by Sara Perez Webber

products for the professional kitchen

tools and equipment for the heart of your business

It’s not easy to outfit a professional kitchen. Not only are many types of tools and equipment necessary, if the tools and equipment aren’t performing well, the quality of the food you serve will be affected. Not only that, if you’re looking to upgrade or replace items in the heart of your business, the options can be overwhelming. Following is a roundup of some of the newest and most innovative products available, to get you started on your search for new kitchen gadgets and appliances.

MEIKO’s optional GreenEye technology for its M-iQ flight-type dishwashers features a lighting system on the entry side of the dishwasher. The lights divide the conveyor belt into up to three “lanes,” which illuminate to indicate to the operator where to load dirty ware to improve the efficiency of the machine, saving water, energy, chemicals and other costly resources. The machine is able to detect gaps on the conveyor belt between dishware and/or baskets, and only activates the rinse function for specific “lanes” that contain ware. MEIKO’s M-iQ stores GreenEye data, and with the help of the smart control module CC Insight, managers can track how efficiently the machine works.

The Cateraide IT insulated transport containers from Carlisle Foodservice Products feature a thick-foam insulation that holds temperatures in the safe zone for over six hours. The line includes 4-inch, 6-inch and 8-inch top loaders; 5- and 10-gallon beverage dispensers; and a six-pan end loader. The top loader has a built-in seal to eliminate gaskets and a flat top for easy stacking. With a sturdy construction and reinforced corners to hold up under heavy use, Cateraides are available in onyx, caramel and olive, with the option of adding a logo.

Cambro’s Combo Cart Plus is the latest addition to its line of insulated transport products. The transporters come with two separate compartments and offer the flexibility of heating one or both compartments. Non-electric models are also available. Because of the high-density polyurethane insulation throughout the unit, both cold and hot food can safely be held out of the danger zone for up to 4 hours, even when unplugged. The electric models are over 50% more energy efficient than leading metal cabinets, and feature a tough polyethylene exterior that will not rust or dent and remains cool to the touch during operation.

Walco Idol premium-quality chafing dishes feature a stainless-steel body and large glass lid. The food can clearly be seen without opening the lid, ensuring that food stays warm. The lid has a self-closing mechanism so food will not dry out. The chafers can be used on induction, with flame, or with an electric heating unit from Walco.

With RATIONAL’s SelfCookingCenter 5 Senses units, chefs can fry, roast, grill, steam, poach, bake and more with a single self-cleaning piece of equipment. The seven “touch of the button” cooking modes take the guesswork out of meal preparation. Last year, RATIONAL earned the ENERGY STAR rating. SelfCookingCenter 5 Senses units are available in gas or electric, with capacities ranging from six-pan tabletop units to full-size roll-in models. Banqueting systems and additional options, such as integrated fat drain, mobile unit and a complete range of accessories, are available.

M’elite from Mauviel is a new collection of hammered, stainless steel cookware for cooking and serving. Handcrafted in France and backed by a lifetime guarantee, the line features domed lids, and oval and paella shapes. Designed for all cooking surfaces, including induction, M’elite’s thick construction offers even heat distribution. The stay-cool handles are fixed to the cookware with sturdy stainless-steel rivets, and the sides are high for larger meals. M’elite is oven safe to 680° F.

The CDN ProAccurate Waterproof Thermometer (DTW450) and ProAccurate Waterproof Thermometer-Long Stem (DTW450L) provide accurate temperature readings with a 6-second response. The sturdy thermometers are rated at IPX-7, which means they are protected against water immersion for 30 minutes at one meter. Both models are NSF certified, with 304 stainless steel stems and tips for easy insertion, and a wide temperature range of -40° F to 450º F.

The Smart Buffet Ware Induction Warmer (1AIW110V) requires only 1.82 amps per warmer, lowering a business’ cost of operation. Caterers can run as many as 10 units on a standard 20 amp circuit. The warmer works well with soup, chafers or induction pans.

Kyocera’s Ceramic Cutlery features handcrafted blades with clean, visually appealing lines that, according to the company, hold their edge at least 10 times longer than other professional knives, including carbon steel. In addition to being rustproof, Kyocera’s ceramic blades will never alter the taste, smell or appearance of food. The knives also make cutting easier and reduce hand fatigue during repetitive cutting tasks.

