Roasting Veggies Please Picky Palates

Boost Vegetables’ Flavor by Roasting in CVap®

There’s no denying it – most of Winston’s blogs focus on proteins. It’s true that CVap® technology brings out the best in meats, but it also serves up phenomenal vegetables. I’ve prepared some of my most favorite vegetable dishes in a CVap Retherm Oven. Today we tested three vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, and baby carrots.

Traditionally, when vegetables are prepared in a conventional oven, you roast them at 425°F. However, since the max temp of a CVap Retherm Oven is 350°F, I had to adapt a bit to convert these items to CVap preparation.

I am amazed at the difference that roasting vegetables makes, particularly when getting kids to eat them. My daughter has always turned her nose up to broccoli no matter how many ways I have prepared it, but roasting it has always made her a happy camper.

Using the CVap oven, we attempted three different preparations, all very simple, and all done on Channel 5 in a CAT retherm oven. This particular setting has a 130°F water temperature and a 350°F air temperature. The high differential allows for the greatest browning potential, and the results were fantastic (as shown in the pictures below.

Roasted Carrots

Baby Carrots with Honey and Cajun Spice

Toss the carrots in a bowl with honey and cajun spice to taste. These take 20 minutes total cook time.

Roasted Broccoli

Broccoli Tossed with Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper

After 18 minutes in the oven, pull the trays out and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese. I placed them back in the oven for two minutes. Drizzle with lemon juice and serve.

Roasted Cauliflower with Yogurt

Cauliflower with Plain Yogurt and Red Curry Paste

Toss the cauliflower florets in the yogurt with the red curry paste, then add salt and pepper. These take about 25 minutes total cook time.

Adjust these recipes to suit your own tastes. As you can tell from these photos, I like a generous amount of char on my roasted vegetables. You may like more, or less. Experiment to find the taste and texture that satisfies the picky palate you’re trying to please.

If you’re looking for opportunities to increase fresh vegetables on your menu, these veggies are a sure bet. Retherm ovens are often used exclusively to reheat prepared products, but these recipes are proof that equipment normally used to cook pizzas and breaded chicken products is fully capable of making scratch food that is very easy and healthy!

No Vent Hood, No Foolin’! CVap Doesn’t Need a Vent Hood!

No Vent Hood Needed


Space. It’s a precious commodity in any commercial kitchen. Particularly space under the vent hood. Most food codes require certain equipment to be placed under the hood. Winston Foodservice recently had our CVap® RTV Retherm Oven tested by Intertek, an independent testing and certification company. Our goal was to definitively determine whether CVap commercial ovens require a vent hood. The results? The CVap oven passed FDA Method 202 testing with flying colors. Both the Winston CVap RTV Retherm Oven and CHV Cook & Hold product lines gained approval.

The benefits?

  • Save Space – Chances are, if there’s already a hood in the kitchen, there’s already equipment that requires it. Adding CVap ovens to the lineup won’t require a game of musical chairs with existing appliances. Save that valuable hood space for the stuff that needs it.
  • Save Money – Let’s face it; hood systems cost out the wazoo. They require thousands of dollars in hardware and infrastructure, to the tune of $1,000 a running foot. Eliminating the hood saves money, both on the hood system and on the power it requires.
  • Expand Your Menu – CVap ovens offer versatility that few other ovens can match. Bake, roast, steam, CVap® Stage, braise, retherm, “bagless” sous vide (with or without a bag) – all in one footprint – a footprint that DOESN’T REQUIRE A HOOD!

Of course, local codes may vary. Check with local officials before investing in CVap ovens, or any other commercial restaurant equipment. Need proof that CVap ovens don’t require a hood? Here’s the full report. Need to take a nap? Here’s what the EPA has to say about Method 202.

Say No To Rusty Stainless Steel!

Rusty Stainless Steel

Despite what you’ve heard, stainless steel IS susceptible to rusting. Corrosion on metal is common. It is easily recognizable on iron and steel as unsightly yellow/orange rust. Such metals are called “active” because they actively corrode in a natural environment, when their atoms combine with oxygen to form rust.

Stainless steels are passive metals because they contain other metals, like chromium, nickel and manganese, that stabilize the atoms.

