Knives are the most important tool in a chef's kit, and they can be used for just about any food prep task from chopping onions and butchering a cut of beef to opening oysters and slicing bread. But, there are different types of kitchen knives that are designed for various purposes. This comprehensi
Tongs are one of the most useful and versatile cooking tools you will find in a kitchen. They are used for a variety of tasks from flipping burgers and grilled meats to plating delicate garnishes for a unique presentation. In this guide, we'll go over the types of tongs that are designed to help str
Regardless of what's on your menu, you probably utilize a spoon at some point in the preparation process. Whether used for stirring coffee, making spaghetti, or ladling soup, spoons are a kitchen and dining staple with a wide range of uses. Each type of spoon has a specific purpose, including measur
Spatulas are versatile kitchen tools that are essential for any commercial kitchen. Whether you're flipping pancakes, sauteing vegetables, or icing a cake, having the right spatula for the job can make all the difference. This guide explores the different types of spatulas, including their uses and
One of the most versatile cooking pans in the world, the simple design of woks originated in China and is now used the world over. The beauty of the wok lies in its round shape, which allows for even heat distribution and efficient cooking. Woks are available in a variety of materials, each with its
Stainless steel is a versatile and widely used material in the commercial foodservice industry. It is known for its durability, corrosion resistance, and aesthetic appeal, making it a popular choice for a variety of applications. Understanding the different stainless steel grades and their uses is critical for selecting the right material to meet your commercial needs. Whether you require high corrosion resistance, strength, formability, or a combination of properties, there is a stainless steel grade suitable for your specific application. Shop All Stainless Steel Cookware Use these links to learn more about stainless steel and its various types: Stainless Steel Grade Systems Stainless Steel Types Flatware Stainless Steel Grades Stainless Steel Terms Stainless Steel Material Stainless Steel Benefits Stainless Steel Grade Systems When it comes to selecting the right stainless steel equipment for your restaurant kitchen, understanding stainless steel grade systems is vital. Stainless steel grade systems provide a standardized way to identify and categorize stainless steel based on its chemical composition and physical properties. This information helps you determine the best stainless steel material for your specific commercial application. Below, we discuss two of the most important stainless steel grade systems in a commercial kitchen environment: SAE Grades The SAE grade system consists of three digits, with each digit representing different characteristics of the stainless steel alloy. The first digit indicates the series or type of stainless steel, such as 2 for austenitic stainless steel or 4 for ferritic stainless steel. The second digit represents the specific alloy within the series, while the third digit indicates the carbon content of the alloy. You may also see this grading system called the AISI system, referring to the originators of this system the American Iron and Steel Institute, although it's now updated and regulated by SAE International. Flatware Grades Flatware grade stainless steel is commonly used in cutlery, utensils, and other foodservice items. This grade system categorizes stainless steel based on its resistance to corrosion and staining. Flatware grades are typically designated by a number, such as 18/8 or 18/10. The first number represents the percentage of chromium in the stainless steel alloy, while the second number indicates the percentage of nickel. For example, 18/8 stainless steel contains 18% chromium and 8% nickel, making it highly resistant to corrosion and staining. On the other hand, 18/10 stainless steel contains 18% chromium and 10% nickel, offering even greater durability and shine. Stainless Steel Types There are over 150 varieties of stainless steel, and each of them have different properties, which is why it's vital to understand their variations. In the restaurant industry, it’s also especially important to distinguish between the various types because one type of food grade stainless steel may be better suited for a particular task. For example, if you’re shopping for cookware that’s going to come in contact with very salty foods, a pot made with 316 stainless steel is probably better than 304 because of its superior corrosion resistance. Understanding the differences between food grade stainless steel grades and types can help you make informed decisions and purchase the best products to suit your needs. 200 Stainless Steel What Is 200 Stainless Steel? Stainless steel in the 200 series is lower quality and less corrosion-resistant than other types. It still has its place in a commercial kitchen thanks to its affordability. 200 Stainless Steel Best Applications: Food storage containers 304 Stainless Steel What Is 304 Stainless Steel? 304 stainless steel is the most common type used in the kitchen. It has a bright shine due to a high level of chromium and nickel. It's also very resistant to corrosion and rust, although it's susceptible to corrosion caused by exposure to salt. 304 Stainless Steel Best Applications: Kitchen appliances, internal parts, kitchen utensils, smallwares, flatware, prep tables 316 Stainless Steel What Is 316 Stainless Steel? This is the second most common type of stainless steel, and its alloy includes an additional element, molybdenum, which increases its resistance to corrosion caused by salt and other chemicals. 316 Stainless Steel Best Applications: Kitchen equipment, hibachi grills, high-end cookware, equipment and furniture used outdoors, outdoor equipment used near the ocean 430 Stainless Steel What Is 430 Stainless Steel? 430 stainless steel contains a very small amount of nickel, and it's not as corrosion-resistant as the 300 series steels. This type is also magnetic. 430 Stainless Steel Best Applications: Medium-quality flatware, prep tables, appliance doors, induction-ready cookware 440 Stainless Steel What Is 440 Stainless Steel? With a high level of carbon, 440 stainless steel is one of the strongest types used in the kitchen. Products made out of 440 stainless steel are hard, corrosion-resistant, and can stand up to wear and tear very well. 440 Stainless Steel Best Applications: High-quality chef knives, cutlery, oven door handles, internal parts Flatware Stainless Steel Grades This system uses ratios such as 18/0, 18/8, and 18/10 to describe the levels of nickel and chromium in food grade stainless steel. Chromium and nickel are the two most important elements for flatware, as they affect the corrosion resistance, shine, and magnetism of the steel. While this grading system is typically used to describe types of flatware, it may also be used for some stainless steel pans, pots, and other types of cookware. 13/0 Stainless Steel What Is 13/0 Stainless Steel? 13/0 stainless steel is used to make knives. Because this steel contains less chromium and no nickel, it's softer, allowing manufacturers to add serration to the edge. 13/0 Stainless Steel Best Applications: Fine dining restaurants, casual eateries, hotels, and banquet halls 18/0 Stainless Steel What Is 18/0 Stainless Steel? 18/0 stainless steel is a medium-quality option, and it's one of the most affordable choices. It's not as corrosion-resistant as higher flatware grades, but it's magnetic. Because it's magnetic, it can get caught by magnets in conveyor dishwashers and trash bins, helping to prevent it from being discarded. 18/0 Stainless Steel Best Applications: Dining halls, cafeterias, catering companies, high-volume restaurants, retirement homes, casual restaurants, diners 18/8 Stainless Steel What Is 18/8 Stainless Steel? 18/8 is one of the most common types of flatware. This stainless steel has a hefty, professional feeling, and it's very corrosion-resistant. Pieces made from this stainless steel usually have some sort of decoration or design. 18/8 Stainless Steel Best Applications: Casual restaurants, upscale establishments, hotels, catering companies, banquet halls, bistros, cafes 18/10 Stainless Steel What Is 18/10 Stainless Steel? This is the highest-quality flatware you can get. 18/10 offers superior corrosion resistance. Additionally, this flatware usually has unique and interesting designs or engravings on the handles. 18/10 Stainless Steel Best Applications: Upscale restaurants, bistros, hotels, banquet halls, catering companies, country clubs Stainless Steel Terms When describing the properties of the different types and grades of stainless steel, there are a few key terms and elements that come up regularly. Below, we've listed the definitions of some crucial terms to know and how they relate to stainless steel. Corrosion Corrosion refers to the gradual deterioration of a material, such as stainless steel, due to chemical reactions to its environment. While stainless steel is known for its resistance to corrosion, it is not entirely immune. Factors such as exposure to harsh chemicals, high temperatures, and saltwater environments can still cause corrosion over time. However, stainless steel's chromium content forms a protective layer on its surface, known as a passive film, which helps prevent further corrosion. Alloy Stainless steel is an alloy, which means it is a mixture of different metals. In the case of stainless steel, it is primarily composed of iron, chromium, and other elements such as nickel, molybdenum, or titanium. The addition of these elements enhances the properties of stainless steel, such as its corrosion resistance, strength, and heat resistance. The specific combination and proportion of these elements in the alloy determine the grade and characteristics of the stainless steel. Element Elements are the basic building blocks of matter, and they play a crucial role in the composition and properties of stainless steel. The most important element in stainless steel is chromium, which provides its corrosion resistance. Chromium reacts with oxygen in the air to form a thin, invisible layer of chromium oxide on the surface of stainless steel, protecting it from further oxidation and corrosion. Other elements, such as nickel, molybdenum, and titanium, are added to stainless steel to enhance specific properties like durability, strength, and resistance to extreme temperatures. Stainless Steel Material Stainless steel is an alloy that offers excellent corrosion resistance, durability, and aesthetic appeal in commercial applications. The main reason stainless steel has these qualities is due to the various materials it is made up of. Materials and elements like chromium, nickel, and carbon are key in enhancing the quality of stainless steel. 1. Chromium Chromium is an essential element in stainless steel, as it forms a thin, invisible layer of chromium oxide on the surface of the steel. This layer acts as a protective barrier against corrosion, preventing the steel from rusting and tarnishing. The higher the chromium content, the more corrosion-resistant the stainless steel becomes. For example, stainless steel with a chromium content of at least 10.5% is considered to be "stainless" and is widely used in commercial kitchens, food processing facilities, and medical equipment. 2. Nickel Nickel enhances the corrosion resistance of stainless steel and also improves its strength and toughness. Stainless steel with a higher nickel content is commonly used in applications where high corrosion resistance is required, such as marine environments or chemical processing plants, but is still valuable in the foodservice industry. 3. Carbon Carbon is another element found in stainless steel. It is responsible for the steel's hardness and strength. The carbon content in stainless steel can vary depending on the desired properties of the final product. Stainless Steel Benefits Using stainless steel in your commercial kitchen provides a lot of benefits, helping you to run a smooth and efficient operation. While the properties and strengths of stainless steel vary depending on their composition, there are a few core positives you can enjoy from using stainless steel equipment. Discover the main benefits of stainless steel below: Corrosion Resistance Stainless steel is highly resistant to corrosion, making it suitable for use in environments with high humidity, moisture, or exposure to corrosive substances. This resistance is due to the presence of chromium, which forms a protective layer on the surface of the steel, preventing rust and corrosion. Hygiene Stainless steel is easy to clean and maintain, making it ideal for applications where hygiene is crucial, such as in the food service industry. The smooth, non-porous surface of stainless steel prevents the growth of bacteria, making it a safe and sanitary choice for food preparation surfaces, utensils, and equipment. Durability Stainless steel can withstand extreme temperatures, making it suitable for both hot and cold environments. The material is also resistant to impact, making it less prone to dents and scratches compared to other substances. Versatility Stainless steel is available in various grades and finishes, allowing for customization to suit different commercial applications. Whether you need a highly polished surface for aesthetic purposes or a brushed finish for increased durability, stainless steel can be tailored to meet your specific requirements. Aesthetic Appeal Stainless steel has a sleek and modern appearance that adds a touch of sophistication to any commercial space. Its clean and shiny surface can enhance the visual appeal of kitchen appliances, countertops, sinks, and other fixtures. Overall, understanding the different types of stainless steel and their applications is critical when choosing the right material for your commercial needs. Consider factors such as corrosion resistance, strength, and durability to make an informed decision. By selecting the appropriate grade of stainless steel for your specific application, you can ensure that your commercial equipment, utensils, or structures will withstand the demands of your industry and provide long-lasting performance.
