Water – The Good, the Bad, and the Funky

 Cool facts about water:

  • Most of Earth’s surface (nearly three-quarters) is covered with water, but only a small percentage of our water (2.5%) is fresh. The other 97.5% is salt water.
  • Of that tiny percentage of fresh water, most (roughly two-thirds) is locked up in glaciers and ice caps.
  • The only other places in the solar system where we’re fairly certain that liquid water exists are on the Jovian moons Europa and Callisto.
  • Every living organism on Earth needs water to survive.
  • Each day, we exhale a little more than a cup of water (as vapor).
  • Food is mostly water.

Water is an amazing substance. Many of us take its existence for granted. It can also absorb a large amount of heat, which makes it a great medium to use in cooking – steaming, braising, sous vide, proofing. Water is what makes CVap® technology so powerful, and so precise.

Water dissolves and contains minerals and other sediments. Some of these dissolved substances can do funky things to both you and your cooking equipment. That’s what makes it so crucial to clean and maintain your CVap equipment daily.

CVap technology uses water heaters to directly affect food temperature. As water evaporates from the CVap’s reservoir, it leaves behind the minerals and sediments were previously suspended in the water. Over the course of a few hours, mineral concentrations will naturally rise. If not cleaned properly, mineral concentrations can eventually reach a level that poses a contamination hazard to your food, and could damage to the equipment’s stainless steel interior. Adding a tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to the water can help neutralize minerals, but based on your location, you may need to take additional water treatment steps before using that water in your equipment, or serving it to your guests.

There are several types of water treatment options to consider.

  • Sediment filtration removes suspended solids, reducing cloudiness. Cloudiness is usually caused by particles suspended in the water. These filters use a natural media (like sand) to filtering out the funk.
  • Carbon filtration also removes sediment, as well as chlorine, organic, bad odors and flavors. As the name implies, carbon filtration uses activated charcoal to absorb the nastiness.
  • Water Softening removes calcium, magnesium and other metals in hard water by using ion exchange resins. Minerals are flushed out via a salt solution.
  • Phosphates perform three broad functions: inhibit corrosion, chemically separate metals, and improve water quality by removing scale deposits, discouraging microbial film formation, and stabilizing free chlorine residuals.
  • Reverse Osmosis is by far the most thorough treatment option. It purifies water using applied pressure to force water through a semipermeable membrane, filtering out everything but water molecules. The pores in the filter membrane can be as small as the radius of some atoms. This means it can reliably filter out salts and metallic ions. There is a drawback – reverse osmosis creates a lot of waste water.

Curious about how hard your water is? The map below gives you an approximate idea of water hardness throughout the continental US (image courtesy of USGS). Check out this USGS website to get an idea of how mineral-laden the water in your region is.

Water hardness map

What’s all this got to do with CVap?

Every piece of CVap equipment is constructed out of stainless steel. Stainless steel is an incredible material, but it’s not indestructible. And water is one of the things that can flat take down stainless – or more specifically, the minerals found within water. That’s why daily cleaning is critical, not just for CVap equipment, but for any piece of stainless steel equipment.

Want to know more about stainless steel maintenance and vulnerabilities? Check out this blog post on that very subject!

Stainless Steel Care and Cleaning, Keep Your CVap Clean!

In the crazy fast paced world of food service, which in a lot of cases is 24/7, we need to find the time to break out the elbow grease and do some good old fashioned hard work. We need to keep our work areas and equipment clean and sanitized. Sorry, there is no easy button for elbow grease. Now, let’s discuss stainless steel or consider it stain-“LESS”.

Contrary to popular belief, stainless steel is susceptible to rust and corrosion. Stainless steel(s) are passive metals because they contain other metals; chromium, nickel, and manganese that stabilize the atoms. Four hundred series stainless are called ferritic, contain chromium, and are magnetic. Three hundred series stainless are called austenitic, contain chromium and nickel, are non-magnetic, and generally provide a greater resistance to corrosion than ferritic types.

With 12-30% percent chromium, an invisible passive film covers the steel’s surface acting as a “shield” against corrosion. As long as the film is intact and not broken or contaminated, the metal is passive and STAIN-LESS. If the passive film of stainless steel has been broken, equipment starts to corrode and at its end, it rusts.

Enemies of Stainless SteelHA4522 CVap Holding Cabinet

Mechanical abrasion – Items that will scratch a steel surface. Steel pads, wire brushes, and scrapers are prime examples that cause abrasions on the steel.

