Full English Breakfast in less than 10 Minutes?

The Benefits of a Combi Oven – and a Full English Breakfast in less than 10 Minutes!

A combi oven can be one of the most versatile pieces of equipment in any commercial kitchen. Designed with innovative technology that allows it to perform many different functions inside the same unit, a combi oven can cook with convection, steam, or a combination of both. But what are the real benefits of combi ovens?

VERSATILITY

Because combi ovens create a cooking environment that is precisely controlled in terms of moisture and heat, they are ideal for a variety of cooking techniques. With a combi, operators can cook, roast, steam, smoke, grill, braise, bake, fry, reheating, and even grill.

YIELD

Because combi ovens can actually provide moisture instead of removing it, they allow for greater yields, especially when cooking meats and proteins. Standard convection ovens do not provide this benefit.

MAXIMIZE KITCHEN SPACE

Commercial kitchens are usually small, cramped places that don’t have any extra space. In fact, foodservice operators often have to make choices on what types of equipment they can use, thus impacting menu creation. With a combi, you can get the maximum capabilities out of that small footprint while at the same time adding menu variety.

EASE-OF-USE

With the innovative combi ovens available on the market today, operators can enjoy the ease-of-use that comes with pressing a pre-programmed button. Want to fry some eggs,  grill cheese sandwiches, bake some pastries? Just put them in the oven and press a button. The oven will do the rest.

A FULL ENGLISH BREAKFAST IN <10 MINUTES – REALLY?

How to cook a full English breakfast of bacon, black pudding, eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread, hash browns and of course Lincolnshire sausages in less than ten minutes demonstrated by Lincat’s Development Chef, Paul Hickman

Paul uses the Lincat Self Cooking Centre to produce an amazing full english breakfast which looks and tastes amazing!

Discover more about Lincat combi ovens and the potential of combi oven technology in your foodservice operation. Busychef can help you attend a Lincat demo at our Leeds development kitchen to discover more.

Designing a Functional Restaurant Kitchen

Many factors go into opening and running a restaurant, including designing a functional space for your customers to eat in and enjoy. However, there’s another space that’s just as important in your restaurant, and that’s your kitchen. The kitchen is where most of the action for your restaurant is going to take place, and if it’s not designed in a functional way, the flow and productivity of your business will suffer.

It’s time to look at the crucial areas of your commercial kitchen’s design and see how they relate to your business. Think of the operations of your kitchen, and the common processes that occur everyday.

First, you need to have food in the kitchen to cook, which means you’ll need to receive deliveries of produce and meat. The ‘deliveries’ section is where these goods arrive, and it could also includes any drinks that are delivered. You’ll need to work out how these products will be taken care of after delivery. Will they need to be stored or refrigerated? Make sure you have adequate receiving processes so you don’t have food waste or spoilage.

Next is ‘storage’, both dry and cold. You will need to determine what type of storage you need first, and then how much storage you’ll need. Consider these questions to find the best options.

  • How long does the food typically stay in storage?
  • How often do I get deliveries?
  • How big is the kitchen space?
  • How much food is prepared on a daily or weekly basis?
  • What type of storage can I reasonably accommodate while still maintaining function in the kitchen?

Cold storage will require freezers and refrigerators, and these come in a variety of sizes and styles, such as undercounter or freestanding. Shop around for commercial refrigeration options that match your needs and budget.

Dry storage will require proper shelving, and you will need to meet the food hygiene regulations, so be sure you do your research.

Now that the food is stored safely and securely, it’s time for ‘food prep’. Prep is a crucial part of your commercial kitchen, and what you need determines how your food prep area will be set up. Do you need to have the storage and refrigeration close by your prep? Is it important to have a combination prep/refrigeration option in the kitchen? If it’s important for you to have quick access to small appliances and other kitchen needs, you will need to have a prep solution that can accommodate all of these.

If you prepare food beyond salads and sandwiches, you likely need commercial kitchen equipment for ‘production’. Here is where you’ll need to consider the size and type of the larger-size equipment, such as a commercial range or oven. As these pieces of equipment take up a lot of space, you will have to consider how much you’ll use them and how they can fit in your kitchen to improve how you prepare food for your customers. Don’t overlook things such as commercial ice machines either, because those are important for your customers’ food and drink experience a well.

