Commercial Kitchen Equipment

Mixers 101 – common misconceptions that impact performance

Content adapted from Hobart & FES magazine

Whether you need a mixer for continuous use or the occasional batch, it’s important to have the right equipment for the job. A mixer that isn’t sized right can affect performance and increase costs. Learning these common misconceptions about mixers will help you make the best selection for the tasks performed and provide a long life in your correctional kitchen.

Misconception 1: Larger Motor Equals More Power

When it comes to mixers, remember that advertised horsepower won’t give you a complete picture of expected performance. A larger motor doesn’t mean the mixer will provide you with more power. Instead, check the mixer’s efficiency and torque, which affect the ability to drive the agitator into the bowl. This ensures that product is mixed thoroughly. The type of drive system the mixer has is a key factor here. For example the Hobart® Legacy® mixers with Variable Frequency Drive use a variable-speed motor and a single gear train to regulate the frequency and voltage of the electric current to the motor. This drive regulates the mixer speed so that it will increase or decrease to put the right amount of torque into the bowl to make sure ingredients are consistently mixed every time. If a mixer needs a larger motor to drive the same amount of torque as a smaller motor would drive, too much energy is being used to accomplish the task. When this is happening, components can become hotter faster and it can lead to premature motor failure, costly repairs and even replacement.

Misconception 2: More Is Always Better

It is best to determine the size and type of mixer you require by reviewing how you will be using the mixer. First, be sure to select the correct bowl size so that you won’t tax the motor. Sometimes a larger bowl will be needed, but not always; you use the absorption ratio to determine this. To calculate the absorption ratio, water weight is divided by flour weight. This is important because the recommended maximum capacity of the mixer depends on the moisture content of the dough. For example, on the Hobart mixer capacity chart, the capacities are based on an absorption rate calculation formula of 12% flour moisture at 70-degree Fahrenheit water temperature. Also, your kitchen may not require a maximum heavy-duty mixer. If the mixer is used periodically for heavy dough or limited batch use, a standard heavy-duty mixer would be a better choice. A good rule of thumb is if you are doing less than four hours of mixing daily. Anything more than that is better served with a maximum heavy-duty mixer.

Misconception 3: Routine Maintenance Isn’t Critical

Routine maintenance is important for any piece of kitchen equipment to reduce problems and extend the productive life of the equipment. Mixers have lubrication points like the actuators which are involved in lifting and lowering the bowl that need regular attention. You can save yourself future trouble by following the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding how much and how often you grease these points. Also, you need to be sure you do not wipe off all the grease when you are cleaning because this may prevent the bowl from moving up and down correctly.

It is important to pay attention to the bowl clearance to see that it stays consistent. You can damage the bowl if the agitator is hitting the bottom and if the agitator isn’t positioned properly in the bowl, your ingredients will not get mixed thoroughly. You can refer to the operator’s manual for adjustment instructions.

It’s also recommended that you have your mixer inspected by a service provider annually as a proactive means of equipment maintenance. Taking care of heavy-duty kitchen equipment with regular maintenance will reduce your expenses in the long-term and extend the life or your equipment in your correctional foodservice operation.

What can you do with a Tilt Skillet?

The Tilt Skillet or Braising Pan is one of the most versatile pieces of correctional kitchen equipment available. With the capacity to saute, grill, fry, steam, or braise, these multitasking dynamos are all about helping institutional kitchens do more with less. We recommend them when you have limited space because one tilt skillet can be used to steam, grill and even to fry foods.

Below is a quick demonstration of the Vulcan V-Series Tilt Skillet. We recommend Vulcan equipment because it has proven itself many times over in correctional kitchen applications throughout the years as highly durable and long lasting heavy-duty kitchen equipment.

If you’re interested in learning more about tilt-skillets or other Vulcan Foodservice Equipment, give us a call and we will be happy to assist you. We have access to their full line of commercial kitchen equipment and are fully trained on their product line.

