What was cooking in YCE Catering Equipment busyChef Kitchen?

Did you know?

That almost all 18-34 year olds eat out and that over half of them do so at least weekly. A third of them eat out almost 3 times a week? That’s a lot of meals served every week!

And did you know?

That the variety of craft beers has increased by almost a half and that the demand for craft beer has pushed the UK brewery number past 2000 breweries?

In the age of upcoming casual and fine dining restaurants and booming coffee shops, most of us from time to time seek some of the classics we have been brought up or fallen in love with – where better to have a classic favourite meal or pint than at the pub. Well these guys know what a great pub should offer- Star Pubs & Bars are one of the fastest expanding pub groups in the UK and they sure have got it right with almost 200 year experience in creating great British pubs.

You may ask what makes them so special?

Well in a recent survey more than 97% of their licensees claimed they are so pleased with the help and support offered my Star Pubs & Bars that they would be even willing to open another pub!

And that’s not all. This year they have invested heavily into their pubs by funding high cost items such as ovens, fridges and grills, helping to save licensees’ capital and investment flow. These renovations have helped their licensees’ develop strong food offers. Now more than 74% of Star Pubs & Bars are offering food – the highest percentage of any national leased operator

So, what was cooking in YCE Catering equipment busyCHEF kitchen?
Star Pubs & Bars help their pubs by developing creative and appealing dishes and menus tailored to the pub markets. YCE Catering Equipment Ltd then pair up the developed menus with all the necessary minimum key equipment that is essential in the kitchen to support the pub operators when delivering to their pub guests.

YCE Catering Equipment Ltd work hand in hand with Star Pubs & Bars to achieve their overall food growth ambitions. Our part in this mission is to advise and ensure every kitchen investment has the minimum key equipment to deliver their range of food offerings just like the one they just developed in YCE Catering Equipment busyCHEF kitchen.

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.

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.

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.

When your deep fat fryer stops working…………

Just about to start service, switch on the fryers at the wall or try to fire up the burners and the nothing happens? Kitchen nightmare indeed! Imagine running just one service without a deep fat fryer!

What do you do next? Call an engineer – maybe – but will your favourite kitchen equipment engineer really be able to get to you in five minutes?angry boss

Do you have an on-site maintenance engineer? Even if he can get to the kitchen quickly, does he know what to do?

This is worth a shot – read on.

Before service started were the fryers cleaned out? Was the old oil changed for new? Has someone simply pulled the fryers out to clean behind them? All of the above actions can result in the overheat, safety or reset switch becoming activated, or trigger the fryer head location microswitch (sounds it techy but it’s not).

The fryer head location microswitch is the easiest fix – just looking at the fryer you will be able to see whether the head is sitting squarely onto the tank. If not, just relocate it as it should be, and the fryer should start up. There is no resetting of a microswitch – its just there to make sure the elements are sitting in the oil and this type of safety device is usually found on small table top electric fryers.

Now to the overheat or reset safety switch and the most likely cause for it to trip out:

When emptying your deep fat fryers, whether gas or electric, we all know it is easier to drain the oil when it is warm. The oil is less viscous – thinner – and runs away easier. Don’t try emptying the fryer of oil when it is still hot as that is dangerous and could result in a fire or worse.

The Hot Off the Grill restaurant in Seal Beach is closed on Saturday due to a grease and oil fire that happened Friday evening.  ////ADDITIONAL INFO:  -   02.SB.fire.0426.ks   -  Day: Saturday - Date: 4/25/15  -  Time: 9:56:14 AM  -   Original file name: _KSA3642.NEF  -  KEN STEINHARDT, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER --

When draining warm oil from the fryer tank, the fryer heating element or gas burner tube is exposed whilst the fryer is still warm, and these areas can actually still increase in temperature as the oil absorbs any left over heat once the fryers have been switched off.

Remove the oil (the heat absorbing load if you like) and the metal components can no longer dissipate the latent heat through the oil so they heat up.

This can result in the overheat thermostat being activated, which is why your fryer won’t switch on. Have a look at this really helpful video from our friends at Lincat. Don’t worry if your fryer isn’t made by Lincat, and the neon lights on your fryer may not be the same colours – the remedy is just the same as soon as you have found out where the switch is hidden! Now where did you put the fryer instructions?

