Monthly Archives: September 2014

  1. Advantages of Blast Chillers

    Advantages of Blast Chillers

    Blast chillers are wonderful tools. They can quickly freeze your food for later far faster than a standard freezer.  Chefs all around the country use blast chillers to freeze surplus food for later. By freezing prepared food in advance, it makes for an efficient use of product and reduces food waste.

    • When you chill items, you halt the bacterial growth process so the food itself is safe in storage. Blast chillers make an economical choice for buffet chefs who have leftovers from the buffet.  They can be reheated to perfection within one or two days.
    • A blast chiller can be used as a holding area for items which are coming off a buffet at the end of the day.  This can be important if the food is hot. Putting a lot of hot food into a cold refrigerator can raise the temperature enough to endanger the other food in there. By putting excess hot food into a blast chiller first, it won’t increase the temperature of your main freezer.
    • Many restaurant facilities are already chilling their food.  They will prepare items that take a long time to cook earlier in the day to simply reheat when the customer orders it.  This reduces some of the wait time that patrons need to wait for their food.

    Having a blast chiller on site can make your cooking processes more efficient, thereby saving money. In tomorrow’s article, we’re going to talk about considerations that you need to make when choosing a blast chiller.

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  2. Dim Sum vs. The World

    Dim Sum vs. The World

    For me, dim sum is one of those rare treats that makes me smile.  For all of those who are in love with tapas bars, dim sum restaurants have them beat.  No, seriously.  If your area is lucky enough to have a dim sum restaurant in it, go there immediately for excellent food and culture exchange.

    Starting in the later part of the 19th century, dim sum tearooms gave an opportunity for friends to enjoy an amazing diversity of food.  They would gather for hours while waiters would push industrial carts stocked with plates, steamer bins, and bowls of whatever the chef decided to prepare that day.

    Dim sum is similar to tapas in that you are not served a whole meal, and that you are encouraged to share those little bites with friends.  The difference lies in the choices that you’re allowed to make.  In a tapas bar, you choose what comes to your table.  In dim sum, the food has already been prepared and you choose what you’d like to eat.

    The dim sum experience is akin to the Brazilian steakhouse, where people are constantly asking if you would like to taste the goods.  The difference between dim sum and the Brazilian steakhouse (other than the food, of course) is that the Brazilian steakhouses will usually charge a set price like a buffet.  Each of the dim sum plates have a price.

    Dim sum has a beautiful cultural heritage, one which is recognized in many portions of the world.  Now, every time I see a food service cart, I can’t help but smile because I think of steamed dumplings, sesame balls, or some other delight I’ve had at my city’s dim sum restaurants.

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  3. Today is Crab Newburg Day

    Today is Crab Newburg Day

    There is always something to celebrate over here at Restaurant Supply, and today is no different.  Today is Crab Newburg day, which gives you the perfect opportunity to try out your seafood cooking skills on your commercial range top.

    Crab Newburg is sometimes served over rice, toast points, or patty shells.  It’s a creamy dish with onion, butter, flour, milk and sherry or Madeira.  For those seafood-loving restaurateurs, this might be a great chance to cook something different as the daily special.

    • Crab Newburg Recipe from About.com
    • Crab Newburg Recipe from Cooks.com.  This one doesn’t have the sherry in it, but looks delightful just the same.
    • Here’s another Crab Newburg Recipe.  This one is from Allrecipes.  Sour cream is added, and it has both dry sherry and grated Parmesan.

    Commercial kitchens are great places to explore and expand your palate.  On those rare slow days, you might want to try out this seafood dish in the pan.  Tinkering this way can keep your creativity up after cooking the same things all the time. That passion that you have for cooking will eventually translate into profits.

    We’re quite fond of the soups, sauces, stews, and stocks here.  The transformation that can take place as a sweet, buttery and creamy sauce is met with impeccably cooked goodness?  Irresistible.  That means that it’s time to please your patrons with something a little new, a little off the cuff.  Crab Newburg might just do the trick.

    Our thanks go out to Cosmorama on Flickr for the Creative Commons use of the picture. Much appreciated!

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  4. Do You Need a Booster Heater?

    Do You Need a Booster Heater?

