Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Buying Guide to Commercial Steamers

Steamers have long been a staple for those who require quick cooking or reheating of all type of vegetables. A steamer ensures that these foods will retain a higher nutrient level, more natural colorings, and even flavor. Steaming vegetables is also the fastest way to cook them. This means increased productivity in your commercial or industrial kitchen.
It’s clear that if you are cooking veggies often, a commercial steamer is the way to go. With that in mind, let’s have a look at some of the important decisions you will have to make before buying one:
Choosing between Convection and Convection-less Steamers
Just like an oven, a steamer can use convection (which is a fancy way of saying that it uses a fan) to help evenly distribute the heat for more even cooking throughout. Also like an oven, there is a cost difference between the two types of commercial steamers. I have found that if you have proper pre-heating, there is little difference between the overall cooking qualities of these two types of steamers.
Should I go Broiler-less?
In the past, the steam maker of a commercial steamer was a generator (or broiler). These units tended to be harder to clean (i.e. de-liming), but provide the most productivity. Today you can find broiler-less models which use an element as the heat source. Because you pour the water right into the chamber with the element, these units are easier to clean and tend to have a longer lifespan as a commercial appliance. The main drawback is productivity as broiler-less steamers take longer to steam. Your vegetable cooking needs will dictate which model is right for your commercial or industrial kitchen.
Choosing between Gas and Electric?
Like most appliances that have a heat source, the energy can either come from natural gas or electric. In a steamer it is almost impossible to tell the difference in food quality. Generally speaking however, gas models tend to be more energy efficient.
Assessing the Quality of a Commercial Steamer
In my opinion, and in the opinion of those who create the price tags, polished stainless models are the highest quality. Of those who make full lines of commercial steamers, Groen is one of the industry leaders that I have come to trust. Other companies which also make high quality steamers in a variety of sizes are Vulcan and Cleveland.
Buying the Right Steamer for Your Needs
The last step in choosing the right commercial steamer for your kitchen is to understand how much steaming your kitchen does on its busiest nights (Friday or Saturday typically). Use these numbers, and not a weekly average, to rate your production needs. This will ensure that your steamer is up to the workload every night.

Article found at http://www.pricemykitchen.com/

Monday, January 28, 2013

These codes help our coordinators to prioritize workorders by the functionality of the customer.  

Portable refrigeration units

In order to create the best dishes, many chefs prefer having all the freshest ingredients on hand. Many of these ingredients need to be kept cold, but walking back and forth to a stationary fridge or walk-in cooler isn’t always an option. In the same way, preparing almost any dish in a commercial kitchen can be easier if you have everything at hand. This is why portable refrigeration is making a larger impact each year on the commercial and industrial kitchen industry. It just makes sense to keep what you need, where you need it. If you haven’t already begun to employ this time saving and quality improving method of cooking, you might want to check out one of the following innovations:
  1. The Work Top Fridge: One of my favorite new innovations for portable refrigeration is the work top refrigerator. These units double as a work station and a cold storage station. I don’t know how many times I’ve walked into a kitchen and seen a workstation beside a fridge. In almost all of these case the under carriage of the workstation isn’t being used. Just toss the fridge under there and you’ve saved yourself space and could even throw shelving across the space. All these advantages simply by using a work top fridge.
  2. The Chef’s Fridge: Any chef will tell you that these are a must have in order to create the best dishes. Not only do some foods require refrigeration prior to serving, others need to be kept cool before cooking. The ability to manage this in a local setting with several trays for each type is definitely something worth checking out. These units can range from 1 cooling bay to 6 and can also vary greatly in size. Be sure to check out all the options available on a chef’s fridge before you decide which might be best for your commercial kitchen.
  3. The Portable Under-Counter Fridge: Though the portable under-counter fridge isn’t a new innovation for commercial kitchen refrigeration, it’s one that isn’t used enough. Today’s line up of under counter fridges is more expansive than ever before. One of my favorites is the two drawers, one door model made by Beverage Air. The two siding drawers are perfect for items that are needed right at a station. The door with 2 shelves is also perfect for storing less needed items or a greater bulk of what you need. This unit doubles as a chef’s fridge, but has about one and half times the space per dollar. If you need up close refrigeration in your commercial kitchen and don’t want to waste space, have a look at under counter fridges first.
  4. Portable Reach-In Coolers: One of the best things to happen in refrigeration today is portability. Almost any type of fridge you can think of is now being made on wheels. This includes you standard one and two door reach-in models. If you’ve been struggling with an old stationary fridge, you are dealing with a potential health hazard and a lot of extra work to prevent it. Today’s line up of commercial reach-in coolers is designed specifically for use in a safe and productive commercial kitchen.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Looking for energy efficiency in your ice machine?

