A charbroiler, aka chargrill, or simply a broiler is a piece of cooking equipment that features a series of grates that are heated with a heating element. There are different types of commercial and residential charbroilers available and they can handle a range of different cooking operations.
In almost all the models, the heating element is present right under the cooking surface. The term charbroiler is most frequently associated with a range of commercial cooking applications. However, the cooking process and constructions are very much similar to any light-duty cooking equipment built for residential purposes.
Charbroilers are not limited to commercial applications because they are widely used in residential purposes as well. They allow you to cook your food on a grated surface for the purpose of searing in the flavors and also imparting some charring to induce a slightly smoky flavor.
Is charbroiled food healthy?
Grilling is surely a quick way to create deliciously tasty food and it is equally great to entertain your friends. You can conveniently grill different cuts of meat. These include the likes of lamb tenderloin, rib eye, flank, or strip steak
Red meats are protein-heavy, and they also pack a lot of other healthy ingredients like zinc, iron as well as vitamins like B-6, B-12 and niacin.
Before grilling your meat, you need to maintain it for tenderizing as well as adding flavor. According to different studies, a range of marinades having sugar or no sugar can also assist in preventing the meat from charring. These marinades can also limit HAA (heterocyclic aromatic amine) development. The HAA compounds have been frequently linked with cancer.
However, if you are in love with that charring flavor, then you need to rethink it. You must prevent your food from charring because it can cause cancer due to the development of HAAs. A number of animal studies have proved that HAAs do cause cancer.
Apart from that, cooking your food on open flames causes the fats to drip over the flame and cause smoke. These drips create PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), which are also directly linked with cancer.
Here are some of the different ways of reducing these HAAs and PAHs.
- Don’t press your burger patties down on the grates because it causes the juices to drip down and cause a flare.
- It is better to cook food on the medium flame as compared to a high flame to avoid overcooking on the outside and charring.
- Get rid of the marinades and shake the excess off to keep the browning even.
- Don’t use sauces or sugary glazes.
Who are the typical users?
Chefs have been using charbroilers in commercial applications for a long time now. But with time, these charbroilers have also entered the residential markets and many BBQ lovers have found their distinctive flavor delicious.
Residential usage increased because users are now able to produce the same type of flavor and food that they once used to taste in a commercial setup or a restaurant. However, they are still widely used in commercial environments in comparison.
You will see a number of fast-food joints and steak houses with giant-sized charbroilers. These units allow them to produce burgers and steaks on a commercial level. These charbroilers are large in size, and they have huge cooking surfaces.
You can cook a range of different foods on them, and you can also cook them with varying cooking times. The experts have been able to develop various tricks and techniques to sear the meat perfectly so that the flavor of smoke infuses into the food without negating the health aspects.
How to use a charbroiler? - Tips and tricks
These charbroilers add a smoky flavor to your food. These units are also very useful in commercial setups where they cannot use any type of outdoor grills. Apart from that nice grilled taste, this unit gives your food those nice looking sear marks as well.
These marks give an appearance to your food as if it is fresh off the grill. These charbroilers come in a range of different shapes and sizes, and a lot of them feature metal grates as well as a drip pan along with a heating source.
These charbroilers either run on electricity or gas, and they can be a pretty experience. This is one of the reasons why these are still more popular for commercial use. As these units are very expensive, you need to be very careful in using them to get the most out of your investment.
Here are some of the tips and tricks that you can use and get the best bang for your buck.
Adequately season your grates
These grates are similar to skillets of cast iron that are used for Asian foods. Just like the woks, you have to season the grates properly.
For seasoning your grates, you must wash them and spray cooking oil on them using a piece of cloth.
Then heat the broiler for a few minutes; this will allow the grates to smoke for about twenty minutes or so.
When they cool down, just wipe the residue of oil from the grates. The oil coating will prevent the grates from rusting. Now you won’t feel that rusty flavor in your food even if you don’t use the grates for a long while.
Maintain your grates properly
You need to apply oil to your grates before you start cooking because it will prevent the food from sticking on to the grates.
You can also dip your food into the oil before you put it on the grates or pour some oil on the grates with your food to prevent stickiness.
Some broilers allow you to move the grates freely, and this enables you to drain the grease while you are cooking your food. By doing so, you can also manage the heat effectively because essentially, you are controlling the heat and temperature and can go for that perfectly cooked meat.
Separate your foods on the grates
Make sure that you separate the foods on the grates and don’t mix them up. This means that your poultry should be on a separate grate, and your beef, as well as seafood, are on separate grates.
Keep the vegetables separate from your meats. After each use, make sure that you clean the grates using a wire brush.
Clean your grates regularly
Keeping your grates clean at all times will allow your charbroiler to last for a long time.
Scrub those radiant substances and residues daily and also clean the burner box because too many ashes can reduce the overall performance of your charbroiler. The cooking time may become longer, and you would have to deal with uneven cooking as well.
Do not overload your charbroiler
Understanding the capacity of your charbroiler is extremely important. If you overload it, then you are preparing yourself a portion of food that won’t be cooked to perfection. This will also allow you to save your fuel costs as the unit will be able to function as it was intended.
Keep your cooking area properly ventilated
These units do release a lot of heat as well as smoke as compared to other methods. Therefore, you need to have proper ventilation in your cooking room. It will enable you to reduce the cost of maintaining the temperature in your kitchen environment.
What are the best alternatives for charbroilers?
To be honest, charbroilers don’t have an alternative because you cannot produce the same amount of taste with any other cooking option. So in terms of taste, charbroilers are unrivaled. These units are designed to produce the same amount of flavor that you generate from grilling outdoors.
But because you cannot use a grill inside, therefore, you have to go for a charbroiler. You can go for an electric griddle for this purpose, but charbroilers allow you to produce a vast range of recipes, and you can handle different types of foods and meats as well. This is something you cannot achieve with a grill.
However, with that being said, grills are perfect when you don’t want to waste time heating it up. Just torch the grill, through the food in and start eating. This is something that is very convenient after a long tiresome day.
But if you are looking to host a gathering, then there is nothing better than a charbroiler. The only thing that you need to care about is that you don’t overdo the charring of your food for health concerns.
For the avid BBQ lovers who are crazy about that great tasting smoky food, charbroilers are truly a blessing in disguise. These units will enable you to cook large quantities of food. You can also handle a wide variety of foods with ease.
These charbroilers come with a cooking surface that ranges between 12-inch to 84-inch, and the commercial charbroiler is even bigger. Therefore, these units are excellent for you if you host a lot of gatherings and share your food with your friends and family a lot.
It is important that you take care of your charbroiler because they are pretty experienced. You have to take care of the grates and maintain them by cleaning them frequently.
So what do you think about using a charbroiler? Do you own or plan to own one? Do you prefer other ways of cooking over charbroiling?
Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below!