Introduced late last year, the Menumaster Steamer Oven (MSO) from ACP is a high-powered (3500 W or 2200 W) microwave oven that accepts full-size steam pans. The MSO steams up to four times faster than a traditional steamer, running on less than a dollar of energy per day. No vent hood or plumbing is required, and the oven features USB-compatible programming of up to 100 menu items with one-touch operation.

Traulsen TBC Blast Chillers can chill cooked foods from 135° F to below 41° F in about 90 minutes, and are able to blast chill, freeze and soft chill (for delicate products like salads). With easy-to-use controls, the chillers print complete HACCP documentation after every chill cycle. The chillers also feature an “auto” mode, ensuring food gets chilled regardless of whether or not any additional buttons are pressed. Available in undercounter and reach-in models.

The Retractable Prep Station from Prairie View Industries Food Service has a 5 ¼-inch profile, leaving valuable floor space. The retractable prep station can be mounted to a wall for stationary use, or made mobile with the addition of an optional caster base. Constructed of 16-gauge stainless steel, the station is offered in either 3-foot or 4-foot lengths, with a 24-inch-deep worktop and a 1¾-inch backsplash on three sides.

The Moffat E28D4 Oven offers three-stage cooking, moisture application and quiet operation in a compact footprint. The oven can stand alone or be mounted on one of Moffat’s custom racks. The porcelain enamel oven chamber is fully insulated to provide maximum heat retention while the stay-cool exterior is ideal for small cooking environments and makes cooking safer. Moffat’s 20 series ovens with digital controls offer preset programs, fast cooking and quiet operation, making them good for many catering needs, including baking, reheating, roasting, slow cooking or holding.

The Whip-It! Specialist Plus nitrous oxide whipped-cream dispenser from United Brands enables users to quickly and easily make whipped cream, desserts and sauces. For whipped cream, simply add fresh whipping cream and powdered sugar, insert chargers, and shake the dispenser for 30 seconds. Three designing tips are included. Made of 100% stainless steel, the Specialist Plus is available in 500ml and 1000ml sizes.

Broaster Pressure Fryers cook foods under controlled pressure in a sealed environment, resulting in fast cooking times and low energy costs. Available in three capacities, the fryers are compact and feature SmartTouch technology with preprogrammed cook times. Foods cooked in a Broaster Pressure Fryer absorb less oil, resulting in a tender, juicy product.

The Ice Pro system from Follett enables caterers to bag their own ice, which costs significantly less than purchasing pre-bagged ice. Ice Pro dispenses ice at the touch of a button directly into a bag or other ice container, minimizing the potential for ice contamination that can occur when ice is scooped by hand.

The Beverage-Air “Versa-Cool” Portable Walk-in Cooler from sets up or tears down in under 10 minutes. With a diamond-tread non-slip floor that supports 1,000 pounds, the 105-cubic-foot cooler maintains temperatures of 36° F to 40° F. It operates on 115 voltage, plugging into any standard 15 amp outlet.

The Electrolux air-o-steam 202 Touchline Combi Oven is an ideal banqueting/catering tool for mass production and for regenerating pre-plated meals on trolleys. All Electrolux air-o-steam Combi Ovens have matching air-o-chill Blast Chillers, for a completely integrated Cook & Chill system.

The Strata Serving System from Oneida enables users to grill, warm, sauté, carve, chafe and chill right at the buffet. With interchangeable components and accessories, the Strata is easy to assemble, and can be expanded with accessories such as Corian carving boards, terraced shelves, and serving options in multiple shapes and sizes. It also features multiple heating and cooling options.

The most recent addition to the company’s commercial-grade line, the KitchenAid Commercial NSF-certified Immersion Blender, with a powerful 0.5HP motor, is designed to help chefs and bakers blend through all types of ingredients with ease and efficiency. The immersion blender is available in three dishwasher-safe blender arm sizes (8, 10 and 12 inches), with two speeds for added versatility. The blender, with its multipurpose “S” blade, helps chefs and bakers blend, purée, chop or mince ingredients. The 12-inch blender arm is ideal for deeper bowls and larger batches of up to approximately 10 gallons/40 quarts.