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

When to Clean and When to Replace Hood Filters

When to Clean and When to Replace Hood FiltersHood 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

6 Home Uses for CastersCasters 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!

Hundreds of Free Parts Diagrams!

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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Catering & Buffet Specialty Shop Must-Have’s

Catering & Buffet Specialty Shop Must Haves

Although catering season seems to always be in high growth, we see that during the holidays and the warmer months, catering sales definitely hit an all-time high.  It’s the time of year that people would rather be catered too than spend hours in the kitchen, and when wedding bells are set to ring, there’s always a caterer needed.  Our Catering & Buffet Specialty Shop offers a variety of products to keep you in high production and we’ve broken them up into these top categories.

1. Beverage Station

From beautiful infusion jars to help display tasty drinks to economy water pitchers, we have hundreds of different beverage station options for you to choose from.

2. Buffet Supplies

This category is a catch all for everything you’d expect to see in a buffet line, including esthetically pleasing food holders and steam pans.

3. Catering Displays

Beauty on a catered wedding line is a must, and our catering displays help you show off your hard work in style.

4. Catering & Buffet Equipment

The work horse of the backline, catering and buffet equipment is what holds the food at the appropriate serving temperature and allows for serving up hot eats right in front of the customers.

5. Catering Serveware

A side partner to equipment, and often overlooked, serveware is what helps hold everything together in the catering line-up.  From chafing dishes to simple salad bowls, serveware will be one of the places you’ll likely spend the most time.

6. Serving Utensils

At a catering event, not just any utensils will do, they have to show the splendor the event deserves.  In our collection of serving utensils, you’ll find plenty of eye-pleasing products to help deliver your next event in style.  

7. Catering Storage & Transport

More often than not, a catered event doesn’t cook food up at the venue, which is where catering storage and transport equipment comes in handy.  These products help keep food at the adequate serving temperature as it’s transported from one place to the next.

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Eco-Friendly Must-Have’s

Eco Friendly Must Haves

Yes, we’re in Boulder and happy to say that the majority of our summer events are waste free, because of things like compostable dinnerware and compost bins that helps create a waste stream that encourages people to go green, but we know that there are many more of your out there that also believe in going green and putting forth efforts to help save our planet.  We created our Eco-Friendly Specialty Shop so you can learn more about our go green products, but wanted to highlight some of our favorite categories below.

1. Compostable Dinnerware

For those looking to host waste free events, compostable dinnerware is a must.  Consumers aren’t expecting to carry around glass or melamine dinnerware, but do expect to have their event eats served up on a durable plate or bowl that can easily be thrown out.  Forget the styrofoam and stick with compostable friendly dinnerware.

2. Automatic Hand Dryers

Automatic hand dryers are a great way to go green while saving money.  With automatic hand dryers there’s no need for paper towels (that constantly need to be restocked) and they use far less energy than similar hand dryers that continuously run.

3. Eco-Friendly Cleaners

The thing with cleaning solutions and agents is that you’re stuck breathing in chemicals that are potentially harmful.  Eco-friendly cleaners are safer for you and they work to save the planet by encouraging you to use the same smaller plastic bottle over and over – less plastic in the landfills. And to add to the benefits of eco-friendly cleaners, you don’t have to worry about losing cleaning power; in fact, many commercial and residential users boast about getting a better clean than traditional cleaners.

4. Recycle and Compost Bins

Speaking of green events, recycle and compost bins are perfect for helping the crowds know where to stash their waste.  They’re also great in the kitchen for helping to remember where waste items should go.  And it also helps guide waste streams correctly to the recycling facility.

5. Efficient Faucets

Much like the automatic hand dryers, efficient faucets work to save you money while lending to making your establishment greener.  You’ve seen these faucets in hundreds of places – a simple wave of your hand activates them – but if you don’t have them in your own restaurant you should definitely look into getting your hands on some.

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Our Favorite Mexican Restaurant Supplies

Our Favorite Mexican Restaurant SuppliesIt’s a little early to be celebrating Cinco de Mayo, but we’re already craving Mexican comfort food and frozen margaritas!  Let’s wrap up spring break with some of these Mexican restaurant essentials.

1. Mexican Dinnerware

Our Mexican dinnerware comes in a variety of sizes, shapes, material, and collections.  Show off your favorite menu item in any of our hundreds of different options in dinnerware, all of which come in a variety of colors to choose from.

2. Mexican Glassware

Mexico is known for its bright, vivid colors in everything from design to tabletop settings to clothing.  Why not keep with tradition and ensure your glassware makes the same bold statement?  Our collection of Mexican glassware comes in simple glasses where the color is around the rim of the glass (like in the image above) or ones that are festive in color.  Check out our full collection of glassware!

3. Mortar & Pestles

Mortar and pestles are commonly found in the BOH of restaurants for crushing spices and peppers and blending sauces and marinades.  But we’ve seen some Mexican restaurants kick it up a notch by using a mortar and pestle to whip up a batch of tableside guacamole – what a great way to show off presentation.

