Month: July 2017

What size ice machine do I need?

What size ice machine do I need?
Ice makers are defined by their production capacity per 24 hours and their ice storage capacity. Before choosing your machine use the table below as a guide to calculate how much ice you will need.

Venue – approx recommended ice guide

  • Bar – 1.4 Kg per person
  • Restaurant – 0.8 Kg per person
  • Fast Food Outlet – 0.23 kg per person
  • Catering – 0.4 kg per person
  • Cafeteria – 0.4 kg per person
  • Salad bar – 18 Kg per cubic foot

Do I need a drain pump?
A drain pump is required when the waste services are higher than the drain outlet of the ice machine.  Placing the machine on a stand may allow for gravity drainage.

What water pressure do I need?
For your machine to operate to the best of its ability you’ll need a water pressure of 1bar (14psi) – 6bar (84psi).
Anything less or more than this will adversely affect ice production. If you have low water pressure consider purchasing an external booster pump; if you have high water pressure consider a restrictor valve.

What temperatures do ice makers operate within?
The minimum temperature that an air-cooled ice machine will work at is 10°C; the maximum temperature is 43°C.
For water-cooled models the minimum water temperature is 3°C and the maximum 32°C.

Do ice makers need ventilation to operate?
As a general rule, you should allow 200mm at the rear of the machine and at least 50mm to the sides and top.

Bin Storage

The ice machine will stop creating ice once the bin storage is full – if you have a machine capable of making 24 kgs of ice in 24 hours – and only a 6 kg bin storage – once the bin storage is full the ice machine will stop working until the bin has been emptied.  You may want to store spare ice in the freezer ready for peak times.

View our range of ice makers by clicking here

Self-contained Ice Machine

Self-contained icemakers incorporate an ice-production system and ice storage bin into one machine. The smallest machine of the range produces 20Kg/24hrs and stores up to 4Kg, while the largest produces up to 155Kg/24hrs and stores up to 65Kg.

Modular Ice Machine

Modular ice systems have a separate production and ice storage unit (or ice bin). Modular ice production volume starts from 90Kg/24hrs and goes up to 1000Kg/24hrs. Ice storage units vary from 100Kg to 350Kg capacity.

 

BUYING A BARBECUE

It’s the ideal scenario for many caterers across the UK. The sun is out, the barbecue is sizzling and countless smiling customers are queuing up for a delicious burger, hot dog or skewer. If you have a beer garden, cater for outdoor events such as festivals or concerts, or simply wish to expand your street food menu, buying a commercial barbecue is an essential summer investment. Simply put, a commercial catering barbecue is a fast and easy way to prepare large amounts of crowd-favourite foods. The combination of beautiful weather and the enticing smoky aroma ensures a great profit margin for as long as the sun lasts! Before you decide which BBQ to buy however, it’s important to consider a few factors.

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CHARCOAL OR GAS

Charcoal BBQ

Ever popular, the traditional charcoal barbecue cooking method has existed for centuries. Perhaps the unmistakable smoky aroma, or delicious distinctive taste has since led to the technique being used worldwide to this day. As a general rule, charcoal barbecues cook food slower, meaning more moisture is retained within the food. As fat drips onto the charcoal, more of the smoky aroma is made, however “flare ups” can occur, where the fat catches light. Careful control of charcoal barbecues needs to be administered to ensure food isn’t cooked too fast, which can either make it taste bad or worse, ruining it altogether and causing waste.

For inexperienced users, a charcoal barbecue can be somewhat tricky to light and regulate at first, however it’s quick to learn the techniques for producing the authentic taste which customers crave. It’s important to note that charcoal barbecues will need refilling occasionally if used for extended periods.

Gas BBQ

Gas barbecues are a much more modern invention, with the concept having been developed in the 1960s in America. The modern commercial catering gas barbecue is rather different from those first machines, as they are now designed for large scale output and reliability. The main benefits of gas barbecues are fast lighting and cooking as well as much more controllable heat. This can help to reduce queue times for your customers, as well as reducing food waste. Some criticise gas barbecues as they don’t always produce food with the same distinctive taste as their charcoal counterparts, however, by using lava rock the smoky taste can, to some extent, be replicated. Another consideration is that gas barbecues generally have more functionality, meaning they tend to be more expensive than charcoal versions.

Gas barbecues, by their nature, use gas canisters so it’s important to make sure you have enough fuel to cater for the whole event, as well as a place to store them safely. Barbecues with more burners generally use more gas, however some have the ability to limit which burners are used, therefore saving energy during quieter periods.

STORAGE & PORTABILITY

The nature of British weather means barbecues aren’t likely to be used often during the winter months, so it’s important to consider what features the barbecue includes to help during down times. Some barbecues can simply be folded away, to take up the least possible space. Others include wheels, so they can be manoeuvred into a more suitable position, such as an indoor storage area once service is finished. Some of the largest commercial barbecues can be somewhat difficult to move, especially if they are designed for permanent positioning. In these circumstances, a weather-resistant cover would usually be advisable to help prevent the barbecue being damaged over time by the elements.

Must Read if Buying a Back Bar Bottle Cooler

FAQs – Dimensions Always check the bar fridge will fit though your doorways and in to the space required.

