Protecting Your Investment: Fryer Maintenance

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

ShortOrder_Frymaster-FryersAll equipment needs TLC. The “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mindset is really only applicable to prep-tables. Almost everything else in your kitchen needs routine maintenance.

Consider the workhorse of many American facilities, the fryer. Fryers are a pretty simple machine. They have targeted jets of flame that heat-up the underside of a pot that contains oil. The oil heats and is used to cook food. When the oil is used, you filter or replace it and move on. Not much to it, right?

In reality, it does still need some routine maintenance. Daily, the exterior should be wiped down and cleaned. Focus on the  rim, sides and front. This is more than an aesthetic thing. Dripping oil on the floor can be a very dangerous matter for your employees. In addition, make sure to clean the fry baskets daily. Remove them from the oil, wash them and let them dry overnight.

When you filter the oil, make it a habit to clean the elements under the fryer. These can and will get congested with oil mist and other contaminants. Filter the oil, clean the elements.

It’s important to boil out your fryer at least twice a year. Remove the oil. Replace with water and cleaning solution. Allow the water to heat and scrub the fryer pot as instructed by the manufacturer. Be careful not to splash hot water on yourself or others while you scrub. Been there, done that – ouch! Once complete, carefully drain the water and rinse the pot with warm water. Once complete, towel dry and replace the oil. You’ll be good for another three to six months.

Full inspection of the unit should be done annually. Check all electronics and make sure they are free of debris. Look at the legs or casters and make sure they are in good working order and stable. Inspect your fry baskets to make sure the handle is secure to the basket. A basket breaking during agitation or product transfer can cause serious injury.

These simple maintenance techniques will increase the longevity of the fryer, keep the foods prepared in it tasting good, keep your workers safe and maximize your return on investment!   


Back To School!

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

Boy with lunch tray in school cafeteriaNow that school is back in session, parents around the world get their schedules back. Many have to work on homework at night, sign agendas, fill out school paperwork and get up every morning to make a healthy lunch before sending their kids off to a day at school. Wait… you don’t make a homemade lunch for your kids daily? What kind of parent are you? The answer? The same as many other parents! Schools offer education. Education transcends the classroom and enters the lunch room every school day. The lunchrooms of today are not like it was when I was a kid. There are more choices for students as well as stricter guidelines for schools. How has that changed the kitchen? Let’s look.

If you were to step into today’s K-12 school kitchen, you would notice that it is far more streamlined than in the past. Why? The food being put into that kitchen has changed. Back in the day, most kitchens were working with raw ingredients. Slicers, ovens, choppers, sinks, braising pans, steam jacketed kettles and holding cabinets galore were used to change those raw goods into the lunch we (some not so fondly) remember from our childhoods. (more…)

Time to Buy a New Ice Machine? What to Look for

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Two Different Ice MachinesIce machines are one of the ‘grunts’ of the kitchen, constantly in use and long-suffering. It is easy to just keeping using yours until it breaks down and you have to buy a new one. But how do you deal with the sudden lack of ice? Is there a better way to handle the switch?

Signs You Need a New Ice Machine

Ice machines seem simple enough on the surface – their main function after all is to make ice. But there are a surprising number of factors to consider when deciding whether or not to upgrade:

  • Energy efficiency gets better the newer your machine. In some cases, the cost of upgrading might be made up within a couple of years of energy savings, which makes it nearly a no-brainer.
  • Sheer volume might inspire you to upgrade if your old machine just can’t keep up with your customers’ needs.
  • Cubic footage is always at a premium in a commercial kitchen, and finding out that there’s a machine that makes the same amount of ice in half the space is huge.
  • Types of ice vary a surprising amount, and if you find that a new twist to your menu or prep process means suddenly you need more crushed than cubes or flake than blocks, a new machine can be the only answer.
  • Maintenance schedules are the final and most common reason why an ice machine gets replaced; when you reach a point where predicted maintenance costs outstrip new machine costs, the choice is obvious.


The FDA Food Code and Your Restaurant: What You Need to Know

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Chef Preparing a SaladThere are a lot of rules in the 2013 Updated Food Code published by the FDA. Most of them are commonsense rules, but there are some very important bits that every restaurateur should know for fostering a safe work environment, safe storage and handling, cleaning restaurant equipment and much more.


The FDA strongly encourages the creation of a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point. Essentially, this is a document printed out and available to all of your kitchen workers that details what how to correctly respond to any form of common kitchen emergency. The FDA offers a useful document called “Managing Food Safety” that explains precisely how to execute this process. Having an HACCP isn’t mandated nationwide yet, but a good number of municipalities require it within their borders. (more…)

Houston, We Have Contact: How to Clean Food Contact Surfaces

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Short-Order_Chef-CleaningIf there ever was a spotless way to cook and prep food, it would be something along the lines of ‘cooking in outer space.’ You wouldn’t have to worry about any cutting boards to clean or messy paper towels, and all your food would be floating across the cabin of your spacecraft. After all, you never hear astronauts say, “Houston, did you forget to pack the detergent and bleach?” If only we could cook and eat our food like astronauts in space.

