BJ’s Scott Rodriguez had a lot to say about how Winston’s CVap® Cook & Hold Ovens have helped BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse make their stores more efficient, and their customers happy.
At some of our trade shows, we have showcased delicious, juicy burgers that have been CVap® Staged in a CVap Cook & Hold Oven. Quick speed of service and maintaining product consistency are just two advantages of using this method!
To prepare the burgers, we set the CVap to 135°F (food temp) + 0 (texture) and preheated for 30 minutes. After placing the burger patties on parchment-lined sheet pans, we put them in the cabinet and set the timer for one hour.
After an hour, the burgers had reached our desired minimum endpoint temperature.
Once we got them to temperature, we held the burgers at that temp until we were ready for our lunch service. We pan seared to finish them, but they can be finished however you prefer (marked on a grill, pan seared, etc.). The point is, using this method you can produce a perfectly cooked, juicy, delicious burger two minutes after it is ordered, and it’ll have that mouthwatering, fresh-off-the-grill taste that patrons love. Plus you are serving a safe product that hasn’t been overcooked.
To finish our CVap presentation, we split hamburger buns, placed a slice of American cheese on one half, and held them in a CVap Holding Cabinet for about an hour to gently melt the cheese and soften the buns before service. We also prepared crispy bacon using a CVap Thermalizer set on channel 7 for 20 minutes. Lettuce, onions, pickles, and a variety of condiments were made available and attendees were not disappointed!
To give you another perspective, watch this short video You’ll see that in the time it takes to cook one frozen burger patty on a grill, you can finish three burgers that have been Advance Staged – and we would argue they are a little juicier than the traditional from-frozen product. Watch to the end and see for yourself!
We love experimenting with trends, often blending techniques and flavors to come up with new creations. The one we share here combines two enormously popular ingredients – eggs and wraps – and gives the dish a Latino twist. And although these ingredients probably bring breakfast to mind, the dish is hearty enough to serve during any daypart.
We prepared our eggs in the style of an Italian frittata. According to Wikipedia, the Italian word frittata derives from fritta and roughly translates to egg-cake. This was originally a general term for cooking eggs in a skillet, anywhere on the spectrum from fried egg through conventional omelette, to an Italian version of the Spanish tortilla de patatas, made with fried potato. Outside Italy, frittata was seen as equivalent to omelette until at least the mid-1950s.
Our preparation of the eggs is also a form of CVap Staging. In this case, an operator could prepare the frittata component in hotel pans well ahead of service and then hold the eggs beautifully until assembly, saving time during the rush. The cooked eggs will maintain their texture and exactly the right amount of moisture, as if they were cooked to order.
- 1 dozen small tortillas
- melted butter
- 2 dozen fresh eggs
- 2 cups of half & half
- Chopped green bell peppers, red bell peppers, and onions
Place tortillas in preheated CVap Holding Cabinet (with a Food Temperature setting of 140° and a + 0 Food Texture setting). Prepare one full size 2 ¼ inch hotel pan with melted butter. Mix and add eggs and the half & half to the pan, and sprinkle chopped veggies over the entire pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook in a preheated CVap Cook & Hold Oven set with Constant Cook ON, a Food Temperature setting of 200°F (Doneness), and a Food Texture setting of 0 (Browning), for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and place with the tortillas in the CVap Holding Cabinet (set at 140° + 0).
To assemble, we cut the cooked eggs into 2 x 3 inch strips and placed one piece in a warm tortilla. We then topped with black beans, shredded colby-jack cheese, fresh pico de gallo, and cilantro, giving the dish a Latino flavor.
You could put a dozen different spins on this preparation by changing up the vegetables or stir-ins that you add to the egg mixture prior to cooking, varying the type of tortilla or bread product you might serve it on, and finishing with different toppings and garnishes. Couple that with the CVap Staging process, and there’s no limit to the variety of dishes you can quickly crank out!
One of the best things about CVap is having the ability to use it to handle precision cooking of center of the plate (COP) items without monitoring – or even having to check on it. For this blog post I got some beautiful Berkshire pork chops from Fossil Farms. I brined them in a 5% salt solution with honey and fresh thyme for two hours. What I wanted to accomplish was to have the pork chops done and ready for plating later in the day. I set up my CVap Cook/Hold to Doneness 140°F and Browning of 0. Once the CVap came to temperature and the display read “LOAD” I seared the chops and placed them on a rack inside a hotel pan.
The internal temperature of the chops at that point after searing was 85° F.
Once all the chops were seared and in the pan, off to the CVap they went.
With the CVap set to 145°F, all I had to do was wait for the moisture inside the chops to equalize with the moisture in the water pan. The Browning was set to 0 so the air temperature was 145° as well. Basically, I was using a sous-vide method without putting the chops into a bag. A few hours later I made a starch and a vegetable to go along with it. When the pan was pulled out of the CVap, all the chops were at precisely 145°F.