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Do you need to build the bottle cooler in? Look for a back bar chiller with a grid at the bottom front. Why? Because the bar fridges have a condenser at the back and this is used to reject heat from within the bottle cooler. This heat must be expelled otherwise the motor will overheat. Grids allow the hot air to escape and these grids can be located on the sides or front of the bar fridge. Side grids or bar coolers with no grids require an air space all the way around to help vent the warm air. Front grids allow the bar cooler to be built in
Door Type Hinged doors take up more space in a confined space. Door seals on sliding doors can become sticky and tear from drink spillages (require regular wiping down)
Displaying Chilled Drinks Bottle coolers are the most visible chilled cabinets in any bar – ensure the product has good illumination to display the contents.
Capacity Check how many bottles or items you ideally need to display, check bottle heights per shelf.
Door Locks Do you require the security of a door lock for when the product is not in use?
Interior If your planning on heavy usage of the product ensure you purchase a cabinet with a heavy duty interior say hammered aluminum rather than plastic.
Shelving Adjustable shelving allows flexibility in adjusting the height/space for alternative product sizes.
Temperature Display Ideal for keeping an eye on the air temperature inside the cabinet
Delivery Do you require the product urgently or can you wait for the standard delivery – give us a call to find out more information.
FAQs – Dimensions Always check the bar fridge will fit though your doorways and in to the space required.
Do you need to build the bottle cooler in? Look for a back bar chiller with a grid at the bottom front. Why? Because the bar fridges have a condenser at the back and this is used to reject heat from within the bottle cooler. This heat must be expelled otherwise the motor will overheat. Grids allow the hot air to escape and these grids can be located on the sides or front of the bar fridge. Side grids or bar coolers with no grids require an air space all the way around to help vent the warm air. Front grids allow the bar cooler to be built in
Door Type Hinged doors take up more space in a confined space. Door seals on sliding doors can become sticky and tear from drink spillages (require regular wiping down)
Displaying Chilled Drinks Bottle coolers are the most visible chilled cabinets in any bar – ensure the product has good illumination to display the contents.
Capacity Check how many bottles or items you ideally need to display, check bottle heights per shelf.
Door Locks Do you require the security of a door lock for when the product is not in use?
Interior If your planning on heavy usage of the product ensure you purchase a cabinet with a heavy duty interior say hammered aluminum rather than plastic.
Shelving Adjustable shelving allows flexibility in adjusting the height/space for alternative product sizes.
Temperature Display Ideal for keeping an eye on the air temperature inside the cabinet
Delivery Do you require the product urgently or can you wait for the standard delivery – give us a call to find out more information.

BUYING A CATERING FRYER

Whether you’re frying chips, fish, doughnuts or chicken, a commercial deep fat fryer is the ideal appliance to produce deliciously crispy and succulent foods. However, selecting the right fryer from such a vast range could seem overwhelming at first. For some businesses, a professional fryer is the primary cooking appliance, so it’s vital to understand the features and limitations of the machine before purchase.

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FEATURES & BENEFITS

  • Power and Capacity: Whether you are expecting spikes in demand or a consistent, high turnover of food, careful consideration needs to be made to the power and oil capacity of the fryer. Higher power fryers generally heat up and recover temperature faster (sometimes called the response time), meaning more food can be cooked in a smaller time frame. Likewise, if you only use the fryer occasionally, a smaller light duty fryer could be more efficient in the long term. Although using a higher capacity fryer gives you the facility to cook more in one frying cycle, it also generally means a bigger fryer, which could use a considerable amount of valuable kitchen space.
  • Power type: Commercial fryers typically use gas or electricity connections, with the most powerful versions requiring a direct, permanent hardwired connection to the mains to operate effectively. With the difference between the performance of gas and electricity versions being marginal, the decision would generally be down to user preference and the availability of a gas or electricity connection.
  • Single tank or twin tank: The majority of commercial fryers are available in single or twin tank configurations. This relates to how many separate oil compartments there are. The main benefit of twin tank fryers is the ability to independently fry two separate food types at different temperatures without the risk of cross-contamination. In addition, a twin tank fryer is sometimes considered more efficient as you can use only the tanks that you need. Conversely, a single tank fryer can accommodate larger or more frying baskets, allowing bulk frying during busy periods.
  • Number of baskets: Multiple baskets allow you to cook more than one food type at a time, albeit with smaller quantities than large single baskets. Using a large single tank fryer gives you the option of using either single or multiple basket configurations depending on your menu options.
  • Manual or Programmable: Commercial kitchens can be pretty hectic places, so some fryers have the option to notify you when the cooking is completed. Some of the very top end fryers even raise the fryer basket for you once the food is cooked. Although programmable fryers can cost more, they can save you a significant amount of time.
  • Running costs: Without doubt, the most costly ongoing expense when operating a professional fryer is the cooking oil. Once oil is spent, the quality and taste of fried food can deteriorate – so oil should be changed on a regular basis. Therefore many modern fryers are designed to extend the life of its cooking oil by intelligent filtration or by implementing cool zones which prevent food sediment from burning and contaminating the oil. Due to the size and complexity of filtration systems, they are mainly seen within the stand on free standing fryers. Oil life can also be extended by manually removing food debris using a skimmer.
  • Used oil can usually be recycled. some companies may even pay you to collect it. Note: Used oil can quickly block drains, so make sure to dispose of it responsibly.