Cooking Equipment

  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. Becoming a Grill Master

    Becoming a Grill Master

    Check out these simple but practical tips and techniques.You can go above and beyond with your grill. Take advantage of your Crown Verity with these tips and techniques for grilling.

    Before you begin, consider your final product. This will depend on the type of food you are making and how it will be grilled. One size does not fit all when it comes to grilling. Cooking fish is very different than cooking chicken. Know your food but have fun with it.

    Here are some simple techniques:

    · Make sure your grill is hot enough before you start cooking allowing even more efficient and effective cooking.

    · Oil your grill up! This allows for leaner meat (and vegetables too) not to stick. Fun Fact: Some people use some paper towels to rub oil over the grates with a pair of tongs.

    · Experiment. Everyone loves marinated foods, don’t be afraid to experiment with it!

    · CAN’T TOUCH THIS! If you’re grilling your meat, do not play with it. In most cases, it is only necessary to move one time. (Better yet, consider buying good digital.)

    · Remember that meat is still cooking when you remove it from the grill. To avoid your rare steak becoming a medium, allow a grace period between when it is cooking and when it is served.

    · Do not forget the kebab (sometimes labeled as a meal on a stick). This quick and easy option has endless potential. Don’t knock it till you try it!

    · I’d like you to “meat” vegetables! Vegetables are a great option to be grilled.. You can also throw in some fruit!

    · Breathing room? Leave some grilling room that does not have direct heat. Keep the burner off in one corner of the grill. This gives you a place to keep foor warm without cooking it.

    Now with these tips and techniques you can now become a grill master!

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  3. A Baker's Guide To Apples

    There a hundred of delicious apple recipes to cook with. Choosing the right one is important, and can make or break your dish. Whether you want to make class apple pie, or cook a savory entree, there’s an apple for that. Learn about the popular types of apples & their best uses, & more!

    As always, check out for all your restaurant needs.
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  4. All the Little Details

    Stainless Steel Equipment in Empty Kitchen

    Opening a new restaurant? Congratulations. We hope you're shopping for the best equipment with the best prices with us. You have so many decisions to make, and we hope this handy check list will help you get everything you need prior to the big day, without a stressful experience:

    Big Equipment: do research into every single piece of equipment that you buy. Make sure the sizes match the sizes of your build out (there's a big difference between a 48 and a 52 inch cooler if you only have space for 48 inches). Look into energy efficient designs that will save you money in the long run. Shop our full collection for the best deals and prices!

    Little equipment: chefs knives, dishes, plates, forks, soap dispensers, brooms, mops, paper towels. The list is virtually endless. Get organized with a spreadsheet so that you can check items off if you purchase them. And take advantage of the end of the year - and the end of tax season - to purchase as much as possible before January 1! It's all business expense and a write off for you.

    Front of house details: decor and design are the finishing touches on your big project. Take time to research and develop a decoration scheme which complements your brand, identity, and theme. From succulents to candles, the small accents are the final touches to create a perfect look.

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  5. The Benefits of Owning a Franchise


    Thinking about owning a restaurant, but feel like you just don't have a concept in mind? Then franchising may be for you! Franchising contains many benefits (and also some risks of course - but then again - entrepreneurship always does!) Here's what to know before you buy:

    Competition exists no matter what. Just because you purchase a franchise doesn't necessarily mean that someone else won't open a similar or even identical store right down the street. When you negotiate - keep this in mind and build some non-competes into your agreement. That way, you won't have to look across the street or down the road and see another one of your mother company's locations going in to cannibalize your own business.

    Enjoy knowing you'll have built in marketing and recognition. One of the biggest challenges to face a new restaurant owner is 'getting the word out there.' With no reputation or brand recognition, you'll have a hard time attracting new customers and may need to invest heavily in marketing. But when you have a franchise, the name is already established, and chances are the marketing system is already in place. So make sure to ask about marketing and advertising plan before you buy, as well as any expectation or cost for your own marketing (what are you allowed to do by corporate, for example, and is there any required spend on your behalf on an annual or quarterly basis). Knowing and understanding the marketing behind your business will help you get an instant following and traceable, quick ROI.

    Know you'll still have cost. You're buying a name and a concept. You still need to make that investment. Restaurant equipment will be needed (and you can shop here, of course, to find the best deals!). Plus rent, utility, labor costs. All of the traditional business costs associated with you new start up will still be present, so do your budget accordingly. One major plus: franchises tend to be proven concepts, so securing a business loan in typically a much more straightforward process than with an original restaurant concept.