From daily specials to live entertainment, special events, and other important information, advertising in the foodservice industry relies heavily on the text we write and the images we draw. But with so many options out there, deciding on the perfect writing utensil for the job can be a little tric
Cast iron cookware is a versatile, dependable tool for creating both culinary and confectionary classics in restaurants. When properly maintained, the best cast iron cookware will last a lifetime, with a natural non-stick coating that rivals man-made options. It can be used with any heat source, inc
Salt and pepper are staples at restaurants in the kitchen and at individual tables. From mills to salt and pepper shakers, the options available to dispense your most popular seasonings are as vast as your menu offerings. However, salt and pepper shakers are much more intricate than they appear. Kno
Choosing the best restaurant cookware for your kitchen is vital to the day-to-day operation of your foodservice business. There are many different cookware types to help you saute vegetables, create a great soup, or roast the perfect main entree. This guide will go over the different kinds of pans a
Frying pans are one of the most used and versatile pieces of cookware in the kitchen. They are great for cooking a wide range of foods, from eggs and pancakes to thick steaks, so having the correct types in your arsenal is necessary. You may already know all the types out there, but which frying pan
So many condiments, and so many condiment containers! Knowing which holder or dispenser is right for what food product can be tricky, especially with so many types of containers available. From basic ketchup and mustard to the not-so-basic array of yogurt or fajita toppings, condiments come in a var
Delivering food from kitchen to customer can be challenging without the right tools for successful delivery. Insulated food delivery bags maintain food temperatures while controlling moisture. By keeping moisture at bay, these bags help to keep foods fresh and prevent them from becoming soggy when t
Using this cast iron skillet comparison makes it simple for you to find the skillet that will meet the demands of your kitchen. From range tops and ovens to grills and open fires, these products can be used anywhere, so you can easily cook, sear, and bake all of your tasty signature meals like juicy
Cutting boards are an indispensable tool in any commercial kitchen. They're used to chop vegetables, fruits, and meats, making meal preparation more efficient. However, not all cutting boards are created equal. The two most popular types of cutting boards are plastic and wooden cutting boards. While both serve the same purpose, they have different properties and require different care. Properly caring for cutting boards not only increases their lifespan but also prevents bacteria from spreading and causing dangerous cross-contamination. Keep reading to learn how to clean your cutting board correctly. Shop All Cutting Boards Use the following links to jump to the cutting board cleaning method that interests you most: Wood vs Plastic Cutting Board Cleaning Plastic Cutting Boards Cleaning Wooden Cutting Boards Cleaning Bamboo Cutting Boards Wooden vs Plastic Cutting Board When choosing the right cutting board for your kitchen, it is important to understand their differences. Plastic cutting boards are lightweight, dishwasher safe, and easy to clean. They're also less expensive than wooden cutting boards and have a typical lifespan of 1-5 years. However, they can be more prone to knife marks, which can harbor bacteria. Compared to plastic cutting boards, wooden cutting boards are more durable and less prone to knife marks, helping you preserve your blade's sharpness. They also have antimicrobial properties and last about 5-10 years. However, wood cutting boards are naturally porous, meaning they can't be put in the dishwasher, making them harder to thoroughly clean. It is for this reason that wooden cutting boards are illegal for commercial use in New York City. How to Clean a Plastic Cutting Board Plastic cutting boards are the most common type of cutting board used in the foodservice industry. Because they can be easily scratched and scored, it's important to clean them properly to kill any bacteria trapped in the deep grooves. Most plastic cutting boards are designed to be dishwasher safe, but repeated exposure to high temperatures may cause warping. How to Clean Plastic Cutting Board with Bleach Use the following method for cleaning plastic cutting boards with bleach: Mix cleaning solution: Create a sanitizing solution of 1 tsp. of bleach to 1 quart of water. Wipe the board: Once the cleaning solution has been mixed, wipe the surface of your plastic cutting boards down with the cleaning solution. Rinse: Once the board has had time to sit for a few minutes, rinse it with water and let it air dry. How to Clean Plastic Cutting Boards With Vinegar If you are wary of using bleach on your cutting boards, vinegar can be used as a substitute. Create paste: Mix equal amounts of baking soda and vinegar into a paste-like substance. Apply to board: Once the paste has been mixed, spread it over the cutting board and let it sit. Rinse: After five minutes, wash the board with soap and water and rinse. How to Clean a White Cutting Board Try the following solution if your white cutting board is still stained after cleaning with bleach or vinegar: Create paste: Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of water to make a paste. Apply to board: Spread the paste over the stained areas. Rinse: After five minutes, rinse the board with soap and water. Can You Put Plastic Cutting Boards in the Dishwasher? You'll want to make sure your plastic cutting board is listed as dishwasher-safe before putting it in the dishwasher. Prolonged exposure to heat and water inside the machine can cause a plastic board to warp over time, making it uneven and less effective. How to Maintain Plastic Cutting Boards When you start to see scoring on your plastic cutting board, use a steel scouring pad to remove any loose plastic particles from the board’s surface, and then use a belt sander to smooth out the surface. Most plastic cutting boards should be replaced after 1 year of regular use. Back to Top How to Clean a Wood Cutting Board Wooden cutting boards have naturally porous surfaces that can harbor bacteria. Tiny cuts or grooves made on their surfaces also provide a natural habitat for bacteria to grow, which makes cleaning wooden cutting boards extremely important to prevent cross-contamination. There are several methods used for cleaning wood cutting boards including soap and water, vinegar, and bleach. How to Clean a Wood Cutting Board with Soap and Water Follow these steps for cleaning a wooden cutting board with soap and water: Wash: Hand wash the board immediately after use with water and dish soap. Dry: Pat the board dry with a paper towel or clean dishtowel immediately after cleaning. How to Clean a Wood Cutting Board with Bleach Effectively kill bacteria on your wooden cutting boards with bleach. Mix bleach solution: Create a mixture of 1 tsp. of bleach for every 1 quart of water. Apply solution: Pour the mixture over the board and rinse thoroughly with hot water. How to Clean a Wood Cutting Board with Vinegar Vinegar is excellent for neutralizing odors and eliminating bacteria. However, due to its lack of potency, using vinegar is not recommended for cutting boards used with raw meat, fish, or poultry. Pour: Open your vinegar and pour it over the surface of your board. Wipe: Once you've poured the vinegar, wipe down with a clean, wet cloth. Dry: Allow the board to dry after it's been cleaned. Can You Put Wood Cutting Boards in the Dishwasher? Wood cutting boards are not dishwasher safe. Because moisture absorption can cause splintering and warping of the wood as well as encourage rapid bacteria growth, never submerge your wood cutting board under water or clean it in the dishwasher. How to Maintain Wood Cutting Boards Seasoning your wood cutting board can extend its life and prevent warps and cracks from forming. Depending on how often you use your wooden cutting board, you can season it weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Here’s how to season your wooden cutting board: Condition: Wipe food-grade mineral oil or beeswax over your dry board’s exterior. Rest: Allow the oil to sit for a few hours. Wipe: Use a dry cloth to wipe off excess oil or beeswax. Never use vegetable or olive oil to season a cutting board because these can become rancid over time. Back to Top How to Clean Bamboo Cutting Boards Bamboo cutting boards have a very similar look and feel to wooden cutting boards and can be cared for in the same way. In general, bamboo cutting boards will not crack, warp, or stain as easily as wooden boards because of their higher density. They’re also more resistant to cuts and scars caused by knives than wooden alternatives, which means they’re more resistant to hazardous bacteria growth. Just like wooden cutting boards, you should not soak your bamboo cutting board or put it through the dishwasher. To clean your bamboo cutting board, follow the steps below: Choose a cleaning substance: You may use dish soap, white vinegar, or a dilution of bleach and water to clean your board. Add hot water: Combine your chosen cleaning product with hot water and thoroughly scrub the surface of your board. Dry: Pat the board dry with a paper towel or clean dishtowel immediately after cleaning. How to Maintain Bamboo Cutting Boards The process for maintaining a bamboo cutting board is very similar to that used to maintain a wooden board: Condition: Wipe food-grade mineral oil or beeswax over your dry board’s exterior. Never use vegetable or olive oil to season a cutting board because these can become rancid over time. Rest: Allow the oil to sit for a few hours. Wipe: Wipe off excess oil or beeswax with a dry cloth. Freshen up: You can also slice a lemon in half and rub it cut-side down over the board’s surface to freshen up the board between oil or beeswax treatments. The natural acidity of the lemon will help to break down any residue on your cutting board. Back to Top Each type of cutting board has unique needs for cleaning and maintenance. Therefore, it is important to know how to treat your cutting board to avoid unsafe levels of bacteria and prevent damage. Use this guide as a reference when cleaning your cutting boards, but if you remain unsure of how to treat your board, consult with the board's manufacturer.