    When it comes to sanitizing in commercial restaurants, you have two options: heat the water to 180 degrees F or expose those dishes to sanitizing chemicals.  The bacteria will be killed in either instance, so it comes down to your choice.

    If you choose to heat your water, you need to get a booster heater.  A booster heater takes the normal tap water that you wash your dishes with and heats it up to the 180 degree mark. It’s like a mini water heater. A few special connections and a little bit of rigging and you can ensure that you have enough hot water at a high enough temperature for sanitation.

    Using sanitizing chemicals in a low-heat dishwasher will kill off the germs, but you have to make sure that you have them on hand at all times.  It’s not simply a fire-and-forget sort of thing. Plus, you have to make sure they stay potent through the shift.

    Pros of using a commercial booster heater

    • No terrifyingly effective chemicals need to be used on your dishes.
    • There is no training necessary, just attach it to your dishwasher, and you’re ready.
    • The heat removes food particles and debris from your dishes the first time.
    • No need to make space to store the sanitizing chemicals.

    Cons of using a commercial booster heater

    • Usually a bit more pricy than the lower temperature dishwashers.
    • Takes up more room than low-temp dishwashers.
    • It’s possible to burn yourself on the booster heater.

    If you’re installing equipment for a new restaurant, sanitation is just one of the things that you’ve got to keep in mind.  All of those back-of-house things like cleaning add up to make exquisite experiences for your guests. Don’t neglect sanitation, try a commercial booster heater on your dishwasher.

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  5. Healthy Tips For Keeping the Bugs Out

    Healthy Tips For Keeping the Bugs Out

    When you walk into a restaurant, the last thing that you want to see is bugs taking up residence near the food, drinks, or anything else in the restaurant.  Customers are reluctant to return to a restaurant where they’ve seen flies, cockroaches, and other creepy crawlies. Plus, they’ll probably call the health department.

    Bugs are attracted to your place because there is food, water, and a shelter.  What are some of the things that you can do control the bug population or simply keep the little nasties out?

    Break down and recycle all boxes

    Roaches LOVE cardboard.  They love how it smells, they love how it tastes, they love making nests in it, they love it when it’s wet… well, you get the picture.  If you have a huge box pile in the back of your house, that’s an invitation for the roaches to move right in.

    Store your food in airtight containers

    Make sure that the containers in which you’re storing your food are airtight and appropriate for storing food.  Leaving your containers open is an invitation to bacteria and smaller flying creatures.  Don’t forget to label all of your food storage containers so you can throw out spoiled food. Food gone too long could cause mold and bacteria colonies in your storage spaces.

    Use fly strips in the back of house

    You don’t want the customers to see that you’ve got fly strips, but these are perfect for having in the back of the house.  Those strips can act as a line of defense between your exquisite meals and the bugs who would love to eat them.

    Sanitize as often as you can

    Not only do you have to worry about the creepy crawlies like roaches and flies, but you should be aware of the bacteria that’s passed on through cross contamination. Your patrons are likely to tell folks if they get sick, so sanitize what you can as often as you can.

    Don’t be shy about cleaning

    Cleaning is the watchword when it comes to preventing infestations.  When you eliminate the sources of food for the bugs, they will usually give up and go somewhere else.  Remember that they want to go for the easiest food that they can find.  Clean everything thoroughly and make it hard on them.

    Now, we’re not shy when it comes to cleaning because we know that cleaning also plays into the customer’s first impression of a place.  Think of that as a healthy, wonderful side benefit.

    Special thanks go out to Siamesepuppy on Flickr for the Creative Commons use of the photo

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  6. Choosing A Stock Pot

    Choosing A Stock Pot

    Stock pots are an essential for nearly any commercial kitchen. They’re used for far more than making stock.  Stock pots are designed to get even heat across the bottom, are large enough to handle a full chicken, and versatile enough to cook a whole mess of vegetables.

    When choosing a stock pot, it’s necessary to make sure that the pot is the right size to handle your needs.  The pots are measured in quarts, so determine how much you want to cook on any given day, and go to town.