    Don't be afraid of hard work, but also know that major success is possible. Unless you have an active partner in the business and you're just a silent financial backer, be prepared to pour yourself body and soul into your new enterprise. You'll be investing many hours into your business to get it up off the ground. However, once you have one location, you can buy another, and another. And still another. Eventually, many franchise owners will have multiple chains and a successful business model which virtually runs itself. But to start out - you're going to be putting in major hours to make your vision a reality.

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  6. Making the Transition from Food Truck to Brick and Mortar Location

    Chef Grills Bacon On a Food Truck

    Food trucks are a great, economical way to get your business started on a budget. Many brick and mortar restaurants envy food trucks their low overhead, mobility, and ability to go to customers vs waiting for customers to come to them.

    However, at some point, every food truck may consider expanding their operations to a brick and mortar store. Once you have a proven concept at hand, you can increase your profit margins drastically by adding chairs - and a liquor license! - to your operation. However - there are still important things to consider before taking the plunge:

    Location - a food truck can easily go from place to place. Some cities, such as Austin, TX, will even allow food trucks to semi-permanently park on land - thereby rendering the operation extremely cheap from a rent perspective. A restaurant is, of course, static by nature. So location is key. Even a couple miles distance in a city can be the difference between high foot traffic and almost no foot traffic. Although a solid menu and marketing plan will certainly boost your customer base - as well as the reputation you've built through your food truck business - choosing a desirable, high traffic location will certainly help.

    Finance - a new restaurant build out can easily cost a quarter of a million dollars - or more. Where is this capital coming from? Chances are, you will need a partner with deep pockets or a hefty loan in order to turn your restaurant into reality. In addition to the opening costs, it's important to consider how long you will be in operation before turning a profit. Average, six to twelve months are needed before a restaurant turns a profit (although again - see above - a good marketing plan, good location, and good reputation can drastically increase that).

    Vibe - food trucks are, almost by definition, hip and cool places. Restaurants can have many different atmospheres, and it's a great time to sit down and brand your business appropriately when your're creating your restaurant plan. Are you more upscale? Chic? Minimalist? Family oriented? Traditional? All of these are great things to consider with your architect and general contractor as you make the plunge from food truck to brick and mortar.

    Equipment - this is last on our list but perhaps the most important piece of all! Your restaurant will need: ovens, shelves, refrigerators, ice machines, pots and pans, knives, cutting boards, the list goes on and on. Chances are a good part of your food truck may be used in the new spot, but it may make sense to keep the food truck for mobile/catering operations and to sustain your existing business and start from scratch. No matter your choice - trust for the best possible deals from the best brands and shop with us first when outfitting your new restaurant.

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  7. BBQ for the Summer


    Brisket from Bear's Smokehouse BBQ

    Thinking about expanding your menu offerings? BBQ can be a fun hot weather crowd pleaser. We have a vast array of BBQ equipment for you to shop from, including industrial grade smokers from Town Food Equipment like this one here which can easily accommodate a large restaurant crowd:

    industrial grade smoker

    So, once you have the equipment, what do you want to cook? Brisket, wings, meatballs, pork - there are multiple foods which lend themselves well to BBQ. There are classic cooking styles - Memphis style (more vinegar based), dry rub (from Texas) or Kansas City style (sweeter, tangier). If you decide to go classic and traditional, make sure you're following ALL the techniques associated with your chosen style so that you can give your guests something that is really indicative of the style. Authentic BBQ lovers will notice the difference!

    If you decide to be playful and quirky with your BBQ, you can experiment with fruit and alcohol flavors for unexpected twists on the classics. Bourbon is wildly popular, fitting its smokey profiled nicely with smokey meats. Fruit flavors can include everything from peaches to grape jelly. Fusion is possible as well, using Asian style flavor profiles, curries, or Samoan type flavors also. BBQ is versatile, fun, and carries a high profit margin. Use high quality meats, take your time with the smoking process, and come up with some killer signature sauces for excellent results your customers will love.