No matter what type of knife you own, it's essential to keep it sharp for the best results. Sharp knives make food prep easier and require less pressure to achieve your desired cuts, contributing to a safe kitchen environment. If you aren't familiar with knife sharpeners, it can be difficult to dete
Japanese knives are known for their unparalleled strength and sharpness compared to other kitchen knives, allowing you to make precise cuts of fish, vegetables, fruit, or sushi rolls. However, Japanese knives come in many shapes, sharpness levels, and sizes, and every type has a specific purpose. We
Whether you operate a casual eatery or fine dining restaurant, consistent and accurate food portions are a key part of your business. Thankfully, there are several different portion control tools your establishment can utilize to ensure you control how much food goes on each plate. Portion control tools help you maintain consistency throughout your dishes, making it easier to manage food inventory and keep track of profit margins. We’ll discuss some of the most effective portion control tools your restaurant can utilize, as well as some of the ways portion control tools help improve your business. Restaurant Portion Control Tools Restaurant portion control tools come in many shapes and sizes. Some of the most common tools include portion scales, food dishers, spoodles, and other types of spoons. Even everyday kitchen supplies, like measuring cups and ladles, are great tools for controlling portions. Single-serving packets of condiments (like ketchup or soy sauce) are also a great example of restaurant portion control. Below, we cover some of the most important food portioning tools used by restaurants, and how each tool can be used to properly portion your ingredients. Portion Scales - Scales provide accurate weight measurements, making it easy to have exact weight portions when serving food. If a recipe calls for 4 oz. of a specific ingredient, simply weigh your ingredient on a portion scale to ensure you don’t add too much or too little. These measurements help eliminate food waste and keep recipes consistent. Food Dishers - Dishers provide an easy way to scoop and measure soft foods such as batter, yogurt, and mashed potatoes. Simply scoop the disher full of your desired food before releasing the lever or handle for serving. The simplicity and quickness of food dishers make them perfect for high-volume environments like cafeterias. Spoodles - Spoodles are a fantastic portion control tool, combining the simplicity of a serving spoon with the accurate portion control of a ladle. When portioning out sauces or other liquid-based foods, spoodles ensure consistent portion sizes across all dishes. Additionally, the simplicity of spoodles makes them a great option when providing meal service in a high-traffic environment. Measuring Cups and Spoons - Measuring cups and spoons ensure you correctly measure ingredients during cooking and baking. Recipes call for exact measurements, and measuring cups and spoons make it easy to portion out your ingredients and accurately follow recipes. Shop the most popular portion control tools below: Restaurant Portion Control Video Learn more about the most useful portion control tools your restaurant can employ by watching the video below: <iframe scrolling="no" width="392" height="226" src="/v/?num=13455&width=600&height=500&embed=1" frameborder="0"></iframe> What Is Restaurant Portion Control? Portion control not only refers to the amount of food on a plate, but it can also refer to the ratio of ingredients in a particular dish. For example, if you own a burrito shop, you probably want your staff to include a consistent ratio of meat and rice in each burrito. That way, customers know what to expect and can return again to enjoy the product they love. Why Is Portion Control Important? The No. 1 reason why portion control is important is to manage customer expectations and provide a consistent product. Another important reason to pay attention to your food portions is to reduce costs in your restaurant. Not only will portion control help you track how much of each ingredient you're using, but it can also reduce food waste. Customers will be less likely to throw food away if you offer appropriate portion sizes. How To Measure Food Portions? The way you measure portions depends on what specific tool you’re using, but typically, food is measured in one of two ways: by weight or by sight. If you’re dealing with an expensive ingredient (like black truffle or caviar), it may be a good idea to measure it on a scale before plating. This approach not only ensures that you’re not putting more money on the plate than necessary, but it also keeps flavors consistent for each guest. Portioning by sight is fine for most other applications from cafeterias to fine dining. Portion spoons and dishers are extremely common in fast casual environments for portioning foods like mashed potatoes and corn, while white tablecloth establishments are more likely to use food molds to shape rice or even salads. However, the same basic principle applies to both. Do All Restaurants Use Portion Control Tools? While portion control should be an important part of all restaurant operations, there are a few situations where portion control tools are especially useful. For franchised locations, portion control is vital as customers expect food to be consistent across all locations. A major part of this consistency is portion size, as uneven portion sizes can greatly alter the taste of a dish. Ensure that staff is well trained and understands each menu item’s portion sizes, leading to a consistent experience for customers to enjoy. When Do You Need Portion Control Tools? Although all restaurants can benefit from utilizing portion control tools, there are a few surefire signs your restaurant is struggling with portion sizes. If you notice customers frequently do not finish particular dishes, then you may want to use portion control tools to lower the dish’s portion size. Another sign your restaurant could benefit from portion control tools is a high degree of variance in ingredient usage. If you notice that ingredients used in similar dishes are running out at different times, then you would likely benefit from portion control tools. Uneven ingredient portions in recipes can lead to imbalanced flavors and excessive food waste, two things that restaurants want to avoid. Regardless of what type of restaurant you operate, portion control tools have the potential to be an integral part of your business. Portion control eliminates unnecessary food waste, allowing you to better manage your food costs. These tools will also provide customers with a consistent experience, meaning they can expect your food to be made with the same consistent quality.
When it comes to rusted cookware, cast iron pans are the biggest offenders. But even some types of stainless steel can become corroded if they aren't cared for properly. Rust can ruin your pans and become a safety issue if you aren't careful. Learn how rust occurs, the best practices to remove rust, and other methods of preventing rust on metal. Use the following links to navigate and learn more about rust and how to prevent it: How to Remove Rust What is Rust? How Does Rust Occur? Does Stainless Steel Rust? How to Prevent Rust Removing Rust Check out our quick video to learn how to remove rust from your cookware. We demonstrate three methods that will have your cast iron pans looking like new! <iframe scrolling="no" width="392" height="226" src="/v/?num=11824&width=600&height=500&embed=1" frameborder="0"></iframe> How to Get Rid of Rust If your baking sheets are showing signs of rust, or your favorite sautee pan needs a little TLC, rust removal is an option to refinish the metal. Here’s one method of removing rust from metal and stainless steel. How to Remove Rust from Metal with Baking Soda Take the rusty pan and rinse with water. Cover the pan with baking soda. Let the baking soda sit for an hour or more on the pan. Use a scouring pad to rub the rust off. Wash the pan and dry with a towel. If baking soda and some elbow grease doesn't do the trick to remove existing rust, try this method of using vinegar for heavily rusted pans. Removing Rust with Vinegar Spray or wet pan with water and wipe clean with a cloth. Using a 1:1 ratio of water and vinegar, spray the mixture onto the stainless steel. Let the vinegar mixture sit for a few minutes to soak into the metal. Take a scouring pad and lightly scrub along the grain of the stainless steel to remove the rust. This will prevent other scratches from forming. Wash with soap and water and completely dry the pan with a towel. Do you have a rusty cast iron pan? Follow these steps to remove the rust and resurface your cast iron cookware. How to Remove Rust from Cast Iron Thoroughly scrape the pan with steel wool. Wash with soap and water. Pat completely dry with a towel, or place the pan on low heat for just a couple minutes until dry. Pour a quarter-sized amount of cooking oil into the pan and use a paper towel to coat the inside with the oil. Reseason the cast iron pan by placing it in the oven face down at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour. Put a piece of aluminum foil on the rack below to catch excess oil. Remove the pan and let it cool. Back to Top What Is Rust? Rust is a brown and orange iron oxide, most commonly found on metal, and can be harmful if consumed. Rust can occur on any metal, even if it contains chromium. Chromium is found in stainless steel and is more reactive to oxygen compared to iron. Chromium oxidizes quickly and actually protects metal from rusting. If the chromium oxide on metal becomes scratched, water settles into the openings of the exposed metal, making it rust. How Does Rust Occur? Rust is the chemical reaction that occurs when iron and oxygen meet. When metal is in the presence of water or moisture in the air, rust will form on the metal over time if the water is not removed. If existing rust is not removed, it can continue to build up and get worse over time. Does Stainless Steel Rust? If cared for properly, most stainless steel does not rust because it contains the alloy chromium, which will oxidize and create a natural protective coating on the metal. If the stainless steel does not contain enough chromium, there will not be a thick enough layer of oxidation on the metal to protect it from rusting. When buying stainless steel cookware for a commercial kitchen, it is best to purchase 304 stainless steel because of its higher corrosion resistance. Stainless steel will also rust if not cleaned and polished properly. Cleaning the metal after each use will keep dried and burnt food from building up, and will also help provide a clean surface for polishing. Polishing stainless steel is important for keeping the chromium oxide in tact so rust will not form. How to Prevent Rust To prevent rust from forming on metal cookware, do not allow metal to air dry. Dry the metal pan with a microfiber towel right after washing to remove any water from pans or flatware. Prevent rust from forming on cast iron by simply seasoning the pan before the initial use and continually and routinely seasoning it as it is used. You can also buy stainless steel cookware that contains chromium, which will help protect the metal from rusting. Thoroughly cleaning stainless steel pans after use will keep the metal looking great and help it last longer too. When buying metal cookware, be sure to care for it. This will prevent rust from forming the metal and save a lot of time and effort resurfacing the pans. Keeping your pans in good condition will help them last a lifetime.
