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Kitchen Tricks: How to Cut a Watermelon [Video]

The quintessential fruit of summer, watermelon is universally loved – whether it be in a slice eaten right off the rind, grilled, or incorporated into salads or drinks. It can be difficult, however, to cut a watermelon to get just the right size cubes or slices, but with these easy tricks, you’ll be out of the kitchen and enjoying the sun (and your watermelon)!

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Hi, I’m Chris Tavano for Tundra Restaurant Supply. In today’s episode, I’m going to show you how to prep a couple summertime fruits. Here, we’ve got a nice watermelon. The first thing, I’m going to show you how to pick out a decent watermelon. There’s a lot of backseat driver methods on the way to do this. Obviously, a lot of people talk about a lighter skin belly compared to the rest of the outer shell itself. Pretty much, that’s where it was sitting on the ground. A nice white belly is good. You always want to think about that hollow sound.

Also, keep in mind, the most important part you want a smaller watermelon that weighs a lot weight. The reason why is it means it’s juicy. Now we’re going to show you how to peel it. Here, I’m just going to cut it in half first. A little straighter cut would’ve probably helped. Nice and bright. I love the color contrast of watermelon. This first one, we’ll put here. Now we’re going to cut out our little slices first. With the rind in place … You may be thinking why. Well, one it’s easier. Two, it’s more safe. These rinds are thick, and the watermelons are big balls that just slide around. Now that we’ve got our nice cross-section slices, it’s much easier to just peel away that rind. There you go.

The nice thing about peeling a rind like this as opposed to some other methods, which I will show you here in a second as well, is that you’ll be sure that you don’t get any of that white, tough, tasteless green rind inside your watermelon. You have pure juicy flesh in there. Once you have these cross-sections, it’s just so simple to dice to whatever size you need, or want or want to present on your plates. Here’s another method on how to peel the rind off your watermelon … Much like you would a cantaloupe, although this rind’s a lot thicker. It’s nice and easy. You can see where you’ve been.

It’s the same way you’ll prep an orange or a lime or a lemon to be segmented. The key to peeling melons this way, or even orange and citrus for segmenting, is you don’t want to peel off too big of a section. Otherwise, you’re going to be ripping off more edible flesh than you really want to. I’m just trying to follow that line that we see right here, right between red and white. We just stay right behind that line. Then you can clean up a couple of other little spots of the white rind that you may have missed. We just chop off the top. Now you’ve got your whole dome watermelon. We can slice and dice it like we just did earlier.

I’m Chris Tavano for Tundra Restaurant Supply, and that’s how you dice a nice juicy watermelon. Please comment below if you’ve got any further questions, or call our sales floor directly. Please subscribe!

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Kitchen Tricks: How to Cut a Mango [Video]

Mangos are one of the most delicious summer fruits – perfect in salads, fruit bowls, with cold drinks or alone! In this video lesson, you’ll learn how to easily slice around the pit inside the mango to quickly get your fruit diced up and ready to eat!

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Hi, I’m Chris Tavano for Tundra Restaurant Supply. In today’s episode, I’m going to show you how to prep some common summer fruits. Here we have a mango to start.

First thing to know about this mango is mangoes have a peak just like an avocado. Take a look at the shape of the mango, its a little bit flat, little bit oval. The peak is the same exact shape just smaller on the inside. Unfortunately, we don’t have extra a vision, you can’t really decipher exactly where its at. We’re going to do a little bit of guess part with our knife.

First I’m going to flatten up the bottom just a little bit more so we have a nice stable base. From there remember, the pit is right in here. We’re going to to a little bit of guess work. Nice one solid piece of flesh there. We’ll go on the other side. Same thing there. Depending on how large your mango is, you might be able to yield a little bit more of that middle cross section.

Ours was a little bit smaller, I couldn’t get too much there. But I do want to point out what the pit looks like. It is very fibrous. Now, on our two half fleshes of the mango. Just hatch it out kind of like we do dicing and avocado. Try not to go too deep here and go through the skin and that kind of defeats the whole purpose of what we’re trying to do right here scoring these little sections out.

