Natural Foods Merchandiser

Trendy kitchen equipment

NFM spoke with Adam Klein, national account manager for the ITW Food Equipment Group, about the latest gadgets among its foodservice brands. Here’s a sampling of things we liked that will save energy, labor and money.

Hot New Oven: Hobart Combi Barcode Scanner
This combination convection oven and steamer combines state-of-the-art technology with variable cooking. Here’s how it works: You use special software to preload recipe settings—up to ten different variables of temperature, type of cooking and time. Once the recipes are perfect, you transfer the recipes to the Combi’s computer, print out a barcode and give it to employees to scan any time they cook that recipe—or just link it to pre-existing barcodes on your food. It takes the guesswork away from busy staff, adds infinite presets to your Combi, and saves time training new staff. Bonus: You can even send the recipe to the Combi via Bluetooth-enabled computer, PDA or cell phone.

Hot New Refrigeration: Traulsen Blast Chiller
When you’ve prepared your foods and need to get them down to storage temperature quickly, a blast chiller is your best bet. Traulsen uses SmartChill technology, which allows for customizable presets and three different chill modes: Blast Chill, which takes food from 135°F to below 41°F in approximately 90 minutes; Soft Chill, which chills low-density foods like green salads without freezing them; and Freeze Chill, which drops the food temp down to 0°F. Traulsen’s pieces include on-board printers that document the food’s process (for HACCP compliance and better in-store communication), including which employee touched it when. These Chillers are also equipped with maintenance safeguards, providing audio and visual alerts when the condenser or the temperature is off. Bonus: All Traulsen products use refrigerants and foam insulation that are CFC-free.

Hot New Rotisserie: Hobart Self-Cleaning Rotisserie
Nobody likes to clean the rotisserie after a day’s worth of cooking chickens; this one does it for you. At the end of the day, kitchen staff simply presses the “clean” button and walks away—the oven turns itself on, incorporates Hobart’s warewashing technology, and two hours later the oven’s pretty much spotless. Bonus: The rotisserie also has an increased cooking speed, saving energy and increasing your cooking capacity.

Hot New Dishwasher: Hobart CLe Series Warewashers
These efficient machines are not only Energy Star-certified, they’re also designed to save water and time. The CLes have automatic timers that you can preset to save energy, deep water tanks that require less refilling, and a nifty control panel that lets users know when temperatures are too low or tank water is dirty. Bonus: A powerful prewash uses wash-tank water to scrub heavily soiled dishes ahead of time, then recycles the water into the rest of the cycle. Hobart also carries a complete LXi line of smaller, under-counter dishwashers that are also Energy Star-certified.

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