Is My Kitchen Equipment Required to Be Under a Hood?

Does your commercial kitchen equipment require a vent hood? It depends on several factors. These include the type of equipment, your menu, and your operation’s location. The ultimate judges of hood requirements are your local health and fire officials. They will advise whether hoods are required and, if so, what type. Always check with local officials before proceeding. Most states and municipalities adhere to the International Mechanical Code. But you may find that your locale has additional guidelines. For example, New York City’s codes are more stringent than most other municipalities.

Commercial kitchen vent hoods are expensive. Depending on the type, they can cost as much as $1000 a foot to install. Add to that the cost of operating and maintenance, and you’ve got a substantial chunk of change. So, in these days of constant inflation, you may be looking to save where you can. Perhaps you’re wondering if your equipment must be under a hood.

Different Hoods for Different Situations

Type 1 Hoods

Appliances that produce greasy by-products and smoke require Type 1 hoods. These hoods primarily deal with the removal of grease particles from the air. For this reason, many refer to them as grease hoods. Type 1 hoods are typically above deep fryers, cooktops, open-flame stoves, conveyor-pizza ovens, char-broilers, and such. Because of the grease by-products that Type 1 hoods capture, they require frequent cleanings to help prevent damage and fire risks due to grease buildup.

Type 2 Hoods

Type 2 Hoods are for other kitchen appliances that don’t have to pertain directly to cooking. These appliances can include dishwashers, pasta cookers, and other equipment that doesn’t produce smoke or grease. Since Type 2 hoods mainly deal with removing heat and steam from the air, the industry refers to them as condensate hoods or heat hoods. They help create a more comfortable work environment.

We strongly advise you to contact a consultant or other knowledgeable foodservice professional to determine whether a vent system is needed (and if so, which type). Adding a ventilation system you hadn’t budgeted for is a financial blow for an operation that already operates on slim margins.

foodservice products

Vent Hoods and Winston Products

Collectramatic® fryers must always be under hoods. Likewise, a Winston Smoker Box with your CVap® oven will require it to be placed under a vent hood or outdoors. That little box generates a lot of smoke.

Although the above Winston products require vent hoods, you can usually use CVap products without hoods. We hired the independent testing firm Intertek to verify CVap’s compliance with the EPA’s Method 202 – Condensable Particulate Matter standards. The ovens were checked for particulate compliance using full loads of pizzas (good and greasy food). The results speak for themselves. CVap ovens breezed through to a passing grade. Place CVap ovens, holding cabinets, and warming drawers where sufficient electrical power is available.

At the risk of sounding repetitive, please don’t just take our word for it. As mentioned, local codes can vary a lot. It’ll save you money and peace of mind to consult with your local authorities (and perhaps a consultant) to ensure you comply with your area’s codes.

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

Ultimate Guide to Cook and Hold Ovens

cook and hold oven
cook and hold oven

Not all cook and hold ovens are equal. Let’s examine the differences in equipment and discover which cook and hold ovens are suitable for your kitchen.

In one form or another, Ovens have been around since prehistoric times. Not long after learning to control fire, our ancient ancestors figured out that encompassing fire or embers within a vessel or enclosure produced even better results when preparing food. Skip forward a few millennia, and we’ve arrived at today’s modern, technology-packed ovens. Whether you are outfitting a commercial kitchen, refurbishing your restaurant, or redesigning your school cafeteria, you will want to know the differences and the best fit for your kitchen.

Traditional Oven Types

conventional-oven

Conventional

This is your basic oven, with electrical elements or gas burners providing radiant heat within the interior. You will find these in residential settings.

Convection Oven

Convection

This kicks conventional oven technology up a notch. Convection ovens add powerful fans to circulate heated air throughout the oven’s interior. They cook significantly faster than conventional ovens. However, if not closely monitored, they can overcook or dry out food.

passive-humidity

Passive Humidity Ovens

These ovens include a water reservoir to add humidity to the oven’s interior. The upside is that it is easier to retain the food’s moisture by adding moisture, resulting in a juicier product.

humidified oven

Humidified Ovens

These ovens control the water vapor generation within the unit, with varying degrees of success. Humidified equipment includes Controlled Vapor Technology ovens and combi ovens. 

Equally important, one should remember that simply controlling relative humidity doesn’t necessarily translate to managing food quality. In fact, it’s merely reading for the maximum amount of water vapor an atmosphere can contain at a particular temperature. For example, 50% relative humidity can exist from 120°F to 245°F. Otherwise, the relative humidity is irrelevant. Controlling vapor, on the other hand, is highly precise. Controlled Vapor Technology (or CVap) precisely controls the temperature of the water vapor within the oven. In turn, it also controls the temperature of the food itself. 

