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How to Cut a Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is one of most well known squashes at the dinner table. Having a sweet, nutty taste that’s similar to a pumpkin, butternut squash pairs well with a variety of flavors like brown sugar (sweet) to garlic (savory). Delicious when roasted or pureed in a soup, butternut squash is a household favorite. Check out how to cut and prep your butternut squash like a pro with our own Chris Tavano:


Video Transcript:

Hi, I’m Chris Tavano for Tundra Restaurant Supply. In today’s episode I’m going to show you how to properly cut your seasonal squash.

So here we have a butternut squash. The easiest thing to do here probably is remove the bulb bottom part so we can focus on getting most of the flesh from the top portion. In this scenario, it’s kind of nice to use a serrated knife—helps go through the sawing motion to get it out quicker.

Be careful while cutting through these hard gourds. Be sure to not put your fingers in the dangerous areas with your knife work. So, never, if you need the leverage to push down on both ends of the knife, be sure your fingers are away from the blade and not down here. Because as you cut through the gourd, you’re going to cut through your fingertips. The last thing you want to do on Thanksgiving is go to the ER.

So now we that we have the bulb removed, set the bulb aside and focus on the top portion. From there, I can get a trusty chef’s knife. And just like any other melon, or citrus, we’re now just trying to shave and peel this off.

So I’m kind of going pretty deep into the flesh, but that’s to be sure that I get off any of these other grainy, fibrous pieces in the skin…so that way we’re left with a nice piece of orange. Set the scraps aside, and cut off the top. From here, we begin dicing our squash.

So, I’m focusing on the way I cut my squash here, so that way it has nice, even cooking. You can either par-boil it and pan sear it, or roast it whole or in the dice.

There we go.

So squash keeps really well over time. All you have to do is freeze it. You can freeze it raw once you’ve prepped it and peeled it, or you can go ahead and freeze it after you’ve roasted it. But the nice thing about squash is that it’s got a long shelf life. So once you buy it from the store, whether it be organic or retail, it’s still going to last for easily 4 weeks on your shelf.

So then we get down to the last of the bulb. Be sure that you’ve cut off the last piece and go ahead and grab a spoon and gut it. So once you have a clean inside, you can turn it upside down and proceed like we did earlier: peel and dice.

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Commonly Asked Questions: Gas Fryers, NSF Certified & Thermometer

QA-TundraAt Tundra Restaurant Supply we not only specialize in selling everything for the restaurant (like parts, equipment and more), but we are also staffed with a large, knowledgeable customer service department. We’re here to help you with your restaurant needs, so be sure to call us at 888-388-6372, live chat with us on the website, or contact us via email at

Read below to check out some common questions we receive in our customer service department and through our social media channels. Some of these may sound familiar!


Question #1 – Gas fryer lighting woes

“I have an Imperial Elite 40 propane gas fryer. It ran out of propane the other day so I filled the bottle. But now gas won’t come through to pilot when depressed to light. I gave it plenty of time to clear line, but it seems like no gas is being allowed through? I took off supply from the fryer and I’m getting gas through the regulator at the tank to the fryer. It is only one year old, but could it be the gas valve? Nothing in trouble shooting to deal with this other than turning on gas tank or depressing pilot long enough which I have. Any help is appreciated.” – Bobby

Answer: Keep it clean

It could be that when you filled the tank that some debris got into the pilot orifice. Disconnect the gas tube from the bottom of the pilot and drop out the orifice and make sure the hole is not blocked. This sometimes happens because most gas line have some debris in them. For more info, check out our Commercial Deep Fryer Buying & Maintenance Guide with videos to help you clean a fryer, boil out a deep fryer, filter fry oil and more.


Question #2 – NSF Certified

“Must the equipment be NSF certified to be used in America? For example, a bakery oven. Thanks!” – Anthony

Answer: Better safe than sorry

Equipment is not required to be NSF certified but we would definitely recommend that you buy NSF certified equipment since that will help you with the health inspector and improve your kitchen’s food safety. To be absolutely sure for the rules and regulations in your area, call your local health department and ask them.


