Product Spotlight

Get Cooking in the Great Outdoors

MAG-LPAGA30-2Memorial Day is a good indicator that the weather is (finally) breaking. By now, you’re getting your table and chairs out of storage, umbrellas unrolled, and outdoor patios, sidewalk cafes, and beer gardens are gearing up to open for business.  While residential grade grills are used for seasonal outdoor cooking, they have a hard time standing up to general wear and tear of the elements and daily use.

A fun alternative for foodservice operators with patios and outdoor seating is preparing some or all meals ordered outdoors….well, outdoors. Many places already have an outdoor bar, so why not consider purchasing a portable commercial grill? Much of this depends on your menu, of course, but the option to open up your outdoor seating and grilling burgers and brats is exciting! Portable commercial grills are also beneficial for taking your food (and brand) on the road to local sporting events, festivals, county fairs, or other offsite catering events.

Burkett Restaurant Equipment offers a wide variety of portable grills including propane and charcoal, steel top or chrome plated, and different sizes to suit your needs. Start shopping for your best summer today!

Benefits of Buying Melamine Dinnerware

THU-1010TB-2Melamine dinnerware is an economical solution for busy homes and restaurants where traditional china isn’t ideal. Melamine is available in a variety of colors and sizes to match any décor and, better yet, its nearly indestructible. If you’re looking for more reasons to give melamine a try, keep reading!

Savings
Melamine truly is a long-term investment. While it also tends to be more inexpensive than traditional china and other dinnerware, melamine is durable and lasts long – even after continual, everyday use. No more worrying about shattering or chipping your plates and mugs.

Variety
Melamine dinnerware is a great option if you’re looking to add a little color and fun to your table. Melamine tableware is designed for many occasions and applications; and is offered in a variety of colors and patterns. In addition, many of the brands offer higher end selections that appear like china and ceramic dinnerware, if you’re trying to keep it classy.

Nearly Indestructible
Thanks to its design, melamine is shatterproof. Melamine can withstand a number of scenarios. Whether you accidentally drop a plate or bowl there’s a good chance your melamine dinnerware will be perfectly fine. An added bonus, melamine is also relatively scratch resistant meaning no more marks from your silverware.

Insulation
Melamine is ideal for cold food displays because of its great insulation. Melamine is ideal for any cold application – salad bars, buffets, deli displays. Melamine also stays cool to the touch, so it’s perfect for nights when you’re serving hot entrees.

BPA Free
Melamine is safe for use. It won’t transfer or leach into food product as long it is not heated to 160 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. While it’s not suggested for ovens or microwaves, it is dishwasher safe and meets NSF approval for food safety.

Gift Guide for the Burger Aficionado

A Meat Grinder VOL-40743-2

A meat grinder you say? Yes, I do, and here’s why: grinding your own meat gives you better flavor, better texture, and it’s safer. A dedicated meat grinder is your best option if you’re planning on grinding on a regular basis, so put your food processor aside. If you own a mixer, most companies offer attachments. For the true burger aficionado, a standalone meat grinder like this one from Vollrath offers you the power to grind over 200lbs. of burger per hour.

Squeeze Bottles 352401-2

Let’s face it; if you’re grinding your own meat, you know exactly how you like to dress your burger. The best way to avoid a mess and store any homemade condiments is in these plastic squeeze bottles. They’re affordable and give you that authentic diner feel.

A Hamburger Turner 353062-2

Also known as a spatula, but that’s not nearly as festive, is it? This stainless steel turner is strong enough to keep your burger pressed to the griddle to perfectly sear your patty. Plus, it’s made of sturdy stainless steel that will last forever and hold up against the highest heat.

Commercial Salt Shaker 357473-2

When you’re working fast, seasoning that 200lbs. of burger you just grinded, you’ll really benefit from having a high volume salt shaker. These stainless steel shakers are exactly what you see at diners and drive-thrus all over the country. They’re perfect for rapidly and evenly coating your food with a dusting of salt.

A Griddle Pan VOL-77530-2

This non-stick aluminum griddle pan is a great surface for retaining high heat and getting a nice sear on your hamburger. It’s durable and a welcome addition to any kitchen. While the deep-walled cast iron skilled is the more common pan for burgers, we prefer the shallow sides of the griddle pan which give you a little more leverage when smashing and scraping up patties.

