Thad Terzo

  1. From Poaching and Steaming to Baking and Grilling - Here's What You Can Do with a Combi Oven

    From Poaching and Steaming to Baking and Grilling - Here's What You Can Do with a Combi Oven

    What is a Combination Oven?

    Before we dive into what it does, let's first talk about what a combination oven is and how it works.

    Combination ovens or combi ovens use both steam and convection heat to cook foods. This specialized unit combines the two powerful heating methods to create one of the most precise cooking appliances.

    With a combi oven, you can cook food more precisely by controlling both humidity and temperature in the cavity - creating juicy, high-quality dishes that are consistent with every new day, chef, or operator.

    The heart of any combi is its oven cavity where food is cooked. No matter what combi oven you use, temperature, time, and humidity are the three most important functions to get the cooking results desired.

    Combination Cooking Examples: Convection vs. Steam

    We know that combi ovens use a combination of convection and steam heat to cook foods but let us dive a little deeper.

    Cooking with Convection

    As the name implies, convection cooking does not use any moisture to aid in the cooking process. This method involves the circulation of hot air or direct contact to transfer heat.

    Cooking with Steam Heat

    Conversely, steam heat uses water in a gas state to transfer heat to food up to 6 times faster than at temperature alone. Moisture in the form of steam or humidity comes in contact with the food to deliver delicate heat throughout the cooking process. Moisture content of foods cooked using this method are typically higher than in convection style heat transfer.

    Using Both Convection and Steam is Combi

    Typically, an operator would have to choose between convection or steam cooking, but, with a combi oven, you can have the benefits of both in one piece of equipment.

    For example, if your kitchen needs to cook a batch of bread, a combi oven will circulate both the temperature and humidity to produce a product that is uniform in color and flavor on the outside and inside. Or, if you are looking to create perfectly braised beef for a new stew on the menu, a combi oven will heat the cooking chamber to the right temperature for the beef to cook thoroughly while injecting the right amount of humidity to braise the meat for the perfect melt-in-your-mouth entree.

    No matter the recipe you are looking to master, the combi oven will allow you to create foods that are not only uniform and delicious, but can also help your kitchen create a varied menu, no matter how much space you have.

    Why Combi Ovens are Perfect for Kitchens of All Sizes

    Now that we understand what is going on inside of a combi unit, let's talk about the advantages it can bring to your kitchen.

    Small Commercial Kitchens

    Small commercial kitchens can probably benefit the most from a combi oven. With limited space, combi ovens offer small spaces multiple cooking abilities without taking up precious space in the kitchen. A combi oven can take the place of both a steamer and a convection oven without compromising on the outcome of the food.

    Medium Commercial Kitchens

    For medium sized commercial kitchens, a combi oven can act as another set of hands. A combi oven often comes with many different settings. You can control everything from cooking time down to the percentage of humidity inside the cavity, so all you have to do is add your foods and go. This can help medium-size kitchens have more hands in the kitchen without necessarily having more bodies.

    Large Commercial Kitchens

    Combi ovens are compact, which isn’t necessarily something that a large commercial kitchen needs to look for, but, because of their modular composition, a large kitchen can stack units on top of each other creating a powerful cooking space.

    Give Your Kitchen the Upgrade it Deserves

    If you are ready to upgrade your kitchen with the powerful cooking technology of a combi oven, consider choosing a Vulcan combination oven. Start cooking better with a combi oven today.

    Vulcan is relentless in the pursuit of exceptional commercial appliances. Through quality cooking equipment, steadfast service and more than 150 years of expertise, they employ thoughtful innovation to meet the unique needs of each and every one of their customers. As a leader in food service equipment, their quality products serve to inspire chefs and operators to pursue their passion and meet their unique cooking needs.

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  2. Dine Best for Less

    Dine Best For Less

    Social media marketing is a game-changing method of promoting restaurants. The popularity of social media, however, brings with it challenges about its tedious and time-consuming management. What restaurants can do instead of draining their valuable time is use the right social media management. That's where Dine Best for Less comes in, since Dine Best works within the hospitality business ONLY. Dine Best for Less promotes restaurants through a weekly E-newsletter and social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Our audiences include employees of Employee Benefit Groups, colleges and universities, and the general public. We promote your specials, features, and entertainment to a vast audience on a daily basis to encourage business Sunday through Thursday, and of course, the weekends. It is important for restaurants to create cost effective specials, prix fixes, entertainment, etc. to attract patrons.