Water – Water comes out of the faucet in varying degrees of hardness. Depending on where you live, you may have hard or soft water. Hard water may leave spots and rust stainless steel. Other deposits from food preparation and service must be properly removed. Treated water may be your first defense.

Chlorides –  Found nearly everywhere like water, food, and table salt, for example. One of the biggest perpetrators can come from household and industrial cleaners.

On every CVap® cabinet there is a cleaning label on the door to remind you to break out the elbow grease on a consistent basis and be sure to drain, clean and refill your evaporator with fresh clean water every day. Your CVap will return the favor by providing many years of dependable service in what Winston is known for, controlling food temperature and texture for extended periods.

A DAILY CLEANING DISCIPLINE AS FOLLOWS IS NECESSARY TO INSURE A LONG LIFE OF THE CVap INTERIOR STAINLESS COMPONENTS.

  1. Remove inside components to the sink for cleaning and rinsing.
  2. Remove inside cabinet deposits non-abrasively; wash or sanitize with non-chloride cleaner; then rinse – allowing rinse water to drain to evaporator.
  3. Drain the evaporator; wash with a non-chloride cleaner; remove all deposits using non abrasives. If there is a white scale on heat transfer surfaces, use Scale Kleen, Lime-A-Way or similar to remove. Rinse thoroughly and refill with fresh potable (non-chloramine) water.

The Passion for Cooking Perfect, Consistent Rice!

I get the opportunity to travel to several western states and work with our customers and see how they use CVap®. The item that seems to be moving to the center of the plate is rice. Rice continues to be the topic of discussion here in the states and in many other cultures it has been a staple for years.

rice

CVap for holding rice is a no-brainer! It can hold rice better than any appliance out there. For me, it has been interesting working with customers using their current procedure for cooking rice. It usually consists of boiling, steaming, or using a gas or electric rice cooker. And then the dance before the cooking begins – rinsing until water runs clear, continuing to rinse 3 – 10 times, then finally soaking rinsed rice anywhere from two hours to overnight.

It has to be exhausting trying to find that perfect procedure to produce the same result over and over again!

Now let’s discuss the Winston CAC series CVap Cook & Hold Oven, with a temperature range from 90º to 350º. Let the creativity begin.

For this particular cycle, we are going to use Basmati rice.

Directions:

  • Measure out 2 pounds of rice (4 cups)
  • Rinse thoroughly 3 times
  • Soak 2 hours
  • Place in hotel pan
  • Pour in 4 pounds of water (7 3/4 cups)
  • Cover with lid or foil

Basmati rice

Winston CAC settings

  • Constant cook ON
  • Doneness: 200
  • Browning: 2
  • Time: 35
  • Use a 12x20x2.5″ hotel pan with cover, load oven and push start.

Finally, rice perfection achieved!

In closing, a bite of rice trivia; in 2009 the world consumption of rice was 531.6 million metric tons.

Fried Chicken: It’s on the Menu

Crispy Fried Chicken

Chicken Trivia:

  • More than half of all chicken entrees ordered in restaurants are for fried chicken.
  • In 2007, 95% of commercial restaurants had fried chicken on their menu.
  • The average American eats over 80 pounds of chicken each year.
  • According to the National Chicken Council, more than 1.25 billion chicken wing portions were consumed on Super Bowl Weekend in 2012 (more than 100 million pounds).

What menu item is going to keep customers coming back for more? To-go orders? Catering offerings? What is going to set your product apart from your competition? Fried chicken!

Let’s look at the features and benefits of our Collectramatic® Pressure Fryer. Available in 4-head (32 pieces per drop) and 6-head (48 pieces per drop) versions – now that’s a lot of fried chicken!

Benefits of pressure frying:

  • Quicker cook times
  • Juicier product
  • Tenderization
  • Texture control
  • Healthier product

Benefits of a Winston Collectramatic Pressure Fryer:

  • Microprocessor controller
  • Reliability – Very few moving mechanical parts
  • Round pot – For strength with a single weld, sediment cannot build up in the corners and continue to cook/burn the oil.
  • Footprint – Let’s look at the numbers. With a LP56 fryer 6-head, you can fry approximately 192 pieces of chicken per hour and 1,200 pieces before you need to filter the shortening. Our collector, the largest in the industry, catches all the sediment from the cooking vat, so it does not continue to cook

At a recent training, with an install of three LP56 Collectramatic fryers, the customer was able to pressure fry 576 pieces per hour and 3,600 pieces before they needed to filter the shortening.