4. Mexican Fry Baskets

No Mexican restaurant would be complete without a variety of fry baskets, including baskets to make taco salad bowls, tostada shells, taco shells, chimichangas, and burritos.  Most of our baskets ship free too!

5. Tortilla Presses

A commercial tortilla press is how busy Mexican restaurants keep up with demand.  With press surfaces of 15” or more, multiple tortillas can be made at the same time.

6. Frozen Drink Machines

Did someone say frozen drinks – yes, it’s margarita time!  The bar staff can pre-make mixed drinks in these frozen drink machines so they don’t have to worry about blending up all of the ingredients each time a guest orders another margarita.

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Top 6 Items to Add to Your Spring Shopping List

Top 6 Items to Add to Your Spring Shopping List

Spring is in the air and a lot of us are thinking spring cleaning, but it doesn’t all have to be left to dusting and scrubbing this month.  Here are a few of our favorite spring items that remind us that there’s more to March than just cleaning.

1.    Food Scales

Food scales are used in the food service industry quite a bit by chains, but we’ve found many small business that still haven’t heard of the money saving benefits behind these items (we wrote about it here and here).  This is why we had to kick off our spring list with food scales – well that, and they have springs, get it?

2.    The Cooler Sno Cone Machine

Get a head start on summer with this lightweight, portable sno cone machine from Paragon.  Weighing in at a little under 11 pounds and measuring 16” wide x 24” high, don’t let its cuteness fool you – it’s capable of producing 500 pounds of shaved ice per hour!  Now you just need to decide on your favorite flavor of syrup!

3.    Springs

Springs for spring, of course!  With over 500 springs in stock, odds are we can keep you stocked up on springs for quite sometime.

4.    Flowering Onion Cutter

Ever wondered how the “Awesome Blossom” was made?  With this unique tool called the flowering onion cutter.  Simply place a colossal sized onion on the machine and slide the handle down – bam, a perfectly, awesomely cut blossom.

5.    Flower Vegetable Trays

Sure, veggie trays are great for game day serving, but cool veggies can be served poolside too.  That’s why we added this simple vegetable tray to the list – in flower design!

6.    Sno Cone Flower Holders

If you’re getting ready for sno cone season anyway, why not get these fun sno cone holders too?  They keep the syrup from dripping over the sides and the adults love them too – seriously, we used them at our last team member sno cone event and they were a hit!

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Product Spotlight: Sharp Commercial Microwaves

Product Spotlight: Sharp Commercial Microwaves

Did you know that Sharp Corporation started in Japan in 1912 with a line of groundbreaking mechanical pencils?

Over a century later, Sharp is still on the technological vanguard, and their stellar lineup of commercial microwaves is a perfect illustration of their pedigree and enduring commitment to innovation.

Combining reliability with power, simplicity with sophistication, Sharp commercial microwaves have earned fans in high-output restaurants and home kitchens.

Large Capacity, Compact Design

Sharp microwaves manage a paradoxical feat: they have a small footprint AND a roomy interior. How do they pull it off? With clever design, Sharp microwaves deliver evenly cooked food without the space-wasting turntable of domestic ovens, allowing every inch of space available to be used.

What’s more, without the usual merry-go-round to complicate cleanup, the inside is easy to keep sanitary.

Two Grades to Choose From

  1. Sharp Heavy-Duty Series microwaves, ranging from 1200 to 2200 watts, are the workhorses of the bunch. They’re great for big jobs requiring maximum efficiency and output. Choose from models with up to 11 power levels and 20 touch-pad memories.
  2. Sharp Medium Duty Series microwaves, each packing 1000 watts, offer the durability and simplicity of a stainless steel interior, with a tough handle that will endure a lifetime of abuse. Whether you choose the spartan R-21LCF or the feature-rich R-21LTF and R-21LVF models, you’re going to enjoy rock-solid durability and peak performance.

Efficiency-Boosting Controls

Streamlined programming means streamlined kitchen operations. What’s more, Sharp offers models with Twin Touch capability, an innovation that features dual control panels on the top and bottom so the buttons can be reached wherever the microwave is placed, making it easy to use in small places.

Sometimes you need options, but other times they just get in the way. Whichever camp you’re in, Sharp has a microwave for you, from a pared-down model with just one power level and handful of memories to an all-the-bells-and-whistles-included model with 11 power levels and even more pre-programmed memories.

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Induction Cookware Made Simple

Induction Cookware Made Simple

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 Made Simple

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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A Bartender’s Glassware Guide: Does Your Glass Have Class?

A Bartender’s Glassware Guide: Does Your Glass Have Class?Aside from knowing how to mix hundreds of cocktails, a bartender must know what type of glass to pour their mouth-watering drinks and cocktails into. So, to make life just a tad bit easier we have smashed our brains together to develop a restaurant glassware guide that will make your toes curl with joy.

