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Get updates on great restaurant equipment and supplies that are must-haves in any restaurant or commercial kitchen.

Juicing 101 – An Introductory Guide to Juicing

orange-juiceBoth commercial and residential fans have long praised the healthy, delicious taste of freshly-made squeezed juice. When you juice your own fruits and vegetables, you easily avoid the added sugars and other additives commonly found on marketplace shelves—and trust us, diners will notice the fresher taste. For those at home, juicing is also a great way to mix vegetables into the diets of picky eaters.

Ready to take the plunge and juice? Let’s get started!

There are different kinds of juicers?
Before you get started in juicing, consider which type of juice would work best for you. In the commercial environment, you’ll often find manual citrus juicers perfect for that homemade orange juice in the mornings.

For those at home, the prominent types of electric juicers on the market on centrifugal and masticating.

Breville JE98XL Juice Fountain Plus 850-Watt Juice Extractor

Centrifugal
Physical attributes: a large, stout base with a tall, primary column
Cost: Anywhere from $50 – $200 (typically)

The centrifugal juicer works fast, and by fast, I mean that suction in the column is strong and it’ll suck up your orange in a heartbeat. Less components also means less cleanup—which I definitely encourage you do immediately following each juicing session to keep the filter clean and operating efficiently.

Omega J8006 Nutrition Center Juicer

Masticating
Physical attributes: long, horizontal spout where pulp is discarded—looks similar to a meat grinder
Cost: Anywhere from $100 – $400 (roughly)

The masticating juicer mashes products through a rough mesh, making it ideal for extracting lots of juice from leafy, green vegetables. What you gain in output, you lose in time–it takes a bit longer than a centrifugal juicer to extract those juices and clean all of the components.

What do you do with leftover juice pulp?
Juice pulp, or the fibers that remain after extracting the juice from your fruits & veggies shouldn’t be thrown away! Often lauded as the healthiest part of the food, juice pulp can be added to a variety of dishes you can make. Including:

  • Breads (like carrot bread, zucchini, and more)
  • Muffins (leftover fruit pulp like apple works well for muffins)
  • Pasta sauce (works well with carrot, beet and other root vegetables)
  • Vegetable broth (be sure to remove the vegetable pulp before you juice your fruits)

You can also store leftover pulp in an ice cube tray and freeze for ‘green’ smoothies later.

Awesome, I’m ready to juice! Now what?
Deciding on a centrifugal or a masticating juicer is really a sense of preference; it should fit your lifestyle and your needs. Some questions you might want to consider are:

  1. Speed
    If you’re juggling a busy household and a full-time job, you’ll want something quick to juice and quick to clean. Centrifugal juicers are known for their speed, and with minimal parts to clean (which are easy to disassemble and reassemble again), you’ll be out the door in minutes.
  2. Price
    You can find both masticating and centrifugal juicers in the same pricing ballpark, depending on the model, however masticating juicers do start on the higher end. If that extra money for a masticating juicer is more than you’re comfortable to spend, then stick with the centrifugal juicer—the variance is output is relatively low when compared to its masticating counterpart.
  3. What do you plan to juice?
    Seems like a no-brainer, but if you’re more concerned with regularly juicing leafy vegetables, you’ll see a larger yield with a masticating juicer (and a larger bang for your buck). However, if you’re most looking forward to some fresh orange juice on Sunday mornings with the family, you might find the ease of a centrifugal juicer more your speed.

Whichever you juicer you decide, I guarantee you’ll find it hard to go back to the store-bought stuff after having fresh juice on the regular. And speaking of fresh juice, check out this simple (and easy) recipe for a healthy juice that’s perfect for sipping on while you cruise the farmer’s market:

Summer Cleansing Juice Recipe

  • 1 beet
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 apple
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 2-3 celery stalks
  • Dash of ginger (ginger is great for the digestive system!)

Cut the leaves off of the beet and celery, and make sure everything is washed thoroughly before putting in your juice. Then, put everything in your juicer, and enjoy!

What kinds of juice will you enjoy this summer?

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Product Spotlight: Baking Brushes

Brush an egg wash on your rolls prior to baking for a golden, shiny exterior.

Brush an egg wash on your rolls prior to baking for a golden, shiny exterior.

When I moved out of my childhood home, one of the first things my mother bought me was a baking brush (like this one from Carlisle)—not surprising of course, since she is a baker herself and once owned a bakery in Miami, Florida called Afternoon Tea. A baking brush, also referred to as a pastry brush, is primarily used for spreading butter, a glaze, or an egg wash on food. For example, brushing an egg wash* over the top of bread dough yields a shiny, golden and crispy exterior (while still maintaining that moist, chewy interior we love about fresh bread).

pastry-brush

Traditional baking brushes have natural or nylon bristles, while newer models are opting for silicone bristles.