New Multi-terrain Mobility™ Carts

Lakeside introduces their new heavy duty utility cart with features that could revolutionize the utility cart as we know it.  The unique articulating handle design on these carts allows for the maximum leverage with heavy loads over all types of surfaces.   The 42” handle height is ergonomic for utmost leverage and easier push/pull maneuverability. If you need two-person guided transport for challenging outdoor use, you can take advantage of the dual-handle design included on this cart.

These mobility carts are equipped with rugged casters, two rigid and two swivel with brake. The large wheels roll smoothly over thresholds and uneven surfaces. Casters are 6″ or 8″ pneumatic.

The rugged design on these stainless steel carts feature durable U-frame welded construction, reinforced top shelf, and a 700 lb. total load capacity. The shelves have edges on three sides to hold cargo securely while providing easy loading and unloading. They are built to carry the heaviest cargo loads across rough terrains and long distances making them an ideal cart in the correctional environment.

Lakeside set out to build a cart that would allow operators to transport items across a variety of terrains easily and improve efficiency, under the toughest conditions.  And that’s exactly what they did.  They plan to offer this option on their full line. To learn more about these carts, you can view the spec sheet or call Cook’s at 800-956-5571 for additional details.

On the road again….

Cook's Correctional ACA 2019 Summer Conference in Boston, MA Booth #1112

The Cook’s team is in Boston, MA this week at the 2019 ACA Summer Conference to showcase many of our most popular products and to meet customers and contacts that made their way to the east coast for the conference. The American Correctional Association has two large conferences a year; the winter conference held in early January each year and the summer conference in August. This year the conference is at Boston’s John B Haynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center.

If you too are on the road for the ACA Summer Conference, stop by and see us in booth #1112. You can meet Linda and Craig who are pictured above in out booth, along with Chadd, John and Jeff. You can also the Rhino M-102 meal delivery cart designed specifically for corrections, our new Raised Compartment Marathon Tray and our popular Flex products and Kettle Tools.

Correctional Kitchen Equipment from Cook's

Correctional Kitchen Equipment

Our tagline is The leader in correctional kitchen equipment and supplies.  That’s because Cook’s is built on a foundation of correctional operations experience.  Prior to launching Cook’s, our founder spent 20 years as an operator and recognized first-hand the importance of portion control, security and durability in correctional foodservice operations.

We absolutely understand how a kitchen operates in a correctional facility. Whether you are cook/serve, cook/chill, or have bulk transport needs, we provide the best products possible.  Matching your facilities requirements with the right equipment is what we do best.

With Cook’s you’ll get the right equipment for your kitchen, rooted in a deep understanding of how the correctional kitchen works and the demands unique to corrections.

View Cook’s Heavy-duty Correctional Kitchen Equipment Offering

Need help with a custom serving line?

LinkedIn image for custom fab #3

Examples of complex custom fabrication jobs that Cook’s completed. 

Custom serving lines and tables can be extremely difficult to replace.  Generally, it requires a site visit to take field measurements, approval of engineered drawings and then installation. Cook’s can help. We routinely make custom serving lines, tables, sinks; even wall coverings, and we guarantee our products are built for corrections.

Our process is simple.

  1. A call to understand the objective
  2. Visit the facility to take measurements and confirm scope
  3. Provide drawings and quote, including turn-key install

Along with replacement of existing customized work, we can create new custom solutions when an off the shelf product won’t meet your needs.

Not sure what we can customize?  Here are some of the custom fabricated solutions we’ve provided to jails and prisons across the country:

Customized Tray Assembly Lines

  • Single or double lines
  • With or without a tray slide/roller
  • Over shelves, sneeze guards, landing shelves
  • With or without drains and individual or manifold
  • Blind Tray Assembly line

Dishroom

  • Clean Tables in any size or configuration
  • Dirty tables with custom troughs, pre-rinse , scrap baskets
  • Custom sinks in any depth
  • With protective bumpers

Work Tables

  • Any length or width
  • With built in sinks
  • With can opener mount
  • Double sided or single
  • With or without undershelves

Custom Enclosures

  • Enclose utilities
  • Protective bumpers
  • Hot beverage wall or table mount

Other custom products

  • Carts
  • Tool lockers or cabinets
  • Protective wall paneling
  • Recessed or elevated floor troughs

If you can imagine it, we can create it. We have the experience and the expertise in custom fabricated solutions to take your idea all the way to install.

