Monthly Archives: February 2012

Commercial Flatware, Glassware, Dinnerware Maintenance

While flatware, glassware, and dinnerware may not be the most expensive items in your kitchen, any restaurateur knows that the continuous replacement of these items will leave you with a hefty price tag each year. Simple and small steps will ensure the long term performance of your smallware.

Flatware: Dingy, spotty, and dirty flatware will definitely drive away customers.flatware-on-napkin

    1. Keep stainless steel flatware shiny by hand washing with warm water and mild soap  and dry immediately.
    2. Non-stainless utensils should be washed in a dishwasher on high temperature/sanitary cycle. Placing them in a separate flatware carrier will protect dinnerware from getting cracked during the wash cycle and ensure a thorough cleaning.
    3. Do not presoak for more than 10 minutes and never use acidic detergents like lemon scented dish soap on stainless steel flatware to prevent discoloration. Never use chlorine on your flatware.
    4. To remove excess water, thoroughly dry your flatware even if your dishwasher has a dry setting.

Glassware: Cracked and chipped glasses are dangers to your employees and customers!glassware for resturant

    1. Stacking glasses will cause tension and easier breakage. Use a glassware carrier to store and carry glasses in your restaurant or bar.
    2. Restaurant kitchens are a busy place and all though many of us are guilty of doing this, do not add ice to a hot glass as it will cause the glass to crack or break.
    3. Protect yourself, your customers, and your business. Inspect glassware for chipped rims and cracks that can injure your customers. If you see any damage to the glass, throw it away immediately.
    4. Remind bussers to carefully clean the table and lay down glasses in bus tubs as opposed to staking them up. If possible use a separate tub for glassware.

Dinnerware: Chipped and cracked plates are a turn off to customers.dinnerware-dishes-cups

    1. Let’s face it, chipped dinnerware looks bad. Really bad. Before serving a delicious quality meal, make sure the plate that you will be using to serve is clean and free of chips and crack.
    2. Do not pre-soak in water over 160 degrees, use hard water, or leave china unwashed after use. This will leave unattractive discolorations and stains.
    3. When bussing tables, stack dishes and bowls in separate stacks. Large piles or carelessly place dishes in bus tubs will cause unsightly chips and cracks.
    4. To ensure proper dishwasher loading and cleaning, wash one type of dishes (plates, salad plates or bowls) on each dishwasher rack.
    5. Do not serve cold food in a hot dish- this can cause the dish to crack. If you require hot plates, keep them in a dish dispenser.
    6. Short stacks: Keep plates stacked low to keep dishes from falling and breaking. For that reason, never stack more than 15” high.

Taking these extra steps means you won’t have to replace your smallware so often and will help you save money.

Commercial Refrigerator Maintenance

Is it important to keep your food and beverages fresh and cold? You bet! The best way to do this is to keep your foodstuff in the Refrigerator! If your Refrigerator breaks down due to poor maintenance, then your kitchen is going to have a huge and costly problem.

WIPE! WIPE! WIPE! Do not allow dirt, grime, and food particles to accumulate on the exterior of machine. Wipe the cabinet with mild soap and water. If stainless steel surfaces become discolored scrub by only rubbing in the direction of the grain finish. Never use steel wool.

Regularly Clean Components! Make sure to unplug the Refrigerator from the electrical source before cleaning.

  1. Condenser & Evaporator: Clean every 30 days with a coil-cleaner solution or mild soap and water. Always scrub with the coils up and down- never side to side, to prevent coil damage. Remove grill for access and vacuum front surface of coil or direct forced air through the condenser from the rear. Use a bristled brush to loosen dirt if necessary. A dirty condenser will cause the Refrigerator to reach high temperatures. Replace coils and fans every 4-6 months for optimal operation.
  2. Condensate Evaporation Pan: Clean periodically to prevent odors and operate efficiently. Vacuum clean if dry or sponge with soapy water.
  3. Fan Blades: Clean fan blades and the fan cover with a de-greaser solution and rinse well when done.
  4. Door Hinges: Hinges can get dry and caked with door causing the doors to not close properly. Clean hinges regularly and lightly lubricate surfaces annually.
  5. Interior Cleaning:  Never use wool, caustic chemicals or bleach. Use a clean sponge and warm water with mild soap.

