Monthly Archives: January 2016

Three Ventless 🍳 Cooking Options You Should Know

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No Hood Required

You Need To Vent (Or Do you)?

Like so many hoodlums wearing hoodies in the ‘hood, many commercial cooking devices masquerade as ventless appliances.

In breathless whispers, their marketers try to hoodwink us into believing that all are altruistic Robin Hoods – removing effluent from the bad air and giving forth good air (“just follow the blue arrows on the diagrams”).

An exhaustive search of the available technologies would yield relatively few that truly could be classified as a ventless cooking apparatus in the first place.  Many perform the heating function, rethermalizing pre-cooked foods with conducted energy, microwaves, steam and the like.  Others can finish par-cooked products – melting, toasting, and/or caramelizing.

Typically only electric-powered equipment with their lack of attendant products of combustion can respire comfortably in this space.  Grease-laden vapors, effluent, odors, particulate and condensate all must be mitigated through mechanical means.  Mandatory too, fire suppression must be addressed.  Catalytic converters, charcoal and specialty filters, precipitators, ionizers, et al provide the mojo “under the hood” of many of these modern marvels.

Now, take a deep breath: duct-season is over.

Certain mini combi ovens use a blend of the above technologies to provide bona-fide ventless primary cooking, allowing operators to prepare a varied menu including whole muscle proteins (from raw to finish)!

Deep fryers with mechanisms that automatically dispense product are self-contained, with fire suppression and extensive filtration on-board .

Slow cookers such as cook and hold ovens and water circulators for sous vide (due primarily to the low temperatures involved) require little attention to ventilation issues.

OK, now exhale a sigh of relief, from Hood Brook ME to Mt. Hood OR, you can find opportunities for ventless commercial kitchens.  Now I’m exhausted.

 

🍜 Souper Powers đŸ’Ș

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🍜 Souper Powers đŸ’Ș

Metro NY Foodservice Equipment Musings          Open in your browser

Monday, January 24, 2016

Souper Powers

Soup Heroes With Soup Powers

Burning his way through poorly equipped foodservice kitchens, a new nemesis is on the prowl; a force so evil that ordinary morsels shake at his very name: Culinary Brown. He shows no mercy.  As the cold front blows the last gasps of warmth into the sea, the Foodie Quipper draws little comfort in the weather’s change.

It all started with “value engineering”.  Cash strapped operators, misled by the lure of cheap equipment and supplies, built their kitchens like so many houses of cards.  The siren song of poorly specified (or substituted) products had begun to incrementally degrade their operations.

Early victims were maintenance costs, “up” times, and efficiencies.  Now the very quality of their food was being threatened by that villain, Culinary Brown.

What hope was there for the operator and his profits?

A call went out to the Foodie Quipper.  Our grape crusader offered steam kettles, blast chillers, blenders, warmers and merchandisers, all designed to maximize food quality and profits.
Kettles gently cook soups stews, stocks and much more like a giant double boiler.  Blast chillers quickly move products out of danger zones, while preserving taste and nutrients.  High volume blenders emulsify even the most stubborn of ingredients.  Warmers safely hold backup.  Merchandisers show the world operators’ creations in their best light.

Keep your food safe and delicious.  Call your soup hero, the Foodie Quipper today!

Hand Stretching Noodles in Guilin China

 

🏂 It’s All Downhill From Here! 🎿

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Monday, January 11, 2016

Our Open House

I’ve started my seedlings. The decorations have all been stowed.  There’s not a holiday in sight. The days are getting longer!

Many folks use this time of year to reflect, plan and resolve.  Some would say that weñ€ℱre all too busy for those luxuries in January of 2016.

The daily grind has ground us to powder, and not the kind that’s nowhere to be found on the slopes this year.

And there’s no let-up in sight.

The technologically enabled 24 x 7 x 365 work schedule demands that we continue shoveling against an endless tide of electronic communications.

Clean out your in box, check your social media accounts, answer your texts, rinse lather and repeat.

The disconnected time away is no longer a viable option.

As we embark on this election year, find the time to take a breath, and keep our priorities in order.

The elusive croissant dog:

 

TFS

 

 

 

📇 Food Equipper News  ✏

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Metro NY Foodservice Equipment Musings


 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

FoodieQuipper

Sorry about the bad link to our linecard last week; this one should work…


When is a Chef’s Knife Not a Screwdriver?

Of all the issues that one can single out for criticism in aprofessional kitchen, the topic that irks me the most is the misuse of equipment.  I’m not talking about the occasional sheet pan drafted into use as a deep fryer cover; it’s the wholesale misapplication and underutilization of the tools of the trade that gets to me.

Rolling-pin-tenderizer-users aside, who’s responsible for (not) training people this way?
I won’t mention the patently dangerous, like frialators next to open flames. (Well, OK I did mention it.)  No, I’m talking more about the mundane dangers such as bartenders who fill glasses by dipping them into ice instead of using a scoop, or wait-staff who put their fingers into glassware to carry multiples.

It seems that a chef’s knife is viewed by kitchen staff as though it is a substitute for its Swiss Army cousin doubling as saw, screw driver, bottle and can opener, hammer, and yes even fingernail cleaner.  YUCK! I suppose this creates job security for grinding services.
China caps become impromptu fryer oil filters.   Bamboo skewers are mini torches to light pilots.  Fry pans double as pot lids, meat tenderizers, and sizzle platters.  Tongs are everything else that the chef’s knife can’t be.

Char broilers being used as stock pot ranges will eventually warp under the concentrated heat.  Refrigerated merchandisers, intended (by the bottling companies that supplied them for free) to be used in the FOH for sealed products, can’t keep up with the rigorous demands of the BOH environment.   Walk-ins designed as storage boxes, when used as extemporaneous blast chillers, put the stored product at risk by raising the box temperature and keeping everything in the danger zone longer.

Knives shoved in the filthy cracks between appliances, dupe racks hung by string, equipment on extension cords, vegetables prepped in pot sinks, soiled bus-tubs used to transport clean wares, oven doors and refrigerated drawers used as step ladders create hazardous, dangerous and unsanitary conditions.

Ice bins hijacked as personal refrigerated storage by staff, products from home stored in the cooler, out-of-service heated or refrigerated drawers used for stashing personal items all detract from the professionalism of the establishment and are code violations.

I’ve seen wire rack shelving used as bunk beds in the dry storage room. Bourdain speaks of flour sacks used as mattresses (but not for sleeping).  I charitably spare you the details of the stock pot as rodent exterminator story.

A site survey can serve as a stark reminder of the human propensity to violate the spirit and the intent of the design of the equipment and/or the facility.  Foodservice equipment and supplies professionals should always consider the Murphy’s Law of commercial kitchens: anything that can be used wrong, will be.

 

Let’s make some fireworks in 2016!

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