Monthly Archives: October 2014

  1. Restaurant Shelving Safety - Part 1

    Restaurant Shelving Safety - Part 1

    Every restaurant needs shelves, but have you taken a look at them lately? Unsafe shelving can be dangerous for workers. That’s not the only danger shelves have though. A shelf that hasn’t been cleaned in a while could be a health hazard. In this two part series, we’re going to give you a rundown on safe shelving.

    Is your restaurant shelving level?

    If your shelving isn’t level, it might be indicative of a host of other problems. The seals holding the shelves up could be wearing out, or the feet could be out of adjustment. Too much weight on a shelf could also cause them to go out of alignment.

    Standing shelves should sit firmly and evenly on the ground, and there should never be any bowing in the middle from weight. This can compromise safety.

    Are you stacking too high?

    In the interests of efficiency, we’ll often try to stack things up way too high. That’s a disaster waiting to happen. What gets stacked high will eventually have to come down.

    Even if it is stacked safely at a high level, do you have the safety equipment to get it back down? Could your shorter coworkers get something off the stack safely without falling? Better to keep everything in reach and get rid of excess inventory. Or just get more shelves or stepladders.

    Once it’s been determined that the restaurant shelving is structurally sound, the next thing to do is take a look at is how dirty they are. A dirty shelf can be a host for lots of vermin!

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  2. More About Moffat Ovens

    More About Moffat Ovens

    The Moffat companies had their humble beginnings in the 1920s in Australia and New Zealand.   With a devotion to superior service and products, Moffat ovens are the beacon of quality for convection ovens known the world over.

    Moffat has been responsible for several innovations within the cooking field, each one just a little more spiffy than the last.

    Convection oven platforms

    One of the things that Moffat is known for is their convection oven systems. They are striving every day to make Moffat ovens a household name, one which is technologically at the top of its game. Restaurants have been familiar with the quality of these ovens for a long time.

    Rotel rotating deck ovens

    Moffat’s deck ovens have been around for a while, but they are no less revolutionary. Rotating decks have allowed bakers to cook tremendous amounts of bread in one large batch, saving energy and streamlining operations. Bakers swear by their deck ovens, and Rotel’s are among the best.

    Genesis automated baking system

    Designed with the complete automation of breadmaking in mind, the Genesis automated baking system allows chefs to place ingredients into the machine and let it run hands-free. Bread making is a labor-intensive process. In a restaurant that doesn’t have a dedicated baker but still wants fresh bread, these systems can make it happen.

    Moffat ovens can be seen in a lot of sizes, from ones that accommodate only a few half pans to large Turbofan convection systems which handle many full pans. If you’re in need of an oven, check out our current lineup of Moffat ovens and baking systems.

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  3. Why the True T-23 Refrigerator Rocks

    Why the True T-23 Refrigerator Rocks

    As of this article, we haven’t done a piece about choosing the best refrigerator for your needs.  One of the biggest things to take into consideration when searching for the best refrigerator is the size of the appliance that you’re putting in place.  Too big and you have to rearrange everything in the shop.  Too small and you’re not making the most out of the space.

    Commercial refrigerators run the gamut from being low profile refrigerators to the gargantuan multi-trayed beasts that you see in huge commercial kitchens.  The True T-23 has the best of both worlds: it’s small enough to fit in tight spaces, but has an internal space large enough to fit more than a few trays of food.  It’s perfect for those chefs who need it now.

    The True T-23 refrigerator has 23 cubic feet of storage space, which, in the refrigeration world, makes it a veritable cavern of wonders.  It can fit up to three trays inside, chilling to your heart’s content at a moment’s notice.

    Here are some features of the True T-23 Refrigerator:

    • Adjustable shelving that can take a beating
    • Exterior temperature display for quick readouts
    • Efficiently uses compressed air in the chamber
    • UL, NSF, and Energy Star qualified
    • Extremely mobile unit, fits to your needs
    • Self-closing, lifetime-guaranteed stainless steel door.
    • Easily cleanable with stainless steel door and aluminum sides

    Using the True T-23 is like a dream. This refrigerator is not only a powerhouse, but it’s an efficient powerhouse. Consider owning one the next time you need a refrigerator replacement.

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  4. Choosing a CMA Dishmachines Commercial Dishwasher

    Choosing a CMA Dishmachines Commercial Dishwasher

    What do you want in a dishwasher? For a lot of restaurant managers, the choice in dishware washing devices comes down to speed, size, and simplicity.

    Speed

    The speed of commercial dishwashers is measured in racks per hour or covers per hour. There are some machines that will wash over 60 racks an hour. This is a very fast speed for dishwashing. CMA Dishmachines has a few models that can reach this level. At 60 racks an hour, this gives just enough time to put a rack in, close the door, and get another rack ready for loading.

