Commercial Park Grill Buying Guide

Commercial Park Grill Buying Guide

| May 9, 2022

Whether you’re trying to furnish your commercial park or designing a new park, getting the right type of grill for your park will enable you to provide your customers and employees with the best experience and set your park apart from others in your community.

If you’re a commercial park manager, you know that buying a commercial park grill is not as simple as paying for the first grill you find on the market and hauling it to your park. Also, when it comes to choosing the best grill, bigger isn’t always better.

To pick a grill that will lead to a positive grilling experience for your customers, you’ll need to consider many different factors, comply with some regulations and weigh all your options.

In this commercial park grill buying guide, we’d take you through everything you’ll want to consider to make the best grill buying decision. We’ll also share the different grilling options you have and important regulations to comply with.

You’d know exactly how to choose a park grill at the end of this article.

Considerations for Your Commercial Park Grill

There are several major factors to consider when buying a commercial park grill, from its portability and fuel type to grilling size and production rate. You’ll also want to think about what accessories and cleaning tools you might need to maintain your grill.

Whether you’re trying to furnish your commercial park or designing a new park, getting the right type of grill for your park will enable you to provide your customers and employees with the best experience and set your park apart from others in your community.

If you’re a commercial park manager, you know that buying a commercial park grill is not as simple as paying for the first grill you find on the market and hauling it to your park. Also, when it comes to choosing the best grill, bigger isn’t always better.

To pick a grill that will lead to a positive grilling experience for your customers, you’ll need to consider many different factors, comply with some regulations and weigh all your options.

In this commercial park grill buying guide, we’d take you through everything you’ll want to consider to make the best grill buying decision. We’ll also share the different grilling options you have and important regulations to comply with.

You’d know exactly how to choose a park grill at the end of this article.

Considerations for Your Commercial Park Grill

There are several major factors to consider when buying a commercial park grill, from its portability and fuel type to grilling size and production rate. You’ll also want to think about what accessories and cleaning tools you might need to maintain your grill.

The Right BTU Rating

BTU stands for British thermal unit. One BTU is the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

For grills, the BTU rating indicates the heat output over your grill cooking area over a specific amount of time. The BTU rating of a grill determines how much heat it produces, the temperature range it operates in and how long it will take to cook meals. 

In other words, a grill with a higher BTU rating will operate at a higher temperature and cook faster than a grill with a lower BTU rating.

However, a high BTU grill has the disadvantage of potentially burning through fuel more quickly. Additionally, since high BTU grills operate at higher temperatures, they may possess poor heat retention abilities. On the other hand, because a low BTU grill operates at a lower temperature and outputs less heat, it may take a long time to preheat.

What is the right BTU rating for a commercial grill? For a standard commercial park grill — or any outdoor grill — you’ll want to look for a grill between 80 and 100 BTU per square inch of your cooking area or grate. A grill between 80 and 100 BTU will heat quickly and provide a consistently high heat output. 

A grill below 80 BTU will likely operate at a low temperature and produce low heat, which may lead to a longer cooking time. However, grills above 100 BTU per square inch of your cooking area may heat up too high or too fast and char your food.

Portable vs. Built-In Grills

The mobility of your cooking grill is another factor to consider when deciding on which grill to buy for your commercial park. Do you want a stationary built-in grill or a portable grill that your customers and employees can move anywhere in your park?

Portable grills often come with casters that make moving them from one place to another in your park easy. Portable grills may also have other adjustable parts, such as adjustable grates that you can set to different heights depending on your heat requirement at various stages of cooking.

On the other hand, built-in grills are stationary and fixed in one location. Neither your customers nor your employees can move built-in grills about easily. However, built-in grills usually possess higher power and cooking capacity because of their fixed nature, making cooking for more people easier and faster.

If you expect to use your grill consistently throughout the year, a built-in grill may be your best choice. On the other hand, if you want a less permanent arrangement, there are many portable grill options to choose from.

Fuel Type

The kind of fuel you want to use for your grill determines the grill you purchase for your commercial park.

Grills generally use one of two types of fuel — charcoal or gas.

Portable and built-in grills can use either charcoal or gas as fuel. Both of these fuel types have their advantages and disadvantages. Consider the pros and cons of each fuel and compare them to your grilling needs to make a choice.

1. Gas Grills

Gas grills are the most popular kind of park grills. Gas grills use either liquid propane gas (LPG) or natural gas as fuel. Propane grills typically use propane tanks you’ll need to swap out and refill occasionally, while natural gas grills are more likely to be built-in and permanently connected to a natural gas line.

These are four reasons you may want to consider purchasing a gas grill for your park:

  • Gas grills heat up quickly and can reach the standard cooking temperature in around 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Gas grills are easy to clean up after cooking.
  • Gas grills provide even heating across the grilling surface that allows effective cooking.
  • Gas grills come with control knobs that enable users to easily control the heating and create the different levels of heat needed for different cooking stages.