Once the food is cooked, it needs to be plated and served to your customers. After the food is served, all dirty dishes, linen and tableware will need to be removed as well. These aspects are part of the service area of your commercial kitchen’s design. Your servers should ideally have a service station where they can easily get the supplies they need to set and clean up a table. If food, once plated, will be waiting to be picked up, a station or area for hot-holding is another factor that makes it easy for your servers to feed customers efficiently and quickly.

What happens after the food has been consumed by your happy customers? Your waiting staff will need to clean up, which means you’ll have dishes – so to the ‘wash-up’. Dishwashing is a must in any busy commercial kitchen and you’ll need the equipment that can keep your dishes sparkling clean and ready for customers. If you aren’t using a commercial dishwasher, it’s crucial that you have a dish-washing system that includes areas for washing, rinsing and sanitation — it contravenes food hygiene regulations to perform all three in the same sinks, so be aware. The dishwasher you will need will depend on how much you need to wash, how big your space is, your budget.

Cleaning the restaurant, not just the plates, must be considered as well. Chemicals, brushes, cleaning cloths — all of these will be used to clean your restaurant. To comply with COSHH, they need to separated and stored away from anywhere where food is stored and prepared, and chemicals need to safely secured. Ensure you have adequate space to keep all of these things together.

Finally, you have to deal with ‘waste’ at your restaurant. Rubbish and food waste must be disposed of, and you need to make sure that you have the right equipment on hand to do so. Bin liners, waste bins, recycling bins, and other rubbish needs will mean that there has to be storage of these products, and you need to arrange your kitchen so that they may be easily retrieved.

Your kitchen requires careful consideration and planning. It, itself, is like a business, where everyone and everything has its part. The task is difficult, but it’s worth it for a perfectly functioning commercial kitchen.

For help or advice please contact the Busychef team on 0500 008075 or email sales@busychef.co.uk

Discount Products!

Pre-Owned-11012013

What iscertified?

Certified Pre-Owned is our promise to you that the used or clearance equipment you are purchasing has been through a rigorous inspection process in the YCE Catering Equipment Ltd Leeds workshops. Our process, start-to-finish, includes: Cleaning, Inspection and Diagnosis, Repair, Testing and Retesting, and Warranty. All of our Certified Pre-Owned Products come with a 90 day warranty unless otherwise noted. We’re confident in our ability to provide you with quality used equipment.

YCE Catering Equipment Ltd is one of the largest and most reputable supplier and refurbisher of catering equipment in the UK. And no wonder: it’s been our business since 1980.

We’ve created our own proprietary “CERTIFIED” process to produce the best refurbished equipment on the market. Here’s why Busychef’s Pre-Owned Equipment is the best in the industry:

  • Our rock-solid reputation for integrity
  • Busychef 90-Day Warranty for all used equipment
  • We know YOUR business better than most
  • Less than 5% of all customers require Warranty Service*
  • Each piece of equipment is given a final certification test before it leaves our workshops

* Data collected from number of used equipment warranty claims.

NEED ADVICE OR A SOUNDING BOARD?

Contact our Sales Team now.

CLICK BELOW FOR THIS WEEK’S NEWEST PRE-OWNED AND DISCOUNT PRODUCTS:

Robot Coupe R301 Ultra Food Processor NEW!!

Falcon G3461 Gas Griddle EX DEMO!!

Mealstream EC501 Convection/Microwave Oven PRE-OWNED!!

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Lincat LBM3W Bains Marie CLEARANCE!!

Foster EcoPro G2 600l Upright Freezer PRE-OWNED!!

 

10 Quick Tips About Used Restaurant Equipment

Are you in the restaurant business or considering getting into the restaurant business? If you are, you know that the one of the many key cogs to operating a successful establishment is the equipment that you have to help store and prepare the food you’ll be serving (not to mention intangibles like furniture and furnishings). The bottom line is that you need reliable equipment, because should there be a breakdown and the equipment goes down for a period of time, that’s likely going to lead to your inability to serve part of – if not all of – the menu that you’re offering to customers. In a worst case scenario, the restaurant might even require closing for a few days before the issue can get repaired. And if you’re not making food and serving customers, you’re losing money – not making it. And if you have to turn business away, what’s the likelihood that these customers will ever return to your establishment? Probably never.