What is a Cook and Hold Oven?

Cook and Hold Ovens perform the functions of both an oven and a holding cabinet. In the case of Winston’s CVap® Cook and Hold Ovens, they are incredibly versatile. They’re great at cooking, baking, roasting, braising, steaming, sous vide, holding, proofing, dehydrating, and much more.

Cook and Hold Ovens Increase Yield

Overall, the main benefit of CVap Cook and Hold Ovens is that they increase yield, which helps your bottom line. Depending on the primal cut, CVap ovens can yield one to two additional servings, which increases profits exponentially over time. There’s simply no comparison between CVap Cook and Hold Ovens and conventional or convection ovens.

Slow cooking produces a high yield with natural browning. The meat retains more food juices which result in less shrinkage. Use practically any type of meat with slow cooking. Natural enzyme action tenderizes the meat. Preserve and enhance the delicate flavors of seafood. Retain color and nutrition in vegetables. Bread, rolls, desserts, pies, and cookies brown evenly for a beautiful presentation. Gentle air circulation roasting at lower temperature produces a tender roast, naturally browned to perfection. Just a little light seasoning to taste is all that’s needed. 

You save time and labor when you don’t have to pre-sear, put on sauces, or rubs.  

CVap ovens save on overhead costs, like labor. Features such as timed preheat and overnight cooking mean your oven is working, even when your staff isn’t. In most cases, CVap equipment doesn’t require placement under a vent hood, saving you electricity and valuable vent space. 

Cook and Hold Ovens Are Not Combi Ovens

Although often compared to combi ovens, CVap Cook and Hold Ovens. Unlike combis, CVap ovens don’t require expensive chemicals and extensive cleaning. Although CVap ovens can’t match the speed offered by combi ovens, it makes up for it in precision. CVap ovens don’t require hard plumbing connections or vent hoods. They produce food that’s every bit as high-quality as food produced in combi ovens. Frankly, combi ovens tend to be overly complicated. For that reason, they’re often under-utilized in kitchens. And the upfront costs of combi ovens are incredibly high compared to other oven technologies

cook and hold staff

Cook and Hold Oven Types

There are various cook and hold ovens to choose from, depending on your foodservice operation’s needs.
Key features to consider are temperature ranges and the results you need to achieve.

cook and hold oven

Cook and Hold Ovens

Cook and Hold Ovens specialize in low and slow cooking. Generally, slow cooking minimizes shrinkage and boosts yield. Reduce shrinkage by 15 to 20 percent when cooking in this method. These ovens automatically transition to an automatic hold mold and the conclusion of the cook cycle. Auto holding removes the necessity of having staff constantly monitor the unit. Cook and hold ovens that utilize advanced technology, such as CVap (Controlled Vapor), precisely control food’s temperature and texture.

Retherm

Retherm Ovens

Retherm ovens are another version of a cook and hold. They rethermalize pre-cooked foods to the desired serving temperature. Depending on the brand of the oven, some may not have a holding option. However, Winston’s CVap Retherm Ovens can also precisely hold foods. This option sets it apart from other manufacturer models. Therefore, you can cook and hold all in the same unit.

Cook and Hold Oven Temperature Ranges

There are various cook and hold ovens to choose from, depending on your foodservice operation’s needs.
Key features to consider are temperature ranges and the results you need to achieve.

CVap Technology

CVap technology uses the thermodynamics of water vapor to control food temperature. Unlike our competitors, CVap technology can precisely control food temperature. Eliminate overcooking for good. CVap is a dual heat system, combining both moist vapor heat and dry air heat. As a result, food is at the exact temperature and texture. There isn't an equivalent system that compares moist foods to crisp foods.

Probe Cooking

Probes are one of the best ways to achieve optimal food temperatures while cooking or holding. Some cooking and holding ovens can set food probes to your ideal internal temperature. The unit will automatically switch to holding mode once a set cook temperature reads. The oven will then hold the food at the optimal temperature and texture until it's ready to be served. CVap Series 7 and Series 5 ovens are probe-ready. These ovens give you the option of cooking by probe temperature or time.

Low-Temperature Ovens with Cables

Food products are subject to fluctuating temperatures when using a low-temperature oven that distributes heat with halo cables. After all, directly controlling food moisture is the only way to ensure internal water is not lost — loss of internal moisture results in poor food quality.

Low-Temperature Ovens with Controlled Vapor

Low-temperature ovens that utilize controlled vapor, such as CVap ovens, must be filled with clean water. For this purpose, these units need to be connected to a water source to operate correctly or be filled manually with water. Also, to prevent limescale buildup, clean the basin daily.