Conversely, here are two disadvantages of using a gas grill:

  • Gas grills do not provide a smoky flavor that your customers may desire in their grilled food.
  • Gas grills may require more maintenance due to their many parts, including valves, knobs and burners.

2. Charcoal Grills

Charcoal grills burn charcoal or sometimes wood chips to provide heat for cooking.

Here are three reasons you may want to buy a charcoal grill:

  • Charcoal grills provide the much-desired smoky flavor in grilled meals.
  • Charcoal grills are easier to maintain than gas grills.
  • Charcoal grills can reach a very high temperature. By adding more charcoal or wood chips, you can raise the temperature to as high as you want. This makes charcoal grills ideal for cooking large chunks of meat.

Conversely, here are three disadvantages of using a charcoal grill:

  • Cleaning a charcoal grill and removing coal and ash after cooking can be tedious and time-consuming.
  • Charcoal grills do not have a heat control knob, so controlling heat levels in a charcoal grill can be a challenge, especially for inexperienced grillers.
  • Charcoal grills generally take longer to preheat — up to 30 minutes.

The Right Grill Size

The number of customers you want to serve at once and the space you have to place your grill determines the size of the grill you should select. Making the wrong choice can affect customer satisfaction and the efficient use of your park space.

For example, purchasing a small grill for a large commercial park that needs to serve many customers can lead to low food output and customer dissatisfaction. 

On the other hand, purchasing a large grill for a few customers will likely lead to waste and low cost-efficiency for your business. 

Also, the space you have available for your grill also affects the size of grill you should purchase. A large grill in a small mounting area is a recipe for disaster. Also, a small grill in a large mounting ground can lead to inefficiency in your operation.

Consider the space you have and the number of customers you want to feed simultaneously to decide on the grill to purchase for your park.

Production Rate

What is the ideal cooking surface area needed to get a perfect grilling job done? How many people you need to cook for will determine what production rate you need for your grill.

  • High production grill: A high production grill will usually come with six to 10 burners with a total cooking surface width of 56-81 inches. These grills can have a total BTU rating of 99,000-160,000 BTU. They can use charcoal, natural gas or LPG as fuel and are ideal for large events, rentals and large-scale barbecues.
  • Medium production grill: These grills generally have two to eight burners with a total cooking surface width of 54-76 inches. Medium production grills can have a total BTU rating of 49,000-180,000 BTU. You can run medium production grills with charcoal, natural gas or propane and use them for rentals and small- to medium-sized events.
  • Low production grill: Low production grills typically come with one to five burners and a total cooking surface width of 19-74 inches. These grills can have a total BTU range of 45,000-180,000 BTU. Low production grills can use natural gas, LPG or charcoal. They’re best for small catering events and picnics.

Grills of any production size can be portable or built-in. The size you choose depends on the quantity of food output you’re aiming for in your park and how fast you need to cook meals. Buying the wrong size might mean you need to get another grill after your initial purchase and can negatively affect your customers’ satisfaction.

Grill Accessories

After getting a commercial grill, you may want to consider adding some accessories, especially if you want the best grilling experience for your park users. Grilling accessories of all types are available to make grilling efficient and easy, either for your new grill or as replacements for damaged parts.

Here are 16 grilling accessories you should consider adding to your grilling unit:

  • Grill lid: While grilling, a grill lid helps to provide even cooking. When not in use, a grill lid protects your grill. They’re normally dome-shaped and can improve your grill’s aesthetic appeal.
  • Grill thermometer: Grill thermometers are usually mounted inside the grill and conveniently allow users to monitor the temperature.
  • Grill side shelves: When grilling, it is always better to have cooking ingredients and spices close by. Grill side shelves provide the extra space needed to keep ingredients and utensils within reach.
  • Grill covers: If you place your grill outside, you’ll want to protect it from rain, snow and other adverse weather conditions. Grill covers provide this protection for your grill so it looks clean and new throughout the year.
  • Grilling skewers: Skewers are generally either stainless steel or wooden. Grilling skewers help you properly cook and handle meat and vegetable chunks, easily rotate them on the grill and serve them to your guests.
  • Grill side burners: Side burners provide spaces to keep a prepared meal warm or keep sauces hot while cooking. 
  • Basting brush: Basting brushes are long brushes that make it easy to spread marinades and other liquid on meat.
  • Marinade injectors: Marinades improve the flavor of cooked meat, and you can use marinade injectors to ensure that delicious taste from the inside out.
  • Grilling pan: For extra surfaces to hold cooked meat or organize ingredients and utensils before and during cooking, grilling pans provide additional sturdy surfaces that possess high-temperature resistance and are shaped for proper handling.
  • Grilling gloves: Grilling groves help protect the arms from burns and other injuries while working over the grill. 
  • Long-handled fork: Forks help maneuver and flip meat easily on the grill. For best use, choose forks with long handles to protect your hands from the heat. 
  • Grilling tongs: A long grilling tong with a solid grip will help flip, turn and move meat and vegetables into and out of the grill with ease.
  • Grilling spatula: For grilling wide meals, like pizza or fish, a spatula provides the surface needed to move and flip these large surface area meals.
  • Grilling basting mop: Basting mops provide the cleaning surface and handle needed to clear off sauces and liquid from meat from grills.
  • Barbecue smoker: If you use a gas grill, a barbecue smoker can add smoky flavors to grilled foods. Barbecue smokers use wood chips to produce smoke on gas grills and add smoky flavor to cooked meals.
  • Charcoal grilling fan: For charcoal-powered grills, a grilling fan helps the grill preheat faster.

