On Tuesday, high-end appliance brand Thermador announced the latest addition to its line of cooking surfaces: the Professional Series Grill. Designed to be used in conjunction with existing Pro Grand and Pro Harmony ranges, the grill features a number of new innovations as well as one old trick: lava rocks.
So why is Thermador so excited about reintroducing antiquated cooking technologies into the modern home? As it happens, lava rocks provide even heat distribution and excellent heat retention, providing master chefs with that tasty Maillard reaction. And let's not forget that lava rocks will collect juices that drip down from the grill plates to provide a genuine smokey flavor.
Thermador brings the heat... and the style
Nestled between the intimidating star-shaped gas burners and the sleek griddle found in the Thermador Pro Harmony range, the Professional Grill is inconspicuous almost to the point of invisibility. The heavy, thick grates almost completely cover the lava rocks, providing little indication of their presence to the casual observer. Each heating element is controlled by its own dedicated dial on the front of the range. The dials—found on the far left of the control panel—echo the sturdy looking burner and oven knobs.
For culinary enthusiasts
First introduced to American backyards in the 1950's, lava rocks are permanent briquettes—either volcanic or ceramic—used predominately in gas grills. Lava rocks have fallen out of favor in recent years due to their tendency to cause flare-ups if not maintained correctly.
Thermador has addressed the issue of flare-ups with grill plates that completely cover the heating elements, preventing grease and fat from dripping onto the heat source. The grill is also easy to disassemble for easy clean up, and features dishwasher safe grill plates and a completely removable lava rock basket. The company also recommends that users replace the lava rocks regularly.
While cooking vegetables and meat on the same grill is often a carefully coordinated balancing act, the Professional Series Grill promises to simplify things considerably with the addition of two cooking elements—each with its own dedicated temperature control.
Considering that grilling is often an outdoor activity, anyone planning to use the Professional Grill will need to invest in a powerful range hood... unless, of course, you enjoy frequent visits from irritated firemen.
Bring Lava-based Cooking Back Into Your Life
A high-end grill at a high-end price
Despite the obvious cooking benefits, there are certain caveats that temper our excitement for this product. Most importantly, the Professional Grill is not available for separate purchase. So those looking for the a genuine indoor grilling experience must be willing to fork out around $15,399 for the flagship Pro Grand or Harmony range.
Still, when you consider the added value—not to mention undeniable good looks—these ranges bring to the kitchen, for those with the means, the Professional Series Grill looks to be an excellent choice.