3 Questions To Ask Before Buying A Commercial Range

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

ShortOrder_Range-Garland-h284Whether you’re looking to broil, fry, grill, or simmer, commercial ranges offer an array of cooking choices in one piece of equipment. As one of the most useful tools in the kitchen, finding the right commercial range for your restaurant is important. How many burners do you need? Will you want griddles? Before investing in a range for your commercial kitchen, ask these 3 questions:

How much output do you need from your range?

There are two basic types of commercial ranges: restaurant duty and heavy duty. Restaurant duty ranges—the most common choice—work great for most commercial kitchens. They are made to stand alone, with durability and easy use in mind. Additionally, restaurant duty ranges are less expensive than their heavy duty counterparts. For kitchens that require high volume usage, a heavy duty range is the best option. However, these ranges typically cost more up front and are more expensive to maintain. (more…)

4 Energy Saving Tips for Restaurant Ranges

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

burner-safetyWhat’s the difference between a restaurant manager and wasteful range?

One hires, bills, and fires, and the other’s fire bills are higher!

But all jokes aside, folks, you’ve got a lot of kitchen to do, and you need to save all the money you can. Did you know that by being conscious of the way you use energy with your ranges, you can actually save money on your gas and electric bills? Plus, saving energy in the kitchen isn’t just good for your utility bills; it’s also better for the environment. So treat your ranges right, and they’ll serve you well for years to come. To help you get started, here are 4 tips to help you save energy when cooking with a range.

1. Pay attention to the color of your flame. If you have an open flame burner, your flame should always burn steady and blue. Not only will it save you energy, but keeping your flame even and blue is safer. A sputtering yellow flame could be indicative of a gas leak.

2. Use lids on pots. Adding a lid while you cook can shorten cook time by holding heat in, saving you time and improving efficiency.

3. Turn your burners off when not in use. A good range will have fairly rapid start-up and recovery times, so pay attention to when your customer traffic lulls occur and turn off your ranges accordingly.

4. Train your kitchen staff. Work with your back-of-house staff to talk about the ways to save energy in the kitchen. Not only will this reduce your energy bills and improve the life of your equipment, it will help reduce overall hold times during food preparation.

For more energy saving tips, check out the What’s Cooking guide to saving energy in your restaurant.

Caring for Cookware on Your Range

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

range cookwareChoosing a range and observing range safety are just the first steps to keeping your restaurant’s kitchen running smoothly. Caring for your cookware is just as important if you want to make your restaurant equipment last longer and continue to perform optimally. Cleaning and caring for your cookware correctly and on a regular basis are the keys to making your pots, pans, woks, and other cookware last.

Here is a rundown of the 3 most common types of cookware materials used on restaurant ranges and how best to take care of them.

Caring for Aluminum Cookware

Aluminum is a lightweight material that works well for conducting a range’s heat quickly and can be made into a nonstick cooking item. However, because it is a lighter weight than steel or cast iron, aluminum needs care to ensure that it lasts longer. Try these tips for washing, drying, and maintaining aluminum cookware:

• Wash aluminum cookware after it has cooled down post-cooking so it won’t warp.
• Wash equipment using soapy water, but don’t let it soak, as the cookware can actually absorb the soap, lending food a nasty taste.
• If you encounter some stubborn food, try using baking soda or a vinegar solution.
• Never use metal utensils when cooking, and don’t use abrasive scrubbing brushes, as these can scratch any nonstick coating.
• To repair and brighten your aluminum equipment, use a white tartar or vinegar solution.


7 Tips for Range Safety in Your Kitchen

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Commercial Range Burner SafetyAre you being safe enough in your kitchen? Ranges are a smart addition to any restaurant’s kitchen, but only if you take the right precautions when cooking with, cleaning, and maintaining them. Don’t let kitchen safety fall by the wayside when the dinner rush hits. Follow these 7 range safety tips to keep your kitchen hazard-free and staff-friendly.

1. Always keep your ranges clean. A clean range is a safe range. It’s also the most efficient, which is handy when the clock is ticking during high volume hours. Grease and leftover food pieces can catch fire if they are not cleared away from the range’s cooking area regularly.

2. Clean your kitchen floors. Liquids around a commercial range are a safety hazard, so keep your kitchen’s floors clean throughout the day.

