Cooking Plant-Based Meat Options using CVap

plant burgers

Plant-based proteins have trickled into retailers across the US and have been, dare we say, adopted into our everyday life.  As more people search for ways to eat healthier and reduce their impact on the environment, plant-based meat substitutes are increasing in popularity across dayparts and in multiple formats.

We wanted to test how well these retail products performed in our foodservice equipment. We purchased a variety of plant-based proteins, including burgers, breakfast sausage links and patties, breaded chicken patties, tenders and nuggets, and Italian meatballs.

Cooking:

The Collectramatic Fryer was set to fry all of the breaded items at 350°F; the protein patties, tenders, and spicy nuggets.

For the meatballs, breakfast patties, and sausage links we had an RTV705 Retherm Oven set to 200°F vapor/350°F air. We inserted a pan into the oven to preheat, to simulate searing for the sausage links.

We went old school on the Beyond Burger patties. They were chargrilled at medium low heat to internal temperature of 165°F.

Holding:

We set the CHV705 Cook and Hold Oven to hold the crispy fried items at 135°F vapor/185°F air.

The HBB Hold and Serve Drawer was set to hold at 140°F /+4 (148°F) for all of the “softer” products: meatballs, sausage patties, sausage links, and the burgers.

We evaluated everything immediately after cooking, and again after about 40-60 minutes of holding.

beyond burgers plant burger
plant sausage patties
plant meatballs
cutting plant products

Results:

From a frying perspective – the Collectramatic fryer was on point. Products cooked perfectly, and came out crisp and golden.

The RTV oven did a great job as well on cooking the breakfast patties and links.

This was our first attempt at cooking and holding multiple plant proteins. Consequently, these settings worked very well.

We would consider tweaking the holding settings in future attempts. The vapor setting was fine. The air setting kept most of the plant-based foods well, but some items, such as the protein patties and the chicken tenders started to show some cupping, which could indicate too much drying. But their temperature held constant.

The biggest surprise was that the Beyond Burgers improved with holding. They were a bit soft and spongy when first pulled from the grill, but they firmed a bit in holding, which for us, made the texture better.

plant meatballs
plant tenders

Honestly, most of the plant-based proteins are surprisingly good. It’s amazing how closely food scientists, research & developers and manufacturers have been able to mimic the look and consistency of actual meat. The flavor on most products is good, though some of our more finicky tasters wrinkled their noses a bit at some of the flavors. Perhaps it’s best to think of these products not as being identical to their animal-based versions, but as a suitable and palatable alternative.

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Brining Chicken Wings

events brined wings

Brining is an age-old method of enhancing the flavor and quality of proteins. Traditionally, it’s a salt and water mixture, but other spices or flavorings can be added.

Why brine? It has a lot of advantages – key among them is adding flavor. Let’s face it, some proteins, like chicken, just don’t have that much favor be themselves. Brining adds a savory kick to the food, enhancing the flavor.

Besides adding flavor, brining also increase liquid absorption by the food, making for a juicier end product. It can also help dissolve some muscle fiber, resulting in a more tender final dish. Kitchn.com has a fascinating article on the science behind brining. It’s worth a read.

We took on chicken wings for our brining day.

sugar for brining

The Brine Recipe

  • 1 Gallon Water
  • ¾ Cup Salt
  • 2/3 Cup Sugar
  • Chicken Wings – separated Jumbo size Party Wing (Restaurant Depot)

The Brining Process

  1. Combine ingredients and stir until all grains are dissolved. (*Note – if using warm/hot water, please be sure to allow mix to completely cool before adding to chicken wings. Lukewarm water and raw poultry are a MAJOR foodborne illness risk). This is enough brine for approximately 20 lbs of wings.
  2. Add wings to a large container. Pour brine, making sure all wings are submerged.
  3. Store brined wings in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours. Wings can be brined overnight.

