As spring approaches, the plancha offers itself the gondola heads of garden centers and the worlds of kitchen and tableware stores. This hob comes in a variety of materials and coatings. Amateur cooks and healthy cooking enthusiasts in search of the best plancha are often perplexed by such diversity.
The material of the plate plays a crucial role in cooking. The question arises all the more for the contact cooking method par excellence that is the plancha: which coating to choose?
Why is the plate coating essential for a plancha grills?
By its coefficient of friction, the coating promotes temperature transfer to the food to be cooked.
In addition to kitchen equipment, the plancha designates the method of cooking. The plancha is THE ultimate contact cooking. Contact cooking corresponds to the coefficient of friction between the food and the coating of the plate.
The more contact points the food has with the surface coating, the better the food can adhere to the plate and the better the temperature transfer to the product to be cooked. The plate coating must therefore be a good conductor of heat . It is not non-stick for an optimized contact cooking with a simple drizzle of olive oil or fat.
The coating must have good mechanical resistance.
The material of the plate must be particularly resistant to heating which can exceed 300 ° C. It must also withstand the various possible temperature variations: whether when cold food is placed on the hot plate, during deglazing or during cooking at all temperature levels (cooking beautiful pieces of meat at high temperature, simmering vegetables, keeping warm, reheating etc.).
It is better to favor materials and coatings with good mechanical resistance to avoid the risk of corrosion in a humid environment and scratches following the use of metal utensils.
An easy-to-clean coating is preferred for the durability of the plancha.
Even lightly greased plates require maintenance at the end of use. The coating of the plate is that much smoother and easier to clean. Easy and regular maintenance is the key word for the durability of a plancha. The ease of maintenance is a definite plus in the eyes of all cooks amateur and professional caterers . It is also part of the criteria for choosing a plancha and the coating to choose .
Rough or smooth coating: which one to favor?
Cast iron is the historical material of planchas.
Cast iron is the original material of the plancha. Originally, in the 19th century, the plancha was a large-surface cast iron plate placed on a wood fire. This raw cast iron plate is now mounted on butane / propane gas burners with thermocouple safety or on resistances adjustable by thermostat . The cast iron plate has excellent thermal inertia : it accumulates, restores and diffuses heat over the entire surface , even after the plancha is off. It allows regular and gentle cooking of food .
Raw cast iron is malleable at very high temperatures from 700 ° C. It is a particularly robust material. Not to be confused with cast aluminum , a light alloy that is not very efficient in terms of cooking. If the cast iron plancha still occupies traditional kitchens and represents the best value for money , it is gradually neglected nowadays because of its drawbacks : long preheating (15 to 20 min) and a rough or even porous appearance not always easy to clean. .
Less rough steel has been essential for several decades and has replaced cast iron plates.
As a comparison between cast iron and steel, the latter has two advantages over pig iron. First, this material is smoother: it thus improves the contact between the plate and the food to be cooked and it also facilitates cleaning. In addition, this material ensures a rise in temperature in just 10 minutes .
While some models are fitted with laminated steel plates , Lake Shore Culinaryl, a French manufacturer of professional planchas, designs its high-performance steel planchas with particularly thick decarburized steel plates (10 mm). Decarburized steel is polished for direct temperature transfer andbetter food grabbing.
Chrome, stainless steel, enamel are all smooth materials with sometimes nuanced qualities.
Chromium is the best vector of temperature transfer but it should not be confused with hard chromium!
Due to its perfectly smooth appearance , chrome is the best coating for contact cooking .
It ensures excellent temperature transfer at all points of contact with the food to be cooked. Lake Shore Culinaryl applies it for the manufacture of planchas in chromed steel : the steel is chromed by 3 polishing passes.
It is the best decorative chrome for heat transfer despite some coloring and delicate maintenance. Be careful not to confuse the chrome coating with the hard chrome used in the design of teppanyaki plates.
Before moving towards the acquisition of a chrome plate, it is necessary to understand the question: Between plancha chrome and teppanyaki, what is the difference?
Stainless steel is THE trendy cooking surface, very easy to clean but not very efficient in terms of cooking.
Many restaurateurs and cooking enthusiasts want to surf the new trend: the stainless steel plancha . If by its robustness and its very smooth appearance, this stainless steel plate allows the user to free themselves from the chores of cleaning, stainless steel is far from being a good conductor of heat , a key factor in contact cooking. However, among the many offers on the market, two stainless steel models stand out. Discovering which is the best stainless steel plancha can certainly arouse the interest of fans of the stainless steel plate!
What is the difference between plancha grill and griddle?
Plancha, griddle … trendy hotplates are replacing the grill and barbecue in professional kitchens and at home. What is the difference between plancha and griddle? Where is the professional electric or gas plancha positioned ? This article will help you get to know this essential kitchen equipment better.
The plancha, ancestral cooking equipment, is conquering nowadays new kitchens and terraces.
The plancha has its origins on the paths of religious pilgrimages in the 19th century.
La plancha , a term of Spanish origin, literally means “plate”. Originally, it designates the cast iron plate used in the 19th century during religious pilgrimages such as that of Saint-Jacques de Compostelle: the pilgrims heated this large plate on a wood fire to cook food in large quantities . The cast iron plancha has always been anchored in Spanish culinary traditions. With the help of the cross-border influence, this hotplate very quickly established itself in homes in southwestern USA.
Since the 2000s, the plancha has been inviting in gardens and kitchens in USA and Europe.
Nowadays, the plancha designates both the electric or gas appliance and the cooking method associated with it. Since the 2000s, the plancha has conquered kitchens and especially gardens, terraces and balconies throughout USA and Europe.