It is nearly impossible to think about food preparation without picturing a chef standing over a cutting board with a large chef's knife. Cutting boards are essential in commercial kitchens, protecting countertops and preventing cross-contamination of different food groups. However, a cutting board
Cookies are a common sight on dessert menus and in bakery display cases because they are popular, easy to make, and ship well. You know the drill: mix, scoop, bake, serve. But are all your cookies evenly sized, and do you have trouble scooping out the dough? In a restaurant or bakery, saving prep time while presenting beautiful food is a must, which is why investing in cookie scoops will take your cookie-making skills to the next level. Shop All Cookie Scoops Jump to the cookie scoop section that interests you: Best Scoops for Large Cookies Best Scoops for Medium Cookies Best Scoops for Small Cookies Cookie Scoop Benefits Cookie Scooping Tips Cookie Size Chart How to Use Every Cookie Scoop Size Discover the proper use for every cookie scoop size. From scooping jumbo muffins to tiny truffles, there is a cookie scoop for every application. <iframe scrolling="no" width="392" height="226" src="/v/?num=13512&width=600&height=500&embed=1" frameborder="0"></iframe> What Is a Cookie Scoop? A cookie scoop is a handheld, spring-loaded kitchen tool that scoops uniform sizes of dough and batter. Using a cookie scoop helps maintain product size consistency and even baking. Cookie scoops are very popular in bakeries and restaurants where food presentation and taste are both essential. How to Use a Cookie Scoop The best way to use a cookie scoop is by scooping the dough into the bowl of the cookie scoop until it’s full, press the dough (no need to do this for batter as it is much looser) into the bowl to get rid of air pockets for a uniform, rounded edge. Next, flatten the exposed edge of the dough or batter so it’s completely level. Then, with the spring-loaded handles, squeeze out the dough or batter onto your sheet tray or into your muffin or cake pan. Cookie Dough Scoop Sizes Cookie scoops come in many different sizes to accommodate various types of cookies, cupcakes, and muffins. Larger cookie scoop sizes are perfect for those big bakery cookies, while smaller cookie scoop sizes are great for drop cookies or making truffles. Play with the different sizes to see which cookie scoop size works best for your recipe. Cookie Scoop Sizes Below are various cookie scoop sizes listed by their number, weight, and volume measurement. Cookie scoop numbers are determined by how many scoops the cookie scoop would take to measure out a quart container. Because of this, larger-sized cookie scoops have a smaller number, while smaller-sized cookie scoops have a bigger number. The Best Cookie Scoops for Large Cookies If you want to make those iconically big cookie cakes, using a #6-10 numbered scoop will do the trick. These cookie scoop sizes can be used to measure your jumbo muffins or cupcakes, make very thick cookies (as long as they have a much higher flour-to-butter ratio), or serve an equal amount of dough into your cookie skillets before they're baked and served. #6 Cookie Scoop Weight - holds 5.33 oz. of cookie dough Size - holds 10 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. of cookie dough (5/8 cup) Bowl Diameter - 3" diameter #8 Cookie Scoop Weight - holds 3.7 oz. of cookie dough Size - holds 7 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. of cookie dough (1/2 cup) Bowl Diameter - 2 7/8" diameter #10 Cookie Scoop Weight - holds 3.2 oz. of cookie dough Size - holds 6 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. of cookie dough (3/8 cup) Bowl Diameter - 2 5/8" diameter Back to Top The Best Cookie Scoops for Medium Cookies When making medium-sized cookies, most bakers aim for approximately 2-tablespoon-sized mounds, so look for #20-36 sized cookie scoops. Going above or below is up to you, and also based on how much your cookie dough recipe usually spreads. These cookie scoops are also great for making cookies for ice cream sandwiches, or you can use them to measure out meatballs and falafels and get quick, consistent sizes. #20 Cookie Scoop Weight - holds 1.8 oz. of cookie dough Size - holds 3 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. of cookie dough Bowl Diameter - 2" diameter #24 Cookie Scoop Weight - holds 1.3 oz. of cookie dough Size - holds 2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. of cookie dough Bowl Diameter - 1 7/8" diameter #30 Cookie Scoop Weight - holds 1.13 oz. of cookie dough Size - holds 2 Tbsp. of cookie dough Bowl Diameter - 1 3/4" diameter Back to Top The Best Cookie Scoops for Small Cookies The best cookie scoops to use for small cookies are #60-100. These cookie scoops are also a great size for measuring truffles, protein balls, and drop cookies with accuracy and precision. You can also use it to quickly put the perfect amount of frosting on cupcakes or a scoop of sour cream or guacamole on Mexican food. #60 Cookie Scoop Weight - holds 0.54 oz. of cookie dough Size - holds 1 Tbsp. + 1/3 tsp. of cookie dough Bowl Diameter - 1 3/8" diameter #70 Cookie Scoop Weight - holds 0.5 oz. of cookie dough Size - holds 1 Tbsp. of cookie dough Bowl Diameter - 1 1/4" diameter #100 Cookie Scoop Weight - holds 0.375 oz. of cookie dough Size - holds 2 1/4 tsp. of cookie dough Bowl Diameter - 1 1/8" diameter Back to Top What Size Scoop for Cookies? To figure out the size cookie scoop that you should be using for your cookies, visualize the approximate size you would like your cookies to be. If it’s on the large end, try using cookie scoop sizes #6-14. If you would like a more medium-sized cookie, reach for the #16-36 sized scoops. If you would like a smaller-sized cookie, your best bet is to choose between cookie scoop sizes #40-100. Why Do Cookies Spread? Cookie dough will spread if it contains a high butter-to-flour ratio. This is why the same cookie scoop might produce finished cookies of different sizes. Every cookie dough recipe has its own ingredient ratio. Some cookie doughs have a higher butter content and lower flour content, which will make them spread out much more than a lower butter content and higher flour content dough. Therefore, do not treat your cookie scoop sizes the same for every recipe. Try baking off a practice round beforehand with two scooped-out cookies to see how much they spread and if you like the size of the finished cookies. The Benefits of Using a Cookie Scoop Using a cookie scoop for your recipes can be very beneficial for your restaurant or bakery. Here are the benefits of using a cookie scoop: Consistency - Using the same cookie scoop size to shape your cookies into rounds will make sure that they bake evenly and uniformly so you can sell consistent products. Shortened Prep Time - The act of using a cookie scoop will greatly reduce your prep time compared to weighing out balls of dough one by one, or when using two spoons to extract a ball of dough. Simple to Use - Because a cookie scoop is a one-product operation, there is less fuss when creating uniform sizes and transferring the dough to the cookie sheet. The bowl creates the perfect size each time, while the spring-loaded handle and inside scooper help transfer the dough out of the bowl and cleanly into place on a cookie sheet. Even Bake Time - When your batch of cookies is uniformly scooped, that means the bake time will be consistent for all cookies on the sheet tray. Eliminates Food Waste - Cookie scoops are designed with a sweeper blade in the bowl to carve out the batter or dough more easily and cleanly than scraping dough out of a measuring cup. This consistency creates less wasted dough or batter when scooping, giving you more portions from your batch. Back to Top What Else to Use a Cookie Scoop For Besides cookie dough, cookie scoops are handy for so many other measurements around the kitchen. Keep in mind that cookie scoops work best for softer foods such as: Muffin batter Cupcake batter Cake batter Pancake batter Waffle batter Falafels Meatballs Chicken salad Vegetables Mashed potatoes Gravy Scooping out melon seeds Mini guacamole or sour cream topping Cookie Scoop Tips Before you get started scooping out cookie dough, keep these tips in mind to remember before and during your portioning: Do a test trial and bake off one or two cookies to see how much your recipe spreads. When scooping your dough, be sure to pack the dough in to get a completely rounded top and a flat bottom. Wipe away any excess or overhang. Sometimes recipes will call for you to make your cookie dough into balls before baking them. Be sure to measure out your cookie dough properly with the cookie scoop, then roll that measurement of dough into the cookie dough balls if the recipe calls for it. It’s a lot harder on your cookie scoop if your dough has been refrigerated for a long time, so be sure to portion the dough right after mixing and before letting the dough rest in the refrigerator or freezer. Back to Top Cookie Scoop Size Chart Use our cookie scoop size chart to figure out the sizing for your next recipe. We've provided cookie measurements in ounces, quart container size, and volume for your convenience. Printable Version Back to Top Now that you’re armed and ready with all of the knowledge, tips, tricks, and best practices of using cookie scoops, it’s time to go back into the test kitchen and perfect all of your cookies big and small. Whether you’re making small coconut macaroons or using the biggest cookie scoop to portion out your dessert menu’s cookie skillet, you’ll be thankful that you invested in a cookie scoop to ensure consistency in your bakery or restaurant.
You may have a cheese knife set in your home but may not exactly know what task each one of those knives is made to perform. Just as a chef will use various types of knives in a day to increase their efficiency, each cheese knife type has a purpose to improve the user experience. We prepared a guide and a printable cheese knife resource to help you use the proper knife for the cheeses you are planning to serve. Shop All Cheese Knives How to Choose Cheese Knives Video Watch the video below to learn more about cheese knives! <iframe scrolling="no" width="392" height="226" src="/v/?num=12572&width=600&height=500&embed=1" frameborder="0"></iframe> Types of Cheese Knives According to dining etiquette, a cheese knife should not be used on more than one cheese type on your cheese board. Each cheese knife performs a purpose and was built to perform it well. Here is a list of common cheese knives organized from soft cheese knives to hard cheese knives. We'll go through how they are used and some cheeses you can pair them with. Soft Cheese Knife A soft cheese knife, also known as an open work blade knife, features holes in the blade to keep soft cheeses from sticking due to the minimal surface area. You can also use the holes to push a piece of cheese off of the knife. Features: Sharp edge, holes in blade Cheese Hardness: Soft to Semi-Soft Ideal Cheeses: Brie, Camembert, Fresh Mozzarella Cheese Spreader A cheese spreader, also known as a spatula knife, is made for applying cheese spreads and creamy, spreadable cheeses onto bread and crackers. Features: Dull edge, rounded blade Cheese Hardness: Soft Ideal Cheeses: Robiola, Stracchino, Cream Cheese Gorgonzola Knife Similar to a cheese spreader, a gorgonzola cheese knife is made for spreading creamy cheeses. However, the gorgonzola knife has a sharp blade to cut through cheese rinds. Features: Rounded blade with one sharp edge Cheese Hardness: Soft, Semi-Soft, and Crumbly Ideal Cheeses: Gorgonzola, Bleu Cheese Pronged Cheese Knife The pronged cheese knife, or forked-tipped spear, is a multipurpose tool that allows you to cut a piece of cheese and then pick it up with the prongs at the end for serving or plating. The narrow blade offers a minimal surface area so soft cheeses don’t stick. Features: Upward-curled narrow blade, sharp edge, pronged end Cheese Hardness: Soft to Semi-Hard Ideal Cheeses: Parmesan, Brie Slim Blade Cheese Knife A slim blade knife features very little surface area to prevent soft cheeses from sticking to the blade. It is typically offset from the handle to provide room for the user’s hand to keep the knuckles from hitting the board. Features: Thin narrow blade, sharp edge, raided handle Cheese Hardness: Soft to Semi-Hard Ideal Cheeses: Camembert, Boursault Flat Cheese Knife A flat cheese knife, or a chisel knife, is used to cut slices off of aged cheeses by holding the blade vertically over the cheese and pushing downward. You can then use the sharp end to cut the pieces down even further. Features: Wide flat paddle-like blade, sharp bottom edge Cheese Hardness: Semi-Soft to Semi-Hard Ideal Cheeses: