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Rasmus

Shouldn't restaurant appliances be small?

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I wonder why cooking appliances in commercial kitchens are so big?

Yes, I understand: big batches of food, but during serving hours unless you are a big canteen, the servings are super small. Like one dish at a time. So during serving hours the appliances should be really small. E.g. an oven that fits just one dish, so it's fast and uses less energy.

Wouldn't the best solution therefore be to have many small appliances. E.g. many small ovens, that are as easy to stack as a big oven, so that during prep time you can cook a lot (though technically in multiple ovens) but during serving hours you can just heat up one dish...

Related to this: If a lot of prep work is done in central kitchens outside the restaurant (suburb with low rent) then the downtown restaurant should really have small appliances as well.

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interesting idea.

I've often wondered about the cost of keeping a bunch of ovens going all day long

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Posted (edited)

also interesting

 

a relatively new things is to buy less expensive space in the 'burbs

 

and turn it into many small prep kitchens  :

 

prep for food trucks , possibly DownTown restaurants etc

 

a new said to be fairly large item is being renovated near me.

 

I can't recall its technical name , so you can google 

 

sorry  

 

https://www.gatehousekitchen.com

 

https://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/20191214/possible-first-for-metrowest-commercial-kitchen-could-land-in-natick

 

etc


Edited by rotuts (log)

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Is "commissary" the word you were looking for?

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“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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3 hours ago, rotuts said:

also interesting

 

a relatively new things is to buy less expensive space in the 'burbs

 

and turn it into many small prep kitchens  :

 

prep for food trucks , possibly DownTown restaurants etc

 

a new said to be fairly large item is being renovated near me.

 

I can't recall its technical name , so you can google 

 

sorry  

 

https://www.gatehousekitchen.com

 

https://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/20191214/possible-first-for-metrowest-commercial-kitchen-could-land-in-natick

 

etc

 

I've seen that as well, which makes me wonder what the downtown restaurant are equipping their kitchens with.

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I think the ' Older Model ' of the HighEnd restaurant

 

is on its way out.   many ' Top " restaurants are in an economic zone that is

 

relatives expensive , as that is were their Patrons are.

 

high end produce , top of the line Meats etc , are shipped in to these

 

sorts of restaurants.   at a great cost , passed on to the Patrons etc.

 

my field is Medicine , and I was fortunate to train some time ago

 

in Big Cities   .    that model has changed too

 

BigTImeBigTeaching  Hospitals needed substrate :  patients , frequently from

 

less well along economic neighborhoods  , to visit the ER , and thus give a panoramic

 

meaning to the trainees .

 

this hospitals , " teaching "  had huge out-patient centers on very costly realestate 

 

if you had an unusual issue , you had to figure out how to get there , park etc

 

now  a much wider net is casts for the "" Patients ""   and various practices have been gobbled up

 

[sic] into a larger whole , but the outpatient clinics , ordinary or exotic , along w

 

" Day surgery "  have positioned themselves outside of the expensive inner BigCIy realestate

 

into the ' burgs , where it was easy to get to  ( Attendings and patients  ) w plenty of parking .

 

the High End urban restaurant will be taking advantage of these same economic trends

 

probably not NYC   as soon as other Tasty Zones 

 

does it loo so much brighter for GoodEating ?

 

not necessarily :  many Ok restaurants  farm out many of their dishes 

 

and they come in Frozen or refrigerated fresh 

 

an Italian restaurant in my town ,when I just moved here , looked promissing

 

however , the dish of choice for me ' Italian-is ' is Lasagna

 

their version came in an oblong dish , was watery , and clearly Micro'd from frozen

 

so there are good things happening , and many tails of not so good tings.

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No, because even though the servings are smaller there are more of them, up to a few hundred in a few hours time.

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Full sheet pans don't fit in small ovens. 

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That's the thing about opposum inerds, they's just as tasty the next day.

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@chileheadmike  

 

intereing

 

but  1/4 sheet pans   fit well  

 

in 1/4 sized ovens 

 

ets    1/3 sheet pans ................

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It's been several decades since I've been in a restaurant kitchen, but a lot of recipes called for a full sheet. 

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That's the thing about opposum inerds, they's just as tasty the next day.

