I've worked a lot of kitchens in resorts and small town dives and bars.
ALL had flat tops that were the main means of cooking what they sold.
At the larger kitchens they all had someone come in earlier than the cooks etc. to just fire everything up.
Are they getting extinct or something?
I know a lot of the steam run stuff (steam chests) is/are extinct and the replacements suck.
The old ones were run off a boiler,equal to a presure cooker.
The electric ones don't get hot as fast etc.They sucked when I had to use them...
In prep Kitchens we made stuff so all the cooks had to do was toss a lot of the stuff on the flat top to heat it up for serving.
I can't imagine a kitchen without even one.
Especially for breakfast menus and most sandwich type lunch stuff,dinner menus weren't much different.
Even the small places I worked at.the flat top was their bread and butter.
I might have been lucky,but I never worked a flat top I didn't like...
We prepped prime rib but it was later cut up per order and heated up on the grill before serving.
Cook the bacon 3/4 of the way in the oven then put them in a pan to be crispened up per order on the flat top grill.
Only place I never saw a Flat top was in the steak house.
Old stoves used to have a small grill(gas stoves) that was great for pancakes etc.
What they were designed to do at the time for home use.
I see the new home kitchens with grills and all kinds of stuff these days.
Mini commercial type stuff.
Hell,Kitchen aid makes mixers that do everything with the attatchments.
I've got a 30 or so yr. old kitchen aid mixer that does everything,I have ALL the do dads.
Maybe I'm just too used to commercial kitchens or something.
Flat tops were never a problem.
Never had any problems with them with heat loss etc.
I don't know what brands the places had that I worked at but none needed more than to be turned on before the cooks came in,just like the steam tables and coffee makers.
Cleaned them with oil and a pomice stone every night,wipe them down with a rag, coat with clean oil and they were good to go.
Just like cast iron,if cleaned and oiled things NEVER stuck to the grill.
You could put a large pot of OG juice or whatever on them and keep it hot all day.
Largest place I worked was the Grand Canyon,South Rim(prepped for the scarf and barfs and restaurants and worked the AZ.Steak house).
Smallest was in Truckee Ca. and a beer bar in So. Cal.(a guy rented rented the kitchen out for lunches-food was so good he ended up buying a place of his own and is still doing great-we put out some great eats).
Never worked at a fast food place of any kind.
Edited by smokemaster, 31 August 2013 - 11:09 PM.