How to Pick a Holding Cabinet for a Commercial Kitchen

holding cabinet

No matter what type of commercial kitchen you’re operating, there’s a holding cabinet that can benefit you. Holding cabinets are a crucial part of any kitchen that serves hot food. They save time and labor. Consequently, holding cabinets can increase your bottom line.

What is a holding cabinet?

CVap commercial kitchen equipment foodservice products

Basically, holding cabinets are heated appliances designed to hold cooked foods at a safe serving temperature. Some holding cabinets do this well and some do not. Of course, the quality depends on the manufacturer and design.

Notably, people sometimes refer to holding cabinets as hot boxes, warmers, insulated warmers, hold and serves, warming cabinets, and other titles. Nonetheless, their function is the same.

Winston’s CVap® technology started as a holding technology. Colonel Sanders (yes, really) challenged our founder Winston Shelton to invent a cabinet that could hold his famous chicken for an extended time. Critically, the chicken had to maintain the infamously high quality that Sanders demanded. Shelton was up to the challenge.

Although the Colonel didn’t live to see the final product, CVap technology was the result. It revolutionized the foodservice industry. Nearly four decades later, CVap is still the pinnacle of holding cabinets.

All holding cabinets have the same job; keeping food hot until it’s served. Clearly, some do this better than others. It’s dependent on their design. Holding cabinets fall into four basic categories:

  • Dry holding cabinets
  • Passive humidity cabinets
  • Humidified holding cabinets
  • Controlled vapor holding cabinets

What Can I Use a Holding Cabinet Holding Cabinet For

As the name implies, holding cabinets are used for keeping food hot while serving. Although they’re found in all sorts of commercial kitchens, they’re particularly well suited for high-volume operations. These include fast-food establishments and institutional kitchens (schools, hospitals, prisons, etc.).

 Notably, holding cabinets cannot be used to reheat food – that’s a food code violation. But used with a little forethought, holding cabinets can reduce labor by allowing staff to prepare food ahead of rush periods. Depending on which type of cabinet you choose, holding cabinets can help you serve fresh hot food to all your patrons.

holding cabinet

How to Select the Right Select the Right Holding Cabinet

When it comes to selecting the right cabinet for your commercial kitchen, there are several factors to consider. In the interest of transparency, we’re only talking CVap holding cabinets here.

Your Volume

How much traffic do you see in a typical day? Is it spread throughout the day, or does it come in rush periods? If your volume isn’t particularly heavy, you may be able to thrive with a smaller CVap unit, such as a holding drawer or half-size holding cabinet. There’s no point in paying for more capacity than you need. On the other hand, higher-volume operations may want to consider larger cabinets, such as an HOV5-14UV or HOV3-14UV. Clearly, larger cabinets increase your holding capacity, so you can maintain food at high quality throughout meal periods.

Your Space

How much room is available in your commercial kitchen? If you’re in a confined space, such as a food truck or concession stand, you obviously don’t have a lot of room to work with. Smaller CVap cabinets, such as warming drawers, holding bins, or under-counter holding cabinets are a good solution. Likewise, larger spaces can accommodate bigger cabinets, from the half-size HOV7-05UV up to the HOV5-14UV. CVap holding cabinets don’t require vent hoods, so there’s no need to utilize that valuable space. Optional stacking kits give you the option of stacking two cabinets, doubling the footprint capacity. There’s a perfect size for any operation or workspace.

Your Menu

What food products are on your menu? CVap holding cabinets provide an extended hold on any food products. CVap truly excels at moist foods, such as soup, pasta, and seafood. The moist vapor environment inside CVap cabinets really interacts with the food’s moisture, locking in freshness for a long time. Foods that you wouldn’t consider particularly moist, such as pizza, burgers, or steaks will also hold fresh for an extended time. Nothing can hold forever, but these foods will hold for a substantial time before losing quality.

At the upper end of the scale are crisp foods, such as french fries. Again, CVap provides a respectable hold. But the high differential temperature required to properly hold crisp foods will inevitably cause food evaporation to creep up. This shortens the time before quality starts degrading. Don’t get us wrong, CVap cabinets still provide a respectable holding time. But it’s important to realize that even the best cabinets have their limits.

Does your operation offer baked goods? CVap holding cabinets are also excellent proofers. You can proof and hold in the same cabinet, getting double duty from the same footprint.