Once brined, the wings are ready for the desired cooking process. Here are a couple we really liked!

sam brining wings
wings brining in bath
pouring brining water

Staged, then Fried

Our equipment for this portions was a CVap® Cook and Hold Oven and a Collectramatic® Fryer. Both are built by Winston Foodservice.

The Staging Settings

  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Vapor Temp Range: 190-200°F
  • Air Temp Range: 200-220°F

The Process

  1. Place wings on a rack lined full sheet pan, single layer and spaced. The rack elevates the wings off the pan. This elevation, combined with good spacing, allows the wings to cook more evenly.
  2. Check product temperature as it approaches one hour mark. Full staged wings should have an internal temperature between 165-175°F.
  3. Deep fry at 350°F for approximately two minutes. We were targeting a 200F endpoint temperature.

The staged/fried wings had a crispy skin texture and a tender, juicy bite. The brine gave them a nice seasoned and savory flavor.

wings in fryer basket
smoked wings

Smoked Wings

We smoked the wings in a CVap Cook and Hold Oven, using Winston’s Smoker Box and mixed wood pellets.

Smoker Program

  • Cook Time: 60-90 minutes
  • Vapor Temp Range: 170-180°F
  • Air Temp Range: 320-330°F
  • Smoker Box Timer: 60-90 minutes (reflect the cook cycle)

Place wings on a rack lined full sheet pan, single layer and spaced. The rack elevates the wings off the pan. Combined with good spacing, it allows the wings to smoke more evenly. Endpoint temperature of the wings should be between 180-190F.

The finished smoked wings had a firm skin texture. The bite was smokey, juicy, and perfectly seasoned.

Chef Sam shows what RTV Retherm Ovens can do.
About The Author

Winston’s Corporate Research Chef Samantha Brown is an industry veteran. She holds two culinary degrees, and has nearly 20 years of foodservice experience. She’s even appeared on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.

SDBrown@winstonind.com

What is a Commercial Pressure Fryer?

Commercial Pressure Fryer
Collectramatic Pressure Fryers

Commercial pressure fryers are very different from household fryers or commercial open fryers.

Fried food’s appeal is universal. You can easily find fried foods anywhere. Southern fried chicken,  beer-battered fish and chips, you name it – thanks to their crispy texture, delicious flavors, and tantalizing aromas. Ultimately, that’s why many restaurants are likely to have fried products on the menu.

If you want to add fried foods to your menu, or are looking to replace existing frying equipment, read on to learn why you should consider a commercial pressure fryer (and specifically, a Collectramatic® Pressure Fryer).

As the name suggests, commercial pressure fryers rely on pressure cooking techniques. Cooking oil cooks food within an enclosed cooking vessel. Once food products are loaded into the fryer, a lid is latched down, creating an air-tight seal. Consequently, as food cooks, it produces steam. Steam builds pressure within the fryer. It is this pressure that speeds the cooking process.

Naturally, the key difference between open (or deep) fryers and commercial pressure fryers is the enclosed pressurized environment. This makes a dramatic difference in the food’s cooking temperature, cooking duration, and the quality and consistency of the end product.

The Science Behind Pressure Frying

Want to know why foods cooked in a pressure fryer are so much tastier than their open-fried counterparts? Curious about why pressure frying is so much more efficient?

  1. The pressure built up in the enclosed fryer increases the boiling point of water. This means water exceeds 212°F before turning to steam. Because of that, most of the food’s liquids that would have been evaporated at a lower boiling point in an open fryer are retained as internal moisture, resulting in a much juicer end product.
  2. Pressure build-up internally also helps increase the overall temperature of the steam inside the fryer, allowing the food to cook faster. Similarly, pressure cookers also maintain the same temperatures and pressures with every batch, ensuring consistency across all batches. In contrast, open frying lacks consistency, as temperatures can be easily affected by the environment.

Check out this fun video for a basic explanation of pressure frying.

Why Should You Get a Pressure Fryer for Your Commercial Kitchen?

Still undecided on whether a pressure fryer is right for your restaurant?
Read on to learn why many operators have opted to invest in this equipment.