They were of varying thicknesses and weights, but all of the moisture inside the chops equalized to the temperature of the water inside the CVap. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the ability to do this with a large banquet where the party was delayed for some reason or another? When you use CVap to make your proteins this is a no-brainer.
Memorial Day is upon us. It’s a time to reflect on the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform. It’s also the official start of the summer season. Think summer foods, and the first thing that comes to mind is burgers. Here’s a delicious twist on burgers – made better with CVap (of course).
Not only does Memorial Day begin summer, it also immediately precedes June – a.k.a. National Turkey Lovers’ Month. So what does that mean? That’s right – turkey burgers! But not just any turkey burgers – these burgers started with CVap® Staging.
First a question: do any of you get frustrated when someone describes turkey burgers as being dry, flavorless, or dull? With the abundance of techniques we have at our disposal, and the enormous variety of flavor combinations to choose from, there’s just no excuse for it! And of course we love turkey as a starring protein because it is a lean, versatile option.
For this post, we experimented with two different approaches, though our base mixture was the same for both. We combined ½ lb. of ground turkey with two beaten eggs, ¼ cup of Bourbon Barrel Soy Sauce, ½ of an onion (minced), One minced garlic clove, and one cup of Panko bread crumbs. Once the mixture was gently combined, we formed 3-ounce patties and put some on a parchment-lined half-size sheet pan.
We took the other half, placed them in pouches for vacuum-sealing, and then added a little smoke for an extra dimension of flavor. It was just enough to give the burgers a subtle smokiness without it being overwhelming.
All of the patties then went into a CVap Cook & Hold Oven with Constant Cook ON, a Food Temperature (Doneness) setting of 145°F and a Food Texture (Browning) setting of 0, for 30 minutes.
To finish the patties, we pan seared them for texture and brought them to a finished temperature of 150° to 155°F (though tossing them on a grill for quick finish would work equally well). CVap® Staging and then finishing in this manner yielded extremely well-textured, moist, and flavorful burgers.
The patties that were vacuum-sealed wound up being the perfect size and shape for the toasted ciabatta rolls we were using. We dressed those simply, with fresh torn cilantro and a chipotle salsa (fresh pico mixed with pureed chipotle peppers) that complimented the slight hint of smoke in the patty.
After pan-searing the more traditional patties, we treated a ciabatta bun to Sriracha mayonnaise on one side and an explosively delicious mixture of pureed onion, Bourbon Barrel Soy Sauce, and minced ginger and garlic on the other side. We finished it off with a mixture of tender baby lettuce and torn, fresh cilantro.
While the first, Latin-inspired burger was extremely tasty, the Asian-influenced burger was off-the-charts delicious. We can’t wait to make it again!
So what exactly is CVap® Staging? Using this process, food is brought to the exact internal temperature desired and then held there – without overcooking or drying out – until it is time to finish and serve the dish. This means that the final flavor-enhancing and texturing touches can be made just moments before the food is served. Imagine how much faster you could push plates out of a kitchen!
For more information about the complete line of CVap products, please visit our website at winstonfoodservice.com .
We had the pleasure of participating in Endeavor – The Louisville Food & Beverage Tour. Endeavor Louisville led 18 Endeavor Entrepreneurs from ten countries on an F&B tour of the city this week, featuring site visits, panels and discussions with Endeavor Louisville board members, as well as other business leaders, involved in the industry. The tour provided an opportunity for these industry icons to deliver firsthand knowledge to Endeavor Entrepreneurs about scaling up, going big, and winning in the industry.
Winston Industries‘ own Chef Barry Yates partnered with Chef Space, Louisville’s original kitchen incubator, to demonstrate how community leaders can partner to accelerate others ideas. Barry demonstrated CVap® Staged New York Strip in the newly equipped Jays 120 space at the west Louisville incubator. CVap® Staging is a technique that allows QSR operators to drastically reduce service times while maintaining extraordinary food quality. One of the aspects we loved about this event is that guests were able to get an up close and hands on feel for how CVap technology can optimize their kitchen operations. Great food fast every time!
“Winston Industries, building on its entrepreneurial legacy, was a natural partner for the tour,” says Barry Yates, “innovation and ideas are in our DNA” he continued. Winston Industries has expanded into four three divisions specializing in foodservice, manufacturing, and electronics- to perpetuate our entrepreneurial spirit and to provide the opportunity for others to do the same.