Provolone, Swiss, Gruyere, Asiago Narrow Plane Knife A narrow plane cheese knife, also known as a trapezium knife, is made for cutting cheese as well as chipping away at the block. It is similar to the flat cheese knife but tends to be more rectangular in shape and features two sharp sides as opposed to one. Features: Narrow blade, both the short edge and long edge are sharp Cheese Hardness: Semi-Soft to Hard Ideal Cheeses: Gouda, Cheddar, Jarlsberg Cheddar Cheese Knife A cheddar knife, also known as a mini cleaver, cheddar cleaver, or semi-hard cheese knife, is made to cut hard cheeses. The wide blade and cleaver shape allow the cutter to use force and balance to push down and cut slices. The placement of the handle keeps your knuckles from hitting the board. Features: Wide rectangular blade, sharp long edge, ergonomic handle Cheese Hardness: Semi-Hard to Hard Ideal Cheeses: Cheddar, Gruyere, Colby, Fontina Parmesan Knife A parmesan cheese knife features a pointed edge made for breaking off chunks of hard and dry cheeses like Parmesan. It also has a sharp edge to cut rinds open. Parmesan knives come in two different styles: the bell cheese knife which will have an arrowhead-shaped blade, and the compact cheese knife which has a blade that resembles a shark tooth. Both styles perform the same function when cutting cheese. Features: Sharp-pointed tip, triangular stubby blade, sharp long edge Cheese Hardness: Hard Ideal Cheeses: Parmesan, Castelmagno, Grana Padano Hard Cheese Knife Hard cheese knives are typically one of the largest you will find. They are made for pressing downward and cutting through a whole wheel or wedge of aged hard cheese to form smaller portions. You will often find hard cheese knives with handles on either end to allow for even pressure distribution. Features: Long straight blade, sharp edge, one or two handles Cheese Hardness: Hard Ideal Cheeses: Asiago, Extra Mature Cheddar, Provolone, Comte Other Cheese Tools Some cheese knife kits will come with additional tools to help cut and serve cheeses. Here are some of the more common cheese tools you may encounter: Cheese Wire A cheese wire, or bow knife, is made for cutting those delicate soft cheeses without crushing them or spreading them too far. They are usually found in a bow shape or attached to a cheese board that had an indent for the wire. The wire would be lowered down gently through the cheese, leaving a clean slice behind. Features: Metal wire, bow or handle Cheese Hardness: Soft to Semi-Soft Ideal Cheeses: Fresh Mozzarella, Ricotta, Robiola Cheese Plane A cheese plane was made for achieving thinly sliced pieces of cheese. To slice the cheese, pass the plane along the top or side of the cheese. The slice will then settle on the top of the plane’s spatula-like structure, making it easy to plate or serve. Features: Spatula-like paddle with a sharp-edged slit Cheese Hardness: Semi-Soft to Semi-Hard Ideal Cheeses: Fontina, Havarti, Muenster Cheese Rind Cutter A rind cutter features a pointed tip that is made to score the rind of a hard cheese, making it easier to open. To use a rind cutter, pierce the rind at one edge and drag it neatly across the surface of the rind. Features: Pointed downward tip, sharp edge Cheese Hardness: Semi-Hard to Hard Ideal Cheeses: Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padano Cheese Grater A cheese grater is excellent for creating shreds of cheese. They will typically have razors on more than one side of it to produce different size shreds when a block of cheese is pressed down against the grooves. You can also use a cheese grater to shred a variety of other foods. Features: Several sharp razors on flat plane Cheese Hardness: Semi-Hard to Hard Ideal Cheeses: Parmesan, Romano Cheese Fork A cheese fork is helpful on a cheese board for picking up cut pieces of cheese for plating. It can also be used to break up blocks of aged cheese into smaller chunks as well. Features: Two pointed prongs Cheese Hardness: Semi-Soft to Hard Ideal Cheeses: Feta, Cheddar, Provolone, Gouda, Parmesan How to Cut Cheese Now that you know which type of knife to pair with your cheese, it is important to know how to properly cut those cheeses, whether they be in wheels, wedges, or blocks. Soft Cheese Wedges When cutting into a wedge of soft cheese, you'll want to cut slices along the long edge of the cheese, creating a long strip. It is considered poor etiquette to cut the tip or nose of the cheese wedge because that is considered to be the piece with the most flavor. It is also incorrect to dig out the gooey center of a soft cheese, such as brie. Hard Cheese Wedges For semi-hard to hard cheeses wedges, you'll want to cut these wedges along the width edge until you reach halfway up the wedge. The top half of the wedge is then cut along the length edge. Blue Cheese Wedges To cut a wedge of blue cheese, pinpoint the center of the bottom edge and cut in a radial pattern to achieve triangular cheese pieces. Blocks When cutting a block of cheese, first cut it in half to create two rectangular portions, then cut along the width of the portions to create slices. Slices can then be cut diagonally into triangles if you prefer. Logs Cut cheese logs by slicing down the length of the log to create cheese discs. Wheels To cut a wheel of cheese, you can first cut the wheel in half to make two manageable pieces. Then cut in a radial pattern to create cheese triangles. If you choose not to cut the wheel in half, locate the center of the cheese wheel and cut out from that point like spokes on a wheel. Whether you’re catering a cocktail hour or a holiday gathering with an eye-catching cheese board, it is essential to pair your cheeses with the right knife to provide the best experience at your event. Printable Version
What is a saucepan? A saucepan is simply a circular pan that has high sides and a long handle. With such a broad definition, this piece of cookware has quite a few features with multiple options for versatility. Learn about the size, shape, and construction of saucepans so you can choose the best on
Many types of knives are used in a foodservice kitchen, and most all of them have the potential to cause injuries if they are not used correctly. Proper knife training minimizes the risk of personal injury and keeps your kitchen running smoothly. If you are just beginning to learn or simply need to brush up on your approach, keep reading for some helpful knife safety tips. Already know how to use a kitchen knife safely? Click below to stock up on cut-resistant gloves for your staff. Shop All Cut-Resistant Kitchen Gloves Kitchen Knife Safety Lacerations from chef knives are one of the most common injuries in foodservice kitchens. Make sure your kitchen staff is educated and avoid potential injury by following our kinfe safety tips. 1. Use a Sharp Knife When you use a dull knife to cut, you need to apply more force. As a result, the knife is more likely to slip and this increases the risk of injury. Keeping your knives sharpened is one of the easiest ways to keep them safe. Simply use a sharpening stone or knife sharpener to maintain the original precision of the blade. If your knife needs just a touch up between thorough sharpenings, try using a sharpening steel. How Sharp Should My Knife Be? Your knife should be able to handle a knife sharpness test with ease. To balance sharpness and durability, most knife blades are designed with a 20-degree angle on each side of the cutting edge. If you work with many soft ingredients, you may want to sharpen your knife to 15 degrees per side. A knife with a 15-degree angle requires more frequent sharpening, though, and may decrease the overall durability of your knife. If any of your ingredients are harder in texture, keep your blade at 20 degrees on each side, or choose a wider-angle blade when appropriate. Knife Sharpening Video Use the following video to learn how to sharpen a knife with a manual knife sharpener and an electric knife sharpener: <iframe scrolling="no" width="392" height="226" src="/v/?num=8999&width=600&height=500&embed=1" frameborder="0"></iframe> 2. Choose the Right Knife for the Task From cheese knives to Japanese knives, selecting the right knife for the task is one of the most fundamental knife safety tips that foodservice professionals should learn. Making this choice can be overwhelming because of the wide variety of styles, shapes, and sizes of commercial knives. How to Choose the Right Knife When choosing your knife, here are some things you should consider: Blade size: Choose a knife that is proportional to the food you’re cutting. For example, a small paring knife will not be very useful for butchering a large cut of meat, so use a cleaver instead. Flexibility: Certain tasks require a flexible blade, while others need a firm one. Think about the knife you’d choose to remove scales from a fish compared to the knife you’d need to cut potatoes. Blade edge: The edge of the blade can make your job much easier or make it harder. For instance, serrated knives are excellent for cutting through foods with tender centers, while Granton blades are suited for wet foods like cheese and salmon. Never use your knife for anything but cutting food. Using your knife for other tasks could not only put your safety at risk, but it could also damage your knife. 3. Keep Your Knives Clean In order to prevent contamination, it is important to clean your knife as soon as you’re done using it. Leaving your knife on your cutting board or in a sink full of soapy water clutters your kitchen and creates opportunities for contamination and injury. A clean knife is also easier to handle. Food residue can make your knife slippery, so be sure to keep it clean for the most secure grip. Knife Cleaning Tips To ensure sanitation and maintain your knife’s durability, be sure that you are washing your knife properly. Here are some things to keep in mind when cleaning your knives: Is your knife dishwasher safe? While it is a convenient way to make sure your knife is thoroughly clean, some knives may not be dishwasher safe in order to retain their precise edge. Does your knife have any spots where bacteria could collect? Some types of knives may have handle or blade shapes that are likely to collect food debris, so inspecting your knives before and after washing can help prevent food from building up. 4. Store Your Knives Correctly A designated knife storage space keeps your kitchen organized and also encourages a safe knife routine. When not in use, your knives should be stored out of the way of your work space. Simply putting your knife in a drawer is not safe for your workers or your knife. Storage solutions like knife blocks or rolls prevent mishaps and increase the longevity of your knives. 5. Know the Proper Cutting Techniques Knowing how to properly cut with your knife is a fundamental part of knife safety. Poor knife handling risks injury and damage to your kitchen tools. Not to mention, incorrectly holding your knife slows you down and decreases the quality of your work. How to Use a Knife Always use a cutting board when cutting ingredients. This will allow you to cut consistently and protect your work surface in the process. Take note of your hand positions when cutting. The hand holding the knife should have a secure grip on the handle. Using your pointer finger and thumb, as shown below, grasp the sides of the blade near the handle for added control. Keep your other hand out of the way of the blade. Notice how this chef curves his fingers away from the knife while holding the tomato. Bring your blade down and through your ingredient in one smooth motion. This will help you maintain control and produce a neater cut. If you are unsure of how to correctly hold a knife or use it for the task at hand, ask a more experienced worker to demonstrate for you. When you drop your knife, your natural instinct might be to grab it. For your safety, let it fall! A dropped knife can be sanitized and replaced if need be, but your hands will not heal so easily. 6. Pay Attention to What You’re Cutting Though a commercial kitchen can be a hectic place, always give the cutting task your full attention. If you're distracted, stop what you're doing and deal with the distraction before returning to cutting. That way, you can stay safe and produce your best work. Failing to practice these knife safety basics could turn one of your most-used tools into a hazard. Always remember the basics of kitchen knife handling and safety, and be sure to train your employees on the proper usage techniques any time you introduce a new knife into your tool set.
Restaurant tray stands make it easier for servers to manage multiple orders of food for a table. Simply set them up beside the table, then top with a serving tray full of your signature culinary or confectionery creations.