In the war to lower the bottom line of your restaurant or food service business, I’m sure you’ve considered how much you spend on your energy bill each month. It is because of this desire by owners to keep costs down and thereby improve profits that has made energy efficient ice making and refrigeration units some of the best sellers on the market today. In fact, many companies have begun separating out their top performers in energy efficiency into a special section of their store. They know that owners want these products and are making great attempts to showcase energy efficient ice makers, fridges and freezers. Today, we are going to try and answer one question about energy efficiency in ice making: who makes the best one for commercial use?
The Candidates
Most of the top brands make a self-contained energy efficient ice machine that produces around 80-100 pounds of ice per hour. This includes models by Scotsman, Ice-O-Matic, Manitowoc and Hoshizaki. The price ranges of all of these models are all within about $500 retail of each other as well. This means we are going to be able to look at the two most important aspects of energy efficiency: performance and energy use. Let’s see how our big four stack up.
Performance and Energy Use
First, let’s talk performance. When it comes to ice production, Manitowoc and Ice-O-Matic take the cake. Their comparable models are at the top of the 100 pounds of ice per hour range we talked about earlier for the same price of similar units made by Hoshizaki or Scotsman. This means that you are getting about 10% more ice on average by going with an Ice-O-Matic or Manitowoc self-contained, energy efficient ice machine.
It’s clear that there are a couple models that stand out in performance, but is there a winner when it comes to energy use over time? The truth is that none of the units have a real edge in energy use over time. All energy efficient models ran about 8% more efficient on average than a traditional model. This means significant savings as opposed to a non-energy efficient unit, but between the four models no clear winner could be found on this front.
Little Extras
There are also some intangibles to consider when buying any piece of commercial kitchen equipment. These are things like warranty, company reputation and unique design. In energy efficient ice-machines for commercial use, there isn’t a lot of bells and whistles to be found. Two companies, however that stand out among the rest, are Manitowoc and Scotsman. Both have a good history of producing longer lasting units and provide exceptional customer service for their products.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Commerical Kitchen Equipment Certification Guide

Buying commercial kitchen equipment isn’t something that just anyone can do. It’s not like buying a stove or dining set for your home. You have to consider the customer and not just yourself. You also have to make sure that you buy commercial kitchen equipment that meets today’s tough certification standards. These standards regulate commercial kitchen products of all kinds. If your equipment doesn’t meet the requirements of your government, you could face a failed inspection and subsequent discipline. In order to make sure this doesn’t happen, let’s go over some of the most common certifications found in North America Today.
The NSF Certification
In case you didn’t know, NSF stands for the National Sanitation Foundation. Its standards are based around keeping a high quality of the air, water, and food in a commercial setting. One thing that you should understand about the NSF certification is that it is not a requirement of your commercial equipment.
NSF standards are simply those models which this non-profit organization has deemed exceptionally high in their three areas. When buying commercial kitchen equipment, use the NSF certification as a tie breaker between two very similar models, not as a deal breaker.
The ETL Certification
This standard is a must for your electric, oil or gas powered commercial kitchen equipment though it can also include sanitation certifications as well. ETL actually means Electrotechnical Laboratory. It’s basically a seal given to certified testing facilities in North America, which is why it can take on a few different looks. In the US, look for the ‘US’ stamp on the lower right of the ETL icon. This will tell you the product is fit for use in America. The ETL sanitation stamp is actually the same as the CSA and UL certifications we will talk about, but was certified by an accredited testing facility instead of an organization or formal testing process.
The CSA Certification

