some chefs prefer the hands-on approach provided by manual controls, allowing them to adjust heat levels based on intuition and experience.


Manual controls are known for their robustness and resistance to failure, as they have fewer intricate components, ensuring long-lasting performance.


Griddles with manual controls are generally more affordable than those with thermostatic controls, both in terms of initial cost and ongoing maintenance expenses.



Griddle size

In US commercial kitchens, commercial griddles are offered in a diverse range of sizes to accommodate the needs of different establishments.

This includes compact sizes, such as 24-inch models, suitable for smaller setups, as well as larger sizes, like 72-inch models, designed to handle high-volume cooking demands.

However, the size of a griddle is not solely determined by cooking capacity.

It is also influenced by various other crucial factors that impact kitchen operations, such as available space, workflow efficiency, and specific menu requirements.


Hood Size

The size of the hood plays a crucial role in determining the suitable size of the griddle that can be accommodated in a US commercial kitchen.

It is vital to ensure that the hood extends at least 6 inches beyond the equipment on all sides.

This extension allows for effective capture and ventilation of heat, steam, and grease-laden vapors generated during cooking.

Therefore, the dimensions of the hood may impose limitations on the size of the griddle that can be safely and efficiently utilized in your kitchen space.



The size of the griddle should be determined based on your menu and cooking needs.

If your establishment offers a wide variety of griddled items or requires simultaneous cooking of multiple dishes, a larger griddle surface would be beneficial.

For example, breakfast places serving pancakes, eggs, bacon, and hash browns together would benefit from a spacious griddle.

However, a smaller café that occasionally uses the griddle for paninis or grilled sandwiches can suffice with a smaller model.

It is crucial to strike a balance between the physical constraints of your kitchen and the demands of your menu when selecting a commercial griddle.

The right size can optimize workflow, reduce wait times, and ensure consistent, high-quality results.




Best makes of commercial griddles

Imperial Range

Imperial Logo

Imperial Range, a trusted name in the commercial kitchen appliance industry since 1957, is renowned for its exceptional griddles.

Across the dynamic culinary landscape of the USA, Imperial Range griddles stand out for their robust construction, precise heat regulation, and consistently high cooking performance.

These griddles are built for durability and efficiency, expertly catering to the demanding needs of fast-paced commercial kitchens.

Choosing Imperial Range means investing in a legacy of innovation and culinary superiority, ensuring every dish prepared on their griddles meets the most exacting standards of quality.

Our recommended models include the Imperial Range IMGA-6028-1 NAT with Griddle top boasts a highly-polished 1" steel plate construction, ensuring long-lasting reliability.

Equipped with aeration baffles, it guarantees even heat distribution across the griddle surface.

Similarly, the Imperial Range IMGA-4828-1 LP with Griddle top offers the same durable construction and efficient heat dispersion.

Both models feature sleek stainless steel exteriors, exuding a sense of sophistication. Cleaning is a breeze with the 4" wide grease gutter included.

Shop Imperial Range commercial griddles now.




Vulcan Logo


With roots dating back to 1865, Vulcan is an established American brand renowned for its commercial cooking equipment, including griddles.

Vulcan's griddles are celebrated in the diverse culinary world of the USA for their robust construction, superior heat control, and consistent cooking results.

These griddles are designed with an emphasis on durability, efficiency, and practicality, making Vulcan an invaluable partner for commercial kitchens.

Opting for Vulcan means choosing a legacy of culinary excellence and innovation, designed to handle the heat and demands of any professional kitchen.

Recommended models: The Vulcan MSA36-101 offers a spacious cooking surface that ensures even heat distribution, thanks to its 1" thick polished steel griddle plate. It also features mechanical snap-action thermostatic controls for precise temperature management.

On the other hand, the Vulcan MSA-72-101 stands out with its impressive power output and durability. It boasts a 1" thick polished steel plate, a 4" stainless steel backsplash, and a sleek "cool bullnose" design, combining functionality and style.

Shop Vulcan commercial griddles now.




 Garland Logo

Garland, established in 1864, is an esteemed brand in the realm of commercial cooking equipment, known for their high-quality griddles.

Highly regarded in the USA, Garland griddles offer optimal performance, solid construction, and advanced temperature regulation.

They are designed for endurance and efficiency, ensuring they meet the demanding needs of any commercial kitchen.

Choosing Garland means investing in a legacy of culinary expertise that translates into reliable and consistent food quality.

Top recommended models: The Garland GTGG36-GT36M impresses with three 28,000 BTU burners, a stainless steel front, sides, and back, and 4" adjustable stainless steel legs.

For those seeking more power, the Garland GTGG60-GT60M is a standout choice, boasting a remarkable 140,000 BTU cooking capacity across its expansive 60" width, capable of handling any cooking task.

This heavy-duty gas griddle features five "U" shaped burners and a 1" thick steel plate, ensuring even temperature distribution.

With thermostatic controls allowing precise adjustment from 200 to 550 degrees Fahrenheit, this griddle delivers unparalleled versatility and performance.

Shop Garland Group commercial griddles now.





Vollrath Logo

Founded in 1874, Vollrath is a respected player in the field of commercial kitchen appliances, including top-notch griddles.

 In the dynamic culinary scene of the USA, Vollrath griddles are prized for their resilient design, exceptional heat management, and consistent cooking performance.

Their griddles are crafted for durability and productivity, satisfying the high demands of commercial kitchens.

Our top recommended models:  Vollrath GGHDM-48 with manual controls showcases four robust 30,000 BTU burners, delivering a total of 120,000 BTUs per hour.

