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Author Archive | Nathan Combs

How to Replace a Vitamix Blade Assembly [Video]

Whether a Vitamix blender is crucial to your business, or if you simply like the ease and efficiency of mixing they provide, you know that keeping sharp blades is key to good operation. If your blades begin to dull, you can simply replace the blade assembly itself, without having to go out and but an entire new container (unless the container is worn out as well!). For this process, you will need a Vitamix Retainer Wrench.

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Video Transcript:

Hi, I’m Chris Tavano for Tundra Restaurant Supply. In today’s episode I’m going to show you how to change the blade assembly in your Vitamix prep container.

Pretty much what we have here is our retainer nut wrench by Vitamix; unique for its blade assembly replacements. As well as, we have a 64 ounce Vita prep container here. First you’re going to take off the lid as that’s not needed. Turn your container upside down. The nice thing is this wrench, that hole is going to fit right over your drive socket. It only fits one way and from there lefty loosey.

You want to be careful with those blades because they might be sharp still. I’m using a rag to grab a hold of that blade. That nut comes off and your blade assembly should just pop right out. Go ahead and take that old one. We can discard that. Now you have your empty container and your nut.

Now we’re going to get our new blade assembly. You’ll notice on the blade assembly there are two flat sides. That’s going to correspond with the two flat sides on the bottom of your container. Again, be careful just using a rag here. You could also use a cut glove, the Chain Mail Steel Mesh. Pretty much that way you don’t create any nicks on your fingers as you’re trying to replace this. In there it should just snap in place. Get our retaining nut. You can go ahead and screw that on finger tight for the time being.

Then get our retainer nut wrench by Vitamix again. We’ll tighten this piece back into place. There you have it, replacing the blade assembly on your Vitamix container.

I’m Chris Tavano from Tundra Restaurant Supply. That’s how you change your Vitamix blade assembly. Join us again next time.

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Reverse the Swing of Your Equipment Door [Video]

Having the door to a piece of kitchen equipment swinging open the wrong direction can be very inconvenient, and can make the item difficult to clean or even to use. Luckily, most manufacturers make the door swing on their equipment reversible. Follow these easy steps to reverse yours and make your kitchen more accessible!

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Hi.  I’m Chris Tavano for Tundra Restaurant Supply.  In today’s episode, I’m going to show you how to reverse the swing on your door hinge for your equipment.

Do you ever experience that the layout of your kitchen hinders the accessibility of your equipment?  For instance, if your fryer was up against a wall, it might be kind of difficult to open this door all the way.  Keep in mind, most equipment doors are made to reverse the swing on it’s hinge.

Here, I’ll show you on this Fry Master fryer.  May not be the most esthetically pleasing thing as this logo is going to be upside down, but hey, it’s going to be functional and a little bit more operable for you in your layout.

First, we’re going to take off the handle to the door.  Pretty easy … two phillips head screws.  Next we’re actually going to take the door off of the hinge itself.  If you look down at the bottom, you’ll see a spring loaded set pin.  From there, we just push it in, lift it up, and we can get it to slide out.

Next, you’re going to want to unscrew the two screws on the bottom of this hinge plate.  Lefty loosy.  Be sure you attached our hinge plate.

Next we’ve just got to remove the door magnet itself.  It’s on a plastic clip.  Push on the bottom upward.  You should be able to slide it and push it out.

The mounting can be a little bit difficult because of this push clip.  Once you get those pushed in it should be able to slide out quite easily.  Now that we’ve got our hinge plate and our door magnet switched on to the new correct side, it’s a matter of putting our door back into it’s place with it’s spring loaded set pins.  So you don’t crush your fingers, it might be kind of easy to slide this top set pin in with a flat head screw driver.

There you go.  Reverse the swing.  Like I said, not the most esthetically pleasing with our name plate at the bottom and upside down, but functional none the less.

Last but not least, reattaching our handle back to the opposing side that we took it off from.  There you have it.  That’s how you reverse the swing on your hinge.

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Make Your Refrigerator Work Better and Last Longer [Video]

Performing regular preventative maintenance on your refrigerator can increase the efficiency of the unit, as well as save you expensive repairs down the line. Chris Tavano walks you through three easy parts to check to make sure that your refrigerator is in good working order.

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Hi, I’m Chris Tavano for Tundra Restaurant Supply. In today’s episode, I’m going to help you troubleshoot a couple of common issues with refrigeration units.

Two common issues we see with refrigeration units is they’re not getting up to temperature correctly, or down to temperature, cooling in an effective manner. Or the compressor’s just constantly running and burning out. So one issue could very well be that you have an ice buildup on your coils.

