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State Fair Must-Haves to Keep Serving Up Good Eats

When you’re organizing a State Fair there are plenty of things you need to have on hand beyond just food and crowds. But we didn’t want to just give you a long list of concession items; instead, we took this great example from Buzzfeed, and gave it our own spin.

1. You’ll need extra janitorial supplies, because you know there’s going to be a mess.  There’s always a mess.

2. You’ll also need plenty of paper towels, napkins, and disposable plates, so hopefully people can maintain their own messes – don’t forget the trash bags to uphold trash levels!

3. To compete for the most extreme State Fair eats, you’ll definitely have to stock up on the right merchandisers and supplies – chocolate covered corn dogs anyone?

4. And fried foods, yeah, you need to be prepared for your next fried food concoction too. Donut hamburgers… may be good?

5. You’re in the middle of State Fair week and something breaks.  This is the time for breaks, because the closest supplier is miles away.  Don’t be jealous that your neighbor thought ahead and made sure he had all the extra parts needed to make quick repairs.

6. Tables? Chairs? Drapes? Booth Equipment?  Why rent when you can buy it and reuse it every year (shh, it also saves you more money this way).

7. Step right up!  Velvet rope isn’t just for corralling the crowds, it also adds a little pizazz to your booth.

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7 Tips to Help Tackle the School Summer Cleaning Rush

Mop bucket in the closet - time to clean!

It may be summer break for the kids, but that doesn’t mean that the school closes down for the season; in fact, for custodians and janitors, it’s the time when they can be the most productive.  The kids aren’t around to continue to clean-up and sanitize after, and there’s a big empty building waiting to be cleaned.

However, the truth is there’s a lot of space and rooms in a school and without planning things out, it can be overwhelming.  Here are a few tips we thought may help you organize the school summer cleaning rush.

1. Know the School.  How many rooms are there?  What are the square feet of each of those rooms?  How many custodians are able to help?  With this information, you can at least write down how many classrooms you have, how many bathrooms, and how many larger rooms there are.

2. Know the Rooms. Each room type is going to have its own needs – some rooms have tile, some have carpet, some need to be waxed, some need to be stripped, etc.  So when cleaning the rooms, you’ll want to know exactly what you need to bring along so you’re not lugging around more than you need.  After you know what each of the rooms needs are, write a list down, and try to get a rough estimate of how long it will take to clean each room.  A classroom deep clean may take 6 hours to complete; whereas, a single bathroom may only take an hour.  With simple math, you can see how 6 classrooms and 2 single stall bathrooms could be cleaned in a 40 hour work week.

3. Checklists.  If you’re a veteran at what you do, I’m sure you’re thinking to yourself, “I don’t need any checklists, I got this girl!”  Well, that may be true, but your knowledge is meant to be shared.  Create a list, and perfect it overtime so that others can learn what it is that’s expected of them when they clean the facility.

4. Don’t Tackle it all at Once. If you live in a small school district, it may be easy to get the entire building clean in as little as a month, but for larger schools, it may be easier to section of the school by weeks, or months during the summer.  Do grade by grade, floor by floor, or wing by wing… whatever makes sense to you.  Just don’t get overwhelmed with all of it – take a deep breath.

5. Get the Right Cleaning Supplies. A lot of schools are turning to a green cleaning system, which is good for everyone; regardless, before you get started with cleaning, you’ll need to make sure you have the right cleaning supplies in stock so you’re not running out last minute to gather supplies.

6. Organize. Like in any building or home, periodically we’ve got to look at re-organizing closets, shelves, and cabinets.  This is the perfect time to get things back in order so you can start fresh when the new school year begins.

7. Evaluate Equipment Condition. There’s a lot of equipment placed throughout the school, but regular maintenance is essential in making sure all of that equipment stays up and running when busy time rolls around again.  Use the summer as a time to run through the big and small equipment to see where repairs and maintenance upkeep can be done.  It’s always good to stock up on needed parts too, just in case something stops working when you need it the most.

Are you a custodian that works in a school? What summer cleaning tips have you found to help get through the summer?

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Glassware 101: A Guide to Choosing the Right Drinking Glass

Glassware

Choosing glassware that compliments your business or home is key. Glassware can set the mood for your dining room, bar and at home entertaining requirements. Choosing glassware that best suits your beverage needs is important to your dining guests. eTundra offers glassware in a variety of styles and options including: high-ball glasses, cocktail glasses, collins glasses, wine glasses and more.

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Commercial Ice Machine Cleaning Made Easy

A dirty ice machine is unsanitary.  Here's how to clean one.

It’s officially summer and with the season comes extra reason to re-evaluate just how clean your commercial ice machine really is. You can plan on sun-cooked-patrons filling their drinks with ice during the summer months, but nothing ruins that refreshing beverage like dirty ice from an over seasoned machine.

