Cooking Equipment

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. 

THE Quarterly Product Knowledge Guide: Conveyor Ovens

When the pizza industry was new, traditional deck ovens were the standard. However, during busy periods, these ovens weren’t keeping up with the demand as cooking times could take from 16 to 18 minutes per pie. With the advent of national delivery-based chains came the creation of conveyor ovens, which facilitate faster production.

Consultant Q&A: Juan Martinez, principal, Profitality, Miami

FE&S: Why should operators consider incorporating a conveyor oven?

JM: The benefit of these ovens is they’re easy to use and almost fail-safe. Users put food in one end, and it comes out finished on the other end. From an operational perspective, they’re simple.

Cleaning & Maintaining Conveyor Ovens

Conveyor ovens are designed to be as maintenance-free as possible, but operators can take a few simple steps to help extend the service life of this cooking equipment. To remove leftover food debris, these ovens need daily cleaning. If the units are not properly maintained, operating costs will increase.

Rotisseries: Cleaning and Maintainence

Here, Bruce Hodge, president of General Parts & Service, Bloomington, Minn., provides insight into extending the service life of rotisseries.

Clamshell Griddles: Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

Clamshell griddles, also commonly referred to as double-sided grills, have become critical to the foodservice industry, in part because they help operators expand their menus. Foodservice operators can choose from small tabletop panini grills to larger high-production floor models. These come in all shapes and sizes, are available in gas or electric, and have various cooking surfaces from stainless steel to glass ceramic.

Product Knowledge Guide: Clamshell Griddles

Clamshell griddles simultaneously cook food on both sides, making this equipment a popular back-of-house option for high-volume foodservice operations since it can cut cooking time by more than 50 percent.

Consultant Q&A with James Camacho, president, Camacho, Atlanta

FE&S: What is a big factor in deciding on a rotisserie purchase?

JC: It not only is dependent on the menu, but another consideration is if the unit will be used strictly for merchandising or also for preparing and cooking product. If the oven is designated for merchandising, it can also cook items, but if it’s more just for displaying food, a different type of unit will be needed. This would most likely have open spits, a taller profile, and chains or pulleys to better show off the food.

Product Knowledge Guide: Rotisseries

One of the biggest benefits of rotisseries is that customers can see product cooking, which promotes the theater experience and may help increase revenue.

Service Agent Q&A with Marcin Zmiejko, associate principal at WC&P, Denver

FE&S: What applications are best for clamshell griddles?

MZ: I would describe this equipment as an enhanced flattop griddle. Clamshells cook food, rather than just heat or melt it. It has really been embraced by the market and is best for traditional scratch cooking. Operators most often use this equipment for burgers. Upgraded models have a top component that puts weight on the burger patty, and the top platen has heat, so both sides cook simultaneously. These units are very effective and have particularly been embraced by schools. Clamshell griddles also can cook chicken, turkey or salmon patties; vegetables; and steak as well as melt cheese and serve as a component for breakfast menus with pancakes.

Product Knowledge Guide: Wood-Fired Ovens

Wood-fired ovens come in many different configurations to meet a variety of production requirements.

Consultant Q&A on Wood-Fired Ovens

Consultant Q&A with Dan Bendall, principal at FoodStrategy, Inc., Rockville, Md.

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