You should be able to feel when you’re in the skin versus the flesh of the mango itself. Then just invert the skin. Once we get our inverted cross section. They should just peel right out. If you use a pairing knife, however you wish, its a great little snack as it is.

I’m Chris Tavano for Tundra Restaurant Supply. That’s how you dice a mango. If you got any other further questions, please comment below or call our sales floor directly. Please don’t forget to subscribe!

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Replace the Impeller in a Crathco Beverage Dispenser [Video]

Crathco Beverage Dispensers are pretty basic machines, and the only moving part inside the bowl is the impeller. The impeller spins to create the flow and spray of liquid – and if your machine is starting to make a strange noise, or isn’t functioning as well as it used to, chances are the impeller needs to be replaced. Luckily, it’s a quick and easy repair! Learn how in this video lesson:

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Hi, I’m Chris Tavano for Tundra Restaurant Supply.  In this follow-up video I’m going to show you how to disassemble and replace the Impeller for your Crathco Beverage Dispenser.

So on the Crathco Beverage Dispenser, your real only moving part as far as mechanics inside the unit is this impeller.  So often times if you hear a funny noise from your beverage dispenser or you notice that the juice isn’t flowing consistently or the way that it used to when it was brand new, odds are you need to replace your impeller.  Here’s how.

First we’re going to take off the lid, take out your spray tube, remove your valve and handle.  You’re going to want to remove the lockdown washer, you’re going to want to remove the pump cover and then if you want you can remove the bowl depending on how tall you are or how easy your reach is.  Now we’ve exposed the impeller and this is all we’re trying to replace.  This is very easy.  It’s magnetic and it just slides right off.  Get your new impeller.  Again, it’s magnetic, just slides right back on and that’s how you replace your impeller for  a Crathco Beverage Dispenser.

I’m Chris Tavano for Tundra Restaurant Supply.  Be sure to comment below, or if you have any questions, contact our sales floor, and please subscribe to our weekly videos.

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How to Assemble a Crathco Beverage Dispenser [Video]

Easily set up your new Crathco Beverage Dispenser and start showing off your drinks to your customers!

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Hi, I’m Chris Tavano for Tundra Restaurant Supply. In today’s episode I’m going to show you how to assemble your Crathco beverage dispenser. First thing first is we’re going to put on our bearing sleeve. Very tiny piece, be sure you don’t misplace it. It can easily get lost. Very critical to the operation of this unit. It just slides right on this spindle.

Once we got that there we have our impeller. It’s magnetic so it will slide right on and it will stay right into place. Next we take our bowl container and our gasket and I’m going to stretch it right over this. Then just kind of squeeze it around and make sure it’s flush. Then from there you’re just going to rock it down into place. Make sure it’s nice and snug.

Next we’re going to place in the pump cover. Keep in mind your dispenser unit will come with two of these. One is for a pump spray that we’re going to insert the tube to allow it to fountain over the top and cascade down the sides. The other one here is just an agitator and it’s just more for your heavier liquids, kind of like milk products. Keep in mind that this little piece has a notch that’s going to go right up to the front of the bowl container that the notch sits in.

Next we’re going to install the spray tube. Again, this is to fountain your juice and cascade down the sides. Next we’re going to place our lock-down washer. Next we’re going to install our handle and our valve. You’re going to notice that on the front there’s two v-notches. What we’re going to want to do is we’re going to insert these little cut-aways on the handle right into that v-notch.

Next is our valve. It’s essentially just a weight that we’re going to drop into this hole. It will sit directly in the hole on the handle. You might have to do some adjustments. Always be sure those notches on the handle are in the v-notches of the dispenser bowl, and we got our lever handle.

The last part of the container is our lid. Don’t worry if the spray tube sits a little slightly above the container. The lid itself is recessed a bit. There we go. Last but not least we’ve got our drip tray. It’s got two little lips: one on the top and one on the bottom that’s going to fit right into this little slot. You’ll want to put the top lip in and set it into the bottom, and once you feel it snug on that.

I’m Chris Tavano for Tundra Restaurant Supply. That’s how you assemble your Crathco beverage dispenser. Be sure to comment below and if you have any questions call our sales floor. Please subscribe.