Your Budget

The brutal reality of today’s world is that everything is getting more expensive. Geopolitical turbulence (we’re looking at you, Russia), persistent pandemics, and supply chain strain is ratcheting up the cost of everything. This is particularly true of stainless steel. Naturally, stainless steel is the primary component of virtually every holding cabinet.

Money is always an issue. But at rocky times like these, you may be tempted to go with the cheapest cabinet you can get, namely a dry or passive cabinet. But you need to look beyond the initial cost. Buying the cheapest cabinets will save money up front, but over the life of that cabinet, the decrease quality of the food served from it will add up costs over time. In the end, it may cost you more than you saved by buying the el-cheapo cabinet.

CVap cabinets’ precision and elevated food quality really are the better option. We admit, CVap isn’t the cheapest brand out there. But it is the best. CVap in your commercial kitchen gives you the assurance that you are serving food at the absolute peak of quality.

Winston offers CVap holding cabinets in three feature levels, tailored to fit a range of budgets.

Our lowest tier is Series 3. The 3s feature simple membrane controls. They’re easy to operate, even for untrained staff. Although they’re the simplest CVaps, they still deliver the precise hold that people expect from CVap cabinets.

Next up are our Series 5 cabinets. The 5s have capacitive touch controls, desktop programming, a USB port for programming uploads and data downloads. Eight programmable channels cover about every type of menu. Convection fans minimize hot and cold zones with the cabinet.

The top of the line are our Series 7 cabinets. Series 7 have all the bells and whistles as the Series 5s, plus a few more. Wireless NFC programming enables you to reprogram the cabinet with the wave of your Android phone. Convection fans can be turned on and off. And a probe option gives you accuracy the is simply unrivaled.

As you can see, there’s a CVap holding cabinet to suit every budget.

Your Mobility

Sometimes you have to move it, move it. CVap cabinets come stock with casters, so moving them around your kitchen, whether to clean or to rearrange, is no problem. If you need to really move it around, consider adding the optional transport package. This includes 5” heavy-duty casters, push-pull handle, cord wrap, and evaporator cover. It’s perfect for commercial kitchens that need to move hot food from one area to another, such as from a school kitchen to a classroom.

Ultimately, It’s Up to You

Nobody knows your operation as you do. In the end, you are the best judge of what you need. But if you need a little guidance, contact us. We’ll be glad to discuss your needs and options and suggest the best solutions for your commercial kitchen.

Wet Bulb, Dry Bulb, and the Science of Cooking with Water

thermodynamics wet bulb dry bulb

Cooking, in all its forms, involves controlling water. That’s a basic fact. Heat’s interaction with internal moisture causes changes to food as it cooks. After all, food is mostly water. Notably, some foods are more than 90 percent water. So, it makes sense that food behaves like water when heated. Let’s delve into wet bulb, dry bulb, and the science of cooking with water.

wet bulb dry bulb thermometer

Dry Bulb

Dry-bulb temperature is measured by a bare thermometer with no radiant heat affecting it (sunlight, radiators, Chippendales dancers, etc.). It’s what we think of as the air temperature. Wet-bulb temperature is a little trickier. Simply put, wet bulb is the lowest temperature possible under ambient conditions by the evaporation of water only. Sounds complicated, but it’s not.

Wet Bulb

Wet-bulb is measured with a thermometer covered by a water-soaked wick or other porous fabric. Remember, evaporation is a cooling process. Therefore, the drier the air, the faster moisture evaporates, and the lower the web-bulb temperature. Wet-bulb is always lower than dry-bulb. However, there is an exception. At 100% relative humidity, wet-bulb and dry-bulb temperatures are equal. Certainly, it’s physically impossible for the wet bulb to be higher than the dry bulb.

Author Nathan Myhrvold eloquently described the role that water plays in cooking in his book series, Modernist Cuisine:

Water is also the medium in which most cooking is done. Sometimes we use it directly, as when boiling, steaming, extracting, or cooking sous vide. Water plays a role in ostensibly “dry” processes such as roasting and baking as well, yet many chefs fail to account for its effects. Whether it’s a liquid boiling or simmering in a pot, a vapor rising from a steamer, the humidity in an oven’s air, the liquid circulating in a cooking bath, or the crushed ice in a blender, the unique properties of water come into play in all manner of culinary operations. Faced with such powerful and ubiquitous phenomena, cooks must learn how to manipulate water or risk being foiled by it.

food is water

Long before Myhrvold, our founder Winston Shelton discovered water’s role in cooking. He deduced that to control food’s temperature, you must control food’s internal moisture. This led to the invention of CVap® (Controlled Vapor Technology). Shelton developed it as a hot food holding technology. But he realized it could also revolutionize cooking.

