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Anyone ever build a heavy duty griddle?

Pony_Driver

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Yeah, I could put this in "other builds" but this is a fact and opinion gathering thread, not a build thread. :flipoff2:


I have an old commercial griddle top that is roughly 40" wide by 20" deep and probably 3/4" thick with a 3" or so guard around the sides and back. The drain is in the middle back.

I am trying to figure out how to make a stand for it and what burners to use or make for it. I have an old Ducane (now owned by Webber) 5 burner grill that is getting a little worn out. I considered taking the front off of it with the 5 valves and using commercial available burner tubes. I might even be able to keep the side burner if I go this route. I haven't measured it but I even considered taking the whole top of the existing grill off and just plopping the griddle on top. I am not sure if it would fit or how close the burners would be to the bottom.

If I make a stand from scratch I could put it on 6" casters for easy portability and I COULD make my own burners like the guy in the video below did.

https://youtu.be/sbJ63mLRWLc

On one hand there is the simplicity of building my own stand and burners. 1/4 turn gas valves, etc. But it's nice to use push and turn piezo electric igniters on commercial manifolds. I could probably rig a battery powered igniter up like the one on my rotisserie.

At some level I wonder if I would be better off just building one out of 1/4" plate because it would heat up much quicker. Then again I like overkill.

Thoughts? Examples? No pics, it's out back buried under snow and ice.
 
3/4" will sure heat evenly so long as you crank it up 4-5 hours before you need to cook. :flipoff2: Oh, and forget about rapid temperature changes if you get it too hot or cold for what you're cooking.
 
3/4" will sure heat evenly so long as you crank it up 4-5 hours before you need to cook. :flipoff2: Oh, and forget about rapid temperature changes if you get it too hot or cold for what you're cooking.

Yeah I know, that's why I am wondering if I should send it on its way and just find a thinner plate to work with.
 
3/4" plate ain't gonna work. You'll use half a bottle of propane cooking one load of fried rice. Light in the morning, go to work, come home that evening, wait till after dark for it to get hot enough to cook.
 
I've made a couple out of 1/8 inch steel for people. Welded their names on the back. I started on a big one with 3/16 plate for me for a big 2 burner cooker but haven't got the small angle I want for all around the outside yet for a gutter/drain.
 
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3/4" plate ain't gonna work. You'll use half a bottle of propane cooking one load of fried rice. Light in the morning, go to work, come home that evening, wait till after dark for it to get hot enough to cook.

I could fire that bitch up on Monday morning and cook all week! :flipoff2: At the restaurant we would fire the grill in the morning and it just ran all day.

How thick is too thick?
 
I’ve been using the fuck out of my 36” blackstone. Great investment for $200. I think I’d like to build one later old school style wrapped in bricks and working off a wood fire. Mainly for a challenge during cooking. It reminds me of my great great grandparents ranch and how they used to cook for us when we were kids. :smokin:
 
I've made a couple out of 1/8 inch steel for people. Welded their names on the back. I started on a big one with 3/16 plate for me for a big 2 burner cooker but haven't got the small angle I want for all around the outside yet for a gutter/drain.

That's a good idea.

I’ve been using the fuck out of my 36” blackstone. Great investment for $200. I think I’d like to build one later old school style wrapped in bricks and working off a wood fire. Mainly for a challenge during cooking. It reminds me of my great great grandparents ranch and how they used to cook for us when we were kids. :smokin:

Those old folks had it figured out.
 
The one commercial flat grill I had experience with had spikes all over the underside. Only other thing I remember about using it was getting yelled at for "cleaning" it. :homer:
 
3/4 will be to thick.... like way to thick. It will heat evenly to warm after 2 5gallon tanks of lp. We have to heat plate like that at work all the time and its amazing how hard it is to.

I think 3/8 would be as thick as i would try going and even that will take a while
 
I’d use a round burner, like one of those outdoor burners, in the center. Use it like a teppanyaki grill. It will be hottest in the center and cooler toward the edges.

I’ve been planning on making one for a while, 3/4” thick, 30” deep and 42” wide, Blanchard ground plate.
 
How thick is too thick?

I honest don't know. I've got a blackstone and it seems be 3/16" maybe 1/4".

I'd think the super thick would be fine in a restaurant where the thing holds cooking temp all day, but not so good for back porch "light it and start cooking soon" stuff.
 
1/4" would be the limit on how thick of material I'd use. I've made a few disc cookers and they were 1/4". I just made a frame from angle to hold the disc and used one of these Kong KookerLow Pressure burners:

51+fLlffyWL._AC_SL1000_.jpg
 
A friend of mine has one he built, using a 1" thick hunk of Blanchard ground cast iron that was approximately 18" x 24". He made his own tube burners, used an adjustable propane regulator, and a handful of off the shelf grill parts like ignition, adjustable mixing chambers and a few others if memory serves, and a stand made of 2" thin wall square tube, some angle iron, and some 16 gauge sheet metal he had lying around.

