CVap® Burger Masters

StarBurger uses CVap Staging to serve fast

Here at Winston, we’ve had the privilege of working with some true “Burger Masters.” These folks use CVap® ovens to produce burgers that their customers crave. Ultimately, they showcase the versatility of CVap equipment.

Burgers are America’s favorite sandwich. The average American eats three burgers a week (for a national yearly consumption of 50 billion burgers). There are great blogs celebrating burgers, and their superior cousin, the cheeseburger. A Hamburger TodayBurger Beast, and Eat More Burgers are all fun reads.

These are the Burger Masters

Chef Paul Wahlberg (one of the stars of the A&E show Wahlburgers) takes full advantage of CVap’s staging abilities. Consequently, his kitchens can crank out an eight-ounce burger in about four minutes, using CVap to stage. As he said, “…the precision, and the consistency of the equipment is always perfect.”

Thomas Salamunovich, a CVap pioneer, first recognized the value of serving a gourmet hamburger at his fine-dining Larkspur restaurant in Vail, Colorado. As a result, he turned his single menu item into a concept called Larkburger.

burger masters

Chef John Tesar chose to share his method for a perfect burger with thousands of YouTube viewers. You can check him out here.

Adam Fleischman in LA has taken burgers to a different dimension, literally. He uses CVap in his concept Umami Burger, which emphasizes umami (the fifth taste) to make better burgers.

Tony Maws, Chef/Owner of Craigie on Main in Boston, cooks his Bar Burger at low heat in our CVap oven. Later, he follows with a quick char on the plancha. Check him out here:

Certainly, there are many more Burger Masters out there using CVap to create the perfect burger. Let us know about it. We will highlight your recipe and restaurant!

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo High on the Hog!

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, we’re celebrating with a couple of festive CVap® recipes – our own twists on pork butt enchiladas and tamales!

Cinco de Mayo—or the fifth of May—commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). A relatively minor holiday in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a big celebration of Mexican culture and heritage in the United States, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations. Cinco de Mayo traditions include parades, mariachi music performances, and street festivals. Source: .

BBQ Pork Enchiladas

CVap Cook & Hold Oven – Constant cook OFF (high yield).
Doneness 180, Browning 7.
Cook time 7:00 hrs; hold for at least 5 hours at Doneness 150, Browning 0.


  • Pork Butt 7 – 14 lb whole
  • Tex-Mex dry rub of your choice (I used my own secret blend)
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Flour Tortillas
  • Manchego Cheese, Shredded
  • Green Chiles, Chopped


  1. Apply a layer of dry rub to pork butts as desired.
  2. Preheat oven to 180 + 7 with Constant Cook OFF (high yield).
  3. Cook with fat cap up for 7 hours.
  4. Hold for a minimum of 6 hours at 150 + 0 (We held for 14 hours).
  5. Allow to cool and shred. Mix enough of your favorite BBQ sauce with the pork to moisten.
  6. Steam the tortillas briefly in CVap to soften them.
  7. Mix the shredded cheese and chilies together. Spoon some of the pork and the cheese/chili mixture onto each tortilla.
  8. Roll the tortillas, place in pan, and top with additional BBQ sauce and more of the cheese/chili mixture.
  9. Bake in oven at 200 + 5 for 90 minutes.

Serve immediately and enjoy with your favorite Mexican beverage!

Tamales, CVap Style


  • Pork Butt, 7 to 14 lb Whole
  • Tex-Mex Dry Rub of Your Choice (again, my secret blend)
  • Red Pepper Sauce (or sauce of your choice)
  • Masa (cooked per label instructions)
  • Corn Husks


    1. Apply a layer of dry rub to pork butts as desired.
    2. Preheat oven to 180 + 7 with Constant Cook OFF (high yield).
    3. Cook with fat cap up for 7 hours.
    4. Minimum hold time 6 hours (we held for 14 hours).
    5. Allow to cool and shred.

CVap Cook & Hold Oven – Doneness 200, Browning 5.
Cook time: 90 minutes – can hold at 150/0 for at least an hour.

  1. Prepare masa and set aside.
  2. Soak corn husks in warm water, set aside.
  3. Mix enough tamale sauce into the pork to moisten. Add additional seasoning (cumin, red pepper, etc.) as desired.
  4. Lay out a corn husk, apply a generous spoonful of masa and a spoonful of pork. Fold the corn husk to envelope the mixture.
  5. Place in pan. Tamales may be stacked.
  6. Pour tamale sauce over the top and bake.