Alas, our gravity-bound environment forces us to deal with the food contact surfaces that we use every single day. Bacteria and diseases are more prevalent than ever and proper sanitization and cleaning are vital to keeping a healthy lifestyle. Here are some down-to-Earth steps for keeping your kitchen countertops clean and sanitized.

Step 1:

The first step is to clean and give your surface a good scrub down. This is the hard work such as scraping and wiping down the food- contact surfaces. If any type of raw meat touched the surface in question, grab a pair of rubber gloves to prevent the spread of salmonella or other bacteria and scrub away.  (more…)

Gen2 Griddles Make Any Meal

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

Griddles have long been a staple in kitchens from the Deep South to the Northeast.  While cooking on a griddle originally consisted of using a flat stone or brick slab, today’s are of course more advanced, more precise, and deliver reliable results.  Gen 2 griddles, for example, consist of evenly-spaced burners on a gas griddle that is manually controlled.  Gen2 griddles are great for cooking foods of all kinds, and make it easy to serve customers quick and delicious meals around the clock.  Here are a few of our favorite griddle recipes to make on Gen2 griddles.

Old-Fashion Buttermilk Pancakes
Griddle-cooked pancakes are a Southern classic.  Southerners have cooked up just about everything on a griddle, but pancakes are among the most classic Southern breakfasts.  The trick to the best old-fashioned buttermilk pancakes is, of course, to use real buttermilk.  True Southern pancakes often have lard or shortening in them, so if you want to err on the side of healthiness, there are several ingredients you can substitute.  Butter or margarine will work, but be sure to add 2 tablespoons to every cup of lard or shortening a recipe calls for.  Applesauce or prune puree are also suitable substitutes for lard or shortening.  For every cup of lard or shortening, use ½ cup of puree.  The rest are your basic pancake ingredients, so pick your favorite and fire up your Gen2 griddles.

Philly Cheesesteaks
This famous Pennsylvanian classic is made from vegetables and thinly-sliced pieces of steak, cooked on a griddle and served on a long roll with cheese.  There is much debate as to the composition of a “true” Philly cheesesteak, so choose your version carefully.  If you are not too reverent of the sacred cheesesteak, mix it up a little for those customers who prefer chicken, and offer them a chicken cheesesteak.  Loyal Philadelphians might scoff, but those looking for an alternative will thank you for the leaner suggestion.

Gourmet Burger
The hamburger is by far the most well-known component of the American fast-food meal.  However, it is easy to elevate a simple burger with a few tweaks.  Choose a theme and craft a burger to match, and you’ll have an original hit.  Looking for a little barbeque?  Hickory BBQ sauce, caramelized onions, and bacon complete the burger.  Going lighter?  A patty made of shredded chicken and sundried tomatoes cooks well on Gen2 griddles.  A spicy burger might be your basic beef topped with poblano peppers and chipotle mayo.  Get creative with your condiments, and you’ll make an entrée not soon forgotten.

Going Steady With Scotsman Ice Machines

Friday, July 6th, 2012

There’s something to be said for consistency. Your customers rely on it, and so do you. Consistency is what makes your dishes famous and your customers coming back for more. Consistency is what allows you to turn on the stove and expect the flame to ignite every time. While we tend to overlook the simplicity of reliable performance, without it, where would we be? With Scotsman Ice Machines, you’ll get bin after bin of fresh, cold ice. In fact, almost every one of the Scotsman Ice Machines has earned our Editor’s Choice award and five star rating.

Scotsman Ice Machines are not only reliable, they’re efficient too. Prodigy® cubers like the Scotsman Ice Machine C0530MA-32B/B530S exceed both California and Federal regulations for the use of energy and water. And who says reliability has to be old fashioned? This machine has indicator lights to alert you when its time to sanitize or descale, operational data that can be shown onscreen or remotely and an ultrasonic ice control system that allows you keep ice levels exactly where you want them. And with a hefty capacity of 536 lbs, that’s a lot of flexibility in one piece of restaurant equipment.

Then there is the Scotsman Ice Machine AFE424A-1A. This guy fits under the counter, producing flake style ice up to 400 lbs a day, 80 lb bin storage capacity. So your produce and seafood stay fresh and chilled. Short Order carries Scotsman Ice Machines in just about every shape and size, ranging from the petite models with 24 pounds of storage to heads that produce 1900 lbs a day.

But when it comes down to it, whatever the size of the machine or the shape of the cube, and whatever your use. consistency is what you want most in an ice machine, and that’s where Scotsman Ice Machines take the lead. Thanks, Scotsman Ice Machines, for keeping the food industry that much cooler.