If you own a food service business, you know that food presentation is crucial to marketing your restaurant on Instagram. Studies from Oxford show that a quality food presentation increases customers' perceived value of your meals, allowing you to raise your menu prices. Chefs tactfully arrange ingredients to curate flavor and textural complexity, and their creative plating techniques stimulate appetites before the first bite. Read on to discover plating techniques, an instructional plating video, and the tools you need to create your own signature food presentation style. Shop All Plating Tools Click any of the sections below to explore the topic that interests you: Plating Video Plating Techniques Plating Ideas Plating Tools Food Plating and Presentation Video An understanding of food plating techniques will help your staff improve your meal presentation and enhance the dining experience for your guests. For a visual guide, check out our video on how to plate food like a chef. <iframe scrolling="no" src="/v/?num=4852&width=600&height=500&embed=1" frameborder="0" height="500" width="600"></iframe> How to Plate Food like a Chef While there are no fixed food presentation rules, there are several important concepts to keep in mind as you arrange your meals. Remember your plate is your canvas. Arrange food items using the rule of thirds. Entice the eyes with visual stimulants. Use the sauce as paint for your plate. Garnish to enhance both appearance and flavor. Plating Techniques Conceptualize plating as an art form: you are the artist; the plate is your canvas, and the food is your medium. Master the following plating techniques to perfect your craft. 1. Plate Presentation Techniques Selecting the right plate for your meal is the first step in the food presentation process. Consider the following to choose the ideal plate for your food presentation: Plate Size - Your plate should be big enough to make your food stand out and petite enough to prevent your portions from appearing small. Light vs Dark Plates - Use light and dark plates to make your meal stand out. White plates are popular because they offer a neutral background for brightly colored foods. Dark plates lend beautifully to light-colored dishes, such as a whitefish or creamy polenta. Plate Color - A plate’s color can stimulate or reduce appetites. Red increases the appetite, so serving appetizers on red plates keeps customers interested in ordering large entrees and desserts. Professional platers consider blue dinnerware unappetizing because there are few naturally occurring blue foods. Restaurant Style - If you operate a fine dining establishment, classic China dinnerware pairs well with traditional plating styles. A trendy gastropub should invest in unique plates with unconventional shapes that facilitate maximum plating creativity. 2. Food Arrangement Techniques How you arrange your food determines your meal’s aesthetic tone, structural integrity, and flavor dispersion. Here are a few of the most important food arrangement techniques: The Rule of Thirds - When applied to cooking, the rule of thirds prescribes placing the focal point of your dish on either the left or right side of the plate, rather than the center. Use white space by thinking of the rim as your frame and highlight your plate’s focal point(s). View Your Plate as a Clock - As you place your ingredients, picture the face of a clock. From the diner’s point of view, your protein should be between 3 and 9, your starch/carbohydrate from 9 to 12, and your vegetable from 12 to 3. Don’t Overcrowd Your Plate - Keep your design simple by focusing on one ingredient (usually the protein). Having a focal point helps you arrange your accompanying items to complement your standout item. Moist Ingredients First - Plate moist ingredients first and prevent them from running by topping them with other foods. For example, you can angle sliced meat against mashed vegetables. Create Flavor Bites - Flavor bites are forkfuls of food that combine all the ingredients in your dish into one bite. Flavor bites are essential to quality plating as they please both the eyes and the taste buds. Mix Textures - Contrasting a smooth vegetable puree with crunchy onion straws or topping a steak with crumbled blue cheese yields appealing texture combinations that are classic in high-end cuisine. 3. Visual Plating Techniques Maximizing the visual elements of your meal is a key plating technique. While your arrangement develops around your protein, manipulating the colors and sizes of the other elements on your plate enhances your focal point and creates a gourmet presentation. Serve Odd Quantities - If you’re serving small foods like shrimp, scallops, or bite-sized appetizers, always give guests odd quantities. Color Diversity - Colorful dishes build the expectation of a flavorfully complex meal before your patrons take their first bite. Add green vegetables or brightly colored fruits that contrast with your focal point. Monochromatic Meals - Plating color-coded items together visually builds the expectation that the dish only offers one flavor. When the palate receives multiple textures and flavors instead, it surprises the tastebuds, causing them to engage with the dish. Add Height to Your Plate - Stimulate your guests' eyes by building height. While compactly stacking ingredients isn’t as popular as it was 5-10 years ago, building layers of food for guests to explore offers an exciting experience. Create Visual Balance - Balance your plate’s landscape by leaning long, flat items against taller elements (ex: leaning asparagus spears at a 45-degree angle across a stack of lamb lollipops). 4. Sauce Plating Techniques With your principal ingredients plated, you’re ready to top your dish with delicious sauces that enhance your food presentation. Think of your squeeze bottle or spoon as a paintbrush, and your sauce as a medium. Once you're done adding your sauce, make sure you wipe down the edge of your plate with a towel, so no drippings distract from your presentation. We explain some of the simplest, most fail-proof sauce plating techniques below. Smeared Sauce Plating Technique - Fill a squeeze bottle with your sauce. Squeeze a thick layer of sauce and form a large, filled-in circle on your plate. Take a spoon or plating wedge and dip it into the middle of the sauce where it’s thickest. Quickly pull the sauce across your plate. Accent Dots Plating Technique - Fill a squeeze bottle with your desired sauce. Analyze your plate from the perspective of the rule of thirds, then add accent dots. Use multiple sauces to create additional color contrast. Smeared Accent Dots Plating Technique - Alternate between two sauce accent dots in a curved line along the side of your plate. Then, take a small plating wedge and place it at the center of the first accent dot in your row. Drag the plating wedge through the accent dots, creating a multicolored, single-sided edge. Swirled Sauce Plating Technique- Fill a squeeze bottle with your desired sauce. Place your plate atop a cake turntable. Point your squeeze bottle face down at the center of the plate. Spin your stand while simultaneously squeezing your bottle. Adjust your wrist to vary your swirled design. You can use multiple sauces to create more visual contrast. 5. Garnishing Techniques In the past, chefs casually threw a piece of kale and an orange slice onto every plate. However, these garnishes added nothing exciting to the dish, and few guests ate them. Modern garnishes pair thoughtfully with the meal to create flavor bites. Follow these garnishing techniques and guidelines to master the last step of food presentation. Edible Garnishes - As you finish plating, remember that garnishes should always be edible and enhance the dish. To determine whether a garnish belongs, ask yourself whether you would want to consume it in the same bite as the meal it accompanies. Intentional Placement - Never heap garnishes in one corner of the plate. Instead, disperse them thoughtfully to add color or texture. For example, place crispy carrot shoestrings atop a delicate filet of fish nested in a curry sauce and decorate the plate with pomegranate seeds. Less Is More - Never clutter your plate for the sake of a garnish. If your plate is full, opt for a drizzle of flavor-infused vinegar or oil to enhance the taste and appearance of your dish without overcrowding your plate. Garnishes to Avoid - Avoid using unappetizing garnishes like raw herbs, large chunks of citrus, and anything with a strong odor. Also, avoid garnishes that take a long time to apply. Back to Top Food Plating Methods There are three popular plating methods: classic, free form, and landscape. Master each method to create meals worth photographing. We provide ideas on how to plate food using each method below. We’ve selected a white square plate as our canvas. Filet mignon, potato puree, carrots, demi-glace, pea puree, lima bean and pea blend, thyme, and fried leeks are our materials. Classic Plating 1.Pipe the potato puree onto the plate using a pastry bag. 2.Place the carrots next to the puree using precision tongs. 3.Garnish the carrots with thyme using precision tongs. 4.Plate the steak using precision tongs. 5.Garnish the steak with fried leeks using precision tongs. 6.Drizzle the demi-glace around the plate using a spouted saucier. 7.Wipe the edges of the plate with a clean towel. 8.Finished classic plate. Free Form Plating 1.Pipe dots of potato puree onto the plate using a pastry bag. 2.Slice the steak into three pieces using a chef's knife. 3.Plate the pieces of steak using precision tongs. 4.Place the lima bean and pea blend around the plate using a spoon. 5.Plate the carrots using precision tongs. 6.Place dots of pea puree around the plate using a large squeeze bottle. 7.Place dots of the demi-glace around the plate using a small squeeze bottle. 8.Garnish the plate with fried leeks using precision tongs. 9.Wipe the edges of the plate with a clean towel. 10.Finished free-form plate. Landscape Plating 1.Place dots of pea puree around the plate using a large squeeze bottle. 2.Paint the pea puree onto the plate using a brush. 3.Pipe the potato puree onto the plate using a pastry bag. 4.Plate the carrots using precision tongs. 5.Lean the steak against the puree and carrots using precision tongs. 6.Place the lima bean and pea blend around the plate using a spoon. 7.Drizzle the demi-glace around the plate using a spouted saucier. 8.Garnish the steak with fried leeks using precision tongs. 9.Wipe the edges of the plate with a clean towel. 10.Finished landscape plate. Back to Top Plating Tools Having professional tools is essential for commercial plating. We’ve rounded up the foundational items you need to create restaurant-quality food presentations. Decorating brushes aid in detailed line work and broad sauce strokes. You can also use decorating brushes to create a puree or coulis base for meats or vegetables. Garnishing kits come with everything you need to garnish your signature dishes, including plating wedges, tongs, squeeze bottles, and brushes. Molds keep plates clean and increase visual appeal by cutting ingredients to specific shapes and sizes. Ring molds help you develop height and structure when stacking ingredients. Precision tongs help you place garnishes or small, delicate items. Many tongs feature micro-serrations for improved grip and stability. Plating wedges come pre-cut with flat, round, or pointed edges and are perfect for smearing soft ingredients and creating sauce designs. Shavers allow you to top your dishes with shaved or grated chocolate, hard cheese, or soft vegetables. Plating Spoons in varying sizes are essential to the art of food presentation. Saucier spoons help you drag sauce across your plate and slotted spoons quickly separate solids from liquids. Squeeze bottles help you apply sauce and aioli to your finished plate. Many come with adjustable precision control tips. Back to Top Whether you own a fine dining establishment, gastropub, or eclectic cafe, thoughtful plating will attract customers and earn their loyalty. Even before they sample your meal, your guests will eat with their eyes. To test this theory, Oxford researchers plated the same meal two ways, artfully and without attention, and diners reported that the artfully plated version tasted better. By integrating basic food presentation techniques, styles, and tools, you can enhance your plating process and increase your menu prices without deterring customers.
Cooking rice in a rice cooker is the easiest way to prepare large quantities of rice at once. Many restaurants choose commercial rice cookers because they're no fuss. You simply add the rice, add the water, and wait! While using a rice cooker is simple, there are some additional steps you can take to save time on cleanup and ensure that you get rice that is perfectly cooked. Shop All Commercal Rice Cookers Rice Cooker Video Check out our rice cooker video to learn how to make rice the easy way. <iframe scrolling="no" width="392" height="226" src="/v/?num=11609&width=600&height=500&embed=1" frameborder="0"></iframe> What Is a Rice Cooker? A rice cooker is a piece of kitchen equipment that cooks many varieties of rice and grains. They work by boiling water, which is then absorbed into the rice until it becomes tender. Rice cookers are automatic, which frees up your employees to work on other tasks while the rice cooks. You also don't have to worry about a rice cooker boiling over or scorching. Should You Rinse Rice? Yes, if you want to make the fluffiest rice with the best texture, you should rinse the grains first. Rinsing rice removes excess starch, which gives your rice grains a consistent texture and prevents the rice cooker from boiling over. It also helps to remove dirt or pesticides that may left on the grain from the manufacturing process. Rinsing rice is a good practice in general, but check the packaging on your rice first. Some rice is enriched with vitamins and minerals, which will dissolve if the rice is washed. How Much Water for 1 Cup of Rice? The water to rice ratio represents the perfect amount of water needed to cook 1 cup of rice. A one to one ratio, or one cup of water per one cup of rice, is expressed as 1:1. Each type of rice has its own water to rice ratio. Check the manual for your rice cooker to find the recommended rice to water ratio for your machine. Also refer to the rice package instructions for the optimal quantity of water for that particular type of grain. Rice Cooker Ratio These are general guidelines for 1 cup of dry, unrinsed grains: Long grain white rice - 1:1.75 ratio (1 cup rice + 1 3/4 cups water) Medium grain white rice - 1:1.5 ratio (1 cup rice + 1 1/2 cups water) Short grain white rice - 1:1.5 ratio (1 cup rice + 1 1/2 cups water) Long grain brown rice - 1:2.25 ratio (1 cup rice + 2 1/4 cups water) Parboiled rice - 1:2 ratio (1 cup rice + 2 cups water) Basmati or Jasmine rice - 1:1.5 ratio (1 cup rice + 1 1/2 cups water) Quinoa - 1:2 ratio (1 cup quinoa + 2 cups water) Need to stock up on rice? Click below. Shop All Bulk Rice How Long Does a Rice Cooker Take? Typically, cooking a large quantity of rice in a rice cooker takes between 25 and 35 minutes. Different types of rice require different quantities of water and cook times. Fortunately, a rice cooker is able to gauge when the rice is finished cooking and turns off automatically. How to Cook Rice in Rice Cooker Without Sticking? There are a couple steps you can take to prevent rice from sticking to your rice cooker. First, rinse the rice with cool water to remove some of the starch before adding it to the pot. Coat the rice cooker pan with a little oil or add it directly to the rice and water mixture. Another alternative is to use a rice cooker napkin. This resuable cloth is designed to sit inside your rice cooker while it's cooking. When the rice is ready, simply lift out the rice cloth and no sticky rice will be left behind. Rice Cooker Directions Follow our step-by-step instructions to use a rice cooker like a pro! 1.Measure the correct amount of rice and place it in a bowl. 2.Optional: Rinse the rice until the water turns clear. 3.Transfer the rice from the bowl to the inner pan of your rice cooker. You can also use a reusable rice napkin to make your cleanup afterwards easier. 4.Add water to the rice cooker pan using the right water to rice ratio. 5.Place the pan inside your rice cooker and close the top. You can also add any spices, oil, or butter at this step. 6.Plug in your rice cooker and turn the cooker on. Most cookers have a light on the front that indicates when the unit is on. 7.When your rice has finished cooking, the cooker will notify you by turning off the light, flipping the switch up, or making a sound. After your rice has finished cooking, let it rest for at least 15 minutes in the "keep warm" mode before serving. This will let any excess moisture evaporate and allow your rice to fully absorb the water. 8.Use plastic serving utensils or rice paddles to serve your rice. Using a rice cooker is quick and convenient, especially when making large quantities of rice, which makes them ideal appliances for food service establishments. Additionally, learning about rinsing your rice and the proper ratio of rice to water can help ensure that you're serving the fluffiest and best rice possible to your guests.