    For a good inexpensive stock pot, we prefer using the stainless steel ones. They are heavy enough to get the even heat on the bottom, but are not as heavy as some of the other varieties. They’re also easier to clean than other metals.

    What can you cook in stock pots?

    Pull out the stock pot whenever you have something that needs to cook a long time or that you’re want to cook in bulk.  They’re great for large servings of chicken stock, steaming lobsters, beef stock, stews and more.  If you’re needing a pot that will cook slowly and evenly, this is your pot.

    We know that you’re itching to try out your famous soup in a huge stock pot, but if you’re needing some inspiration for what to cook in your stock pot, here are some recipes.

    CrockPot Black Bean Soup from Yummly

    Chicken Stock Recipe from Alton Brown at Food Network

    Pho Rice Noodle Soup from Epicurious

    If you’ve got something that needs to be slow cooked like baked beans, tear apart beef, delicious stew, or spaghetti sauce, there’s a stock pot for it.

    Here are some of the places that make the best soup in the country, according to USA Today.

    Urbanbelly, Chicago, IL

    The Greenhouse Tavern, Cleveland, OH

    Canter’s Deli, Los Angeles, CA

    Tornado Club Steakhouse, Madison, WI

    The Bon Ton Café, New Orleans, LA

    Stock pots are at the heart of many great kitchens. It’s an essential component. We’d love to hear about some of your stock pot recipes.

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  7. National Butterscotch Pudding Day

    National Butterscotch Pudding Day

    We are lucky enough to have National Butterscotch Pudding Day right after National Cheeseburger Day.  What better follow up to the all-American delight than that?  So, after we’ve cooled off our commercial charbroilers, it’s time to take out the mixing bowls and get to work.

    Butterscotch is a sublime mix of brown sugar and butter.  Sometimes, you will see molasses added into the mix, as well as vanilla, corn syrup, salt, and a few other ingredients.

    Candy-making is a finicky art, so it’s always best to take a swing at some of the existing recipes before trying to create your own. Here are some recipes for butterscotch pudding from a few of the more popular food sites:

    Food Network’s Butterscotch Pudding Recipe

    Kelly’s Butterscotch Pudding from Allrecipes

    Butterscotch Pudding on Epicurious (first published by Bon Appetit)

    Here are some restaurants from around the country that serve butterscotch pudding.  It’s highly commendable that these restaurants have butterscotch budding on their menus.  It makes a good break away from ice cream and milkshake machines.

    La Luce, Orlando, FL

    Finz Seafood and Grill, Salem, MA

    Banker’s Hill Bar and Restaurant, San Diego, CA

    Stampede 66, Dallas, TX

    Spritzburger, Chicago, IL

    It doesn’t matter whether you’re serving seafood, pizza, steaks, or burgers, butterscotch pudding makes a fine addition to the menu.  You can elevate it by putting in some extras or let it stand on its own as a sweet, delicious dessert.

    Special thanks go out to Jenni Field for the Creative Commons use of her picture

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  8. Choosing Your Underbar Sink

    Choosing Your Underbar Sink

    Purchasing a bar sink comes as part of the package when you’re building out a new bar.  There are several considerations which must be made before you make that purchase. Here’s what you need to know before buying an undercounter bar sink.

    How much room do you have?

    When looking for a bar sink, the amount of space you have available will be the main factor in deciding the types of sinks you can select. If you’re able, go a little bigger than you need right now – instead of a two bin, select a three, for instance – to accommodate business growth. Undercounter bar sinks can range from 2 feet to 8 feet in length, with many styles and models in between.

    Do you have water lines there?

    It’s imperative that water is actually running to that part of the bar to facilitate the hookups.  If you have an undercounter ice machine already, you’ll need to make sure there’s a hookup for the sink as well, and vice versa.

    How many drain boards do you need?

    If it’s a busy bar, the glassware might be pulled right off of the sink and back into circulation.  It’s always best to have at least one drain board to allow for any lags in the dishwashing process.

    Do you need any other accoutrements?

    Along with an under counter sink, do you need glass washers or an under counter dishwasher?   All of the equipment that you have is subject to the space limitations and available hookups.  Make sure that you chose the right layout for the nuts and bolts of your bar and you will be well repaid in efficiency and higher profits.

