In traditional or under-heat grilling, food is placed on a rack or grill bars over a gas or charcoal grill. Because of the fast nature of the cooking process, it is necessary to pre heat the grill and the racks. If the fuel is wood or charcoal, besides the problem of the gases produced by the combustion this energy source it also originates the production of benzopyrenes (see Grill – Dangers and benefits).
Charcoal or wood
The older energy source used originates different king of problems.
The combustion of charcoal or wood releases CO2, a toxic and carcinogenic chemical compound. Exposure to moderate concentrations can cause acidosis and adverse effects on calcium phosphorus metabolism resulting in increased calcium deposits in soft tissue. Carbon dioxide is toxic to the heart and causes diminished contractile force.
This heat source is also used on smoking methods to generate smoke. Grilling with this energy source at a low temperature consists in not searing the food to allow the smoke flavor to penetrate it.
As in any other popular used grill method, this energy source is placed under the rack to release the heat. Besides the toxic problems caused by the combustion of the heat source, the placement of it in a way to grill in an efficient way produces the benzopyrenes.
Besides that, when cooking, the majority of the char-broilers originates hot air exempt of any humidity that dries the food.
Grilling at too low of a temperature, the food is dried out and if the temperature is too high, the food will get burned.
When food is cooked at the right temperature these problems do not occur.
Char-broilers equipment systems
Different explanations for inefficient char-broil grilling systems
Although the char-broiler companies try to advertise some benefits of their equipment’s just because they use clean energy sources (gas or electricity), by now they didn’t come with any solution to fight the regular production of carcinogens. Besides that, char-broilers are not cost efficient and the right solution for a Restaurant.
Lately, one of the most advertised char-broil systems is the infrared system. However this system produce a more balanced type the temperature (constant), the placement of the infrared burners doesn’t avoid the problems caused by the combustion of organic matter (including fat) that falls on them or what they heat up so that the heat is released.
The placement of the heat source in all these examples doesn’t change anything in terms of reduce or eliminate the production of benzopyrenes.
Infrared and Electric Grill Equipment
In top-heat grilling or broiling, used mostly in restaurants, the food is placed under a salamander or infrared gas burners, a professional overhead cooking oven. If this system uses a regular gas burner the grill (broiler) must be preheated in a way to maintain enough eat temperature to broil.
Even using infrared ceramic burners this method is expensive because the heat (hot air) is lighter and its natural tendency is to go up, overlapping the cold air. Therefore, the grill uses more fuel during production and it becomes an inefficient and not cost-effective process to use in the food industry.
There are different electric systems. the system that uses a salamander under the rack and that originates that the production of benzopyrenes still occur and the Pan grilling system.
The electric systems have been changed through the years and the concept popularized by Salton Company’s George Forman is the last one. Even using some Marketing tricks as explaining that the fat will go to a recipient (on any of the grill systems the fat also drop from the food) it still burns on the surface of the equipment. if the fat stay in touch with the food it will be just a different way of frying.
On the Salton Company George Forman marketing campaigns they say explore the fat reducing idea in a way to sell. These contact grills have the words “lean, mean fat reducing” printed right on the top of them.
The disclaimer from Salton says that the grill reduces fat 4 percent more than pan frying. Say we pan-fried a hamburger patty that was 20 percent fat. If pan frying reduced the fat by 50 percent then the Foreman Grill would reduce the fat by 52 percent or 4 percent more. Not a big change. When Consumer Reports looked into the situation they found “no significant” difference between pan frying and the Foreman Grill. If you think about the fact that pan frying is one of the least healthy ways to cook, they you really need to take these claims for what they are, a great way to become one of the biggest selling appliances in the last ten years.
On the original equipment, the food is cooked directly on a heavy cast-iron pan or ridged griddle pan. The cooking surface should be lightly seasoned to avoid sticking. besides the un-healthy cooking way with the use of fat, another great disadvantage of it is that the food will be seared on their own juices/fat and the production of heterocyclic amines (see Grill – Dangers and benefits) is not avoided.
Solar / Gas Grill
The gas is used as in any other known gas system with the same problems. The solar energy concept will give the equipment an open woven system, loosing a lot of the heat.
With this system, like it is now, there is no way you can provide a grill area as large as the fresnel lens with heat for three times as long as it collected the heat, and give it at 450 degrees. It would be taking an area of a few hundred square inches, exposing it to sun for five good hours and maybe ten usable hours a day, then heating a grill area of about the same size at a higher temp for longer.
“Fogo de Chão” and “Parrilla”
Another traditional technique used in South-America consists in indirect grilling. The procedure uses a conventional grill in a non-productive commercial system: fire is ignited under part of the grill or by the side (“La Parrilla” – Argentinian traditional way of grilling or “Fogo de Chão” – Brazilian cowboys traditional way of grilling). In the Argentian method, the food is placed over the unheated or coolest part of the grill (by the side – indirect heat). In the Brazilian method, “Fogo de Chão”, a fire is started on the ground by the side of the grill and this fire is used to heat the grill. “Fogo de Chão” literally means ‘fire on the ground’.
Both of these methods avoid the production of benzopyrenes, especially the Brazilian method that avoids the production of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (see Grill dangers and benefits).
However these methods use pollutant energy sources and let the food a little dry, the smoke is not absorbed by food in a quantity exceeding 10% and it doesn’t produce benzopyrenes.
Our Grill Method / System
Result of several years of tests, the usage in small grill businesses and the consequent improvement, our grill concept is the only one in the world with its characteristics and was developed to grill any type of food without producing carcinogens.
Besides the use of “Green” energy sources, it will avoid the production of benzopyrenes and due to a system that increase the air density under the rack level, will maintain the most part of the minerals that usually are lost during grilling. The result is a healthier and juiciest grilled food.
The grill racks that we use were also specially designed to reduce the impact and creation of Heterocyclic amines. The contact area with grilling food is the smallest possible and even in some cases when using the turnover grilling system is nonexistent.
In our restaurant units, we will be able to produce from 200 to 300 meals per hour, depending on the type of food. With our concept, cooking time is reduced by thirty-five percent.
The developed concept will allow us to reduce the gas and electricity usage because its efficiency. We only need one minute to warm-up the grill and be able to have 797 °F at the rack level. The concept allow us to control different parts of the grill in a way to use the right temperature according to the food that we are grilling. Fish and meat will be able to be grilled at the same time without split flavors.
To avoid damage to the ecosystem, our concept will allow us to retain the fat and falling debris from the food when grilling preventing from being dumped into the sewer system. Retaining the fat we will include it in our recycling food waste program.
The regular problems of hood and chimney kitchen cleaning are quite low. As when grilling, no smoke will be originated by burning the debris and fat that fall when food is cooking, the maintenance of the hood and chimney is much easy. Besides that we don’t have the risk of fire caused for by the accumulation of fat in the walls of the chimney.