If your facility needs custom stainless steel work, give us a call at 800-956-5571 and we can talk about scheduling a site visit.

Hints for Tray Assembly Lines

400_Cooks_GC100

Cook’s Correctional Tray Assembly Line

Pre-portioning meals on insulated trays for delivery to pods or units is efficient and economical.  Yet it’s amazing how many tray assembly operations end up inefficient because of the order of foods on the line.  Hot foods should go on trays last, not first.  Start with room temperature foods like bread and rolls, and next add cold foods.  Last, add the hot portions.

Ideally, cold food should be kept below 40 degrees F and hot food above 165 degrees F.  Minimize the distance a worker has to move food from well to tray.  Be sure to keep the conveyor line moving fast enough to keep workers busy with no time for mischief.

Here are some easy to follow guidelines for your conveyor line set-up:

  • Allow 30” per worker for adequate shoulder space.
  • Using 16” wide hot and cold steam tables keeps workers close to the conveyor
  • Pitch the conveyor line ¼” per 1’0” from the head of the line to the end.
  • Cover hot food after portioning as quickly as possible to keep heat in or store trays in a heated cabinet.
  • Since cold trays chill hot food fast, keep trays in a warm tray washing or other area.
  • Always strap together for transport to retain temperature.

When planning your line, use this guide to steam table pan portion capacities:

  • 2 ½” D Full Size Pan:  9 Quarts = (72) 4 oz. portions
  • 2 ½” D Half Size Pan: 4 Quarts = (32) 4 oz. portions
  • 4” D Full Size Pan:  15 Quarts = (120) 4 oz. portions
  • 4” D Half Size Pan: 7 Quarts = (56) 4 oz. portions
  • 6” D Full Size Pan:  22 Quarts = (176) 4 oz. portions
  • 6” D Half Size Pan: 10 Quarts = (80) 4 oz. portions

If you’re looking for additional capacity guides you can go to the resource section at the back of the Correctional Buyers Guide (click here to view the catalog online).  You can also contact your Cook’s Correctional Sales Representative for any help you may need with

Marketing Manager, Cook's

Candace Meneou

What to look for in a flight type dishmachine

Flight Type Dishmachine

Flight Type Dishmachine

By far, the most common dishmachines that we quote and sell into correctional facilities are Flight Type machines.  These machines typically are going into larger facilities, but they also make sense in corrections because of the continuous use and they work well for washing insulated trays. Our last two posts have been dishmachines focusing on what questions we ask to assess our customers needs and then more about the specifics of the machine before installation.  This post addresses our Flight Type Checklist; to help us understand the details specific to purchasing and installing a flight type machine:

1.  Job Type:  New Construction or Replacement

2.  Direction of Operation:  Right to Left or Left to Right

3.  Overall length of Dishwasher:

  • Load:  5′, 7′ or Other (consult with Factory)
  • Center:  4′ or 8′
  • Unload:  5′, 7′, 9′, 11′, or Other (consult with Factory)
  • Height:  Standard or 6″ higher than Standard
  • Conveyor:   BB with Duraflex Fingers, Special for Insulated Trays or Other (consult with Factory)
  • Doors:  Hinged; verify clearance in front of machine (standard), Other – consult with Factory (fully height or split door) and verify ceiling height
  • Drain:  Load End or Unload End
  • Voltage:  208/60/3, 240/60/3, or 480/60/3