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Organize Your Kitchen with the Focus EZ Wall! [Video]

Running low on storage space in your kitchen? Create a functional shelving unit out of almost any empty wall space with the EZ Wall from Focus Food Service! The EZ Wall is easy to install, and can be customized endlessly to fit your exact needs!

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How to Install or Replace a Gas Hose [Video]

Is it time to replace your old and worn out gas hose? Or are you installing a new piece of equipment and need a new gas hose to go along with it? Either way, installing or replacing a gas hose is easy, and will keep your kitchen safe and functional!

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Gas Hose Maintenance and How to Diagnose Leaks [Video]

Make sure that your work environment is safe and your equipment is running well by regularly maintaining your gas hoses. In this video, we show you basic maintenance and lubricating procedures, as well as how to diagnose a gas leak!

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How to Calibrate Digital Thermometers [Video]

Learn how to calibrate your digital probe thermometers! While not all digital and infrared thermometers can be calibrated, you can still check the accuracy to ensure a good temperature reading!

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I’m Chris Tavano for Tundra Restaurant Supply. In today’s episode, I’m going to show you how to field calibrate your digital probe or infrared thermometers.

You’re going to calibrate your digital thermometer in an ice bath solution just like the analog dial thermometer, as well. Here we’ve got a nice glass filled halfway with ice and we’re going to fill it in with water just to fill in the cracks and seams of the ice. We don’t want the ice floating. We want it to be nice and compact in the glass.

We insert the needle into the water, ensure that’s not in contact with the sidewalls, the bottom of the cup or glass itself. Here we’re reading 31.2 degrees. Now, we should know that this should be 32 degrees. To recalibrate this, there’s this DH button. You want to hold that down for about 8 seconds and then it’s going to start to flash CAL for about 2 seconds. That means it’s recalibrating. Now we get a new reading of exactly 32 degrees.

Infrared thermometers usually cannot be field calibrated, but it is healthy to check its accuracy and the battery life itself. We’re going to turn it on. Using the same cup of ice water we were using earlier, we’re going to probe the dead center of the glass, not to the edge of the rim, not to the side of the actual table, but we need to be in the exact center of the glass. Let it sit there for a few seconds, so that way it can get a full read.

The nice thing about these thermometers is they’re pretty instantaneous and right now we’ve got a reading of 34.2 degrees. If you believe that your infrared thermometer is becoming uncalibrated, though, contact the manufacturer for further instructions or change the battery first.

That’s how you accurately field calibrate your digital thermometers. If you have other comments, questions or concerns, please comment below or call our sales floor and we’ll be glad to help you or you can definitely subscribe to our weekly video updates.

Again, I’m Chris Tavana for Tundra Restaurant Supply. Here’s to a better mise en place!

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Buying Guide: Kitchen Thermometers [Video]

Kitchen thermometers may seem like simple pieces of equipment, but they are available in a wide variety of makes, models, prices, and features. Learn which thermometer is best for you!

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Hi. I’m Chris Tavano for Tundra Restaurant Supply and in today’s episode we’re going to talk about the pros and cons about four different kinds of kitchen thermometers.

The first thermometer we have here is the old fashioned analog probe thermometer. The nice thing about this is that it’s cheap and it’s easy. It’s very clear cut of what the temperature is; however, the downfall with this one is it does take a little bit of time for the dial to actually get to the correct temperature. Also it’s got a limited temperature range. As you can see it only goes from zero to 220 degrees. Sometimes that could limit you. As well, it can get uncalibrated and the more that you calibrate this that little nut on the back can get loose over time and you’ll need to replace it. The nice thing is it’s cheap so it shouldn’t be too much of a burden.

Next we have a digital probe thermometer from Comark. The PDT-300. The nice thing about this is that it’s also cheap. The better benefit is that it’s a little bit quicker. It’s got more of an instantaneous read because it’s digitally driven and it can be field calibrated. The downfall about this one though is it’s also got a limited temperature range. This one can go down to 52 degrees below zero and all the way up to 302 degrees. This one is definitely an upgrade from your classic analog dial.

