Hot Dog Roller Grills Buyers' Guide

Hot Dog Roller Grill Guide

Commonly found in concessions stands and convenience stores, hot dog roller grills pull double-duty and keep ready-to-serve foods hot while merchandising them to passersby. Named after the item most often used with them, commercial roller grills can also be paired with other cylindrical food, including spring rolls and taquitos. Below, you'll learn how to find the right roller grill for your foodservice operation and the foods you intend to offer.

Choosing the Right Size

The size of your roller grill is perhaps the most important consideration. You should look at both the physical dimensions of the unit, as well as its total product capacity to ensure you purchase a unit that fits into your footprint and keeps up with your production needs. Hot dog roller grills are commonly designed to hold between 12 and 50 hot dogs, although more modest units will hold just eight and higher-capacity models can hold as many as 75.

Manufacturers often offer an estimated per-hour capacity in addition to the at-a-time capacity, which can help you choose a grill that matches your peak production rate. Roller grills will usually measure between 10 and 36 inches wide, so it's important to compare your available counter space to the width of the unit you're looking to purchase.

Types of Hot Dog Roller Grills

Commercial roller grills are available with a variety of standard features, options, and accessories, from the grill surface material and position to bun storage and sneeze guards.

Most hot dog roller grills have round bars that continuously rotate, heating every side of each food item. However, those bars may be flat or mounted to create a slant from the back of the unit to the front. Flat grills guarantee items won't accidentally roll forward, but slanted models make the product more visible to and more easily accessible by customers. The corral-style grill from Roundup places hot dogs between smaller bars, so they rest on a flat, solid surface that collects juices.

Standard hot dog roller grill surfaces are chrome, but rollers that are made of steel and stainless steel, and coated with a coarse finish to provide better grip on the products are also an option. Many grills are equipped with non-stick rollers to prevent product loss and enhance product quality.

There are other specialty options and accessories to consider when purchasing a hot dog roller grill, including:

Bun storage and warmers. If you are using your commercial roller grill for hot dogs, you'll want to invest in equipment that provides storage for the accompanying buns. Although bun storage can be purchased separately, some roller grills have that feature built in. Usually, these are drawers with solid or glass fronts that allow for sanitary storage and easy access; they may also function as bun warmers, keeping the bread fresh and soft.

Roller grill technology. Commercial roller grills are available with electronic or manual controls, with manual controls being most common. However, electronic controls offer more precise temperatures, timed cycles, and audio alerts, advanced features that some establishments could greatly benefit from.

Sneeze guards. Nearly every roller grill is compatible with a plastic cover, usually sold separately. This sneeze guard will enhance the unit's sanitation, as it helps prevent debris and germs from contaminating your product. That protection may be required by local codes, so check with your county's or municipality's health department to ensure you're in compliance.

Popular Roller Grill Brands

You'll find a dozen or so brands represented in our listings, with a few of the more frequently purchased including: