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Kim Dowrey
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02.10.22

Why Your Commercial Kitchen Needs a Steam Kettle

Want to ramp up productivity in your restaurant or commercial kitchen? Steam kettles can provide your kitchen with immense benefits. Equipped with advanced technology, steam kettles can change your kitchen’s operations completely. Unlike traditional cooking from a stockpot, a steam kettle provides efficient heat transfer, uniform heating, and superior product handling to create faster foodservice operations in your kitchen. These benefits are just a few of the many you can expect when you incorporate a steam kettle into your kitchen.

More Productive Operations

With a stockpot on a range or stockpot burner, there needs to be constant supervision, heat adjusting, and monitoring to ensure the dish comes out perfectly. A steam kettle operates a bit differently. With a jacketed steam kettle, you receive heat from all angles, not just from the bottom. Even heat production speeds up cooking times, resulting in faster delivery and fewer resources used per day. 

Save Labor Time & Costs

Throughout any given shift, your team faces a multitude of operational tasks. Adding a steam kettle can help take some of the burdens off their shoulders. Steam kettles operate efficiently, allowing for even, gentle cooking with little attention. This can reduce food waste costs from overcooking or burning, save time on reheating meals, and can keep soups and stews warm and ready without maintenance.

Simple Clean Up

Relying on traditional stock pots and ranges can result in tedious, constant cleaning. To create one simple pasta dish, you need a pot for boiling water, another for cooking meats, and another for simmering the sauce. Not only do these pots take up a lot of storage space, they have to be thoroughly cleaned and put through the dishwasher before the next use, and they can cause a messy and unorganized workplace.

With a steam kettle, there is one pot that is easily cleaned and maintained. Even heating eliminates caked on or burnt pieces, allowing for faster washing. In addition, the high-polish surface of the equipment provides for simple clean-up of spills.

Efficient Heating & Cooking

One of the most beneficial advantages that a steam kettle can provide to your kitchen is more efficient cooking. Not only does the steam kettle produce faster cooking times, but it also produces higher quality foods.

Jacketed steam kettles eject steam into an outer wall, creating an even flow of heat throughout the entire cooking basin. The temperature of the heat is determined by pressure, ranging from 1 to 50 psi. This produces temperatures ranging from 240ºF to 280ºF. In traditional stock pot cooking, the same heat range can be achieved, but it comes from only the bottom of the basin, losing heat as it rises.

In a steam kettle temperature is distributed evenly, resulting in consistently cooked foods. This is especially great for delicate foods that can be easily damaged by stirring or mixing, as the steam kettle eliminates this need.

WHAT CAN YOU COOK IN A STEAM KETTLE?

Wondering what you can cook in a steam kettle? If you can make it in a stock pot, chances are you can prepare it in a steam kettle. Steam, poach, blanch, braise, and sauté to your heart’s content. The options for kettle recipes are endless, and we’re here to guide you through a few of the incredible culinary possibilities that await once you get your own steam kettle up and running.

Here are just a few of the food items you can cook in a steam kettle.

  1. Soups

Perhaps the most obvious food item on this list, a steam kettle makes quick work of a brothy French onion or a creamy carrot soup. With even-distributed and low temperature cooking, you reduce the risk of scorching.

  1. Stews

Often involving a flurry of ingredients, popular dishes like chili, gumbo, and vegetable curries work well in a steam kettle, as this kitchen tool ensures each separate ingredient is sufficiently cooked through. When preparing chunky soups and stews, reach for a tilting kettle, as this type of kettle can be easily emptied. When you set up a tilting kettle in your commercial space, be sure to place a floor trough drain in front to catch any spills and help with cleanup at the end of the night.

  1. Broths

A steam kettle works well for cooking up large-batch stocks and broths, whether it’s vegetable, chicken, beef or fish. For broths and thinner soups, choose a stationary kettle that drains from the bottom via a draw-off valve for easy emptying and fat removal.

  1. Sauces

Use your steam kettle to prepare a large batch of French mother sauce, housemade hot sauce, or Bolognese. Countertop steam kettles are small enough to incorporate into a cooking line and allows quick access to your kitchen's essential sauces. They're also ideal for kitchens short on space. A kitchen with many soups and sauces on the menu may benefit from purchasing a counter kettle equipped with a table - making it easy to set up pans and transfer dishes from kettle to table.

  1. Pasta

Bring pasta water to a quick, even boil in a steam kettle. Once your fusilli is al dente, a tilting kettle lets you easily pour the pasta into a strainer for dressing, plating and serving.

  1. Seafood

Cooking mussels, clams and other types of shellfish is simple with a steam kettle. It’s a perfect pot for making seafood-rich dishes like a Lowcountry boil - a Southern specialty consisting of shrimp, crawfish or crab, smoked pork sausage, red potatoes, corn and a heavy dose of Creole seasoning. 

  1. Rice

A steam kettle is a great option for dishing up a large quantity of rice, whether it’s jasmine or basmati. Low and consistent temperature control works well for risotto and guarantees a creamy entrée. Rice-heavy dishes like jambalaya or paella can also be prepared in a steam kettle.

  1. Barbecue meats

Consider cooking big batches of beef or pork in a steam kettle. Set your steam kettle to a low setting and let the meat simmer in your restaurant’s signature spices or housemade BBQ sauce.

  1. Puddings

The uniform heat of a steam kettle makes cooking pudding a breeze. Whether it’s chocolate, lemon or butterscotch, choose a steam kettle with a wide top so you can easily transfer the dessert to dishes for refrigeration and serving.

  1. Jams

Most often prepared in large batches and requiring a constant, even application of heat, jams are a perfect match for a steam kettle. The pot’s large surface area lets you easily ladle the jam into sterilized jars once it’s done.

No matter the size or make, a stainless-steel restaurant kettle is an investment piece for your food business that can increase output while cutting back on labor hours and cooking times. Vulcan offers top-grade, high-quality steam kettles in a variety of sizes and styles to suit your team, workspace and food sales volume.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in September 2019 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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