Staging Lobster Tails for Catering

Lobster Tails

So you’re hosting a big catered event and want to impress your guests? There is nothing more impressive than lobster…if it’s done right.
We set out to show that CVap® ovens can stage lobster tails for catering right.

Staging Lobster Tails Process

Ingredients

  • 4-5 oz Lobster Tails
  • Melted Butter
  • Paprika

Allow the tails to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, per label instructions. Lobster (and all shellfish, for that matter) is unforgiving regarding safe handling. Make sure to only thaw in the refrigerator, and cook promptly once it has thawed.

Preheat the CVap oven.

Staging Lobster Tails for Catering

The product we chose was Greenhead frozen lobster tails.

Settings

Cooking

  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Vapor: 136°F
  • Cook Air: Sous Vide

Holding

  • Hold Time: 2 hours
  • Hold Vapor: 136°F
  • Hold Air: Sous Vide

Prepare the tails by “boxing” them. This simply means to make an incision with scissors along the top spine of the shell. Crack the shell to carefully pull the lobster meat almost all the way out – BUT NOT COMPLETELY. Leave the end tail meat in the shell and lay the meatier portion on top, see image.

Douse raw tails with plenty of melted butter. Evenly sprinkle with a touch of paprika for color.

Staging Lobster Tails Results

To be honest, I LOVE crustaceans! But usually lobster is just meh. It probably has something to do with being hundreds of miles from the nearest coast. (yep, I’m a bit of a fresh seafood snob). Lobster is too expensive for the experience of chewing on rubber bands. Or at least that’s what I thought before cooking them in CVap. 

Lobster Tails
Lobster Tails
Lobster Tails

We reviewed these babies after about an hour into holding. The texture was tender and juicy. The flavor was buttery, briny, and sweet. They would be perfectly fine to serve in this state. But if you wanted to give them a little more texture or snap, you could finish them in a high-temperature convection, broiler, or even with a blow torch. This gives the lobster meat a toothier bite

CVap gives you so much flexibility and peace of mind. It ensures that all your hard work isn’t wasted by overcooking these tails and turning them tough and rubbery! Don’t shy away from utilizing them as a surf-n-turf option on your catering menu! CVap allows you to serve lobster with sous vide precision, but at a scale to feed scores of people.

What to do with all those lobster tail leftovers? Vac-packed and freeze them for later use! Or turn them into that New England favorite – lobster rolls!
That’s what we did.

We prepared two versions of lobster rolls:

OMG!!  So effing good!

Staging Lobster Tails for Catering
Staging Lobster Tails for Catering

Give Caterers an Advantage with CVap®

caterers

Caterers, like others in the hospitality industry, face their share of challenges. Among
them are assuring food safety, maintaining food quality, and providing fast
service. Critically, falling short in any of these areas can damage your reputation and threaten
your business. Winston’s CVap® equipment can provide solutions

Maintaining Safe Food Temperatures

According to the CDC, one of the top causes of foodborne illness is allowing food to remain at an unsafe temperature for too long. Consequently, the importance of maintaining safe food temperatures cannot be overstated. In fact, being the source of an illness outbreak can crush a business. Undoubtedly, CVap equipment is a powerful tool for serving food safely. CVap Cook and Hold and Retherm Ovens are engineered to efficiently transition food temperature through the danger zone well within FSIS guidelines. Indeed, all CVap holding and cooking equipment can reliably maintain food at safe temperatures for extended periods, without quality loss.

caterers chafing dishes

Bringing the Power of Heated Vapor to Caterers

Unique technology sets CVap equipment apart from other brands. All food is comprised mostly of water. Consequently, food’s high water content causes food moisture to behave like water when heated. Uniquely, CVap utilizes heated water vapor as its primary heat source. Thermodynamics dictates that once food temperature equalizes with the vapor temperature it cannot fall below it. CVap offers food temperature precision that is unmatched by our competitors. Additionally, add an optional food probe (Series 7 models) to collect food temperatures and utilize CVap’s integrated temperature collection feature to document all your HACCP data.