Have no fear! Cleaning an ice machine is easier than it seems. Here are some general cleaning instructions:

Cleaning the Ice Machine

  1. Consult your ice machine manual for specific cleaning instructions and power switch locations, as not all ice machines have the same design.
  2. Open ice machine door to access internal components.
  3. Ensure ice machine is turned off and clear evaporator grid of any remaining ice.
  4. Turn on ice machine clean mode.
  5. Add nickel-safe ice machine cleaner to trough as it fills with water.  Amount of cleaner used is specific to your brand and model of ice machine.
  6. Let machine run through clean cycle.
  7. To sanitize ice machine, repeat clean cycle with sanitizer instead of cleaner.
  8. Once cleaning cycle is complete, turn machine from CLEAN to OFF mode.
  9. Remove internal components (water curtain, water trough, and water distribution tube), and clean with a mild detergent.
  10. Clean inside of ice machine with cloth, water, and mild detergent while internal components are removed.
  11. Replace internal components.
  12. Turn ice machine back on.

Cleaning the Ice Bin

  1. Remove ice from bin and either discard or save for reuse.
  2. Remove drain plug and allow any excess water left in bin to drain.
  3. Wash inside of bin with mild detergent. Sanitize and rinse thoroughly.Clean Ice Machine
  4. Replace drain plug.
  5. Depending on climate and location, hanging a slime remover stick inside bin may help reduce build-up.

Adding/Replacing the Water Filter

  • If you’re not filtering the water used in your ice machine, you’re letting all kinds of minerals affect the quality of the ice.
  • Be sure the filter you use has a scale inhibitor to help eliminate scale build-up.
  • Replace the water filter of your ice machine every 6 months to 1 year.
  • Replacing a filter is as easy as removing the old one and attaching the new one.

Again, the climate and location you’re in determines how often you’ll want to clean and sanitize your ice machine. In bakeries and breweries, where yeast and particles fill the air, cleaning has to happen almost monthly to keep those particles out of the machine and ice. Be sure to keep these factors in mind when establishing a cleaning and filter replacement schedule.

Clean ice means clean drinks, confidently cool beverages, and happy customers. It’s time to make sure your ice machine is up to snuff and ready to perform this season!

 

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Induction Cookware Made Simple

Induction Cooking

The notion and method of induction cooking has been making its way into commercial kitchens for a while now. Impressive, attractive induction cooktops have saturated the market, and while the science behind the technology is sound, many consumers are still hesitant to take the plunge. We’re not here to try and convince you to jump on the induction cooking bandwagon, but if induction is the way you’d like to go it’s important to know what type of cookware will work with your fancy new cooktop.

From stock and sauce pots to braziers, steamers, roasting, grill, and fry pans, cookware comes in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and materials. Over time, and through trial and error, many cooks come to trust a particular brand or learn to stick with a specific material. Unfortunately, there’s a possibility you’re go-to pots and pans might not work on an induction burner.

Will It Work On An Induction Cooktop?

  • Stainless Steel
  • Cast Iron

  • Non-Magnetic Stainless Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Copper

Why?

Complex science aside, it’s the magnetism of the material used in a particular pan that’s important. The kiss between an induction cooktop’s electromagnetic coil and the base of a pan is what causes those metaphorical sparks to fly (no actual sparking occurs). With the right material (magnetic stainless steel and cast iron), it’s love at first site.

With the wrong materials (100% aluminum and copper), it’s the cold shoulder from both parties. Most induction cooktops don’t want anything to do with these “bad” metals, and when they are detected, the cooktop won’t even turn on.

The Magnet Test

Induction Cookware Magnet Test

One of the most common ways to determine whether a pot or pan is induction ready is to do a magnet test. Unofficially named, but widely accepted, the method to this magnetic madness is easy. Simply take an everyday magnet and press it up against the bottom of a piece of cookware. If the magnet sticks then the cookware is induction ready.

Be sure to test the base of the pot or pan as opposed to the sides. Many cookware designs use different metals sandwiched together for the core/base to create optimum cooking conditions (see below). This core is all it takes to make a pan induction ready.

Induction Ready Aluminum and Copper Pans

If aluminum or copper is your cookware cup of tea don’t rule out an induction cooktop just yet. Some aluminum and copper cookware is created with a stainless steel sandwich on the bottom, and the incorporation of induction compatible materials as a base or core makes all the difference.

An aluminum pan, which is great for heat conductivity and even distribution, is shunned by the induction cooker (and vice-versa). But, once paired with a stainless steel base, the aluminum pan can now let the electromagnet work its magic. The induction burner gets turned on, the pan gets hot and bothered, and tasty little baby foods can be made.

So, when on the prowl for a new piece of induction ready cookware don’t immediately rule out anything copper or aluminum – read the details on the pan, and if all else fails whip out your trusty magnet.

