Fancy a brew? Just push the button

EB3F-PBReady to dispense piping hot, filtered water at the push of a button, the Lincat popular EB3F water boiler is now also available with a safe, convenient push-button mechanism. Combined with striking good looks, the boiler is perfect for front-of-house and self-service operations.

FilterFlow automatic water boilers are among Lincat’s most popular products, not only for their versatility and efficiency, but also because of Lincat’s unique, built-in water filtration.

What’s the big deal about built-in filtration? Well firstly, you need to filter out impurities from tap water to create a better-tasting, “cleaner” hot drink, as well as removing any strange odours that can come from unfiltered water heated to a high temperature. Filtration also dramatically reduces the build-up of scale in the boiler, which means the unit lasts longer, works better, and can go for longer without repairs.

It’s easy to see why many caterers wouldn’t bother with filtered water, as most boilers require a separate, plumbed-in filtration unit, which needs to be professionally fitted, maintained and replaced. FilterFlow does away with all that – the low-cost cartridges are part of the boiler unit itself, and replacing one (about every six months) is as easy as changing a lightbulb.

The new push-button EB3F/PB produces up to 31 litres of premium-quality filtered water per hour. Like other FilterFlow models, the new boiler gives you precise control over the temperature of the water, while a diagnostic panels lets you know how the boiler is operating and when to change the filter.

If you’d like to know more, fetch a cup of tea and check out the busyCHEF deal on the EB3F/PB here – £423 plus VAT including delivery.

With thanks to Lincat for the detailed information – also check out www.filterflow.co.uk for more facts on the Lincat FilterFlow Automatic Boilers.

Doenload the FliterFlow brochure here and the FilterFlow Push Button brochure here.

Visit www.busychef.co.uk for the very best deals on food service equipment online.

Lincat launches Giga® Fast Oven

Lincat, the UK’s leading manufacturer of catering equipment, has launched the Giga® Fast Oven, a versatile, compact counter-top oven that can cook a fresh dough pizza in 90 seconds.

The secret to the speed lies within the unique airflow cylinders that intensely focus hot air to deliver exceptionally rapid cooking. The Giga® Fast Oven heats up to 400/450°C in as little as 10 minutes, and features an easy to use temperature control and cooking timer for consistent, repeatable results.

Designed to provide bars, pubs and restaurants with the ability to serve authentic Italian Pizza without having to invest in expensive specialist equipment or staff training, it delivers comparable results to a traditional wood-fired oven.

If pizza isn’t the only thing on the menu, the Giga® Fast Oven can also be quickly converted into a standard convection oven for the cooking of lasagne, croissants, cakes, pies, pastries, potatoes and oven chips, as well as for the toasting of all types of bread products.

Nick McDonald, Marketing Director of Lincat, said:

“The Giga® Fast Oven combines the performance of a dedicated wood-fired pizza oven with the versatility of a convection oven in a single, compact package. And since it operates from a standard 13amp plug it can be used anywhere.

“This will allow any outlet, even one that doesn’t already have a kitchen, to produce tasty, authentic pizzas without the need to invest in additional appliances, specialist staff or training. We think it will prove particularly popular with pubs looking for a cost-effective way to improve their food offering and supplement their wet sales.

He added…

“With the potential to produce up to 30 pizzas an hour, the Giga® Fast Oven will pay for itself in no time, and provide a fantastic long term return on your investment.”

Powerful, energy efficient and easy to use, the Giga® Fast Oven also features include switchable internal illumination, making it ideal for front-of-house use. Like all Lincat products, it is supplied with a two year onsite parts and labour warranty.

Lincat Ltd manufactures one of the world’s most comprehensive ranges of catering equipment. Products are sold in the UK and in over 50 countries worldwide through a comprehensive network of distributors. Lincat Ltd is a member company of the Middleby Corporation.

Tha Lincat Giga® Fast Oven is available from YCE Catering Equipment via their online busyCHEF webshop here and costs £1,188.00 plus VAT.

Healthy Chips?

Busychef would like to thank Paul Hickman Development Chef at Lincat for the his contribution to our blog.

I was recently asked by a journalist whether the widespread desire to offer ‘healthy food’ by cost sector kitchens has rung the death knell for everyone’s favourite – the ultimate comfort food – the chip!

My thoughts on the subject are that whereas a few years ago commercial fryers were starting to be left out of new cost sector kitchens and refits, they’re now beginning to make a comeback.

I think that’s because there’s a greater understanding that what counts, when it comes to healthy eating, is a balanced diet. And fried foods can form part of that healthy eating programme.

