Posted by Patrick Maness
Prep equipment is the first equipment your kitchen staff will use every day, and mistakes made here could set up your product for failure down the road. The importance of your business’s prep equipment cannot be overstated, so today we’re going to dive into some of the top things you need to look for when upgrading your most essential equipment.
Finding the Perfect Meat Slicer
When starting the slicer search, look for a model that’s easy to clean and loaded with safety features. After that, don’t discount the importance of numbers. Height, length, width, weight and even blade diameter can all help you determine whether a slicer is sufficiently sized for the work it will perform. You’ll also want to consider the amperage, horsepower, voltage or wattage of the slicer because a slicer lacking sufficient power won't be able to keep up with your demanding schedule. Last but not least, don’t ignore the warranty. You want a dependable slicer and you deserve the peace of mind that comes with warranty protection should something go wrong.
Once you’ve looked at the slicer’s specifics, it’s time to talk price. Commercial meat slicers range in price, but you should avoid the cheapest models if possible. Remember that you’ll be using the slicer every single day, so select a model that can meet the demand.
Deciding on a Mixer Mentality
Like your meat slicer, amperage, voltage and wattage are important when selecting a mixer, and an easy-to-clean model never hurts either.
You also need to decide between a spiral and planetary mixer. A spiral mixer is most commonly used for dough-based foods in high-volume operations such as commissaries, bakeries and pizzerias. Spiral mixers have a stationary appendage that sticks directly into the product, which rotates on a base with a motor. With a planetary mixer, the bowl stays stationary, while the arm moves swiftly to mix the food. Planetary mixers are useful when preparing desserts, icing, fillings and meringues.
From there, you need to consider the size of the mixer. Typically, commercial countertop models come in 5, 7, 10 and 20 quart sizes. Larger floor mixers range from 30 - 80 quarts. If you plan to use your mixer frequently for large recipes, you may opt for a larger model. If not, go for a smaller mixer so you’re not wasting energy or space.
Choosing the Right Manufacturer
As you start your search for the perfect prep equipment, don’t ignore the importance of the brand. Hobart and Vollrath are two of the most respected names in the foodservice equipment industry, and both offer products in the slicer and mixer areas, as well as several other equipment lines. When choosing the right equipment for your line, opt for a product from a widely respected manufacturer. You won’t regret it. .
Read other articles in this series:
Identifying the Top Manufacturers in Foodservice Equipment
What Do You Need to Look for When Shopping for Cooking Equipment?
What Should You Look for in a Commercial Warewasher?
What to Look for When Purchasing Commercial Refrigeration Equipment