Brand Spotlight: Vulcan Restaurant Equipment

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Vulcan Brand Cheese MelterVulcan restaurant equipment started way back in 1890 with the formation of the Vulcan Gas Heating Company. For nearly 125 years, and through a few incarnations, the name Vulcan has been synonymous with quality heating and cooking equipment. Today a part of the ITW Food Equipment Group, Vulcan continues to expand its product line through an ongoing commitment to research and development.

Vulcan is the single largest manufacturer of commercial cooking equipment, distributing gas- and electric-powered ranges, ovens, and dozens of other cooking devices to commercial businesses from Los Angeles to London and Cordoba to Kyoto.

You can count on Vulcan to already know what food service needs are developing, and be in the process of making new products to address the needs of the ever-changing market. Boasting close affiliations with national organizations like Energy Star®, the National Restaurant Association, the School Nutrition Association, and the Foodservice Consultants Society International, Vulcan is right at the beating heart of food service both culturally and industrially. (more…)

Get Ready for Kickoff: The Necessary Restaurant Equipment for Football Season

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Tailgating Football FansFootball Season starts September 4th — is your restaurant ready? The football crowd has its own dynamic and its own wants and needs; if your restaurant equipment is not up to the demands they are going to place on it, you may be leaving money on the table. So what exactly do you need?

Fryers

There is nothing the football crowd loves more than deep-fried food. Hot wings, chicken fingers, onion rings, french fries, and mozzarella sticks; these should all be a snap for your kitchen to pump out when the guys arrive for their ritual of beer and carb-coated snacks dipped in boiling oil. Fryers should be easy to access and well-maintained, because they are going to be seeing a lot of use this season.

Kegerators

Did we mention beer? There’s a good reason for that; it’s always been popular among the football crowd. This season, it’s going to get cranked up another notch as craft beers become the standard in many places from the Pacific Northwest to the Alamo. Kegerators combine the fresh-from-the-fridge taste of a bottle with the direct-to-the-mug convenience of draught — be sure you’re equipped.  (more…)

A Guide to Buying Deep Fryers

Friday, January 10th, 2014

We have a deep love of deep fryers here at ShortOrder. Why? Because you can fry anything. And it’s hard to argue with a deep-fried Oreo. Seriously, though, restaurants the world over rely on fryers every day to produce a veritable smörgåsbord of piping hot dishes. So whether you want to try out gourmet donuts, deep-fried veggies, or want to add to your repertoire of ways to serve potatoes, a commercial deep fryer for your restaurant is a must. Today, ShortOrder presents everything you ever wanted to know about buying a deep fryer for your restaurant.

Different Types of Deep Fryers

Restaurant equipment suppliers like ShortOrder carry a variety of kinds of commercial deep fryers. When it comes to fryer types, there are 3 basic kinds of heating methods. Each also has different sizes of sediment zones, or “cool zones”, in which excess food pieces fall off of food during the frying process. Thus, different types of fryers are better suited for different uses. Here is our breakdown of restaurant fryer types.

Fryer types

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Fast Casual Restaurant Trend Alert: Potatoes

Friday, November 15th, 2013

We like to keep an eye on trends in the fast casual segment here at ShortOrder, and recently we spotted one that’s particularly a-peel-ing. Apparently potatoes are what’s hot—so to speak—in fryers across the nation. Because the potato is a versatile vegetable (boil ‘em, mash ‘em, stick ‘em in a stew), there are many possibilities when it comes to catering to customers in need of a creative spud.

The potato trend is actually one that’s resurfacing. It was a big deal back in about 2008, when it seemed that every oven in a quick service restaurant was making room for potatoes and sweet potatoes. Now, a recent twist has found a place in the fast casual industry, and a few places, like Potatopia, have even made the potato the star of a single-item menu. Not unlike the fast casual personal pizza trend, the potato trend focus seems to be mostly on variety, customization, and toppings.

So how can you hop on the potato trend bandwagon?

Start by exploring all your potato possibilities. First, the things you can do to the actual potato: bake, boil, mash, twice-bake, thrice-bake, pancake, smash, sauté, fry, pie, and chip are just a few that come to mind. When you’re equipped with the right restaurant equipment, there is no limit to the number of ways you can cook a potato.

