Griddles have a flat metal plate for frying commonly constructed of steel, although you may find aluminum topped griddles. While griddles most often have a smooth surface, some griddles may have a grooved surface on part or all of the surface to achieve that broiled look on hamburger or steaks. Some griddles are further specialized, such as Teppanyaki Griddles, Panini Griddles, Tortilla Griddles, Drop-In or Built-In Griddles, Outdoor Griddles, or Floor models which sit on top of an oven or cabinet base or range.
Countertop griddles can be ordered with a gas or electric power source. Countertop griddles have evenly spaced heat sources for even heat distribution throughout the surface, and include a low back splash on the back edge, with tapered splashes on the left and right edge, and a grease trough that drains into a removable grease drawer beneath. Certain models may include additional options or accessories for thermostatic control over manual or hi-low heat, grooved plates on all or part of the surface, and 1" over 3/4" thick griddle plates (1" thick plates should be considered for high volume establishments or lengths in excess of 48").
Gas powered countertop griddles can be ordered natural gas or propane gas (sometimes referred to as LP Gas). Certain models may be standard natural gas, with an LP conversion kit included. Different gas orifices are required for establishments at elevations greater than 2,000 or 2,500 feet, such as Santa Fe, New Mexico or Denver, Colorado, to ensure maximum efficiency. Certain higher end models may offer additional accessories such as a safety pilot or electronic ignition.
Electric powered countertop griddles support specific voltages. Occasionally, a small electric griddle may support 120 volt, but they are most often 208, 220 or 240 volt 60 cycle, and may be 1 phase or 3 phase. You should check with your electrician to confirm your power source BEFORE ordering any electric griddle. They often do not have a plug and require hard wiring to your power source.
Panini griddles have two sided heating elements on a hinge. The heating surface can be aluminum or iron, grooved or flat. While traditionally used to grill sandwiches, panini grills are flexible and can also be used to cook or warm steak, hamburgers, vegetables, chicken breasts and a variety of food products. If used for more than panini sandwiches or high volume, you should consider options and accessories such as quick heat up and recovery time, thermostatic controls, timers or automatic timers and digital controls, or mixed surface (one half grooved, one half smooth)
Teppanyaki griddles are similar to standard griddles. However, they often have a U-shaped heating element centered in the griddle, so that the surface is hot in the center, and cooler on the edges. Chefs cook in the center of the griddle and move cooked foods to the sides to keep it warm for tableside service. Teppanyaki griddles generally do not include splashguards, although certain models may offer them as an accessory.