Serve with additional tamale sauce.

Add some chips, salsa, guacamole, and margaritas with fresh lime, and you’ve got the makings of a real Cinco de Mayo Celebration!

Cooked Pork Butts

Shredding The Pork Butt

Saucing the Shredded Pork Butt

Saucing the Enchiladas

Enchiladas Ready for the Oven

Adding Ingredients to Corn Husk

Stacking Wrapped Tamales in Pan

Plated Tamales

Tamales Fresh from the Oven

Tamales Plated

Kentucky Lamb Hams – Not B-a-a-a-a-d!

Ham. The very word brings to mind the many variations of the savory pork product. In the vast majority of cases, when folks say “ham,” they mean pork. However, I was talking with my friend Valerie Samutin about her lambs on Freedom Run Farm. She told me about the history of lamb ham in Kentucky. Apparently lamb was the protein of choice for Kentucky settlers in colonial times. In order to preserve lamb for winter consumption, they would cure hind quarters, just like we do with pork.

I love to fuse historical traditions with new technologies. Our commonwealth was formerly well-known as a core market for sheep and lamb production. Remnants of that heritage can still be found in central Kentucky, where dishes such as the mutton-based burgoo remain very popular. I decided to use Freedom Run Farm’s wonderful lamb to test the hot smoking abilities of our Winston Smoker Box in a CVap® Holding Cabinet. Hot smoked lamb ham!

Chef Barry Hams it Up

One big salty ham poses next to another big salty ham. The ham on the left is pork. The ham on the right is our late friend Chef Barry.


  • 50g Prague powder (cure) No. 2
  • 80g KY Spice Berries (substitute fresh ground peppercorns if spice berries aren’t available)
  • 500g light brown sugar or turbinado sugar
  • 700g pure sea salt (iodine free)
  • 4-6kg fresh lamb leg, bone in and hoof on
  • Sugna:1kg olive oil mixed with flour to make a thick paste ***optional
  • (You need 80g cure for each 1kg of lamb leg) Approximately 300- 500 grams of cure per leg
lamb hams begins curing


  1. Very important! Weigh lamb leg and record weight! Record day and time of curing start as well and keep for your records! You will certainly need this information later, to determine when the hams are ready.
  2. Make curing mixture with the first four ingredients above. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Rinse lamb leg thoroughly and pat dry with a paper towel. Then rub the lamb with the cure mixture. Don’t worry about using too much. Rub firmly, pushing the leg bone with your thumbs. Notably, there is a main artery there that may not have been thoroughly mind, this process helps work out any remaining blood. Once this is complete, rub more cure around the aitch (hip) bone. This is the exposed bone/joint where the leg was severed from the lamb’s torso (VERY important step).
raw lamb hind quarter
lamb legs
bony end of the lamb legs
  1. Place lamb leg on a bed of salt in a nonreactive container. Plastic is preferable, but an old school wooden rack works too. In this case I used nonreactive plastic seeding trays. Place lamb in a refrigerated environment for a minimum of ten days. Turn daily, and make sure that cure is redistributed daily. If necessary, add more cure. The general rule of thumb for curing is one day per kilogram, but no less than ten days.
salted lamb
very salty lamb ham
lamb ham
lamb closeup
lamb in cvap

Smoking the Lamb

  1. After the curing period is complete, rinse lamb and refrigerate for 24 hours. This allows for good pellicle formation. Pellicle is a skin or coating of proteins on the meat surface that allows smoke to adhere during the smoking process.
  2. After the 24 hour refrigeration, place lamb hams in a CVap Holding Cabinet at 165°F vapor temp and 170°F air temp. Place hickory chunks in Winston smoker box and set timer for three hours. Once cabinet is preheated, place lamb into CVap and hot smoke until internal temperature reaches 155°F. [Note: Although CVap equipment doesn’t usually require vent hoods, the addition of a smoker box will usually require utilization of a vent hood. Always check local codes.]
  3. After lamb reaches 155°F, remove from CVap cabinet, weigh, and record weight. At this time, some folks like to add a sugna (a mixture of fat and flour) on the cut surface of the ham. This is classically done with prosciutto, iberico, or Appalachian mountain hams to keep the cut surface from excessively drying. In this case, I don’t believe that it is necessary, as lamb takes less time to cure and reach maturity than a traditional leg of pork. Keep in a refrigerated environment until the lamb leg has lost 25-30 % of its original weight. Once this weight loss has been achieved, your lamb ham should be ready.
smoking lamb hams