  • 400 series stainless steels are called ferritic, contain chromium, and are magnetic
  • 300 series stainless steels are called austenitic, and contain chromium and nickel
  • 200 series stainless, also austenitic, contains manganese, nitrogen and carbon
  • Austenitic types of stainless are not magnetic, and generally provide greater resistance to corrosion than ferritic types

With 12-30 percent chromium content, 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 stainless. If the passive film of stainless steel has been broken, equipment starts to corrode. As the corrosion continues, the steel will rust.

Enemies of Stainless Steel

There are three basic things which can break down stainless steel’s passivity layer and allow corrosion to occur:
1. Mechanical abrasion. Mechanical abrasion refers to objects that will scratch a steel surface. Steel pads, wire brushes and scrapers are prime examples.
2. Deposits and water. Tap water has varying degrees of hardness. Depending on what part of the country you live in, you may have hard or soft water. Hard water may leave spots, and when heated leave deposits behind that if left to sit, will break down the passive layer and rust stainless steel. Other deposits from food preparation and service must be properly removed.
3. Chlorides. Chlorides are found nearly everywhere. They are in water, food and table salt. One of the worst chloride perpetrators can come from household and industrial cleaners.

Rust Prevention

Here are some best practices that can help prevent stainless steel rust.

1. Use the proper tools and clean with the polish lines. When cleaning stainless steel products, use non-abrasive tools. Soft cloths and plastic scouring pads will not harm steel’s passive layer. Stainless steel pads can be used, but the scrubbing motion must be in the direction of the manufacturer’s polishing marks. Some stainless steel comes with visible polishing lines or “grain.” When visible lines are present, always scrub in a motion parallel to the lines. When the grain can’t be seen, play it safe and use a soft cloth or plastic scouring pad.
2. Use alkaline, alkaline chlorinated or non-chloride containing cleaners. While many traditional cleaners are loaded with chlorides, the industry is providing an ever-increasing selection of non-chloride cleaners. If you are not sure of chloride content in the cleaner used, contact your cleaner supplier. If your present cleaner contains chlorides, ask your supplier if they have an alternative. Avoid cleaners containing quaternary salts; it can attack stainless steel and cause pitting and rusting.
3. Treat your water. Though this is not always practical, softening hard water can do much to reduce deposits. There are certain filters that can be installed to remove distasteful and corrosive elements. To ensure proper water treatment, contact a treatment specialist.
4. Keep your equipment clean. Use alkaline, alkaline chlorinated or non-chloride cleaners at recommended strength. Clean frequently to avoid build-up of hard, stubborn stains. If you boil water in stainless steel equipment, remember the single most likely cause of damage is chlorides in the water. Heating cleaners that contain chlorides have a similar effect.
5. Rinse, rinse, rinse. If chlorinated cleaners are used, rinse and wipe equipment and supplies immediately. The sooner you wipe off standing water, especially when it contains cleaning agents, the better. After wiping equipment down, allow it to air dry; oxygen helps maintain the stainless steel’s passivity film.
6. Never use hydrochloric acid (muriatic acid) on stainless steel. If used, hydrochloric acid can cause cracking, corrosion and pitting on stainless steel.
7. Regularly restore/passivate stainless steel. This is discussed in the recommended cleaners chart below.

Recommended Cleaners for specific situations

JobCleaning AgentComments
Routine cleaningSoap, ammonia, detergent, MedallionApply with cloth or sponge
Fingerprints & smearsArcal 20, Lac-O-Nu EcoshineProvides barrier film
Stubborn stains & discolorationCameo, Talc, Zud, First ImpressionRub in direction of polish lines
Grease & fatty acids, blood, burnt-on-foodsEasy-off, De-Grease It Oven AidExcellent removal on all finishes
Grease & oilAny good commercial detergentApply with sponge or cloth
Restoration/PassivationBenefit, Super Sheen

Utilizing Versatility with Modern Kitchen Equipment

Commercial Kitchen Equipment

In this post I want to bring to light one of the current dilemmas many of us are facing in our kitchens today. Although the list of equipment offerings and technologies continues to grow, we see more and more specialized kitchen equipment designed for a specific job. Whether we are baking, steaming, braising, boiling, poaching, roasting, grilling, staging, frying or searing, there is a piece of equipment on the market specifically designed for that specific job.