Easy – right? Well we hope so, but there is a chance of course that this fix doesn’t get your fryer working again. The overheat switch may reset, but it might activate again either immediately or soon after resetting. In this case, as John says in the video, you may have an underlying fault within the fryer that your service engineer will need to check. Under no circumstances tape the reset button down or ask your KP to keep his/her finger on it until service ends. It’s there for a reason!

To see the full range of electric and gas deep fat fryers on the Busychef website click here.df7

The Busychef and YCE Catering Equipment Ltd team would like to thank Lincat Ltd and  their Product Support Manager John Quipp for the above video.

If you do need service support, then contact YCE Catering Equipment service line on 0113 252 6566 or email: service@yce.co.uk

Why Choose Induction Cooking?

IH21Induction Cooking has come a long way since its creation back in the early 1900s (yep – really!) and modern implementation into North America in the 1950’s. Advancements throughout the late 20th century and early 21st century have made induction cooking a popular option for chefs across the world. Is induction cooking right for your business? Keep reading to find out!

The Techy Bit

Induction CookingWhen you use an induction range, an electric current creates alternating magnetic fields. These magnetic fields create a current that push against molecules in the cookware. The resistance from the molecules produce heat in the pan. Therefore, the pan itself creates the heat, making induction cooking one of the safest options in the foodservice industry.

Remember, when you use induction cooking you need to use pans made from a ferrous material (such as iron or stainless steel with ferrous bases) for the heating to take place. If you don’t, the process won’t work! You can soak up more techy stuff here.

Safety

Induction cooking is known for being a safe alternative to conventional cooking. With induction cooktops, there is no open flame or heated surface to catch fire or get burns. Yes, the pan and food get hot – but induction ranges only produce magnetic fields, so if there isn’t a pan on the range, no heat is produced!

Accuracy

When it comes to induction cooking, nothing is more accurate. Increased control and repeatable results are just a few of the pros with this type of cooking. Some hobs and ranges have many power settings so you can have varied degrees of accuracy every time you cook. You can adjust cooking heat instantaneously with induction ranges.

Induction cooktops heat food more evenly by turning the pans into the source of the heat. They also feature tight, precise temperature control and the capacity for very low temperature settings.

Efficiency

If you’re looking to save when it comes to your energy bills, induction cooking is the way to go. Induction is about 90% efficient rather than gas ranges at under 50%. You’ll also save some money throughout its life by eliminating a pilot light.

Induction cooktops produce less waste heat, which is useful if you’re working with expensive food that needs to be cooked carefully and kept cold beforehand. If you’re looking to easily temper chocolate, or thicken custard or hollandaise sauce, induction ranges are perfect and your kitchen will no longer require bain-maries or double boilers.

Is your traditional range making your kitchen uncomfortably hot? Induction ranges keep your kitchen much cooler, making your team much happier! Induction units are incredibly easy to install if you’re purchasing a range, or if you have a countertop range you simply plug it in and go.

They all come from Asia – Right?

Wrong! Lincat, the UK’s leading manufacturer of commercial catering equipment, has added induction hobs and ranges to its professional range of over 450 products for cooking, holding and display.

Manufactured at Lincat’s purpose-built factory in Lincoln, UK the energy-efficient induction technology can help you to reduce operating costs and maintain a more comfortable kitchen temperature, while delivering a highly responsive and controllable cooking method with a range of convenient features.

Because heat is generated in the pan, instead of the hob surface, very little energy is wasted into the kitchen’s atmosphere, which makes the cooking process more efficient and reduces demand on air conditioning systems. At the same time Lincat’s new induction hobs deliver rapid heat-up and almost twice the cooking power of a similarly rated gas hob.

Other features include rotary controls with LED power level display, pan detection safety functions, easy-to-change filters and powerful internal cooling fans with overheat protection. Their impact-resistant Scott Ceran® glass ceramic surface is hard-wearing and easy to clean, particularly as the induction process keeps the surface relatively cool.

Nick McDonald, Marketing Director of Lincat Ltd, said:

“Ideal for melting chocolate, simmering stocks or rapidly boiling a large pan of pasta, our new IH21 induction hob will help businesses to reduce energy consumption, cut costs and increase safety in the kitchen. Equal to the challenges of the busiest commercial kitchen, the IH21 is also a great choice for front of house or theatre style cooking, thanks to its attractive design and sleek profile.”