New Technology, New Words

Never limited by existing language, Winston fondly coined new terms. A significant Winstonism was thermoisturization. He defined it this way:

Thermoisturize: Taken from the words thermalize and moisturize…to mean the process of thermalizing while moisturizing. Also, ‘thermoisturization.’ The scientific world uses ‘thermalizing’ to represent the heat transfer phenomena in each of the processes. ‘Thermoisturization’ is coined to represent the simultaneous thermalization and moisturization of foods.

Our Corporate Research Chef, Samantha Brown, explains thermoisturization in more layman’s terms here.

The Laws of Thermoisturization

Shelton wrote The Laws of Thermoisturization. These explain the mechanics of controlling wet bulb and dry bulb temperatures inside an oven utilizing two heat sources. Ultimately, the reason wet bulb temperature control is more important is as follows:

  1. The large amount of moisture in all fresh foods.
  2. The enormous heat energy in water vapor.
  3. The ability to accurately control the amount of water vapor in the food’s atmosphere.

Certainly, that’s a lot of scientific jargon. A much simpler explanation of CVap can be found in this quirky video.

CVap generates heated vapor from a water reservoir at the unit’s base. We refer to it as the evaporator. If food is cooler than the evaporator, the heated vapor condenses on food, heating it. On the other hand, food that’s hotter than the vapor temperature evaporates moisture, cooling it. Since evaporation and condensation are highly effective heat transfer phenomena, food temperature must equalize with the vapor temperature. Ultimately, food temperature is affected more by the vapor temperature than the air temperature. Food simply can’t drop below the evaporator temperature. This differs from other so-called “humidified” equipment. Only CVap directly controls food temperature via controlled-heat vapor.

thermodynamics wet bulb dry bulb

Conventional Cooking vs. CVap Cooking

In a conventional oven, evaporation increases exponentially with the food’s temperature. Evaporation slows as food’s interior moisture decreases. As a result, the food dries out.
Indeed, evaporation is counterproductive for several reasons:

  1. Evaporative cooling hampers the heating process.
  2. Energy is wasted evaporating moisture instead of heating food.
  3. Food quality decreases as moisture evaporates.

In order to serve at peak quality, food must be removed from a conventional oven as soon as it reaches the desired endpoint temperature. If not, food overcooks.

CVap Cooking

In a CVap oven, food moisture cannot evaporate until food reaches vapor temperature. Critically, food heats more rapidly in the absence of evaporative cooling. As food reaches the selected endpoint, its temperature stops rising. For that reason, food can remain in a CVap oven for extended periods without overcooking.

Relative Humidity is Bull$h*t

Some manufacturers throw the term “relative humidity” around. They claim better control over food quality via relative humidity. However, when it comes to food, relative humidity is BS.

Relative humidity is simply a measurement of how much moisture air can hold before becoming saturated. But it changes, depending on the temperature.

“Controlling” Relative Humidity?

“Controlling” relative humidity is a bit of a misnomer. Relative humidity can be the same percentage at a wide range of temperatures. You can have an RH of 50% with a dry-bulb temp of 62°F or 86°F or 150°F (and so on), depending on the wet-bulb temperature. Consequently, relative humidity’s effect on food temperature and quality is indirect, at best.

CVap is Different

That’s why CVap technology is so different. The other guys attempt to affect food by manipulating the oven’s air. But they have it backward. Only CVap directly controls vapor temperature, which dictates food temperature.  

After all, do you want to heat air, or do you want to heat food?

Retherming Brisket in CVap®

retherming brisket

Brisket. Is there a better product to cook to celebrate May’s National BBQ Month? Brisket is incredibly popular, with a 23% increase in menus over the last decade. Whether you’re preparing these babies in-house, or are opting for commercially produced products, CVap ovens are great for retherming brisket without sacrificing quality.

retherming brisket
retherming brisket

To test the full range of products, we rethermed two brisket types. The first was a fully cooked, house-smoked, whole unsliced brisket. The other was commercially produced Hormel sliced brisket. Notably, both briskets were whole, smoked, and fully cooked. But the commercial product was smaller, roughly seven pounds. Additionally, it came presliced. On the other hand, the homemade product is unsliced and was about 14 pounds. We set them up in the same CHV7-05UV oven, with the same program: Vapor 170°F/Air 200°F. We wrapped both briskets in foil and placed them into the preheated oven.