For this reason, many business owners are somewhat reluctant to consider used restaurant equipment for their establishment. All used restaurant equipment isn’t related equal, but here’s a look at 10 tips about used equipment and why they’re almost always just as viable a solution as buying brand new:

1. Good quality: It’s widely known that as many as 3 out of every 10 new restaurants fail within the first year and up to 60 percent of all new restaurants fail within the first three years of operation. If that’s the case, the equipment needs to go somewhere – and in most cases, it is sold off to another source. Forget for a minute about where the equipment is sold off though – what’s important to get out of this tip is that there’s a surplus of gently used restaurant equipment out there for a fraction of the price of buying new. Yes, newer isn’t always better.

2. Saving money: Choosing the used over the new route is especially relevant for new restaurant owners who may have limited funds to get their operations going. While new restaurant equipment is nice, shiny and likely comes with manufacturer warranties, it’s also very expensive. Some owners just don’t have that kind of money to spend, especially when things like wages, licensing, insurance, marketing and food orders are taken into consideration. That’s where buying used equipment can really come in handy.

3. Only buy commercial: When you’re shopping used restaurant equipment, it’s important that the products you’re buying are commercial – industrial. Not only is this pretty much mandatory based on the standards of local environmental health departments, but such equipment is also easier to maintain and clean. What’s more is that this commercial-grade gear can stand up to the wear and tear of a restaurant or commercial kitchen.

4. Do your homework: Just as how some used restaurant equipment is a cut above others, certain manufacturers are as well. Know what manufacturers have a good reputation and which one’s don’t. To put this point further into perspective, if a piece of equipment is going to break down quickly and easily when bought brand new, it’s going to likely be even more of a problem used. Know the good brands from the bad.

5. Inspect the equipment: If you’re going to an auction or even a dealer that carries such equipment, be sure you give the gear in question a considerable eye test. Check for rust, missing pieces and other damage – anything to give you an idea of a) how old the equipment is, and b) how well it was cared for when it was last in use. You might even put on your reporter’s hat to find out where the piece of equipment was last used and do a tad bit of research to learn a few things about the venue. This may offer further clues on what type of item you’re possibly acquiring.

6. Warranties: You shouldn’t ever buy a new piece of restaurant equipment without a warranty. But in some cases, you might also be able to secure a warranty with a used piece of equipment. Be sure to ask about this – you might be surprised at what the answer is. Needless to say, if you purchase a used piece of equipment with a warranty, that’s even more of a win when you factor in the cost savings.

7. Make sure it’s up to current standard: Chances are if you ever got a new hot water heater, boiler or other domestic appliance installed into your home lately, someone had to come out to inspect it and make sure it was installed right and is up to current standards. That’s another important factor when purchasing used restaurant equipment – make sure whatever piece you’re interested in is up to current health and safety standards. This is especially important when you’re looking at much older, more dated equipment.

8. Go with gas: In terms of many major appliances – let alone used restaurant equipment – it’s the gas appliances that generally have fewer moving parts than other types of equipment. Hence, these appliances are much easier to troubleshoot because of this if you ever run into a pickle where something needs maintenance. When taking into consideration electrical equipment, understand that there’s usually more moving parts. This makes such equipment much more difficult to troubleshoot. Don’t buy gas equipment that hasn’t been checked – ask for a test certificate.

9. Be wary of fryers: While this post is certainly designed to champion the benefits of buying used restaurant equipment compared to new equipment, we strongly recommend doing even extra due diligence when it comes to purchasing deep fat fryers. If you’re going used, be extra certain that the fryer you’re considering has only been gently used. That’s because fryers have a high failure rate based on how the equipment works. So if you’re going used, a thorough inspection to check for leaks and any other damages is a must.

10. Know who you’re buying from: There’s a big difference between a reputable seller and one who isn’t exactly ethical, so it’s important that you know who you’re buying from when it comes to anything – let alone used restaurant equipment. That’s where Busychef Second Hand/Clearance comes in handy. They acquire a large range of catering equipment and put each item through a rigorous workshop test. Unlike other dealers, you can rest assured that any equipment purchased from Busychef is in good working condition and comes with a warranty.

For more information about purchasing used restaurant equipment – and what to look for in a good piece of used equipment, contact Busychef today on 0500 008075.