Partner this with a Winston Shortening Filter and a CVap® Holding Cabinet or two, and now you have a fried chicken program sure to bring success!

How CVap Provides Greater Flexibility in Your Kitchen Design Layout

CVap® is a warm welcome addition to any commercially-sized foodservice kitchen. Many say CVap typically becomes one of the favored pieces of equipment in the kitchen, while others swear they would not open a kitchen without CVap. That is quite a compliment to Winston Foodservice, a family-owned manufacturing company made up of hard working and dedicated people in Louisville, Kentucky. Winston is a global manufacturer exporting products all over the world.

CVap may be found in various areas of the kitchen. This month let’s focus on the HBB5D1 CVap® Holding Drawer and a unique area of placement. Kitchens are getting more compact – every square foot needs to be utilized to create an efficient work space for fantastic results. Consider CVap drawers in your cook line. There are so many choices in equipment options: free standing, counter top, standard oven base, convection oven base, cabinet base, refrigerated base, and CVap drawers placed within a customized equipment stand! Let your culinary mind wander to the possibilities of what items could be holding warm in a perfect CVap environment to assist with extended holding times, without diminishing food quality. See drawing below to modular sized equipment stands in 1, 2, and 3 CVap drawer configurations. Each drawer requires 120 volt 13.1 full load amp operation.

HBB drawer configurations

I worked with an owner/end user with an extremely small kitchen who was frustrated with long ticket times of 40 – 45 minutes during peak service times. He had experienced CVap with his prior partnership and was not part of procedures with this new concept. He called us in for suggestions. Upon arrival, I noticed his cook line was using counter top equipment with refrigerated drawer base. We reviewed that everything he was staging cold would be perfect for staging warm instead, which would greatly reduce heat up time from 40°F to 165° F on a griddle or broiler surface, assemble the dish and out for service it would go. He loved the idea and implemented a two drawer equipment stand and an additional CVap holding cabinet in an adjacent room for additional hot holding back-up when his patio opened in the summer and doubled his seating capacity.  He is one ticket time reduced CVap customer!

 

Pork Butt: How Sweet It Is!

Boston butt or pork butt is the American name for a cut of pork from the upper part of the front leg shoulder, and may contain the blade bone. Boston butt is the most common cut used for pulled pork.  Source: Wikipedia.org

Okay…I admit that I never was much of a pork fan –  but before you gasp in horror, let me explain! When I was growing up, we were served pork chops that were thrown on a dry frying pan for probably twenty-five minutes per side. I honestly think shoe leather would have been easier to eat. It’s one food memory I simply cannot forget.

That was then. Now I have CVap® technology (Controlled Vapor Technology) on my side, and I’ll never have to eat a dried-out, chewy piece of pork again.

So let’s get down to business! I wanted to create a tender, moist, sweet pork that I could shred for quesadillas.Quesadilla Pork with rice

I made a small roast to feed a few people. If you are feeding the masses, simply increase portion sizes and start with a larger roast. I used pre-packaged ingredients for convenience, but you can experiment with your own flavor combinations. I have two hungry boys at home (one of whom eats so fast I wonder if he can taste his food!). They both loved this recipe.

Ingredients

  • Pork Butt Roast (approximately 3 – 3.5 lbs.)
  • 1 Old El Paso Sauce Packet (Roasted Garlic)
  • 1 Cup A&W Root Beer
  • 6 oz. Tomato Paste
  • ½ Cup Chicken Broth
  • 2 Cups Light Brown Sugar

Instructions

Place pork in steam table pan.Raw Pork Butt in Pan

Mix all the ingredients together in a separate bowl and pour over pork.Marinating Pork Butt

Put pork into the CVap oven, push start, and walk away.

CVap CAC Cook & Hold Oven Settings:

Constant Cook:        ON
Doneness:                 175°F
Browning:                  4
Time:                           6:30

At this setting the oven will hold at 150°F when the cook cycle is complete.Cooked Pork Butt

Following the cook cycle, I usually shred the pork and put it back into the oven for approximately 1.5 hours before serving.Shredded Butt

It always turns out great! Sweet flavor all the way through, and perfect texture.

Shredded Pork ButtAccompany the pork with some black beans and cilantro lime rice, and the family is well on the way to having full and happy bellies. If you’re not a fan of pork butt, this recipe will make you a believer!

Pork Burrito with RiceTry it, and let us know what you think!