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and then there is now and will forever be :

 

the professional

 

3-phase power  large combi oven :

 

627636.thumb.jpg.05161dd12db53f66d3a195789c017f4b.jpg

 

but this is h9ow restaurants cook these days

 

DeepRun  Roots  has a fine version

 

https://www.vivianhoward.com/deep-run-roots

 

since i Lust after one of these 

 

smaller for me ,but please  two 1

 

there are al sorts of vids

 

how this sore off Combi-Cooing  

 

changes for the better eating 

 

al sorts of cooking

 

for large scale cooing.

 

chers

 

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, rotuts said:

and then there is now and will forever be :

 

the professional

 

3-phase power  large combi oven :

 

627636.thumb.jpg.05161dd12db53f66d3a195789c017f4b.jpg

 

but this is h9ow restaurants cook these days

 

DeepRun  Roots  has a fine version

 

https://www.vivianhoward.com/deep-run-roots

 

since i Lust after one of these 

 

smaller for me ,but please  two 1

 

there are al sorts of vids

 

how this sore off Combi-Cooing  

 

changes for the better eating 

 

al sorts of cooking

 

for large scale cooing.

 

chers

 

 

 

 

1/3 that size would be just right for a home

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1/4  x two

 

much better.

 

after all 

 

it the height 

 

so you can put 

 

ideally 

 

a 1/2 sheet pan in each

 

4 for each ?

 

OK  , ....   a 1/3d sheet pan

 

four for each ?

 

you are drving me to

 

drunk.jpeg.90fe38be40c36c9da7b00488db2e1368.jpeg

 

enjoy my self soon

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11 hours ago, gfweb said:

1/3 that size would be just right for a home

My point is that a smaller version of that oven would also make more sense for a restaurant to use. Why not use three small ovens instead of one larger oven? Assuming they took about the same space, the main difference seems to be that the chef has to open three doors instead of one, and set three controls, instead of one. Is that really the reason though?

 

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5 hours ago, Rasmus said:

My point is that a smaller version of that oven would also make more sense for a restaurant to use. Why not use three small ovens instead of one larger oven? Assuming they took about the same space, the main difference seems to be that the chef has to open three doors instead of one, and set three controls, instead of one. Is that really the reason though?

 


Well, there's the part where 1/3 the size is not going to be 1/3 the cost but I don't know if you're factoring cost as an important consideration.

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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22 minutes ago, Tri2Cook said:


Well, there's the part where 1/3 the size is not going to be 1/3 the cost but I don't know if you're factoring cost as an important consideration.

There's also the cost of installing three gas lines instead of one (or 240v outlets, if electric).

 

Speaking only from my own experience, if the ovens are on and burning gas all day are they're also in use all day. The ovens that weren't needed didn't get fired up. As to the relative efficiency of heating one large space vs multiple smaller spaces, that's beyond my ken and I haven't felt inspired to research it.

 

It's possible that some restaurants may find it convenient to go the route you're suggesting, especially smaller boutique-y places or those who are served by a central commissary and only need to do "final assembly" before service. I rather doubt it will become the norm, simply because restaurants are quintessentially the home of high-volume food production. When you generate large volumes of food, large appliances make sense.

 

(..and also, to be fair, because inertia of the "this is the way we do things" variety is a strong factor)

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“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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On 1/7/2020 at 8:41 PM, chromedome said:

There's also the cost of installing three gas lines instead of one (or 240v outlets, if electric).

 

Speaking only from my own experience, if the ovens are on and burning gas all day are they're also in use all day. The ovens that weren't needed didn't get fired up. As to the relative efficiency of heating one large space vs multiple smaller spaces, that's beyond my ken and I haven't felt inspired to research it.

 

It's possible that some restaurants may find it convenient to go the route you're suggesting, especially smaller boutique-y places or those who are served by a central commissary and only need to do "final assembly" before service. I rather doubt it will become the norm, simply because restaurants are quintessentially the home of high-volume food production. When you generate large volumes of food, large appliances make sense.

 

(..and also, to be fair, because inertia of the "this is the way we do things" variety is a strong factor)

My idea is that each shelf in an oven can have it's own temperature, which means that you only fire up what you need and can run unique environments, e.g. steam in one and hot air in another, etc. Technically it is probably independent ovens, that are stacked on top of each other, so the user would have to open a door for each "shelf"/oven. It just seems cheaper to run and give the chef more options...

 

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5 hours ago, Rasmus said:

My idea is that each shelf in an oven can have it's own temperature, which means that you only fire up what you need and can run unique environments, e.g. steam in one and hot air in another, etc. Technically it is probably independent ovens, that are stacked on top of each other, so the user would have to open a door for each "shelf"/oven. It just seems cheaper to run and give the chef more options...