4.  Flowing Steam Pressure:  8 – 20 lbs psi, 21 – 50 lbs psi, below 8 lbs psi (consult with factory)

5. Tank Heat:  Electric, Steam Coils, Steam Injectors

6. Booster Heater

  • No Booster
  • Electric
    • 24kw requires 140 degree incoming water
    • 39kw requires 110 degree incoming water
  • Steam
    • 180
    • 150

7.  Blower Dryer:

  • Electric
  • Steam
    • 8 – 20 lbs psi
    • 21 – 50 lbs psi

Consult the factory on the following:

  • Circuit Breakers
  • Prison Package
  • Non-foodservice Application

 

The purchase of a Flight Type dishmachine, whether it is a replacement of an existing machine or a new installation, is one of the more complex kitchen equipment decisions.   Your layout plays a critical role as does the amount of space you have available for loading and unloading, scraping, and then tray drying.  We can assist you in as you review all that’s involved in this type of decision or with any other correctional kitchen equipment decision.  We hope that you find this Flight Type Dishmachine checklist helpful.  If you’re looking to do any work in your kitchen this year or simply making budget plans for next year, be sure to give us a call.  We can assist with quotes and cut sheets as well as recommendations for various manufacturers and equipment options.  While we don’t show any flight type machines on Cook’s Correctional, we have lots of experience working with Hobart, Insinger and more.

Marketing Manager, Cook's

Candace Meneou

 

 

 

 

The Cook’s Correctional Dishmachine Installation Checklist

Hobart AM15VL Ventless "Door-Type" Dishwasher

Hobart Door-type Dishwasher AM15VL

In follow-up to our last post, I want to introduce to you our Dishmachine Installation Checklist.  This checklist is designed to help our sales representatives ask the questions needed to ensure our customers have a smooth, trouble-free Dishmachine Installation.  At Cook’s Correctional, we are continually working to improve the expertise of all our staff, and sales and customer service in particular since they are directly in communication with you, our customer.  While much simpler than the Dishmachine Checklist from our last post, the Installation Checklist is no less important.  This checklist is designed to understand the scope of work involved in the installation, to ask questions that will help uncover potential problems in the installation before they occur and to identify the resources that you’ll want to have on hand as the installation takes place.  If you are considering a purchase of a new dishmachine or in need of replacing your old machine, we suggest that you review the Dishmachine Checklist from our previous post and the checklist below.  Thinking through the process before you buy will help you to get the best product to meet your needs and to have a worry-free installation when the time comes:

Resources to have contact information for in case of questions/problems:

  • Factory:
  • Factory Representative:
  • Local Rep Group:
  • Cook’s Correctional Contact:

Scope of Work:

  • Will we remove the old equipment?
  • Are we delivering to the site or to the installers warehouse?
  • Does the machine need to be uncrated by the installers or will maintenance do it?
  • Does it need to be moved to its final destination?
  • Does it need to be set in place?
  • Does it need to be bolted down?
  • Verify the location of the utilities; water, gas, electric, steam?
  • Who will make the final connections?
  • Disposal?
  • Does the end-user have any additional information about the site/job?

Other Questions to Ask:

  • Is this a new placement or a 1 for 1 replacement?
  • Are the utilities within 3 feet of the machine?  if not they will need to be relocated for the installation.
  • What are the delivery requirements for this project?
  • Will the kitchen still be serving during this transition?  what accommodations need to be made? (for instance – disposable trays for a day)
  • Will there be a menu change for a day?
  • What clearance (security) requirements are needed for on site installation and delivery crews?
  • Is there adequate room to move the equipment? as well as remove old equipment?
  • What time can the work be done?
  • Will on staff maintenance be involved in the project?
  • What is the expected timeline?
  • Any other client expectations that need to be identified up front?