Melamine dinnerware is made from a lightweight, durable, and heat-resistant material. Its design allows your staff to carry large serving trays, deliver meals faster, and avoid straining themselves. Additionally, it is available in many forms, with melamine bowls, saucers, display trays, ramekins, fry cones, and even chopsticks to choose from. Manufacturers produce melamine tableware in a wide range of colors and styles, making it an aesthetically versatile product that enhances almost every setting. Shop All Melamine Dinnerware Melamine dinnerware can increase your customers’ perception of your business and save you money. Read on to discover the benefits of melamine plastic, how to care for it, and what makes it so unique. Click any of the sections below to answer your specific melamine questions: Melamine Definition Benefits of Melamine Safety of Melamine Use Steps to Care for Melamine Melamine FAQs What Is Melamine Made Of? Melamine is made of a chemical compound that is organic-based and nitrogen-rich. Its durable and heat-resistant qualities make it perfect for producing strong plastic dinnerware, laminates, and glues. Manufacturers create melamine’s signature durability by blending melamine resin with strengthening materials. You can purchase melamine tableware in virtually every color, design, and shape. Top 10 Benefits of Melamine Dinnerware Read our list of the top benefits of melamine plastic to learn why foodservice operators are switching to melamine dinnerware. Food-Safe Plastic: The FDA approves melamine as a safe plastic for serving food. Affordable: Melamine dishes are an economical alternative to china. Mimics Other Materials: Lightweight melamine can be finished to look like real stoneware, china, or wood. Save on Replacement Costs: Melamine is difficult to break, chip, or scratch. Lightweight: Protect your staff from strains with lightweight melamine dinnerware. Temperature-Resistant: Melamine doesn't absorb the heat from plated foods, reducing accidental burns. Dishwasher Safe: Expedite clean-up and eliminate germs with dishwasher safe melamine plastic. Offers Sustainable Options: Choose an eco-friendly, biodegradable melamine dinnerware line. Versatile Designs: Melamine comes in virtually every color, shape, and style. All Serving Areas Can Use the Same Dishes: Thanks to its durability, you can use the same melamine dinnerware line in your dining room, patio, and poolside bar. Melamine Safety The affordability and durability of melamine dishes are undeniably attractive, but safety concerns make some question whether a different type of dinnerware is a better investment. From plating to microwave use, we answer the most frequently asked questions about melamine safety in the sections below. Is Melamine Safe? While some reports question the safety of melamine dishes, the FDA’s Safety and Risk Assessment of Melamine states that this type of plastic tableware is safe for use. As long as you don’t heat your food to 160 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, the chemicals in melamine will not transfer into your meal. While some melamine items contain safe amounts of BPA, many brands offer certified BPA-free melamine products. Purchasing BPA-free melamine products can increase your customers’ trust in your brand. Many lines of melamine dinnerware and kitchen tools meet NSF food safety requirements. Is Melamine Dishwasher Safe? Melamine tableware is considered 100% dishwasher safe. Most variations of melamine servingware can handle temperatures that exceed recommended dishwasher temperatures. Additionally, melamine can retain high heat, allowing it to dry faster than standard dishware. Is Melamine Microwave Safe? Melamine dinnerware is not microwave safe. Although melamine is designed to withstand high temperatures, it should never have contact with food while it is being heated. Back to Top How to Care For Melamine To extend the life of your melamine dinnerware, try following these simple guidelines: Do not use serrated knives on melamine products. Do not use melamine products in a conventional oven. Do not use melamine products in a microwave oven. Do not use chlorine bleach on melamine products. Do not use harsh abrasive cleaners, steel wool, or metal scouring pads on melamine products. For safe scrubbing, use a light-duty white scrubbing pad. If you need to soak your melamine products before putting them in the dishwasher, use a high-quality pre-soak dishwashing detergent. Melamine FAQs Trying to decide if melamine dinnerware is right for your business? We answer common questions about melamine dishes to help you determine whether you should invest in melamine plastic products. How Does Melamine Affect Presentation? Bright, chip-free melamine tableware can improve your customers’ perception of your business. According to a third-party survey, plateware that is clean, bright, and chip-free improves diners’ overall perception of eateries. Participants did not state a preference for china, but agreed that paper plates are undesirable. Since china chips easily and consumers dislike paper products, durable melamine tableware is a practical solution. If you select a color or pattern that fades over time, melamine dinnerware is inexpensive to replace. There are dozens of designer melamine lines created to mimic the look of fine china and other ceramic dinnerware. Available in both solid color and patterned designs, you will find the perfect high-end melamine dinnerware to match your restaurant theme. Because melamine is so versatile, you can get the same visually appealing presentation from melamine that you can from other materials like porcelain, china, or even slate. Is Melamine Tolerant to Hot and Cold Uses? Melamine plastic is tolerant to both hot and cold use. It holds temperatures longer than other types of plastic, but it also takes a long time for its temperature to change. This is because melamine is an insulator, not a conductor. Melamine will stay cool to the touch when serving hot foods because the food does not produce enough heat for a long enough period to change the temperature of the material itself. This protects restaurant servers and diners from burn hazards associated with hot plates and other servingware. Thanks to its heat-resistant properties, melamine is also great for kitchen tools used for handling hot soups and boiling water. Because melamine is such a great insulator, it’s also ideal for cold food and buffet displays. Melamine food pans are perfect for deli displays, butcher shop cases, and salad bars. Place melamine in ice-filled containers to keep plated items cool at catered events. Is Melamine Breakable? Melamine dinnerware is extremely difficult to break, but there have been instances of chipping around the edges when it’s subjected to harsh use. Unlike typical china or porcelain, melamine will not shatter if dropped and is less likely to chip than other traditional dinnerware materials. Look for melamine dinnerware models with reinforced rims and feet for additional durability. Where Is Melamine Used? Thanks to its durable, lightweight construction, melamine is a popular choice for a variety of commercial settings, like dining halls, daycare facilities, and assisted living communities. However, you can find designer melamine dinnerware that looks just like handcrafted ceramic for sophisticated restaurants. The low risk of breakage makes melamine plates an ideal choice for restaurants that serve appetizers poolside, on a rooftop, or at the beach. Wood-finished melamine serving trays are perfect for serving charcuterie because they have the same rustic appeal as a true wood board but are dishwasher safe. There’s melamine tableware designed for just about every application, from contemporary catered events to Mexican restaurants. Melamine molcajete bowls have the same mortar and pestle look as traditional salsa and guacamole bowls, without the weight and expense. For your Chinese restaurant or hibachi grill, check out the traditional decorations that adorn our Asian-inspired dinnerware collection. From bistros to barbecue shacks, you can find melamine dishes that suits the decor of nearly any foodservice establishment. Is Melamine Expensive? When you compare melamine to traditional tableware, it is typically the most affordable option. The exact cost of melamine tableware varies by brand, design, and pattern. Because melamine dinnerware has a much lower replacement rate than china, investing in melamine dinnerware saves you money both up-front and long term. Melamine has an annual replacement rate of around 10 to 20%, whereas china has a replacement rate between 50 and 150%. While china and ceramic dinnerware shatter when dropped, melamine’s durable construction stands up to use and abuse. No more replacing plates, cups, bowls, and other servingware after every accident. Can Melamine Be Recycled? In most cases, melamine should not be recycled. It is categorized under Class #7 on the list of Plastic Resin Codes, placing it outside the more commonly used #1-6 classifications. Because of its heat-resistant qualities, recycling plants can’t melt melamine like other plastics. However, some plants can grind it down and use it as a filler for other plastics or wood composites. Ask your local recycling center for more details about how to dispose of your traditional melamine products. Eco-friendly lines like Elite Global Solutions Greenovations are changing the way restaurateurs think about recycling melamine. Made of 50% bamboo and 50% melamine, this eco-conscious dinnerware is biodegradable. It boasts the same durable features as regular melamine and, like all melamine, is dishwasher safe. The GET BambooMel line offers a similar “go green” business model. Back to Top If you’re constantly replacing shattered china or porcelain dishware, switching to durable melamine dishes could save you a lot of money. Melamine is an attractive option for any setting and a wise choice for dining halls and high-volume operations. Using melamine in your business reduces the frequency of dishware breakage, and its heat resistance prevents customers and staff from having to handle hot serving ware. For a versatile dinnerware material, use melamine in your foodservice establishment. <aside class="pquote"> <blockquote> The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Please refer to our Content Policy for more details. </blockquote> </aside>
With so many types of dinnerware to choose from, finding the right one for your restaurant can feel like a daunting task. Aside from patterns, colors, and shapes, there are other important factors to consider including firing temperature, overall durability, price point, and longevity. Stoneware dinnerware is a suitable choice for many restaurateurs, but this dinnerware material can raise a lot of questions. Whether you operate a casual or fine dining restaurant, we'll teach you the ins and outs of stoneware and why it may be the right choice for your business. Shop All Stoneware Dinnerware Stoneware Definition Stoneware is a type of non-porous ceramic dinnerware made from stoneware clay that has been fired at a temperature between 2150 and 2330 degrees Fahrenheit. This dinnerware often has a thicker build than porcelain and china. The relatively high firing temperature, thick build, and mix of clay with vitreous ceramic materials all help to make stoneware a durable, hearty dinnerware option for restaurants. What Does Stoneware Look Like? Stoneware is more opaque than porcelain or china because of its thicker construction and material makeup. It gets its name from the stone-like appearance this dinnerware takes on after its high-temperature firing. Before being glazed, stoneware will often have color patterns and variations similar to natural stone as well. Much like other dinnerware, it can be glazed to have a colorful matte or glossy finish. In general, stoneware provides a rustic, earthy appearance that makes it great for casual restaurants or those looking for a farm-to-table feel. Is Stoneware Oven Safe? Yes, stoneware is oven safe. Additionally, it’s microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe. However, you’ll want to confirm this information with the manufacturer before use, as these features can be affected by certain glazes