CSA stands for the Canadian Standards Association and is one of the largest providers of product certification in the world today. The CSA tests products using a rigid and prescribed testing process and can certify equipment for us in Canada, the US, or worldwide. When the CSA stamp stands alone it signifies compiles across the board, US or NRTL identifiers show that a piece of equipment compiles with all American Standards and a C certification below the CSA stamp will mark a product that meets Canadian standards.
The UL Certification
Like NSF, UL is a non-profit organization which certifies all types of food service equipment made for a commercial kitchen. Typically this stamp has included a C or US notation to signify compliance with Canadian or US standards respectively, but in the late 90’s a new stamp became available. This stamp includes C and US notations as well as the written word, “LISTED” below it. This new stamp indicates complete North American compliance. In some cases however, the UL stamp will stand alone to certify the same dual compliance. It is important (especially with older models) to look at what your UL stamp really means.

Choosing the right salamander broiler

It doesn’t matter whether you call it a cheesemelter, conveyor broiler, or salamander – they all do the same thing. They complete dishes. From melting the cheese to creating a glaze, these little finishers make a big impact on how your food looks and tastes when they arrive at a table.
Buying one of these commercial kitchen tools isn’t something that every restaurant owner or chef has done a lot of. They can cost as much as an oven and can be put in almost any area of the kitchen. If you are looking to buy a cheesemelter or salamander broiler soon, listen up:
1. Define Your Needs
The first thing you want to do before you leave your home or shop to look at salamanders is to assess and then define your needs. Make a list of what foods you are going to need to heat, re-heat, glaze, melt, or brown. If you’ve been serving these dishes for a while, you should also have an idea of the number of dishes you will serve in a given service. Once you’ve got a picture of the work load your machine will need to take, you should have a good idea of how powerful and how large of a machine you need.
2. Make Room in Your Kitchen
Now that you know how often and generally what size of commercial salamander you are looking for, you can begin to plan for it in your kitchen. Most models today can be mounted over the stove, but that doesn’t mean your kitchen has that ability for it. My favorite mounting spot is on the wall beside the other cooking devices. They can also be mounted right onto a countertop, but I have found that it is a real waste of space. Also remember to account for the power type (either gas or electric) of your new commercial appliance.
3. The Best Salamander Broilers are Gas
Now that you know what you want and where it will go, the rest is choosing the specific model to meet your needs. While some commercial salamanders are electric, most sold today are gas powered. The reason gas is so prevalent in melting and browning devices is because it heats up more quickly and can become hotter than an electric element. This makes gas powered models much more appealing to business owners.
4. Brands to Look For
Most companies who make other commercial cooking devices will make a line of cheesemelters or salamanders. If you are happy with your current stove top and oven, I recommend checking out the same maker for salamanders. They usually come with compatible mounts which will make installation easier. If you are simply looking for a great quality machine, the two companies I always check out are Garland and Vulcan. Both make full lines of high quality salamanders to meet any owner’s or chef’s needs.

Find other great articles like this at http://www.pricemykitchen.com

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Commercial Ice Machines: Do’s and Don’ts

Ice machines are probably the most-abused equipment in a commercial kitchen. This is twice as true for hotels, night clubs, and restaurants with more than 50 seats. In most of these cases, the overworked machines are actually costing the business a lot more than they need to. Read on to find out how to save money with your ice machine:

Do: Adjust your Ice Production when needed
One of the easiest ways to save money and increase the life span of your ice machine is to monitor and adjust ice production. Different seasons need more ice production than others so keep a log of when you make changes. After a couple seasons patterns will develop and you will be able to accurately predict how much ice you need.
  • Quick Tip: Another easy way to reduce energy consumption of your ice machine is to have it produce ice only in the daytime when power is less expensive.
Don’t: Keep Your Ice where it’s Warm and Stuffy
Of course I mean your entire machine, not just the cubes themselves. The truth is that either way, whether the room is hot or cold, your ice machine (if working properly) will keep your ice cold for the duration. The question is how hard it will have to work to do it. The higher the room temperature the more energy your ice box will consume to keep your ice iced. This will cost you. Put your ice machine somewhere that has good air movement and doesn’t heat up over 90 degrees.

