Efficient Kitchen Design

Maximizing efficiency in your kitchen design takes planning, research, and hard work. It doesn’t matter whether your operation is in the blueprint stage or is going through a remodel. The pressure to get it right can make the process quite intimidating. Winston has the tools you need to assure kitchen efficiency.

Industrial kitchen. Restaurant kitchen. 3d illustration

An Efficient Kitchen has Flow

Commercial kitchen equipment takes up a lot of room. It can be difficult to accommodate when trying to maximize efficiency. This can be one of your biggest challenges when designing a kitchen.

Research your plan for kitchen flow when deciding the best location for your equipment. The goal is to avoid issues in employee foot traffic. For example, do frequently used doors open into busy aisles? Do doors swing in the correct direction to avoid collisions with one another?

Making sure that you have the correct amount and type of equipment eliminates clutter from your kitchen. However, be flexible should you need to add equipment to meet future needs.

Higher foot traffic during peak hours can cause serious issues if not reflected in the kitchen layout. Traffic jams in the kitchen can negatively affect the entire service period, from preparation to serving customers’ orders. Ensure you allow enough space for multiple people to perform their tasks in the kitchen.

Don’t forget to allow for maintenance. Even the best equipment occasionally needs service or repairs. Equipment must be accessible from all sides, or at the very least moveable, so that interruption can be minimized. Otherwise, it will cause disruptions for your employees and make the repair tech’s job unnecessarily difficult.

kitchen-staff
restaurant-dining-room
chef-prepares-food

Safety and Regulations

As with anything related to customer safety, your kitchen layout needs to adhere to health and safety regulations. State and local health departments are a prime resource for up-to-date information on regulations and requirements. Some design elements are simply common sense. Cooked food must be physically separate from areas where raw food is prepared. All food must be separate from dirty dishes, cleaning supplies, or any other material that could be harmful or toxic. The possibility of cross-contamination or food poisoning must be eliminated.

Employee safety is also important. If the layout is not ergonomic or puts staff in risky situations, physical injuries can result. Are counters and shelves at the correct height? Are floors made of material that can be easily cleaned (and kept from getting slippery)? Avoiding employee injuries isn’t just a decent thing to do. The financial future of your operation demands that you do all you can to keep your employees injury-free.

Let's Give it a Try

Now you know what you need to do. Put it into practice! Your end goal is to create a safe, productive, and efficient kitchen. A great customer dining experience always starts with a well-designed kitchen. Need help? Contact us!

Roasting Veggies in CVap®

Roasting Veggies in CVap® Boosts Flavor

There’s no denying it – most of Winston’s blogs focus on proteins. It’s true that CVap® technology brings out the best in meats, but roasting veggies also serves up phenomenal results. I’ve prepared some of my most favorite vegetable dishes in a CVap Retherm Oven. Today we tested three vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, and baby carrots.

425°F is the traditional roasting setting for vegetables in a conventional over. However, since the max temp of a CVap Retherm Oven is 350°F, I had to adapt a bit to convert these items to CVap preparation.

I am amazed at the difference that roasting vegetables makes, particularly when getting kids to eat them. My daughter has always turned her nose up to broccoli no matter how many ways I have prepared it, but roasting it has always made her a happy camper.

roasting veggies cauliflower

Using the CVap oven, we attempted three different preparations, all very simple, and all done on Channel 5 in a CAT retherm oven. This particular setting has a 130°F water temperature and a 350°F air temperature. The high differential allows for the greatest browning potential, and the results were fantastic (as shown in the pictures below.

roasting veggies carrots

Baby Carrots with Honey and Cajun Spice

Toss the carrots in a bowl with honey and cajun spice to taste. These take 20 minutes total cook time.

roasting veggies broccoli

Broccoli Tossed with Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper

After 18 minutes in the oven, pull the trays out and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese. I placed them back in the oven for two minutes. Drizzle with lemon juice and serve.

Cauliflower with Plain Yogurt and Red Curry Paste

First, toss the cauliflower florets in the yogurt with the red curry paste, then add salt and pepper. These take about 25 minutes total cook time.

 

Adjust these recipes to suit your own tastes. As you can tell from these photos, I like a generous amount of char on my roasted vegetables. You may like more or less. Experiment to find the taste and texture that satisfies the picky palate you’re trying to please.

To expand your menu with fresh vegetables, this recipe is a sure bet. Use Retherm ovens for more than cooking pizzas and breaded chicken products. It is fully capable of making scratch food that is very easy and healthy!

No Vent Hood! CVap Doesn’t Need a Vent Hood.