As well, you notice that these grates are very thin aluminum vents. A lot of times, what can happen is since these are so fragile and aluminum, they can just fold in right on their selves, and what can very well happen is this can easily get kicked, a pan can fall into this, and at the same time, since they are so fragile and easy to bend, that they’ll just bend closed shut on themselves, and there you will not get any airflow, restricting your compressor to put your coolant at the right temperature range for your refrigeration unit.

So those are two big things that you can do preventively here in the compressor area, so that way your machine lasts a little bit longer. And last but not least, always check your door gaskets. A lot of times, these can start to deteriorate, break down, come off from the glue on the actual aluminum itself. A lot of times, this is where you’re going to get air flow leakage, and your compressor’s going to be constantly running to keep the machine at its refrigerant temperature.

At the same time, the compressor’s going to be working overload, because there’s a constant leak, and the compressor’s going to be running much longer than what it needs to be. So always be sure your gaskets are in good shape, and you replace them accordingly. If you need some tips on how to replace them, go ahead and check out our other video about replacing refrigerant gaskets.

I’m Chris Tavano for Tundra Restaurant Supply. That’s how you perform some very easy preventative maintenance on your refrigeration units. Until next time!

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Troubleshoot and Identify Faucets [Video]

Faucet and plumbing part manufacturers don’t always have the brand name or model number in an easily visible location on every piece of equipment. In this video, Chris Tavano walks you through several ways to identify the manufacturer of your commercial faucet, as well as how to diagnose and repair common leaks.

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Hi. I’m Chris Tavano for Tundra Restaurant Supply. In today’s episode, I’m going to show you how to troubleshoot common leaks and identify the brand of your faucet.

There’s three common leaks we’re going to identify that you tend to see on a faucet. One is going to be a slow drip from the end of the spout, one is going to be a slow dribble outside the neck of the spout and wall mount and the third one is going to be a slow leak and a drip coming off the stem assembly on the handle.

If your faucet is leaking or dripping slowly out of the end of the spout, then most likely it is the seat washer that needs to be replaced, located in the bottom of the stem assembly.

So, the next common leak you are going to tend to see is at the base of the neck at your spout. Lot of times, this one is the most easiest. Unscrew your spout at the neck, wiggle it out, and odds are this O-ring needs to be replaced and is corroded.

So, the last common leak that you will tend to see is right from the handle of your faucet on the stem. So, what’s happening there, again, taking apart your stem assembly, is the washer right underneath the top of the cap is what’s corroded and needs replacement.

So, here we’re going to help you identify which brand of handle or faucet you have just by the distinguishable characteristics of the handles themselves. First here, we have a Fisher handle. You can tell by this shape of the handle in comparison to the rest.

The next handle we have here is by T&S Brass and Equipment. The good way to identify T&S handles is specifically by this bulge next to the stem. Also you can see in the stem assembly, T&S Brass is engraved on the stem canister. This is the seat washer valve that we’re speaking of that often contributes to the leak of your spout. Be sure the spring is also intact.

So, next we have an Encore handle, also made by CHG, Component Hardware Group. A good way to tell this is on the stem, you can see it engraved CHG or on top of this we can tell that it reads Encore. Also keep in mind on Encore handles, ever so faint, you can see Saniguard. Keep in mind this is the canister with that … here’s that seat valve washer we were speaking of that often contributes to the leaky spout. You can also tell on the canister a CHG engraving as well.

For Chicago Faucets , look for the bull nose shape of the handle all around. You can also notice the brand name Chicago is engraved on the barrel of the stem assembly itself.  Here’s that seat valve washer that we were speaking of for common spout leaks.

So, last we have Krowne. It can also be identified by it’s unique handle shape and also the name of the brand is engraved underneath the handle.

And that’s how you troubleshoot common leaks to your faucets. I’m Chris Tavano for Tundra Restaurant Supply. Join us again next time.

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How to Replace or Install Casters [Video]

Adding casters to any piece of restaurant or kitchen equipment makes cleaning and reorganization much easier, and can be done with a minimum of effort. In this video, Chris Tavano walks you through the installation process, as well as how to ensure that the casters that you order will be compatible with your chosen appliance.

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Video Transcript:

Hi. Welcome to Tundra Restaurant Supply. In this episode, we’re going to show you how to add or replace casters to your equipment.

So casters come in all different sizes and varieties. Unfortunately they’re not necessarily all compatible with all brands, so what you’re going to want to do is try and identify what kind of model number you have of your equipment, or you can measure the whole centers on your existing casters. Today’s demonstration we’re using our Frymaster Fryer. You can locate the model number on the inside panel of the door or you can check our other video, “Hot to locate model numbers on your equipment.” If it’s in a tricky spot you can always get an extendable flashlight to get to those hard to reach areas.