Retherming Brisket - The Same, But Different

Although these were both whole briskets, they fell under different Food Code 3-403.11(C) requirements. The code requires that rethermed proteins hit their required safe temperature in two hours or less

Because the Hormel brisket was a commercially produced product, the code requires it to reach the minimally safe temperature of 135°F. Our CVap oven easily hit the mark. The Hormel brisket reached safe temp in a little under two hours. Clearly, the lower retherming temperature requirement, coupled with CVap’s high humidity retherming program, and the added ingredients (like phosphate) helped keep this pre-sliced brisket perfectly moist.

However, the food code requirements for previously cooked homemade brisket are more stringent. Code dictates that it must reach a minimum safe temperature of 165°F for 15 seconds. Our initial test reveal that this much larger brisket missed the mark on cook time. Unsurprisingly, this brisket, being twice as large as the Hormel product, took nearly twice as long to hit 165°F in the thickest part of the roast, between the point and flat. But no test is a failure, even if the results are not what we wanted. We headed back to the drawing board.

The solution was simple. We separated the whole brisket into the point and flat and wrapped them separately. Consequently, the two smaller cuts reached the required temperature within the two-hour limit. Although we didn’t test it, you could probably optimize the program by either decreasing the vapor and air temperatures or minimizing the temperature differential between the two (for example, Vapor 180°F/Air 190°F, or Vapor 190°F/Air 200°F).

Why Retherm?

What’s the practicality of retherming briskets instead of serving scratch cooked? Time. Briskets are a classic example of a protein you must cook low and slow to achieve the best results. Unless you can perfectly predict how much your operation needs on a given day (and plan accordingly), it is impractical to cook on-demand. But cooking ahead of time and properly refrigerating reduces the time it takes to retherm and serve. Think of it as a form of staging. Ultimately, anything that helps you serve faster and turn tables is beneficial.

Barbecue in a CVap® Oven – Smoking & Holding

barbecue platter

CVap® ovens are well-known for their versatility and precision. These qualities make them particularly well-suited for barbecue operations. Barbecue is the realm of low and slow cooking. And nothing does low and slow better than CVap.

We wanted to test the most popular proteins for most BBQ joints, pork ribs, beef brisket, and chicken. First, we needed the perfect rub.

The Seasoning Blend

Prepare the seasoning blend and set it aside.

The Proteins

  • Pork Back Ribs – 3 to 4 Lbs.
  • Whole Chickens – 3 Lbs.
  • Whole Brisket – 17 Lbs.

The Barbecue Process

Pork Back Ribs – RTV5-14UV with the Winston Smoker Box

Cook Time approximately 5 hours
Cook Vapor 190°F / Air 220°F

Hold Infinite
Hold Vapor 135°F / Air 145°F

Holding ribs for an extended time in CVap ovens is beneficial to food quality. The long, slow heat dissolves the connective tissue within the meat. For pull-off-the-bone tenderness, we recommend a five-hour hold. To get fall-off-the-bone tender, extend the hold to six hours.

barbecue

It’s important to remember that the cooking time depends on the size of the product and the orientation of the product in the pan. Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Get similar-sized ribs for a similar time cook. We used 2.75-3.25 Lbs.
  • If you get larger or smaller ribs, just adjust the time accordingly:
    • Increase time for larger ribs; >3.5 Lbs. +.
    • Decrease time for smaller ribs; <2.5 Lbs.
  • Increase time if preparing more than 5-6 ribs
    • Increasing the thermal load increases the time it takes to reach the desired temperature and texture.
  • If you shingle the ribs to get more per shelf, you’ll need to increase the cooking time.
  1. Remove back ribs from packaging.

  2. Score backside (bone side) with a paring knife.

  3. Liberally season both sides of each rib. Allow the seasoned ribs to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

  4. Place ribs onto a rack in the preheated oven. Keep placement in a single layer, bone-side down.

**Chef’s Tips – We recommend placing a foil-lined sheet pan on the bottom shelf, just above the smoker. This will catch the product’s drippings and make cleanup easier.

