Hi there I am opening a hot dog joint where we will also sell hamburgers and I am trying to decide whether I should buy a new or used grill. I spoke with a salesman at an equipment store and he told me if I buy a used grill it can be trouble if it has many scratches and deep nicks. He told me the food will not cook as well and also will get a different taste. The problem is when I went to look at used grills they mostly all have scratches and nicks all over the surface. Can someone help me out and let me know if what the salesman said has any merit?

picture of grill

grill zoomed in

  • 4
    A new griddle will soon have have scratches and nicks.
    – paparazzo
    Sep 9 '16 at 3:38
  • When you say 'nick', are we talking more 'deep scratch' or 'gouged' ? I've heard that there are some food items that are less forgiving of less than smooth surfaces (I want to say it was the 'smashed' style hamburger), so it may be a factor of what you're cooking, too. Oh, and I have a spatula that when new had really sharp corners ... I took a metal file to it to fix the problem.
    – Joe
    Sep 9 '16 at 18:49
  • Every little black dot you see in the image is a nick. They kind of look like ice pick damage. We will be cooking burgers and grilling hot dogs.
    – Jesse4113
    Sep 9 '16 at 19:16
  • A random thought -- depending on the griddle's design, and if the manufacturer is still in business, you might want to look into what the costs are to replace the griddle surface. If that cost plus $480 is cheaper than a new griddle and the hoses and are okay, it might be worth getting the used griddle ... if it gives you problems, then replace the cooking surface.
    – Joe
    Sep 10 '16 at 14:40

If we are talking about the cook surface then my money tends to go towards a used one, as long as it has been properly cleaned over time and taken care of ( i.e. few scratches, dings or buildup). That being said a used one that has been taken care of will also work better for cooking because of the oils that are already seasoned into it. The thing to watch for in buying used would be the underneath, make sure the lines are good and that the underneath is well maintained. Buying used will not only save you some money but also some time and frustration from dealing with "sticking" issues which can come from using a new flat-top. Plus "used" adds character, but that's just my opinion.

  • Thanks for your detailed answer. What do you think about this grill in the picture? It has many nicks I wonder if it's worth buying.
    – Jesse4113
    Sep 9 '16 at 5:23
  • That actually looksreally good from what Ican tell in the picture, those little dings and scratches shouldnt be an issue. Deep gouges in the surface are what you want to stay away from. I 've put out alot of food on worse grills so if they're asking a fair price and the insides look decent and function well, I'd say go for it. And good luck on your new business, I wish you the best. Sep 11 '16 at 3:39

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