Faster Cook Times

During rush periods, there is no time to lose. Food has to be out of the kitchen as quickly as possible. You do not want an open fryer slowing service.

The good news is that commercial pressure fryers cook much faster, allowing you to speed up your production and serve more customers.

Better and More Consistent Flavor

Any operator will tell you that flavor and consistency are key to customer satisfaction. While that is not easily achieved,  pressure fryers can help you get it right every time. This is thanks to its heating and pressure systems, and computerized programming. Serving consistently juicy, crispy fried foods in every batch is made easy.

Healthier

Calling fried foods healthy sounds like a stretch. However, it is essential to note that pressure frying is a healthier cooking method than other high-volume fryers. Pressure frying heats food’s internal moisture and uses that moisture to cook from within. This creates vapor pressure within the food product. This pressure, pushing outward from the food’s interior, helps prevent oil from soaking into the food, ultimately lowering the amount of fat absorbed into the product, as compared to open frying.

Cost-Effective

Certainly, oil reduction is not just a health benefit. On the other hand, it is also a significant cost-benefit. Using less oil and the maintaining oil quality for longer periods helps save on oil consumption overall. Similarly, faster cooking times also help to lower energy consumption. How’s that for cost-effective?

Convinced of the benefits that a pressure fryer can bring to your operation? The next step is to find a suitable fryer. When it comes to an important investment like this, there are several key areas you need to note. We, of course, recommend our Collectramatic Pressure Fryers.

Features

Certain features enhance the effectiveness of pressure fryers. Look for features that help your team reduce their workload.

Winston’s Collectramatic LP56 High-Efficiency Pressure Fryer include the following features:

  • The patented cold zone uses gravity filtration to prevent cracklings from scorching and ruining your oil. This allows up to 360 lbs. of chicken (or other food products) to be fried between filtrations.
  • 6-head capacity (or 18 lbs. of food product)
  • 75 lbs. shortening (or oil) capacity
  • 8 preprogrammed (and programable) channels
  • Choice of clamshell or quarter-rack basket systems. Quarter-rack systems minimize tonging and handling of chicken. Shelves can be moved from basket to sheet pan without tonging each piece individually.
  • Built-in safety features, such as an automatic shutoff if the fryer gets too hot (over 410°F), and an alarm that automatically disengages the heaters if they are inadvertently allowed to be exposed to air.

Add a Winston Shortening Filter to get the most from your Winston fryer. The filter is built for mobility. Consequently, you can use a single filter unit to service multiple fryers.

foodservice products Collectramatic LP46 Pressure Fryer foodservice products

The Most Trusted Brand

Winston offers commercial fryers in both pressure and open configurations. Check out their entire fryer product line here.

For over 50 years, Collectramatic Fryers have been leaders in the foodservice industry. Originally designed for Harland Sanders (yes, Colonel Sanders), they’re a reliable workhorse. Built with only a few moving parts, they last for decades (with regular care and maintenance, of course). Simple to operate, clean, and maintain, Collectramatic fryers will keep you frying, and keep your customers happy and fed.

Five Things to Know When Purchasing a Commercial Fryer

Chicken is a customer favorite. According to the National Chicken Council, Americans now consume nearly 100 pounds per capita annually. Customers consume more chicken than beef or pork every year. This is why operators should make serving the best chicken a priority. Offering this customer favorite comes with a few “need to knows” that every foodservice professional should consider before purchasing a fryer.