    Dine Best For Less Coupon  

    The E-newsletter features only restaurants and entertainment. The daily posts may include various restaurants’ specials, various services, photos events and entertainment. Everything relative to the restaurants for increasing business is at a touch of a button. Our company is here to bring the restaurants to the attention of our vast audience. Social media success requires an understanding of the restaurant business and insights into human nature as well as knowing how to post. Restaurants have to be creative in using resources economically, instead being penny wise and pound foolish. So take the opportunity, complete this form to enhance your restaurant visibility and popularity.

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  3. 40+ Cooking Ideas for National Peanut Day

    40+ Cooking Ideas for National Peanut Day

    Tomorrow is National Peanut Day, the perfect day to celebrate the versatility of the peanut.  Peanuts can accent your meals, milkshakes, and more. They are popular in the recipes of many cultures.

    Peanuts is that they don’t have to be relegated to simply desserts, bar food, and butter.  They can be found as appetizers, with entrees, and as desserts. Who can resist the wonderful peanut sauce that comes with Vietnamese spring rolls?  How about an authentic Indian peanut stew?

    The basic recipe for peanut butter is shelled and skinned roasted peanuts put into a commercial blender until smooth. Here is Alton Brown’s peanut butter recipe.  For a touch of sweetness, add a touch of honey into the mix.

    Peanut butter can be taken to the next level by being incorporated into a sauce for Vietnamese spring rolls.  Nothing can compare to the smooth creaminess of the peanuts, hoisin sauce, and sriracha with the bold flavor of the basil in the roll.  There’s a knack to rolling the perfect spring roll, but once you have it, it makes an amazing treat.

    Chances are, you’ve got most of the ingredients for an Indian peanut stew on hand.  It takes a touch of peanut butter, some brown rice, and some spices.  You’ll be set after that.  Here’s the recipe for Indian Peanut Stew from Allrecipes.

    Let’s take a walk over to desserts.  Peanuts offer a garnish to your favorite milkshakes and banana splits.  They can be used in brownies, cookies, and cakes.  You can make a peanut butter sauce with honey and drizzle it over ice cream.  Here is some inspiration for you.

    15 Peanut Butter Dessert Recipes from Bon Appetit

    27 Truly Magnificent Peanut Butter Desserts from Buzzfeed

    Peanuts can be used in your commercial oven, on your commercial range top, dipped and put into the deep fryer, boiled in an aluminum stockpot, and eaten plain.  No wonder there are at least two days (September 13 and January 24 (National Peanut Butter Day)) devoted to them.

    Thanks go to Read more

  4. 7 Exotic Cheeseburger Ideas

    7 Exotic Cheeseburger Ideas

    As the song goes, “I like mine with lettuce and tomato, Heinz 57 and French-fried potatoes” The cheeseburger has been an American staple since the 20’s.  At its heart, a simple meat patty with a slice of cheese on top.  At its most glamorous, the sky’s the limit for gourmet cheeses, restaurant-ground meats, and special buns.  Before you get out your charbroiler, consider some of these ingredients to spice up your next burger.

    Truffles

    5 out of the 7 most expensive burgers in America come with truffles.  They’re used as garnish, cooked inside of the burger, put around the burger, or used as truffle oil.  Basically, nothing says extravagance like having truffles on the burger.

    Foie gras

    Foie gras’ flavor has been described as decadent, buttery, and creamy.  Duck liver has long been known as a delicacy, so what better use for it than to put on the tastiest of cheeseburgers?  There’s nothing which can compare.

    Doughnuts

    Want to get the best of both worlds with your sweet and savory?  Instead of your standard poppy or sesame seed bun, try using a standard doughnut instead of a bun.  Split it in half and hope that it’s sturdy enough to hold the patty. If it fails, it’ll still be tasty.