Humidified Ovens

Not all humidified ovens are alike. Although introducing water vapor into the oven cavity delivers better results than a simple oven, it indirectly affects food quality. Generally, such passive humidity ovens allow food to retain internal moisture. Unfortunately, they don’t directly control other aspects of food quality. CVap ovens, on the other hand, precisely control the temperature of water vapor within the unit. Not only are they controlling vapor temperature, but they also control food temperature.

Soup

Simple thermodynamics dictate that different bodies of water will inevitably equalize their temperatures, given enough time. All foods contain water. For instance, think of that food product as a body of water. When you place the food in the oven, the food (water) is cool. The oven is full of hot water vapor. When the hot water vapor condenses on the colder food surface, this transfers heat energy into the food. Then the heat energy raises the food temperature until it reaches equilibrium. The food-water temperature matches the heated water vapor of the oven. Food cannot overcook because it can’t exceed the temperature of the water vapor.

You might think that all this water vapor would result in soggy food, but that’s not the case. CVap’s air heat engineering controls the surface texture of food. For example, if you serve breaded proteins or baked goods, surface moisture evaporates more quickly. As a result, you achieve the desired surface aesthetic. Soups or pasta do not need dry surfaces. In this case, air heat is low, allowing the water vapor to raise food temperatures to the desired level quickly.

Cook and Hold Oven Control Options

Most cook and hold ovens have different control options available to match the sophistication needs of the kitchen.

Simple Controls

simple-control

Simple controls often include buttons and dials rather than touch screens. However, touch-based terminals are becoming standard for newer models. Stored recipes and probe cook options are often available. Recipes can be uploaded and downloaded by USB. Also, enable HACCP documentation easily.

Touch Screen Controls

Touch Screen

In addition to all the features of simple controls, touch screen controls allow kitchen staff to select preset channels with ease. Capacitive touch controls are simple to understand and easy to clean.

Comparing Cook and Hold Cabinet Styles

There’s a size configuration to suit every operation. Each serves various purposes and provides multiple solutions. In addition to the size, the inside structure of the oven is essential to consider. Side racks are standard on most models. Additional configurations are also available based on your needs.

cvap equipment sizes

Countertop Ovens

Smallest CVap Cook and Hold Oven are just over 36" tall. Winston's most compact oven holds up to four hotel pans of food products. These are perfect for small-batch cooking, and the design allows you to maximize your counter space. This powerful little oven operates on a standard 120V circuit.

Under Counter Oven

This type of oven can hold up to eight hotel pans and are approximately 36" tall. These low-profile ovens can easily slide under counters and worktables to maximize space. Casters make cleaning and maintenance easy.

Half Size Ovens

Half-size ovens are slightly taller than under-counter ovens hold up to ten hotel pans of food. Their height is approximately 39 inches tall. Half-size ovens are compact, and you can maximize kitchen space by stacking a second oven or a holding cabinet on top of it.

Full-Size Ovens

Free-standing, full-size ovens are ideal for large kitchens and extensive operations. They hold up to 28 hotel pans of food and are approximately 76 inches in height.

Contact Winston Foodservice Today

While there is a wide variety of cook and hold ovens available, it’s essential to find one that meets all your space and operational needs. Thanks to Winston CVap Technology, our cook and hold ovens ensure your food is cooking evenly and consistently. They don’t need hoods or permanent plumbing. Options include heavy-duty casters. therefore, you can move them to wherever you need. Cook and hold ovens are great additions for Ghost kitchenscloud kitchenssatellite kitchens, or commissary kitchens. In conclusion, there’s a CVap Cook and Hold oven to suit every need, every kitchen, and menu.

Talk to an expert today to learn more about how CVap Cook and Hold Ovens can benefit your operation. One of our qualified professionals will be glad to reach out to your shortly.

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

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.

Guinness Brown Bread in CVap®

Guinness Brown Bread
Guinness Brown Bread

In a recent Winston blog, we prepared a full Irish breakfast. One of the key ingredients of that breakfast was Guinness Brown Bread. We thought this wonderful, dark bread deserved an entry of its own. We based it on a lovely recipe found on Good Food Ireland’s website.

This recipe takes a few liberties with the traditional Irish soda bread. One might think of brown bread as soda bread’s denser cousin. The original soda bread had just four ingredients: flour, salt, baking soda, and buttermilk. That basic recipe stems from the 1830s when much of Ireland was facing a serious famine. For many poor families, there would have been meals that consisted of only this bread. It kept them alive.

Soda bread also had the advantage of not requiring an oven to bake. It could be cooked in iron pots, or even directly on a stone over the fire. Yeast would have been hard to come but, not to mention expensive. Rather than using yeast for leavening, soda bread uses the chemical reaction between the baking soda and the acid in the buttermilk to leaven the dough. This works well with the soft wheat grown in Ireland.

