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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Our most popular Countertop Convection Ovens

One of our more popular products for the catering and restaurant kitchens are countertop convection ovens. These products cook food through the forced circulation of hot air inside of the oven through the use of concealed fans.  Meals are cooked faster and time and energy are saved when you are using forced air in your cooking.  Additionally, use of a countertop convection oven lets you cook food on multiple racks without the worry of uneven cooking from rack to rack because the air is circulated throughout the entire cavity. 

You'll also see an improved yield from meats because they retain more moisture which also means they are juicier and do not dry out.  Baked goods; cookies, cakes, and pies, will brown more evenly too. 

Along with standard countertop convection ovens, we also carry combinations like microwave ovens that offer both convection; forced air, and microwave cooking, and toaster ovens that allow you to toast and have the forced air in a single piece of restaurant equipment.

The countertop convection oven is a popular choice for restaurants, caterers or for home use alongside other personal favorites like the KitchenAid Mixer.  For higher volume kitchens there are single deck convection ovens or double deck convection ovens.

Here are our three top selling countertop convection ovens:

Moffat E32D5 Full Size Electric Convection Oven - Capacity for 5 full size sheet pans in a compact 28.88" width makes this a popular countertop model.  The Moffat E32D5 can accommodate up to 20 different programs simplifying use and ensuring consistency.  A 2 speed bi-directional reversing fan system ensures consistent air temperature throughout and five levels of moisture injection mode keep foods from drying out. External dimensions for this oven are 28.75"H x 28.88"W x 31.88"D. 

Axis AX-413 Quarter Size Convection Oven -- If you're looking for a smaller model to do low
production, you'll like this model.  The Axis AX-413 has 3 shelves sized to hold quarter size sheet pans.  Easy to operate with manual time and temperature controls, this oven has one fan to provide optimal air flow.  The spacing between the shelves is 2.95".  Only 19"W externally, the cooking chamber of this oven is 14.72"W x 8.78"H x 14.06"D.

Steamo Countertop Steam and Grill OvenSteamo Countertop Steam and Grill Oven -- The Steamo Steam Oven by Eurodib maximized the nutritional value of your food while retaining the color and appearance.  It also allows you to defrost your food without cooking the edges all through steam.  This oven features 8 preinstalled cooking modes, 5 preinstalled grill modes and 5 preinstalled steam/grill modes.  It comes with a safety lock, timer with alarm and LCD display.  The external dimensions of this oven are 13"W x 20"L x 16 1/4"H. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

New hope for bent Steam Table Pans

While bent steam table pans seem like an issue that you simply need to accept as a fact of life, there's a new product designed to remove some of the hassles caused by those bent corners and edges.  We just started carrying the CaterSeal Food Pan Gasket which is includes half-size pan gaskets or full sized pan gaskets in either grey or black. The CaterSeal Food Pan Gasket is a just that - a gasket designed to feet around the edge of your pans creating a tight seal between the pan and the lid as well as the pan and the well that it's sitting in which improves the overall efficiency and safety of your serving line.
CaterSeal Food Pan Gasket

This innovative new product is made of heat-resistant and dishwasher-safe silicone rubber.  CaterSeals are meant to be applied to almost any metal pan used in the restaurant kitchen, creating a cohesive relationship between any storage container and it's prospective lid or commercial foodservice film.  Invented by a chef with over thirty years experience in the field, CaterSeals were created to address the need to properly cover pans to improve efficiency, reducing the amount of food that is contaminated or lost in transportation because lids don't fit properly.  Loss of food is lost time and lost money. 

At Cook's Direct, we believe that this is an excellent addition to our Steam Table Pan offering as a response to our customers who have issues with the corners of their pans being bent or out of shape from day to day use.  The gasket creates a tight seal between the pan and it's lid as well as a well of a serving line.  Using the CaterSeal makes it easier to lift a pan out of a well too, because there is  an extension on one corner to allow you to lift up the corner of the pan. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

What is the difference between 18/10, 18/8 and Type 304 Stainless Steel?

Stainless Steel Stock Pots
If you're shopping for Stock Pots or flatware, you're probably looking at stainless steel products that reference 18/10 or 18/8 or even Type 304 and so on.  These indicate the 'grade' of stainless steel, which refers to it's quality, durability and temperature resistance. When you see 18/8 or 18/10, they refer to the composition of the stainless steel, specifically the amount of chromium and nickel in the product. 

So what do they mean? 
The most common numbers that you will see are 18/8 and 18/10.  These are the most common grades of stainless steel used in equipment and supplies for cooking.  They are also known as Type 304, or 304 Grade, and are part of the 300 series.  The amount of chromium present is communicated by the first number and the amount of nickel is represented by the second number so 18/8 is 18% chromium and 8% nickel, and 18/10 is 18% chromium and 10% nickel.  304 grade stainless steel contains no more than 0.8% carbon and at least 50% iron.  The chromium binds oxygen to the surface f the product to protect the iron from oxidation causing rust.  Nickel also improves the corrosion resistance of stainless steel. 

Some times you'll see 18/0 stainless steel which contains a minimal amount of nickel, only 0.75%, and so it had less corrosion resistance making it more likely to rust than 18/8 or 18/10, even though it is still a high quality.  18/0 is also a Type 430, part of the 400 series, and unlike 300 series stainless steel, it is magnetic. 