With the gas or electric plancha , no more long and tedious preparations to organize a barbecue such as preparing a fire, grilling directly on the flame and therefore harmful to health, cleaning the barbecue … Cooking on the plancha is to improvise and cook by contact directly on the planchathe entire meal, from starter to dessert. It is also cooking differently , with family or friends , in good weather , by involving your guests in cooking the dishes.
If cooking a la plancha is synonymous with friendly , healthy and generous cuisine , what about the griddle? Are there any differences between plancha and griddle ?
The snack plate has won its letters of nobility among catering professionals.
The snacking plate is THE hob for large professional kitchens.
In the large kitchen area , a hob is often built into a kitchen piano . This large cooking surface is used for intensive cooking . In search of always innovative cooking techniques, the Michelin-starred Chefs developed in the 20th century the notion of “snacking” meat, fish or vegetables, that is to say cooking food at high temperatures on a plank. cooking for grilling meat , to seize a fish or to bring back vegetables . This is how the ” snack plate” incorporated the jargon of professional cooking.
Lake Shore Culinaryl meets the current expectations of catering professionals with a range of griddle plates with different coatings.
In perpetual search for thermal performance of this cooking equipment , the French manufacturer Lake Shore Culinaryl has been developing a wide range of very resistant griddle plates for several decades . A cast iron plate certainly has excellent thermal inertia , but it does not fully meet the current expectations of catering professionals, such as rapid heating .
From a 10 mm thick steel plate , Lake Shore Culinaryl has designed a line of griddle plateswith different coatings (decarburized, chromed, enamelled steel, etc.) according to the needs of cooks in terms of speed of cooking and maintenance . The griddle Lake Shore Culinaryl equip the traditional food , but also foodtrucks , kiosks and concepts takeaways .
In terms of equipment, plancha and griddle are differentiated by their name depending on the environment and the user.
At home, cooking enthusiasts and enthusiasts speak of “plancha”.
Nowadays, the plancha is in the minds of all European cooking enthusiasts, as soon as the good weather returns, for a convivial meal outside. Cooking enthusiasts equip themselves at home with an electric built-in plancha for their outdoor kitchen or a gas plancha on a trolley for more mobility in the garden. In the Lake Shore Culinaryl plancha collection intended for gourmets and cooking enthusiasts, the Lake Shore Culinaryl gas plancha is one of the most popular models.
In any professional kitchen, this large hob is called a “snacker plate”.
The catering professionals talk about “griddle” to describe this plate of essential cooking in their kitchen. The snacking plate is today one of the centerpieces of any professional kitchen . It is equipped with at least 2 or 3 independent cooking zones .
This large hob works on gas or electricity. There are also modules 400 x 700 mm with 2 heating zones specially designed for standard worktops in large kitchens. These professional snack plates fit into the kitchen piano of great restaurants. They can also be installed on the work plan of food trucks or premises with limited space.
But the term “plancha”, which has also become a trend in catering, has led Lake Shore Culinaryl to rename its “professional plancha” range.
In catering, depending on the region, the term “plancha” is becoming more common than “snacking plate” and it is tending to become widespread in USA and abroad. It is not uncommon to read on the menu of restaurants “Fish a la plancha”, “Magret cooked plancha style”, “ Cooking a la plancha ”….
Therefore, in 2019 Lake Shore Culinaryl renamed its entire professional range of griddle plates , ” professional electric plancha ” and ” professional gas plancha “. A professional electric or gas plancha at Lake Shore Culinaryl is necessarily equipped with the same technologies as a professional griddle.to ensure intensive use in restaurants. Lake Shore Culinaryl has also developed a line of 400 x 700 mm cooking plates for the standards of large kitchens and points of sale with limited space: this range of professional snack plates is available in electric and gas.
Plancha and griddle are one when it comes to cooking and maintenance.
The first common point of the plancha and the griddle is the cooking method: contact cooking.
The cooking method for all plancha and griddle plates is contact cooking . Contact cooking corresponds to the coefficient of friction between the food and the cooking plate. The smoother the cooking surface, the better the food can adhere to the griddle and the better the temperature transfer to the product to be cooked. Griddle and griddle are both characterized by a hob smooth and resistant to very high temperatures : indispensable elements for contact quality by firing.
Whatever its name – plancha or snacking plate -, the best plancha must allow the eyes of Chefs a successful Maillard reaction to cooking.
The best plancha or snacking plate in the eyes of Star Chefs must allow an excellent Maillard reaction to cooking: a drizzle of olive oil on the hot and smooth plate, and the Chef obtains a beautiful caramelization of the food ! A smooth plate and a uniform temperature distribution are among the main criteria for choosing the right plancha or griddle.
Cooking a la plancha or on a griddle is a very varied cuisine.
Cooking a la plancha is not just about searing food on a very resistant and quickly heating plate . The griddle plate like the plancha also allows you to cook all foods and vary the cooking : grilling , deglazing , simmering , reheating , keeping warm but also stewing (in the latter case, do not forget to put the cover on the plate!). Cooking a la planchalet your imagination run wild! In both electric and gas versions, the adjustment of the heating power allows these successive and varied cooking .
Plancha and griddle are unanimous in terms of maintenance.
Plancha and griddle are all equipped with a fat collection tray for easy cleaning. Due to its smooth appearance, the hob is rather easy to maintain . Depending on the thickness and the coating, the plate can be deglazed or cleaned with a sponge or even a spatula with a little washing-up liquid. Knowing how to clean your plancha and its griddle is a guarantee of the longevity of the appliance.