Lamb preserved this way should be shelf stable for up to six months. There is no need to age longer, because hot smoking kills the enzymes that would generate any further flavor complexities. Once the ham has been cut, wrap cut surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Another option is to bone the ham and vacuum seal individual piece that can be cut later.

smoked lamb hams
finished lamb ham
slicing the lamb ham

In this case we sampled to a lot of chef friends, and also shared with Bob Perry at his 3rd annual Kentucky Neurogastronomy Symposium held at the University of Kentucky.

barry yates

About the Author

Chef Barry Yates was a seasoned pro. A certified chef, he owned and operated his share of restaurants. With over two decades at Winston, he was definitely the Yoda of the team. Chef Barry was part culinary guru, part food scientist, part blogger, part pig farmer, part biker, and full-time fanatic about all things foodservice!

CVap Southwestern Frittata Wrap


Naturally, we love experimenting with trends, blending techniques and flavors to come up with new creations. In fact, this recipe combines two enormously popular ingredients – eggs and wraps – and gives the dish a Latin twist. Although these ingredients probably bring breakfast to mind, the dish is hearty enough to serve any time.

We prepared our eggs in the style of an Italian frittata. According to Wikipedia, the Italian word frittata derives from fritta and roughly translates as egg-cake. This originally was a general term for eggs cooked in a skillet, anywhere on the spectrum from fried eggs, to omelets, to an Italian version of the Spanish tortilla de patatas, made with fried potatoes. Outside Italy, frittatas were considered equivalent to omelets until the mid-1950s.

In fact, our preparation of the eggs is a form of staging. In this case, an operator could prepare the frittata components in hotel pans well ahead of service and hold the eggs beautifully until assembly, saving time during the rush. The cooked eggs will maintain their texture and the exact right amount of moisture as if they were cooked to order.

frittata finished


  • 1 Dozen Small Tortillas
  • Melted Butter
  • 2 Dozen Fresh Eggs
  • 2 Cups Half & Half
  • Chopped Green Bell Peppers, Red Bell Peppers, and Onions


  1. Place tortillas in preheated CVap® Holding Cabinet (vapor temp 140°F/air temp 140°F).
  2. Next, prepare one full-size 2-¼ inch hotel pan with melted butter.
  3. Mix and add eggs and the half & half to the pan, and sprinkle chopped veggies over the entire pan.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Cook in a preheated CVap Cook & Hold Oven set to vapor temp 200°F/air temp 200°F for 12 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and place with the tortillas in the CVap Holding Cabinet.
frittata on tortilla

Wrap Assembly:

To assemble, we cut the cooked eggs into 2 x 3-inch strips and placed one piece in a warm tortilla. Next, we topped with black beans, shredded colby-jack cheese, fresh pico de gallo, and cilantro, giving the dish a Latin flavor.
frittata with pico de galo

You could dozens of different spins on this preparation. For example, change the vegetables or stir-ins that you add to the egg mixture prior to cooking. Vary the type of tortilla or bread you serve it on. Or finish with different toppings and garnishes. Moreover, there’s no limit to the variety of dishes you can quickly crank out!

Hope You Made it to The Georgia Equipment Academy!

sna cabinet

In a normal (non-pandemic) year our industry gears up for school show season. Naturally, we travel from state to state, participating in each state association’s school nutrition conference. Indeed, it involves catching up with industry peers, mingling with customers, and trying to drum up business. But we find that state shows often focus more on food than hardware. Of course, it’s understandable. Food is the largest expenditure for school nutrition operations.

The Georgia Equipment Academy

However, the Georgia Equipment Academy is different. It’s a three-day biannual conference. Notably, it focuses solely on equipment and technology.

Each conference is broken up into categories. Subsequently, presenters conduct five 30-minute sessions over the course of the academy. Twenty or so decision-makers attend each session. Naturally,  we educate about our equipment and perform live demonstrations. Dealers, reps, manufacturers, and the Georgia School Nutrition Association work hand-in-hand to make the conference a unique experience. Honestly, it is one of our best shows. In fact, it provides directors a distraction-free opportunity to learn about technology that can advance their programs.

Winston Foodservice is proud to participate in the Georgia Equipment Academy. Most recently, we debuted our CVap RTV Retherm Oven in the Hoodless Cooking category. Our partners at The Hansen Group continue to support this incredible show. We hope you have the opportunity to participate!

Retherm Oven at the Georgia Equipment Academy