Engaging Barbecue with the Winston Smoker Box

  1. Plug the timer into the wall and ensure the smoker box is connected to the timer. We like to use mixed wood pellets as the smoke medium. However, sawdust or smaller chips (no bigger than a fingernail) can be used.

  2. Adjust the timer to start the heating element, and add your smoke medium onto the heating element inside the smoker box.

  3. Place the smoker box on a sheet pan inside the oven on a bottom rack, just above the evaporator. The box takes about 15-20 minutes to preheat and start smoldering. We smoked the ribs for about 3-4 hours.

  4. Press ENTER once the product is placed inside, and the smoker is filled and in place.

Whole Brisket – RTV5-14UV with the Winston Smoker Kit

Cook Time – 9 Hours
Cook Vapor – 190°F / Air – 220°F

Hold – Infinite
Hold Vapor – 135°F / Air – 145°F

  1. Use the same barbecue seasoning blend as the pork ribs.
  2. Trim the brisket’s top and side fat, and between the point and flat.
  3. Season liberally on all sides, and in between the two muscles.
  4. Place brisket onto a rack in the preheated oven.
  5. Engage the Winston Smoker Box. We used mixed wood pellets for about 6 hours.
barbecue

Whole Chicken – RTV5-14UV with the Winston Smoker Box

Cook Time – 3 Hours
Cook Vapor – 170°F / Air – 300°F

Use the same seasoning blend as the pork rib and brisket…yes, it’s that universal AND that good!

  1. Pat the chicken dry and season liberally on all sides, under the wings, legs, and inside the cavity.
  2. Place chickens on a rack in the preheated oven.
    Be careful not to crowd.
  3. Engage the Winston Smoker Box. We used mixed wood pellets for about two hours. Check internal temperature. As with any poultry, it’s important to cook to at least 165°F.

CVap® – Volume Cooking in a Smaller Footprint

s smaller footprint works in any kitchen

Near the conclusion of Disney’s 1992 classic Aladdin, the genie (voiced by the late, great Robin Williams) sums up the jinn condition by saying, Phenomenal cosmic powers … Itty bitty living space! One could paraphrase that quote to describe CVap® ovens: Phenomenal cooking power…itty bitty floor space! (Yeah, we know it’s a stretch, but bear with us.) CVap offers versatility and precision in a smaller footprint.

It’s no secret that space is at a premium in commercial kitchens. Clearly, the challenge is to provide the necessary equipment for the staff to do their job while maintaining the kitchen’s efficient flow. Critically, if your equipment requires a vent hood, that puts additional limits on placement and adds significant investment costs to the kitchen. To operate at peak efficiency, you need to be able to accomplish multiple processes with a single piece of equipment. Bonus points if it doesn’t need a hood. Ultimately, you need to cram as much power and versatility as possible into a smaller footprint.

s smaller footprint works in any kitchen

CVap Ovens Are The Solution

CVap ovens are a perfect solution and add a major punch to a wide variety of cooking applications. Certainly, CVap Cook and Hold Ovens, and Retherm Ovens are flexible enough to handle a wide range of cooking processes, including cooking, steaming, baking, retherming, holding, sous vide, and more in a single smaller footprint.

Available in a range of sizes, CVap ovens require approximately four to six square feet of floor space. Certainly, within that small space, CVap ovens provide capacities ranging from four to fourteen sheet pans. Indeed, the enormous cooking capacity is a game-changer. For example, if your operation does sous vide cooking, you’d need an unwieldy number of immersion circulators to match the ability of a single CVap oven. Because CVap uses controlled vapor as a cooking medium, it enables you to reach sous vide precision and consistency, with or without bags. Eliminating bags saves on the cost of bags and labor, not to mention the expense of the HACCP plan often required for bagged cooking.

foodservice products

Save Labor and Space

After a cooking cycle completes, CVap ovens have the option to transition to a hold mode automatically. Consequently, this frees staff from having to move food from the oven to a separate holding cabinet. Certainly, CVap keeps food hot and just-cooked fresh for an extended period, without overcooking.

Unlike some competitors, CVap ovens don’t require vent hoods* and don’t need to be plumbed to drains. Indeed, this gives you the flexibility to put them anywhere there is sufficient space and electrical power.

Put all that power and versatility in minimal space. It isn’t magic. It’s CVap.

*See EPA Ventless Approval and check your local requirements.