He told me the only downside he's ever really found was initially how long it took to preheat.
But he fixed the preheat time by upgrading to a higher flowing regulator to max out his 3 main homemade burners, and adding 2 "high output preheat burners" plumbed in before the regulator and controlled with a ball valve.
So after the upgrades he'd preheat with all 5 burners set to "Fricasee" and once the surface was up to 300f-325f he shut down the 2 "preheat" burners, adjust the flow on the 3 main burners(using an inline pressure gauge) and it would maintain temp as long as he had fuel.
After he upgraded the burners he said his only gripes were weight, but even that wasn't a big of a deal as long as you didn't move it, and he said if he'd do it again would use individual regulators like a grill so he could have different heat zones.

Cooking on it OMFG it was SOOO fucking nice,the heat was so consistent it was ridiculous, and the top was like the best seasoned cast iron skillet you've ever seen and the burgers and steaks and such coming off of that thing were like next level delicious, I'm pretty sure you could toss a soggy hunk of boot leather down on it, sprinkle on some salt and pepper and end up with something tasty, it worked so well.
 
My buddy works for a company that does restaurant kitchen remodels. We use the old griddles as work benches in the shop. Nothing makes a better transmission rebuild bench than an old griddle. We even have the grease trap plumbed to drain off the old fluid.
 
I have built multiple. I used to use the big catering griddles from costco or sams for the burners. Anymore, i just buy a blackstone. I have four of them, because at heart, i am efficiently lazy, and they can build far less expensively than I can. However when i built them, preferred 1/4” for the griddle, because that is thick enough that it would not totally warp when it was heated up.
 
Went up to a buddies parents cabin, they had a 4' square fire pit with a 1/2 plate over it, had adjustments so you could raise or lower plate height for temperature control. Would easily cook burgers for all the grand-kids in one shot. :laughing:
 
A friend of mine has one he built, using a 1" thick hunk of Blanchard ground cast iron that was approximately 18" x 24". He made his own tube burners, used an adjustable propane regulator, and a handful of off the shelf grill parts like ignition, adjustable mixing chambers and a few others if memory serves, and a stand made of 2" thin wall square tube, some angle iron, and some 16 gauge sheet metal he had lying around.

He told me the only downside he's ever really found was initially how long it took to preheat.
But he fixed the preheat time by upgrading to a higher flowing regulator to max out his 3 main homemade burners, and adding 2 "high output preheat burners" plumbed in before the regulator and controlled with a ball valve.
So after the upgrades he'd preheat with all 5 burners set to "Fricasee" and once the surface was up to 300f-325f he shut down the 2 "preheat" burners, adjust the flow on the 3 main burners(using an inline pressure gauge) and it would maintain temp as long as he had fuel.
After he upgraded the burners he said his only gripes were weight, but even that wasn't a big of a deal as long as you didn't move it, and he said if he'd do it again would use individual regulators like a grill so he could have different heat zones.

Cooking on it OMFG it was SOOO fucking nice,the heat was so consistent it was ridiculous, and the top was like the best seasoned cast iron skillet you've ever seen and the burgers and steaks and such coming off of that thing were like next level delicious, I'm pretty sure you could toss a soggy hunk of boot leather down on it, sprinkle on some salt and pepper and end up with something tasty, it worked so well.

This is what I am talking about. Pics? I have mounted a banjo burner to an old dark start style stand and it can put out some heat. I use it for home brewing.
 
How is this not here?



All of that work and he puts it on top of a grill. That's not what I am talking about. I have seen that vid a few times and it came up this morning when I was searching for vids.
 
I bought a Blackstone - the top is 1/8" steel and it heats evenly. Part of the reason for that is the shape of the burners - they are not round. Even with a 1" chunk using round burners would cause problems with hotspots. I think in a perfect world I'd use 1/4" steel for the top. Here's what the burners look like on 2 different Blackstones. I have the one on the right FWIW.

Blackstone-Griddle-Burners-1024x512.jpg
 
Blackstones are great, but they just don't have the thermal mass. If you toss a steak on a 600* Blackstone griddle, it drops more than 100* almost instantly. They are convenient, but more mass, such as 3/4" or 1" thick plate would be amazing.
 
Blackstones are great, but they just don't have the thermal mass. If you toss a steak on a 600* Blackstone griddle, it drops more than 100* almost instantly. They are convenient, but more mass, such as 3/4" or 1" thick plate would be amazing.

Bumblefuck also had a solution for that - smaller 1" chunks of plate. Texturizing is probably optional.

 
Blackstones are great, but they just don't have the thermal mass. If you toss a steak on a 600* Blackstone griddle, it drops more than 100* almost instantly. They are convenient, but more mass, such as 3/4" or 1" thick plate would be amazing.

You could just make a plate to sit on top of the griddle to heat up when you want to sear a steak that way. The rest of the time there's no need for that much thermal mass.
 
You could just make a plate to sit on top of the griddle to heat up when you want to sear a steak that way. The rest of the time there's no need for that much thermal mass.

I could reduce the thickness of 1/2 of the griddle! :idea:
 
Leave half the plate at ~1" and mill the other half down to 1/2 or 3/8"? That's a lot of material removal....and you'd probably end up with a warped thin section.


Thanks for explaining it. It was a joke, I'd go buy a thinner plate before I did that.

I would be considering turning that chunk of steel into a welding table. or cut off a slab that fits in my gas grill.

A welding table isn't a bad idea but I'm not sure I'm sold on that either. I am throwing around the idea of just buying plate to do just that with the grill. I could just make my own "Blackstone" grill out of its carcass. This is seeming more and more like a good idea.
 
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