For further advice on induction cooking or help in choosing the right induction cooker for your business, call the Busychef team on 0500 008075 or YCE on 0113 252 6566. Our range of induction cookers can be found by clicking on this link.

Demystifying Stainless Steel! Why you should know more

 

demystifying_steel

Have you ever noticed that some stainless steel is more durable than others? Ever wondered why some is magnetic and some is not? It turns out that stainless steel is a broader concept than many realise, referring simply to a group of hybrid metals (“alloys” if you like). Why should you, a food business owner, need to know about stainless steel though?

Being properly aware of what you’re investing your money into is important. We don’t want you to buy a product which is insufficient for your needs, nor do we want you to spend money on a piece of equipment which provides more protection than you really need.

So, let’s talk stainless steel. Stainless steel alloys are made by mixing iron with at least 10.5% chromium, as well as other metals and materials like carbon. The different “recipes” for stainless steel result in different types, impacting price, strength, and corrosion resistance. You may have noticed we label benches “430 grade”. That description tells you something about its composition. It’s part of a larger group called “ferritic” stainless steel.

Another group common in foodservice (and elsewhere) is called “austenitic.” Most commercial sinks are made from a type of austenitic steel tagged “304 Series.”

All of this can get rather confusing, so let YCE and Busychef break it up a bit for you – we have been making stainless steel benches, sinks and shelves for 35 years.

Austenitic Steel

The most common type of steel used today, austenitic steel accounts for 70% of steel production. Because of the materials used in this alloy, it’s particularly resistant to corrosion.

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304 Austenitic Stainless Steel

Known for being the most common type of stainless steel used, 304 is practical and hardy. It’s resistant to food products, sterilising solutions, and most organic materials. Because of its superior rust protection, it’s used in sink bowls and other surfaces which are most likely to come in contact with corrosive substances. Unfortunately, due to the high cost of nickel and how difficult it is to work with austenitic steel, this is more expensive than many other stainless steel options. An example of a sink made from this material can be found on the Busychef website here.

201 Austenitic Stainless Steel

You could consider 201 the kid brother of 304, since they share a similar chemical composition. It’s still food safe, but doesn’t hold up to corrosion quite as well, so it’s not going to withstand chemicals like bleach. Because of this, it tends to be less expensive. You’ll often find it in the form of handwashing sinks, but we won’t use it for fabrication.

Ferritic Steel

The main way ferritic steel differs from austenitic is that is contains nickel and is also magnetic. For example, want to find out if your stainless steel is austenitic or ferritic? Grab yourself a magnet. If it sticks, it’s ferritic. It’s known for being both corrosion resistant and hold up against stress.

430 Ferritic Stainless Steel

For environments with less chemical use, 430 is a great option, as it’s made with chromium. 430 is used most often for ovens, refrigerators, and economic cost sinks or tables. While it may be cheaper, if properly taken care of, it can last you a long time and will end up being a wise investment. We tend to use 430 for undershelves, wall shelves etc.

316 Ferritic Stainless Steel

L6512CT

316 isn’t something you’ll find very often in the restaurant world, though it’s been known to pop up occasionally, like in food trolleys meant for hospitals or food processing equipment. It’s extremely corrosion-resistant because it has larger quantities of nickel, and as such, it is mainly used in the medical world. Because of the amount of nickel it contains, it’s difficult to fabricate, and so is quite expensive.

Gauge

Counter-intuitively, the lower number gauge, the thicker the steel. Take note that while the steel may have a lower gauge, and therefore be thicker, the type of steel still matters. Gauge is just the density, not the quality.

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18-Gauge

Also known as the economy gauge, for a lower cost you get a respectable piece of stainless steel. It tends to work best for things like wall shelves and undershelves. (1.24mm)

16-Gauge

This is where you get the most bang for your buck. It’s a quality thickness which will serve many uses, but won’t break your budget. You’ll find plenty of well-built sinks and prep tables which use 16-gauge. (1.65mm)

14-Gauge

The perfect gauge for butchers. You can hammer and hack things on this gauge all day long without bowing the stainless steel. It’s also going to look smooth and sleek over a longer period of time. (2.11mm)

If you would like advice from the experts on which quality or gauge to choose for your food establishment, please get in touch with the Busychef team on 0500 008075 or email sales@busychef.co.uk. You could also take a look at the Lincat fabrication we sell online at busychef.co.uk website here.