Next, the art of dressing the potato. Old standbys like cheese, sour cream, and butter are, of course, a good idea, but you can easily branch out to let customers personalize their potatoes with sauces, meats, vegetables, and more.

Then make sure you’ve got the right equipment. The kitchen at Potatopia, for example, houses a double-decker convection oven, fryers, and a hybrid convection-microwave oven. Gather up a variety of restaurant equipment, and make sure you get high-quality equipment like Gen2 fryers. If your menu is based around a single item, you don’t want your main ingredient to be a lackluster part of the dish.

Has your fast casual eatery capitalized on the potato trend? What kinds of restaurant equipment and fryers have you used? Let us know by connecting with ShortOrder on Twitter and Facebook!

 

The Gameday Essentials Checklist for Restaurants

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Has your restaurant seen an increase in action every Monday night since the football season started up? If so, there are a few appliances that your restaurant needs to have to be able to run a successful Monday night football event that will not only keep your customers happy, but keep them coming back for more.

The first item, and probably most important piece of restaurant equipment on our checklist, is a good draft beer cooler. Draft beer is more popular than ever, so it’s a good idea to keep plenty on tap to cater to guest’s tastes. ShortOrder suggests getting one with a 2+ keg capacity so that your customers have a few options to choose from. Plus, by using a Kegerator that has a multiple keg capacity, you’ll have a smaller chance of running out during a big game. After all, the last thing a football fan wants while watching their favorite football team play is to run out of beer.

Next on our list of essentials is a nice, heavy-duty commercial fryer. When you get a fryer from ShortOrder, you don’t have to worry about it breaking down in the middle of a football game when your customers are ordering a plethora of fried foods. If this happened, your customers would not be happy, and might change their gameday hotspot for watching the football game.

Last on our gameday checklist is the perfect commercial charbroiler. Any restaurant that caters to football fans knows that on Mondays it’s best to be fully stocked up on favorites like hamburgers and hot dogs, which are staples in the Monday night football fan’s diet. This is why you need a charbroiler that will grill a great hamburger every time.

So are you ready for next Monday based on our checklist? If not, contact ShortOrder today and let us take your kitchen to the next level.

Opening a Bakery? Restaurant Equipment You’ll Need for Sweet Success

Monday, September 30th, 2013

If you’re about to dive into the world of puff pastries and pies, you’ve got an adventure ahead of you. Opening a bakery takes a lot of planning (from the right restaurant equipment to an excellent selection of treats), but its rewards can be sweet. After you’ve crafted a mouth-watering menu, you’ll want to start putting together all the necessities to get your kitchen up and running. Here’s what restaurant equipment you’ll need for ultimate bakery success:

Storage

Keeping things organized, both in the kitchen and out front, are key components in making a bakery run smoothly. Though decidedly unglamorous to implement and maintain, good organization will make life a lot easier, allowing you to keep supplies within easy reach and making food inventory easier.

Restaurant Equipment

You’ll need all the restaurant equipment basics to bake up a bevy of classic bakery treats. For example:

Fryers will facilitate the creation of donuts, fritters, fried pies, and the like.
Convection ovens cook foods more quickly and evenly, and cause the butter in baked goods to lose its moisture faster, resulting in a flakier, crispier food
Commercial mixers make it easy to combine larger amounts of ingredients with minimal effort, mess, and cleanup.

Display Shelving

What’s a baked good without a proper display case? Unlikely to get eaten, that’s what. Make sure your bakery items are well-displayed on display shelving or in glass cases so that customers can eyeball their chosen foods before selecting their favorites. After all, it’s fairly easy to resist a doughnut on a menu board, but much harder when all that glazed, sugary goodness is right in front of you.

Tell ShortOrder Your Restaurant Equipment Tips!

What restaurant equipment is most important in your bakery? Any restaurant equipment we missed? Visit ShortOrder on Facebook or tweet us to tell us what you think!