    Peanut Butter

    I got the oddest look when I told my friends that I’d had a peanut butter burger in New Orleans.  Peanut butter burgers are marvelously decadent. My mouth is watering just thinking about the mix of that little bit of the char from the charbroiler with the creaminess of the peanut butter.

    Pale Ale Marinade

    Mix a good pale ale into the burger meat, and you’ve got a masterpiece.  The extra liquid will make your burger just that much juicier, practically making it melt in your mouth.  Of course you could do this with any quality beer. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to taste some sweeter meat, try using a fruit lambic marinade before throwing it onto the burger cooking range.

    Peach or Apricot Jam

    Not your traditional ingredient for a cheeseburger, but when you combine it when a sharp cheese or something with a lot of flavor, it tempers the palate.  When you’re thinking about your next topping, try a little homemade jam and see if you enjoy it.

    Cereal

    Maybe a little breakfast burger is your style?  You can turn burger time into a breakfast sensation by putting a bit of crushed Captain Crunch or other cereal into the burger mix.  It’s adventurous, and sure to throw any diet out the window.

    Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed our trip through some of the craziest cheeseburger ingredients on the planet.   There’s nothing plain about cheeseburgers made with these. Fire up your grill and give them a try!

    Thanks go out to The Culinary Geek on Flickr for the Creative Commons use of the picture.

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  5. 7 Signs It's Time to Replace Your Walk-In Cooler

    7 Signs It's Time to Replace Your Walk-In Cooler

    As we talked about yesterday, your walk-in cooler unit makes the difference between fresh and spoiled food.  A badly-maintained unit can mean increased power bills and a load of inconvenience, but when is it time to replace your unit?

    Bad Doors

    When the seals on the doors to your walk-in unit are damaged, the cool air begins to leak out through them.  As the air leaks out, the unit has to work even harder to keep up with the demand of keeping your stocks cold. If your doors won’t close at all, then it’s definitely time to repair or replace the unit.

    It’s Simply Too Old

    The lifespan of walk-in refrigeration units varies from unit to unit.  You might have something which lasts for ten years, something which lasts for twenty, but the reality is that no unit will last forever despite regular maintenance. It’s often best to replace before reliability starts to become an issue.

    Deterioration of Walls and Floor

    Liquids and solids can spill on the floor and cause deterioration of your walk-in unit. Also, the insulation may decay over time and become less effective.  While there are several quick-fixes that you can do for these instances, it might just be time to replace the unit itself.

    Build Up

    If you start to see frost in places where there wasn’t frost in the past, that’s a danger sign. That means the unit is starting to cool inconsistently. If a simple adjustment of the thermostat isn’t restoring the status quo, it’s time to replace.

    Odd sounds and heat

    You might hear the motor rev or start acting inconsistently, or you might find that the temperatures inside are dramatically different from the ones reported by the thermostat on the outside. That’s an immediate call to the repair shop or your dealer.

    Space Requirements Change

    Whether increased or decreased, sometimes the space needs of your establishment will change.  After all, a LOT can happen over the life of your walk-in cooler!  Sometimes, your cooler just isn’t the right size anymore.

    Energy Efficiency

    If your unit was built over 20 years ago, there is probably a newer unit which is more cost-efficient that can replace it.  Within the past ten years, there have been some advances in heating and cooling technologies that make older units obsolete.

    It’s quite common to overlook problems which might be happening in the walk-in unit.  After all, it’s probably not the first thing on your mind at the beginning of the day – but it’s something which you use quite often, every single day.   Replacing the cooler is a lot better than the alternative of worrying about when it’s going to fail.

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  6. Energy (and Life) Saving Tips For Your Walk-In Cooler

    Energy (and Life) Saving Tips For Your Walk-In Cooler

    Your walk-in cooler makes the difference between having fresh food and having no food at all.  Some would go so far as to say that it’s the most important piece of equipment that you have working for you. Like all equipment, it must be maintained and used properly if it’s going to keep food fresh. Here are some tips to help you keep your cooler working at optimum levels.

