Equipment & ManufacturerFood Preparation

bringing everything TOGETHER

By June 8, 2016No Comments
EQ_Article2_1Whether cooking a plate or 100 plates, consistency and food safety is paramount. Both can only happen with a properly written Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) and the most suitable equipment in place. While we won’t be discussing SOP as every kitchen is unique in its processes; we can bring up how specific equipment can help such facilities operate optimally alongside the aspect of packing.

In centralised kitchens, it can be more sensible to have a cold room due to its space and easy access because you can walk into a cold room (freezer or fridge) and walk out with a basket – load of ingredients. Cold rooms offer flexibility as they are usually built to customers’ specification. Many large facilities also place regular refrigerators at strategic places so that products are easily reached when required during cooking. Note on storing vacuum sealed items – store them as how you would in a regular refrigerator and freezer. Although the package may be tightly sealed, some disease- causing bacteria do not require oxygen to breed and can multiply even in vacuumed packages when not stored properly.Don’t forget to label the product and the date it arrived and arrange older products to the front.

In today’s challenging climate of labour and space constraints, it is considered impractical to have a line of crew members peeling and cutting huge numbers of vegetables. Preparation machines are here to do the job. Peeling machines clean off the skin of potatoes, other tubers and edible root vegetables. For example, Virutekk’s MKK-150 is able to peel up to 150kgs of tubers per hour. With an abrasive bottom disc and abrasive walls of the working chamber together with water, peel is removed through the outlet in the cylinder body of the machine and to the drainage system through a filter. All a user needs to do is load the root vegetable into the chamber, fasten the lid, turn on the water tap and preset the peeling time. Other items that can be processed include beets, onions and carrots.

After the peeling, you’ll need to process them into desired cuts and vegetables preparation machines are equipped with a variety of cutting blades. For example, Hallde’s Vegetable Preparation Machine RG-400i is able to process vegetables enough for up to 3,000 portions a day which translates to 2.4 tons per hour. It offers more than 50 types of cuts while 4 separate feeders make it more flexible for loading – a manual push feeder gives a leverage effect, round products are continuously fed with the feed hopper, a 4-tube insert to slice long products and a pneumatic push feeder presses food down by a push of a button. The RG-400i is made of stainless steel to fulfill the market’s requirements for dishwasher-proof par ts making large scale vegetable processing a less tedious job to clean up after.

By now, all of us would have realised that the act of cooking is founded upon the mise en place (preparation). Having said that, an efficient kitchen is complimented by equally specific (yet versatile) cooking equipment such as these.

Pressure Braising Pan
Electrolux’s ProThermatic Braising Pan works on the pressure cooking principle as it greatly cuts down cooking time (up to 60% compared to traditional cooking). The element of saturated steam penetrates food products 5 times better than boiling water, leading to fast cooking time that retains the vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients in food. Its braising pan is multifunctional as the flat and wide pan surface allows chefs to prepare dishes such as stews, curries, stir-fried vegetables or grilling pieces of poultry and fish without having to stir hence maintaining products’ shape and saving time. One of its values is the ability in maintaining temperature consistency in various capacities:
• Braising Pan & Frytop :at more than 110°C, it controls the temperature on the cooking surface
• Kettle & Steamer :at less than 110°C, it controls the temperature in the vessel
• Pressure Steamer:under pressure it controls the temperature in the chamber

As liquid inside the pan forms steam and raises the pressure of the cavity, Electrolux’s pan comes with a reinforced lid that ensures pressure control and temperature insulation. Working alongside insulation is an internal pressure of 0,45 bar that quickly reaches 108°C cooking temperature thus saving time and energy. While cooking in big batches, kitchens can still conserve energy as the ProThermatic reduces consumption by up to 80% due to isolation, precise temperature control, reduced cooking time and optimised heating system.