Next we have a Comark FoodPro Plus Infrared and Probe Thermometer. This is actually a really cool one. We’re starting to get into the more high-end thermometers here. The nice thing about these is when you have your HACCP plans and your health inspectors come in these thermometers are really what’s going to save you. The nice thing about this one, it’s already got a HACCP temperature range indicator so when you’re actually probing with this one you’ll see at the top it’s flashing in the hazardous sign so that means your temperature range right now for whatever you’re taking the temperature of is in the HACCP danger zone. Also it will go to the cold side or the hot side if you’re in the respective healthy areas of those temperature ranges. The nice thing is it’s an infrared gun as well as a digital probe as well so you got two different things here. The probe -40 to 392. The infrared gun itself -30 to 525.

Next here we have what is considered the crème de la crème of kitchen thermometers. We have here the Comark C20 Series K-type Thermal Couple Thermometer. The nice thing about this is that it’s a thermal couple so it’s going to measure your temperature ranges in a completely different manner, much more accurately, and it has a much larger range than any other thermometer. The temperature range on this probe is -328 degrees Fahrenheit all the way up to just over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. 1,112 to be exact. Also the nice thing, the feature of this is it’s got a one degree margin of error plus or minus so you’re getting a much more accurate reading and it reads almost instantaneously. The nice thing about this thermometer though is that it’s got some waterproofing around where the probe connector is as well as very durable because of this rubber housing and casing around it. It’ll last much longer than any other thermometer you have.

I’m Chris Tavano for Tundra Restaurant Supply and here’s to a better, accurate temperature reading.

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What Makes Vitamix …

What Makes Vitamix …  When you type the phrase “what makes vitamix” into Google, you get the following auto-complete suggestions: “what makes vitamix so great,” “what makes vitamix so special” and “what makes vitamix so expensive.” Let’s tackle these FAQs one by one!

What Makes Vitamix So Great?

Instead of delving into the mechanics of how Vitamix blenders work or detailing how uniquely powerful they are, I’ll focus on the result of all that precise engineering and impressive horsepower: amazingly consistent smoothies, soups and sauces, regardless of the ingredients.

More than anything, it’s the smooth, silky “mouthfeel” that wins people (and corporations like Starbucks) over. With Vitamix, you don’t get uneven blends. You don’t get tiny bits of kale stuck in your teeth. No shards of ice will block your straw.

In an exhaustive blender comparison, Cooks Illustrated crowned Vitamix king, due to its performance in a variety of tests and equally important, its toughness in the face of heavy use and challenging ingredients. “Its exceptional durability (not to mention seven-year warranty) makes it cheaper in the long run than a less expensive blender that needs continual replacing,” they wrote.

What Makes Vitamix So Special?

Part of what makes Vitamix special is its enormous grassroots popularity. Very few kitchen appliances inspire as much fanatical devotion as Vitamix blenders do. (KitchenAid mixers seem to have a similarly passionate fan base.)

Even, an online news magazine notorious for its contrarian viewpoints, has unabashedly joined the pro-Vitamix chorus. Food writer Catherine Price:

When you first buy a Vitamix 5200, the so-called Ferrari of blenders, two thoughts are likely to pass through your mind. The first is “Did I really just spend more than $400 on a blender?” And the second is “This machine is going to change my life.”

Modern marketing campaigns are predicated on the promise, implicit or explicit, of a better life. Our basements and kitchen cabinets fill up with exercise equipment and appliances that we purchase in hopes of improving our health and well being. Most of the time, these gadgets collect dust, seem to mock our attempts at self-improvement, and eventually find their way to the nearest Goodwill.

But when it comes Vitamix, that promise seems … legitimate, kept. If you believe the breathless reports from Vitamix owners themselves, these machines actually deliver on those bold promises of betterment.

What Makes Vitamix So Expensive?

Let’s not beat around the bush: these machines are SPENDY. Prices start around $400 and go (way) up from there. When you can purchase a blender for $30 from Walmart, the leap to a Vitamix might seem reckless—or pointless. After all, how much better could they be?

But every Vitamix owner I’ve spoken to (several, as a matter of fact; they love to spread the Vitamix gospel) has expressed approximately ZERO buyer’s remorse.

As someone who doesn’t own a Vitamix (yet) I understand the qualms about the pricetag. That said, I’ve started to wonder … what if these Vitamix fans are on to something?

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