Cleaning Tools

Grills can get a lot of stains from sauces, meat and charcoal, if you use a charcoal grill. Having the right cleaning tools will enable you to keep your grill clean.

A combination of the best cleaning chemicals and cleaning equipment will allow you to keep your grill looking like new.

Here are four grill cleaning tools you might consider purchasing:

  • Screens: Grill screens have abrasives that remove burnt-on food and grease and give your grill a final polish.
  • Bricks: Grill bricks can be used to clean grill surfaces, remove baked-on carbon and on hot grill tops.
  • Scrapers: Grill scrapers help you scrape off stubborn residue stuck to your grilling grate or other parts of your grill.
  • Brushes: Grill brushes can be used to brush off your grill surface after scraping to give it a clean finish.

ADA-Accessible Grills

Beyond just buying a grill for your park, you want your grills to be ADA-accessible. ADA stands for the Americans with Disability Act. An ADA-accessible grill is designed to enable people with disabilities to use them effectively. 

Ensure the grill you purchase for your commercial park is ADA accessible. Here are some of the requirements for ADA accessibility.

ADA accessible grills have cooking grate surface heights between 15 to 34 inches. Though the grill can be adjustable above this range, it must at least provide for these specified height levels to be ADA accessible.

Also, ADA accessibility requires your grill grate to be operable with one hand without any strain on the wrist or needing more than 5 pounds of force to lift it.

Fire Rings

If your park also hosts camping activities, a fire ring will help contain any camp or cooking fires and prevent them from going wild.

As with grills, the best fire rings are ADA-accessible. You may also want to consider fire rings with flip grates or adjustable grills. 

Tips for Choosing the Best Commercial Park Grill

Now you’ve seen all the options you have when it comes to buying a commercial park grill. How do you ensure you make the best choice?

Here are 10 tips for choosing the best commercial grill for your park.

  • Work with a budget: Start with a budget. If you know how much you have to spend on a commercial grill, you can narrow your options right away and make a faster and more efficient decision.
  • See all the options you have: It’s best not to buy the first grill you find. Get a list of all the grills you can afford with your budget to be certain you get the best value for your budget.
  • Consider your grilling space: How much physical space do you have to house your grill? A large grill in a small area can lead to accidents. A small grill in a large area is not an efficient use of your space.
  • Consider your customers’ needs: Your park users will use your grill for different purposes. From family outdoor activities and picnics to outdoor conferences, school activities and religious meetings, consider how your users will use your grill when deciding what grill to buy.
  • Do your research: Conduct deep research on each grill on your list to understand what comes with it and all that it offers.
  • Go for durability: You’ll want to use your grill for a long time, even after it’s exposed to inclement weather conditions. Choose grills built with the best rust and corrosion-resistant materials so your users enjoy your grill for a long time and provide value for your money.
  • Check for quality components: Inspect the components that come with your grill. Checking the quality of your grill’s firebox, handles and support structures will ensure longevity and durability. Also, your grill cooking surfaces should be able to withstand high cooking temperatures and heat.
  • Ensure safety: Your grill should be safe for both seasoned cooks and first-time grillers to use. Ensure the grill you purchase can be used by all levels of grill users.
  • Check for ADA accessibility: Go for grills that meet the accessibility requirements so your park is usable and enjoyable for persons with disabilities.
  • Check for ease of cleaning: Your grill should be easy to clean. For commercial grills, difficulty in cleaning can lead to fast deterioration because of the consistent public use.

Choose Your Commercial Park Grill from Wabash Valley

At Wabash Valley Furnishings, we are a leader in providing quality commercial outdoor furniture and site amenities, including commercial park grills. We offer an array of commercial park grills to meet your grilling needs and ensure an excellent park experience for your customers.

Our grills are ADA-accessible and can withstand heavy use and inclement weather conditions.  Our commercial outdoor grills will help you provide an enjoyable cookout experience for your employees and your park customers.

Speak to one of our representatives and check out our commercial grills to choose a grill that meets your grilling requirements.