Brown Bread vs Soda Bread

Guinness Brown Bread shares the same roots as soda bread. The key difference is the flour used. Irish soda bread is slightly sweet, (think scones). It uses white flour, which gives it a milder flavor. It’s a perfect snack or accompaniment to a hot cup of tea or coffee. On the other hand, brown bread has a nutty flavor that comes from the combination of Irish wholemeal flour and oats. It should be sliced think, and enjoyed with a schmear of Irish butter.

As is the case with any standard recipe, the standard baking settings needed a bit of modification for the CVap® ovens. We also needed to tweak the ingredients just a bit, since some ingredients aren’t easy to come by here in the U.S.

Ingredients (for one loaf)

  • 600g Wholemeal Flour (we substituted Whole Wheat Flour)
  • 150g Plain Flour (we substituted All-Purpose Flour)
  • 75g Oatmeal
  • 2 and 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2-1/2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 40g Butter
  • 480ml Whole Milk
  • 200ml Black Treacle (we substituted Molasses)
  • ½ Pint Guinness® Draught Stout
Guinness Brown Bread
Guinness Brown Bread

The Process

Mix butter with the dry ingredients until the dough develops the consistency of breadcrumbs.

Add the milk, molasses, and the Guinness draught.

Mix until you reach a wet dough.

The Settings

Preheat CHV/RTV-05 oven

  • Vapor Cook– 200°F
  • Air Cook– 350°F
  • Cook Time – 1 Hour

Portion the dough into standard greased loaf pans. Garnish with a few oats.

Bake for approximately 45-50 minutes, or until done.

To speed the bake time, we portioned our dough into mini loaves. This shortened the bake time to about 25 minutes. We also prepared a batch of muffins, which only took about 20 minutes to cook thoroughly. To make this a perfect addition to the meal, we served the warm bread with Kerrygold Irish Butter.

The Extras

In case you’re curious, there is a difference between Irish butter and the butter we’re used to here in the U.S. It turns out, Irish cows live a pretty good life. They feed exclusively on the lush green grass of the Emerald Isle. As a result, the butter they produce is higher in nutrients like beta carotene and is a little higher in fat content. Although the fat is only slightly higher, it is a difference you can taste. In addition, that fat keeps the Irish butter-soft, so it’s much easier to spread without tearing the bread. We highly recommend that you splurge on Irish butter. It will make this dark bread that much more delicious.

Of course, the Guinness draught speaks for itself. It’s a wonderful, dark, creamy stout. We highly recommend it.

Guinness Brown Bread

What is a Holding Cabinet?

holding cabinet

To explain, holding cabinets are heated appliances designed to hold cooked foods at a safe serving temperature.

Some holding cabinets do this job well and some do not. Of course, the quality depends on the manufacturer and design. Also, holding cabinets are sometimes referred to by other names. For instance, they are called a hot box, warmer, insulated warmer, hold and serve, warming cabinet, and other phrases.

Winston’s CVap® technology started as a holding technology. The challenge was to create an appliance that could keep foods hot and fresh. For example, operations with a drive-thru service rely on holding units to keep food hot and ready for fast delivery. Winston’s founder, Winston Shelton, saw the benefit of the technology. He worked out the science behind the challenge. As a result, CVap technology has been an industry leader ever since.

 

holding cabinet

What are the Benefits of CVap Holding Cabinets?

INCREASED FOOD QUALITY

Foods held in CVap equipment maintain the aesthetics and nutritional quality customers require. Achieve this by maintaining moisture and succulence in foods. The controls allow for flexibility. This enables serving from kiosks, cafeteria lines, chains, and QSR markets.

Maintain precise food temperature

The CVap process controls food temperature precisely. It keeps food safely out of the temperature danger zone. We program CVap equipment controls in compliance with all USDA guidelines. We can assure operators that CVap holding equipment will assist in maintaining safe temperatures. It also enables the documentation and monitoring of food safety plans based on HACCP.

Decreased Food Cost

CVap technology locks in the moisture of food from the start of the holding cycle. This process extends hold times and provides more time for production. Food costs decrease because there will be less low-quality food waste. 

CVap Equipment Versus the Competition

Three categories define CVap’s competition: dry cabinets, passive humidified cabinets, and humidified cabinets.

Dry Cabinets

Advantages

  • Food product is held in a hot atmosphere, facilitating quick service during busy periods.
  • Utilize this cabinet for dehydration (dried meats and vegetables).
  • Minimize cleaning time.
  • Simple to operate.
  • Cost is generally lower.

Disadvantages

  • No humidity means decreased hold times.
  • Heat rises, therefore causing food temperature differences in the cabinet.
  • Utilizes thermostat, which requires calibration and is only accurate within 10°F.
  • Cannot control food temperature precisely.
  • Food quality is not a primary focus.