The Busychef Restaurant Range of the Month!

cropped-OG7002

The oven range is one of the most versatile pieces of equipment in a commercial kitchen, with the ability to fry, grill, broil, saute, boil, braise, simmer, warm and even bake! Whether you are opening a new restaurant and are considering the purchase of an oven range, or looking to replace the one you currently have, the Busychef team will walk you through their restaurant range of the month, and give you the reasons why they chose the Lincat OG7001 and OG7002.

Lincat re-designed the two Opus 700 gas oven ranges in 2010, the four burner OG7001 and six burner OG7002, but even 6 years ago their vision was forward thinking. The new models featured more powerful hob burners, stronger construction and easier to clean stainless steel radiused hob fronts. These important features have proved to be winners in design and practicality.

The hob burners deliver a higher power rating of 6.1 kW for natural gas and 5.7 kW for propane. This performance places them at the top of their class in terms of burner power, and enables them to deliver true high speed cooking. They can, nevertheless, be accurately controlled to ensure excellent results even at low temperatures.

The models feature powerful 6.8kW (OG7001) and 9kW (OG7002) ovens, which deliver precise thermostatic control from 120oC to 280oC. With double insulated doors, side and back panels, they offer safe operation, efficiency and economy.

Like all Lincat products, the new ranges are designed to be easy to clean, with removable floor plates and shelf supports; dished hob tops; vitreous enamelled oven liners and robust matt-enamelled cast iron pan supports.

Side opening doors ensure safe easy access, whilst four shelf positions offer greater versatility. A low level flue enables the entire hob top to be used and, if the ranges are to be installed with other items of Opus 700 equipment, an optional flue extension can be specified to achieve a uniform appearance.

In addition to the four and six burner gas ranges, the heavy-duty Opus 700 series includes six other oven ranges with solid top gas models, as well as electric and dual fuel options. The Opus 700 series also includes: fryers, chargrills, griddles and grills as well as pasta boilers and atmospheric steamers.

All Lincat products, including the Opus series of cooking equipment can be bought online at busychef.co.uk. Busychef are a Lincat Premier dealer and with YCE Catering Equipment Ltd have been partners with Lincat for over 30 years.

Convection Oven vs Conventional Oven

Convection Oven vs Conventional Oven

Highlights

Conventional ovens use radiant heat that emanates from the top and/or bottom surfaces to heat the oven chamber. By way of definition radiating heat is basically heating energy transmitted by electromagnetic waves in contrast to heat transmitted by conduction or convection. The result tends to produce hot and cold spots in the oven chamber which can often lead to uneven cooking results. For commercial cooking applications this method of transferring heat can limit both cooking results and menu options by way of achieving an even cooking result.

To achieve an even cooking result for larger meat products you are required to shift the meat product around the oven to accommodate to uneven pockets of temperature, which is why the allure of faster cooking times, evenly cooked food and the improved energy efficiency in convection ovens is hard to ignore for any commercial application.

Below we discuss how a convection oven will differ from a conventional everyday oven. I have to thank Blue Seal for their help in producing this article, and if you would like to learn more about the Blue Seal Turbofan range of convection ovens click here.

Topics of discussion:

  • How hot air circulation works in the oven
  • Choosing the right power
  • Energy efficiency in the kitchen
  • Size, capacity and output for your business

So what is a convection oven?

A convection oven deals with the problems of hot and cold spots and uneven like cooking result by using a fan to circulate air and keep the temperature more steady. When hot air is blowing onto food, as opposed to merely surrounding it, the food tends to cook more quickly. A short version of the scientific explanation for this is that moving air speeds up the rate of heat transference that naturally occurs when air of two different temperatures converge. A convection oven does just that, it is a fan forced oven which circulates hot air around the oven chamber, hence acting as a catalyst for faster heat transference and a more even cooking temperature.

Hot Air Circulation

In a conventional oven, baking three racks of biscuits or pastries at the same time is asking for trouble causing products on the lowest trays (or higher trays if the heating element is at the top of the oven) to brown too much, too fast darkening your pastries to an undesirable result. If you roast pork in a convection oven, it will brown all over, rather than just on top (roasting pork on a rack in a low-sided baking dish or on a rimmed baking sheet helps to encourage this). It will also be done much more quickly.