1. Pressure fryers produce better chicken (and cost less to operate).
  • Collectramatic Pressure Fryers consistently produce tastier chicken. The fryer design makes a difference in food quality. Expert operators have told us how they can taste the difference between chicken cooked in a Collectramatic fryer and other pressure fryers.
  • In pressure fryers, a pressurized bubble forms around chicken, trapping in natural juices, nutrients, and flavor. There is minimal flavor transfer, and chicken cooks faster than in open fryers. The frying process decreases wait times, while producing consistently good chicken.
  • Collectramatic Pressure Fryers typically cost less to operate. The TCO on these fryers is low, offsetting up-front costs. Pressure fryers cook chicken at a lower temperature than open fryers, requiring less energy over the life of the fryer. Lower temperatures also extend shortening life.
2. Open fryers make good chicken too.
  • If a pressure fryer is not an option, commercial open fryers produce delicious chicken as well. There are many different commercial open fryers. Collectramatic Open Fryers, like the OF59C, are made for high-volume operations. Chicken isn’t the only delicious fried food. Some food products, like jalapeno poppers or butterfly shrimp, are best when open fried.
3. Programmable presets are important.
  • When purchasing a commercial fryer, operators should look for fryers with programmable presets. These presets ensure a consistently high-quality product and reduce the amount of training and labor. Look for units with enough storage channels to add future presets to accommodate menu changes.
4. Clean oil is an essential part of producing good chicken.
  • Oil (or shortening) is a factor to consider during the buying process and daily operations. Clean oil produces better chicken. Collectramatic fryers use simple gravity filtration to keep oil fresh longer, extending the length of time between mechanical filtrations.
  • Oil starts to break down when cooking temperatures exceed 360°F. For that reason, Collectramatic fryers have a maximum temperature of 360°F. Most cook cycles involve settings lower than this temperature. When oil breaks down, it should be filtered promptly to ensure a quality, consistent product. Oil life can also be extended by maintaining a consistent level and avoiding overfilling cookpots.
5. It’s important to keep chicken fresh and at a correct hot temperature before serving.
  • For some operations, serving quality chicken only concerns frying, because the product is immediately served. Other operations require a heated merchandiser or holding cabinet that keeps chicken at the correct safe temperature. One of Winston’s other product lines is CVap® holding and cooking equipment. CVap Holding Cabinets are particularly well-suited for holding fried chicken. CVap’s unique dual-heat system keeps chicken hot and just-cooked fresh for extended periods. This helps you power through rush periods with minimal delays and no sacrifice in food quality.

Why Choose Winston Collectramatic Pressure Fryers?

commercial pressure fryer

American-built Quality

Winston manufacturers all our fryers and controls in our Louisville, Kentucky headquarters/ We don’t rely on third-party vendors. Rigorous engineering and testing assure that each fryer we sell is built to the highest quality standards. Our experienced, dedicated workforce build pride into every product we ship.

commercial pressure fryer

We Make Life Easy for Servicers

No matter what brand of commercial fryer you choose, at some point it will need to be serviced by a skilled technician. Collectramatic Pressure Fryers are well known in the industry as being easy to work on. So, when the time comes for maintenance, your technician will thank you.

collectramatic

Smaller Footprint

Bulky cooking appliances that take up too much space in your commercial kitchen cause problems – safety concerns, workflow disruptions, and frustration, to name a few.

Collectramatic Pressure Fryers have a well-engineered, compact design with a smaller overall footprint than our competitors, to help alleviate these issues. They offer more production from a smaller footprint.

collectramatic cookpot

Round Cookpot Offers Consistent Cooking

Say goodbye to cold spots or undercooked chicken. Our commercial pressure fryers feature a round cookpot. Since there are no corners, heat is evenly distributed. This produces chicken that is crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, every time. Cylindrical cookpots have a big advantage over square fryers when it comes to durability. Because pressure is distributed evenly throughout the cookpot, there are no corners to stress and eventually fail.

Contact Winston Foodservice Today

For over 50 years, Winston has provided reliable equipment to help foodservice operators meet the growing demands of their customers. Our sales team and global network of sales representatives are happy to consult with you and help you figure out the best equipment to meet your goals.

Fill out a contact form, or call 800-234-5286 to speak with a member of our team.

Deep Fried Turkey

fried turkey with pecan honey glaze

I have wanted to deep fry a turkey since I took on the role of Corporate Research Chef here at Winston. You see, Winston was built on pressure fryers. For example, the company’s first product was the Collectramatic® Fryer, designed for Colonel Sanders himself. I’m happy to have had the experience!