Gen2 Fryers: Like Winning the Lottery

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Gas prices are skyrocketing; solar activity is at its peak and someone just won the Mega Millions in the lottery. With that and the daily troubles of life, you and your customers have enough to worry about. Of course, while seated in your restaurant, your customers only seem to worry about having a great experience and eating food that delights the soul. On your end, it’s not always that simple. Delectable foods often need a fabulous recipe, the right ingredients and restaurant equipment that create magic. When it comes to fryers for your establishment, Gen2 Fryers help make impending doom, the cost of petrol and winning numbers irrelevant.

Need proof? At Short Order, each of our Gen2 Fryers received a 5 Star rating and our Editors Choice. Don’t just take our word for it. Food Service Equipment Supplies Magazine voted each Gen2 Fryer “Best in Class” and all you need to do is check out what’s under the hood. Stainless steel fry tanks and door liners are impressive enough. Yet, the other features, such as the Invensys thermostat and built in Flue Deflector make the each one, including the Gen2 Fryer GEN2-F3-LP a solid choice. A full port drain and the fry tank ‘cool zone’ just add to the “hot” factor. What is really hot besides the oil is that Gen2 Fryers come in 40lb and 70lb capacity, LP and Natural Gas. Fryers aren’t the only Gen2 production that will make you feel less apprehensive about your commercial restaurant equipment purchases. From their amazing griddles to their assortment of range ovens, you need not concern yourself with the trivial thought of having the right restaurant equipment for the job.

Are you ready? This is the reality. The price of oil will probably always fluctuate and scientists will have varying interpretations of the Mayan calendar. You probably won’t win the lottery. Heck, it might snow tomorrow in Key West. But, at least when it comes to cooking deliciousness, Gen2 Fryers, griddles and ranges are one thing you don’t have to worry about. 

Hobart Slicers: Impeccable Design that Performs Too!

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

My how we like shiny and pretty new things. For some of us, fancy restaurant equipment gizmos often come with a complicated learning curve and a price tag to match. It is just then that you find your contraption to be not so polished after all. In fact, soon you find yourself using duct tape and paper clips, grease and possibly a sledgehammer in an attempt to get your thingamajig to work as well as it did the first day you bought it. And if your thingamajig is a slicer, you’ll then be dealing with a bunch of work to do. If you have experienced a form of slicer buyer’s remorse, then it may be time to purchase for your establishment one of our highly touted Hobart Slicers instead.

Hobart Slicers are not only rather exquisite looking; they shimmer with wild ingeniousness. Might we add that you do not need to download anything, type in passwords, buy more storage space or constantly upgrade like that appealing tablet computer that you are still trying to figure out. After all, it is just a slicer. Except, when it’s not. See, at Short Order, we gave our selection of Hobart Slicers a 5-Star rating and a few of them receive our Editor’s Choice, because unlike some other commercial kitchen equipment doohickey’s, you truly get what you pay for. That is a good thing, because Hobart Slicers —such as the Hobart Slicer 2612-1— will not only do the job of slicing, they are incredibly durable and incorporate some helpful and fancy features that many other slicer brands do not. Attributes such as the CleanCut™ Knife helps reduce the cost of ownership and improve yield, while the burnished aluminum base and exclusive tilting and removable carriage system allow for maximum performance and reliability.

Sometimes it is far more comforting to know that your shimmering new restaurant equipment investments won’t become obsolete, maddening or utterly complicated right off the bat. And when it comes to contraptions that slice, Hobart Slicers don’t just exude impressiveness with appealing design, they do the job right and will continue to execute for a long time to come. 

Globe Slicers: Always Sharp, Permanently Precise

Friday, March 16th, 2012

Ask an explorer hacking their way through thick and daunting jungle territory; or a carpenter buzzing through lumber, stirring up sawdust—ask them and they’ll tell you: you need the right cutting tool for the job. When it comes to restaurant equipment, Globe Slicers perform the difficult work of slicing through meats, cheese, vegetables and more, with both power and precision.

Theoretically, you might be able to prepare meals in your kitchen with an electric power saw or by chopping away with a long, handheld blade. It may even be possible to exact precise cuts with a small, sharp knife. But without the proper tools, time and energy are sure to be wasted, and you will certainly have one heck of a mess on your hands. At Short Order, you can put away the odd cutting tools and get one of our fabulous Globe Slicers to help you slice like a true professional. For instance, the Globe Slicer 4600P features a ½ HP, 7 amp motor that aids the 13” PreciseEdge™ hardened steel alloy knife for segmenting tough meats and turning them into perfect cuts. This unit even comes with the option for a frozen meat-slicing package, which includes a serrated knife and bronze gear. You will not even have to worry about constantly replacing the knife when it dulls. A top mounted sharpener is permanently mounted. Simply activating a lever initiates the sharpening stones to return the knife quickly to a razor-sharp state.

From compact manual units to medium duty and gear driven slicers, Globe Slicers will replace those archaic cutting tools you had been using–and possibly even that worn out old prehistoric slicer too. Therefore, when you need the proper cutting tools for your establishment, look no further than Short Order for your restaurant equipment needs.  

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