Another benefit of this hot air moving around the chamber is that it will eliminate hot and cold spots almost every time. The extent to which you get these marvellous results depends a lot on the particular convection oven you’re using. The best – and most efficient – convection ovens blow heated air into the oven cavity. This means they have a third heating element (in addition to the usual top and bottom elements in a radiant oven) located near or around the fan in the back of the oven. This element heats the air to a uniform temperature before it enters the oven cavity. In many ovens, the third heating element is covered by a baffle, or a panel, which channels air sucked in by the fan past the heating element and back out into the oven.

Blue Seal’s range of Turbofan convection ovens have a fan located behind the lining of the oven, which is protected by a baffle plate. Around the outer rim of the oven fan are coil like heating elements (see right). The air is forced from the fans rotation and then quickly heated before it hits the ergonomically designed baffle plate, which then evenly distributes this hot air in and around the oven chamber. Then it takes it one step further, with the bi-directional fan technology the oven fan changes rotation, both clockwise and anti-clockwise throughout the cooking process because tests have shown that circulating heat in a rotation motion further enhances the evenness of cooking within the chamber and across the tray and removes all cold and hot spots in the oven chamber, ensuring it will deliver a reliable result time after time.

convection oven fan system

The Power

In selecting the right convection oven for your kitchen you need to understand your capacity requirements and then kilowatt to tray relationships then come into play. Looking for an oven with the highest kilowatt/energy output is not always the answer given, instead look at it as a relationship between the kilowatt output divided by the oven chamber capacity. For instance the Blue Seal Turbofan E32D4 – 4 tray digital electric convection oven features a 6.5kW output and there are 4 trays in the oven, now the trick is to divide the kilowatt output to the number of trays. This will identify the performance by tray depending on the size of the food product.

Turbofan’s newest edition in the convection series is the Blue Seal E33D5, a 5 tray digital electric convection oven returning an impressive 1.16 kW per oven tray, exerting enough grunt to perfectly cook almost any oven based menu application.

The Blue Seal E33 range of convection ovens again takes this one step further with carefully regulated moisture control, which is injected into the oven chamber throughout the cooking process to gratify even the most difficult of dishes so that they can be kept from drying out. The five-level moisture injection mode of the E33 delivers this capability time and time again, and with no drainage required installation is a breeze.

The high performance bi-directional reversing fan system has been improved for the new E33 models with the introduction of two fan speeds. And with 5.8kW of heating power that means quality cooking capability – faster and more efficient.

The two-speed fan in the E33 models also provides greater control. High speed brings the grunt for maximum heat penetration. For more delicate products, low speed supplies the grace. Bake, roast, cook or regenerate – it doesn’t matter.

Product loss from shrinkage is limited and so is unnecessary stress – you can rely on succulent results.

Energy efficiency in the kitchen

It’s no secret that commercial kitchen are high energy users, consuming roughly 2.5 times more energy per square metre than any other commercial space, which is why it is more crucial than ever to select an oven that has a practical level of energy efficiency. Energy efficiency in a convection oven boils down to the features of the oven, like – heat retention, quicker heat transference, functionality that enables the user to accomplish overnight cooking at lower cooking temperatures and much more.

The Turbofan series of convection ovens do just that with two speed bi-directional fan technology that allows the users to limit energy output for their more delicate foods and in turn saving money on energy. Furthermore the lining inside the oven chamber is made up of vitreous enamel which is an excellent heat conductor meaning less work needs to be done by the motor because the heat stays inside the oven for even longer. And finally, the quicker heat transference is achieved through ultra-efficient heat circulation with the bi-directional fan technology which transfers the hot air around the oven chamber quickly thereupon less energy output required and faster cooking times achieved.

Saving Space

Experience proves that in many applications (especially in cafes and convenience stores) the space inside the kitchen is often very limited and as the hospitality industry continues to become more and more competitive the need to allow more space for more covers is constantly growing.

In its conception, the newest addition to the Turbofan family, the E33 series of convection ovens aimed to achieve the most practical footprint with the perfect capacity balance. Turbofan now offers a new standard in reduced oven footprints, a broader product series and increased loading capacity to suit virtually any application. The E33D5 model sits on a compact 610mm wide footprint and delivers a substantial five 1/1 gastronorm (GN) tray capacity with 85mm tray spacing.

