What is a clamshell grill?

What is a clamshell grill? A clamshell grill, or clamshell griddle, is a commercial appliance designed to cook products thoroughly, efficiently, and quickly. These commercial kitchen workhorses are a top choice for restaurants and quick service operations where a quality and quick product is the ultimate goal. Clamshells grills are also incredibly versatile and can cook a variety of menu items.

What is a clamshell grill?

A clamshell grill, or two-sided grill, uses heat from above and below to cook burgers, chicken, fish, veggie burgers, veggies, paninis, breakfast items, and other products thoroughly and reduce customer wait time. These commercial appliances use a platen above and heated surface below to heat both sides of the product simultaneously.

The heated surface maintains a consistent temperature throughout the cooking process. This technology reduces cooking time by two-thirds compared to a traditional flat grill and reduces hold times. The product juices and desired sear are maintained with a preset gap setting. Some clamshell grills allow operators to perform multiple functions during a single cook cycle.

What are the benefits of a clamshell grill?

A two-sided grill is available for kitchens with electric or gas. Some grills, including a Taylor two-sided grill, are ENERGY STAR certified. Grills with standby modes reduce energy usage by almost half when grill is not in use.

Clamshell grills occupy less space and use less cooking time compared to a flat grill. Taylor grills are available with one, two, or three platens and can fit into almost any kitchen footprint. Contact a commercial equipment professional to select the right clamshell grill that fits the needs of the food service operation.

The clamshell grill controls are easy-to-use, reducing the time needed for training and making product preparation efficient. Grill platens automatically close at the touch of a button. (On the Taylor grill, one touch menu selection automatically provides accurate time, temperature, and gap settings for every product.) Programmable controls cook the product for a set amount of time, ensuring that the product is perfectly cooked and reducing labor costs. Some two-sided grills use a touch screen and come with safety features, such as a platen that opens when an object is detected, that make operation easy and low-risk to employees.

Many clamshell grills (including the Taylor two-sided grill) are programmable. Owners and managers can easily add settings for current and future offering with a USB port. Taylor grills, in particular, are equipped with rapid recovery times for fast production during peak times.

How often should a two-sided grill be cleaned?

Two-sided clamshell grills should be cleaned once a day. Some food service operations may need to clean the grill more often depending on use. Operators should use manufacturer-recommended cleaning products and avoid abrasive products and cleaning tools. Any abrasive products or cleaning tools (i.e. steel wool, pumice, etc.) can damage the cooking surface, as can tools with sharp edges. Grills should be inspected periodically as some lubrication or other maintenance may be needed for optimal operation and performance.

All products should be removed promptly from the cooking surface. During cooking, operators should take care so products do not burn onto heating surfaces because it can damage the surface or cause the unit to smoke. Operators should also avoid putting extremely cold liquids or cleaners on the hot surface of the clamshell grill. Further cleaning instructions can be obtained by consulting a commercial equipment professional.

In general, clamshell grills are fairly low-maintenance. Some grills, such as the Taylor clamshell grill, automatically recalibrate daily and come with self-diagnostic capabilities. The latter feature aids technicians and dramatically reduces down-time. Typically, two-sided grills provide plenty of quality product with very low labor costs.

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