When in Doubt, Call for Technician Assistance! Have a professional inspect electrical connections and ensure they are tight as loose wires can cause high amperage and increase the amount of energy used by the unit. At least once a year, get a technician to check that drain lines are clear of debris and check that the fan motor is running at optimum speed.

Contact to discuss options to troubleshoot your issue and get your Commercial Refrigerator back up and running!

Commercial Range Maintenance 101

It’s pretty safe to say that if your Commercial Range stopped working, even for just a few hours, your restaurant would be in serious trouble. Your chef won’t be able to prepare the essential ingredients necessary to make the dishes on your menu which would cause you to turn away customers and lose money. You can prevent this from happening by maintaining your Commercial Range to ensure its long-lasting performance.

Keep it Seasoned! Seasoning is essential to prevent food from sticking to the surface.

  • Griddle: Wash griddle with hot water and mild soap first. Apply a thin coat of cooking oil to the surface (1oz per square foot). Spread with a cloth to create a thing film and wipe off access. Light all burners on lowest setting for 15-20 minutes then wipe away oil. Repeat 2-3 times until griddle is slick with a mirror like finish.

**If griddle is overheated, product begins to stick, and after the griddle is cleaned with soap and water you will need to reseason the griddle surface.

  • Cast Iron Top Grates: Wash and dry grates thoroughly. Immediately after drying season the tops lightly with vegetable oil or Pam spray. (Never season grates while on the range top) Return grates onto range and turn all burners on low for at least 20 minutes.

**Reseason after each cleaning to prevent rusting.

Clean! We really cannot stress this enough. The #1 way to keep your commercial equipment properly working is to keep them clean. Daily and even hourly cleaning for heavy use equipment is vital. ALWAYS DISCONNECT ELECTRICAL POWER SUPPLY BEFORE CLEANING!

  • Exterior: Immediately wipe down all surfaces when splatter or spills occur to prevent caked on messes using a soap and water mixture. Remember to wipe dry. If the food becomes cooked on and cannot be easily wiped away, clean with a commercial-grade cleanser and sponge or cloth. Rub clean in the direction of the metals polishing lines. If necessary, carefully use a stainless scouring pad. Wipe dry. (Never use steel wool as it will leave particles on the surface that could cause it to rust.)
  • Open Top Burners: Grids and trays should be removed daily, cleaned and dried thoroughly before replacing. Clean burner ports with a wire brush. If you have a clogged hole, the burner should be lifted out and brushed inside and out. Clean grease with soap and hot water.
  • Cast Iron Top & Grates: Clean with mild soap and warm water. For baked on material, use a wire brush. Lightly coat with oil after cleaning to prevent rust. Do not scouring powder as it is very difficult to completely remove and can damage the range.
  • Griddle: For evenly cooked, browned griddle products keep griddle free of carbonized grease which can hinder the transfer of heat from the surface to the food. Clean griddle with a scraper or spatula after each use. Use a grill brick and pad to clean the surface and grease container at the end of the day. To remove discoloration use a non abrasive cleaner. Make sure to re-season the grill before reusing.
  • Components: At the end of the day, remove rings/plates, grates, burners, grease traps and drawers and clean these components as well as their area on the Range before replacing. Soak components in soapy water to help release dirt particles.

Use with Care! While the griddle plate may be steel, the surface is still soft and can be dented, scratched and gorged with a spatula if care is not taken. If the griddle is to be shut down for an extended period, put a heavy coat of grease over the griddle plate.

Move It! Inevitably food will fall behind and around your Commercial Range. Make sure you move it and clean around it. Consider using casters on the range to make moving easy for cleaning as well as when maintenance is necessary.