    However, slower speeds and longer wash cycles may be appropriate for wares that are especially dirty or difficult to clean. Your dishwasher dealer should be able to look at your dishes and estimate the speed that’s best for your needs.

    Size

    Most upright dishwashers have a fairly similar footprint.  They have enough space to put a rack inside. However, heights can vary greatly depending on add-ons. Most dishwashers have adjustable feet to align the washer openings with the level of your sink.

    There are also more discreet dishwashers for bars. A few CMA Dishmachines models are designed to fit under counters for ‘on the fly’ dishwashing.  If you’ve got a steady stream of glass racks, a model like this may be worth considering to save time.

    Simplicity

    Most dishwashers are simple devices, but any interruption in dishwashing could lead to a costly delay. Find out how often the machine needs maintenance. Is the soap poured into the device or pumped straight out of the bottle? How difficult is it to clean out the machine at night? The simpler the washer, the faster your dishes can get done.

    When you’re searching for the best dishwashers, keep in mind the three S’s – simplicity, size, and speed.  We’ve got over 50 models of dishwasher from which to choose here at Restaurant Supply, including CMA Dishmachine models.

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  5. The Brilliance of Portable Food Warmers

    The Brilliance of Portable Food Warmers

    One issue faced in institutional cooking is the need to keep food warm while the other meals are being prepared to go on the cart.  Preparing meals for an entire floor of patients, no matter how many people you have on staff, still takes time. Dishes will get cold. Enter the food warmer.

    Food warmers are great for storing the foods in the kitchen, but what about when they get to the floor? That’s where the portable food warmer comes in.  Instead of getting cold waiting for the assistant to deliver lunch in a huge building, food stays nice and warm within the banquet cart.

    The most common place to find them are in hospitals, but portable food warmers can be seen everywhere. You can find them in churches for large events. They are also crucial for caterers.

    Some warmers come in the form of a cart, and this is the most common type. Yet there is another time that is used in the back of the house. Special plate warmers can keep foods and plates just warm enough to maintain temperature for serving without cooking the food further. Just laying the plate on the warmer keeps it fresh until the rest of the meal is ready.

    While they are not as portable, some of the food warmers that you can find are in fast food and buffet settings.  They can be seen warming the fries or at the buffets. This allows these restaurants to cook and store large amounts of food at an agreeable temperature.

    Keeping food warm has been a challenge for cooks and restauranteurs, but as long as there are food warmers there’s a solution. Check out our line of food warmers for your next restaurant build or catering business.

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  6. Choosing a Refrigerated Deli Case

    Choosing a Refrigerated Deli Case

    People underestimate the value of the display case when it comes to selling refrigerated goods.  The right refrigerated display case can make all the difference in the world in how much your business makes. After all, how are your customers going to make that decision between getting the sliced pastrami and the bologna if they can’t see it?

    Where do you start when searching for your deli case?

    Self Service or Full Service?

    The first place to start when searching for the perfect display case is in the format of your store.  Do you want your employees to be the ones handing the goods over, or would you rather have the customers take their own out of the case?

    For instance, the True TSID-36-4 37-Inch Wide 4-Glass Slide Door Single Duty Refrigerated Deli Display Case pictured here would be excellent for those who have small side items that they want to sell to their patrons.  It’s great for those impulsive buys, with maybe a little something for the road stocked inside.

    As a note, one of the simple features that you want for any of the self-serve display cases is to have self-closing doors.  Your employees might not be able to keep an eye on these all the time, and you probably don’t want the nice cool air to escape.

    If you’re wanting to display the items, yet have your employees be the ones to serve them to the customers, you might choose something like a True TDBD-72-2 72-Inch Wide 2-Glass Slide Door Double Duty Refrigerated Deli Display Case.   This case is perfect for the pies, deli meats and cheeses, as well as other items that you’d like to put on display for your customers.  You might also have some other wares that you can put inside along with a little flake ice.

    Single Duty or Double Duty?

    You might have noticed in the descriptions of the deli cases that there are single duty and double duty cases.  Single Duty cases are cases which are just the display area, where Double Duty cases are ones which have the extra storage space underneath the original case.

    Hot or Cold?

    The third thing that you want to consider is whether you’re going to be serving hot items or cold items from the area.  You need to have two separate cases, depending on whether you’re going for the hot lamps or the refrigerator. While you can have hot and cold deli cases side by side, you shouldn’t have hot and cold items side by side.

    Choosing the right deli case is all about the customer.  You want to make sure that you’ve presented your wares in the best manner possible.

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  7. Gas Range vs. Electric Range

    Gas Range vs. Electric Range

    When I had first gotten out of college, we had this gas range that had seen better days. My roommates and I hated the fact that we had to pay two separate bills, but when the power went out in the storms, we were *extremely* thankful that we could still cook. Of the two heating methods, which one wins the battle of the ranges, gas or electric??