Our goal at Cook’s Correctional with your dishmachine installation, as well as any installation of Kitchen Equipment, is to be an expert for you and to guide you through the process.  We want to remove the unexpected and to make the process as painless as possible.  Replacing equipment can be very difficult for corrections because you’re serving three times a day, seven days a week without a break.    If you’re looking to do any work in your kitchen, be sure to give your sales rep a call and let us show you how we can help.

We’re happy to share this Dishmachine Installation checklist with you and hope you find it helpful.  Our next post will be specific to Flight Type dishmachines, commonly found in correctional facilities, with specific questions that you should ask prior to considering the purchase and installation of a flight type dishmachine.

Marketing Manager, Cook's

Candace Meneou

The Cook’s Correctional Dishmachine Checklist

Champion 86-PW E-Series Dishwasher with Prewash

Champion 86-PW E-Series Dishwasher

Training is a big part of our culture at Cook’s.  We recently launched our Training the Trainer program where senior sales staff is tasked with training the rest of the team the kitchen equipment used in the correctional kitchen.  Unlike traditional product training though, these sessions are about real world experiences in corrections – not how a product operates or what makes one machine different from another.

Our most recent training session, led by Ron Davenport; Midwest Territory Manager, focused on what questions to ask when your customer needs a dishmachine.  We finished with a great discussion on installations that didn’t go as planned, why it happened and how to avoid them.   Because we have the experience of installing lots of dishmachines each year – we get pretty good at knowing where the pitfalls exist and what questions to ask in order to avoid a difficult installation.

In training, Ron shared the Cook’s Correctional Dishmachine Checklist – this is a list of questions that help us to help you.  While most of our customers start a discussion with the goal of replacing what they have, it can benefit you to talk with your sales rep to be sure that what you have is the best fit for your needs.  Next time you’re considering a dishmachine purchase, take a few minutes and answer these questions.  It will help you to help your sales rep make sure that you get a machine that will be the best fit for your facility.

  1. How many inmates?
  2. What is the tray type?
  3. Job type?
    • New construction
    • Replacement (need manufacturer, model and serial number)
  4. Direction of the operation (soiled to clean)?
    • Left to right
    • Right to left
  5. Height?
    • Standard (chamber height:  18”H)
    • 6” higher than Standard (chamber clearance 24”H)
    • Verify what is the largest ware to be processed (i.e. mixing bowls, stock pots, sheet pans, etc.)
  6. Voltage
    • 208/60/3
    • 240/60/3
    • 480/60/3
    • Other
  7. Tank Heat
    • High temp / low tem
    • Electric
    • Gas (specify natural or LP)
    • Steam Coils (flowing steam pressure____)
    • Steam injectors (requires clean/potable steam)
  8. Booster Heater
    • Included with the machine
    • Purchase separately
    • Keeping existing booster heater
  9. Incoming water temperature? (water needs to be 180 degrees to sanitize)
    • 15K for 40 degree temperature rise
    • 30K for 70 degree temperature rise (recommended)
  10. Do they want a Blower Dryer
    • Electric
  11. Options / Accessories:
    • Stainless steel vent “hoods”
    • Table limit switch
    • Single point electrical connection (saves money on installation)
  12. Tables
    • New Soiled Table
    • New Clean Table
    • Re-use existing tables
  13. Scrapping:
    • Is there a scrapping station
    • Is the disposer part of the soiled table
  14. Security Package
    • Do they need this?
    • What’s included by the manufacturer
  15. Utility Overview
    • Electrical (or gas/steam)
      • Voltage
      • Amps
    • Incoming water temperature?
    • Drains, what are the various sizes
    • Duct work needed?

As you can see, there are quite a few considerations with a dishmachine that come into play.  Each question is designed to help us to ensure that you get the right machine for the job and that installation goes smoothly.   If you found this helpful check back in with our blog; Cooking in Corrections, to see our Dishmachine Installation ‘Work Sheet’ and then our Flight Type Checklist.   And if you are in the market for any piece of equipment for your correctional kitchen, give us a call and let our expertise work for you.

Marketing Manager, Cook's

Candace Meneou