Make Your Own Recipe

Cooking your cuisine using an electromagnet may seem futuristic to some, but for many chefs who have adopted the technology into their back line, it’s a welcome change of pace. Literally.

Induction cooking has been shown to heat pans almost instantly, and boiling water takes a fraction of the time as it would using traditional cooking methods. That said, cooking different foods requires different degrees of finesse, and with any new kitchen toy, the style and design of your tools is only part of the recipe.

Visit our main site to see a list of all of Tundra’s induction cooking products.

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Thermostatic vs. Manual Griddles: How to Choose

Not sure what the difference is between a manual and thermostatic commercial griddle? Well you’re not alone, we get asked all the time! Let me break it down for you…

 

Manual Griddles

Manual Griddle

A manual griddle has controls similar to a commercial range with adjustable dials (low, medium, and high settings with a  few notches in-between) to control the size of the flame or heating element temperature under the griddle plate. As soon as you drop cold food onto a hot manual griddle, the surface temperature of the griddle plate drops which could require a manual adjustment to keep the temperature consistent.

Thermostatic Griddles

Thermostatic Griddle

A thermostatic griddle has controls similar to a commercial oven with adjustable dials that read exact temperature settings (rather than low, medium and high). For example, if you want to cook something at 375°F you set the thermostat to the desired temperature and the griddle plate will maintain that temperature within a couple degrees. The griddle automatically adjusts to hold the desired temperature.

How to Choose

If you are using a griddle to cook a variety of foods requiring a wide range of temperatures, a manual griddle is the way to go. The flexibility will be in your best interest and you can then control the amount of electricity/ gas that is fed to the elements/burners.

If you’re a breakfast joint using a griddle to dominate flapjack orders or a burger bar ripping through hamburger requests like they’re going out of style, I recommend a thermostatic griddle. In those instances you will want a consistent surface temperature so you can set it and forget it. Plus, if you’re serving pancakes and burgers “all day” you need to focus on the toppings – not the griddle temperature.

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Some Like It Hot

Get some pit gloves for pork pulling

BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders with Coleslaw The pig, when prepared well, is an animal whose meaty bits provide a wide array of scrumptious goodness. While some less-than-appealing parts of this magic meat machine (like the feet, intestines, ears, or jowls) are still eaten around the world, it’s putting pork to the barbecue or slow cooker that causes most meat munchers to salivate on the spot. One favorite method of serving and enjoying a side of swine is pulled pork.

That said, an interesting dividing line between some pork pullers seems to be the temperature of the meat as you’re pulling. While it can be argued that you should be able to pull pork with your bare hands, with no fear of finger burns, many cooks prefer their pork to be nice and hot as they tear it apart. If you’re one who just can’t stand to have cold pulled pork it’s essential to find yourself a nice pair of pit gloves to pull with.

High temp pit glovesHigh temperature pit gloves are the perfect way to handle and mangle freshly cooked meat of any kind without having to play hot potato. Whether you’re separating boiled chicken from bone, flipping a full rack of ribs, or digging your digits into some hot pork butt having gloves that are maneuverable and heat resistant is a must. Find a pair of gloves with a high temperature rating and never again worry about singeing a knuckle or burning a fingertip on hot fat.

With summer just around the corner it’s safe to say the barbecue season will soon be in full swing. If you’re more than the casual cook, and find yourself in front of the grill or elbows deep in a restaurant’s barbecue pit on a daily basis, having a quality pair of pit gloves is a godsend. Buy a pair or two that will last you a few years instead of a pair that just doesn’t do the job.

Mouth-watering, dissolves-in-your-mouth pulled pork is a delicious dish, and methods for pulling and preparing pork can be a hot topic from one establishment to the next. Any good barbecue joint will have a preferred madness to their pulled pork method, whether it’s secret rubs or precise cook times, and finding your own sweet spot in terms of what works and tastes best takes dedication. There are countless resources available for dialing in that perfect practice, so mixing and matching on your own time is an excellent way to create something unique.

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100 Ways to Use Cambro Food Storage Containers

Many of the products from eTundra.com are multipurpose for both restaurants and homeowners alike! Below is an example of how you can use some of our best selling products, Cambro food storage containers, 100 different ways!

