Charbroilers: a common sight in many commercial kitchens. But what exactly are they and which type do you need? Let’s clear some of this up. A charbroiler helps to alleviate floor space and is meant to cook juicy, tender pieces of meat with flavors reminiscent of a backyard barbecue. Burgers, steak, chicken, fish, and the like are all commonly cooked on a charbroiler. With that said, there are two different types of charbroilers, meaning two different ways heat is transferred.
Radiant Charbroilers most notably use burners that are placed beneath an angled piece of metal known as a radiant. This causes heat to radiate upward to the grate and the food. Radiant heating also reduces flare ups and grease fires by means of the angled design of the radiant. This means two things. First, the angled design provides grease a route into a drip pan to make for easy cleaning. Two, this does prevent any drippings from burning, which can result in the loss of some of the delicious smells we all know and love.
Lava Rock Charbroilers utilize a bed of lava rocks placed over the burners rather than a radiant piece of metal. Once the bed of rocks catch flame, the heat rises to the meat above. The rocks also hold all the drippings from the meat which creates the aroma and flare ups everyone is so familiar with. This can help add flavor, but also makes cleaning and replacing the rocks a bigger priority then with radiant heating.