Cooking a turkey is a production, no matter what the cooking method. From hauling the turkeys in from the grocery to picking the carcass and ensuring all that hard work is appreciated. However, it typically only happens once a year, for a special occasion. So we can justify the extra work, and expense, and clean up. Certainly, this is a monumental task if you’re doing it in an outside fryer at home. On the other hand, a commercial kitchen is much more conducive to this work!

fried turkey fixins

Settings and Procedures:

Products:

Note: It is critical that turkeys be completely thawed. Placing a frozen bird into hot oil can cause a major flash fire. For obvious reasons, this should be avoided!

Pressure Fried Procedure – 2 Smaller Turkeys:

  • Set up the Collectramatic Fryer Program and Preheat:
    • Total Fry Time: 50 Minutes
    • 1 Step @ 350°F for 10 Minutes – Pressure
    • 2 Step @ 276°F for 40 Minutes – Pressure
    • 3 Step @ 276°F for 0 Minutes – Open
  • Remove the turkey from ALL packaging,  and any “extra” turkey parts (i.e.; pop-up timer, plastic binder, neck piece, and parchment-wrapped offal (giblets, liver, and heart)). You don’t want these “extras” to be immersed in hot oil.
  • Place turkey in a pan while the fryer is heating. Dab off any excess moisture on the outside.
    • Hold turkey up and allow the internal cavity to drain off any excess water. The goal is for the turkey to be as dry as possible before immersing in hot oil.
  • When ready, transfer turkey to open basket and with gloved hands, lower the basket into the Collectramatic, close and lock the lid. Next, hit the program channel to start the timer.
  • Once finished, hook the basket, and allow to drain for a couple of minutes before transferring to another landing pad. Finally, allow to drain a few more minutes, until final presentation and slicing to serve.

Notethe 10 to 14lbs turkey is the largest whole bird you can fry in the Collectramatic. Consequently, anything larger will be a sizing challenge. BUT there’s another way to address these larger birds.

drying the bird
lower the bird in the basket

CVap Staging

  • Set up the CVap – either CHV or RTV. We used the RTV7-05UV:
    • Cook Time: 2.5-3 Hours
    • Vapor Temp – Cook: 190°F
    • Air Temp – Cook: 200°F
  • While the CVap oven is preheating, address Big Bird:
    • Remove the turkey from ALL packaging, and any “extra” turkey parts (i.e.; pop-up timer, plastic binder, neck piece, and parchment-wrapped offal (giblets, liver, and heart)).
    • Begin by spatchcocking the turkey. Next, cut equally in half, add each half to a hotel pan
  • Place both pans in heated CVap oven and start the cook cycle.
    • Keep tabs on the internal temperature of the turkey after cooking for an hour or so. If you’re using a Series 7 oven, a food temp probe is great option. Otherwise, use an accurate thermometer.
    • You’re looking for an internal temp at or greater than 165°F, measured at three separate sites, per FoodSafety.Gov “the innermost part of the thigh, wing and thickest part of the breast.”
    • At these settings, it should take between 2.5 – 3 hours.

Deep Frying Procedure – Larger Turkey (Open Fry)

  • Set up the Collectramatic Fryer Program and preheat (towards the last 30 minutes on CVap cook cycle):
    • Set to Open Fry @ 350°F
  • Remove the staged turkey from the oven.
    • There will be a good amount of residual cooking liquid (+/- 2 cups or so from each pan). You can discard, or reserve to make gravy that is da bomb.
    • Transfer the halved turkey to a dry spot and dab with a dry towel if any excess moisture is noticed.
    • Next, use a knife to quarter the turkey. Allow draining a bit more before moving to the open baskets for frying.
    • Open Fry @ 350°F for 7-10 minutes.
  • Once finished, hook the basket, and allow to drain for a couple of minutes before transferring to another landing pad. Finally, allow to drain a few more minutes, until final presentation and slicing to serve. 
Cutting up the bird
staging in the oven
lowering basket for fried turkey
fried turkey draining

Final Words and Fancy Glazes

Pressure-fried turkeys had a golden crisp skin, moist meat, and an impressive presentation. On the other hand, staged and deep-fried turkeys were just a golden, but the skin was even more crispy, and the meat was more tender and moist. The final presentation was just as beautiful. Ultimately, either way was a delicious success! 

