Foodservice Equipment – Hot Food Holding & Moisture Control

Food is naturally mostly made up of water; since water is a common element in all fresh food, it only stands to reason that preventing the water in the food from evaporating will keep the food fresher longer.  Preparing bulk food ahead of kitchen peak service times is a common way to allow the chef and kitchen staff to focus on other vital tasks during rush hours.  When loading bulk food into a moisture controlled heated cabinet, such as a FWE MTU-12, the food is met with heated and humidified air that creates equilibrium with the foods natural moisture content.

Continue reading “Foodservice Equipment – Hot Food Holding & Moisture Control”


Foodservice Equipment – Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency ($$$’s not ZZZ’s)

I want to tell you a little about how all of the energy conciseness and the green movement can help you get money in your pocket, the real green movement.  Every time you flip a switch, you are bleeding out money, and helping add to a death by a thousand cuts.  Maybe not that dramatic, but I got to make the power bill entertaining right?energystar-fwe-holding-cabinet
There are a lot of ways to help lower your power consumption and help get those dollars and cents back to the bottom line where they belong.  First, it’s more than that blue sticker on the side of your equipment that you need to help lower your bill.  You need to have a little discipline and a little training to identify potential problems.  I’m not here to give you the discipline, I can’t do that (if I could I would be making a lot more money as a motivational book writer).  What I can do though, is help you identify some problem areas.

Continue reading “Foodservice Equipment – Energy Efficiency”

Foodservice Tips – Ice Cubes, Crushed Ice and Beyond

Source: Ice Cubes, Crushed Ice and Beyond

Posted by Tara Stanton

In the restaurant business, the little things no one else thinks about often turn into a major managerial decision. From what kind of hot sauce to serve, to the brand of mustard you carry, the fear of a wildly unhappy customer lurks behind each decision.

One of those decisions that must be made is what kind of ice to serve. Do you offer cubes, crushed or some kind of fancy-shaped ice with a flower frozen in the middle of it? With all of these options to sort through, we’ll try to steer you in the direction that’s right for your business.

Cubed vs. crushed ice

Some people prefer crushed or flaked ice, arguing that it will cool your drink more quickly, which is true. Crushed ice will also melt more quickly, though, diluting your guest’s drink and turning their Coke, Old-Fashioned or whatever it is they’re drinking into an unenjoyable watery concoction. Cubed ice, on the other hand, may be the best “all-purpose” ice, whether the cubes are square or crescent shaped.

Adventures with ice

A lot of restaurants and bars have been experimenting with serving different-shaped ice cubes in their cocktails. One popular alternative is the ice block, which is essentially a giant ice cube, about 2″x2”. Most often served in a tumbler, an ice block provides a very neat and clean look to everything from a Mojito to a classic whiskey on the rocks.

Others have begun to make festive ice cubes that have flowers or pieces of fruit, even herbs, frozen in the middle. Needless to say, these cubes don’t come out of the under-counter ice maker. They can take some time to prepare, but if done properly, the novelty can really add to the presentation value, all while giving your drinks a little extra flavor or panache. All things considered, this is one way a small detail like ice cubes can have a noticeable impact on your guests’ dining experience.

If you need help determining what type and size ice machine you need for your operation, contact your TriMark representative.


Foodservice Tips – Time and Temperature Requirements

Food safety is paramount in any foodservice facility.  Here are a few key numbers that can help you keep your customers safe from the evils of hazardous food.  please be aware however, every local municipality and their local codes prevail, this is only a guide.temperature-danger-zone

Temperature Danger Zone

  • The number one rule is keep hot foods hot, and cold food cold!
  • Temperature danger zone is between 41°F – 140°F
  • Bring hazardous food through this temperature range as quickly as possible
  • Even when cooling food, the faster the better

Holding Hot Foods

  • Maintain hot food at a temperature of 140°F or above
  • Specialized hot holding equipment can make this an easy task in any foodservice operation
  • No need to kill the roast, properly cooked roasts may be held at 130°F or above

Reheating foods

  • Specialized equipment called retherms, are designed to reheat foods quickly and safely
  • Reheating food that has been previously cooked in-house and will be held for service must reach an internal temperature of at least 165°F for 15 seconds
  • Reheating food that was made in a food processing plant, opened in your facility, with the intent to be held for service must reach a temperature of 140°F
  • Reheat all food rapidly in less than a two hour period of time
  • Foods that have been cooked and cooled properly can be served at any temperature just as long as it is served immediately

Always use an accurate food thermometer to make sure foods are cooked to and held at a safe temperature.