Although one might think that vapor heat would result in soggy food, that’s not the case. In fact, CVap technology also utilizes a second, dry air heat. Accordingly, this air heat serves to control moisture evaporation from the food’s surface. Consequently, air heat allows you to select the texture of food, from moist to crisp. Together, the vapor heat and air heat work in tandem to cook and maintain food exactly as desired.

cleaning-stainless

Avoiding Contamination

According to the CDC, the other critical risk to food safety is contamination. Of course, contamination risks encompass areas throughout your operation. But keeping equipment clean is critical to reducing contamination risks. To that endeavor, CVap equipment is designed for easy cleaning.

To that end, rails and flues are easily removable. Stainless steel interiors are accessible and durable. Undoubtedly, daily cleaning assures equipment is free of illness-causing chemicals and residue. Indeed, not only does cleaning protect your patrons, but it also protects your warranty.

Serving Quality and Quantity

caterers

Indeed, caterers face the constant challenge of serving large numbers quickly. Clearly, they must do so without sacrificing food quality. Undoubtedly, nobody wants the infamous rubber chicken meal. Of course, CVap equipment offers capacities as large as 14 full-sheet pans. Clearly, large capacities, paired with precise food quality control, means you can serve dozens of meals quickly. Since CVap equipment maintains peak quality for extended times, you can prepare well ahead of serving, and still maintain just-cooked freshness.

caterers

Staging is another helpful process. For this purpose, food can be cooked and held at a precise setpoint and then finished in a few minutes on a grill or plancha. Undoubtedly, staging is perfect for proteins. You can achieve sous vide temperature precision. Food’s interior will be uniformly cooked, end to end and top to bottom. Finishing provides the seared exterior or grill marks diners expect. All can be done quickly, improving serving time.

Staffing, and Skills

Hiring and keeping competent staff has always been a challenge for caterers. Undoubtedly, the pandemic and its aftermath have exacerbated that struggle. Indeed, the nature of catering businesses tends to attract younger workers, such as high school and college students. Consequently, high turnover is a given. Skill levels can vary widely. Accordingly, equipment must be easy to use and require minimal training.

CVap ovens and holding cabinets have eight preprogrammed channels. Of course, these channels encompass the most common cooking and holding processes. Each channel can be re-programmed to custom-fit your menu. Additionally, controls can be locked to prevent unauthorized setting changes. Undoubtedly, push-button simplicity makes CVap easy to use, even for untrained new hires.

caterer plates

Because CVap automates so many tasks, it can even reduce the amount of labor necessary to execute events. In fact, ovens transition to an automatic hold, meaning no babysitting is needed. Without a doubt, extended hold times maintain high food quality until the staff is ready to serve. To be sure, overnight cooking and delayed startup mean your equipment is working even when nobody’s in the kitchen.

Serving sous vide? In fact, a  single CVap oven can match the cooking capacity of a kitchen full of immersion circulators. Add in the fact that sous vide bags are optional in CVap, and you’ve got a serious labor (and space) saver.

caterer food waste

Food Waste

Food waste is a huge problem across all sectors of the hospitality industry. For caterers, it’s a particularly daunting challenge. Food is money. Nobody can afford to waste it. But no caterer wants to host an event and run out of food. Walking that fine line of providing enough, but not wasting is a never-ending fight. Having to throw out food that’s of questionable integrity is even more painful.

CVap can help reduce waste. Our ovens can be programmed for high-yield cooking, resulting in better yields and more servings per primal cut.

Sizes and Configurations to Suit Every Caterer's Situation

Catering jobs come in all sizes, from small gatherings to large venues. In fact, CVap ovens and holding cabinets are available in a wide range of sizes, from the large 14-pan to the under-counter 4-pan model. Indeed, CVap Hold and Serve Drawers are designed for small spaces, perfect for kiosks, food trucks, and serving stations. Though they’re small, they deliver the same high performance as our larger CVap models.

Of course, mobility is a frequent necessity for caterers. To that end, CVap equipment features casters, making it easy to shift it where you need it. Optional transport packages enhance mobility with heavy-duty wheels, push-pull handles, evaporator cover, and cord wrap. The fact that CVap equipment doesn’t require a vent hood or permanent plumbing means you can use it about anywhere with sufficient power available. Prepare food in the kitchen and roll it to the serving area without unloading. It’s easy with CVap.

Critically, Winston offers CVap in the size, configuration, and option levels that caterers need, whatever your volume or budget.

Need help deciding what equipment is best for your catering business? Contact us for one-on-one help to equip you to succeed. We’re happy to help!

 

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