This powerhouse is perfect for high-volume food preparation in steak houses, coffee shops, clubs, and pubs.

Additionally, the Vollrath GGHDT-72 features six 30,000 BTU burners, a spacious 72" x 24 1/2" griddle plate, thermostatic controls for precise temperature adjustment, and a 1" thick polished steel griddle plate ensuring even heat distribution and exceptional heat retention.

Shop Vollrath commercial griddles now.




 Magikitch'n Logo

MagiKitch'n, a proud brand under the Star Holdings Group for over 75 years, is well-respected for its top-tier commercial kitchen appliances, particularly its remarkable griddles.

Gaining recognition across the diverse culinary environment of the USA, MagiKitch'n griddles are renowned for their exemplary construction, precise heat control, and reliable cooking consistency.

These griddles, built to last and designed for efficiency, effortlessly meet the high demands of bustling commercial kitchens.

Our top picks include the MagiKitch'n MKE-36-E 36" with thermostatic controls and the MagiKitch'n MKE-24-ST-CHROME.

The MKE-36-E features a 1" thick polished steel cooking surface for outstanding heat retention, while the MKE-24-ST-CHROME boasts a 1" thick chrome plated griddle plate with a stunning mirror finish.

These griddles effortlessly withstand rigorous daily use, elevating your culinary experience to new heights.

Shop MagiKitch’n commercial griddles now.




Commercial griddle frequently asked questions

What are commercial griddles made of?

Commercial griddles are constructed using premium-quality metals to guarantee durability, even heat distribution, and resistance to corrosion.

The griddle plate can be crafted from steel, offering robustness and exceptional heat conduction, or chrome, providing superior heat retention and effortless food release.

The body and frame of commercial griddles are commonly made of stainless steel, ensuring strength, longevity, and protection against rust and corrosion.

When selecting a griddle, it is important to consider your specific kitchen requirements, menu, volume of cooking, available space, and energy efficiency. If necessary, seek professional advice to make an informed decision that meets your needs.


How do I clean a commercial grill plate?

Proper maintenance of your commercial griddle plate requires regular cleaning.

After each use, it is important to remove excess food debris by carefully scraping it off.

To clean the surface effectively, utilize a qood-quality cleaner and a non-abrasive pad.

For thorough cleaning, it is advisable to refer to the manufacturer's instructions.

In addition to cleaning, it is essential to routinely inspect the griddle plate for any signs of wear or damage.

Promptly addressing any identified issues is crucial to ensure the griddle plate remains in optimal condition and continues to perform effectively.


How to season a commercial griddle?

Seasoning a commercial griddle is essential for optimal cooking performance and durability.

Follow these steps:

Clean the griddle

Start with a clean griddle surface. Remove any protective coatings and use warm, soapy water with a non-abrasive sponge or cloth to clean the griddle. Rinse and dry thoroughly.

Apply oil

Choose a high smoke point oil like flaxseed, canola, or vegetable oil. Apply a thin, even layer of oil across the entire griddle surface using a cloth or paper towel.

Heat the griddle

Turn on the griddle and set it to a high temperature (around 350°F). Allow the oil to heat until it begins to smoke, usually taking 15-30 minutes.

Cool down

Once the oil has smoked, turn off the griddle and let it cool down completely.


Once the griddle has cooled, repeat the process. Apply another thin layer of oil, heat it until it smokes, and let it cool again. Repeat these steps 2-3 times to build up a well-seasoned layer.



Commercial griddle glossary

Thermal/Heat Radiation

Thermal/heat radiation is the process of transferring heat energy through electromagnetic waves.

It plays a crucial role in ensuring even cooking and achieving the desired browning effect on the commercial griddle.


Hood System

The hood system in commercial kitchens captures and exhausts heat, steam, and cooking fumes. Its size determines the maximum griddle size that can be installed.


Zonal Cooking

Zonal cooking is a beneficial feature found in griddles, enabling different sections of the griddle to be set at varying heat levels.

This allows for the simultaneous cooking of a variety of food items with different heat requirements.


Thermal Emissivity

Thermal emissivity refers to how efficiently a material emits heat as thermal radiation.

In the context of commercial griddles, steel, which is often used, exhibits high emissivity, enabling it to absorb and distribute heat rapidly.

On the other hand, chrome has lower emissivity but excels in heat retention, providing consistent cooking temperatures.


Recovery Time

Recovery time refers to the time it takes for a griddle to return to its desired cooking temperature after food has been added.

This is crucial for maintaining consistent performance and optimal cooking results throughout the cooking session.


Splash Guard

A splash guard is a raised edge positioned along the sides and back of the griddle, specifically designed to prevent oil or food from splashing onto the countertop or the chef.

It serves the purpose of maintaining cleanliness and ensuring safety during cooking operations.


Standby Mode

An energy-saving feature of some griddles is the ability to reduce heat output when not in use.

This feature helps conserve energy and minimize the amount of heat emitted into the kitchen environment.


Modular Griddle

As part of a modular cooking system, this component enables the integration of various types of cooking equipment, including griddles, charbroilers, and burners, into a single customized unit.

This feature offers versatility and flexibility in configuring the kitchen setup according to specific needs and preferences.




Save your cash. Use ours!

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Rent–Try–Buy® not only helps you maintain your cash flow, it also gives you unrivaled flexibility to adapt your equipment to the changing needs of your business.

You can upgrade or buy the equipment at any time or, after 12 months, return or continue renting it.

If you decide to buy the equipment, we’ll give you back 60% of the net rent you paid in the first year and 20% of any rental payments thereafter — to put toward the purchase price.

Read more about Rent–Try–Buy.


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