Q&A with Edward Nunn, Business Development Manager, Hatco Corp.
Q. Why do chefs like induction technology, and where are they using induction?
A. These units are an obvious choice for replacing butane in display cooking applications, such as egg stations on a hotel's buffet line, due to enhanced safety with the absence of flames, consistency of the heat source and absence of exhaust smells.
Consumer demand for freshly-prepared foods has been growing for years. Induction is a quick way to combine and finish a single portion. This allows for personal customization with a variety of ingredients. In addition to hotels, this technology is frequently seen in B&I and university and college dining stations.
Commercial quality induction ranges are equally useful in the back of house. Not only do these units run cool for a better working environment, but chefs love the level of control with induction. This equipment is very precise for everything from making and holding delicate sauces to melting and holding chocolates. There is almost instant on/off-boil responsiveness, plus very little ‘drop’ and nearly instant recovery, making it great for sauté work. Induction heats the entire thickness of the pan base - hence no lag waiting for conduction from the underside as you would get with any other heat source. Anything that cooks well on a gas burner cooks as well – if not better – on induction.
Q. What are the benefits of induction ranges?
A. Speed, power and control. Many units offer temperature control as well as power level control, so you can cook and/or hold delicate items and not burn them. Some newer models are coming into the market with the ability to create and save simple multiple step programs.
Induction equipment offers energy efficiency and cost savings compared with gas and electric cooking. The cooktop stays cool to the touch, and because there are no flames, the risk of fire is reduced, thus making it safer to use.
Q. What sets Hatco’s equipment apart?
A. While dozens of units are available, only a few models are truly of commercial kitchen quality and able to withstand high-temperature environments and extended periods of use. The programmability makes it easy to cook popular items with a push of a button. A cooking profile (time and temperature or power in two stages) for up to six menu items can be entered, saved and recalled as needed. Looks are a factor for front of house display applications. Low profile designs and color options have become more popular. Also, the equipment’s fan noise should be taken into account. Although good quality induction ranges are expensive, these units pay for themselves in fuel efficiency, less food waste and fewer burn injuries.
Q. What types of cooking applications is induction technology suited for?
A. Anything that cooks well on a gas burner cooks as well – if not better – on induction. This equipment is a stand out for quick sauté work, either complete cooking or finishing off an item previously cooked sous vide. Induction is a quick way to combine and finish a single portion. This allows for personal customization, too.
Q. What about ventilation requirements?
A. The units emit no fumes, just warm air, so it usually comes down to what is being cooked and whether the installation is permanent or temporary/mobile. Some areas, such as California, allow for models limited by maximum power to be used without a hood.
Q. Where can I see Hatco’s induction for myself?
A. Our Rapide™ Cuisine Countertop Induction Range has been selected to be featured in The NAFEM Show’s What’s Hot, What’s Cool product gallery. You can also stop by Hatco’s NAFEM Show booth #1612 for a demo.