It’s true too, especially in healthcare settings, that ‘a bit of what you fancy does you good’. Good nutrition is essential to recovery and, if you can tempt patients to eat with well cooked, familiar food then there are real benefits to be had at every level.

People are also beginning to adopt healthier frying methods. The traditional way to cook chips for example would be to blanch them in the fryer at the relatively low temperature of 160 deg C before chilling them down and storing them until needed. Then the chips would be fried again at a higher temperature prior to service.

Now, many chefs are choosing to steam their chips prior to frying. This allows the chips to be fried just once, in hotter oil. This reduces the quantity of oil which is absorbed by the potato and therefore produces a healthier, less fatty chip.

In order to prepare chips in this way you need to invest in a powerful fryer, which is capable of achieving the high temperature you need (180 deg C) when fully loaded.

This will seal the surface of the potato and allow the interior to be ‘steamed’. Here are one or two other ways to produce ‘healthier’ chips:

  • Serve large, fat chips rather than thin ones. This will reduce fat absorption.
  • Allow chips and other fried products to drain prior to serving – choose a fryer therefore which has sturdy, free-draining frying baskets.
  • Consider using a chip scuttle to hold fried food for a short time prior to serving. This will allow excess fat to drain away.
  • Always use good quality vegetable oil and filter frequently.
  • Make sure that your fryer is powerful enough to meet your needs. Fast heat recovery times are essential. If a fryer is unable achieve the optimum chip cooking temperature quickly, the chances are that the cooking process will be extended with the result that the chips will absorb more fat.
  • Buy a fryer which is big enough for your business. If your fryer is too small, the temptation is to overload the basket, which will result in extended cooking times and greater fat absorption.
  • Buy a well designed and constructed fryer from a reputable manufacturer. Good manufacturers will provide accurate information about optimum batch sizes, capacities, recovery times and overall performance.

In addition to concerns about health and nutrition, cost sector caterers are also worried about the rising cost of food and are aware of the need to reduce waste and minimise their impact on the environment. Extending the life of cooking oil is one of the key ways in which this can be achieved. As a result, fryers such as our Opus 700 models with built-in filtration, which are designed to extend the life of cooking oil by up to 75%, are proving popular at this time.

You can find out more about Lincat fryers by following this link: http://www.lincat.co.uk/products, and you can see the fryers in action at our Leeds test kitchen here.

Panasonic’s Multi Stage Heating Microwaves Allow For Perfectly Timed Cooking

Panasonic-NE-1856-Commercial-MicrowavePanasonic’s Multi Stage Heating

Multi stage heating: what is it and why should you use it? When you want to cook food in a microwave oven, it’s important to make sure it doesn’t dry out, which generally happens using a manual single-stage microwaving process. Multi stage heating allows you to programme different stages in the cooking process and all at different power levels. Panasonic’s Multi Stage Heating Microwaves do just that so your product turns out fully cooked and delicious.

Using Panasonic’s Multi Stage Heating Microwaves, you can set different stages with different amounts of time and power levels so you can reduce the power level and simmer through the rest of the cooking process to maintain the temperatures you want to achieve.

How to Use

Snap-2013-09-05-at-09.06.31-300x163To use multi stage heating, you open the door and place the product you’ll be heating in the microwave – make sure you always cover your product (you don’t want any mess, do you?)! To set different stages, press the power level button. Set the first stage to the highest heat setting you want, then enter the amount of time you’d like it to last. Next, you repeat this process and hit the power level button and then enter a lower power level and set the amount of time. Repeat this process for as many stages you want, up to five different stages. Panasonic’s Multi Stage Heating Microwaves go up to stage five and have a power level as low as three.

When you press start, all the work is done and the microwave will cook your product at each power level for the amount of time you set it. Panasonic’s Multi Stage Heating Microwaves ensures that food can be cooked in a microwave, but without drying it out in the process.

To learn more about multi stage heating microwaves, watch this week’s video and shop at busyCHEF. If you have any questions and want to learn more, contact our sales team on free phone 0500 008 075.

Happy Cooking from busyCHEF! Buy the Panasonic NE1853 1800 watt commercial microwave oven for £505.38 plus VAT here. Order before noon Monday to Friday for next day free delivery.

Do you double hand wash?

imageTip of the Week: Did you know that when restaurant and other food service employees use the toilet, they should wash their hands before leaving the toilet and again in the kitchen before they return to their duties. That’s right – a double hand washing! Double hand washing is excellent practice for all restaurant and kitchen staff before they go back to their duties.