Serving with a sauce? Try this simple recipe for Honey Butter Pecan Glaze:

  • 1 cup Honey
  • ¾ cup Butter, unsalted
  • 1 cup Pecans, rough chops (we used roasted & salted)

Heat honey and allow to boil for about a minute. Next, reduce heat to barely a simmer while whisking in the butter, a few pats at a time, until incorporated.

Add the nuts and bring to a boil one last time for about another minute. Finally, remove from heat and allow to cool and thicken a bit before glazing turkey or serve on the side…so good!

simmering sauce
bubbling butter
fried turkey with honey pecan glaze
chef samantha brown

About the Author

Corporate Research Chef Samantha Brown carries dual degrees. One is from Sullivan University, in Culinary Arts. The other, in Food Science, is from the University of Kentucky. Chef Sam has years of foodservice and product development experience.

Fun Fact – Chef Sam was featured in an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives with host Guy Fieri (Farm to Table, episode 909).

Chicken & Waffles – Damn It’s Good

Chicken and Waffles and Tots

On a recent quiet Friday afternoon, we cooked up a favorite dish – Fried Chicken and Waffles. This sweet and savory dish is increasingly popular, but has been around (in some variation) for hundreds of years. The familiar soul food version dates from the Wells Supper Club in Harlem, New York, in 1938. In order to really push this cardiac-busting meal over the top, we added a side of tater tots.

We utilized several pieces of our equipment. Our Collectramatic Fryers are famous for making the world’s best chicken, so that was a no-brainer.

Although our fryers were engineered specifically to cook chicken, you can cook other stuff in them too. In this case, a tasty side of tater tots.

Chicken and Waffles and Tots, Oh My

The Process – Chicken

The fryer was programmed for chicken strips/filets (for full details on those settings, see the guidelines in the Fryer Owner’s Manual, page 20). As the fryer preheated, we prepared the chicken.

Starting with several whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts, we trimmed the fat and cut into ¾” wide strips. The chicken strips marinated for about 30 minutes in smoked pickle juice. It’s a well-known secret that pickle brine is the special je ne sais quoi that gives Chick-Fil-A’s chicken its addictive flavor. We aimed for a similar flavor profile.

trimming the chicken
Brining the chicken

After marinading, the strips were ready for breading. The breading was a blend of seasoned flour, salt, and a little Dan-O’s Original Seasoning. To properly bread, we used a four-pass dredge.

  1. Pickle Juice
  2. Seasoned Flour
  3. Pickle Juice
  4. Seasoned Flour

These were cooked under pressure, in a clamshell basket.

The Process – Tots

Tater tots hit the fryer next. These were cooked open, in a clamshell basket. They cooked in about five minutes at 325°F. The results were perfect.

The tots took a little trial and error. We initially cooked a batch in an open basket. Though the tots came out perfectly cooked, the lack of separation caused them to stick together. The resulting mass was about the size of a human head. This was fine for an informal afternoon cooking session, but wouldn’t have been ideal to serve to customers. 

Unable to resist them, Marketing Manager Ryan consumed roughly half of the tater tot ball. Blessed with the metabolism of a hummingbird, he constantly “tested” the tots to verify that, yes, they still tasted great.

tots-for-days
waffles in CVap

The Process – Waffles

The waffles were of the frozen variety. We went CVap on those, retherming them in an RTV Retherm Oven, then moving them into an HOV Holding Cabinet while we prepped stuff for the fryer.

