Many concepts of plancha teppanyaki cooking derive from a rustic Spanish cooking implement. This "ur-plancha" is an outdoor, wood-fired rectangular griddle that gets very hot directly over the heat source but is drastically cooler toward the edges. Its thin surface responds quickly to heat application. With its gutter-less design, this type of plancha offers unobstructed access for moving food; through judicious food placement, the heat applied to a dish can vary infinitely, accomplishing culinary miracles, all without the use of pots or pans.
Modern equipment can emulate different characteristics of the "ur-plancha" to produce different results and to suit a variety of very different cooking styles.
Until recently, most chefs in the United States have had to content themselves with standard griddles; the only planchas available were add-ons to pricey custom cooking suites. These units are fairly small - way too small to service a whole tapas bash. How you cook teppanyaki style determines which features are important and what equipment to buy.
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