Catering Insight – Grills and Salamanders

How has the landscape of bespoke, modular and countertop grills and salamanders changed over the last few years? Have trends changed?

There has been a steady move away from traditional style gas units to more efficient electric units which do not need to be left on for long periods before use. Amongst the developments we’ve seen amongst our own portfolio of products are CAPIC salamander grills using quick-therm heating elements which come to temperature in a matter of seconds. When it comes to chargrills then again, CAPIC is leading the way with its electric units because whereas the traditional gas chargrill is inherently a ‘dirty’ cooking method, causing issues with servicing and maintenance, the electric chargrill is cleaner, easier to use, comes to temperature much quicker and requires less maintenance. Another of the brands we represent, Adventys, continues to develop induction planchas from a 3kw single zone unit up to a 16kw, 3 phase, 4 zone unit which also benefits from rapid heating and gets to temperature within 3-4 minutes.

 Which types (bespoke, modular and countertop) are in demand the most?

This really depends on the style of restaurant, the menu, how the kitchen operates, the services available and, the preference of the chef.

 What are the considerations for dealers specifying them?

Talk to the manufacturer, or their representative, and get a firm understanding of the difference between the various units on offer. This will allow the dealer to specify the unit that is best suited to the menu being offered by their client. Don’t just put a piece of equipment forward because it is what the client requested – propose an alternative and engage in a conversation.

 What are some of the biggest factors that dealers should have in mind?

The key criteria are firstly energy efficiency and secondly speed of heating which reduces ‘heat up’ time prior to operation. Flexibility of use, i.e. can the unit be used for different styles of ‘cooking’, is also a consideration. The Capic Quick Therm has three separate elements and can be used in a number of different ways: as a warming unit (with one element) holding/resting (with two elements) or full cooking with all three elements.