The frozen waffles were quick and easy to prep. The RTV oven was preheated to 200°F Vapor, 325°F air temp. After a quick seven minutes, they were done. We moved them to the HOV holding cabinet (preheated to 100°F vapor temp, 150°F air temp). They stayed hot and fresh until we were ready to assemble.

The Results

The final assembled dish was simple, easy, and delicious. The chicken strips were placed on the bed of waffles, and dribbled with maple syrup (the real stuff, not that fake high fructose crap). A generous side of tots completed the dish.

We had to taste the results. They were, of course, delicious.

Get Sales Popping with CVap® Chicken Wings!

What goes better with social gatherings than chicken wings? There are so many ways to flavor and cook this delicious treat. Although they may be challenging to procure, they are a perennial crowd favorite. When it comes to frying them, it feels like it takes forever.

Our CVap Cook and Hold Oven is the workhorse in the kitchen, so we decided to put it to use to reduce the fry time for chicken wings.

We took raw, fresh, jumbo bone-in chicken wings and advance-staged them in the CVap oven at 165 + 0 (or 165°F vapor/166°F air in new CVap ovens) until they reached an internal temperature of 160°F. When we dropped them in the Collectramatic® fryer (open fry at 350°F), they were ready to serve in four minutes flat. The chicken wings were crispy on the outside, moist and juicy on the inside, and exceeded a finishing temp of 165°F.

Staging really came through on these chicken wings! These are easy to prepare for catering, appetizer specials, or any time you just want a batch. You’ll be able to serve them up in minutes, with each batch hot, fresh, and delicious.

chicken wings can boost your sales

Fantastic Fish is Freakishly Easy in an Open Fryer!

fish fried in an open fryer is fantastic

Don’t be chicken about using your Collectramatic® Fryer to cook fish!

You probably know the Collectramatic Fryer is unparalleled at frying chicken. Similarly, they’re great for frying fish. Certainly give this recipe a try, and you’ll see. In short, the proof is in the pudding, or in this case – the beer batter.

Although chicken is frequently fried under pressure, fish is best when open fried. For that reason, it’s great in our open fryer, but can easily be cooked in a pressure fryer – with the lid left up.

Fish Fry Beer Batter

  • 1 Cup Enriched Flour
  • 12 Oz Beer
  • ¼ Cup Corn Starch
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Tbs Salt
  • 1 Tbs Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Paprika
  • 1 Oz Water

Next, whisk together until well-blended and lump-free.

Undoubtedly, this batter is delicious with cod, or just about any white fish fillet that tickles your taste buds. Whiting, haddock, pollock…you name it, it all fries up great!

  1. Lightly coat fish fillet with flour.
  2. Next, dip fillet into beer batter and cover completely.
  3. Subsequently, drop into the fryer at 350°F for six minutes, or until golden brown. Consequently, if cooking in an open basket, fillets will usually float to top of basket when done.
  4. Finally, let fish rest for two minutes before serving.
cutting fish fillets
breading fish filets

How you serve is up to you. Go Brit and serve with chips (a.k.a., fries). Naturally, I prefer to serve it on some lovely bread. Granted, many folks are content to slap their fish between a couple of slices of plain old white bread. However, I prefer to frame it on a nice ciabatta or focaccia, along with fresh lettuce, tomato, and a little homemade tartar sauce. It nourishes the body and is good for the soul!

fixings ready for fish from open fryer
fried fish fresh from fryer

Fried Chicken and Steamed Rice Held in CVap Stay So Nice!

Cvap Steaming rice

Uncle Jack Fried Chicken is a Malaysian restaurant chain. They use our Collectramatic pressure fryers. Ordinarily, they serve chicken from a display warmer. To maximize holding time, they limit the warmer to 35°C (95°F), putting a limit on the amount of time they could hold chicken before it was no longer fit to sell. We suggested they test our CVap holding cabinet, in the hopes of extending holding time and improving food quality. We tested fried chicken and steamed rice. The results were exciting!

Holding Cabinet Preparation

The CVap cabinet was set at food temperature 54°C (129°F) and food texture at + 28°C (82°F). We gave the cabinet 45 minutes to preheat.