Lubrication: Don’t let range valve knobs get stuck- grease them regularly. If your range has a steel griddle use a light coating of oil to prevent rusting of exposed and uncoated areas.

Commercial Oven Maintenance

Ranges, Refrigerators and Ovens are all vital components of any commercial kitchen. From warming foods to baking your fabulous dishes your Oven is perhaps one of the most used piece of equipment in your restaurant so let’s keep it performing at 100%. While specific maintenance requirements vary for each manufacturer, here are a few tips to keep you Oven working. Refer to your Instruction Manual for more specific maintenance advice.

Convection Ovens:

  1. Clean exterior with a cloth and stainless steel cleaner. Dry with a clean cloth.
  2. To clean interior, remove racks, rack supports and back panel. Soak parts  in a water and ammonia solution. Clean porcelain interior with commercial oven cleaner but do not allow cleaner to come in contact with temperature probe, heating element or blower wheel. Let cleaner sit 10-20 minutes then wipe clean with wet cloth. If you have caked on spills inside your oven, use an oven brush to thoroughly clean these spots.Clean painted and stainless steel surfaces with a wet cloth. Reinstall removed components.
  3. Clean air intake weekly.
  4. Clean fan daily to prevent grease buildup.
  5. Inspect oven seal to prevent heat from escaping. Clean around door to remove food particles that prevent a proper closing.
  6. Annual Maintenance: Venting system should be checked annually for possible deterioration from moisture and corrosive flue products. This must  be done by an authorized service technician.

Conveyor Oven:

1. Clean interior with a wet cloth regularly to remove spills, crumbs and grease as this will prevent even airflow and cooking.Use a damp cloth for light cleaning and a non-caustic cleaner for heavier, baked on messes. To prevent costly damage, do not use excessive water or caustic oven cleaner.

2. Cooling Fan Grill: Clean daily with a stiff nylon brush and check air intake.

3. Conveyor Belt: Remove excess crumbs from conveyor belt with a brush. Remove and clean crumb pans. Remove the belt once a month for a more thorough cleaning.

4. Blower/Fan Motor: Thoroughly blow out the fan motor components and vents with compressed air to prevent the failure of the blower fan motor. Do this every 3 months. Check Blower Fan Belt for wear and tear.

5. Electrical Terminals: Every 3 months tighten all electrical control terminal screws.

6. Ventilation: Check air circulation every 3 months throughout the oven to make sure it’s not blocked and is properly working.

Contact to discuss options to troubleshoot your issue and get your Oven back up and running!

Commercial Fryer Maintenance

Who doesn’t love fried food! French fries, onion rings, chicken wings, donuts and chicken breast are a few Fried food items, in the basket with side saucespopular dishes. This passion for fried food means that just about every food service business has a well-used Commercial Fryer in the kitchen. So, what can you do to make sure your Fryer continues to produce delicious food that will keep your customers coming in? Maintain it of course! Here are some simple things that you can do to extend your Fryer’s life.

Clean It! Once again, it’s amazing how this simple step is often overlooked. The implications of not regularly cleaning Fryer can destroy not only your equipment, but it can lead to your business burning to the ground. Clean your equipment during the day and then thoroughly cleaned it at the end of each day.

    1. Never clean during the cooking process or when they frypot is filled with hot oil or shortening. Unplug the machine and wait until the oil and the machine are cool before cleaning.
    2. Use a commercial grade cleaner that will effectively clean and sanitize contact surfaces.
    3. Never use cleaners, steel wool, or other abrasive on stainless steel.
    4. Make sure to thoroughly clean the machine. Accessories like a Fryer Cleanout Rod and Fryer Brush will make sure that even the hardest to reach places are cleaned.

Regularly Filter the Oil! Filter daily to maintain the freshest fried foods possible.

Change the Oil! Once a week drain the oil and clean the frypot. If under heavy use, the cooking oil should be changed throughout the day.