Chef Jeff’s Kitchen Essentials Gift Guide

Kitchen Essentials don’t have to be expensive. I asked our very own expert, Chef Jeff, to give me a list of kitchen gear that all chefs – both professional and home – will use on a regular basis. You won’t find anything here that requires a major investment, just reliable tools for real chefs who cook on a daily basis.

1. A Kitchen Timer Internaltional Update Kitchen timer

Ever pop a loaf of garlic bread in the oven and completely forget about it until you hear the smoke alarm going off? It’s okay, we’ve all been there. Keep the burning to a minimum with an electric kitchen timer.  This Update International timer, available at Burkett, has an easy to read display, a loud alarm, and a magnetic clip for easy mounting. What more could you need?

BUY NOW: Electronic Kitchen Timer

2. A Digital Thermometer Digital Thermometer

A good instant-read thermometer is the only way to ensure that your food come out at the perfect temperature, the perfect amount of doneness, every time. Relying on accurate timing or, even worse, cutting and peeking, isn’t worth ruining a perfect steak. Go ahead and buy a high-quality, fast, digital thermometer and never have a piece of undercooked meat again.

This digital pocket thermometer from Burkett is money well-spent. It’s waterproof, field calibration ready, and has a thin tapered tip for precision accuracy.

BUY NOW: Digital Pocket Thermometer

3. A Great Paring Knife Paring Knife

Let’s be honest, all of you professional chefs out there are probably saying, “What about a chef’s knife?!”, and you’ve got a point. However I have a feeling you’ll come around to the convenience of a paring knife for small, everyday tasks like cutting off a bit of butter, taking the rink off some citrus fruit, or slicking up garlic. This 3” Forschner paring knife has a large handle for bigger hands and is built to last.

BUY NOW: Forschner 3” Paring Knife

4. A Bench Scraper bench scraper

A bench scraper doesn’t seem like an obvious choice for the kitchen essentials list, but that’s because you’re not using it regularly. Just wait; it will become one of your favorite tools. Keep one next to your cutting boards. It quickly transfers chopped veggies into your pots and pans and scraps into the garbage. It has a variety of other uses, including cutting pizza dough, ground beef, and releasing those tiny bits of dried dough from your work surface.  This bench scraper makes picking up tiny bits of chopped herbs a breeze. With its comfortable wood handle and sturdy construction, you’ll wonder how you ever operated without it.

BUY NOW: American Metalcraft 6” Scraper/Cutter

5. A Food Scale ditigal food scale

You might already know, from this blog post, that I’m a big fan of kitchen scales. Seriously, they take the guess work out of baking. The inaccuracies involved in scooping a single cup of flour (up to 25%, seriously) will send you running to the stores for a kitchen scale this instant. A good digital kitchen scale will make baking with weight measurements a pleasure, it will also help you determine how much moister your chicken lost during roasting, or exactly how far you’ve reduced that stock.  Important things to look for when shopping: Up to a 8lb capacity, a zero-out (tare) function, easy to read display, and a flat design for storage.

BUY NOW: Taylor Electronic Scale

6. A Good Pepper Mill 

Do yourself a favor, buy everyone you know a real pepper mill and save yourself, and your loved ones, from ever consuming ground pepper again. This Tablecraft Mahogany Pepper Mill is much better than the plastic disposable type, and it’s an investment that will improve almost every savory food you cook.

BUY NOW: Tablecraft Pepper Mill

7. A Mandoline Mandoline

This might be my favorite tool. A mandoline makes short work of all your slicing and julienning tasks. You’ll be surprised to find that most mandolines in your typical home goods stores are quite pricey. This Stainless Steel Mandoline from Burkett Restaurant Equipment is only $52.95. It slices a variety of foods and is constructed to last forever. Walk into any restaurant and you’ll see one or two of these babies.

BUY NOW: Winco Stainless Steel Mandoline

8. Metal Mixing Bowls Mixing Bowls

Forget the fancy designs and heavy lifting with fancy glass mixing bowls. Professional chefs know, metal mixing bowls are lighter, take up less space and last longer. With metal mixing bowls, you won’t have to worry about chips from your glass or ceramic mixing bowls landing in your batter, and most modern microwaves can handle metal these days. Bonus! You’ll find the metal bowls are cheaper at restaurant supply stores, like Burkett Restaurant Equipment, than anywhere else. We offer a variety of sizes to choose from to suit all of your needs.