12:05pm: 

The chicken moved from the fryer to the holding cabinet (15 pieces). Chicken was crispy outside, moist inside. The meat was very hot to touch. The taste was really good.

12:10pm: 

Cooked rice (wrapped in oil paper) was put into the same holding cabinets with fried chicken. Initial rice quality was moist, sticky, and fragrant.

13:05pm: (holding 60 minutes)

The chicken was still crispy outside (though slightly less crisp than when first removed from fryer). Interior was still hot, and the color was unchanged. The chicken breading remained crisp.

13:05pm: (holding 60 minutes)

Chicken was still crispy and moist. Color was good. Food retained flavor, with minimal freshness loss.

13:55pm (holding for 2 hours)

The skin remained crispy, though not as crisp as when initially fried. Flavor and moisture were still good. Color had not darkened.

14:00pm (rice held for 2 hours)

Rice was hot and tasted fresh. Not dried out at all.

15:35pm (3.5 hour holding time)

The chicken tasted good. Its skin remained crispy, and its meat, moist. Although it was not “just cooked” fresh after 3.5 hours, it was still at a safe temperature. It remained appetizing enough to serve.

15:40pm (after holding for 3.5 hours)

Rice was hot, and texture was good.

CVap Holding Cabinet Test Conclusions

Electricity Consumption: 800 watts

Holding Capacity per Cabinet: 13 full-size sheet pans, each rack equals one basket (4 heads) chicken or 338 pieces

Goals for Future Testing

  1. Extending the holding time for the chicken without compromising the texture, taste, and food safety.
  2. Testing other products, (wrapped rice was incorporated).
  3. Improving staff workflow.
  4. Staff can pre-prepare chicken during lean hours in preparation for peak hours, shortening the waiting time while producing the best-tasting fried chicken.
  5. During lean hours, customers can still savor the taste of freshly fried chicken.
  6. Minimize food shrinkage.
  7. Minimize food waste.
  8. Consequently, extension of holding times for other foods is possible since CVap cabinets are versatile enough to hold both crispy and moist foods. So holding fried chicken and steamed rice together was not a problem!

One Final Note – CVap Technology is Great, But It’s Not Magic.

The very nature of fried foods (crisp outside with moist interior) promotes evaporation. CVap technology is the best available to maximize holding time, but even CVap, using the necessary high differential setting (the difference of food texture setting over the food temperature setting) will eventually lose the battle to maintain food temp and freshness. It’ll hold fresh longer than the competitors, but if the food is crunchy (fried chicken, French fries, etc), it can only be held for so long.

On the other hand, moist foods, such as rice or noodles, are perfect for CVap and can be held for many hours with no loss of temperature or quality.

The consensus of the Uncle Jack test was that it was possible to lengthen the chicken’s holding time. More testing is needed to perfect the texture, taste, and crispiness.

Vendor of the Year Awards from KFC Franchisees

vendor of the year award

Winston Foodservice received two amazing awards at the AKFCF Annual Convention in Austin, Texas. The Great Lakes KFC Franchisee Association and the Upper Midwest KFC Franchisee Association both awarded Winston the Vendor of the Year. Wow, what an honor! Two Vendor of the Year awards in a single year! We are thankful for the vendor awards, and your partnership!

The Franchisee Associations

The Great Lakes KFC Franchisee Association consists of KFC owners in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. The Upper Midwest KFC Franchisee Association is comprised of owners in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Illinois.

A Proud History of Partnership

Winston is proud to be your vendor! We have a long history with KFC and its franchisees. Our company designed the Collectramatic Pressure Fryers for the Colonel himself. Later, the Colonel challenged us to design a holding cabinet that could meet his strict standards. Consequently, CVap technology resulted from that challenge.

Vendors Since the Beginning

Winston’s products are in thousands of KFC locations throughout the world. After 50 years, KFC remains our largest customer. We are a proud KFC vendor!

Angie holding vendor of the year awards
other vendor of the year award