or paints. Avoid extreme temperature changes when using stoneware. For example, do not remove the plate from the refrigerator or freezer and place it directly into the oven. This can cause the stoneware to lose some of its structural integrity or crack. Is Stoneware Dishwasher Safe? Most stoneware dinnerware is dishwasher safe, but you'll want to check the manufacturer's instructions before placing the piece in your dishwasher. To better preserve your stoneware, it is recommended to wash it by hand. Below we'll show you how to wash stoneware by hand. How to Clean Stoneware While most stoneware is dishwasher safe, you always want to avoid soaking your stoneware dishes and plates in water for any extended period. Even as little as half an hour can start to break down the materials and make your dishes more susceptible to breakage or chipping. To remove tough stains or some stuck-on foods from stoneware, make a paste out of vinegar and baking soda and gently rub along the surface with a damp cloth. Avoid using heavy-duty metal scrubbers, as these can scratch up the painted or glazed surface. To remove grease from stoneware, juice half a lemon and use a damp cloth to rub the lemon juice into and around the affected areas. The acidity from a lemon, or any citrus fruit you have on hand, helps to cut through the grease and release it from your dishes. What Is Ironstone? Ironstone is stoneware that has been produced to feature a thinner and more refined appearance. It often mimics the look of porcelain but contains the same durability and opaqueness as traditional stoneware. Ironstone is almost always glazed or painted, and it historically featured elaborately painted Ancient Chinese or Japanese scenes, making them perfect for Asian restaurants. Other names for Ironstone include: English porcelain Opaque porcelain Stone china Semiporcelain Stoneware Comparisons To get a better idea of whether or not stoneware may be the right choice for you, take a look at these comparisons to other popular dinnerware types below. We explain the difference you'll find when you compare stoneware vs porcelain dinnerware and stoneware vs earthenware dinnerware. Stoneware vs Porcelain Porcelain and china are fired at a higher temperature than stoneware but feature similarly durable and nonporous constructions. Both china and porcelain are made of a finer particle clay than stoneware, which results in a thinner construction and more translucent body. Additionally, the thinner construction and higher firing temperature allow for special shaping or patterning. Depending on the glaze, embellishments, or manufacturing process, many porcelain pieces are similarly dishwasher, microwave, and oven-safe. But, just like stoneware, you should always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions before use. Stoneware vs Earthenware The difference between earthenware and stoneware is that earthenware is derived from clay and features a much more porous surface than stoneware. Additionally, it is fired at a lower temperature and must be glazed or painted before use. Earthenware is often a more economical choice of dinnerware, but it tends to chip and break much easier than stoneware. Similar to stoneware, earthenware has a rustic look to it. Stoneware vs Ceramic When comparing ceramic vs stoneware, you'll find that stoneware is a type of ceramic. Stoneware is considered one of the more durable ceramics because it is fired at a much higher temperature than most. Ceramic dinnerware is dishware made of clay that is fired at temperatures between 1800 degrees Fahrenheit to 2400 degrees Fahrenheit. Educating yourself and your staff on the dinnerware you use in your commercial kitchen can help ensure you get the most out of your dishes and plates. Stoneware is a hearty, attractive choice for many establishments. Alternatively, some fine dining or contemporary restaurants may find its thick and earthy construction out of place. After learning the ins and outs of stoneware and how it compares to other popular dinnerware types, you can feel confident in deciding whether or not it’s the right dinnerware for you.
After choosing the type of wok that works best for you, it's time to determine if your pan needs to be seasoned. Woks that are made of porous metals like cast iron and carbon steel must be seasoned before cooking to prevent rust. This article will provide you with detailed instructions for cleaning, seasoning, and caring for your new cookware. Shop All Woks Use these links to learn more about each aspect of cleaning and seasoning a wok. How to Season a Wok Video How to Season a Wok Why Season a Wok? How to Clean a Wok How to Clean a Wok After Use Best Oil For Wok How to Season a Wok Video If you're looking for a visual guide on how to clean and season a wok, check out our video below. <iframe scrolling="no" width="392" height="226" src="/v/?num=8994&width=600&height=500&embed=1" frameborder="0"></iframe> How to Season a Wok Every chef has his or her own favorite method for seasoning their pans. We'll explore three of the most popular methods: stovetop seasoning, oven seasoning, and salt seasoning. Regardless of the method you use to season your wok, the first step is always to wash the wok so the bare metal is exposed. How to Season a Wok on a Stovetop The stovetop method is a popular way to season your wok. You'll need a range top burner, the oil of your choice, and paper towels. Complete initial washing to remove factory oil. If your wok has wood handles, wrap them in aluminum foil to prevent scorching/burning, or remove them. Preheat the wok over high heat to open the metal's pores. The wok will get very hot and release smoke, so make sure the space around your burner is clear, your kitchen hood fan is on, and your windows are open. Tilt and flip your wok to heat the front, back, and sides. Your wok will change colors when exposed to the heat. Perform a water test by throwing a drop of water on the pan. If your wok is hot enough, the water will evaporate within a second, and it’s ready to be seasoned. Allow the wok to cool until it is safe to touch. Use a paper towel to coat your wok in a high smoke point oil. Try to keep the oil layer thin and even to achieve a smooth, nonstick surface. Because the seasoning also acts as a rust protectant, make sure you coat the outside of your wok in oil as well. Return your wok to the burner over medium-high heat. Once the oil stops smoking, that portion of the wok is seasoned. Proceed to flip and tilt the wok to season each section. Your wok seasoning process is complete when the entirety of its surface has changed to a matte finish and dark hue. Rinse your wok with hot water and use a bamboo wok brush to clean the wok without removing your seasoning. Place the wok back onto your stovetop over high heat to evaporate the remaining water particles. Either store the wok until you’re ready to use it or repeat the seasoning process. Season the wok up to three times to achieve a slicker nonstick surface and a thicker protective coating. How to Season a Wok in the Oven This method is recommended for woks with oven safe handles. Complete the initial washing to remove factory oil. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Use a paper towel to coat the entire wok with lard, shortening or oil, including the outside of the pan. Place the lined sheet pan on the bottom rack of your oven. Place the oiled wok on the top rack. Bake for 20 minutes and remove the pan from the oven. Rinse the wok with warm water and a soft sponge. Dry it completely on the stovetop over high heat. How to Season a Wok with Salt This method uses kosher salt to develop a dark patina on your wok. It can also be used to refresh or re-season a pan that hasn't been used in a long time. Complete the initial washing to remove factory oil. Pour 1 cup of kosher salt into a wok. Place wok, filled with salt, on a gas stovetop over high heat. Stir salt constantly for 20 minutes, pushing the salt up and around the sides of the wok. After 20 minutes, remove the wok from heat and dump the heated salt into the sink (letting it cool before you discard it). Wipe the wok clean with an oil-covered rag or paper towel, spreading a thin layer of oil onto the wok’s surface. Why Season a Wok? Seasoning your cast iron or carbon steel wok creates a patina. A seasoned wok will help infuse flavors into the dishes cooked inside, as well as provide a smooth non-stick surface. Without first seasoning your wok, any foods cooked inside will likely stick and won't have lots of flavor. What Is a Patina? A patina is a protective coating inside of the wok. The coating helps prevent corrosion and rust, while simultaneously enhancing the flavor of the food cooked in your wok. Every time you cook with oil in your wok, the patina becomes thicker and heavier, creating a natural, non-stick cooking surface. Tips for Preserving Your Wok's Seasoning Cook, saute, and fry often to continuously build a patina Invest in a bamboo wok brush, wok ladle, and wok spatula Don’t steam, boil, or poach products in your new wok Avoid cooking with acidic products in a newly seasoned wok, including tomatoes, vinegar, and lemon Don’t use abrasive pads or any warewashing chemicals, including soaps and sanitizers How to Clean a Wok When you purchase a new wok, it's important to clean it before you do anything else. Manufacturers apply factory oil to new woks to protect them from humidity during shipping. This prevents rust and ensures the wok arrives in pristine condition. To prepare your new wok for seasoning, you need to give it a good scrub with a sponge and soap to remove all the factory oil and any dust that has collected in the pan during shipping. This will be the only time you need to use soap and an abrasive sponge to clean your pan. Follow the steps below to remove all residue: Fill a sink with hot, soapy water. Scrub the inside and outside of wok with a scouring pad. Rinse the wok completely. Dry wok with a clean, dry towel. Place on a stovetop over medium-high heat to completely dry the wok and evaporate any leftover water. How to Clean a Wok After Use Always refer to the care instructions that came with your wok. Typically, aluminum, stainless steel, or copper woks can be placed in the dishwasher. Cast iron or carbon steel woks require special care so that the seasoning isn't removed during cleaning. To clean your wok after cooking, follow these easy steps: Rinse wok in warm or hot water. If you need to sanitize it for specific regulations, you can briefly submerge it in pure boiling water, free of soap and chemicals. If food particles need to be removed, gently scrub with a sponge or wok brush. Do not use abrasive scouring pads, soaps, sanitizers, or warewashing chemicals as they will remove the seasoned surface you just created. Rinse off any loosened debris. Dry completely with a towel. Place the wok over medium-high heat to finish drying and evaporating any remaining water. If you’re planning to store your wok without using it for over a week, we suggest applying an additional thin layer of oil or lard to further preserve the wok’s patina. How to Clean a Wok with Rust If your wok has rusted, you must first soak it in warm water for 5-10 minutes to make rust removal easier. After soaking, the rust should come off, allowing you to clean your wok normally. For tough-to-remove rust, you can use steel wool to scrub your wok clean. However, removing rust with steel wool or other abrasives will remove your wok's patina, so be sure to season your wok again. Best Oil for Wok The best oils to use with a wok have a high smoking point, which means they can be used at high temperatures without burning. They should also be refined and impart a neutral flavor. Avoid unrefined oils with low smoking points like olive oil and sesame oil. Choose one of these oils for seasoning your wok instead: Peanut oil Canola oil Grape seed oil Sunflower oil Lard or pork fat Shortening Every time you use your wok, the patina will become more developed and the pan's performance will improve. Its non-stick properties will increase and food will release quickly and easily from the pan. Cleaning will become easier too, as food particles are less likely to stick. With the proper care, your wok will last you for many years to come.