Wine Glasses:

White Wine Glass: Sizes range from 5-10 ounces, but the most practical size for a white wine glass is 6-8 ounces. Forms vary from balloon shaped to straight sided to tulip shaped.

What to Drink:
Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Gewurztraminer, Muscat / Moscato, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Viognier

Red Wine Glass: The large size of this balloon glass allows wine to breath. Sizes typically range from 8-14 ounces.

What to Drink: Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel, Syrah, Shiraz, Sangiovese, Malbec

Sherry Glass: The smallest of the wine glasses holds from 4-6 ounces. It can also be used for liqueur-based drinks.

What to Drink: Sherry, Port, Aperitifs, Liqueurs, Layers Shooters

Flute: The Champagne Flute is a tall, thin, tapered glass that holds between 7 and 11 ounces and is perfect for Champagne Cocktails. The purpose of the flute design is to keep the bubbles in the flute longer; with less surface area exposed to the air, the bubbles can’t escape as fast.

What do Drink: Champagne, Sparkling Wines, Bellini’s, Prosecco’s, Mimosa’s, Asti, Champagne Cocktails

Cocktail Glasses:

Old Fashioned: Sometimes called lowball or rocks glass, the Old Fashioned Glass is a squat tumbler with a heavy base that holds approximately 5 – 10 ounces and is the most versatile. Typically used for short mixed drinks and anything on the rocks.

What to Drink: Scotch, Whisky, Old Fashioned, Black/White Russians, Mai Tais

Collins Glass: An optional addition to the bar as it is interchangeable with the highball glass. Used primarily for any Collins drink, it is a narrow tumbler that holds between 8 and 12 ounces.

What to Drink: Collins, Fizz, Zombies, Long Islands, Sours, MojitoA Bartender’s Glassware Guide: Does Your Glass Have Class?

Highball Glass: Highball Glasses are large tumblers with heavy bases that hold between 8 and 12 ounces and can easily replace a Collins glass. This glass is generally used for mixed drinks.

What to Drink: Bloody Marys, Vodka Cranberry, Gin & Tonic, Scotch & Soda, Bourbon & Coke, 7 & 7, Moscow Mule, Fuzzy Navels, Screwdrivers

Cocktail Glass: The familiar conical shape of the Cocktail Glass makes most of us think of Martinis and so it should. Nowadays, Cocktail glasses range from a 6 ounce glass to a huge 16 ouncer (too much of a good thing?)

What to Drink: Martinis, Manhattans, Cosmopolitans

Snifter: A Snifter comes in a variety of sizes and is the traditional vessel for brandy and cognac served neat. Its large bowl is cupped in your hand to warm the contents. Snifters can also be used for some cocktails.

What to Drink: Brandy, Cognac, Whisky, Barleywine

Margarita Glass: While most margarita glasses have a narrow neck, some are balloon shaped. Capacity ranges from 12 – 16 ounces.

What to Drink: Margaritas, Daiquiris

Shooter: This 1 1/2-2 ounce glass is used for drinking shots but can also be used as a measuring tool when mixing cocktails.
What to Drink: Tequila, Whisky, Mixed Shots

Hurricane Glass: Typically used for blended and frozen tropical cocktails. The distinct pear-shaped curve of this glass is reminiscent of vintage hurricane lamps and holds between 10-12 ounces.

What to Drink: Piña Coladas, Rum Punch, Coco Coladas, Tropical Fruit Drinks, Daiquiris

Irish Coffee Glass: The Irish Coffee Glass replaces the average mug for good-looking hot cocktails. This footed glass mug holds between 8 and 12 ounces and is made of heat-resistant glass.

What to Drink: Hot Toddy, Irish Coffee

Cordial Glass: Small and stemmed glasses used for serving small portions of your favorite liquors at times such as after a meal.

What to Drink: Amaretto , Grand Marnier, Cordials

Beer Glasses:

A Bartender’s Glassware Guide: Does Your Glass Have Class?

Pint/Pub Glass: Cylindrical glass with a slight taper and a wide mouth. There are two standard sizes, the 16-ounce (US Tumbler) or the 20-ounce Imperial (Nonic), which has a small ridge towards the top, a grip of sorts and helps in stacking them.

 What to Drink: Pale Ale, IPA, Porter, Brown Ale, Red Ale, Stout, Amber Lager

 Pilsner Glass: Typically a tall, slender and tapered 12 ounce glass, shaped like a trumpet at times, that captures the sparkling effervesces and colors of a Pilsner while maintaining its head.

What to Drink: Pilsner, Dortmunder, American Lager, Bock, Pale Ale

Mug/Stein: Heavy, sturdy, large and with handle, the mug is a fun and serious piece of glassware that comes in many shapes and sizes.

What to Drink: Oktoberfest, Munich Dunkel

 Weizen Glass: These classy glasses, with their thin walls and length, showcase the beer’s color and allows for much headspace. Most are 0.5L in size.

What to Drink: Witbier White Ale, Bavarian Weizen/Weissbier, American Wheat Ale

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