Currently we’re measuring the centered holes of our existing legs or casters. In this case, I’ve started the center of this screw on 1 just because it’s a little bit difficult to get to the edge of the tip of the measuring tape. You can also notice that it gets all the way over to 2-3/4. Minus the 1, the distance of these 2 centers is 1-3/4 inches. You’ll want to do the same thing for the opposing direction as well. Here we can notice it’s 3 inches. You can either search by your model number on the piece of equipment, or you can certainly put in the dimensions of your hole centers.

Also be sure that when you’re searching for replacement casters that you look for a caster that has a wheel diameter large enough to be able to put your equipment’s bottom edge approximately 6 inches off the ground. Also be sure that before you do any kind of repairs or move any of your equipment that everything is turned off, disconnected, drained, and cool before you start doing any work on it. Also keep in mind as your replacing your casters, you might want to have some wedges to be able to balance your equipment upright while you replace your casters or legs. Or have an equipment dolly or a second hand to be able to stabilize the piece of equipment while you’re working on the casters.

That’s how you identify and install replacement casters for your equipment. Surely at times it might be easier to lay your equipment on its side to do its replacement maintenance. However, be sure that if you’re working on a piece of equipment with a compressor, that you wait a full 24 hours once you place it back upright before you plug it in to allow the fluids to get back into the compressor.

I’m Chris for Tundra Restaurant Supply. Join us again next time.


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Rosseto Catering Displays [Video]

Setting up a buffet station or catering display doesn’t have to mean trays of muffins, chafing dishes, and pitchers of juice. Rosseto Serving Solutions offers catering and buffet equipment in a vast array of materials, colors, and styles, which can be custom-tailored to any catering or serving situation!

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The first piece we’re going to discuss offered by Rosseto Serving Solutions are these Skycap Risers. These are offered in metal and wood. Back here, these ones are offered without a cap. These are metal. They come in black, steel, red, and white, as well as you have these wood ones, and they come in a color of black gloss, as well as this nice bamboo that we have here. The nice thing about these Skycap Risers is they have slots at many different heights, so that way you can offer yourself a very different multi-dimensional display. Over here we have an acrylic 3-gallon beverage dispenser with a bamboo base to help match with your consistence in theme.

Over here we have a square acrylic beverage dispense. The nice feature about this one is we have an ice insert, so that way you don’t water down beverages like orange juice. Here is probably my favorite piece offered by Rosseto Serving Solutions. It’s called the Multi-Chef. The great thing about this piece is you can use it for a dual purpose of keeping your food warm, or you can use it as a live cooking station. The nice thing is that this Sterno holder has two heights for it, a high height and a low height, whether you want to be cooking on the surface or you just want to be warming on your surface.

This is just one style of a catered buffet set up, or back bar, or corporate office lunch that you could set up with the Rosseto Serving Solution products. The nice thing is your options are limitless, because they also offer centering pieces, as well as decorative pieces, and bakery displays as well. Be sure to check out our website at to see what other options are available to you.

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How to Replace the Blades in a Nemco Easy Chopper [Video]

When using a Nemco Easy Chopper, sharp blades mean the difference between getting clean, quick cuts and smashing your food to pulp. The most cost-saving option here is to replace the individual blades in the cutting assembly once they begin to dull.

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Video Transcript:

I’m Chris Tavano for Tundra Restaurant Supply. In today’s episode I’m going to show you how to change the blades and blade assembly to your Nemco Easy Chopper II.

The first thing you’re going to want to do is remove your pusher block and your base assembly base. Two little bushings just slide right off the greased poles and your blade assembly should slide right off as is. First and foremost this is your blade assembly faced up. Be very careful as these blades facing up are very, very sharp. I’m going to want to turn it upside down exposing the bolts. Get your crescent wrench and we’re going to loosen these all the way off. Once you’ve unscrewed your bolts the base plate should come right off. Set that aside and now you’ve exposed the bottom side of your blades.

This is going to be how we’re going to replace these. These metal bars, those are going to stay. Do not throw those away.  An easy way to get rid of your blades, flip it upside down, give it a little tap. Your entire blade assembly comes out. The first thing you’re going to want to note when you open your package of new blades is that there are two different kinds. Some are going to be loaded first and some are going to be loaded second. The best way to tell is identify where the slit is on the blade.