Enhance Your C-Store Food Menu with CVap® Equipment

Enjoying a C-store burrito

Shifting demographics are a catalyst for changes in convenient stores (C-Stores). It’s no secret that C-Stores make little profit on gasoline sales. In fact, this is the case even when gas prices spike. Naturally, operators need customers to come into the store to increase profits. Undoubtedly, one of the best ways to increase in-store traffic is by expanding your store’s food offerings. This trend accelerated during the pandemic. Even customers who avoided traditional restaurants during the pandemic likely visited C-Stores. Certainly, offering a wider menu can dramatically increase traffic and profits for your store.

Clearly, a terrific way to up your food game is by investing in better equipment. C-store space is limited. It’s critical that equipment be capable of a multitude of processes. Undoubtedly, the solution is Winston’s CVap equipment. CVap equipment streamlines your kitchen by eliminating unnecessary appliances. Indeed, CVap will help your C-store thrive.

Sizes to Fit Every Need

Granted, space is limited in many C-Stores. Fortunately, there’s a CVap model to fit any space. Need an under-counter oven? There’s a retherm oven and a cook and hold oven that fit the bill. There’s even a cook and hold oven model small enough to place directly on the countertop. Need holding equipment? CVap Holding Cabinets run the size gamut. Notably, CVap Hold and Serve Drawers are specifically designed for small spaces. 

C-stores are increasing their food menus

Versatility

Without doubt, you need multi-tasking equipment to make the most of limited space. In fact, CVap ovens can bake, steam, retherm, sous vide, hold, and more. CVap ovens automatically transition to a hold mode. Consequently, there’s no need to immediately remove food at the end of the cook cycle. It is true, food stays hot and just-cooked fresh until you’re ready to serve.

Enjoying a C-store burrito

Preset Programming

In fact, CVap equipment comes pre-programmed with eight popular settings. In addition, each channel can be customized to meet your exact menu. Clearly, no matter what grab-and-go food you offer, CVap is perfect for it. Moreover, you can lock the controls to prevent inadvertent settings changes. CVap produces perfect, consistent food, time after time.

No Vent Hood Needed

Indeed, CVap ovens don’t require a vent hood. In fact, Independent testing proved it (check local requirements). Consequently, this eliminates the need to utilize an expensive dedicated venting system. In addition, CVap equipment doesn’t need to be plumbed to a drain. In fact, you can place it anywhere with sufficient space and power.

Bathless Baking: Spotted Dick in a CVap®

It may be a surprise to some but bathless baking is possible in CVap®. We recently proved this cooking process on perhaps the most snicker-inducing food in the English-speaking world, Spotted Dick.

The etymology of this curiously named dessert is a bit hazy. It stems from the Victorian Era. There are theories that the name of this steamed pudding refers to its similarity in appearance to a spotted dog (spotted = raisins or currants, dick = dog (or perhaps, dough). Whatever the origin, the name continues to amuse those who have failed to achieve a sufficient level of maturity. Probably to reduce bawdy jokes, one local council in the U.K. has renamed the dish “Spotted Richard.”

Unlike the puddings that most Americans are familiar with, the spotted dick is spongey and only slightly sweet. Most of its sweetness is from the raisins, currants, or other fruits it contains.

Behold our grand experiment in British baking. Traditionally it’s prepared by steaming on the stovetop. We wanted to test it with CVap bathless baking, a safer process that still delivers fantastic results. You can find the base recipe on Tastemade.com. We tweaked the ingredients a little, and of course, for gentle steaming in a CVap oven.

bathless baking

Ingredients

  • 150 grams of Dried Fruit (Traditionally, you would use currants, but we used a blend of cranberry, blueberry, apricot, and golden raisins.)
  • 250 ml of Water
  • 250 grams Self-Rising Whole Wheat Flour (If you cannot find it at your retailer, you can “fudge” it quite easily; see below for ratios.)
  • 80 grams Sugar
  • 1/8 Tsp Salt
  • 100 grams of Shredded Butter (Pop a stick in the freezer for more effortless shredding.)
  • Zest of One Lemon
  • 280 ml Whole Milk

How to Make a Self-Rising Whole Wheat Flour

  • 2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 Tbs Baking Powder
  • ½ Tsp Salt

             Blend well before using.