Question #3 – Thermometer Readings

“I have this thermometer for my grill station. My cooks complain that it’s broken. It reads the temp at the tip, unlike other cheap instant-reads that usually read somewhere in the center of the probe. Why doesn’t this thermometer indicate where it reads the temp in a busy-line-cook-proof way? The cheap ones have a little dimple in the probe to indicate where the temperature is being taken from.

This is an irrelevant problem if you are temping a sixth pan of gravy (over 140? OK!). But it becomes pretty important when a few undercooked or overcooked steaks get comped every night because the thermometer isn’t idiot-proof.” – Dan

Answer: Check the spec sheet for your specific thermometer

Be sure to check spec sheet for your specific thermometer. In your case, it states that the PDT-300 reads at the tip. When we show this thermometer to our customers, we clearly tell them that it reads at the tip, making it ideal for thin foods. That said, it can also be used for thick foods, like the gravy you mentioned. Just make sure the thin tip is in the “geometric center” of the product (using the FDA language), which is more commonly referred to as the thickest part of the product.

Also, the dimple on the probe of dial stem thermometers does not indicate the point of temperature measurement. The area between the dimple to the end of the probe (~ 2 inches) is the distance along which the temperature is averaged. It is the average temperature that shows on the dial. That is the reason dial stem thermometers cannot accurately measure the temperature of foods that are less than 2 inches thick.

For more information about thermometers, check out our Kitchen Thermometer Buying Guide that covers the different types of thermometers out there.

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[Buying Guide] Commercial Microwave Ovens


It’s no surprise that the microwave oven is purported to be in 90% of American Homes. These versatile pieces of equipment lets you do everything from defrosting your chicken nuggets to reheating last night’s leftovers. That same speed and efficiency of your home microwave is what you need in your restaurant—except multiple that by a hundred. Depending on the type of your establishment, you could be using your microwave upwards of 200+ times a day! Your at-home microwave varieties are no match for the demand of a commercial establishment, which is why you need a dependable, heavy-duty microwave to meet the needs of your business. In the end, it’s all about finding a quality product that not only gets the job done for you, but gets it right—which is why we’re such fans of microwaves by Amana.

But where do you start? With light, medium and heavy duty varieties of microwaves on the market, which one has the power you need for your unique restaurant? Enter the Commercial Microwave Ovens Buying Guide, which outlines the ins and outs of purchasing your commercial microwave and what features you should consider.

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Commonly Asked Questions: Marketing, Gas Ovens & Casters

QA-TundraHere at Tundra Restaurant Supply, we strive to be more than just your restaurant supplier. We want to help you come up with solutions to your problems so you can spend less time on administrative tasks, and more time doing what you love. Call us at 1-888-388-6372, Live Chat, or contact us via email at!

Over the years we’ve received several questions in our customer service department, through our social media channels, and here on the blog. We decided to feature 3 commonly asked questions we’ve received—check to see if any of these sound familiar!


Question #1 – Hands-On Marketing
“My husband and I own a pizza bus in Tennessee. What do you guys think about hiring someone to make phone calls on behalf of our store to customers, to tell them of our current specials and thank them for their business. We figure you can call roughly 18 people per hour and pay roughly $8 per hour. Do you think this is a good investment? Have you ever tried it?” – E

Answer: Great idea!

A phone call will add a nice personal touch to your marketing that is sure to give you an edge, especially in this type of economy. You could offer different specials for this segment of your marketing, either a coupon or verbal, and keep track of how many times they are used. This would allow you to track the effectiveness of your phone calls.

We like to use this type of personal approach at our e-commerce website. Instead of sending out an email if there is a question about an order, someone from our web team will call the customer. That type of personal approach tends to work very well.


Question #2 – Conversion Inquiry
“Does anyone know if it is possible to convert an old Garland 6 burner with pilots to electronic ignition?” – Jim

Answer: Sadly, no

Unfortunately it is not possible to convert a Garland burner with pilots to an electronic ignition.  The main reason is the lack of electrical power. Even if the range had power, there are no electronic gas valves for it.