Do: Regular Maintenance
In order to keep your ice machine safe and reliable you’ve got to give you machine a check up every few months. This means sanitizing the box, d- liming the water hose, and adding antimicrobial products. Keep up with these regular needs of your machine and you will find that it last its full lifetime or longer.

Don’t: Forget to Change the Filter
The last thing you need to check up on (and many owners don’t) is the water filter. Have you noticed that ice always looks pretty clean? Unfortunately looks can be deceiving. The filter on your ice maker should be changed every 6 months.

Do: Go Air Cooled
All ice makers are cooled by either air or water. Air cooled machines use much less energy. The best part is that there is little to no price difference between air and water cooled ice machines.
  • Quick Tip: When purchasing a new ice machine, look for the Energy Star logo if you want to ensure that your machine is the most energy efficient. A machine that is 10-15% more efficient in water and energy use can save you a lot of money over an average life of 8 years.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Commerical Kitchen Energy conservation tips

Running a restaurant means working off a bottom line. This is the amount of money you will spend to run your business. Earning more that this bottom line is the key to success. One of the ways to increase your chances of doing this is by getting that line as low as possible. The easiest way to lower your bottom line is by cutting down on the cost of production. Here are a few tips that will keep your bottom line lower and profits higher.
Tip 1: Monitor Air Flow
Top 5 Ways to Conserve Energy in Your Commercial Kitchen
Though you can’t see it, your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning costs are likely about a quarter of your daily overhead. By monitoring these systems to ensure they aren’t working overtime for no reason, you can cut over a thousand dollars from the energy bill of almost any restaurant.
Tip 2: Shut off Idle Equipment
When you aren’t using an appliance, shut it off. Making and sticking to a schedule for these machines will help you manage this process and provide staff with clear direction on when to turn off the big energy eaters. The result is a longer life for your equipment and lower energy costs once again.
Tip 3: Space out Cold and Hot Equipment
One of the easiest ways to organize a commercial kitchen for efficiency is to have the cold and hot equipment separated. If you have a freezer and fridge system, ensure they aren’t beside the grill. By separating these units you are able to better manage how hard they have to work. If it’s too cold your oven will be working overtime to get up to max temp. The same applies to your fridge and freezer. Make sure they don’t get overworked simply by having other hot equipment within a few feet.
Tip 4: Hot Water Can Cost You
If you want to run a more efficient commercial kitchen, you have to manage the hot water it uses. This means educating staff on which tasks require hot water and which don’t. It can also mean insulating hot water pipes to ensure that you aren’t loosing excess energy to get that hot water to the tap.
Tip 5: Maintain your Equipment Regularly
The last tip for keeping costs down in your commercial kitchen is to ensure you maintain your equipment. As commercial kitchen equipment ages, it becomes less efficient. Avoid this trend by keeping a tight schedule for equipment maintenance. Not only will you spend less on replacements, you will ensure that your equipment doesn’t suck energy while it’s in use.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Not cooling......No problem

Another commercial kitchen equipment problem solved by one of our trained technicians at a restaurant in Springfield, IL on a Perlick P5063 cooler.

What is the best kind of ice for your restaurant?

Cubes, Flakes, or Nuggets: Which Ice is Best for Your BusinessAs any restaurant or hotel owner knows, ice is a big part of serving great beverages and keeping patrons happy. This means having the right type of ice to do the job. If you don’t have the right ice machine to suit your needs however, you will find that you waste time, energy and ultimately money. No one wants to crush cubed ice down so that it can be used to cool a bucket of beer and customers won’t appreciate it if the ice is so large that it doesn’t cool the beer in the first place. This is only one example of how using the wrong type of ice can impact your business.
So, which type of ice machine do you need? Perhaps the truth is that you need more than one. Understanding what each type of ice is best will tell you whether you need to change the type of ice machine you have or even add another type of ice to your arsenal.

Cubes are best for Drinks

If cold drinks are the primary reason you use ice, a cubed machine is going to offer the best option. Cubed ice melts the slowest and won’t water down a drink in a hurry. They also take up more room in the glass per piece which means that you need fewer cubes per glass. This makes it easier for a bartender or drink maker to prepare. Rather than working off methods like half full with ice, you can define how many actual cubes you need. This means a higher level of drink consistency.