    Choosing the best undercounter bar sink for your new restaurant might be the least of your worries, but it’s something which needs to be seriously looked at.  Having the right bar sink can help your barkeep work faster and better behind the bar.

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  9. How to Clean Your Commercial Convection Oven

    How to Clean Your Commercial Convection Oven

    You know the joy of the commercial convection oven and how it beats standard ovens hands down. Not only do they bake your food up to 25% faster and save you 25 degrees in heating, they save amazing amounts of money in energy costs.  The caveat is that for them to provide such service to you, you have to keep them maintained and cleaned.

    Take care of your equipment, and your equipment will take care of you.  Having that oven in tip-top shape will assure that you keep raking in those increased profits for your establishment.  The process of cleaning is fast and easy.

    Step One: Make Sure the Oven Is Cool First

    Make sure that the oven is cool so you can minimize the risks of burning your arms and other body parts.  You do not want to toy with your safety.

    Step Two: Remove Your Racks

    Take out all of the racks that are in the commercial convection oven and put them to the side for cleaning.  Quite often, we place meats and other meals directly onto the racks which can sully them for later use.  Give them a good scrub in your commercial sink.

    Step Three: Wipe Down The Inside

    First, wipe down the inside of your oven with a wet towel.  Pay special attention to the area around the fans. When the airflow is compromised by debris, that oven will not work at its maximum efficiency. If you clean your oven like this often, you shouldn’t need to use an oven cleaner. However, if you need to use one do it after close and let it air out according to the instructions.

    Step Four: Put the Racks Back

    After thoroughly cleaning the racks, return them to their proper position.  Leave the oven open when you’re done to make sure that it’s completely dry before using it again.

    Tips from the Pros:

    • Clean your oven every day if you can.  Doing so will make cleaning it a lot easier.
    • Lemon juice, vinegar, and other household items make for perfect cleaning ingredients. Try those first before breaking out the oven cleaner.
    • The best time to clean your ovens is at night so you can leave the doors open to dry overnight.
    • Use a good scrub brush and don’t be shy about taking out the brush to remove caked on grease and grime.

    When you have a properly cleaned commercial convection oven, you can keep making those high quality dishes to keep satisfying your patrons.  Do you have any pro tips that you’d like to offer?  We’d love to hear about them!

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  10. How to Clean Your Commercial Teppanyaki Griddle

    How to Clean Your Commercial Teppanyaki Griddle

    Commercial teppanyaki griddles need regular cleaning to avoid burned smells and buildup on the surface. When patrons order something griddled, they expect a clean surface! Here are our best practices for cleaning the grill.

    Step One: Check the Traps

    Most stoves of this type have traps to collect grease and food particles. If these are full, you’ll have a bigger mess on your hands later if you keep cleaning the griddle and don’t dump them. If the traps are full, clean those first. Check for clogs too while you’re down there.

    Step Two: Reduce Heat, if Necessary

    It can be very dangerous to clean a griddle while it’s running at high heat. If you can, turn the temperature down so you don’t have to worry about burning your arm while you’re scraping it clean. If this isn’t possible, try to use tools that allow you to clean the griddle while keeping your arms and sleeves away from the hot surface.

    Step Three: Apply Your High Temp Cleaner

    Most teppanyaki griddles use a high-temp cleaner for deep cleaning. Following the instructions on the bottle, spray the top of your grill with the cleaner, then use a brush in a circular motion around the grill. For stubborn spots, use more elbow grease rather than more cleaner. Rinse if necessary.

    Step Four: Put Your Grease Traps Back and Turn Up the Heat

    Once you’ve finished with cleaning down the surface of your grill, it’s time to put everything back and get back to business. Reseat the grease traps, put the cleaner and brushes away, and turn up the heat once more.  You’re ready to rock and roll!

    Pro Tips:

    • Lemon juice and vinegar work as high heat cleaners, and may be the best option for very busy grills.
    • Depending on volume, fully clean your griddle at least once a day.
    • Always read the manual for your equipment and the instructions for your cleaners.  There’s useful information in there.

    Keeping your commercial teppanyaki griddle clean will prolong its life and keep you making all types of things for years to come.

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