If you notice both these blades are facing the sharp edge towards you and this front row has slits towards the back base of that blade. Whereas the second one has the slits going through the cutting edge of that blade. We’re going to want to put in these ones first where you see the slit coming from the back. From here you’re going to want to organize your spacer guides. If you notice these little bars that we kept from the original, there’s little slits.

You’re going to want to see the slit that goes all the way through the wall of that guide to be facing the inside of the assembly. Place all four of those around the perimeter of the assembly itself and from there we can get our first set of blades where there is no slit on the cutting edge itself. Being very careful with these blades, you’re going to put blade down in the first slit horizontally in your spacer guide and the next one. Being sure to be very careful putting the cutting edge of each blade down into the spacer guide slits.

So after you’ve got your first set down we’ll work on the second set of blades where the slit goes through the actual beveled cutting edge itself. And these blades we’re going to place perpendicular going through each and every slit on the previous blades that we set in, as well as the spacer guide itself. Be sure that you’re pushing down with enough pressure on these blades to where all the tops are even and flush. Don’t have to worry too much on this side because remember you’re putting the cutting edge of the blade down into your table. These edges are not sharp.

As we put our base plate back onto our blade assembly, be sure to line up the post holes accordingly on your base. Screw your nuts back in, righty-tighty. Now remember when you flip this over you’re going to have brand new sharp blades so do not touch that surface up there. Once you’re replaced the blades on your blade assembly, it’s just a matter of getting this block back on the base of your chopper stand. Keep in mind that these top blades are very sharp to the touch and these elongated holes are for your post slots.

You’re going to grab your bushings next; slide those on. If this is getting a little stuck just add a little bit more food grade lubricant or grease to these posts. Then you’ve got your pusher block back on. That’s how you replace the blades in a blade assembly for your Nemco Easy Chopper II. Here’s to a better mise en place!

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How to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee [Video]

The difference between average coffee and great coffee can be truly amazing. Freshly roasted, fresh ground beans that are brewed correctly can elevate a cup of coffee from being a standard morning-starter to a truly amazing drink. Though this may take a little more time than pushing the start button on Mr. Coffee, tailoring your grind and brewing method to the coffee you’re using can make all the difference. Tamas Christman, founder and president of Dragonfly Coffee Roasters in Boulder, Colorado explains a couple ways to ensure you brew a perfect cup of coffee.

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What I’d like to talk about today is how to brew sort of the ultimate cup of coffee. My name is Tamas Christman. I am the founder and President of Dragonfly Coffee Roasters. My history is that I have been passionate about coffee my entire life. I’ve actually been roasting coffee since I was eight years old. My formal background is in chemical engineering and computer science. For me it’s been in part a lot of chemistry and artistry and kind of combining them to yield what I think is an exceptional cup of coffee. There’s all sorts of different ways to make the perfect cup of coffee. With that we have to factor in how we’re going to grind our coffee because the coffee will be ground sort of tailored to each individual extraction to optimize the desirable flavor and minimize the undesirable characteristics.

Starting with our French press, that is of a style of brewing that’s known as steeping. Basically we have coffee that’s in constant contact with water. We have to be more careful with over-extraction. With the French press the ratio of coffee to water we want to use is for the standard one liter French press we want to add about an inch or two and a half to three ounces of, of course, the ground coffee. With the French press you always want to lean to more coffee because of the grounds than less coffee. The ideal ratio is going to be around two ounces of ground coffee coarsely ground to the one liter of water. Essentially we want to let the coffee bloom for between 30 seconds to a minute. Slowly infuse the water into the grounds saturating all the grounds.

What we see here is the interaction of CO2 and water. As the water starts to absorb into the coffee ground, the CO2 that’s coming out of the coffee from the roasting process interacts and makes it bubble. Now that we’ve allowed the grounds to bloom as we start to bring in more water we’ll see that the color changes and the crust kind of expands. We see a lot of the residual CO2 start to boil, to bubble out, to sort of push up. This is a great time to get your nose down in there. Allow it to extract for a total of about eight to nine minutes. Then slowly plunge down. Ultimately it shouldn’t be hard to press down. If the saturation level of the water and the grinds is accurate, then you should be able to just slowly depress the plunger without a lot of resistance.

Once you’re fully plunged, it’s ready to pour. Excellent. Now let’s talk a little bit about how to make an exceptional cup of coffee using a standard single-cup pull-over. This is probably one of my favorite ways to make coffee. This is how I make coffee every day in the morning. With the pull-over, it’s a totally different extraction method than the French press. With the French press, we had the water and the coffee hanging out together and extracting the grind [inaudible 03:14]. What we want to do here is we have our cup and our standard Melitta dry filter. It’s just a recycled, unbleached filter. You’ll see it’s a little moist. What I like to do is once I get the filter placed in the pull-over, I will do a quick little purge of the filter. I sort of pre-wet the filter.