SoundOff – Featured Fryers

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

 

Fryers
September 2013
Looking for a new way to serve up your restaurant’s favorite appetizers this fall? A commercial fryer may be just what you’re looking for! Cooking with hot oil is a great way to prepare a variety of foods, and it’s durable, safe, and easy to clean. Before purchasing a fryer, it is important to consider what type of sediment zone will best fit your needs. A sediment zone is where the excess breading and small pieces of food collect as they fall off during cooking.
  • Open Pot – Fryers with an open bottom and unobstructed heated area. Generally these are ideal for lightly breaded foods, such as french fries as they tend to have a smaller sediment zone.
  • Tube Type – Fryers with tube shaped heating elements that are permanently fixed in place. These are best suited to heavily breaded products such as fish or chicken because the sediments are captured while frying in a larger cool zone.
  • Flat Bottom – Fryers with no sediment zone. Most often, this type of fryer is used for frying delicate items that float to the top, such as tortilla chips and funnel cake.

It is also important to consider what capacity of fryer will best fit your needs. Generally, the larger the capacity of the fryer, the faster the recovery. Recovery is the time it takes for the fryer to heat the oil back to starting temperature after the cold food is dropped in. Not only does a faster recovery allow more food to be cooked in a designated time period, but it prevents cooked products from becoming soggy due to a longer cook time.

You can shop for fryers here at ShortOrder.com.

Featured: Fryers
Model
Rating
Performance
Features & Specifications
Gen2

5 Star

- 40 lb Capacity
- 2 Fry Baskets

 

- Natural Gas

- 15.5“W x 47.13″H x 30.25″D
- Warranty: 1 yr. parts & labor

 

Frymaster

4 Star

- 80 lb Capacity
- Open Frypot Design

 

- LP Gas

- 20.88″W x 46.13″H x 39.88″D
- Warranty: 1 yr. parts & labor

 

MDT4F12A1H
Eagle
4 Star
- 15 lb Capacity
- Single Fry Pot
- Counter Unit, Electric
– 12″W x 15″H x 19″D
– Warranty: 1 yr. parts & labor

 

 
Dean
4 Star
- 43 lb Capacity
- Stainless Steel Frypot
- Natural Gas
– 15.5″W x 45″H x 29.25″D
- Warranty: 1 yr. parts & labor

Into the Fryers: The Designer Doughnut Trend

Friday, September 13th, 2013

It all started with the Cronut.

Well, perhaps not, but it certainly exploded after the Cronut. Pastry-hawkers the world over have been heating up their fryers to participate in a deep-fried, sugar-glazed fad: the designer doughnut trend.

The Cronut is a cross between a croissant and a doughnut, and it is just as delicious as it sounds. Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York launched the Cronut on May 10, 2013, and it has since exploded into viral fame and become a much-imitated favorite. However, the Cronut was not the first to use fryers to put a high-end spin on America’s favorite deep-fried breakfast food. Places like Voodoo Doughnut in Portland, Oregon have been making unusual doughnuts since the early 2000s, and Psycho Donuts in Campbell, California has been in operation since 2009. Today, doughnut purveyors of all kinds are producing gourmet glazed goodness from their fryers. Designer doughnuts are showing up in all segments of the restaurant industry, from fine dining to fast food. In fact, according to Datassential’s MenusTrends data, doughnuts are now on 4% of all restaurant menus, a 27% increase since 2008.

Dunkin’ Donuts is just one of the many establishments capitalizating on the designer doughnut fad. Dunkin’, which seasonally offers pumpkin-flavored doughnuts, is adding a new one to its fryers this fall: a pumpkin pie doughnut filled with buttercream, topped with white icing and graham cracker topping. Likewise, Gourdough’s, a food truck in Austin, Texas that opened in late 2009 that serves up artisan dessert doughnuts from its fryers, expanded its options earlier this year by opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant with a menu full of savory doughnut dishes like chicken and doughnut hole dumplings, donut burgers, and salads that come served with a “piping hot garlic doughnut”.  And Earth + Ocean Food and Drink in Mt. Prospect, Illinois, which opened in February of this year, features Portuguese doughnuts (“malsadas”).

What do you think of the designer doughnut trend? Have you used your restaurant’s fryers or commercial restaurant equipment to create artisan spins on old fast food favorites? Connect with ShortOrder on Twitter and Facebook and tell us! You can also follow us to keep with more restaurant industry trends and tips.

