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Successful restaurant kitchens have 5 indispensable pieces of cooking equipment

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Posted: Sunday, January 26, 2014 4:00 pm | Updated: 1:32 am, Mon Feb 3, 2014.

Whether it’s a quaint corner cafe, the newest chain in the neighborhood or a high-end steak house with the city’s hottest chef, every restaurant owner and manager knows what’s in the kitchen can make or break a business. Bottom line: good restaurant equipment is a must.

The freshest food is only as good as the equipment that cooks it, so it’s essential to invest in quality items that will last through the morning rush and well into the evening hours, every day of the week.

The experts at ACityDiscount.com – a food service equipment company celebrating 40 years of business – know what a restaurant kitchen needs to function smoothly. They recommend five pieces of restaurant equipment to ensure your kitchen runs like a well-oiled machine, resulting in amazing food and happy customers.

Commercial ranges

A commercial range is the backbone of a working kitchen, and a variety of options are available to meet the needs of different kitchens. For example, some restaurants may opt for a two-burner electric countertop hot plate while another may require a six-burner, natural gas restaurant range. Ranges come in a variety of sizes and configurations, and your business’s needs will differ depending on available space and kitchen layout. Additionally, when shopping for commercial ranges, keep in mind specialty stoves like stockpot and wok-top Chinese ranges that may be necessary, should your menu require them.

Griddles and flat grills

A commercial flat grill, or griddle, is key to cooking many high-demand menu items during breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are a number of options for those in search of commercial griddles, including many models that sit on countertops, and some drop-in griddles that are intended to be placed in a cutout section of a countertop. Select from gas, electric or induction, and consider plate thickness before buying. If your restaurant will lean on its griddle heavily during service, a thick griddle plate may work best, as they retain heat better and recover faster than thinner griddle plates.

Charbroilers and gas grills

For the best grilled steaks, chicken and vegetables, your restaurant must have a commercial gas grill, or as they are often referred to, a charbroiler. Consisting of many grates over a heat source, charbroilers give food that unique grilled flavor that customers crave. Skilled chefs can use the heat and smoke of a charbroiler to infuse flavor into dishes, and distinct sear lines make any item visually appealing. Before shopping, it is important to know what variety of charboiler will work best in your establishment. Keep in mind radiant gas charbroilers heat more evenly than lava rock gas charbroilers or wood broilers, but don’t add any smoky flavor.

Fryers

Frying foods is a quick and easy way to prepare popular menu items, so it’s important to select the right fryer for your needs. For high volumes of food, open-pot fryers and tube-type fryers are good options. Open-pot fryers work well for cooking low sediment foods like french fries or cheese sticks, while tube-fired fryers are better for cooking things like fried chicken or fish. For delicate or specialty foods – like doughnuts or funnel cakes – a flat-bottom fryer may be a better option.

Convection ovens

One of the most important pieces of equipment in any restaurant kitchen is the convection oven. Aside from choosing between gas and electric, there are a wealth of other choices that must be made when selecting the right oven for your business. Convection ovens come in sizes small enough to fit quarter-size sheet pans, large double-stack ovens that can hold up to 10 full sheet pans, and every size in between. In addition to size and energy source, there are other options, such as multi-speed fans, digital and programmable thermostats, and steam injection that can be added to custom tailor your oven to your kitchen.

These five critical pieces of restaurant equipment will lay the foundation for your kitchen’s success. Each restaurant has its individualized needs, so it’s smart to work with experts that can guide you toward the best options for you. To learn more about these pieces of equipment, or for other tips on putting together your kitchen, visit www.ACityDiscount.com.

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Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

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