Passive Humidified Cabinets

Advantages

  • Food product is held in a hot atmosphere, facilitating quick service during busy periods.
  • Increased humidity level in the cabinet, therefore causing better hold times than dry cabinets.
  • Utilize this cabinet for dehydration (dried meats and vegetables).
  • Unlike most holding cabinets, cost is generally lower.
  • Generally better yield than that of dry units.
  • Units are simple to operate.

Disadvantages

  • Small evaporator used, which limits the amount of humidity within units.
  • Water is not heated by a separate heat source, causing uncontrollable food temperatures.
  • Food quality is still secondary compared to other holding cabinets.
  • Unit has significant hot/cold zones throughout the cabinet.
  • Utilizes thermostat, which requires calibration and is only accurate within 10°F.

Humidified Cabinets

Advantages

  • Food product is held in a hot atmosphere, facilitating quick service during busy periods.
  • Large, heated evaporator is adjustable and allows the user to control food better.
  • Extended hold times on all food products (compared to dry and passive units).
  • Good temperature stratification throughout cabinet (minimal hot/cold zones).
  • Better overall food quality than dry and passive humidified cabinets.
  • Increased yield and higher food temperatures.

Disadvantages

  • Cannot control water temperature precisely, therefore resulting in inaccurate food temperature control.
  • Adjust the Humidity level by 0-10 setting, which doesn’t give an exact water temperature.
  • Insulated evaporator will climb past desired settings, which leads to food temperatures overshoot (in some cabinets).
  • Utilizes thermostat, which requires calibration and is only accurate within 10°F.
  • Determine settings by trial and error and for this reason can be confusing.
  • Recommend daily draining and cleaning of the evaporator.
  • Cost is higher than dry and passive humidified cabinets.

CVap Holding Cabinets

Advantages

  • Food product is held at desired serving temperature, facilitating quick service during
  • Hot and ready during busy periods and maintaining safe temperatures during slow periods.
  • Uses differential control to manage food temperature and food texture independently.
  • Differential control adjusts its air temperature to compensate for the water temperature, therefore optimizing texture.
  • CVap system creates a vapor pressure in the cabinet, eliminating hot/cold zones of food temperature.
  • Control has base settings, therefore making it easy to get an initial setting for the customer.
  • Microprocessor eliminates calibration needs and is notably accurate to within 2°F.
  • Best overall food quality and also the most extended holding times in the industry.

Disadvantages

  • Cost is higher than some competition.
  • Some customers don’t require long hold times.
  • Appearance is also similar to humidified cabinets (for example Cres Cor’s Aqua Temp).
  • Recommend daily draining and cleaning of the evaporator.
Pass Humid Cabinet

Passive Humidified Cabinets

CVap humidified holding cabinet

CVap Holding Cabinets

humidified holding cabinet

Humidified Cabinets

Does CVap Equipment Use Humidity?

All CVap cabinets utilize humidity (the amount of water vapor in the air). However, CVap cabinets do not use humidity the same as some competitors’ equipment. Unlike some competitor models, CVap cabinets generate humidity using a vapor bath. This bath is located in the equipment’s base. CVap holding cabinets function with a three-gallon vapor bath. It is also independently heated. The basin heats to the exact temperature that customers choose to hold the food.

Problem Areas – and How CVap Holding Cabinets Can Help

The most common problem area or areas for improvement are:

Ticket Times

The time it takes to serve the desired customer order. The longer the ticket times are the fewer total customers they can fill in one day. Indeed, CVap reduces ticket times, which enables users to seat more people. As a result, businesses make more money.

Food Quality

Poor food quality can result in loss of sales. For example,  poor quality includes dried-out or tough food. Additionally, food that is too chewy or has poor color can turn away customers. Food that is soggy, hard, or overcooked also can cause food waste and loss of revenue.

Shrinkage

This is how much the product reduces weight during holding and deals directly with food costs. In most cases, food products in a dry or humidity cabinet continue to lose weight while holding. Foods that show high shrinkage also are perceived as lower quality.

Employee Skill

Most kitchens today have trouble finding highly skilled employees. Many employees overcook or burn food, increasing food costs. This problem can also result in poor food quality, long ticket times, or an inability to service high volumes of people. Solutions for these problems translate to increased profits!

High Labor Costs

Again, it is tough to get good employees, and many restaurants overstaff to make sure that the job gets done. CVap products allow restaurants to reduce the number of employees on staff, thereby lowering labor expenses.

Food Safety/FDA Compliance

Many facilities are implementing HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points), a system developed to minimize risks of injuries and foodborne illnesses. Those establishments who choose not to utilize HACCP must still follow FDA guidelines. CVap equipment is particularly effective in HACCP temperature compliance.