100 Uses for Cambro Food Storage Containers:

Cambro Food Storage Containers

Cambro Food Storage Containers

  1. Food storage container (obviously)
  2. Trash can
  3. Flower pot
  4. Lego collection storage
  5. Board game storage
  6. Sock / underwear storage
  7. Ice bucket
  8. Sand bucket
  9. Pitcher
  10. Magazine rack/holder
  11. Recycling bin
  12. Pet food storage
  13. Compost bin (e.g. coffee grounds, food scraps)
  14. Pet toy storage
  15. Kitty Litter storage
  16. Gift wrapping supplies storage
  17. Tool box
  18. Minnow bucket
  19. Punch bowl
  20. Cleaning supplies storage
  21. Mop bucket
  22. Holiday décor storage
  23. Art supply storage
  24. Top hat
  25. Change jar
  26. Catching drips from a leaky roof
  27. Foot bath container
  28. VHS/DVD storage
  29. Giant cereal bowl
  30. Coffee table
  31. Drums
  32. Door stop
  33. Drink cooler
  34. Port-a-potty
  35. Kid’s entertainment
  36. Floor hockey goal
  37. Dog bowl
  38. Fishbowl
  39. Serving bowl
  40. Hazardous material container
  41. Measuring container
  42. Paint bucket
  43. Raffle ticket box
  44. Wine decanter
  45. Igloo block mold for snow forts
  46. Giant Jell-O mold
  47. Dioramas/science fair projects
  48. Kitchen utensil holder
  49. Halloween candy pail
  50. Lunch box
  51. First aid kit
  52. Step stool
  53. Gift box
  54. Drawer organizer
  55. Baseball/hockey puck storage
  56. Dough box
  57. Card holder
  58. Scrapbooking supplies storage
  59. Giant building blocks
  60. Spittoon
  61. Car oil collector
  62. Pet treats container
  63. Diaper pail
  64. Paper file box
  65. Car CD holder
  66. Waterproof container for boating/sailing
  67. Fishing live well
  68. Napkin holder
  69. Giant flip cup
  70. Laundry basket
  71. Buffalo wing shaking container
  72. Seafood shell collector
  73. Sidewalk chalk holder
  74. Cleaner mixing pail
  75. Old electronics coffin
  76. Baby bath
  77. Bird bath
  78. Gardening tool storage
  79. Wine/champagne bucket
  80. Games (e.g. “Kick the can”, catcher’s mitt)
  81. Chair
  82. Foot rest
  83. Lamp shade
  84. Water fight weapon (e.g. dunk bucket)
  85. Beauty product storage
  86. Sod box for puppy training
  87. Fabric dye bath
  88. Horse trough
  89. Urn
  90. Yarn ball holder
  91. Hat Box
  92. Marijuana storage (only in Colorado & Washington, of course!)
  93. Ant farm
  94. Popcorn bowl
  95. Puke bucket
  96. Baby snow sled
  97. Ashtray/trash
  98. Recipe box
  99. Cookie jar
  100. Bottle cap catcher

Have another creative way to use a Cambro container? Leave a comment below!

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What in the Heck are Wobble Wedges?

Wobble Wedges: Fix any wobbly table, fountain, or toiletWobble Wedge cartoon

The curse of the wobbly table has happened to everyone. Have you ever sat down to eat at a restaurant, leaned on the table, and immediately slid sideways because the table isn’t level? Annoying isn’t it? Wobble wedges were invented to fix this problem.

What is a Wobble Wedge?

Wobble Wedges are a modular system of stack-able,  non-slip, tapered-leveling shims. Made in the USA, Wobble Wedges are available in four interlocking sizes, in both soft and hard plastic.

Hard Wobble Wedges support up to 2,000 pounds and are recommended to fix shaky tables on carpeting, uneven concrete floors and outdoor surfaces. Hard Wobble Wedges are also ideal for heavy-duty food service equipment.

Soft Wobble Wedges are flexible leveling wedges that can easily conform to the shape of whatever they support. Their rubber-like texture creates a firm grip on slick floors. Soft wobble Wedges are ideal for restaurant tables set on slick floors, and are great for silencing rattling water pipes.

soft wobble wedge

Standard Wobble Wedges have 5 columns and 32 rows of deep off-set ridges on both sides of the wedge. Under load, these deep off-set ridges oppose each other at as many as 144 points which eliminates both horizontal and vertical slipping.

Creative Uses for Wobble Wedges

These table wedges are excellent at stabilizing tables, bookcases and more. Did you know Wobble Wedges can also:

  • Be a Bottle & Can Opener: Can’t open a can lid? Use a Soft Wobble Wedge, wrap it around the lid and twist it off.
  • Ice Scraper: Take an extra Hard Wobble Wedge and keep it in your car for scraping off your car windshield.
  • Non-Marring Pan Scraper: Use a Hard Wobble Wedge to clean a crusted fry pan or pot that was left on the heat too long – the wedge will not mar the pan surface.
  • Shoe Repair: Use an extra Wobble Wedge as a Shoe Glue spreader to repair loose soles, shoe inserts or flapping heels.

The versatility and functionality of Wobble Wedges set them apart as the professional, go-to table levelers. For 25 years, Wobble Wedges have provided restaurants and cafes a quick and easy fix to uneven tables.

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