Most of our kitchens are littered with several pieces of single-purpose equipment. They are all pieces of a puzzle that fit together and (hopefully) lend themselves well to each other. Whether we are talking about convection ovens, steamers, grills, flat top griddles, immersion circulators, holding cabinets, combi ovens, low temp roasting ovens, etc… they all have their place and purpose. On the other hand, most of the real estate in our kitchens is at a premium, preventing us from utilizing them all properly. We are left with two answers to this challenge, either build massive kitchens capable of holding all this equipment or find versatility in the equipment we use.

When discussing versatility, most equipment can be placed into one of two categories, versatile equipment or single-purpose equipment. Let’s dissect these two categories a bit further and analyze some of the equipment mentioned above.

Versatile Equipment:

Convection ovens are the go-to standard for versatility and have been widely used in kitchens around the world for years. These ovens have their place in most kitchens as they are one of the most versatile pieces of equipment on the market today. From prep to finish the convection oven can be used throughout the entire cooking process and is effective at both high and low temperatures, all within a small footprint. Other equipment that fit into this same category are grills, griddles, and combi ovens.

Single-Purpose:

Steamers are one of the main culprits in the single-purpose category. They are less versatile and capable of only one temp and one process – steaming. Not only is the equipment limited by its versatility, but often, finding a place in the kitchen for single-purpose equipment can be a hassle. While highly effective at performing the specific job the unit is designed for, single-purpose equipment can be a waste of space if it is not utilized around the clock. Other examples of single-use kitchen equipment include immersion circulators and low-temp roasting ovens.

What’s this mean for you?

CVap Kitchen Equipment A lot goes into making any kind of kitchen equipment decision. Quality, reliability, capital cost, maintenance cost, operating cost, equipment life span, etc. Buyers have to weigh all these variables and findthe best balance for their personal needs. However, one of the most impactful elements we are all looking for is versatility. We don’t all have the luxury of a large kitchen. Normally, the larger the kitchen footprint the smaller the customer seating footprint, which means less potential money to be made each day.

What if I told you there was a piece of equipment that addresses these pain points? One that is versatile to the point of being able to poach, steam, braise,roast, bake, stage, sous vide, confit, high yield roast, hold and perform many other processes all within a small footprint? One that is affordable, reliable, requires no hood and is easy to use at all skill levels? A unit that can reduce ticket times, food costs, labor costs and maintenance costs. A piece that can be used for morning prep, the lunch rush, and staging for a busy dinner service, then continue to make you money overnight while you sleep? If this is the type of equipment you are looking for, then the Winston CVap is a game changer for your business. CVap equipment is hands down one of the most versatile items you can place in your kitchen. It is a piece of kitchen equipment that can save and make money at the same time, all inside a small footprint. Chances are the restaurant down the street turning 100 tables on a Tuesday night has already discovered it.

Learn more here.

CVap® as a Critical Component of HACCP

CVap HACCP

Many of you have discovered the benefits of precision low-temperature cooking provided by CVap® equipment. We often receive reports of you preparing the perfectly prepared rare steak or a beautiful mid-rare burger. But you might not know that this same process provided by Controlled Vapor technology can also be a critical part of your HACCP plan.

There are people who avoid low-temperature processing because of the fear of food-borne illness created by bacteria such as e-coli, salmonella or clostridium perfringens. Improper food temperature is the most frequent – and preventable – cause of food-borne illness, which is why temperature control is so critical to any HACCP plan. FSIS Directive appendix A&B Compliance Guidelines for Meeting Lethality Performance Standards defines the time/temperature requirements for achieving  6.5-log10 or 7-log10 reduction of Salmonella.

We conducted a test with our CVap technology to see the results of bacteria reduction while maintaing the quality of a medium rare burger. In our test we were able to accomplish a +7 log reduction and still maintained the quality associated with a medium rare burger. Safe and tasty!

You can always trust CVap equipment to produce high quality results and the food safety needed for your HACCP plan.