With this size and scope energy savings are maximised and food loss minimised. That’s all the space and none of the waste.

moffat turbofan

Blue Seal Turbofan offers industry-leading tray spacing for product loading versatility in all series ovens. The space within our oven cavities is fully functional for all applications. All Turbofan oven trays are built to GN tray capacity dimensions to match the universal standard of most commercial kitchen equipment, which can be very handy when you need to hold the trays at a secure HACCP certified temperature post cooking the product in the oven.

Busychef have been partners with Blue Seal in the UK for over 20 years.

At Last! A True Ductless Ventilation System for your Commercial Kitchen.

Many restaurants use deep fat fryers and griddles for commercial use in their kitchen. If any of these appliances are used, then they will need a ventilation system with an extract canopy to filter out the smoke and particle emissions. A standard ventilation unit ducted to outside air is one method of ventilation control; however, if you are a restaurant owner, you may want to consider a ductless ventilation system such as the Lincat Refresh.REF150

A ductless ventilation system is an alternative for someone who doesn’t want to, or is unable to because of building constraints, go through the hassle of installing a traditional ventilation system. The key advantage to the ductless ventilation system is that it requires no ductwork installation. The system itself has an air filtering system that cleans the emissions and recycles the air back into the room – instead of exhausting out of the building and into the atmosphere.

The robust and powerful Lincat Refresh units are truly unique. Available for use with electric appliances, they require no ductwork to the outside, but work by recirculating the air back into the kitchen after the extracted air has passed through a unique four-stage filtration process.

As the units are all-in-one, there is minimal installation required. The simple electrical system only requires a 13 amp plug (2 plugs for the REF150). The Refresh eradicates the necessity to install an air duct to the ceiling of your restaurant. It is also particularly useful when your appliances that have a need for it are not actually sited by an exterior wall. The ventilation system is portable and can be moved from location to location without any installation required.

Refresh is designed for use where venting to the atmosphere is impossible, difficult or costly. Examples could include

  • Listed buildings and conservation areas
  • Basement kitchens
  • Office blocks with limited access for ventilation
  • Where ventilation systems would otherwise need to go through a firebreak (and therefore increase fire risk)
  • Concession areas within airports, train stations and concourses
  • Buildings with restricted planning consent
  • To increase capacity or help with menu changes, which call for additional equipment in existing kitchens

The Lincat Refresh units are available in three sizes, to accommodate appliances up to 500mm wide, 1000mm wide and 1500mm wide.

At last we have a solution which provides a decent working environment for your staff, efficient ventilation for the equipment and you can buy this from your equipment supplier – so you are just dealing with one person for the whole design solution. An affordable modular design which avoids expensive ductwork.

Points to Note:

  • Suitable for use with electric catering equipment only (the units will not remove products of combustion such as CO or CO2 from the recycled air)
  • Recirculating units do not include equipment to reduce extracted air temperatures. This may be of benefit in cold weather but consideration should be given to the provision of cooling within the kitchen space when warmer conditions prevail
  • Refresh units need no direct duct connection to atmosphere; however we suggest a small amount of background extract ventilation should be provided to create at least 10-15 air changes per hour. Most existing kitchens will already have background ventilation in place
  • With the exception of the stainless steel baffle filter (which will only need replacing due to accidental damage), the other stages of filtration will require replacing once they have reached capacity. The frequency of filter changes will depend on the intensity and type of cooking. If a filter change is needed this can be determined easily by visual inspection as part of general maintenance checks. The stainless steel baffle filters (which provide the first level of filtration) should be washed in a dishwasher once per week, whilst this filter is removed, a visual inspection of the panel filter can take place, this filter will need replacing more often than the final two stages of HEPA and Carbon filtration.

Lincat Refresh ventilation units come with a two year warranty and are usually available within one week of placing the order. To download the Refresh brochure click here. The Lincat Refresh range of self contained ductless ventilation canopies are available from www.busychef.co.uk. For further information email sales@busychef.co.uk or phone the Busychef sales team free on 0500 008075

Ten things you didn’t know you could do with a combi-steamer (and a few things you should NEVER do!)

cropped-combi-paulThe modern combination oven is a sophisticated and versatile tool. Models such as the Lincat Opus SelfCooking Center are capable of so much more than just roasting or steaming. Here are ten uses for a combi-steamer which might not be immediately obvious – and also a couple of things you should NEVER, EVER try…