Kitchen Limitations

All restaurants have some form of kitchen limitation. Operators may not have space for more equipment, although they have trouble keeping up with their business. Other operators may want to get more equipment but don’t want to spend the money to get ventilation systems.

Utility Costs

The establishment may be utilizing inefficient equipment related to higher gas, water, or electrical costs. Providing equipment that solves this helps the bottom-line for profit earnings.

Features, Advantages, and Benefits

CVap technology holds foods at precise temperatures for an extended time without losing quality. Cook your food ahead of time. Also, eliminate quality changes in food. Significantly reduce long ticket times.

  • Feature: CVap Technology.
  • Advantage: Cooking or holding for extended times without losing quality.
  • Benefit: Reduce long ticket times

CVap technology utilizes a dual-heat source. CVap precisely controls the large evaporator in the bottom of the holding cabinet and the ambient air temperature in the unit. Therefore, you can adjust your desired food temperature by controlling that evaporator temperature precisely. Also, managing the ambient air temperature lets you adjust the food texture. You can decide if you want the food to be soft, crispy, or any desired consistency. In conclusion, by having this dual-heat source, you can hold rare steaks or crunchy chicken, and your staff should be able to keep up with the rush.

  • Feature: Dual heat source.
  • Advantage: Control food temperature and texture precisely.
  • Benefit: Staff can keep up with the rush (employee skill and ticket times).
holding cabinet

Food Sustainability

  • The key to quality food sustainability is more than the simple heat application. Adding simple humidity isn’t the answer, either. The real key to quality holding is to preserve as much natural product moisture as possible. That’s precisely the gentle holding capability of CVap Technology.
  • CVap keeps hot foods at safe, even temperatures while retaining the maximum amount of product moisture, the natural moisture found in most foods you need to hold.
  • Whether your holding needs are large or small, CVap hot food holding solutions are available in a wide variety of models and can support any food preparation or service by extending the sustainability of the food.

Heated Holding Cabinets

  • Holding units are a mainstay for any successful foodservice operation because they maintain precise food temperatures. CVap doesn’t “soak” foods with moisture. Instead, it helps foods retain their natural water for hours without overcooking or drying out.

Drawer Warmers

  • CVap Hold and Serve Drawers can fit anywhere you need production items held hot because they are available in one- and two-drawer configurations, in both standard and narrow widths. Therefore, you can place them on top or under countertops, on carts, or near serving stations.
Good Food

Some competitors may attempt to convince you that adding water vapor to held foods lessens taste and result in washed-out food. Frankly, that isn’t true. Heating food causes evaporation. Evaporation is a cooling process. So, if a competitor tells you that no vapor is needed, they aren’t being truthful. If the cabinet isn’t providing the moisture, the food is. Overall, no matter how “gentle” they describe their technology, it doesn’t escape the fact that it loses heat and quality when food loses moisture.

Proofing in Holding Cabinets

  • Every CVap product, from holding cabinets, warming drawers, and ovens, makes excellent proofers! Since these units can operate as either a holding cabinet or a proofing cabinet, they’re ideal for small operations that only have space for one piece of equipment in their kitchen. 

Holding Cabinet Sizes

holding cabinet

Undercounter

  • 34″ tall or less
  • Fits under counters
  • Best for small kitchens
holding cabinet

1/2 Height

  • 36-41″ tall
  • Best for low volume kitchen operations
holding cabinet

Full Height

  • At least 65″ tall
  • Best for high volume kitchen operations

Insulation

All CVap cabinets are insulated. Insulated cabinets help preserve heat within the cabinet more efficiently. As a result, this helps save energy and reduces costs. Use insulated cabinets for transporting food items. For instance, if you need to move a large quantity of product from one place to another, an insulated cabinet is the best way to accomplish this task. An insulated cabinet reduces heat loss and energy consumption by heating the unit and cooling its kitchen environment.

Pros:

  • Energy efficient
  • Great for off-site events such as catering, weddings, etc.
  • Cool to touch exterior
  • Less radiating heat leaves the kitchen cooler

Cons:

  • Higher initial investment
controller

Control Type

CVap holding cabinets are available with either capacitive touch or membrane controls. Both are easy to use and highly accurate.