BUY NOW: Metal Mixing Bowls

Tips for Cooking with Convection Ovens

convection ovenConvection ovens are a common staple in commercial and professional kitchens. However, if you’ve purchased a new oven for your home in the past 10 years, chances are you have a convection setting too. There is also a big chance that you’ve never used that setting.

Despite rarely being mentioned in recipes, convection ovens are known for cooking food faster and more evenly thanks to the internal fan that circulates hot air around your food. They are also more energy efficient, meaning your convection oven will cook many meals more evenly and up to 20 percent faster while using lower temperatures. For many chefs – both professional and at home – knee deep in planning holiday menus, this news is like a beacon of light!

The key for anyone new to cooking with convection ovens is that they often require adjustments to either time or temperature—and sometimes both. If you’re trying to figure out how best to cook with your convection oven, we have you covered. Here’s some helpful advice, most manufacturers of convection ovens recommend dropping the temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit and to start checking the dish when three-quarters of the normal cooking time has passed.

If you’re baking, take caution. The fan can sometimes splatter batters from pies, cakes and quick breads. That doesn’t mean bakeries should discredit convection ovens. Your baked goods will all be flakier, lighter, and loftier since butter releases steam almost immediately allowing your dough to rise higher. For cookies, take advantage of all available shelf space by baking with several trays at once. Because the fan disperses heat throughout the inside of the oven, you won’t have to rotate them as often as you would with a standard radiant oven. Follow these general rules and carefully monitor your first few attempts at cooking with convection heat. Before you know it, you’ll have a sense of how your convection oven cooks and what, if any, other adjustments should be made.

Interested in purchasing a convection oven for your home or business? Burkett Restaurant Equipment offers a range of options for you to shop from, including full size convection ovenshalf size convection ovens, and light duty counter-top ovens for our residential customers. Follow the links to our site where you can find more information and chat with an equipment expert.

4 Common types of Commercial Pizza Ovens

conveyer pizza oven If you’re shopping for a commercial pizza oven, you might notice there are quite a few types out there to choose from.  There are pizza ovens made for high-volume pizza parlors and ovens made for artisan pizza cafes. Despite coming in all shapes and sizes, each type of commercial pizza oven has advantages. Each oven variety uniquely impacts the way the crust is baked, toppings are cooked, and cheese is melted. Let’s review your commercial pizza oven options below:

Deck ovens and conveyor ovens are the most common types of pizza ovens. Often used in quick service restaurants, deck ovens are best for quickness and ease of use. Deck ovens can have ceramic based decks that help in distributing heat evenly, and maintain heat between batches. Pizzas are stacked on the heated stone to cook and the result is crisp, authentic crust that closely mimics the flavor of pizza cooked in a wood-burning oven.

Conveyor ovens make pizza cooking simple and quick. The conveyor oven cooks pizzas evenly and in a lightning-fast six minutes.  Raw pizza is placed on one end of the conveyor belt and comes out the other end perfectly done. Both gas (fueled flame) and electric coil conveyor models are available. You’ll more than likely see these at fast-food pizza parlors. Conveyor ovens have a long shelf life. If you’re considering a used conveyor oven, you can rest assured that you’ll be delivering delicious pizza for years to come.

Cart Ovens are perfect for street vendors or for making pizza at fairs and carnivals. They are small, easy to transport and can be powered by gas or electricity. Cart ovens are popular in Italy, where they’re typically seen at festivals and street fairs.

Convection Ovens cook pizza by circulating hot air inside the stove. A cheaper and efficient option, commercial convection cooking results in even cooking and is favored for all types of baking. Pizza cooked in a convection oven will be perfectly cooked with no hot or cold spots to worry about.

5 Tips for Properly Using a Vitamix Blender

When you spend good money for a reliable blender like a Vitamix Blender, taking special care of it will ensure that it lasts as long as possible.