The Bathless Baking Process

bathless baking
  1. Preheat RTV/CHV-05 ovens to 200°F Vapor/200°F Air.
  2. Weigh out all the ingredients according to the recipe amounts.
  3. Place the dried fruit into an oven-safe container, cover with water, and place into the preheated oven to rehydrate for about 10-15 (or until the fruits look nice and plump).
  4. Remove from oven, drain, and set aside to cool.
  5. While fruit is rehydrating, place butter into the freezer to firm before grating. Use the largest grain size on the box grater.
  6. The original recipe calls for suet. Suet is the raw, hard fat of beef, lamb, or mutton, for those unfamiliar. It often has a little flour added to it as well. The recipe said that butter is a perfectly suitable substitute for equal replacement. As suet is hard to come by in Kentucky, we opted for butter.
  7. Mix the dry ingredients and add grated butter, fruits, and milk until combined.
  8. Transfer mix to pre-sprayed pans (we used ramekins and silicone mini-bundt pans).
  9. Cook time will be dependent on the size of pans used:
    1. Silicone Mini-Bunt Pans – approximately 30 minutes
    2. Ramekins – closer to an hour
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before removing from the pan.

As mentioned before, spotted dick isn’t particularly sweet. To make it more of a proper dessert, they traditionally serve it with crème anglaise, a.k.a., English cream (or English vanilla custard).

bathless baking spotted dick

Bathless Baking Results

Preparing this dish the traditional way – steaming on the stovetop with extra bits and bobs- is inefficient and dangerous. Preparing it traditionally in a foodservice kitchen is particularly challenging. Creating this in a CVap oven is an excellent (and safer) way to bake this dish. Save yourself the time and trouble with CVap bathless baking.

All snickering aside, we thoroughly enjoyed our spotted dick. We made sure to accompany it with proper English tea, sipped with pinkies raised.

BATHLESS BAKING

Cooking Vegetarian in CVap®

cooking vegetarian
cooking vegetarian

Cooking vegetarian cuisine in restaurants and commercial kitchens is now a thing. There are many reasons behind this growing trend. For some folks, it’s a desire to eat healthier. Others may take up vegetarianism out of a desire to avoid harming animals. Undoubtedly, sustainability factors into some people’s decision to be vegetarians. Plant-based foods certainly have far less impact on climate change.

Although CVap is well-known in culinary circles as being excellent for cooking proteins, we wanted to test it by cooking some vegetarian dishes with a carnivorous slant. It’s worth noting that while these are solidly vegetarian, they aren’t vegan. The cauliflower recipe includes butter, a vegan no-no. Nonetheless, they were a tasty, guilt-free treat for our resident vegetarians and carnivores.

cooking vegetarian

Roasted Buffalo Cauliflower

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Frank’s Red Hot (or hot sauce of preference)
  • ¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 Tbs Butter
  • 2 Heads of Cauliflower (cleaned and cut into large bite-sized florets)
  • Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

The Process

  • Preheat RTV/CHV-05 ovens to 200°F/350°F.
  • Place butter, hot sauce, and extra virgin olive oil in an oven-safe pan and into the CVap to melt butter and heat through
  • Toss florets with the sauce and place them onto a lined baking sheet, single-layer, with space.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes (RTV) – 40 min (CHV), or until reaching the desired texture.
  • Remove from oven, then sprinkle tops of buffalo cauliflower with freshly-grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Bake for another two to three minutes.
cooking vegetarian

Serve with your favorite sauce (we used ranch), or enjoy as-is!

The base recipe came from allrecipes.com, but we adjusted it to suit our preferences, so technically, it’s our recipe now 😊

cooking vegetarian

CARROT BACON

This recipe is inspired by Tabitha Brown’s Carrot Bacon recipe. We’ll be the first to admit that good old-fashioned bacon is damn near the perfect food. But if you’re looking for a healthier substitute for bacon, this vegan bacon/jerky recipe fits the bill...

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp Liquid Smoke
  • ¼ Cup Agave
  • ¼ Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Granulated Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Granulated Onion
  • ¼ Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 6-7 Large Carrots (peeled)

The Process

Preheat RTV/CHV-05 ovens to:

  1. Cook Time – will be dependent on the size of carrot slices and expectations of “doneness.”
  2. Vapor OFF and Water Removed Air 300°F
  • Prepare the “curing spice” for the carrot bacon by mixing everything in a bowl and setting it aside.
  • Clean and peel carrots. Use a peeler, a Japanese mandolin, or a comparable slicer to make the carrot strips. The longer the pieces, the more it will look like “bacon.”
  • Toss strips with curing spices, cover, and allow to marinate for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Transfer strips to a perforated sheet pan, single layer.
  • Bake in CVap oven until reaching the desired texture.