CVap Door Types

CVap cabinets offer three types of doors: glass, flip-door, and solid. Glass doors allow operators to see the product without opening. As it happens, opening and closing the door frequently causes the cabinet to lose heat. Winston also offers a flip-door configuration on some cabinet models. Similarly, you can see the product through a flip-door. But unlike a glass door, a flip-door model allows quick access to foods without opening the door. Meanwhile, solid doors are extremely energy efficient and create minimal ambient heat.

holding cabinet pass-through door options
GLASS DOORS
holding cabinet flip door options
FLIP-DOORS
holding cabinet door options
SOLID DOORS

Holding Cabinet Door Configuration

Full height warmer cabinets are better for high-volume operation kitchens. CVap full-size cabinets feature Dutch doors because they minimize heat loss when the doors open. A pass-through configuration is also available. You can open a pass-through cabinet from both sides. Not only the front of the line can access the cabinet, but also the back of the line. Further speeding up the rate of production and service.

Holding Cabinets and the New Normal

The COVID-19 pandemic left a lasting impact on restaurants — a stronger emphasis on safety, convenience, and delivery. Improving food safety is an important goal for all foodservice operations. The right equipment can help accomplish this.

Holding cabinets are critical in preserving food temperature and safety in commercial kitchens. In fact, these cabinets help limit exposure to people when cooking for delivery or take-out. Foodservice professionals have incorporated this equipment to improve food safety practices and keep food fresh for take-out and delivery. Also, you can use holding cabinets to limit exposure to circulated air in a kitchen. Cabinets come in a variety of configurations.

Steak Holding

Holding Cabinets Can Benefit Your Restaurant

Restaurants can improve food safety, cut costs, and improve delivery during this time. Utilizing holding cabinets promotes limited contact with food and keeps safe temperatures. They also keep food hot and fresh for delivery and take-out operations.

Cabinet Safety

Promote Food Safety

With the risks of COVID-19 still looming, limiting person-to-person contact is essential. Holding cabinets help cut down on exposure between kitchen staff and food. These cabinets also are designed to preserve safe food temperatures before eating. They utilize controlled vapor and fans to distribute heated air to keep food hot.

Food Waste

Limit Food Waste

CVap holding cabinets keep food at safe temperatures for longer than heat lamps. A holding cabinet helps cut down on food waste and costs. They also keep food at desirable temperatures for delivery and take-out, which keeps customers happy.

food delivery

Improve Delivery Programs

Customers expect meals to be hot, fresh, and delicious when it’s delivered. Therefore, keeping food hot and fresh as long as possible is essential to offering quality take-out and delivery. Holding cabinets can keep food hot and safe until it’s ready for the customer.

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.

Pepperoni Rolls, Simple and Delicious

pepperoni rolls
   

Pepperoni rolls, the simple yet impressive combination of bread and pepperoni (and sometimes cheese).  This uniquely West Virginian recipe was originally created by miners’ wives as a filling lunch that could be eaten in the coal mines. Pepperoni rolls were first commercially produced in 1927 in a Fairmont, WV bakery owned by Italian immigrant Guiseppe Argiro. 

While you can find some variation of this Mountain State treat in other parts of the country now, we thought it was time to produce some in Kentucky in our CVap® ovens.

pepperoni rolls

Ingredients

  • 2 bags of frozen rolls (approximately 73 in a bag)
  • 40-50oz of sliced pepperoni
  • 6lbs shredded colby jack cheese
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • All-purpose flour
  • Melted butter
This party size recipe makes approximately 140 rolls. 

Preparing

Start with frozen bread rolls. Unless you have time to make fresh dough, this is the easiest way to get started. Plus the rolls are already perfectly portioned for individual rolls. Place the frozen rolls into a large hotel pan and cover rolls with non-stick cooking spray. This will ensure that they do not stick together while thawing. Place the pan in CVap Holding Cabinet at 100F Vapor/103F Air for about 30 minutes. Once the rolls are soft to touch, it is time to roll and fill them with pepperoni and cheese.

With a healthy amount of flour at your side for the purpose of rolling the dough, use a rolling pin to flatten the dough to about 1/4 inch thick and about 5 inches in diameter. Place a large pinch of cheese in the center of the dough. Add about five slices of pepperoni over the cheese. Fold in the sides and roll until the dough is like a burrito. Trap the filling in on all sides to prevent leaks.

pepperoni rolls
pepperoni rolls
folding
pepperoni rolls
Pepperoni Rolls

Baking Pepperoni Rolls

Spray a large hotel pan with non-stick cooking spray and place the rolled dough into the pan. There should be about an inch of space between each roll for expanding purposes. Brush each roll with melted butter to prevent sticking to each other and to add a nice golden crust.

Once the pan is full, place it back into the CVap Holding Cabinet at 100F Vapor/103F Air for about 30 minutes to finish proofing or until the dough has expanded about 1/4 inch all around. The rolls may be touching slightly. In the meantime, preheat a CVap Retherm oven or a CVap Cook and Hold oven to Zero Vapor/350F Air. When the proofing process is complete transfer the pans to the CVap oven. Bake them for about 20 minutes or until they have reached a golden brown on top.

pepperoni rolls

Pair them with some marinara or create the OG West Virginia school lunch with baked beans, chilled peaches, and chocolate milk. Do you have a CVap recipe that you want to share? Post your recipes and pictures on the CVap Operators group!