3. Don’t store items on top of a range. This is what’s commonly referred to in the restaurant industry as “an accident waiting to happen.” Anything stored on top of a range, even if the range is off, is a fire hazard. Likewise, be careful what your store around the range. Flammable items should be kept in a different area of the kitchen.

4. Pay attention to temperature. Monitor the range, and never leave a hot range unattended. Always keep oven mitts and potholders nearby to prevent accidents and burns.

5. Watch for leaking gas. If your range has open gas burners, keep an eye on the flame to make sure it is a quiet, steady blue. If your flame is a sputtering yellow one, turn it off and inspect your range immediately.

6. Keep equipment safely upright. The traffic flow in your kitchen should be suited to the setup of your equipment, and vice-versa. Make sure your range is safely positioned so no one is in danger of rushing into it and knocking it over. This is especially important for light-gauge steel ranges, which weigh less and are easier to tip over.

7. Keep up with range maintenance. You should regularly inspect your range to make sure all connections are properly hooked up and all parts are in good working order. Also clean your range regularly to prevent buildup of grease or other solids.

If you have questions about how to buy a range for your commercial kitchen, check out 6 FAQs about Commercial Ranges or the ShortOrder buyer’s guide to ranges. Not sure which range to buy? Contact us on Twitter or Facebook, or call ShortOrder for free at 800-211-0282.


6 FAQs about Commercial Ranges

Monday, February 24th, 2014

6 FAQs about Commercial RangesFrom burgers to crème brûlée, ranges have a myriad of uses in commercial kitchens. But buying a range for your establishment can be a bit of a chore if you don’t know what to look for. Before you buy a range, read up on these 6 frequently asked questions about purchasing ranges.

What types of ranges are there?

There are two types of ranges: restaurant ranges and heavy duty ranges. What’s the difference?

  • Heavy duty ranges are best for kitchens that make 250+ meals per day. These might include hotels, hospitals, and schools. Heavy duty ranges are durable and can endure consistent high-volume use.
  • Restaurant ranges are used in kitchens that make fewer than 250 meals per day. They tend to be higher in quality, but generally also cost more in terms of purchase, service, and energy costs.

What kinds of tops do ranges have?


Change Your Ranges with the Locavore Movement

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Many restaurants are looking for ways to set their business apart from the rest.  This week we can help you change what goes on your ranges for cooking by investigating the popularity of the locavore movement.  A unique approach to buying, preparing, and serving food, the locavore philosophy can be a way to improve your relationship with both the surrounding community and with your customers.

About the Locavore Philosophy
The term “locavore” refers to a person who is committed to eating local foods.  What constitutes “local” can vary depending on who you ask to define “locavore”; it can mean keeping to foods within a 100-mile radius of your home to keep within an entire city or region of your state.  The type of food available to locavores ranges from eggs from local farms and vegetables from farmers’ markets to local honey sold at a grocery store.

Why Go Locavore?
Choosing to stick to the locavore philosophy may have some drawbacks for businesses, but the benefits are great as well.  The most obvious benefit of eating locally is that you and your customers know where your food comes from and what is in it.  The resulting menu for your ranges, then, consists of fresher foods, opportunities for seasonal dishes, and a greater variety of foods to cook on your ranges.  Patronizing local growers and vendors also puts money directly back into the local economy, avoiding the need to exact a chunk of profit for a middleman in the production or shipping process.

How to Buy and Eat Locally
Raw fruits and vegetables are main contenders in a locavore’s starting menu, but it is equally possible to find local poultry, eggs, dairy, and meats.  And this philosophy doesn’t just apply to raw ingredients!  The type of food you can get from local vendors ranges from the simple to the fully-finished.  Locally-made jams, coffee, baked goods, paper products, and even beer can be incorporated into your restaurant’s repertoire.

How to Alter Your Menu
You may not be able to turn your whole menu into a locavore’s feast—and that’s fine!  Instead, try swapping out 5 major ingredients for foods that you can easily obtain locally and use on your ranges and in your ovens.  Alternately, you could choose to make 2 or 3 dishes for your ranges that you can tout as completely locavore-friendly.  You should also advertise your vendors on your menu, even if only by way of a small list on its back.  This lets your patrons know exactly where their food is coming from—and isn’t that the point of going local?  Plus, it will help you strengthen your relationship with your vendors, who will appreciate the publicity.