Remove the carrot bacon from the perforated pan immediately. Otherwise, it will stick to the pan as it cools.

cooking vegetarian

Note: We noticed that the strips get crisper as they cool.

Full disclosure – the original recipe was written for preparation in an air fryer. But we discovered that cooking in a CVap oven increased the volume output! We also realized that this spice blend is similar in flavor profile to Grippo’s Bar-B-Q Potato Chips! Happy accident!

All in all, our vegetarian cooking day was an interesting and
tasty success.

No Matter How You Crack It, CVap Cooks Eggs to Perfection

eggs scrambled feature

If you’re familiar with CVap® technology, you know that it’s very versatile. Its ability to dial in its dual heat system to achieve different cooking processes is unparalleled. One area where CVap really shines is in cooking eggs. CVap’s vapor heat makes it particularly well-suited for moist dishes. Why not use the most versatile technology to prepare nature’s most versatile food? We’ve done lots of CVap testing on eggs, and the results were impressive.

Precision is what sets CVap technology apart from other cooking technologies. When cooking, just a few degrees make all the difference in the eggs’ consistency. Too cool, and they are runny and undercooked. Too hot, and they are granular and closer to hard-boiled. CVap delivers the precision to really dial in the desired end temperature. And only CVap can hold them at that desired temperature for extended periods, without overcooking.

Here are a few examples of how CVap excels at cooking and holding eggs.

eggs scrambled feature
poached eggs

Poaching Eggs

Poaching is a classic example of moist cooking. Ordinarily, it involves cooking food in a liquid and at a lower temperature than most other “moist” cooking methods. The CVap oven’s controlled vapor heat replaces the partial immersion used in traditional poaching. CVap is so versatile, you can poach eggs inside the shell. It’ll hold eggs perfectly, for hours, without overcooking. Read more here.

Baking

Of course, when it comes to baking, eggs are simply an ingredient, rather than the focus. But that being said, CVap ovens excel at baking egg-rich recipes like cheesecake and crème brûlée. In the mood for something savory instead of sweet? How about a goat cheese tartlet or a quiche with fresh kale? No matter what recipe you’re baking, CVap will bake it perfectly, without overcooking.

cvap live event cheesecake
sous vide egg bites

Sous Vide

Although sous vide seems to be getting a lot of attention lately, it’s an age-old cooking technique. Traditional sous vide involves immersing bagged food in temperature-controlled water to cook slowly and precisely. The CVap twist on this technique is that CVap ovens use water vapor instead of immersion. You get the same precision as traditional sous vide without the hassle of bags or circulators. CVap ovens enable you to ramp up productivity in a fraction of the space that countertop circulators would take up. Because sous vide involves lower temperatures, it’s perfect for delicate foods like seafood, vegetables, and of course, eggs. Check out a great example of sous vide cooking with these sous vide egg bites.

Staging

Staging involves cooking food to the exact internal temperature and texture desired and holding it there. When the time comes to serve, simply remove food from the CVap, apply any needed finishing touches (like grilling or garnishing), and serve. CVap technology is uniquely able to do this, even with delicate foods like eggs. Serving a banquet of 500 eggs benedict? No problem. Staging in CVap means every patron will get a fresh, hot dish. If you need a little inspiration, check out this delicious eggs benedict recipe.

poached egg on muffin
egg on toast

Holding Eggs

In a perfect world, every meal is cooked fresh to order. The reality of foodservice is that food usually must be held before it’s served. But to keep food warm doesn’t mean it can’t be kept fresh. Food placed CVap equipment maintains just-cooked freshness, temperature, and texture for extended periods. You can prepare well ahead of the rush and keep serving through peak periods. Imagine being able to cook sunny side up eggs on a skillet, transfer them to a CVap cabinet, and hold them hot for hours, without temperature change, and without the yolks condensing. Cook up hotel pans of scrambled eggs and hold them hot and fluffy until you’re ready to serve. It’s possible in CVap.

Want to know more about eggs, their nutrition, and the health benefits of eating ‘em? Check out this info from the Egg Board.

When it comes to eggs, Winston wrote the book on it. No really, we did. Download a free copy of Delicate, Delightful, Delicious Eggs, by our dear late friend, Chef Barry Yates.