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The steam kettle is an excellent choice for increasing the productivity of your restaurant kitchen. It offers all the capabilities of cooking in a pot on a range while saving time and energy. Essentially, these commercial kitchen appliances are like self-heating stockpots. They are typically used for boiling grain, simmering sauces and preparing stocks and soups. Any restaurant that serves or prepares any of those foods can benefit greatly from investing in a commercial steam kettle. 

Best of all, many models include automated features to free up your line cooks and chef from the task of checking simmering pots. Designs range in size from as little as six to 150 gallons, and there are nearly as many features and options as there are sizes. 

If you are considering or have ever considered investing in a commercial steam kettle, this is the post for you. We’ve assembled this helpful step-by-step guide to choosing the best kettle for your kitchen. Here’s everything you need to know to make the best choice.

Step 1: Choose The Steam Method

There are two types of steam heating methods for commercial steam kettles: direct and self-contained. 

Direct steam models push steam from an outside boiler into the metal jacket surrounding the kettle itself. The drawback to the direct steam heating design is that the boiler and connecting pipes or hoses will need to be cleaned and maintained regularly (sometimes several times a day) to ensure optimal performance. 

Self-contained steam models use a closed steam system. Cooking staff fill the jacket with water, and the internal heating element or gas jet in the base boils the water. It’s a more complex design, so self-contained steam kettles tend to command a higher price. The advantage to these kettles is that maintenance is significantly easier and needs to be conducted less often.

Step 2: Decide On Volume

Commercial steam kettles come in many different volumes, allowing you an excellent variety of choices based on your needs. Selecting the right volume is based on how much sauce, soup or stock you need to prepare for an average service day. Calculate how much you serve in a given day, and then decide if making one batch for the whole day will save you time. If you deem it worth the investment, a large volume model can make meal prep and serving times improve dramatically.

Step 3: Choose An Energy Type

Your options for powering your commercial steam kettle are gas or electric. Gas models tend to be more energy efficient, especially for self-contained models. If you don’t have natural gas connections, choosing a gas powered model can add to the installation cost. Electric models are more convenient to connect, but they can cost more to operate depending on local utility prices.

Step 4: Choose What Controls Are Best Suited For Your Kitchen

Before choosing a kettle, you will need to determine what controls are best for your kitchen’s needs. Safety valves, thermostats, timers and pressure limit switches generally come standard. That being said, many commercial steam kettles offer electronic controls that offer greater automation. Depending on your budget, you can decide on more or less automation as you deem it necessary.

Step 5: Select Special Features

These are the “nice-to-have” options that typically increase the asking price. The options are varied, and there are many to choose from. For example, some commercial steam kettles offer cold water connections to fill the jacket when food is done cooking. 

This might sound counter-intuitive, but allowing the contents to cool prepares them to be refrigerated at the end of the day. Other features are more readily practical, such as measurement markings on the inside of the kettle to decrease prep time. It’s a good idea to become familiar with what options are available and which will benefit the kitchen most. There are two other special features that you should consider carefully depending on how you plan to use the kettle.

Tilting

Buying a commercial steam kettle with this feature allows you to tilt the kettle safely to pour contents out into other containers or dishes. This is definitely a must-have feature for busy kitchens that frequently need kettle contents transferred to other dishes

Stationary Mounting

Accidentally spilling a large volume steam kettle is a significant hazard in commercial kitchens. For optimal safety conditions, it’s best to mount steam kettles to the floor securely. If you decide a larger commercial steam kettle is best for your needs, consider stationary mounting as a necessity.

Final Thoughts

Commercial steam kettles offer significant time and energy savings for busy restaurants that produce large quantities of sauce or soup. After reviewing our guide, you should easily be able to choose the model that is perfect for your commercial kitchen.

Are you in the market for a commercial steam kettle? If your establishment is local to the Irving, TX area, stop by Texas Restaurant Supply. We have the inventory and selection you need to acquire the ideal commercial steam kettle for your needs. Contact us today for more information.

Every bakery regardless of volume needs a commercial dough mixer. Choosing the right one to suit your needs can be a confusing process, but it doesn’t have to be. There are three different types of commercial dough mixers, and each has specific benefits that meet specific bakery needs. We’ve assembled this guide to help you make an informed choice and get the best value for your investment. Check out what we’ve got for you.

Types of Commercial Dough Mixers

When planning equipment purchases for your bakery, you will choose from one or more of the three types of commercial dough mixers. Here they are, along with the pros and cons of each mixer type.

Vertical/Planetary Mixer

The mixing mechanism for this type of mixer derives its name from its orbital movement. The bowl of the mixer is held static while the agitator moves the mixing rod and stirs the contents. These mixers are excellent for doughs, pudding, meringue and icing, especially when used with the interchangeable locking attachments.

Planetary mixers come in all sizes, from the classic countertop KitchenAid to massive, free-standing mixers that can hold gallons of ingredients. Most bakeries will need at least one planetary mixer for small batches and ingredient prep. Whether or not you get a large planetary dough mixer for large batches will be determined by your daily product volume.

