EQUIPMENTS IN THE QUANTITY KITCHEN
Types of equipments required in a kitchen vary with the activities carried out in a particular area of work. It ranges from simple pots and pans to sophisticated cooking ranges, steamers, ovens, grills and fryers.The list can be endless and it all depends on what kind of cooking and the type of food to be prepared.
Quantity food equipments can be divided broadly into
A. Heat producing equipment
B. Cold producing equipment
C. Processing equipment
These can be further divided into
1) Heavy equipment
2) Light equipment
3) Miscellaneous equipment
The types of kitchen equipment are
1. Food preparation equipment
2. Cooking equipment
3. Holding, service and clearing equipment
4. Washing and storing equipment
Selection of equipment
Some basic factors for selection of equipment are
1. Size and type of establishment: It is very important to select equipment keeping in mind what exactly is your requirement. The design of the equipment should be in harmony with the general plan.
2. Menu: Equipment also depends on the method of cooking. E.g. Menu consisting of fried snacks will require a fryer.
3. Usage: Every equipment selected must be able to fulfil a specific purpose, be it efficiency of production, profitability or customer satisfaction.
4. Price: The investment in equipment has to be made carefully. It is essential to judge whether the new equipment is improving production in both terms of quantity and quality and whether it has no operation and maintenance cost. Selection is also guided by the funds available to the buyer over a period of time and resale.
5. Ease of installation, maintenance and operation: Equipment must be user friendly taking care of the existing skills of the catering staff. The equipment should also be very easy to clean and maintain. If the equipment is very sophisticated then instructions in the form of simple steps should be clearly displayed in the kitchen. Staff should be properly trained to handle the new equipment.
6. Safety: It is extremely important to select equipment that is guaranteed for safety. While in operation and when not in use guards and locks should be provided to avoid accidents.
7. Economy: The operating cost of a piece of equipment is an important consideration in its selection. In some places, electricity may be cheaper than gas or vice versa. Therefore, select equipment accordingly.
8. Ease of cleaning: Equipments should be non corrosive, non toxic and stable to heat moisture.
9. Appearance: Good looking equipment attracts workers attention and creates a desire for using and caring for it.
10. Source of supply: Equipments should be purchased from reputed suppliers so that it is backed by a guarantee and after sales service and maintenance contracts.
The following checklist will act as a guide
1. Size of equipment, space in hand.
2. Does it serve the purpose for which it is bought?
3. Easy to use and clean.
4. Could it be used for more than one function?
5. Has it helped to save space, time and energy?
6. Will it save money in the long term?
7. Does the staff like it or are they forced to use it?
8. Is it safe to use?
9. Has the fuel bill gone up or down?
10. Does it need constant supervision?
Heat producing equipments
1. Ranges: Heated either by gas or electricity are common in today’s food service. The menu dictates whether a heavy, medium or light weight model is necessary. It should be selected on the basis of its capacity, versatility and consistency of temperature, serviceability and dependability.
2. Griddles: Food services use either gas or electric griddles. They can be incorporated as part of the range or they may be stand alone on a platform.
3. Tilting pans or brat pans: One of the most versatile pieces of equipment in the kitchen is the tilting pan. It comes in various sizes. It can tilt up to 90 degrees.
4. Ovens: There are different types of ovens to choose from conventional, mechanical, convectional, combo or microwave.
a) Convectional ovens: Atypical convectional oven is heated by a lower heat source and an overhead source as well in an enclosed chamber. Transfer of heat occurs both by convection (of hot air moving in the chamber) and conduction (when pans or other equipment in it comes in contact with the hot surfaces). The deck oven is the most common. It consists of a stack of ovens built in decks or tiers one on top of another.
b) Mechanical Ovens: The mechanical oven evolved from the conventional one. It has a mechanically moving interior that shifts food around to the different parts of the oven. One variety is the revolving tray or reel oven, which has trays that rotate in a circle around the oven, which has trays that rotate in a circle around the oven interior. Another variety uses a moving or travelling tray, which passes through a long oven, different temperature ranges are possible within the long area travelled. Another type of mechanical oven is the conveyor oven. A moving belt or track carries an uncooked item through a tunnel containing heating elements and the item emerges from the oven as a finished product. Food passes through as many as three different temperature zones- for preheating, cooking and finishing. This oven is geared toward high volume operation that has a peak demand.
