Contact and panini grills – what are the benefits?

Contact and panini grills – what are the benefits?

Lincat Griddle PanContact and panini grills tend to be portable and operate from a standard 13A supply. This means that they can be used anywhere, in a mobile catering wagon or outside catering kitchen for example, as well as in a standard kitchen.

As such they offer an excellent way of adding a range of hot snacks to your menu for a minimum outlay. And because they cook from both the top and the bottom, they can produce food very quickly, without the need for turning.

What should caterers consider before buying new equipment?

Cast iron plates heat up rapidly and smooth plates are ideal therefore for sealing in meat juices and flavour. Ribbed plates produce attractive branding marks, and are ideal for paninis. So consider carefully which is more important for your operation.

That said a model with a smooth bottom plate and a ribbed top might provide the perfect compromise. Alternatively, a twin headed model, with smooth plates on one side and ribbed plates on the other, could provide the best of both worlds.

Also think carefully about capacity and check that the outputs quoted by manufacturers are like for like. For example, are the figures quoted for output of burgers or steaks from chilled or frozen?

Look for models which meet all current EU safety regulations and are easy to clean. An independent dealer will be able to offer impartial advice. Check warranty details carefully.

What one tip would you offer someone who is investing in a new contact grill or panini machine?

Consider whether you need to invest in a separate model for vegetarian or halal food.

Lincat new product news:

We have added two new electric clam griddles to our heavy duty Opus 700 range.

Ideally suited to cooking meat products, the new single and double clam griddles cook food up to three times more quickly than standard griddles by cooking both sides of the food simultaneously. The clam plates automatically adjust to the thickness of the meat to provide even heat distribution, reduce shrinkage and seal in flavour.

Precise thermostatic control and individual digital timers on each clam plate help to produce perfect results, no matter how busy the kitchen. Independently controlled cooking zones provide greater flexibility and economy during quieter periods. The 12mm hard anodised aluminium clam tops are coated with PTFE non-stick sheets for easy cleaning.

“Busy kitchens need to produce first class grilled food quickly. Our new clam griddles meet exactly that requirement, and are perfect for steaks, burgers and chicken breasts”, said Nick McDonald, Marketing Director of Lincat Ltd. “By cooking both sides at the same time, juices and flavour are locked in and shrinkage is reduced.”

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Tel: 01522 875500

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