Steam Kettle
Also known as steam-jacketed kettles, it is the equivalent of the braising pan but in a pot version to cook liquid foods like gravies, soups, sauces, pie fillings or boil water to cook large amounts of pasta and blanch vegetables. It can also be used to brown meat cutlets. Advancements have led to combinative kettles like Metos’ Proveno. Not only does it cook, it also has a cook-chill function where users do not have to transfer the cooked food into a blast chiller for storage. In-kettle chilling keeps the food at a safe temperature until it is time to serve and you can reheat just by selecting the right button. A built-in Intelligent TempGuard-temperature control minimises the risk of food scorching, burning or sticking onto the surface with BurnPrevent Control and ProvingControl. The Proveno allows chefs to program their own menu and cooking settings so that repeated cooking of the same dishes are made easy and can be done by anyone else. An integrated mixing arm frees the chef from having to manually watch over the cooking process and automatically cuts out labour fatigue.

together3Combi- Oven
No longer a stranger to commercial kitchens, professionals have found this technology that produces both dry (convection) and moist (steam) heat to open the doors of productivity and to ease their load. Also called a combisteamer, these units can cook different products with different cooking methods at the same time; making it a choice for high volume food preparation. Coming from UNOX, its CHEFTOP MIND.Maps™ is developed for production kitchens, understanding it needs to make high volumes with consistency. Its patented ADAPTIVE.CookingTM technology registers the variation of temperature and humidity according to the quantity of food placed into the oven, thereby optimising the cooking process for results the chef expects. The kitchen cooks a variety of items and accessibility of operations is key. Use the MASTER.Touch Plus™ to program all the cooking processes and save them in the MIND.MAPS program in order to reproduce the same results every time.

MULTI.Time function can be set to roast chickens at the same time steam broccoli without aroma transfer and over/undercooking. Use the MISE.EN.PLACE program to have all of your different dishes ready to come out of the oven at the same time. With the hive of activity, UNOX considers safety and easing of fatigue through CHEFTOP MIND.Maps™ trolley ovens that allows loading and unloading trays of food quickly and safely. For assurance and to minimise downtime, UNOX offers a LONG.Life4 program where users can extend the guarantee on spare parts up to 4 years or 10.000 hours on-time.

Let’s go back to the practice of vacuum-packing. Having proven useful in the steps of preservation of fresh ingredients and also cooking; kitchens can also seal cooked food for storage. For this process, the food needs to be blast chilled before sealing and returned to the refrigerator. Blast chillers typically cool down hot food to a temperature low enough to inhibit bacterial growth. These units are able to reduce temperature of cooked food from +70 °C (158 °F) to +3 °C (37 °F) or below within 90 minutes for safe storage and consumption.

If time is of the essence, a unit to be considered can be IRINOX’s EasyFresh because it is able to take all food whether at ambient temperature or immediately after cooking to ensure its quality with 4 cycles:
• STRONG:+3°C cycle uses the chiller’s maximum power to rapidly extract heat from dense foods such as large cuts of meat, soup, sauces or fatty products.
• DELICATE:+3°C cycle chills food to +3°C at the core in a calculated process and is suitable for gentle things like vegetables, fish or rice and mousse-like textures.
• DELICATE:-18°C delicately deep freezes food and is suited for baked leavened products
• STRONG:-18°C rapidly deep freezes medium-large cuts to -18°C at the core, with air temperature reaching -40°C. Can also be used to stabilise ice cream.

Under strict testing of NF and UK standards, the IrinoxBalanceSystem®in its EasyFresh enabled the unit to chill or freeze the same quantity of food in both processes with its rapidity of heat removal increasing by 40%. Understanding that thickness of food and quantities vary, the MultiRack®is an adjustable tray rack allowing distance between trays to be altered every 20mm in order to facilitate proper flow of air inside the chamber in optimum food quality.

For further safety, Sanigen®eliminates unpleasant odours and sanitises ever y par t of the chamber, including the areas that are difficult to access for cleaning (e.g. the evaporator, etc.). After blast chilling, the food can be transferred to a regular refrigerator until time for service. To reheat vacuum packed food, the typical practice would be to immerse the entire bag into simmering water.

In conclusion, cooking in a centralised setting can be demanding in term of procedure adherence. And we can consider the star ting point to be important as it plays a role in the following steps. With vacuum packing getting more popular nowadays, we hope that you can better understand the benefits of this practice and weigh it out; alongside the other options for food preparation as mentioned.