One option is to put a separate sparker on each burner, but that would require drilling holes into the front panel (6 of them). At that point you could shut the pilot valves off and use the sparker to light each burner.


Question #3 – Casters Correction
“I would like to locate cup-shaped casters for heavy commercial dishwasher legs, possible made of Lexan or steel, to prevent legs from penetrating through a sheet vinyl floor. Can you help me?” – Margie

Answer: Plate Caster or Threaded Stem Caster

Hi Margie,

From stem casters to plate casters, expending casters and more, there’s a variety of commercial casters you can shop at Tundra Restaurant Supply. Here’s some more information on the variety of

  • Plate casters are ideal for heavy duty equipment, and you often find these on carts, dollies, and mop buckets.
  • Threaded stem casters are also great for heavy duty equipment, but these types of casters feature a threaded post for additional stability.

Rubber wheels will protect your flooring, but when used on rough floors you’ll find they will wear faster. Polyurethane wheels are more commonly used in kitchens because they are resistant to grease and strong cleaning agents. Be sure you pay attention to load height and load capacity when purchasing your commercial casters to ensure you’re getting the right kind for your equipment.

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Cast Iron Classics Contest


Tundra Restaurant Supply ( is excited to announce the launch of its “Cast Iron Classics” contest featuring TableCraft. Fans may enter for a chance to win a mini cast iron collection featuring a 4 inch by 2 inch Mini Cast Iron Round Casserole Dish, a 6 inch Mini Round Cast Iron Server and a 5 ¼ in Round Cast Iron Mini Skillet just in time for the holiday season.

Cast iron is widely known for its durability and exceptional cooking ability. These oven-to-table callouts from TableCraft are ideal for serving everything from exceptional side dishes to delectable desserts. Used by professional and home cooks alike, these cast iron dishes are perfect for any table setting.

Don’t miss out on the trendiest tabletop companion from TableCraft!

Click here to enter today!
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[NEW] Buying Guide on Water Filters

commercial-water-filter-buying-guideWhat if we told you there was something that’d make your drinks taste better, your commercial kitchen equipment run better (and longer) and you didn’t need a service technician?

If you guessed that we were talking about water filters, you’re right.

Regularly changing the water filters on your refrigerator and ice machines, steam tables, and coffee tables seems like a no brainer, right?

Still, there are several restaurateurs who neglect to replace water filters on a consistent basis. They might think the initial cost of the filter is too high, particularly when you find out that filters should be replaced at least every 6 months (and sometimes sooner, depending on your region).

But consider this: your ice machine breaks. It won’t start, and you’re out scrambling to find new ice for service that night while your technician takes a look. The cause? Your water filter is clogged, causing your machine to work harder and ultimately giving out. The solution? A new ice machine.


Prevent this from happening to you and keep your equipment lasting as long as possible by getting more savvy about your water filters. Changing a water filter is easier thank you think—we love the ease and effectiveness of brands like 3M commercial water filters.

Find out more about water filters (and why you want them) in our new Buying Guide on Water Filters »

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Commonly Asked Commercial Kitchen Equipment Questions

QA-TundraHere at Tundra Restaurant Supply, we strive to be more than just an online retailer. We believe in creating a better customer experience for you, which means that we offer one-to-one customer support to help you with your food service equipment, supplies and parts questions.

Over the years we’ve received several questions in our customer service department, through our social media channels, and here on the blog. We decided to feature 3 commonly asked questions we’ve received—check to see if any of these sound familiar!

Question #1 – At what time of day do you filter fryer oil?

“I work at a chain restaurant and the GM there doesn’t want us to filter the fryers at close but instead wait until open to do it. Is that safe for the oil?” –Wally

Answer: Morning is probably safest

Working with hot oil is one of the top commonly reported burn injuries in the kitchen. By waiting until the morning, you’re giving the oil ample time to cool, plus it shouldn’t affect the quality of the oil either way. For more about safely working with oil in the kitchen, check out this list of safety procedures from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration »

The most important thing, of course, is to filter the oil on a daily basis—so we applaud you and your company for this practice, Wally! Not only does it affect the quality and taste of the food you’re serving, but it directly affects the longevity of your frying oil and commercial deep fryer and you’ll most likely save yourself a service call if you practice proper oil maintenance from the start. For the tips on proper fryer maintenance, check out our Commercial Deep Fryer Buying Guide »


Question #2 – What causes a lot of soot and blue and yellow flames in our gas stove?