    Don’t leave it open

    This may seem obvious, but sometimes doors don’t get shut all the way or people stand in the cooler with it open while they are hunting for something. If the cold air keeps escaping, the cooler must work harder to stay cool and that reduces the life of the unit. The door of any walk-in cooler should only be opened when going in or coming out.

    Remove Objects around your Walk-In Cooler

    If there is too many items surrounding any type of fridge, airflow gets blocked. Refrigerators require a constant airflow to function. If it can’t get enough air it will work harder than it has to. If you have a walk-in built into the wall, your installer will have vents for air exchange. Make sure these don’t get blocked.

    Turn the Lights Off

    Make sure that when you leave the cooler that you turn the lights out.  The bulbs generate heat, and the freezer must compensate for it if they’re left on.  Fortunately, it’s just a flick of a switch and you’re good as gold.

    Don’t Put Anything on Top

    This works the same as putting stuff near the intake.  Putting items on top of the walk in freezer or fridge have the potential to damage the top of it and can block airflow as well.

    Visually Inspect Your Walk-In Cooler

    Take a really good look at the cooler every six months to determine whether there are leaks, cracks, or other imperfections in the sealing.  Any damage means that the cooler is working harder than it should, causing increased energy bills and possibly spoiled food.  If you find something out of place, take action.

    Your walk in cooler is perhaps the most important piece of equipment that you’ve got in the shop. Without fresh food, a restaurant cannot last. Keeping your cooler well-maintained will help that piece of equipment last for a long time.

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  7. Today is National Cheese Pizza Day!

    Today is National Cheese Pizza Day!

    Today is National Cheese Pizza Day!   We’re looking forward to having several slices over here at Restaurant Supply, delivered by our favorite local chain.  I can almost taste the melted cheese.

    Here are some fun pizza-related world records: (quoted from the Guinness Book of World Records):
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    • Tony Gemignani (USA, left) spun 500 g (17.6 oz) of dough for two minutes to form a pizza base measuring 84.33 cm (33.2 in) wide at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, on 20 April 2006 during the filming of Guinness World Records Week for the Food Network channel.
    • The most pizzas made in one hour by a team is 837 and was achieved by staff from Domino’s Pizza Australia and New Zealand at the Domino's Pizza store in Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia on 21 January 2012.
    • The largest pizza ever baked weighed 12.19 tons (26,883 lb) and was made at Norwood Hypermarket, Norwood, South Africa on 8 December 1990.  The pizza measured 37.4m (122ft 8in) in diameter.
    • The largest pizza delivery was organized by Pizzas 4 Patriots (USA), who sent 30,000 pizzas with DHL Express to the United States Armed Forces, in Kandahar Airfield, Bagram Airbase and Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, on 4 July 2012.

    When was the last time that you tried something new on your menu?  A dynamic approach to the restaurant’s menu adds value to the menu offerings themselves, as your customers will feel that they have only a limited time to take advantage of your offerings.  Many of the top-end restaurants have menus which change daily to reflect the chef’s strengths.

    Cheese pizza can be a serious profit center for your business.   You’ve probably got the convection oven in place.  If it goes really well, and you feel like adding pizza as a permanent item, you can add the specialized pizza ovens, the pizza stone, or the conveyor ovens into the mix.

    Celebrate National Cheese Pizza Day by adding a little cheese pizza to your menu!  If it takes, it’s time to relish the profits.

    Special thanks go out to The Pizza Review for the kind use of the Creative Commons picture.

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  8. What is a Rethermalizer?

    What is a Rethermalizer?

    No, a rethermalizer isn’t the kryptonite to Sub-Zero in Mortal Kombat.  It’s an appliance that’s a must-have for any restaurant which needs to warm frozen food on a regular basis.

    The rethermalizer slowly heats frozen food to a safe holding temperature of 165 degrees. The process takes around 90 minutes. You might ask yourself why you wouldn’t use a warmer or just let the product thaw out overnight? The answer is two-fold. First and most important, food that thaws slowly invites contamination in the product. Second, thawing with a warmer is an uneven process. You’re bound to get hot and cold spots in your frozen goods because the heating element is just on one side.