Pros

Cons

  • Excellent versatility
  • Handles the majority of dough mixing jobs with ease
  • Available in multiple sizes from countertop to free-standing models.
  • Cleaning and maintenance can be time-consuming
  • Bowl size selection can be limited for countertop models.

Spiral Mixer

Designed specifically for mixing dough, spiral mixers use a very different mechanism compared to planetary mixers. Instead of rotating the mixing arm, the spiral-shaped rod is static in the middle of a rotating bowl. This allows for significantly faster mixing of dough ingredients, and it is ideal for large batches. 

There are, however, a couple caveats for investing in a spiral mixer. First, there is no way to whip ingredients: this is a straight-up dough mixer. Additionally, there are no interchangeable attachments for the spiral arm. Spiral mixers can mix large batches of dough very quickly, but they are otherwise very limited in their versatility.

Pros

Cons

  • Rapidly mixes large quantities of dough
  • Unique design prevents dough from sticking to the sides of the mixing bowl.
  • Easier to clean and maintain
  • Not suitable for non-dough mixing
  • No interchangeable attachments


Horizontal Mixer

A hybrid type, horizontal mixers tilt the mixing bowl or use a large drum during operation. In large commercial bakery models, the mixing arm has multiple mixing bars along its length to increase mixing speed. Actual operation speed is determined by the cut of the dough being mixed and how much it has been stretched. Countertop models can also be used for smaller volumes, but they still offer the more efficient dough mixing speed in a compact package.

Pros

Cons

  • Ideal for high volume dough mixing where space is limited.
  • Significantly easier to clean and maintain.
  • Can be mounted freestanding or kept on caters for better mobility.
  • Not a multi-purpose mixer
  • Cut and size of the dough determines the mixing speed.

Final Thoughts

Buying the right type of dough mixer for your bakery is going to be a significant contributor to your success. That being said, take the time to do your homework and run the numbers for daily dough volume and baking times. The data you collect and the research you do in advance can make all the difference in making the right choice for your commercial dough mixer.

Is your bakery local to the Irving, TX area? Need the perfect commercial dough mixer? Texas Restaurant Supply has a vast selection of like-new used commercial dough mixers. Contact us today for more information, or visit one of our locations near you.

One of the most prohibitive costs of starting a restaurant is purchasing kitchen equipment. Tens of thousands of dollars for commercial grade ovens, stoves, grills, ventilation systems and refrigeration can consume massive portions of your budget. Moreover, if you have an established restaurant,  replacing worn out or broken equipment can also bring significant unexpected expenses.

For these reasons, many restaurateurs opt to purchase used restaurant equipment to cut costs without sacrificing quality. There are, however, many other reasons to choose used equipment over new equipment.  Why should you choose used over new? Here are several excellent reasons why used restaurant equipment is the effective and money-saving choice.

1. Reduce Expenses

It may seem obvious, but used equipment costs less up front. This is especially true if you buy from a high volume used restaurant equipment supplier like Texas Restaurant Supply. When dealers buy large quantities of equipment, they can offer better discounts on used goods because their inventory volume generates more revenue. It’s a winning combination for everyone.

2. Better Quality

A sad fact of the food service industry is that sixty percent of restaurants fail within the first year.  Moreover, eighty percent fail within their first five years. These statistics are the result of a recent study by Ohio State University, although widely known by estimate for decades. What happens to all of the used equipment when those restaurants go under? The equipment is sold to used restaurant equipment dealers to try to recoup some of the financial loss. 

As a result, much of the inventory is in gently used or like new condition at a significantly discounted cost. At Texas Restaurant Supply, we carefully inspect and test all equipment to ensure it is in top service-ready condition. That means restaurant owners and restaurateurs can purchase high-end kitchen appliances at a fraction of the retail price. You get the best quality equipment at the best price.

3. Reduced Depreciation

Starting a restaurant is similar to buying a car: everything you purchase or install immediately begins losing value off the ticket price as soon as you begin using it. Buying used restaurant equipment means that your investment will depreciate in value at a significantly reduced rate. You get more for your money, and if you choose to sell in the future you will suffer a reduced loss.

4. Added Tax Benefits

Basic accounting informs any smart business manager that purchasing new equipment for a business is an easy tax write-off. What many managers and owners do not know is that used equipment purchases can also be written off at tax time. 

The full purchase price of any equipment purchased for use by a business is deductible during the current tax year, allowing owners to retain more of their earnings. More earnings means greater profits and a more secure financial future for your restaurant.

5. Better For The Planet

Somewhere (and probably more than one “where”), there is a landfill piling up with perfectly serviceable restaurant equipment. The colossal waste is practically nauseating. Buying used restaurant equipment doesn’t just save money and offer superior value: it also reduces the massive waste collecting in landfills all over the world. That’s smart, long-term thinking for your business and future generations.

All in all, buying used restaurant equipment is the smart choice for savvy restaurant owners and business managers. It reduces costs while providing better value, offers tangible tax benefits and provides an environmentally friendly solution to your business’ needs. Irving, TX local restaurant owners choose Texas Restaurant Supply when seeking used equipment for their establishments. Our vast inventory and high volume purchasing power allows us to provide the best quality for the best price. Contact us today or visit one of our two locations for more information.

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