“Our gas stove is creating a lot of soot and the burners are shooting large blue and yellow flames” –Maria

Answer: Cleanliness is next to…

…you know how it goes.

Soot is typically an indicator of a dirty stove. That, paired with large flames, implies that you may be burning lots of debris in your gas stove. Stoves with soot often experience significant heat loss since the soot acts as an insulator; there is less room for combustion and natural venting, resulting in a smothered flame and a dramatic drop in heating efficiency. For more about cleaning and maintaining your foodservice equipment, review this user guide from the Southern California Gas Company »

If however, your oven is spotless, then you might want to see if it’s a gas pressure issue controlled by the gas valve itself. The valve helps regulate gas pressure to create a steady flow while simultaneously preventing any leaks.


Question #3: If I see flames coming from my deep fryer, should I call a technician?

“I have a deep fryer that has worked fine for nearly five years. However, the last two times I tried to use it there were flames coming out of the bottom of the burners. When I shut off the burners there were small flames coming from orifices at the bottom of the burner that looked like pilot lights. They died out after a couple of seconds. Does that sound like a repair job or a matter of cleaning? Where should I start to trouble shoot this problem?” –Kevin

Answer: Good ol’ fashioned elbow grease (sort of)

Fact: Grease and flames don’t mix.

One of the main reasons commercial deep fryers ignite is due to grease build up. After repeated splashing of oil from fryer baskets, a coating of grease can accumulate and harden on top of the exhaust stack. The residue might resemble a pumice brick instead of a grease buildup, and will become an excellent fuel source that’s easily ignitable. As with all equipment in your kitchen, keep your deep fryer clean and you can prevent something much more costly than a simple service call.

Have a question for the Tundra team? Contact us online or give us a call at 888-388-6372!

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Repairing Commercial Refrigerators

One of the most common problems reported for refrigerators is, “My refrigerator doesn’t get cold enough!”

When your refrigeration unit isn’t getting down to temperature, it pretty much defeats the purpose of having a refrigerator in the first place. Not only are you at risk for serving potentially spoiled and unsafe product (making diners sick and costing you in fines), but how much is that wasted product going to hurt your bottom line?

Here are four common reasons your refrigerator might not be getting as cold as it’s supposed to:

  1. Compressor Motor
  2. Condenser Coils
  3. Evaporator Fan Motor
  4. Temperature Control Thermostat

Leave your refrigerator on to diagnose issues, but be sure to unplug your refrigerator before you begin any hands-on work!

1. Compressor Motor. Check to see if your compressor is running. This rather expensive part on your refrigerator acts as a motor and a pump that moves the refrigerant around the system. Sensors track when the temperature in your refrigerator rises above its set point and signals the compressor to start. If the compressor is damaged or simply worn out, the cooling effect becomes less efficient, resulting in a fridge that can’t get cold enough.

First things first—put your ear to the compressor and see if you hear a humming sound or other steady noise. The compressor is typically located at the bottom of the refrigerator and accessed from the back of the unit. If you do, not hear a sound that is the first indication that something is wrong with the compressor. If you do in fact hear a steady humming, this indicates that your compressor motor is running and it could be another component that works in conjunction with the compressor to cool your refrigerator.

FIRST – UNPLUG your refrigerator prior to proceeding with any work on it.

Look up the make and model of your refrigerator and purchase the proper compressor for your unit. Unplug the current compressor by detaching the wiring and valves and uninstall the mounting hardware. Install a new compressor with the proper wiring code. Ensure your refrigerator has the proper refrigerant present for your unit in order to get the new compressor up and running.