    Rethermalizers look a little like a deep fryer that’s filled with water. Pumps circulate warm water around the packaged food to heat it evenly to the holding temperature. In fact, many types of prepackaged food already come ready to be rethermalized. Tube packaging is the most common form seen that’s ready to go for a rethermalizer.

    Anything that you can freeze safely and put in a plastic wrapping can be put into a rethermalizer. Plop in the package, wait a bit, and your gravy, vegetables, or noodles are ready to go.

    • Wide Array of Options – Because there are so many vendors which package food for rethermalizers, you have a huge array of options for items to put on your menu.
    • Dispersed Workload – Sometimes you can cook some parts of the meal within the rethermalizer and some on the stove to split the workload.
    • Handles Delicate Food – Because the heating elements are not placed directly on the food, the rethermalizer heats delicate foods with ease.
    • Reduced Food Waste – You’ll have less worry about spoilage or burning food trying to get it dethawed. This cuts down on the waste in the kitchen.

    Rethermalizers can be placed side by side with your commercial pasta makers, as both are restaurant essentials.  Consider picking one up today if you need to hold a lot of meat for prep.

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  9. Impingement Ovens or Conveyor Ovens? What's the Difference?

    Impingement Ovens or Conveyor Ovens?  What's the Difference?

    In this post, we’re going to talk a little more about ovens.  Specifically, we’re going to talk more about the differences between impingement ovens and conveyor ovens. On the surface, the two seem very much the same.

    Both the impingement oven and the conveyor oven bring the raw food into the oven through the use of a conveyor belt.  However the impingement oven evenly distributes hot air throughout the oven’s chamber for faster cooking times.  They are much like convection ovens in that respect, except they run on a conveyor belt. A good impingement oven can give you:

    • Faster bake times
    • Uniform baking
    • Near-elimination of burning food

    The impingement oven is able to cook the same things as the standard conveyor oven, but much faster. They can handle anything that you would normally cook in a conveyor oven including:

    • Calzones
    • Bread Sticks
    • Pizza
    • Pastries
    • Cookies
    • Hot Sandwiches
    • Hot Wings

    If you’re able to lay your food flat, then you’re able to cook it in impingement ovens. Consider getting one for your restaurant if you need to cook things fast, like in a high-volume or on-demand fast food restaurant.

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  10. Making Money on the Milkshakes

    Making Money on the Milkshakes

    Milkshakes prove that even the simplest recipes with the most basic of ingredients can turn out to be decadent treats.   We like to think of milkshakes as a success food, as it takes a lot of effort to ruin one (as opposed to, say, a perfectly cooked soufflé).  With only a few pieces of equipment that you probably already have in your bar, you can be churning out the decadent dairy products on a commercial scale.

    How to make the perfect milkshake:

    Here is Bobby Flay’s Basic Milkshake Recipe (from The Food Network)

    1/3 cup whole milk

    10 ounces premium vanilla ice cream (around 1 ¾ cups, packed)

    Blend everything in a blender until smooth and then serve.

    The proportions of milk to ice cream can be adjusted, depending on how thick you like your shakes.  The perfect one for me is one that’s thick, but I don’t have to work hard to get it through the straw.  If you enjoy yours thicker, just add some more ice cream.

    Vanilla milkshakes are just the beginning.  You can build on that basic milkshake recipe and develop masterpieces of your own.  Throw some blueberries into the blender.  Crush some peppermint candies.  You are only limited by your imagination.

    Do you like your milkshakes to be a bit more potent?  There’s nothing stopping you from putting a bit of ‘sauce’ into the mix.  Here are a few recipes:

    Hot Fudge Bourbon Milkshakes from How Sweet it Is

    Spiked Do-si-do Milkshake from Serious Eats

    Bourbon Chocolate Milkshakes from What’s Gaby Cooking

    If ice cream is already on the menu, it makes sense to put milkshakes alongside.  All it takes is a milkshake machine, a few cups, and a little bit of upselling, and you’ve got a new profit stream right in your restaurant.

    Special thanks go out to New1mproved on Flickr for the Creative Commons use of the picture.

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