  1. NEVER BANG THE CONTAINER… Do not bang the container against a surface as this will cause the sharp cracks in the bottom of the container to rip the container posts.
  2. TURN OFF THE MACHINE BEFORE REMOVING CONTAINER… Do not remove or place the container on the base while the machine is running. This will wear down the blade assembly and damage the drive socket.
  3. DO NOT SHAKE OR RATTLE MACHINE WHILE IN USE… We’ve all done it- shake the blender machine to make the contents blend smoother and faster. However, doing this is a big NO-NO! Doing so will damage the blade assembly and the ‘teeth’ on the drive socket.
  4. DO NOT PLACE FOREIGN ITEMS IN THE CONTAINER WHILE BLENDING… This can cause the blade to chip and lead to personal injury.
  5. NEVER OVERFILL THE CONTAINER… Overfilling sets the off the Thermal Protector and your machine will shut off. Turn the power OFF, take the container off of the base and wait for the motor to cool down. Your mixture may be too thick or you may process the ingredients too long at a LOW speed setting. If you detect a burning odor, add more liquid to your mixture or lessen the load. You should also check the condition of your container bearing assembly.

What’s a Vitamix Blender?

We might think that Vitamix Blenders are the coolest kitchen gadget to grace this fine Earth, but surprisingly not everyone knows what a Vitamix Blender is. So here’s a little history and information to familiarize you with Vitamix.

Vitamix 5028 BarBoss Professional Bar Blender

Vitamix Mix’n Machine

In 1937 W.G. “Papa” Barnard developed the first Vitamix Blender. Twelve years later Papa Barnard took his invention to a TV studio to create the first infomercial. The commercial ran for several years which helped make Vitamix a household name. The company’s main goal continues to be giving people a machine that does more than just blend. Today, the company makes 3 different types of blenders to appeal to the wide variety of businesses- a Beverage/Bar Blender, a Food Preparation Blender and Mix’n Frozen Treat Machine. Each machine also comes with different options and there is a commercial as well as residential line.

Although considered a high end product, Vitamix is definitely an amazing blending machine and worth the investment.

What To Do Before A Installing Keg Cooler

True TDD-4-S Stainless Steel Direct Draw Keg Cooler | 4 Keg Capacity

Always read the Operations Manual of your Keg Cooler before installing the unit. Small errors can lead to not only a ruined unit, but also a voided warranty. Below are a list of tips from True, Turbo Air, and Beverage-Air that should be reviewed before plugging in your Keg Cooler.

Before Installing… Use a volmeter to make sure your establishments electrical voltage will support the Keg Cooler. If anything less than 100% of the rated voltage for operation is noted, correct prior to hooking up the unit. Compressor warranties are void if compressor burns out due to low voltage.

Before Loading…. We recommend you run your unit empty for two to three days to ensure electrical wiring and installation are correct and no shipping damage has occurred. Most manufacturer warranties will not cover product loss.

Before Tapping… Ensure that all beer faucet in the serving location are in the off position. Completely remove the dust cover/ identification cap from the keg.

Electrical Precautions… If you’ve unplugged your Keg Cooler, wait 5 minutes before restarting the unit. Never plug a Keg Cooler into a breaker with other units or use an extension cord.

Helpful Hints On Maintaining The Correct Pressure:

  • Know which pressurizing agent to use on which product and why.
  • Monitor your regulators to ensure applied pressure remains constant
  • Keep equipment in good repair

Make sure to leave us a Product Review on Keg Coolers for a chance to win a FREE case of Beer Mugs! Just leave a review- no purchase necessary.  Click here to leave a review- I Want to Win a Case of Beer Mugs!

Yikes! There’s Mold in the Drain Pan of my Keg Cooler!

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Turbo Air TBD-3SB Black Vinyl Direct Draw Keg Cooler | 3 Keg Capacity

We cannot stress the importance of keeping all of your kitchen supplies and equipments clean! The health inspector, your customers, and of course you do not want to see mold or yeast growth in the drain pan of your Keg Cooler. A Kansas restaurant was recently cited when the health inspector found, “about 200 fruit fly larve and some adults in a drain below a keg cooler, a layer of mold in a drain.” The drain pan is the grated section below the beer tap that accumulates beer spillage. Mold likes cold and since a Keg Cooler is a refrigerated unit, mold growth is a serious risk.

To keep the drain pan clean, use hot, soapy water and a toothbrush and scrub away any beer residue, drippings, or leaks. This should be done daily. Never use an abrasive cleaner or a steel wool pad as this will leave corrosive iron particles on the stainless steel finish.

Make sure to leave us a Product Review on Keg Coolers for a chance to win a FREE case of Beer Mugs! Just leave a review- no purchase necessary.  Click here to leave a review- I Want to Win a Case of Beer Mugs!

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