Foodservice Equipment – Retherm Ovens

Retherming is the process of reheating food that has been previously cooked to a safe temperature and safely cooled to a frozen or refrigerated “slacked” state of 41°F or less. All food that has been safely cooked and chilled in-house, that is being reheated from this state must reach an internal temperature of 165°F for 15 seconds within 2 hours or must be thrown out. In general, cooking times of 90 min or retherm-ovenless are preferred to allow for a safe amount of flexible preparation and cooking time.  Retherm ovens are typically found in large institutions such as school, hospitals, and prisons. Retherm ovens allow food preparation to occur off-site, catering to centralized kitchens with satellite operation that have a minimum of other expensive cooking equipment, as well as associated kitchen ventilation systems.  Because retherm ovens such as the FWE RH-18, top out at a maximum temperature of 350°F, in most states these ovens are not required to be under expensive ventilation hoods.


In many respects, retherm ovens are similar in design to low temperature convection ovens. A retherm oven however, has about four times the wattage and double the air movement to increase energy transfer efficiency.  Retherm efficiency is the transfer of energy from a heated cabinet to a thermal mass (food) in a fast and controlled rate. Testing determines how effective Retherming energy transfers to a thermal mass (food). By testing an empty cabinet and a loaded cabinet, we can compare the energy transfer in kW to the thermal mass (food).  Retherm-energy efficiency is a measure of how much of the energy that an appliance consumes is actually delivered to the food product during the rethermalization process.


The larger the thermal mass, the more energy (kW), is needed to transfer to the mass. In the same regards, the more energy (kW) the faster the thermal mass can absorb the energy and reach desired temperatures.


Foodservice Equipment – Bulk Food Holding

In cases where food needs to be served faster than it can be cooked by a kitchen, such asBulk Food Holding HLC when a school serves food on a lunch line, bulk food holding cabinets become a necessary piece of equipment to accomplish the job.  Holding cabinets such as an FWE UHS-12 are the workhorses of the warming world and can hold bulk food hot and ready to be served for hours.  Kitchens can cook large quantities of food well before it needs to be served to their customers, and place it in these FWE warming cabinets where it can stay service ready.  This allows the kitchens workload to be spread out during Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Centerpreparations for service, freeing up the cooks and chefs time to perform other vital tasks.  During service, these food warming cabinets are a place for storage of the food before it reaches the serving areas.  Storing food out of the way increases the ease of workflow and helps the service area stay organized and clean.Many quick service restaurants (QSR’s) utilize similar cabinets to hold bulk food before it reaches a prep area or serving line.  The cabinets on or near a serving line tend to be shorter in size and may even fit under or be built into a counter.  Food in this area is ready for plating, or ready to go on top of the serving line once current food supplies are used up.  As for the actual food that can be held?  Well, that is as varied as the restaurants themselves.  Everything from fresh warm sides such as rice, beans, and proteins that are going to fill a burrito bowl or the tortellini special that is ready for the catering pick up at 12:15pm during the lunch rush.

3 Chefs Smoked Chicken

Foodservice – Begining a C-Store Hot Food Program

It’s already a fast pace world, and it’s only going to get faster.  Energy drinks and grab and go food items have been flying off the shelves in Convenience Stores these recent years, it’s time you start your Hot Food Program and get some of those profits for yourself. Continue reading “Foodservice – Begining a C-Store Hot Food Program”

Foodservice Equipment – Controls

It’s not just about nobs and switches these days, even though some people would prefer it that way.  Foodservice equipment manufacturers have brought us some pretty out of this world technology, such as dazzling touch screens that can control every aspect of a cook cycle while utilizing Wi-Fi to report live HACCP data to a headquarters for review.  But who needs all of these bells and whistles, what happened to just applying temperature to food?  Well depending on your operation, and the size of your company / franchise, eliminating even the smallest step from an employee or Critical Control Point can save millions of dollars at year end. Continue reading “Foodservice Equipment – Controls”

Foodservice Equipment – Why buy a cook and hold?

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.

FWE Cook and Hold Oven

Continue reading “Foodservice Equipment – Why buy a cook and hold?”

Beef Wellington

Easy Beef Wellington

I come from a Food Network generation that first heard of a Beef Wellington through the angry lips of the celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsay.  Beef tenderloin wrapped in a puff pastry? Yes, please!  However, Mr. Ramsay sure did make it known to everyone just how easy this recipe can be to mess up.  Or so we thought.

Finished Beef Wellington

I happen to like things to be easy.  I like to buy a couple of fillets of beef tenderloin, a roll of puff pastry, a few shallots, and some button mushrooms and be on my way to a “fancy” dinner.

The big difference that I do, and this is nothing new, I’m not a culinary pioneer on this, but I like to wrap individual servings rather than one large sliced to order roast.  Google Beef Wellington, and most of what you will see a full tenderloin presentation.  Why make it more difficult than it needs to be right?

Continue reading “Beef Wellington”