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Ann Holtzapple
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10.22.18

Improvements in Commercial Kitchen Equipment Technology - Performance, Efficiency and Energy Consumption

The kitchen is the command center of any restaurant and throughout the years, there have been improvements to the inner workings of a commercial kitchen to make this hub run smoother, faster, and more efficiently.

No matter the size, if a commercial kitchen is stocked with the most efficient equipment, the cook staff can consistently produce large quantities of quality meals without a hitch.

Commercial kitchen equipment has come a long way. Over years of improvements, we’ve noticed a trend in some of the improvements to standard kitchen appliances. Here are three top improvement trends that we think are revolutionizing the modern day commercial kitchen.

 

1. Small Footprint Solutions

Every square inch counts when it comes to seating capacity, and restaurant kitchens are sacrificing space to accommodate front-of-house demands. Due to this trend the demand for smaller commercial equipment is skyrocketing.

Commercial kitchens need appliances that are compact and have multiple uses. There have been advances in our line of commercial kitchen equipment such as the gas and electric Combi units and the Versatile Chef Station.

Minijet Combi Oven

The Vulcan Minijet combi oven has multiple cooking capabilities, such as:

  • Baking
  • Steaming
  • Roasting
  • Air-frying
  • Retherming
  • Proofing
  • Finishing
  • Poaching
  • Stewing
  • Defrosting

This all-in-one unit helps smaller kitchens not only save space but also save time. With many different cooking outlets in one unit, you can cook a wide variety of dishes without having to move from station to station.

Versatile Chef Station

The versatile chef station is another small footprint solution that is completely redefining how chefs and the back of the house staff prepare food.

In one dinner shift, a chef and his team can be tasked with making a wide variety of dishes, using different techniques and equipment for each. One minute, they can be roasting a rack of lamb, the next they are steaming a plate of vegetables.

Rather than switching between pots and pans, this piece of equipment has a series of cooking chambers that chefs can use to compartmentalize different dishes. These cooking chambers eliminate the need to store and wash pots and pans, as each chamber acts as its own cooking vessel. With some of the most precise temperature control on the market, you can easily modify each compartment to move throughout the dinner rush with ease.

These types of appliances are revolutionizing the commercial kitchen as we know it. With smaller floor space, increased power, and cooking enhancements, chefs can create a whole new layout and flow in their kitchens.

 

2. Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is becoming an industry standard.

Food preparation, water heating, exhaust hoods, and extensive HVAC systems eat up a restaurant’s energy usage. These large costs can make energy efficient equipment extremely appealing to restaurant owners. A sustainable kitchen is great for more than just your wallet. These systems can help reduce energy output into the environment.

Efficiency crackdowns from the Foodservice Technology Center (FSTC) and the Consortium for Energy Efficiency(CEE) are also taking place. These organizations are paving the way for energy efficiency, creating standards to help restaurant owners get the most effective and sustainable equipment. Depending on where you live, you may have to consider upgrading outdated equipment to meet the efficiency standards administered by law.

There are programs that reward kitchens for making the switch to more energy efficient models. The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency or DSIRE is a national database that showcases all financial incentives offered by local, state, and federal government and utilities. You can also visit the ENERGY STAR® Rebate Finder  to find out what equipment rebates are available in your state.

Even if you are not in the market for energy efficient equipment, it’s not a bad idea to list a few pieces of equipment that would give you the best financial gain. Browse through the rebates and create a potential replacement list. This way, if you have a piece of equipment break down in the middle of a busy weekend shift, you can be prepared to choose a piece of energy efficient equipment rather than just choosing the first piece of equipment that you can find. If you need help navigating the list of energy efficient equipment, a local Vulcan representative can assess your space and help develop this replacement with you.

 

3. Advanced Operational Technology

Commercial kitchen equipment is becoming more and more robust. With each new piece of equipment that is released, there is added temperature control specifications, cleaning and maintenance automation, and ventilation.

These operational advancements can keep your appliances running for years on end while also helping your commercial kitchen run smoother throughout any shift.

For example, one of the largest maintenance issues amongst steamers is scale. Scale builds up inside of steamers over time, impacting their output and efficiency. With all the operations that happen in the kitchen on a day to day basis, it’s easy to forget about replacing filters, causing the machine to break down.  Vulcan has developed a new technology called SonicSafe™ ultrasonic scale prevention that is integrated inside of its electric generator-based steamers. This technology provides industrial strength scale prevention so that you never have to worry about scale build up again.

Technology updates like this can help make investing in new appliances worthwhile.

 

Upgrading Your Commercial Kitchen

Commercial kitchen equipment is always adapting to the needs of chefs and the back of the house staff. By making the switch to more modern and advanced equipment, you can have a more efficient kitchen resulting in smoother operations and a happier staff. These advancements will help you save space, time, and capital in the long run. Consider speaking to your local equipment dealer or sales rep to find the best solution for your operation.

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