Replacing Refrigeration – What You Need to Know

MBF 2 DOORKitchen refrigeration is one of the key items of equipment of the foodservice industry. Without correctly working refrigeration, it would be nearly impossible for any business to keep its food safe and preserve the quality of its food. When it is time to replace a refrigerated appliance however, there are certain steps that should be taken.

1. Factor in the Size
The first consideration that needs to be made when replacing a fridge is assessing the size and capacity of the model. There is a huge variety of options when it comes to choosing the right equipment, and knowing which one matches a specific business is important. Cabinet refrigeration can range from small under-counter 60cm by 60cm models of 100 litre capacityMGF 1 DOOR to massive 150cm by 80cm uprights that can provide up to 1500 litres of refrigeration. However, the external dimensions of these fridges have declined slightly as efficiency grows, and new models may be able to provide additional storage capabilities through economy of scale.

2. Choose the correct temperature
But all refrigeration keeps food cold I hear you say – well yes, it does, but horses for courses! Do you have house rules for food temperature? If not check out the Food Standards Agency guidelines here. You should all be aware that it is recommended practice to operate refrigerators and chillers at +5°C or below. Meat temperature refrigeration controls the temperature of the contents at between -1°C and +1°C. Freezing of food at temperatures of -18°C or below will prevent bacteria multiplying.

3. Importance of Maintenance
In some situations, replacement of a refrigerator is necessary because it was never maintained. New models can last longer than ever, but proper maintenance can save energy too. Fans get clogged up with dust and evaporators become blocked. When combined with the increased efficiency and capability of new models, a replacement can provide an important cost benefit for the average foodservice business.

In maintenance work, a fridge or freezer should be cleaned thoroughly once a month, while fan blades and condensing units2012-12-16_124344_kelvimator_n660 should be given special attention. Door hinges, as well, are an often-overlooked aspect of the product in question. If they don’t have a secure seal, the unit itself can become overworked, which will harm its long-term lifespan. In addition, having the equipment regularly checked may be able to find important issues like blockages. When buying new refrigeration – ask about the seals and how long they are expected to last.

4. Proper Ventilation and Treatment
Certain rules should be applied to the treatment of a refrigerator to ensure it remains effective. For instance, proper ventilation is vital to ensure the system does not overheat, which can vastly harm its performance. In addition, electrical requirements should be considered, and defrosting frequencies should be set as low as possible. Keeping unit lights off often can also have benefits, as they can reduce heat. Also is it time to replace that high wattage lamp in the cold room with a low energy (and low heat emitting) lamp?

Replacing a refrigerator doesn’t have to be frustrating. Operators should pay attention to a number of key considerations from size to the type of maintenance required. By keeping these concerns in mind, foodservice personnel will find that new models can actually offer great improvements in their operations.

Ask the experts for their advice at www.busychef.co.uk, telephone them on 0500 008075 and ask which manufacturer they would recommend for your application.

Buying Guide: Griddles and Grills

GS7-N_310_210Despite the change to colder weather the demand for lighter, healthier food is on the increase. It is good news therefore that griddles, grills and chargrills allow outlets of all sizes to meet that growing demand for lower fat options.

But it’s not just about offering grilled rather than battered or fried fish, burgers, sausages and steaks. Griddles and grills are great for crepes, flat breads and even fruit. It is even possible to stir fry directly onto the griddle plate, for example to produce Mongolian-style dishes.

Investing in a griddle or grill can therefore help you to widen your menu offering for a relatively modest outlay. And here are our tips on choosing the right equipment for your business….

General:

  • Consider your present and future requirements and always buy the size to suit this need, allowing for future expansion.
  • Always talk to your friendly foodservice dealer about your requirements; we will be able to offer impartial advice on the best griddle or grill for your particular needs.
  • Check that capacities and output quoted are like for like.  For example, is the output of burgers per hour for frozen or fresh product?  If output is quoted for steaks, what size and degree of cooking?
  • Buy one made by a reputable manufacturer to be sure of compliance with all relevant regulations and to ensure ongoing service and spare parts availability.
  • Choose equipment which is easy to clean.

