As has already been stated the process of grilling depends entirely on radiant heat supplied by a material which can be made red hot. This material may be either incandescent coal or charcoal, metal plates of special design heated by gas, coiled wires heated by electricity or quartz tubes. In another system adopted recently the material used is a special kind of porous tile, and gas is made to burn on its surface. By this method the tiles become incandescent within two minutes of lighting, thus saving time and fuel.
No matter which of these various radiating surfaces is employed, the equipment may be designed so that the heating surface is either above or below the food; the former is the more common, mainly for practical reasons. When grilling meats, for instance, there is a certain amount of drip due to melting fat and met juices, which falls on to the radiant plate if it is underneath causing smells of burning and making for difficulties in cleaning. Where models of this type are used the radiating plate is made of special material which is unaffected by grease.
In the grill designed as part of the boiling plate of a range there are two parts only–the radiant plate and the pan with rack, on which the food is placed for cooking. Grills of this design are usually rather small, and when the demands for grilling space are greater than can be met by these small grills a separate piece of equipment is required. This is a little more complicated in design as the radiant plates are supported on the top of a strong insulated cast-iron box usually finished in vitreous enamel and open on one long side. Runners similar to those provided for carrying shelves in ovens support the grilling tray at various distances from the radiant surface, according to cooking requirements. It is essential that the grilling tray should be in a convenient position for operation, that is, at a height between shoulder and waist level. The box must be placed on supports which may be either cantilever brackets attached to the wall, a stand with short legs to rest on the table, or a stand with long legs to rest on the floor.
Grills are made in several sizes to provide cooking areas ranging from 200 sq. ins. to 400 sq. ins. The internal height is usually approximately 8″, the internal depth 16″ and the width varies from 15″ to 21″ according to size.
No mention has yet been made of the use of the grill for toast. All equipment with overhead radiants is of course suitable for this purpose, provided that the tray can be placed sufficiently close to the radiant surface. In addition to those toasters in which the slices of bread remain stationary, there are those specially designed for toast making on a large scale. In these the bread is fed on to a slow moving counter which takes it through the toasting chamber and after the browning process is completed delivers it to a connecting tray. These models are made in three different sizes with outputs of 3, 6 and 9 rounds per minute.