Properly Dispose of Cooking Oil: Did you know that pouring even 1 gallon of oil down the drain can contaminate 1 million gallons of water and will even block your pipes? Do the environment a favor and dispose of oil the correct way. When cool, put the oil in a sealed, non-recyclable and unbreakable container (like a coffee can) and dispose of in the trash. If you have a garden, used cooking oil can be composted.

Replace Baskets Damaged baskets may not properly submerge in the oil. When baskets get dinged, broken or are excessively greased, purchase new baskets to ensure even frying. This Gold Medal basket is one of our favorites and is a universal size.

Schedule Regular Service Inspection A Factory-Authorized Service Technician should inspect your Fryer annually for:

  1. Excessive oil build-up inside and out, front and rear of the machine.
  2. Obstruction in the flue opening
  3. Verify burners and components are in good condition and functioning properly.
  4. Ensure temperature and high-limit properties are properly functioning, connected and tightened.
  5. Verify all safety features are present and properly functioning.
  6. Verify frypot is in good condition, free of leaks, and the fry pot insulation is in serviceable condition.
  7. Verify wiring harnesses and connections are tight and in good condition.
  8. Verify that the component box components are in good condition and free from oil and debris build up.

Contact Burkett Restaurant Equipment to discuss options to troubleshoot your issue and get you back up and frying!

Commerical Ice Machine Maintenance

Ice Machines are an integral piece of equipment for any restaurant, bar, concession stand, or cafeteria. Mixed drinks, smoothies, to chill water and sodas, and to keep fresh food cold, a restaurant without ice would definitely be in trouble. Follow these simple maintenance tips to ensure your Ice Machine doesn’t stop working when you need it most. Remember to always refer to your Instruction Manual for specific maintenance tips for your machine.

Change Your Water Filter! Change your water filter every 6 months or when the filter gauge indicates a replacement is necessary.  Some manufacturers even extend warranties if the correct filter is used.

Clean It! Running a restaurant is time-consuming and exhausting. Unfortunately cleaning equipment regularly and thoroughly is often put off or completely overlooked (YIKES!). A dirty Ice Machine will not release ice, produce poor quality ice, and will be slow to harvest. Don’t fall into this trap.

    • Interior Cleaning: Clean every 6 months to remove lime scale and other mineral deposit using the manufacturers recommended cleaning solution. Turn the machine off overnight before cleaning so that ice can melt. Remove ice bins and trays and clean with soft metal brush. You can run them through the dishwasher as well. Clean and sanitize inside of machine. After cleaning process, turn the ice machine on, and allow it to run for a full freezing cycle, throw out ice batch made during that cycle and then resume using the ice machine as normal.
    • Air-Cooled Condenser: A dirty air-cooled condenser will restrict airflow that will reduce ice production and shorten the components life. Clean the condenser at least every 6 months by blowing compressed air through the condenser from the inside.
    • Water-Cooled Condenser: Cleaning generally requires special pumps and cleaning solutions that must be performed by a qualified maintenance or service personnel.

**Condenser fins are sharp, use care when cleaning them. If you are cleaning the condenser fan blades with water, cover the fan motor to prevent water damage.

Sanitize! Algae growth and slime are two things you do not want to find in your Ice Machine. Remove all ice and sanitize with a solution of one ounce nickel-safe sanitize to up to four gallons of water. Rinse all sanitized surfaces with clean water.
*Never mix Cleaner and Sanitizer solutions as this is a violation of Federal Law.
*Always wear rubber gloves for cleaning and sanitizing.

Antimicrobial Protection While newer machines have built-in antimicrobial protection, an anti-microbial stick or pouch will keep older Ice Machines slime and alga free. Replace every 2-3 months.

Contact Burkett Restaurant Equipment to discuss options to troubleshoot your issue and get your ice machine back up and running!