In the United States double hand washing is compulsory as legislated by the FDA, their equivalent to our Environmental Health section of the local authority.

There are 3 essential reasons for this hand washing policy:

1 – It is a simple yet very effective tool in reducing the possibility of a foodborne illness occurring in a food establishment.

2 – Customer perception should be a concern. If an employee comes back from the toilet and continues to take food to tables or serves drinks (and how many times have you seen this happen?), without going back to the kitchen first to wash his/her hands again, how many customers might conclude that the server didn’t wash his/her hands before handling food again?

3 – The easiest way to impress an Environmental Health Inspector is for the Inspector to witness many staff members washing hands periodically through an inspection.

Managers should train staff to wash their hands properly and effectively before leaving the toilet, and again before handling food or drinks.

All food business must have an accessible designated wash hand basin with hot and cold water, soap and hand towels for use by staff. You can buy wash hand basins from busyCHEF by going to busychef.co.uk

When to replace your Commercial Dishwasher

Duo 750 Open Cups CutleryAre you making repeated service calls for your commercial dishwasher? Are you debating between another service call versus replacing the whole unit? Although these are cleaning machines, proper maintenance and cleaning are important to keep dishwashers operating efficiently and effectively. Typically, a dishwasher is replaced for one of three reasons: technical problems, inefficiency, or inadequacy for operational needs.  Technical problems can mean the machine is out of warranty and past its prime. Older generation dishwashers are expensive to keep running from a service point of view. Most high-quality commercial dishwashers are expected to have a useful service life of 10 years on average.

As your foodservice establishment continually grows or expands overtime, you may find that your dishwasher isn’t capable of handling the growing demands efficiently. If your machine is requiring you to rewash items or extending operating times, it is probably time to consider replacing the unit. The good news is that today’s dishwasher models consume significantly less water and energy than models of only five years ago. This reduces the time necessary to recoup the investment of a new machine significantly. So how can you tell when it’s time to replace your dishwasher? Look for the following:

When to Replace

  1. Increased service calls and high repair costs: When a unit requires an increasing number of service calls or multiple component replacements, it may be nearing the end of its service life.
  2. Signs of wear and tear: Tank leaks may signify that the welds are giving out. Also, problems can be caused by water leaking from the boosters.
  3. Loss of controls: If the dishwasher’s controls are not operating properly or pump pressure is lost, replacement is most likely appropriate.
  4. Inconsistent results: The results of the unit are a key indicator that the dishwasher is not operating at 100 percent.
  5. Older models: Operators may want to replace older dishwashers that are utilising excessive amounts of energy and/or water with a more efficient unit.

Picture for brochureOnce you have that new machine installed, it’s important to get the most out of your purchase. Remember these steps for extending the life of your new dishwasher:

Maintenance Musts

  1. Clean machines after every shift, since flushing out the water removes accumulated dirt from the machine, improving washing performance.
  2. Regularly wash and clean scrap screens or filters.
  3. Depending on usage and water quality, wash and rinse arms should be cleaned weekly or as required.

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.

Gas chargrills with no lava rock required!

OE7406 propped

Chargrilled or barbequed food is an increasingly popular al fresco option for diners. However it’s often not quite so popular with the kitchen staff who have to clean equipment at the end of a busy session. Lava rock, which is mistakenly thought by many to give food its distinctive chargrilled flavour, is both messy and makes equipment difficult to clean. Worse still it often provides inconsistent results.

But it is the igniting of fat and flaring which gives food a barbequed or chargrilled taste rather than the lava rock itself, which gives off no aroma. That’s why Lincat have eliminated the need for lava rock from our Opus 700 and Silverlink 600 chargrills.

In its place are specially designed heat transfer radiants. These are more controllable and consistent than lava rock, yet still ignite sufficient fat for optimum flaring to give a distinctive chargrilled taste. At the same time removable branding grids provide the characteristic ‘branding’ effect. These can be removed at the end of the cooking session, together with the radiants, fat collection tray and splashguard to facilitate cleaning.

There are four gas powered Lincat chargrills to choose from. The Silverlink 600 CG4 (450mm wide) and CG6 (600mm wide) chargrills incorporate independently controlled twin cooking areas, providing economic use of energy during quieter periods. The heavy-duty Opus 700 range includes the 20 kW OG7401 (700 mm wide) and the 900mm wide OG7402, which offers a 25kW output. All four can be operated by propane or natural gas, and are ideal for barbeque applications.

With thanks to Lincat. The full Lincat range of chargrills available from the busyCHEF online showroom

 

Tired of waiting for the kettle to boil?