Carnitas in CVap®

events carnitas
events carnitas

I love food, and I mean all types of food! My absolute favorite style of cuisine is Hispanic – more specifically, Mexican, with its wealth of tradition and depth of flavors. What’s not to love? I have a group of friends I meet every Sunday at our local On the Border for lunch and a margarita or three (if I’m being honest, the food is decent, but the margaritas are the real draw!). I decided to mix it up one Sunday and order one of my favorite traditional Mexican dishes: carnitas.

They were less than spectacular, and I asked my friend Sergio why he thought they weren’t very good. He replied that too many people really only want fajitas on the hot plate, and this restaurant’s preparation just wasn’t traditional. To be fair, one look around the room proved that he was right. It looked like a sauna with the steam rising from every table. I was a victim of demand.

carnitas ingredients

Let's Make Carnitas!

I wasn’t about to settle for this disappointment, however. Carnitas is a staple of Mexican cuisine and I mean, c’mon, it’s PORK! I decided to take matters into my own hands. There are many ways to prepare carnitas, but traditionally it is shoulder meat (or leftover parts of a butchered hog) slow braised for several hours in pork lard, confit style. Once the pork has broken down enough, it is taken out and either pulled apart or cut into cubes. It then goes back into the lard with the heat turned up, and is fried to add texture. There are many twists and variations of this dish, and the part of the country you are from usually defines what ingredients and flavors your carnitas might have. For this recipe, I’m combining the old with the new and adding a splash of CVap®.

Ingredients

2 Lbs. pork shoulder, cut into 1″ cubes
½ teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cumin
2 small bay leaves
½ lime
1 cinnamon stick
½ orange
½ Mexican beer, preferably dark
Fresh cilantro
½ medium onio
2 Lbs. lard or cooking oil

Instructions

In a large vacuum or re-sealable bag, combine all ingredients.

Place bag in CVap Cook and Hold Oven at the settings below. Drink the other half of your Mexican beer!

carnitas in bag
Carnitas in CVap®

Carnitas CVap Cook and Hold Oven Settings:

Legacy CVap

High Yield Mode: OFF
Doneness: 178
Browning: 0
Time: 8 hours

New CVap

High Yield Mode: OFF
Vapor Temp: 178°F
Air Temp: 178°F
Time: 8 hours

  1. Once the timer goes off, pull the bag out of the Cook and Hold oven and separate the pork cubes from the other ingredients.
  2. Place lard or oil in a fryer or large pot on the stove and set to 350°F (or medium-high heat). Drop the cubes into the oil and let fry until golden brown, about one minute.

Now comes the easy part: eat the carnitas! I usually enjoy them over a bed of rice and beans with a little salsa on top. I also like them in a corn tortilla with diced onions, cilantro, and freshly squeezed lime. Then again, sometimes I just eat them right out of the pot because it’s fried pork and I’m impatient. There is no right or wrong here, just enjoy!

carnitas pork frying
carnitas meat

Stage Hamburgers in CVap

staging in cvap

We receive many inquiries about how to use CVap® Cook and Hold Ovens to stage great hamburgers, and we have been testing several methods for preparing great burgers. Below you’ll find our recommended procedures to stage hamburgers.

Advance Staging or Holding

Recipe/Process:

  1. Preset CVap oven to 135°F food temperature and + 0 texture setting (legacy CVap)/135°F Vapor Temp/135°F Air Temp (new CVap). Allow about 30 minutes for pre-heat.
  2. Set timer to one hour.
  3. Place hamburgers on a parchment-lined sheet tray.
  4. Season with salt and pepper (optional).
  5. Allow burgers to reach a minimum endpoint of 130°F. This will take about an hour. If allowed to stay in this environment for 121 minutes, the burgers will then meet the FSIS (Food Safety Inspection Services) standard for the elimination of Salmonella and E. coli.
  6. Hold burgers until time to grill, or finish right before serving. You can continue to hold until ready to serve.
stage hamburgers
staged hamburgers

Stage Hamburgers, Gain Benefits

You gain many benefits by preparing a burger this way: increased burger size, increased juiciness, assured safety without overcooking, reduced service time to the consumer, and enhanced finish flavor due to shortened time period between finishing and serving.

Higher yield equals juicier burgers! Keep checking back, we will post more of our burger data soon. In the meantime, how about telling us your favorite method for cooking your burgers?

For more information about CVap equipment, please Contact Us.