That just dampens it, sets it up against the side of the ceramic but then also pushes any particulate of dust or any kind of flavor that may be in there is usually washed out by that. Once we have our filter pre-wet then for a 12-ounce pour I use three scoops which these scoops are one tablespoon. That’s 21 grams. Once we’ve reached boiling, we’re going to let the water come slightly off of boil just for a few seconds. Then it gets to be 201, 202. We want to essentially just let a little bit of water incorporate with the coffee. Allow it to bloom, Interact it with the CO2. This coffee was roasted yesterday. There’s a lot more aggressive blooming and interaction with this CO2 than that if we let this sit.

Now water temperature is also a very important factor when it comes to whether it will be a French press or pull-over. We want optimally somewhere our water to be within the range of 198 to 202 Fahrenheit. I find that the best temperature is right at about 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Once we have established a good bloom, we just slowly and consistently agitate the coffee. As long as there’s a constant flow of motion in the coffee, then you’re good to go. If you let it sit for too long what will happen is that there will be a damming at the bottom of the pour-over of the sedimentation of the coffee. That’s going to slow the time that it’s taking for the water to drain under the base of the filter. That’s going to increase the extraction, thus leading to it being over-extracted cup.

What we’re looking at right here is the actual diameter of the stream coming out as we’re finishing the pour-over. It should throughout the duration of the pour somewhere between a spaghetti noodle and a linguine. If it starts to just drip, drip drip, that means that you’re getting damming in the basin of the pour-over. You’re going to end up over-extracting the coffee. Really we want a nice steady stream all the way through. Then once it’s finished pouring, we should have a really nice cup. I’m Tamas Christman with Dragonfly Coffee Roasters. I want to thank you for watching my brewing guide sort of to the exceptional cup of coffee. Remember, coffee is the most complex beverage that we consume on a day-to-day basis. It has over 850 chemical compounds that comprise the aroma and the flavor.

There is no right or wrong answer to how you brew your coffee. I encourage you to experiment. Take something that you’ve learned today and turn your next morning cup into an exceptional experience.

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How to Change the Blade Assembly on a Nemco Easy Tomato Slicer [Video]

A Nemco Easy Tomato Slicer will make short work of preparing a large quantity of tomatoes, but once the blades begin to dull, slices will not come out as clean and the work can become more difficult than necessary. Instead of buying an entire new unit, you can replace the blade assembly to regain factory-sharp cutting edges!



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Video Transcript:

Hi, I’m Chris Tavano for Tundra Restaurant Supply. In today’s episode I’m going to show you how to change your blade assembly for your Nemco Tomato Slicer.

First you’re going to need a crescent wrench to loosen up the nuts on the side of your blade assembly. Lefty-loosey, righty-tighty, then once you’ve got those bolts out the blade assembly won’t come out quite yet. You’re going to loosen up the wing nuts on the side of the cutting board so we can get our pusher block assembly off. From there your entire block assembly should slide out. Now be careful. The sharp parts of the blade are facing the inside of towards the pusher block itself. We want to take that one out.

Get your new blade assembly. One thing to keep in mind is the distance of the holes from the base of the hinge assembly itself. The smaller distance should be going on the bottom. Again, remember just look closely and you can see the beveled edge of your actual blade. That’s going to be facing away from you towards the Brand name. It slides right in. We’re going to grab your pusher block again and notice that there are grooves and that’s going to slide right in to the groove of the cutting board. Gently slide it into place. Once you’ve got it in all the way we can go ahead and get our bolts right back in the side.

Here you can see as I’m screwing in through the unit itself the bolt is actually securing itself into the blade assembly. For this stage you need to get them finger tight. Then you can get your crescent wrench and be sure we screw righty-tighty. The last piece you’re going to need is your end cap for the cutting board to go back in place so your pusher block doesn’t come off. It’s pretty easy. It only goes in one way.

That’s how you replace your blade assembly for a Nemco Easy Tomato Slicer. Watch your fingers. If you have any other ideas for do-it-yourself videos please comment below!

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How to Maintain a Roundup Variety Steamer [Video]

If you work in a kitchen with one (or several) of these steamers – you know how easy they can make your life – as well as how much harder they can make when they brake down or aren’t working efficiently. Here, Chris Tavano shows you how to conduct routine cleaning, as well as how to troubleshoot common problems to ensure that your steamer is always up to the job!

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