Boliers-group-300x173As our work days become busier and more demanding do you spend more time than you can spare waiting for the kettle to boil when you want to make a quick cup of tea? Well our new wall mounted water boilers may be just the solution you need. Lincat have extended their popular FilterFlow range to include two slim and compact wall mounted models, ideal for catering establishments, office kitchens, staff rooms and anywhere where space is at a premium.

As with all FilterFlow water boilers they incorporate the unique built-in water filtration system so piping hot filtered water is available 24 hours a day. Capable of producing up to 31 litres of hot water every hour you should never need to queue for the kettle again.

Their sleek flush wall-mounted design means there are no unsightly wall brackets and with a choice of black or white glass front fascias they will look stylish in any modern environment.

For further information visit the busyCHEF website

With thanks to Lincat

Food Safety starts with Smart Restaurant Kitchen Design

restaurant-kitchen-plansDesigning restaurant kitchens can be very complicated. There are many factors to be considered when planning where to put equipment and what materials to use. Local authorities may require detailed documents showing the site plan, floor plan, equipment layout and plumbing/mechanical/finish schedules even before any construction begins. These plans should be developed with food safety in mind. The information in this post can be used as a general guide to help new restaurateurs understand environmental health and local authority requirements when designing their kitchens.

Site Plan
A site plan should show the facility and surrounding areas such as parking, drains, incoming services and bin areas. Some operators may want the option to hose down their bin areas to keep them clean, but this can’t be done if there is no adequate drainage. Consideration should be given to access for food deliveries and any nuisance caused by smells from kitchen ventilation and noise from fridge room equipment.

Floor Plan
This is the most important part of the planning process. Where to put equipment sets the flow of all restaurant operations. A good floor plan can increase efficiency for kitchen staff and servers and improve food safety. A bad floor plan can cause confusion and contribute to cross-contamination. The floor plan should show all areas of food service, storage, dishwashing, preparation, staff toilets and janitorial facilities.

Sink Requirements
Hand wash sinks should be convenient and easily accessible to all areas of the kitchen. To achieve this, multiple sinks may be needed. Employees should have access to hand wash sinks on the cook line, in prep areas and in the wash-up area. At least one mop sink should be available to fill up and dispose of mop water.

Adequate sinks must be available to show that pans and dishes can be washed separately from vegetables. The sinks should be large enough to submerge the largest piece of equipment. Seperate sinks are needed even if a dishwashing machine is installed.

Separate areas for dishwashing and food prep. If the kitchen is large enough, and to prevent cross-contamination, the dishwash area should have a separate entrance for staff to deliver dirty dishes without walking through any prep areas.

Equipment
Equipment on the cook line should be positioned to execute the menu efficiently as well as prevent raw meats from contacting ready-to-eat foods. This can be tricky, but putting the salad prep area on the opposite end from where raw meat is handled will keep foods from contaminating each other from storage and handling.

All equipment must be of commercial quality and fit for purpose Use a reputable kitchen installer to source the equipment. Stainless steel for all shelves and benches is now standard practice. To facilitate cleaning, all stationary equipment should be sealed to the wall or spaced for cleaning.

Finish Schedules
A finish schedule should show the materials used for all floors, walls and ceilings. It’s important to understand finishes in the kitchen will be different than in the toilets or restaurant areas. As a general rule, all finishes in food prep areas should be smooth, easily cleanable and impervious. Some local authorities also require that light colors be used so it’s easier to see if areas are clean. Typical kitchen finishes are correctly gloss painted or plastic clad walls, non-slip vinyl flooring coved to the walls, washable ceiling tiles or matt painted finish.

Plan Early to Save Time and Money
As you can see, a lot goes into planning a restaurant kitchen. Often, new operators don’t understand that decisions made in the beginning can greatly impact flow. This can lead to longer wait times, unhappy customers, cross-contamination and increased risk of illness—all of which can have a negative impact on sales. Start planning early with an emphasis on efficiency and food safety. Use a reputable kitchen installer to help with your design and choosing the correct equipment.

Each local authority has different plan review requirements. Submit plans early and don’t start construction until those plans are approved. The environmental health officer will have comments and concerns regarding the plans, and adjustments may need to be made. It could be costly if the work has already started without these changes on the final plans. Please consult your local authority for more information.

Using a reputable kitchen installer such as YCE Catering Equipment in Leeds could save you time and money. Give them a call on 0113 252 6566 or email info@yce.co.uk for further information.

The best choice of quality and reliable kitchen equipment and refrigeration at excellent web prices can be found at busyCHEF