Winston-Foodservice-No-Vent-Hood

Space. It’s a precious commodity in any commercial kitchen. Particularly space under the vent hood. Most food codes require certain equipment to be placed under the hood. Winston Foodservice recently had our CVap® RTV Retherm Oven tested by Intertek, an independent testing and certification company. Our goal was to definitively determine whether CVap commercial ovens require a vent hood. The results? The CVap oven passed FDA Method 202 testing with flying colors. Both the Winston CVap RTV Retherm Oven and CHV Cook & Hold product lines gained approval.

Winston-Foodservice-No-Vent-Hood

No Vent Hood CVap Benefits

  • Save Space – Chances are, if there’s already a hood in the kitchen, there’s already equipment that requires it. Adding CVap ovens to the lineup won’t require a game of musical chairs with existing appliances. Save that valuable hood space for the stuff that needs it.
  • Save Money – Let’s face it; hood systems cost out the wazoo. They require thousands of dollars in hardware and infrastructure, to the tune of $1,000 a running foot. Eliminating the hood saves money, both on the hood system and on the power it requires.
  • Expand Your Menu – CVap ovens offer versatility that few other ovens can match. Bake, roast, steam, CVap® Stage, braise, retherm, “bagless” sous vide (with or without a bag) – all in one footprint – a footprint that DOESN’T REQUIRE A HOOD!

Of course, local codes may vary. Check with local officials before investing in CVap ovens, or any other commercial restaurant equipment. Need proof that CVap ovens don’t require a hood? Here’s the full report. Need to take a nap? Here’s what the EPA has to say about Method 202.

Say No To Rusty Stainless Steel!

Despite what you’ve heard, stainless steel IS susceptible to rusting. Certainly, metal corrosion is common. In fact, it is easily recognizable on iron and steel as yellow or orange rust. Such metals are active. They actively corrode in a natural environment. Consequently, when their atoms combine with oxygen, it forms rust.

In contrast, stainless steels are passive metals. They contain other metals like chromium, nickel, and manganese that stabilize the atoms. As a result, they don’t react to the environment.

  • 400 series stainless steels are ferritic. They contain chromium and are magnetic.
  • 300 series stainless steels are austenitic. They contain chromium and nickel.
  • 200 series stainless, also austenitic. It contains manganese, nitrogen, and carbon.
  • Austenitic types of stainless are not magnetic. Consequently, they provide greater resistance to corrosion than ferritic types.

Specifically, with 12-30 percent chromium content, an invisible passive film covers the steel’s surface. Critically, this acts as a shield against corrosion. Therefore as long as the film is not broken or contaminated, the metal is passive and stainless. However, if the passive film is broken, the metal can corrode. As a result, if the corrosion continues, the steel rusts.

Enemies of Stainless Steel

Significantly, there are three things that break down stainless steel’s passivity layer and allow corrosion:

  1. Mechanical abrasion. Mechanical abrasion means scratching the steel surface. Steel pads, wire brushes, and scrapers are prime culprits.
  2. Deposits and water. Tap water has varying degrees of hardness. Depending on what part of the country you live in, you may have hard water. Certainly, hard water contains high mineral concentrations. For this reason, it may leave spots. Likewise, when heated, it can leave deposits. Significantly, if these deposits are allowed to remain, they can break down the passive layer and rust stainless steel. Consequently, deposits from food preparation and service must be properly removed.
  3. Chlorides. Chlorides are found nearly everywhere. Notably, they are in water, food, and table salt. Above all, some of the worst chloride perpetrators are household and industrial cleaners.

Rust Prevention

Here are some best practices to prevent stainless steel rust.

      1. Use the proper tools, and clean with the polish lines. When cleaning stainless steel, use non-abrasive tools. Soft cloths and plastic scouring pads will not harm steel’s passive layer. Stainless steel pads can be used, but the scrubbing motion must be in the direction of the manufacturer’s polishing marks. Some stainless steel comes with visible polishing lines or “grain.” When grain is present, always scrub in a motion parallel to the lines. If the grain can’t be seen, play it safe and use a soft cloth or plastic scouring pad.
      2. Use alkaline, alkaline chlorinated, or non-chloride-containing cleaners. While many traditional cleaners are loaded with chlorides, the industry is providing an ever-increasing selection of non-chloride cleaners. If unsure of chloride content in the cleaner, contact your cleaner supplier. If your present cleaner contains chlorides, ask your supplier for alternatives. Definitely avoid cleaners containing quaternary salts. In fact, they can attack stainless steel and cause pitting and rusting.
      3. Treat your water. Softening water reduces deposits. Notably, there are filters that remove distasteful and corrosive elements. With this in mind, contact a treatment specialist to ensure correct water treatment.
      4. Keep your equipment clean. Use alkaline, alkaline chlorinated, or non-chloride cleaners, at recommended strength. Certainly, clean frequently to avoid the build-up of hard, stubborn stains. Remember, the most likely cause of damage is chlorides in the water. Likewise, heating cleaners that contain chlorides can accelerate damage.
      5. Rinse, rinse, rinse. If chlorinated cleaners are used, rinse and wipe equipment and supplies immediately. Critically, the sooner you wipe off standing water, the better. This is especially true when it contains cleaning agents. After wiping equipment down, allow it to air dry. Oxygen helps maintain stainless steel’s passivity film.
      6. Never use hydrochloric acid (muriatic acid) on stainless steel. Hydrochloric acid can cause cracking, corrosion, and pitting on stainless steel.
      7. Regularly restore/passivate stainless steel. 