Vegetables for Southern Fryers

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

It’s no secret that in the South, food is top priority, and that fried food is a favorite in Southern kitchens.  Fryers are an important addition to any Southern restaurant, as there are so many fried foods that are part of the Southern cooking tradition.  County fairs are famous for filling their fryers with such strange things as s’mores and cotton candy, and “chicken-fried steak” is something that has confused many a Northerner on at least one occasion.  Fried vegetables are ubiquitous on Southern menus, and there are many options for veggies to throw in the fryers.  The batter for vegetables in those fryers is fairly uniform, often consisting of an eggwash or buttermilk dip, coated with a flour or cornmeal mixture and some spices.  Her are a few of our favorite Southern deep-fried vegetables which are sure to keep your fryers full.

Fried Pickles
Battered pickles fresh out of the kitchen fryers are a Southern staple.  Almost any Southern barbecue menu will list fried pickles as an optional side, and some even include them on their burgers!  Many chain restaurants have them on their appetizer menus as well for variety.  There are two types of fried pickles: chips and wedges.  Chips are small, round, and thin, as they come from slicking the pickle crosswise.  Cutting the pickle lengthwise fewer times produces wedges, making for a juicier result.  Fried pickles are often served with blue cheese dressing, ranch dressing, or a similarly creamy sauce.

Fried Green Tomatoes
Made famous by the 1991 film of the same name, fried green tomatoes can be eaten as a side dish, or for breakfast or brunch!  They are a great way to use up end-of-season tomatoes.  Just thinly slice the green tomatoes, then dip them in seasoned cornmeal and fry until crispy.

Fried Okra
Okra is a vegetable that is a fryer’s delight.  The okra plant itself is actually a flowering plant, but its edible seed pods are what make it so deliciously famous.  To make fried okra, slice the pod crosswise so that each piece of okra is bite-sized.  The okra is then coated with a mixture of buttermilk, cornmeal, flour, and seasoning, and deep-fried.  Serve them with ketchup or hot sauce, or by themselves!

Unusual Desserts to Make with Restaurant Equipment

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

One of the most important things to do when preparing a menu is to keep your guests guessing, so consider dispensing with the usual ice creams or plain cheesecake.  Whether you are using your restaurant equipment to fry, grill, or bake your desserts, if you keep an open mind you can create unique menus year-round.  Below we’ve compiled a collection of unusual desserts for your restaurant equipment.

Fried Cookie Dough Bites
With restaurant equipment like Gen2 fryers, you can create sinfully fried delights.  One of our fried dessert ideas is fried cookie dough.  These little balls of sweetness satisfy even the most demanding sweet tooth.  Whatever you choose to coat your cookie dough bites with, be sure that it is extra crunchy.  (We recommend funnel cake batter and cornflakes.)  The contrast between the crunch of the shell and the warm, gooey dough on the inside is sublime.  Thanks to their richness, you only need to serve a few at a time.

Grilled Peaches
This dessert is simple and delicious.  Grilled peaches are a perfect summer treat.  Simply halve and pit the peaches, brush them with canola or grapeseed oil, and grill on your restaurant equipment grill until tender.  You can serve them alone, drizzled with honey, or with a side of yogurt, whipped cream, or ice cream for a little cooling contrast.

Fried Flowers
Though fried flowers are a seasonal dish, they made a unique addition to a menu.  Squash blossoms, orchids, roses, zucchini blossoms, and acacia are all popular flowers to fry, and the resulting dish has a delicate flavor.  To keep your flowers light, make sure that after you dip the flowers in batter that you shake off any excess to keep from masking the flavor.  Likewise, your oil should be sizzling but not smoking, otherwise the flowers may absorb too much oil.

Beetroot and Chocolate Cake
It may sound odd, but the addition of beetroot to a traditional chocolate cake creates a kick of sweetness that counters the bittersweet chocolate.  Adding crushed beets to a cake also has many other benefits: they moisten the cake, add a rich red tint, and retain some of their nutritional value.  There are also vegan versions of this cake recipe, which are useful for offering customers an alternative unusual dessert option.

Dessert Wontons
Wonton wrappers aren’t just for savory edibles anymore.  Use your restaurant equipment to fry up wontons stuffed with sweet things.  Any number of combinations is acceptable.  Try bananas and Nutella; a rhubard pie-like filling; peanut butter and jelly; walnuts, pears, and vanilla; raspberry jam and cream cheese; or peaches, pecans, and mascarpone cheese.  These hot, crispy treats make a great winter dessert.

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