Burkett Restaurant Equipment New Showroom Hours

New Showroom Hours

Burkett Restaurant Equipment has adjusted its Toledo showroom hours and realigned its Sales Consultant Team to better serve its customers. Effective February 1, 2012 the new store hours will be as follows:

Toledo Showroom Store Hours:

  • Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. EST
  • Saturday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. EST

National Sales Hours:

  • Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. EST
  • Saturday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. EST

You can still visit and purchase products from our website 24 hours a day 7 days a week at If you have any questions about these changes, we encourage you to call us. 1-800-828-8568

The Burkett Team

Commerical Mixer Maintenance Ensures Longevity, Efficiency

globe sp60 floor mixerIf you’ve invested thousands of dollars in a commercial mixer, chances are you rely heavily on this piece of equipment for your daily operations. The last thing you want is for it to break down and interrupt your sales. A well-maintained mixer will last many years regardless of how often or rigorous its use. For that reason, it is important that you understand how to maintain your mixer to maximize its longevity.

Read the manual and refer to it when you need advice: If you have any questions about your mixer or do not fully understand how to properly use it, refer to your Instruction Manual

A clean mixer Improves its longevity: The reasons to clean your mixer are pretty obvious. Besides contamination, a poorly cleaned mixing bowl could cause discoloration of the mixed product. Before you begin to clean your mixer turn it off and disconnect or unplug it from the electrical source.

  • Dilute detergent per supplier’s instruction.
  • DO NOT hose down or pressure wash any part of the Mixer.
  • NEVER use a scrubber pad, steel wool, or abrasive material to clean the Mixer.
  • NEVER use bleach (sodium hypochlorite) or bleach based cleaner.
  • ALWAYS remove the agitator after each batch. If not, the agitator can become stuck on the shaft and become difficult to remove.

Generally, hand washing the Mixers components with mild soap and water, drying and sanitizing is the proper way to clean your equipment.

The recommended cleaning frequency for the bowl cradle, exterior and hub interior is daily. After each use, clean the agitators, bowl, safety guard, rear splash guard, and planetary shift

Lubrication for maximum performance:  A mixer is only as strong as its weakest link, so keep your mixer well oiled to maximize its performance. For example, a mixer that is not regularly lubricated will cause the safety guard to seize up (not move freely) or cause the agitator to not go onto the planetary shaft easily. Another problem that can occur is that the mixing bowl will stick or stop operating entirely. Mineral oil or food quality grease is generally recommended for lubrication.

NEVER Overload: Prior to purchasing a mixer, determine how much product you’ll be mixing in each batch. Remember to leave yourself extra space in the bowl so the mixture can be properly mixed. Don’t forget, once you combine dry ingredients with liquid ingredients, your mixture will expand (also known as Absorption Ration or AR%). For an easy way to calculate this, refer to the mixer’s capacity chart, located in the instruction manual.  An overloaded mixer will be noisy, cause whip wires to break or lead to a broken dough hook.

Repairing a mixer can be a costly, and a poorly maintained Mixer will void the manufacturer’s warranty. Contact Burkett Customer Service to discuss options to troubleshoot your issue and get you back up and mixing.

February is National Cherry Month!

It’s National Cherry Month and your customer’s mouths will water at the sight of this delicious Cherry Pie recipe!



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 cups pitted sour cherries
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 10 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract


  1. Cut the shortening into the flour and salt with the whisking blades of a stand mixer until the crumbs are pea sized. Mix in cold water. Refrigerate until chilled through. Roll out dough for a two crust pie. Line a 9 inch pie pan with pastry.
  2. Place the cherries, sugar, and cornstarch in a Stainless Steel Saucepan. Allow the mixture to stand for 10
    minutes, or until the cherries are moistened with the sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Lower the heat; simmer for 1 minute, or until the juices thicken and become translucent. Remove pan from heat, and stir in butter and almond extract. Pour the filling into the pie shell. Cover with top crust.
  3. Bake in a preheated 375 degree F (190 degree C) Oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
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