Traditional pastry brush bristles are made from either natural or plastic/nylon, while more modern adaptions include silicone brushes. Both types of brushes perform equally well, though you may find a traditional pastry brush offers a smoother, more complete coating whereas larger gaps occur with silicone bristles. Traditional brushes do run the risk of losing bristles over time (similar to a paint brush), so be sure to inspect your food carefully.

Try brushing an egg wash on your next batch of dinner rolls for extra color and flavor.

*an egg wash is a lightly beaten egg mixed with either 1 tablespoon of milk or water

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Protect Diners with Purple-colored Kitchen Products

Nothing ruins a dining experience more than an allergic reaction. A diner experiencing an allergic reaction can be quite serious, and symptoms range from asimple rash to the inflammation and closing of one’s throat.

When there are (literally) several cooks in the kitchen, maintaining consistent food-allergy procedures is crucial to keeping diners safe. And it’s not just the food itself which requires attention to food-allergy safe measures—have you trained your front-of-house staff effectively so they are aware of how the food is prepared? Do they know the best way to communicate allergy concerns between the diner and kitchen? Who is responsible for making special order dishes? How do you prevent cross-contamination?

Since becoming an industry standard, several manufacturers have released a line of purple-colored products designated as ‘allergen free.’ Some of those brands include:allergy-free-products

  • American Metalcraft
  • Cambro
  • DayMark
  • Mercer cutlery
  • Precision Pours
  • San Jamar
  • Stanley
  • Tablecraft
  • Thunder Group
  • Vollrath
  • Winco

Utilizing purple-colored cutlery, cookware, kitchen and baking supplies helps ensures that a single, non-contaminated tool is being used in the food preparation of someone with a food allergy. A simple washing may not remove allergen proteins from equipment (like Vollrath’s frying pans), which is why you’ll want a designated knife (we like Mercer Cutlery) and cutting board (try San Jamar) for even your basic needs.

Allergen free Cambro containers allow for advance prepping, so you’ll know that when you arrive for your shift what you’re grabbing from the refrigerator is safe to use. Mercer Cutlery’s silicone baking mats and pie servers make baking gluten-free treats a breeze. You can even utilize Cambro’s allergen free measuring cup to keep gluten-free flours and ingredients separate from your main operation. Be sure to designate ingredients and plates with either bamboo picks or colored labels which are great for freezer boxes, dry storage, and food rotation containers.

Keeping organized is the key to safe and secure kitchen. What other tips do you have for protecting diners with allergies?

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The Right Gas Connectors & Hoses for Your Restaurant

Dormont Gas Connections

If you’re in the market for new gas equipment, it’s important to know that new gas connectors, hoses, and/or kits should be purchased at the same time, and when it comes to gas connections, safety in your restaurant should be as much of a priority as finding the right new equipment.

Dormont Gas HosesDormont is one of the food service industries leading suppliers when it comes to gas connections, hoses, and kits. With increased safety features and an engineered design specifically for commercial kitchens, Dormont is the only way to go for making the health inspector happy and keeping your business safe. Here are a few reasons why you’ll love Dormont too:

  1. Every hose is made in the USA.
  2. SnapFast disconnects help you to quickly and easily disconnect the gas hose so the equipment can be easily pulled away from the wall for cleaning.
  3. The trademark blue coating around the hose adds an antimicrobial protective coating and helps reduce kinks and damage to the hose.
  4. SwivelMAX helps the hoses spin 360⁰, which adds durability to the hose line, while also allowing equipment to be closer to the wall.
  5. Stainless steel material is resistant to a wide range of corrosive substances and adds extra durability to the hose.
  6. Their FAQs are quite lengthy and worthy of helping anyone figure out how to DIY with Dormont.

When it comes to the right gas connections, hoses, and kits for your restaurant, residential gas hoses will never do.  Trust Dormont and know that you’re making the right decisions for your business when it comes to gas safety.

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How Sushi Restaurants Cut Cucumbers Fast

Sushi Roll with Cucumber Julienned

There aren’t many kitchen prep tools that we’d recommend investing in that only does one job in the kitchen, but this is one of those tools that we’re more than happy to step aside and let it take the spotlight. Vollrath’s Redco Instacut Cucumber Slicer (#55010) was made specifically for cutting perfectly sliced julienned cucumbers, and where would those uniformly cut veggies be sliced and diced the most? In a sushi restaurant, of course.

Think about it, how much time do you think is spent cutting cucumbers in a sushi restaurant? It’s a time intensive and tedious task that takes up precious time, but with this handy slicer, staff can cut right through cucumbers so that they can get back to other kitchen needs. Other reasons to love this cucumber slicer include:

  • It’s 10x faster than traditional cutting methods – that helps cut labor costs too.
  • Cut fresh cucumbers NOW – no need to prep slices ahead of time, you can deliver super fresh cucumber slices as needed.
  • Consistency – we’ve never seen a better method for delivering consistent, julienned sushi cuts.