4 Winter Drinks to Simmer on Your Ranges

Friday, December 14th, 2012

Having winter drinks on our ranges at home is one of the best things about wintertime, and it’s no different in restaurants.  As kids we enjoyed seeing how many miniature marshmallows we could fit into a mug of hot cocoa.  We sipped at non-alcoholic eggnog, then wondered why anyone would want to sip at eggnog.  The smell of cider filling the house meant that the holidays were fast-approaching.  The fact is, warm beverages are a tried-and-true part of the winter months.

The nature of holiday libations ranges from rich, creamy refreshments to punches that are easy on juice and heavy on wine.  More often than not, the idea behind warm winter drinks is to throw all the ingredients into a saucepan, then let them simmer until ready to serve.  They are great to have readily available, because once they require no upkeep, as long as you keep them warm.  Here are four of the best winter drinks to please your guests.

1. Wassail (Non-Alcoholic)
This kid-friendly version of the traditional hot beverage will warm children and adults alike.  Its name comes from the Old English phrase “waes hael,” which means “be you healthy,” and was involved in an old drinking ritual that ensured a good harvest.  Today’s wassail is a more of a variation of mulled cider.  It usually combines several fruit juices cooked with cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and sometimes allspice and ginger.  The result is a fragrant, flavorful punch.

2. Hot Chocolate
This winter drink is a classic.  However, there are many, many ways to put a new spin on hot chocolate.  Belgian hot chocolate, Mexican hot chocolate, hot chocolate Agasajo-style, and even peanut butter hot chocolate are all options.  Give your hot cocoa a kick with ancho chile and cinnamon, add a dollop of marshmallow fluff, or drizzle with some ever-trendy salted caramel.  Whatever you do, make sure you top it with real whipped cream and serve with biscotti, cookies, or toast.

3. Mulled Cider
Mulled cider is one of the timeless, great holiday drinks.  To make it, combine apple cider, cinnamon sticks, allspice berries, whole cloves, an anise star, and some thinly sliced oranges for a citrusy kick.  Let it simmer on one of your ranges for as long as you would like; the longer it simmers, the more flavor it has!  (Besides which, no one likes cold cider.)

4. Hot Spiced Ginger Lemonade
It turns out that lemonade is no longer limited to summertime.  Although it sounds an unlikely candidate for a winter beverage, it’s actually perfect for cold winter days.  It generally requires the same spices as a wassail, but uses lemonade instead of fruit juices.  The result is a lighter-tasting version, and a great way to surprise guests with the unexpected.

No matter how you choose to fill your menu or your ranges, be sure to be creative with your holiday drink recipes.  Your unique drinks will keep guests coming back for more!

Vulcan Range V60-LP: “Seems logical to me Captain”

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

When you are in dire need of restaurant equipment, it can be easy to put your search into warp drive, flying through supplier websites faster than the speed of light, exploring the universe for the perfect appliance. In fact, hunting for bar equipment, ovens, ice machines and more can feel like an aimless (if frenzied) wander through the frontier of space. When it comes to commercial ranges, Captain Kirk trusted his Vulcan sidekick to help him ‘boldy go where no man has gone before’ and your Vulcan could too.

While the Vulcan brand of commercial kitchen equipment has been around long before the Star Trek series aired on television, adding a Vulcan — such as the Vulcan Range V60-LP — to your enterprise, is a blissfully logical choice. Whether you choose natural gas, or propane (LP), a 24-inch model or a large 60-inch, standard or convection, one with burners or griddles only, or a unit with both, Vulcan ranges are some of the best range ovens in the galaxy.

For example, the V60-LP is large, sturdy and impressive, allowing you to cook your glamorous cuisine with ease. The stainless steel front, back and sides will act like deflector shields, handling long-term wear and tear with ease. Additionally, the V60-LP includes ten 26,000 BTU/hr. cast top burners and a total input of 330,000 BTU/hr. This means you won’t have to worry about asking Mr. Scott to provide more power. Additional options include a half inch thick, 24” wide polished steel griddle plate, extra oven racks, a flexible gas hose with quick disconnect and more.

So, when you need to seek out new life for your establishment and new equipment for your crew, commission your Starfleet and summon your inner Spock with a journey through the Short Order cosmos, and help your restaurant “live long and prosper.”

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