Flakes keep things Coolest

If you are putting anything on ice from beverages to a salad bar, flakes offer the best base. Unlike cubes, flakes are smaller and easier to work through with cans or bottles. They also offer a better surface area on which to place bowls or platters. Flaked ice machines can also produce more ice because the require cooling time for a flake is less than a cube. If you have a cold food display or want to serve beverages out of a bucket, it makes sense to have a flaking ice machine on site.

Nuggets are a two way Street

The last type of ice machine you can buy is a nugget ice machine. Nuggets offer a best of both worlds scenario, but aren’t the best for either operation. Because nuggets are just smaller cubes they can be used for drinks and cold food tables alike. In fact, they are actually better for carbonated beverages than either flakes or cubes. These versatile ice chunks are great for businesses that offer both adult and child drink choices.
It’s clear that the type of ice machine you choose should be based on what you want to do with it. You may decide that you need a second ice machine to fulfill all the needs of your business. On the other hand, you may realize that you’ve simply been using the wrong type of ice. Whatever the case, using the right type of ice is going to have a positive impact on your business.
Other great articles on restaurant equipment such as this one can be found at the following link http://www.pricemykitchen.com

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Fryer Filter Paper

Eichenauer Services stocks filter paper for most any major make and model of commercial fryers such as Frymaster (ex. 803-0003, 803-0170, 803-0285), Henny Penny (ex. 12102), Pitco (P6071371, PP10612, PP10613, PP11323), and many more.

Call our parts department and they can put in an order for a box of filter paper or help you determine the part number your need at 800-252-5892 or put in an order at www.esiquality.com.

Planned Maintenance

Planned Maintenance also known as preventative maintenance is important to help prevent many different types of equipment failures.  It prolongs the life of your equipment and greatly reduces repair cost while increasing "up" time.  In the long run they don't cost money they save money.

Eichenauer Services performs planned maintenance on just about every piece of commercial kitchen equipment including ice machines, fryers, grills, ovens, coolers, and outside the kitchen on HVAC units.  Call us today or submit the form on our website if you are interested in learning more.  We perform these services throughout the state of Illinois.

The importance of planned maintenance is something that manufactures such as Manitowoc recognize as beneficial.  

Eichenauer Services

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Illinois.......we got your commercial kitchen equipment needs covered!

One of the main advantages of using Eichenauer Services as your "one-stop shop" for your commercial equipment needs besides our industry experience and expertise, wide variety of equipment covered, and 24/7/365 service availability is our large coverage area.  We have strategically placed our branches and satellite sites to help cover the entire state of Illinois including locations such as Decatur, Peoria, Champaign, Centralia, Springfield, Effingham, Bloomington ,and La Salle/Peru.  You can see a full listing of our coverage area at www.esiquality.com.  

Call us today at 800-252-5892 to place a service call on your cooking equipment (fryers, grills, kettles, ovens, microwaves, steamers, etc.), cold-side equipment (ice machines, freezers, coolers, etc.), beverage dispensing equipment, or HVAC units.  We got you covered!

Illinois Branches:

Eichenauer Services
2465 N 22nd St Decatur, IL 62526 US
Phone: 800-252-5892 Website: http://www.esiquality.com/
Eichenauer Services
106 E McClure Peoria, IL 61603 US
Phone: 800-252-5892 Website: http://www.esiquality.com/
Eichenauer Services
405 S Neil St Champaign, IL 61820 US
Phone: 800-252-5892 Website: http://www.esiquality.com/

Illinois Satellites:
Springfield, IL | Bloomington, IL | Effingham, IL | LaSalle/Peru, IL | Mount Vernon, IL | Joliet, IL |
Quad Cities, IL (Moline, East Moline, Rock Island) | Marion, ILMetro East, IL (Belleville, Collinsville, Edwardsville, O'Fallon, Fairview Heights)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Perlick Commercial Equipment

Eichenauer Services is now an authorized service agent for Perlick commercial grade refrigeration equipment throughout the state of Illinois.  Call us today at 800-252-5892 or visit our website www.esiquality.com to place a service call!