Vollrath Cucumber Slicer

How it Works

  1. Cut the ends off of the cucumber.
  2. Cut the cucumber the length you want your julienned slices. Keep in mind a typical nori sheet is 8” long, so 8” long or 4” long is ideal.
  3. Place the cucumber lengthwise in the cucumber slicer, move your hands out of the way, and push the red handle down.

There ya go, perfect cucumber slices for fast-paced sushi restaurants, and without the hassle. Bonus, if you don’t want to keep the seed sections, those slices can easily be picked out and put to the side.

P.S. Of course, if morokyu is on the menu, you’ll still need to resort back to the old way of slicing and dicing.

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Cadco Hot Plates & Ranges

Cadco Hot Plate Cooking

There are many different types of portable hot plates and ranges to choose from for your food service operation. Cadco hot plates & ranges are a perfect choice for operators looking to cook in buffet style settings, cooking demonstrations, catering jobs, and just about anywhere else where food needs to be cooked and served away from the traditional, stationary stovetop.

Cadco Tubular Hot PlateCadco Tubular Models: CSR-1T, CSR-3T, CDR-1T, CDR-1TFB, CDR-2TFB

Tubular model hot plates disperse heat throughout the bottom of the pan, therefore offering indirect heat allowing the food to cook more evenly. Ideal applications for tubular hot plates include chocolate work, simmering, and holding with items such as soups, sauces, and bisques. These tubular model hot plates are also perfect for sous vide cooking.

Cadco Cast Iron Hot PlateCadco Cast Iron Solid Models: KR-1, KR-S2, CSR-1CH, LKR-220, CDR-2C, DKR-S2, CDR-2CFB

Cast iron/solid model hot plates have a direct heat source that delivers a more concentrated heat to the items being cooked. Ideal applications for the cast iron/solid model hot plates include searing, sautéing, omelet stations, and methods where a rolling boil needs to be achieved.

Cadco Induction RangeCadco Induction Range Model: BIR-1C

Buffet induction ranges offer the operator many benefits, such as instant heat & extremely quick cool down periods. The Cadco buffet induction range is one of the most energy efficient ranges, when compared to other hot plates offered.

These ranges stay cool to the touch, which helps to prevent burns, and they function with pots and pans that are a cast iron, enameled steel, or stainless steel bottom. They’re also very easy to clean, because of their sleek glass surface.

When quick service turnaround is a must, Cadco induction ranges are the answer. Other specific applications include searing, sautéing, and omelet/buffet and action stations, as well as, achieving a rolling boil and sous vide cooking.

Cadco Glass Ceremic Hot PlateCadco Glass Ceramic Range Model: PHR-1C

Cadco glass ceramic ranges consist of radiant heat technology that offers quick heat up and cool down periods. They have a direct heat source, which means the heat is very concentrated and stays within the confines of the actual heating element.   It also boasts a very easy to clean glass surface, which makes cleaning up spills and boil overs, a breeze. This range’s sleek, low profile styling is ideal for high-end buffet stations and specific cooking functions, such as searing and sautéing.

Just as important as the type of hot plate or range you choose, you’ll also want to consider the various wattage and voltage – higher wattage and voltage hot plates and ranges provide faster heat up times, while maintaining desired heat settings more consistently.

If you still aren’t quite sure what might be the best Cadco hot plate or range for your operation, feel free to contact Cadco directly and speak with their our Culinary Manager and Specialist – Christopher Kasik, phone: 860-738-2500 x224, email: chris[at]cadco-ltd[dot]com.

Happy cooking!

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Norman Lamps Heavy Duty Equipment Lighting

Norman LampWhen it comes to replacing light bulbs in the heavy duty equipment in your restaurant, most people wouldn’t think twice about throwing in any old bulb, but for safety reasons and to ensure the equipment keeps running properly, there are light bulbs made specifically for commercial use that you should take into consideration.

Norman Lamps began in 1985 and is one of the largest suppliers of light bulbs in the USA today. Throughout the years they’ve supplied many different companies with the right lighting needed to keep operating smoothly, but when they discovered a way to keep glass from shattering once broken, they changed the industry. It takes a simple bump to make a light bulb explode, but with Normal Lamps shatterproof technology, their light bulbs stay intact when broken.

Norman Lamps offers light bulbs for cold equipment, like refrigeration and walk-ins, and hot equipment, like ovens and heat lamps. With this type of temperature variants, ensuring you have the right type of light bulb installed is critical – for employee safety and health regulations.