Thank you Endeavor and Chef Space for allowing us to participate in the tour. We’ve received great feedback from attendees and can’t wait to do more of these events in the future! If you would like to learn more about Winston Industries or have an hands on entrepreneurial experience of your own, schedule your CVap demo and cook with us! Visit our website for more info or call 502.495.5400
The trend of ordering takeout among consumers won’t be going anywhere any time soon. What Americans want from their food is convenience – number one on the list, even above price (Washington Post). With longer working hours, social events, childrens’ activities, the hustle and bustle of the everyday life make it hard to sit down in a restaurant or pick up dinner. So the delivery person is now on your speed-dial. Recent data says that 60% of Americans admitted to ordering take out at least once a week (Statista).
From fast casual to top-end restaurants, customers want the option to dine on your food in the comfort of their own homes. They not only want to take your menu home, they expect to get it now.
What’s a restaurant to do?
Beyond the obvious – quality carry-out containers that hold the food’s temperature and separate areas for takeout diners to order food, pay, and wait – a restaurant needs to be able to fill these takeout and delivery orders quickly and efficiently.
That’s where CVap® Staging ability can mean the difference between quick turnaround time (happy, repeat customer) and slow service (frustrated, hungry customer). If your side dishes are ready to go, and your proteins just need a quick sear to get the main course ready for carry out, you can let your carryout and delivery customers order and then receive their food in rapid succession. This means getting them in and out faster, so they can dine in the manner they wish.
The CVap® Staging technique allows you prepare the protein in the same way you normally would (seasoning, marinade, etc.) and then place it in a CVap oven, which has been set to the appropriate levels of temperature and texture. Once the protein has reached the doneness levels desired, it can hold at that temperature until your customer orders. It can then go to the next stage in the cooking process: searing, grilling, etc. This gets the order finished much faster than the traditional means of cooking to order without compromising on quality or taste.
Take advantage of this latest dining trend by offering takeout meals. And let CVap® Staging help you make them the best meals your customer has ever had. And things won’t be slowing down anytime soon! The next big thing is online food ordering, which is already a big hit among the younger generation.
On a trip to Ukraine, we were able to see some beautiful architecture, absorb a bit of the country’s amazing history, and experience the humbling real-life changes that are in full swing in Kiev (and the rest of the country).
Spencer Cole, a Winston Global Accounts Manager, had the opportunity to train several local chains and chefs on CVap® theory, he also provided live cooking demonstrations, and had the chance to catch up with our loyal customer, Star Burger. Star Burger CVap® Stages their burgers, with great success. According to TripAdvisor, their customers agree!
Had a double cheese burger with onion and chips, also had a large Heineken with corn Parmesan. All was very good and clean.
There are two things that make Star Burger different. First, Star Burger was introduced to the concept of CVap burgers from the Winston YouTube Channel, specifically the video of John T. at The Commissary:
Second, Star Burger uses charcoal grills to finish their burgers, so they can really capture that “fresh off the grill” backyard taste. Star Burger uses a CVap Holding Cabinet (HA4507) stacked with a CVap Cook & Hold (CAC507) so that they can adjust with to the flow of business. They cook all the burgers in the CAC oven and then move them to the holding cabinet until they are ordered. This configuration allows them to start “CVap® Staging” new burgers when the business flows dictates, which allows the maximum flexibility.
Star Burger has loved the CVap® Staging platform so much, they are considering CVap® Staging other menu items, such as chicken and salmon!
For more information about the complete line of CVap products, please visit our website.
What better way to celebrate National Seafood Month and the transition from summer to fall than to create a delicate yet hearty Lobster and Fresh Corn Chowder with CVap® Staged Scallops? The layers of flavor in this dish are subtle, yet so satisfying you’ll want to make it again and again.
We began by butter poaching lobster tails with thyme and lemon in a CVap Cook & Hold Oven at 200°F + 0 for 12 minutes. The meat was removed from the shells and placed back in the CVap oven to hold until plating.
The shells were used first to make stock. To that we added the corn, milk, and cobs remaining from stripping the kernals (which were reserved) from fresh ears of corn, along with onions, celery, carrots, bay leaves, and thyme. This was placed in a CVap Cook & Hold Oven at 180°F + 0 and simmered all day.
A brunoise of new potatoes, onions, celery, and carrots was sautéed in butter with the reserved fresh corn kernels, bay leaves, salt and pepper. This mixture was then placed in a CVap Holding Cabinet. We also cooked some gorgeous sea scallops in a CVap Cook & Hold Oven at 126°F + 0 and held them until we were ready to bring everything together. The scallops were pan seared to finish them.
First the sautéed vegetable mixture was ladled onto the plate,
topped by the poached lobster tail meat and two pan-seared scallops,
finished with a generous ladle of the broth that had cooked all day.
Ending with a sublime plate.
Can’t wait to make – and eat – this one again!
Each component of this sandwich is perfectly delicious on its own, but the sum of all parts is downright scrumptious. Let’s start with the pretzel bun – the perfect framework for the other flavors.
