The primary advantage to an FWE cook and hold oven is the low and controlled temperatures. This technology helps dramatically reduce loss in many roasted meats. This reduction improves yields allowing for more servings thus increased revenue. As much as an additional serving or two of prime rib can be saved with one of these cook and hold ovens. This is money back into the pocket, just with a quick equipment upgrade.
To achieve this increase in yield, the food product must come up to temperature at a slower pace. A drawback that chefs face with most low-temperature cooking is the loss to the dark, crisp, caramelized outside of meat products. FWE’s engineering team have worked hard to find that perfect balance of gentle air flow, and even heat distribution, that allows for the Maillard effect to be achieved in a low-temperature environment, giving that desired flavor and texture that many chefs want.
Another good reason to investigate whether you should have a Cook and Hold, the cook and hold runs at a lower temperature so it requires less energy than typical ovens. In restaurants that require an electric demand fee, utilizing overnight cooking could offer even more of an expense advantage.
It’s not all about overnight cooking though. My latest shared recipe of Beef Wellington was cooked in a Low Temp Cook and Hold. The gentle cooking at 350F is great for the puff pastry, and the flexibility to set a time and a hold temperature means that even when I get distracted, I will not have to worry about being next to the oven to take the product out. You never over cook when you use these!
My all time favorite advantage to Cook and Holds, is due to the unit cooking at a low temperature, (below 350°) the use of a ventilation hood is not required in the majority of the United States. This flexibility allows large kitchens to save on space and the expense of having to purchase extra ventilation hoods. It also helps small kitchens have a multitasking cabinet that can fit it more unconventional areas.
Overnight cooking offers labor-saving as well. If a product is started before a shift ends, it will cook to a predetermined setting, and automatically switch to a holding cabinet. Without a piece of equipment like this, staff may have to come in early and cook before service time, thus extending working hours and payroll. To save even more on payroll, FWE has advanced upon the preset function that has been helping kitchen staff for years. With 8 programmable cooking procedures now available, inexperienced staff can cook correctly and consistently to the restaurants standard operation procedures.
To top it all off, the flexibility does not end here. These cook and holds can come with a smoker box built right in! Now you can do pit style BBQ over night perfectly with no tending to the sticks (my favorite part admittedly). These things are just a great example of letting your equipment do the work for you. There are solutions out there, I hope I brought one to you. Let me know what you think in the comments!