2. Condenser Coils. The condenser coils found at the back of your refrigerator are responsible for getting heated refrigerators cooled. If your condenser coils are dirty, you may find that your refrigerator is unable to cool properly; this is due to the fact that dirt acts as an insulator, preventing heat to dissipate and the refrigerant left unable to cool. Plus, overheating could cause your compressor to stop working, causing the entire refrigerator to stop working as well.

FIRST – UNPLUG your refrigerator prior to proceeding with any work on it.

Cleaning your condenser coils is easy and doesn’t require a technician. Use a vacuum to remove loose dust. A duster may help remove dust from the coils as well. If you find that neither a vacuum nor duster is removing the grime entirely, try a damp rag soaked in soapy water. Be sure to wipe the coils and allow them to dry completely before plugging your refrigerator back in. Regularly clean your condenser coils for maintenance.


3. Evaporator Fan Motor. The evaporator fan motor circulates cold air from the coils throughout the rest of the refrigerator. Depending on your refrigerator model, your unit could have one or more of these motors. If the evaporator fan motor is not working, no cold air will be able to circulate, thus preventing your refrigerator from getting down to temperature. Do you hear a rattling noise? Or does your compressor run but the fan doesn’t? You might need to investigate further.

FIRST – UNPLUG your refrigerator prior to proceeding with any work on it.

Check your motor by first turning the fan blade by hand. If the motor’s shaft is hard to turn, it might be gummed up with dirt. If the fan turns freely, continue by checking the wiring connections. Disconnect, and search for the appropriate evaporator fan motor for your unit before reconnecting again.


4. Temperature Control Thermostat. The temperature control thermostat is a dial (or digital readout) that allows users to set an internal temperature on a refrigerator. The dial itself doesn’t set the temperature, rather it permits power to flow through to the compressor. As the cooling process regulator, a defective or broken temperature control thermostat could be responsible for a refrigerator that’s unable to get down to temperature.

FIRST – UNPLUG your refrigerator prior to proceeding with any work on it.

If you suspect something is wrong with the temperature control thermostat, pull the control knob off and set aside. Remove the screws that secure the control housing and carefully lower the control housing as much as you can. Once you release the support brackets, disconnect the wires (it helps to snap a picture beforehand so you can wire it back into place afterwards). Remove your existing unit and replace with a new temperature control thermostat.

Is your refrigerator acting up? Contact us online or give us a call at 888-388-6372.

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Enter to Win a FREE Vitamix!

Enter to win a free vitamix!From now until September 25th, you can enter for a chance to win a Vitamix 1005 Vita-Prep® 3 64 oz Commercial Food Blender!

Featuring unparalleled power and performance, you’ll love the durable container, 3-HP Motor and variable speed control perfect for tackling delicate jobs alongside workhorse purées.

Click here to enter for your chance to win »

When it comes to blenders, Vitamix is a Tundra Top Pick!

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[NEW] Buying Guide on Food Prep Equipment Parts

Food Prep Equipment Maintenance Buying GuideYour food prep equipment tools like slicers and choppers are the unsung workhorse heroes of your kitchen. These tools knock down your prep time exponentially so you can move on to another task that demands your attention. Not only that, have you considered how prep tools help you with portion control? Slicers improve your accuracy, so you’ll know exactly how many slices you get from one tomato, and how many of those slices you need to top your sandwiches or burgers.

Given the amount of regular use your choppers and slicers see, it’s inevitable that your blades will wear down and become dull. Remember those beautiful tomato slices? If your tomatoes start looking a little soggy around the edges, it might be time to pick up some new blades.

Thankfully, replacing the blades on your chopper/slicer is one of the easiest DIY tasks in the kitchen. Not only will you save some bucks on buying a new unit, but you won’t skip a beat when it comes to slicing, dicing and chopping quickly.Food Prep Equipment Buying Guide

Check out our new buying guide on Food Prep Equipment Maintenance 101. We’ll walk you through how to find the right part/blade setup for your equipment and how to replace the blades (complete with step-by-step pictures and how-to videos!).


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