Mini Pretzel Buns
What is it about pretzel dough that adds something special to a sandwich, elevating our enjoyment of it? Is it the distinctive chew unique to a pretzel dough? Is it the slightly crunchy exterior of the roll? Whatever the attraction is, you can’t deny that pretzel rolls add something very different to any sandwich. So much so that they are appearing on menus everywhere, from QSRs to the most eclectic gastro pubs.
We’ve been experimenting with sandwiches of all sorts, and in this case, we experimented with creating a slider-sized version of a pretzel roll using a CVap® oven!
- 1 Cup Milk
- 2 Tbsp Butter
- 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
- 1 Envelope Rapid Rise Yeast
- 2 Tsp Salt
- 3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 3 Quarts Water
- 3/4 Cup Baking Soda
- 1 Egg
- 1 Tsp Water
Heat milk and butter to 105°F. The butter will not completely melt. Combine with yeast and brown sugar in a mixer bowl. Stir in salt and two cups flour, and beat for three minutes. Gradually add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Mix on low for approximately 5-8 minutes to develop elasticity. Place in oiled bowl and cover. Allow to rise for approximately one hour, or until doubled in size.
- If using a CVap Cook & Hold Oven, program it to Food Temperature 130°F (Doneness) and Food Texture of 10 (Browning), with Constant Cook ON, and set the timer for 20 minutes. If using a CVap Retherm Oven, set it to Channel 7 and set the timer to 14 minutes.
- Combine boiling solution and bring to a boil. Punch dough down, divide into two equal portions, and roll into a log approximately 2″ in diameter. Cut each dough log into approximately 6-12 individual balls, dependent upon the size buns you desire, and form into tight rolls. Boil all rolls for approximately 2 minutes, then remove rolls from boiling water with slotted spoon.
- Place rolls on parchment-lined baking sheets and brush with egg wash. Cut a cross each roll with very sharp knife. Place in oven and bake for recommended time based upon oven selected. Remove from oven and place on wire racks to cool.
Following this procedure, the exterior color and texture were exactly what we were seeking, and the interior had just the right chew without being too “doughy.”
Oh What a Filling!
So how do we make a perfectly delicious pretzel roll even better? By turning it into a scrumptious sandwich!
Ingredients (per Slider)
- 2 oz. of CVap® Staged Pork Loin
- Apple-Cabbage Slaw
- Coarse Dijon Mustard
CVap Staged Pork Loin Preparation
Program a CVap Cook & Hold Oven to Food Temperature 135°F (Doneness) and a Food Texture 0 (Browning). Allow about 30 minutes for pre-heating.
Arrange pork loin on a parchment-lined sheet tray and place into the preheated oven. The pork should reach a minimum endpoint of 135°F in about an hour, and can be held at exactly that temperature until you are ready to mark it on the grill before service. Preparing the pork in this manner (CVap® Staging) will save a great deal of time during the finishing process!
Apple-Cabbage Slaw Preparation
Combine sliced Granny Smith Apples, 1/2 head green cabbage (sliced), 1/3 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup cider vinegar. If you want a creamier slaw, mix in 1 or 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise. Adjust seasoning to taste and add salt and pepper if desired. For more acidity, add a squirt of fresh lemon juice.
Struck by the mood to make something comforting yet elegant, we turned to al dente linguine tossed in a velvety blush sauce. We’ve been obsessed with lobster, so we cooked lobster tails and shrimp in a CVap® Cook & Hold Oven, and the flavor and texture of the shellfish added a level of decadence to the dish that made it truly special. Let’s deconstruct it!
First, the shellfish. The lobster tails were steamed in a CVap Cook & Hold Oven at 200°F + 0 for about seven minutes, bringing them to the perfect temperature and texture for this dish. Then we staged the shrimp at 135°F + 2 for about 10 minutes, until it was nearly – but not quite – opaque, and held it there.
While the shellfish was holding, we cooked traditional linguine to al dente, tossed it with a bit of olive oil, and held it in a CVap oven at 140°F + 0 until we were ready to plate.
On to the sauce! We started with a classic marinara, combining olive oil, garlic, onion, San Marzano tomatoes, S&P, and fresh basil.
To that we added heavy cream to create a gorgeous blush sauce.
We then removed the lobster tail meat and reserved the shells, along with the shrimp shells, to make stock later.
Some of the meat was cubed and stirred into the blush sauce, while the rest was set aside to be added whole.
We coated a portion of pasta we’d been holding with the seafood/sauce mixture.
Then plated a respectably appetizing (pile).
And gilded the lily by crowning it with the whole piece of shellfish, a bit more sauce, and a garnish of fresh basil.
The natural sweet flavor of the shellfish really came through and was complimented nicely by the simple blush sauce, while the fresh basil added just the right amount of bright yet peppery foil to the richness of the overall dish.