Choosing a Commercial Mixer

Large commercial mixers with an electric lift feature will offer the most comfortable dough preparation process for bread bakeries and other food businesses with high output of dough products.

Commercial mixers are must-haves in pretty much every bakery and in restaurants preparing their own doughs. For many businesses, they are the limiting factor in determining the amount of work which can be done and the amount of dough which can be prepared; in other words, they define the amount of demands which can be met. Since a bakery which has the potential to sell 100 loaves a day will not be able to do so easily without a relatively large commercial mixer, the mixer can play a large part in defining the size and profits a venue can reach. In order to choose the right mixer for the venue, various specifications should be considered.

Size

As stated above, the size of a commercial mixer defines how much batter or dough can be prepared in a venue. Power and durability when mixing heavy loads go hand in hand with the size of the mixer. Whereas venues should aim not to be limited by the size of their mixer, purchasing an overly large mixer can be an unneeded cost and take up much-needed room in the venue. Since new businesses may not know the mixer size they will need after their initial opening, renting or purchasing a secondhand mixer may be a good way to start.

Lift Features

The way a commercial mixer lifts is often not an issue for small businesses. Any kitchen-savvy cook or baker recognizes and knows the typical manual lift which lowers the mixer to a comfortable height for filling, and lifts it to the appropriate height for mixing. However, for larger loads, electric lifts can be more comfortable. Especially for bakeries with high bread sales, the amount of dough which can be conveniently prepared at once is extremely important for business. The type of lift is one of the factors which will affect the potential output of the business. However, for smaller businesses, the added costs of such a feature may not be worth the investment.

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A Guide to Takeout Container Materials

Paper takeout containers are a relatively environmentally friendly option, making them a great choice for more than just Chinese restaurants.

Takeout food is a huge market. From restaurants taking orders to-go to supermarkets selling pre-prepared meals, food on the go is slowly taking up a bigger and bigger portion of the food industry. All restaurants should also offer customers the option to take home any unfinished food, and therefore, there is good reason for almost any food business to keep takeout containers on hand. Each year, different styles and types of these containers are developed, with the most commonly seen materials being Styrofoam, paper, plastic, or aluminum foil. Businesses should choose which containers to purchase based on price, food, and environmental concerns.

Styrofoam

Styrofoam containers are a classic option for takeout joints. Styrofoam is made of a plastic called polystyrene, incorporated with about 95% air. There are many environmental concerns associated with Styrofoam due to its production using nonrenewable energy sources and its non-biodegradability. On the other hand, Styrofoam products are inexpensive, stackable, and lightweight. They remain cool to the touch, no matter how hot the contents, making them a great option for packing hot soup and stews. However, food stored in Styrofoam containers can become soggy, presenting a problem when packaging fried foods, hot sandwiches, and other dishes which become lower quality with moisture.

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How to Select the Best Pans

A grill pan offers a quick way to get those beautiful “sear” lines on foods.“Pan” is a general name for cookware most often used to prepare foods on the stovetop. Pan-cooked food is a restaurant’s dream, since it’s usually quick to cook and easy to observe, lowering the chances of ending up with a burnt product. Almost every type of cuisine uses a pan-like cooking method- from laffas cooked on taboons in Middle-Eastern cuisine to French crêpes. As cookware has become more sophisticates, the types of pans available have increased. This article provides a short summary of important factors to consider when selecting types of pans that will serve restaurants and caterers.

The Type of Pan

Frying pans are the most commonly used pans. They come in many different materials from cast-iron to Teflon-coated. Each material lends itself to the preparation of different types of foods. While heavy cast-iron pans are great for preparing and heating stews and some types of pasta dishes, non-stick pans are best for delicate dishes such as omelets and fish. Plain old frying pans can be a great alternative to a wok for stir-frying vegetables, chicken, beef, and other ingredients.

A grill pan is a great alternative to having a full-out grill, giving foods those fantastic, sought-after lines. However, they will usually give the food less of a smoky taste when compared to a real grill, which can sometimes be an advantage, but a disadvantage at other times. Grill pans can be used to grill everything from steaks and Portobello mushrooms to gnocchi and cheeses. The heavier the grill pan, the more effective it will be at giving the foods char-grilled lines. (…Read More…)

Sweeter Than Sugar

Agave nectar has become a popular sugar alternative among dieters as well as health-conscious consumers.

There are many types of sugars and sweeteners out there, and almost every year that number grows. From natural to synthetic, some of our favorite beverages are enjoyed with such sweeteners. Some are considered “bad” while others are considered “healthy,” but they all have their pros and cons. This article aims to put some of the pros and cons into perspective.

Sugar

The pros: Sugar, both white and brown, are the most widely known and used sweeteners in restaurants. Though they gets a bad rep for being high in calories and a plethora of other health considerations, customers are likely to make sugar their top choice for sweetening drinks.

The cons: Sugar is quite possibly the dieter’s worst enemy. Studies have shown that the more a person chooses to consume fatty, sweet foods, the more he/she craves them. Sweetened beverages have shown a correlation with obesity, due to increased calorie counts in the resulting products. Sugar consumption has been linked with an increase in “bad” cholesterol levels. It is important to note that though these negative considerations are often reflected on white sugar, many other types of sweeteners, whether containing fructose and/or glucose, have the same effects. Despite the connotations associated with white sugar, it continues to be the go-to sweetener.

Honey

The pros: Though there is a conception that honey is healthier than sugar, it actually has more calories. However, since it is sweeter than sugar, less of it is usually used in drinks and recipes, which can lead to a lower overall calorie count. Additionally, many appreciate its “spiced” taste when compared to sugar.

The cons: In addition to its high calorie count, honey may contain a significant amount of pesticides. A 2010 study found that 98% of apiary-extracted bees’ wax contained pesticides. This is probably due to the concentration of the pesticides on the plants from which bees extract nectar. Another factor to take into consideration is young children. Parents are usually instructed to refrain from giving their babies honey, until they pass one year of age. Therefore, in a family-friendly venue, honey may not be the best choice of sweetener.

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