Browse our articles on cooking equipment and find primers on a wide variety of specific product categories, including articles on how to specify, when to replace products and much more.
Their ease of use and versatility make microwave ovens popular pieces of equipment among foodservice operators of all sizes. Here are five tips to keep these kitchen workhorses galloping ahead.
FE&S: What are the basic maintenance requirements with induction ranges?
GL: Induction ranges must be kept clean and free from food debris. The underside may have an air intake filter that should be inspected and cleaned in accordance with manufacturer guidelines. Also, the air intake and exhaust should be cleaned regularly to ensure proper cooling of the unit’s internal components. Finally, the tempered glass cooking surface can be wiped clean with mild hand dishwashing detergent.
While it is most closely associated with display cooking applications, more foodservice operators now to turn to induction technology to serve as auxiliary cooking equipment. This type of equipment generates heat by inducing eddy currents and hysteresis, which are the physical processes harnessed to generate heat directly in the fabric of the pan.
Induction cooking is a cleaner and more sustainable way of cooking compared with using traditional gas or infrared electric burners. Operating at between 85 percent and 95 percent efficiency, depending on the unit, induction continues to be among the most energy-efficient heat sources available. Foodservice operators use these fast-heating appliances to prepare or hold food.
Cook-and-hold ovens offer a variety of features that promote easier cleaning and maintenance, including removable interiors or top-mounted control modules. Smooth interior coved corners also help prevent food buildup. Antimicrobial handles on some units prevent pathogen growth.
FE&S: What are the biggest benefits of cook-and-hold ovens?
DB: Cook-and-hold ovens are designed to preserve food flavor while lowering costs. These units can improve the serving quality of average cuts of meat by providing additional moisture retention during cooking. In addition, because this moisture is not lost in the cooking process, food shrinkage is minimized, allowing for more servings from a cut of meat. Cook-and-hold ovens also provide a better distribution of workloads since cooking, roasting, reheating and holding are accomplished in the same cabinet.
Almost anything a foodservice operator can prepare in a convection oven can be made in a cook-and-hold oven. This may be why these units have become essential in commercial kitchens.
What clothes lint is to dryers, breadcrumbs are to conveyor toasters. These accumulate in nooks and crannies and can create problems if not taken care of properly.
FE&S: What applications are conveyor toasters best suited for?
JL: Most people think of conveyor toasters when they want to toast numerous items in a short amount of time, such as bulk toast or bagels during breakfast, buns for burgers during lunch service or for customer use during breakfast at a self-serve station. There are many options available to suit many different types of needs for toasting.
Conveyor toasters offer a greater capacity than the pop-up style for high-volume toasting of breads, rolls, buns, English muffins, bagels, frozen waffles and other bread products. Some models also can accommodate larger-size breads, such as sub rolls, croissants and other specialty bread items. Convection conveyor toasters are more versatile, and operators can use them for sandwiches, pretzels and pizza.