Taking the Mystery Out of Setpoints

Thermodynamics and setpoints

As anyone who uses CVap® equipment can tell you, it’s an amazing technology. Whether holding or cooking, CVap equipment offers users precision that’s simply unrivaled by other brands. The oven design and the science behind it are simple.  But just like any new piece of equipment there’s a learning curve. Once you wrap your head around setpoints, you can achieve amazing results.

retherm oven

What do we mean by “setpoints”?

They are the equipment settings (or programs). Unlike a conventional oven or hot holding cabinet, where you simply set one (air) temperature, CVap technology is based on a dual heat system, vapor and air. Vapor heat dictates the desired food temperature. Air heat controls the rate of moisture evaporation from the food’s surface. CVap offers processing dexterity whether is it dialing in desired food temperature and surface texture for holding or cooking food. Check out this chart, which delves into where particular cooking processes fall on the setpoints scale.

Every food has recommended setpoints. Likewise, we’ve shared the setpoints for our CVap Retherm Ovens, cook and hold ovens, holding cabinets, and hold and serve drawers.

Winston always supports our customers to define setpoints for their food items. This is done with independent testing of the specific items in our kitchens. We then use characteristic testing to hone in on settings. Once a setpoint is dialed in with our chefs, we share those findings with the customer. Below are some examples of common items that are requested often:

chicken setpoints

Fried Chicken – Holding

  • Breaded – Vapor Temp 130-140°F / Air Temp 165-175°F
    (because fried chicken involves a bigger differential (the difference between the vapor and air setpoints), it has a shorter holding time before food quality starts to decrease).

    Hold Time: 2 hours (+/- depending on user’s own quality expectations)
    Hold Vapor:  130-140° F
    Hold Air:  170-190° F (keep at least +40-50° F differential or increase air temp for crispier skin)

prime rib setpoints

Whole Roasts – Prime Rib

  • Cook Time: 6 hours
    (additional time may be needed if cooking more than three whole roasts)
    Cook Vapor: 130-135° F for medium rare
    Cook Air: 180-185° F (keep a +50° F differential)

Roasted Chicken – Holding

  • Hold Time: 2 hours

    (+/- depending on user’s own quality expectations)
    Hold Vapor: 140-150°F
    Hold Air: 160-180°F (keep at least +20°F differential or increase air temp for crispier skin)

Of course, many other foods are perfect for cooking or holding in CVap equipment. If you don’t see a particular item in the guidelines, just reach out to Chef Sam or the Customer Care team. We’ll get the answer for you!