Griddles:OG7207-N

  • Griddle plates should have no gaps to allow grease to seep into the body.  Look for gully welded plates or one-piece castings. Splash guards should be integrated for the same reason.
  • Larger units should offer the flexibility and energy saving capacity of a dual heat zone. This allows just part of the griddle to be used in quieter times.
  • Major manufacturers offer a wide range of griddle plates including machined steel, ribbed, half-ribbed and chrome.  Chrome griddles radiate less heat into the atmosphere and so are more energy efficient than steel plate models.  This contributes to a more pleasant working environment.  Their attractive, easy-to-clean cooking surface is also ideal for theatre-style cooking.
  • Check the drainage channel – will it be easy to use and keep clean?

Chargrills:OE7406 propped

  • Choose a chargrill with power to spare, rather than running the unit flat out to achieve the heat you need.
  • Lava rock can be messy to use. That’s why Lincat’s chargrills use innovative heat transfer profiles to achieve controlled flaring, to give chargrilled food its distinctive taste.
  • If gas is not an option or, if adequate ventilation is an issue, chargrilling is still possible with Lincat’s Silverlink 600 electric chargrill. This features a water bath to retain humidity which makes it a good choice for all kinds of meat and fish.

Grills:AS4

  • Safety of operation should be a key issue in your choice of salamander grill. For heavy-duty models is there a branding plate lifting mechanism (like the EasiLift mechanism from Lincat)? And is this included in the price, or is it simply available as an optional extra?
  • Choose heavy duty, cast aluminium reversible branding plates.  These offer high heat retention and both sides can be used for grilling and branding.
  • For additional flexibility consider buying and adjustable salamander. The grill hood of Lincat’s AS3 adjustable salamander can be moved up or down to offer supreme cooking flexibility. Of safe, ergonomic design, with an easy-lift action and wide grab handle, it is perfect for grilling and gratination.

Busychef currently offer a large range of griddles, grills and chargrills from most major manufacturers. For griddles look here, for chargrills look here and for grills look here.

Busychef would like to thank Lincat for their help with the above

For person to person advice from a foodservice expert phone Busychef free on 0500 008075

Keeping The Nation’s Dishes Sparkling Clean

Busychef are grateful to Nick Burridge, Director of Sales at Classeq for his insight into ware washing manufacturer Classeq. The Classeq range of dishwashers and glasswashers are available at busychef.co.uk or by clicking here.
Classeq began life as a family firm back in 1977 and has gone from strength to strength, producing their core products, commercial warewashers here in the UK ever since.
As Nick Burridge, Director of Sales at Classeq explains, “We have always had a great workforce who we can rely on to produce the goods in the United Kingdom and one of the best things about manufacturing here in Staffordshire is that we are able to keep any eye on all aspects of the manufacturing process to ensure that we produce quality products and have a close cooperation with R&D.  We are truly proud to be a manufacturer in the UK today.”
Classeq manufacture a wide range of dishwashers and glasswashers for use across the hospitality sector with machines widely used in schools, restaurants, bars, clubs and cafes and so forth.
As Nick explains, “With such a wide range of products we are able to cater for the needs of establishments of all sizes and working through our distributor network are able to source the right machine for each and every venue.”
“Our machines perform well, look smart, use relatively low levels of energy to help keep costs down, are reliable and give great value for money all  supported by our distributors and after sales team too, ensuring excellent back-up and technical service.”
Classeq’s glasswashers and dishwashers are available in a variety of sizes, ideal for small, medium and large scale operations.  The Duo 400 is the smallest front-loading dishwasher and is perfect for the smaller outlet that still want to reap the benefits of having a commercial machine being small, affordable and running at only three minutes per cycle.
At the other end of the scale, the Alto 280 rack dishwasher is aimed at larger establishments which have greater quantities of crockery and dishes to clean, coping with 280 racks per hour whilst only using one litre of water per rack due to its unique operating system.
As Nick concludes, “Classeq provide the affordable warewashing solutions for business across the spectrum and because the machines are made in Britain, there is the knowledge that you are buying British and helping the UK economy too.  We are proud of our role in keeping the nation’s dishes sparkling clean!”
Look at the busyCHEF range of dishwashers here. We are pleased to stock the Classeq range of dishwashers and glasswashers. Classeq manufacture a wide range of dishwashers and glasswashers for use across the hospitality sector with machines widely used in schools, restaurants, bars, clubs and cafes.