       

The Versatility of Modern Kitchen Equipment

The list of kitchen equipment offerings and technologies continues to grow. We are seeing more and more specialized equipment designed for a specific job. Whether we are baking, steaming, or braising there is a piece of equipment on the market specifically designed for that specific job.

Most kitchens are littered with several pieces of single-purpose equipment. They all have their place and purpose, but they take up a lot of space in our kitchens. This can cause unnecessary clutter and prevent us from utilizing them all properly. 

Most kitchen equipment falls into 2 categories. Ther is versatile equipment or single-purpose equipment. Let’s dissect these two categories a bit further and analyze some of the equipment mentioned above.

Versatile Kitchen Equipment

Convection ovens are the go-to standard for any commercial kitchen. Establishments around the world use ovens because they are the most versatile pieces of equipment on the market. You can utilize a convection oven from prep to finish. It is effective at both high and low temperatures, all within a small footprint. Other equipment that fits into this same category are grills, griddles, and combi ovens.

Single-Purpose Kitchen Equipment

A steamer falls into the single-purpose category. They are less versatile and capable of only one temp and one process – steaming. It is a hassle to find a place for single-purpose kitchen equipment, especially one that isn’t very versatile. Why waste the space if you are not using it around the clock? Other examples of single-use kitchen equipment include immersion circulators and low-temp roasting ovens.

kitchen equipment

What Does This Mean for You?

You must consider quality, reliability, cost, and equipment life span when selecting kitchen equipment. You must find balance for their personal needs. However, one of the most impactful elements we are all looking for is versatility. We don’t all have the luxury of a large kitchen. Normally, the larger the kitchen footprint the smaller the customer seating footprint, which means less potential money to be made each day.

Reduce Ticket Times and Labor

What if I told you there was a piece of equipment that addresses these pain points? One that is versatile to the point of being able to poach, steam, braise,roast, bake, stage, sous vide, confit, high yield roast, hold and perform many other processes all within a small footprint? One that is affordable, reliable, requires no hood and is easy to use at all skill levels? A unit that can reduce ticket times, food costs, labor costs and maintenance costs. A piece that can be used for morning prep, the lunch rush, and staging for a busy dinner service, then continue to make you money overnight while you sleep?

If this is the type of equipment you are looking for, then the Winston CVap® Oven is a game-changer for your business. CVap equipment is hands down one of the most versatile items you can place in your kitchen. It is a piece of kitchen equipment that can save and make money at the same time, all inside a small footprint. Chances are the restaurant down the street turning 100 tables on a Tuesday night has already discovered it.

Learn more here.

CVap® as a Critical Component of HACCP

Winston-Foodservice-Cvap

Controlled Vapor technology can be a critical component of your HACCP plan. Many of you have discovered the benefits of precision low-temperature cooking provided by CVap® equipment. We often receive reports of you preparing the perfectly prepared rare steak or a beautiful mid-rare burger. But you might not know that this same process provided by CVap can also increase food safety in your operation.

There are people who avoid low-temperature processing because of the fear of food-borne illness. Bacteria such as e-coli, salmonella, or clostridium perfringens are often the culprits. Improper food temperature is the most frequent – and preventable – cause of food-borne illness. This is the reason why temperature control is a critical component of your HACCP plan.  FSIS Directive appendix A&B Compliance Guidelines for Meeting Lethality Performance Standards defines the time/temperature requirements for achieving  6.5-log10 or 7-log10 reduction of Salmonella.

We conducted a test with our CVap technology to see the results of bacteria reduction while maintaining the quality of a medium-rare burger. In our test, we were able to accomplish a +7 log reduction and still maintained the quality associated with a medium-rare burger. Safe and tasty!

You can always trust CVap equipment to produce high-quality results and the food safety needed for your HACCP plan.