c) Convection ovens: Many conventional ovens have stagnant heat areas where heat does not move. If heat is moved around by forced convection, cooking is more rapid, less heat is needed. The convection oven is where heat is moved by a fan.
d) Combo ovens: The combo oven gets its name because it cooks with dry heat and steam heat. It is energy efficient and can reduce food shrinkage in baking because moisture can be reintroduced. Fans circulate heat, which gives them the same advantage that convectional ovens have. They use gas or electricity.
e) Microwave ovens: Microwaves are a form of electromagnetic energy intermediate in frequency and wavelength between radio and infrared waves. When microwaves penetrate food, molecular activity or movement takes place withi8n the food creating friction that heats the food internally. Microwaves pass through glass and non-metallic materials, so these materials are used to hold foods being cooked in a microwave oven. Microwave cooking has not replaced conventional cooking in food service operations because they do not allow production of large volumes of food. When it is appropriately used, The unit can bring food from a refrigerated or frozen state to a serviceable hot state in a few minutes thus allowing operations to prepare foods on order.
1. Fryers: Deep fat fryers are used to cook food in a bath of hot fat, producing a nicely browned crisp outer coating and a completely cooked, moist interior. In the conventional fryer, fat is used to conduct heat from the heat source to the food. The pressure fryer also cooks in deep fat trapping moisture from the foods to generate steam, which increases pressure inside the fryer and reduces the cooking time, especially successful for producing tender moist fried chicken. Both regular and pressure fryers may have automatic, semi automatic or hand operated features.
Cold producing equipments
1. Refrigerator: A refrigerator is a cooling appliance comprising of a thermally insulated compartment and a heat pump. Cooling is a popular food storage technique in developed countries and works by decreasing the reproduction rate of bacteria. A device described as a refrigerator maintains a temperature a few degrees above the freezing point of water, a similar device which maintains a temperature below the freezing point of water is called a Freezer.
2. Freezer: Freezer units are used in households and in industry and commerce. Most freezers operate around 0°F (18°C). Domestic freezers can be included as a separate compartment in a refrigerator, or can be a separate appliance. Domestic freezers are generally upright units resembling refrigerators, or chests resembling upright units laid on their backs.
1. Food mixers: Food mixers are available in different sizes and capacities. Various attachments are available to perform slicing, grating, grinding, preparing dough, cake batters, whipping cream, meringues and mayonnaise.
2. Food cutters: One type of food cutter known as the Buffalo chopper consists of a rotating bowl that move food into the path of a spinning blade. As the food passes repeatedly through the blades, it is chopped into smaller pieces. The longer the machine is allowed to run, the smaller the particles become. It is easy to clean and contains no cracks or crevices that could harbour bacteria. Attachments are available for cutting, slicing, grating,shredding and similar operations. Another cutter chops, dices, makes strips, etc. The unit should be used when there is a large quantity of work to be done since clean up and reassembly requires time. The vertical cutter and mixer (known as the VCM) chops cuts, mixes, blends, emulsifies, purees food in a matter of seconds. The operations may be completed in a short time. The cutter has few movable parts and is easy to clean. The VCM tilts to facilitate emptying of the bowl. It is available in various sizes.
3. Food slicer: The slicer is basically a circular knife on which items such as cheese, boneless meats, vegetables, breads can be sliced. A uniform clean straight slice of almost any reasonably firm product is possible with this piece of equipment. The item to be sliced glides back and forth on a carriage feeding into the knife. By adjusting the distance between the plate on which the product rests and the knife itself, the operator can adjust the thickness of the slice as desired. Slicers are available in different sizes depending on the size of the knife. One should avoid cross contamination in the use of the slicer. Proper cleaning of the slicer between uses must always be done as also thorough cleaning at the end of all tasks. This is also called the Gravity Slicer
4. Vegetable peeler: This equipment is useful when a large quantity of hard root vegetables such as turnips, potatoes, carrots are peeled rapidly by an abrasive , lightweight disc that spins around, removing the skin. Water flowing into the chamber removes the waste as it accumulates.
5. Meat processing equipment: Includes meat saws, choppers, grinders, mincers
Miscellaneous equipments include can openers, knife, whisk, sauce pans, etc.
MAKE A LIST OF THE EQUIPMENT THAT YOU SAW IN THE DIFFERENT CATEGORIES DURING YOUR TRAINING AND SUBMIT IT BY THE 8TH NOV 2010