  1. Grilling – because humidity levels can be accurately controlled, it is possible to grill steaks and produce full English breakfasts. You can even chargrill using an optional oven grid which imparts authentic char marks to meat products.
  2. Pan Frying – advanced temperature and humidity control systems allow you to prepare pan fried dishes, such as trout, without even needing to turn the product during cooking.
  3. Toasting – again, efficient removal of excess moisture allows you to toast with crisp results. As well as bread and teacakes, you can also toast coconut, nuts, and a whole host of other ingredients, for patisserie work.
  4. Regeneration – many chefs will steer clear of regeneration, having suffered recurring nightmares of the dried out or soggy food of the past. But the unique Finishing mode in Lincat Opus SelfCooking Centers brings pre-cooked food back to perfect serving condition. Inbuilt automatic monitoring means that this mode can be used for plated banquets, a la carte dishes and also bulk food production in GN containers.
  5. Poaching – being able to combine steam with low temperatures (30°C – 99°C) enables you to gently poach fish, fruit, etc.
  6. Proving – precise control of both temperature and humidity means that a Lincat Opus SelfCooking Center can be used as an effective prover for bread and other yeast products.
  7. Overnight Cooking – fully automatic control means that food products can be cooked to perfection overnight, totally unsupervised. Slow roasting minimises shrinkage and produces a wonderfully succulent and tender result. Lincat have a Delta-T mode, which is perfect for cooking cured meats such as hams.
  8. Frying – deep-frying in a combi oven? Absolutely. Again, accurate control of temperature and humidity, together with a Lincat special CombiFry basket, allows bulk production of fried potato and breaded products – and with minimal oil, which is an obvious added benefit in these health conscious times.
  9. Drying – removal of excess humidity and gentle air circulation means that the Opus SelfCooking Center can be used to dry meringues, fruit slices, tomatoes, etc.
  10. Hog Roasts – using the optional spit attachment, whole pigs or lambs can be roasted.

There are some things, however, that are impossible even in an Opus SelfCooking Center. That’s not to say that one or two of Lincat’s more “imaginative” customers have not tried. One attempted to clean the pan supports from his six-burner range using the Lincat CleanJet self-cleaning function.

Another tried to use it as a clothes dryer – to dry out his tea towels. Our favourite, though, was the chap who placed a pan of lit oak shavings in the bottom of the cooking chamber, intending to impart a delicate smoked flavour to his meat. Unfortunately he forgot about the fan, which whipped ash to every corner of the oven.

The Busychef team would like to thank Paul Hickman, Development Chef at Lincat Ltd, for his contribution to this blog.

Eight Things That Chefs Would Never Admit To!

1. Chefs are fussier than you think

picky eater

You might think chefs need to eat everything to get new ideas for their wonderful new creations, but the truth is most chefs are not willing to eat EVERYTHING. The top 5 foods that chefs hate most are liver, sea urchin, tofu, aubergine and oysters, of all things. Only 15% of the chefs said they ate anything.

Avoid pasta and chicken when eating out

chicken pasta

Why? These dishes are not worth the prices on the menu. Pasta and chicken dishes are easy to make at home, and chefs said that if they are paying £15 for a dish, they want something they don’t usually make, or at least is not that easy to make.

Chefs love fast food, TOO!

tats27

 

You may think chefs would avoid fast food but actually most of the chefs claim they love fast food. The favourite chains among chefs’ votes: KFC and McDonalds.

Chefs work hard for low pay

Chef

Chefs usually work between 60 to 80 hours a week and almost all of them work on holidays. 65% reported making less than £25,000 per year, compared to waiters taking home an average of £600 per week.

Specials are usually experimental dishes

insect-food

You may think that special menu items usually are the popular dishes, but the truth is that specials are just a chefs’ way of using old ingredients to try out new ideas or serve seasonal ingredients. Only 5 chefs admitted that they try to empty out the fridge with nightly specials.

Don’t order fish on Sunday

Funny-Boil-Sea-Food

Several chefs warned, “We don’t get fresh deliveries on Sunday.” So if you order seafood on Sunday, you might have the food less tasty/fresh.

Does 5 seconds rule work?

food on floor

Yes, 25% of the chefs surveyed said they’d pick up food that dropped on the floor and cook it. So the 5 seconds rule works, at least for the chefs.