    Pros of Electric Ranges

    • They’re less expensive to operate. In many cases, all you have to do is plug your electric range in, and you’re good to go.
    • The burners and surrounding areas are easier to clean.
    • If your stovetop is smooth, it’s quite a lot more stable for pots than the gas ranges.
    • While gas ranges are mostly reliable, there’s still a chance for sputtering and spraying.
    • Since more are made, there’s more of a variety in features and functions available for the electric ranges.

    Pros of Gas Ranges

    • The heat is more even.
    • Easily adjustable flame.
    • The heat of a gas range is instant, rather than having to wait a while for the element to heat up.
    • When the flame is off, the flame is off.
    • Natural gas is cheaper than electricity, and it is cleaner burning overall.
    • The heat penetrates the pot better, allowing food to cook faster.
    • You can simulate a campfire and the advantages of having an open flame in your kitchen.

    We love both types of ranges, of course. For baking, the clear choice is for the electric convection oven, but for working on the stove? It’s gas every time. Which do you prefer?

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  8. October 21st is Pumpkin Cheesecake Day

    October 21st is Pumpkin Cheesecake Day

    October 21st is National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day.  While there are several holidays devoted to cheesecake, it’s appropriate that October’s cheesecake day would focus on the pumpkin – October’s best-loved fruit.

    If we were to take a look back into the notebook of time, we’d see that cheesecake has been around for millennia.  In fact, we’d see that cheese products and cheese cakes have been around since at least 776BC when they were served to athletes, brides, and grooms.

    Our cheesecake recipes have progressed quite nicely since Roman times. Today we make most cheesecakes out of cream cheese. Cream cheese was created in 1872 and has found its way onto many tables since. With as beloved as cheesecake is in America, it’s no wonder that pumpkin cheesecake has its own day for celebration.

    To celebrate the day, we’ve gathered a few recipes together for your cooking pleasure.  Most of them call for pureed pumpkin, cream cheese, and some sugar to be put into a cake pan and left to wait.  Take a look through, and see if you can find some inspiration.

    Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe

    Martha Stewart’s Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe

    Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe from Roxana’s Home Baking

    There are plenty of variations on cheese cake. Chicagoans like to add sour cream to their cheese cake. Others like to add chocolate or strawberries. Your imagination is the only limit when it comes to the creation of good food.  So, why not get out that cake pan and just go to town?

    Many thanks to Lydia on Flickr for the Creative Commons use of the picture.

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  9. October 20th is Brandied Fruit Day

    October 20th is Brandied Fruit Day

    “Brandy, n. A cordial composed on one part thunder-and-lightning, one part remorse, two parts bloody murder, one part death-hell-and-the-grave and four parts clarified Satan.” Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

    October 20th is Brandied Fruit Day!  The addition of brandy to fruit is akin to adding explosives to everything on Mythbusters – it really spices it up. Brandy adds entirely new flavor profiles to already awesome food.  According to Holiday Insights, we don’t know the origins of this day, but who needs real origins?

    Your brandied fruit recipe can contain any type of fruit that you desire.  We’re going to paraphrase Lynne’s Brandied Fruit recipe here (this link goes to The Splendid Table’s site).

    Basically, you’re making a simple syrup on your commercial stovetop, adding some brandy to it, then pouring it over fruit and waiting for several months until the brandy has permeated through the fruit and the mixture is to your satisfaction.

    You can shorten the time, but you may find that the ingredients haven’t meshed together.  Give the mixture a minimum of a couple of months, and you’re in – and, if you want to make a tradition of it, let it last until next year!

    Thanks go out to Lexnger on Flickr for the Creative Commons use of the picture.

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  10. A Little More About Commercial Griddles

    A Little More About Commercial Griddles

    Yesterday, we talked a little bit about the versatility of the commercial griddle.  The griddle, after all, is a marvelous device that can be used for nearly anything that needs only a small amount of liquid to cook.  Think of it similar to being at the intersection of utility and love.

    We’re definitely fond of the vegetables here.  With your commercial griddle, you can get good caramelization on onions and really make the flavor of peppers come alive.  There’s nothing like a good onion, mushroom, and pepper mix for your fajitas.

    Come to think of it, making fajitas on the griddle is definitely not out of the question.  You can make a large quantity and take your menu to the next level, whether you’re a home cook or a pro.  Be sure to include some of the little sweet peppers as well.

    If you’re going to prepare a dish with the onions, peppers, and mushrooms, you may as well throw in some potatoes.  The griddle is fantastic for making hash browns just the way you like them.  Using commercial griddles, you can get a good crisp from the hash browns with just a touch of oil.

    So, as you can see, the commercial griddle is not only good for pancakes, but it’s also good for a variety of dishes as well as sandwiches and crepes.   Every day, the griddle can be used to cook something – taking some of the load off of some of the other kitchen equipment.

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