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When to Clean and When to Replace Hood Filters

Flame Guard Hood FilterHood filters are an important part of the commercial kitchen. As they work to remove grease vapors from the air, they get clogged with grease, and if they aren’t cleaned on a regular basis, they can cause grease fires, that’s why it’s important to know when to clean your hood filters and when to replace them. This month we’re working with Component Hardware Group (CHG) and Flame Guard to bring you cleaning and replacement tips for your hood filters. Let’s start with cleaning hood filters.

Cleaning Hood Filters

In a commercial kitchen, hood filters should be cleaned regularly to ensure they work efficiently. Before removing the hood filter, make sure to cover equipment below the hood with a cloth to try to minimize mess. If the hood filters are cleaned on a regular basis, cleaning could be as easy as passing the filters through a high-temp dishwasher. However, if the filters are galvanized or aluminum, passing them through the dishwasher isn’t a good option, because there is risk of corrosion and color change (the golden patina). Instead, soak the filters in a tub of hot water with the recommended amount of commercial degreaser. Soak time will depend on how bad the build-up is, but at a minimum you should be soaking them for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight for harsher grease build-up.

For those filters that won’t come clean with the above methods, it’s time to use a bit more elbow grease. You’ll want to scrub with a reliable scrub brush until the metal color comes back and the grease patina is gone. Once you’re done scrubbing, simply rinse the degreaser away, soak the filters in water and dish detergent for about 20 minutes, then rinse everything away until the water runs clean again. When the hood filters air dry, go ahead and replace them.

Note: Before you stick your hands in degreaser solution, make sure to wear gloves to protect your skin.

When to Replace Hood Filters

If scrubbing the hood filters is no longer working to remove the patina or you start to see signs of wear and tear, like corrosion or dents, its likely time to replace the hood filter(s). Before you choose to replace your hood filters, you should take a look at our hood filters buying and maintenance guide and our video on how to measure for replacements.

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6 Home Uses for Casters

Casters Galore PinterestCasters are used primarily in the industrial and food service world, we’ve found that there are many small and big uses for them in the home too.  Of course a caster that is able to hold up to 300 pounds under a trash can may be a bit excessive (or maybe not, I’m not judging), there are other uses for a mighty caster like this in your home.

For a bit of fun, we pulled this list together of how you can use different casters around your house and business.

1. Bins and Cans

Ever bring the trash can over to the sink to throw out peels as you shred your vegetables?  How about when the recycle bin or trashcan is overstuffed, and it’s best to bring it out to the dumpster to help unload it?  Casters are perfect on the bottom of bins and trashcans to make them more portable in the kitchen.

2. Islands and Butcher Blocks

For a more industrial look in the kitchen, add casters to the bottom of your butcher block or island.  This also helps with moving them out of the way when more space is needed or different configuration is needed when guests come over.

3. Beds

Keeping with the industrial look, adding casters to your beds will help keep the industrial motif going.  Casters attached to your bed also help move it out of the way for easy cleaning underneath, or for those of you lucky enough to have large doors to the outside, a push of the bed to the outdoors can create quite an intimate occasion – not even kidding, this is a thing!

4. Coffee Tables

Ever have an urge to break-dance in the living room or just need more room for crafting?  When the coffee table is on casters, you can roll it away for extra space anytime!

5. Under Bed Storage

We love these rolling under bed storage boxes on casters.  They give you extra storage space in an often unused area, and are perfect in kid rooms for lego and toy storage.  If antiquing it up isn’t your thing, try using a simpler look, like with these boxes.

6.  For the Pets

Try converting an old suitcase into a dog bed, then place casters on the bottom so that the bed can be wheeled to the living room, outdoors, or by mans-best-friend at night.  You can also use as an old crate on casters as an upcycled pet feeder like our friend Summerofseventy did.

To see other fun ideas on DIY caster projects around the home, catch us on Pinterest.

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Hundreds of Free Parts Diagrams!

Nemco Easy Wedger™ Parts

Parts diagrams help you know exactly what parts you need to make repairs on common kitchen appliances.  Similar to the diagram above, we have hundreds of free diagrams for you to be able to find the right parts needed for your food service equipment.  The diagrams are broken down by brands and appliance type (salad spinner, mixer, slicers, glasswashers, blending stations, etc.).

Once you find the diagram for the piece you’re trying to repair, all you have to do is match the number up with the list of parts below the diagram, and you’ll be on your way to quick do-it-yourself (DIY) repairs that helps keep money in your pocket.  Don’t feel comfortable making those repairs on your own?  Give our team a call at 888-388-6372 or use the Live Chat function on our main site to be connected with our customer service team.

We have a team full of knowledge when it comes to the food service industry.  From former Chefs and Servers to Repair Technicians and Food Service Veterans, let our team help you do-it-together (DIT).

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