Restaurants mark up wine by A LOT more than you might expect

drunk restaurant

A lot of chefs said that the wines on their menu costs 3 times what the same one costs in a supermarket.

With thanks to Al for his contribution – and my wandering mind which made most of this up.

Top 10 Tips for Catering Equipment Maintenance

fireTop 10 Tips for Catering Equipment Maintenance

The only way to get the most benefit and trouble-free service out of your catering and refrigeration equipment is to perform regular maintenance. Regular maintenance, which includes cleaning, will keep everything working in good working order and can catch minor problems or worn out parts before they cause expensive breakdowns. Regardless of the type of equipment, there are 10 maintenance related tasks that you need to do for every piece of catering equipment that you own.

Read The Manual!

The first place you should look for proper maintenance procedures for your specific pieces of catering equipment is the owner’s manual, which comes with the equipment. Generalised tips from an article on the internet are all well and good, but the owner’s manual will tell you specifically what needs to be done to keep your equipment in tip-top shape. Most manufacturers’ websites have downloadable versions of manuals, and the manufacturers should have manuals for older or discontinued models, too.

Fill Out and Return the Warranty Card

The only way to gain the benefits of manufacturers’ warranties for new catering or refrigeration equipment, which usually include x-number of years in free parts and labour, is to fill out the warranty card and return it to the manufacturer. You usually have about a month after delivery to get the warranty card filled out and returned, so don’t put it off.

Educate staff on the proper use of the equipment.

Misuse and abuse are among the leading causes of catering equipment breakdowns, and most warranties will not cover repairs resulting from misuse. Show staff how to properly use, clean and maintain your foodservice equipment to keep everything up and running and eliminate the amount of money you have to spend on non-warranty issues.

Clean all catering equipment daily.

Daily cleaning is perhaps the most important maintenance tip for catering and refrigeration equipment. Daily cleaning prevents dirt, grime and food scraps from building up and causing damage to the machine’s components. Having clean catering equipment is something environmental health officers look for too. Learn more here about what EHO’s look for

a9feaa6c206_634x404Perform thorough cleaning on a regular basis.

Either weekly, monthly or half yearly, depending on the type of equipment, there are deep cleaning procedures that need to be followed. The purpose of more thorough cleaning is to get those places that are hard to reach or to just tackle the grime that accumulates over time.

Regularly inspect your catering equipment.

Any time you perform a thorough cleaning on your catering equipment, inspect any moving parts, electrical, water and gas connections and other components for wear, tear and leaks. Catching and correcting small maintenance issues early (like a water leak caused by a loose hose fitting) can save you from more expensive repairs in the future. You can even set up a service contract with a local service agent and have them inspect your equipment. Try us out at YCE Catering Equipment Ltd by phoning 0113 252 6566 or email service@yce.co.uk.

Replace broken or worn out parts.

Over time, parts just wear out and need to be replaced. If something appears worn out, better to replace the worn out part soon before it causes serious problems. Contact a member of our service team at YCE Catering Equipment Ltd by phoning 0113 252 6566 or email service@yce.co.uk.

tumblr_inline_mi812zliar1qz4rgpBe careful with DIY fixes. 

One way to save money on catering equipment or refrigeration repairs is to simply fix it yourself. If the equipment is new, fixing things yourself may void the warranty, so be sure to read the warranty and know what you can and cannot do yourself. Even if the equipment is not under warranty, overly complex repairs should still be performed by someone with the right skills and qualifications – not some guy the boss met down the pub. Don’t slow down your wait time with unreliable equipment.

Follow chemical instructions.

Whether the chemicals you are using are meant to clean the piece of equipment or the equipment uses chemicals itself, like a commercial dishwasher, be sure to read and follow the instructions on the labels. Improperly mixing to the wrong chemical concentration can be dangerous for your staff and damaging to your equipment.

undersinkcloseProperly care for stainless steel.

Catering equipment and refrigeration is manufactured primarily out of stainless steel. Despite its name, stainless steel can become stained, tarnished or corroded if not properly cared for, so be sure to use mild detergents, soft cloths and wash with the grain when cleaning your food service equipment.

If you would like advice from the experts on looking after your catering equipment, please get in touch with the Busychef team on 0500 008075 or email sales@busychef.co.uk. We have been giving good advice for a very long time.