Finally, you may run across stainless steel food containers made from 200 series stainless steel.  These are generally not as expensive as 304 grade.  In this stainless steel manganese is substituted for the nickel.  While it is food safe, 200 series stainless steel is less resistant to corrosion (rust) as is the higher quality 304 grade. 

Stainless steel is one of the most common materials found in restaurant equipment and kitchen supplies.  It is durable, easy to sanitize and corrosion resistant to various acids found in fruits, vegetables, meats and milk.   It is also a considered extremely save because there are no chemicals to that can migrate into your food from stainless.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Get ready for Labor Day 2014!

Are you ready for Labor Day?  
MagiKitch'n Transportable Propane Grill
MagiKitch'n Transportable Propane Grill
Many people don't know that Labor Day is the 2nd largest cookout event of the year in the US, following right behind the July 4th! 
With the introduction of charcoal starters or quick to start gas grills, Labor Day is doesn't signify the end of the outdoor grilling season the way it used to, but if you live in the northern part of the country, it's frequently viewed as the last chance for comfortable outdoor entertaining. So if you plan to have a cookout to celebrate Labor Day 2014 at your house or you're throwing a special outside labor day event at your restaurant, here are a few tips for a safe and satisfying event:

1.  Even though you're cooking on a grill, you need to have appropriate oven mitts and hot pads on hand.  A high heat pan grabber is something that you should keep close by in case you want to remove something from the grill quickly.  If you use any of the grilling tools that have handles, like a grill basket o grilling pan, then you'll want a pan handle cover - which is great for cooking inside too.

2.  While it's important to be able to have a hot pad nearby - anyone that does any grilling knows that it just gets hot when you're cooking!  Your grill master will appreciate a heat resistant Sleeve to protect their arm when cooking while leaving their hand free to easily use cooking utensils. 

So now that you're keeping it safe, let's get the essential utensils:

3.  Make sure you have your Outdoor Grilling - essential kitchen products like a good set of stainlesssteel cooking tongs or other kitchen tongs. 

4.  A good quality, larger turner is also a must!  We recommend the 8"x3" High Heat Turner or the 8"x 3" Perforated Turner. 

5.  If you prefer traditional foods on the grill - then you may want to read our earlier post:  Grilling tools for the traditional outdoor cooking enthusiast!

6.  For those of you who are interested in trying new things or creating an 'unexpected' experience when cooking outdoors, you may be interested in reading: Ideas and tools to create a unique grilling experience!

Okay, you've got safety covered, you have the right cooking utensils on hand and some ideas for a great grilling - what are you going to drink?  It gets hot when you're grilling!

7.  You'll want to have a good cooler or ice chest to keep your beverages cold on a hot day!  If you're having a big event - you'll be interested in our bestselling cooler, the 120 Quart MaxCold Ice Chest from Igloo.

8.  Be prepared to have a great time!  After all - it's a holiday weekend!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Hobart HS Series Slicers - new NSF 8 revisions

Hobart HS8-1 Slicer from Cook's Direct
The new NSF 8 revisions for restaurant meat slicers are pretty rigorous.  Some of the changes have been so tough to meet that you'll find manufacturers who chose to go with less strict certification routes, but not Hobart on their HS Series Slicers.  In addition to sealed seams, compliant fasteners and removable parts for easy cleaning, you'll find four different patented features providing an improved operation. 

The HS Series slicers include a 1/2-HP knife-drive motor.  The automatic versions of this slicer; the HS7, HS7N, HS9 and HS9N, feature a proven belt-drive system to maximize reliability.  The manual slicers are the HS6, HS6N, the HS8 and the HS8N. 

The patented composite knife.
The 13" CleanCut ™ knife is stainless steel construction with a stellite-alloy edge so that it stays sharp longer, providing exceptional precision.  Additionally, because of the stellite-alloy, the Hobart HS Series knife has a thin-edge design so that you get improved yield and ultimately reduces the cost of ownership for your investment in your commercial slicer.  Along with a great knife, the  Hobart HS Series Slicer product tray is designed to enhance the quality of each individual slice while it works together with the rear-mounted, removable, meat-grip assembly to provide secure product placement. 

Removable features make cleaning and sanitation easy.
Hobart's zero knife exposure feature ensures that operators do not accidentally touch the blade during the sharpening and cleaning process.  Also, selected models have an optional knife-removal feature which includes a patented knife-removal tool ensuring that blade edges are completed protected.

Build up of food debris is prevented by the patented removable ring-guard cover improving sanitation.  The tilting, removable carriage system, rear-mounted meat-grip arm and slide-rod extension simplify thorough cleaning and sanitation.  Additionally features designed into the Hobart HS Series slicers specifically to improve sanitation include:
  • no-drip gauge plate which is designed to direct any  product juices away from the base
  • a seamless base so that  liquids and debris can be easily cleaned off
  • Fasteners that comply with sanitation needs
  • a knife that is warewash-safe and enclosed within the exclusive knife-removal too, so water reaches both sides of the knife during cleaning.

 To learn more about the HS Series and how they meet the NSF 8 revisions, you can watch the video from Hobart