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Author Archive | Nathan Combs

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.

Find your replacement parts here!


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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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How to Measure and Replace a Vent Hood Filter [Video]

Vent hood filters are incredibly simple in their design, and as long as you check them for grease build up weekly or monthly and ensure thorough cleaning, they should last quite a while. However, if you’ve bought a new vent hood and need filters for it, or if your old filters are just getting too worn and corroded, replacement and installation in quick and easy. Chris Tavano (and his No-Shave-November Handlebar) show you how to make sure that you order the correct size and material for your application.

Note: “Height” is measured by the direction of the baffles Actual height and width are 1/2” shorter than nominal dimension.

Get your hood filter replacements here.


Hi, I’m Chris Tavano for Tundra Restaurant Supply and in this episode I’m going to show you how to properly measure your hood filters for replacements.  So here with these hood filters we have two different types of material.  We have a galvanized and we have a stainless steel, they also make aluminum.  You’re going to want check with your local health code and health department to see what kind of material you are allowed to use in your restaurant.

If you have a showroom kitchen that you’re going to want to use a nice shiny displayable stainless steel for your public, you are going to want to check that every single day for grease build up.  However, if you do not have a showroom kitchen or an open kitchen, you want to check the frequency build up of your grease probably at least once a week if not monthly.

From there, you can discern whether you need to replace them or clean them.  So keep in mind when you’re measuring and installing your baffles or your hood filters. The baffles are always going to go vertical.  That is very important, otherwise the system is not going to work correctly.  Here’s how you measure them.  You’re always going to see two dimensions in the model number.  For instance, 16-25 and what that means is a 16 inch by 25 inch.  The first number is always going to be the vertical dimension, keep in mind that all of these dimensions might be off by approximately half an inch.

This particular baffle is a 16-25 so that means it’s going to be a 16 inch vertical dimension with a half inch room of margin.  So next you’re going to measure horizontally on the filter, this one comes up to just short of 25 but that’s the 25 you’re going to see in the model number, meaning that it’s 25 inches wide.  If you don’t have an old existing hood filter or baffle to measure and you just have the open space within your hood just be sure to add an extra inch to the vertical dimension, the height, so that way there’s room for the baffle and the filter to sit inside the ledge of the hood cavity itself.

I’m Chris Tavano for Tundra Restaurant Supply, here’s to a better mise en place!

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Kitchen Tricks: How to Cut Bell Peppers [Video]

Bell peppers are an extremely versatile vegetable, but cutting them can be very difficult. In this video, Chris Tavano shows you two easy ways to quickly cut down any shape or size of pepper.

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Here in this video we’re starting off with a couple ways how to cut bell peppers.

Here we’re using our Mercer Genesis Forged High Carbon Steel Santoku Knife, seven-inches. The first method I’m going to show you is your pretty much you quarter each side, and then we’re going to get out the nice pith and inner. Then we’ll just julienne these green peppers into little strips. Great for fajitas, great for salads; again, making nice, fluid motions with the knife, constantly going forward and back. Nice julienned strips for fajitas.

We’re going to show you the second version on a bell pepper. Cut off the top like a little cap. Cut off the bottom, make a little slit; we can just roll it out like a little wheel. Some peppers are easier than others. Nice one, giant strip and then right here we can get a nice little smooth julienne for nice fajita peppers, again for salads, making nice forward motions with your knife. Nice little green pepper strips.

That’s another episode of Knife-Know-How Kitchen Efficiency Tricks. Here’s to a better mise en place!

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Artisan French Wood Fired Pizza … in Colorado [Video]

Before I moved to Boulder, I once waited in line for over an hour to get a table at a restaurant that was claimed by many Portlanders and food critics alike to offer the best wood-fired pizza in the state of Oregon. Leaving such a foodie city, and one often listed as among the best in the world for street food, I wasn’t holding my breath for my next taste of rustic European pizza. 

Imagine my surprise when I ran across Sebastien Idee, a French chef long involved in not only cooking amazing wood-fired pizza, but building the ovens as well. In this video, Seb explains his businesses, Seb’s Portable Wood Fired Cuisine and Rocky Mountain Wood Fired Ovens, and how he is using them to bring artisan French wood-fired pizza to the streets of Colorado. 



Special thanks to American Metalcraft.

Find your own pizza supplies here!



Hi there. My name is Seb. I’m the owner and chef of Seb’s Wood Fired Pizza. Basically what we do with this food truck and the open trailer; we do catering services like wood-fired cuisine. For lunch for businesses, corporates; and evenings, like food truck events, private parties, weddings; all this kind of stuff.

To do so, I use this eight-by-eighteen pizza trailer with a fifty-one-inch pizza oven, wood-fired oven that we build with our other company, which is the Rocky Mountain Wood Fire Oven’s and Trailers.

Now we’re going to go through the process of pizza-making in this oven. Basically we do the dough at the commissary kitchen early in the morning. The dough recipe is kind of pretty basic, but we only use the starter, the yeast, the salt and organic flour, and I mix two different kinds of flour so I got a really precise range of gluten.

As soon as the dough is ready, the oven is ready; we can start. The very unique thing about these kinds of ovens is the principle of refractory heat. Basically the heat comes from everywhere. The floor, the dome, the sides; everywhere, so you have a very balanced cooking.

How do we start to heat up the oven is my trick. I put the wood on that side and I start the fire and if one area of the oven or the floor is cooler, which happens sometimes, I use the propane to heat up this spot.

Let’s make a pizza. We’re going to make a French-style pizza. We’ll start with the dough. Take the dough ball, dip the dough ball in the flour; different techniques about dough-shaping, pizza-making.

My technique is I want to get rid of the air that’s in the dough one side, just in the middle, so I keep the edges. Both sides like that, quickly.

Then I’m going to start to stretch the edges. We are getting there. The pizza we’re going to make today is a French-style pizza; you’ll see why.

I’m going to start with a fresh; crème fraiche, which is kind of sour cream but thicker. French, so better.  I have organic potatoes that’s previously cooked in the oven. Pre-cooked in the oven. I’m going to put on top of the pizza. 

We do put some onions; it’s very important that they are very thin-sliced so they cook better. Same thing with the bacon. You need to cook to slice the bacon when it’s frozen so it’s easier to slice it very thin, so it cooks better. Like that. Everywhere. Then the French touch is French brie on top of everything; so the brie melts on everything.

Try to keep the bacon and onions open, so they cook pretty well. Now using this American metal craft pizza peel I’m going to put the pizza in the oven. Just a little bit of flour. You won’t have to do that if you do many pizzas in a row. Then we put the pizza in the oven. Going to add a little bit more wood to make it faster. Right there. See?

I, usually I cook the pizzas; I mean the oven is at 750-degrees, 800-degrees, the pizza cooks in one minute and a half. I use this kind of peel a smaller peel from American Metal Craft, as well, to turn the pizzas.

Now the pizza is ready and the fastest way to cut the pizza is I think that these tools are just amazing. This knife from American Metalcraft is just amazing because this; just see. One, two, three, four. Very fast.

Then I can use the knife to drop the pizza on the plate just like here. Then the pizza is ready for the customers.

Okay, guys, thanks for watching this video we really appreciate it. Showing us how we deal with our pizza trucks; pizza making. I hope you learned a lot of things.

Don’t hesitate to come like us on our website Seb’s Portable Wood Fire Cuisine or the Rocky Mountain Wood Fire Ovens and Trailers.

Thanks for American Metalcraft for providing these tools. We love them we use them every day and they are just great.

Thanks again, guys, and take care.


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