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  8. Thinking about starting a food truck? Here's what you should know


    So, you have a great restaurant concept, but you want to start a bit smaller than a brick and mortar store. Food trucks have been growing in popularity as more social media savvy consumers utilize Twitter and Facebook to follow their mobile food stations and find gourmet meals at great price points. However, there is still a lot that goes into a food truck operations. Here's what you should know:

    1/ Commissary, commissary, commissary. Even though you may be a mobile operation, you still have to practice strict food safety guidelines when working with the general public. You will need a commercial grade kitchen with current grade health inspections in order to operate your truck. Instead of opening your own, find a local one willing to rent out space. Most commissaries are in large warehouses and will welcome the additional business!

    2/ Equipment, equipment, equipment. Although you can find a decent food truck second hand, make sure your equipment is top of the line. Especially in the summer months - and heat - you'll want an AC system and ice machines that can stand up to a large lunch rush. Your customers - and staff! will thank you for thinking in advance, and by planning early on, you can avoid gaining a bad reputation when faulty equipment breaks in the middle of a busy lunch rush. Equally important: a small heating device, open flame, and dishwasher. Everything must be scaleable and custom, so shop with us and secure the best possible equipment at the best price.

    3/ Location, location, location. Where to go? Where the crowds are is an obvious answer, but there is more to a good location then simple volume. Make sure you have the proper permits and also that you are in an area known for its foodie scene. Food trucks thrive together - but if there's another grilled cheese truck in the park, consider going elsewhere. Fairs, festivals, and even food truck specific events are also great spaces for high traffic and exposure. If your town or city has an arts scene, or a sports stadium, consider looking into permitting to park outside before or after a big event. A large venue will draw in a big crowd!

    4/ Marketing, marketing, marketing. Letting people know WHO you are is important for any restaurant, but letting them know WHERE you are is equally important as a mobile food truck! Keep your customers up to date via Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Make sure your social media info is updated regularly and displayed prominently on your truck and marketing paperwork. It can be a fun to be elusive, but it's better to keep folks in the know, and if you develop a fan base, they will find you given the proper tools!

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  9. Induction Buffet Tables Bring Class to your Restaurant

    Induction Buffet Tables Bring Class to your Restaurant

    Are you thinking about offering a buffet to your customers? They’re either really fantastic, or they’re really awful. One feature for the higher end buffets is to have someone cooking food in the dining area at an induction buffet table.

    What is more entertaining than having a show right there for your customers? You can let the chefs, usually natural showmen, ham it up with their goodies, preparing everything from spinach omelets to stir fry masterpieces. The Vollrath 7553280 is the perfect tool for making the magic.

    Most stoves look like they’re out of place when they’re just slapped in the dining area. They don’t fit along with the décor, nor is there any rhyme or reason to the madness. The Induction warmers on this beautiful mahogany table give your diners a bit of elegance while they’re cooking away.

    Without the flames, there are no worries about hurting the patrons or the chefs on duty. Induction works well, and to some it can appear to be magic, adding to the overall showmanship of cooking. The Vollrath induction buffet table moves around according to your needs – so you can have a different setup each day.

    If you don’t want your chefs out on the floor, there’s also the ability to keep the food warm and simply bring it out. The best part, though, is the ability to blend in with the environment. Finally, a table where you can cook AND look good.

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  10. The Star Max Lava Rock Charbroiler

    The Star Max Lava Rock Charbroiler

    Hamburgers aren’t the only thing that goes on charbroilers. While we were driving around, we saw that Burger King was starting to offer charbroiled hot dogs. The Checkers that was just down the street from the BK was offering grilled hot dogs for a little bit less, so we stopped in. Being in the restaurant equipment business, we couldn’t help but wonder whether they were using the Star Max Lava Rock Charbroiler at Checkers.

    Charbroil With Gas For Perfect Hot Dogs

    One thing which separates the commercial charbroilers from the at-home ones is the volume and the BTUs that they use. The Star Max 6048CBF 48” Lava Rock Gas Charbroiler has 160,000 BTU, which means that there’s a whole lot of firepower used to get the job done – just the type of firepower that you need when you’re cooking a lot of hot dogs or hamburgers on the grill.

    You can change the orientation of the grates on the grill, so you can have straight lines or little hash marks on your hot dogs. The backsplash was designed to catch any spattering grease that might happen. So, if there are hot dogs and some veggies on the grill, they’re not going to sputter all over you.

    We know how some folks bump into things, and the Star Max charbroiler makes it easier for those folks by making sure that all of the ‘bump-in-able’ parts stay cool. That helps on food spillage, most definitely.

    You can get some amazing grills out of these charbroilers. Summer’s just around the corner, and right now makes the perfect time to get the gear lined up.

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