 


I assume these wouldn't be full size ovens in width and depth with just less vertical space or they wouldn't be much cheaper to run. They would probably be more costly to run once you were running more than one. The problem, outside of buying and wiring a bunch of single shelf ovens, is that you have a bunch of single shelf ovens. So you either have them all on or you hope you aren't busier than what you have on can handle or you're waiting (which means your customers are waiting) for additional ovens to heat when it's busier than anticipated. Even if it's a single unit with multiple independently controlled single shelf ovens built into it, that would only solve he wiring difficulty... the other problems would remain.

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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3 hours ago, Tri2Cook said:


I assume these wouldn't be full size ovens in width and depth with just less vertical space or they wouldn't be much cheaper to run. They would probably be more costly to run once you were running more than one. The problem, outside of buying and wiring a bunch of single shelf ovens, is that you have a bunch of single shelf ovens. So you either have them all on or you hope you aren't busier than what you have on can handle or you're waiting (which means your customers are waiting) for additional ovens to heat when it's busier than anticipated. Even if it's a single unit with multiple independently controlled single shelf ovens built into it, that would only solve he wiring difficulty... the other problems would remain.

I think they could match say quarter sheets, which will make their volumes much smaller and therefore super fast to heat up. You basically wouldn't need to preheat them at all, but start the cooking as you put in the food.

The wiring should be super simple. Basically similar to a server rack (central power strip embedded in the shelves). There could even be a central control display, letting the user set all ovens to the same program - for large batches - or control them individually.

I think they would be more costly to run if you were to run them the entire time and the same temperature. That sounds like a kitchen continuously preparing large quantities of the same type of food. But that's not the type of kitchen I am talking about here. I am thinking about restaurants with diverse menus, where each serving may be small (one person, often); small restaurants and restaurants that work with prepared dishes, that are done in a central kitchen elsewhere...


Edited by Rasmus (log)

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You need to consider the walls of the oven. When you heat up an oven you need to heat up the walls. Consider the surface area of the walls of an oven that holds 10 pans, then consider the surface area of the walls of 10 ovens that hold 1 pan each. The surface area for the 10 ovens solution is much higher. This means much higher costs for heating them, much higher costs for keeping them hot.
Then there is the volume factor: the 10 ovens solution will take a much higher volume than the 1 oven solution. Space is prime estate in a professional kitchen.
Then there is the time efficiency factor. Most of the times you are preparing multiple dishes. Solo diners are a minority. As are parties that order all different dishes. If you are serving a 6 top table then you need to send out 6 dishes at the same time. If those proteins/whatever are in the same big oven then you need to open only 1 door and pick up 1 or 2 pans. If you are using the single serving ovens, then you need to open 6 doors and pick up 6 small pans. This would kill serving times, sending the kitchen in the weeds.
The temperature setting needed during service is almost always the same. You need different temperatures during prepping time, not during service time. So the ideal is to start the prepping time with low temperature stuff, then going up. Bread is usually the thing that asks for the hottest oven, you should cook it as one of the last things before service, so that you reach service with a ready oven at around 180°C (350 F).
A good chef is able to organize the menu and the workflow in a way that the kitchen oven will run in an optimized way. Meaning no dead times when the oven is hot and empty. Meaning it will be full or almost full all the time it's on. The difference between a great chef and a mediocre chef relies mainly in the organizational skills, not in the cooking skills. Great chefs are the ones good at cooking AND at organizing. There are lots and lots of chefs who are skilled at cooking, but they end up running a failing business because of mediocre organizational skills.

 

 

 

Teo

 

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Teo

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8 hours ago, Rasmus said:

But that's not the type of kitchen I am talking about here. I am thinking about restaurants with diverse menus, where each serving may be small (one person, often); small restaurants and restaurants that work with prepared dishes, that are done in a central kitchen elsewhere...


I've never worked in the settings you describe so I can't be of much help in that area. There's only 2 possibilities really, either someone already thought of it and couldn't find a large enough market for it or there is a large enough market and nobody's recognized it and filled that void. If it's the second one, you just may be on to something.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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On 1/14/2020 at 5:47 AM, teonzo said:

You need to consider the walls of the oven. When you heat up an oven you need to heat up the walls. Consider the surface area of the walls of an oven that holds 10 pans, then consider the surface area of the walls of 10 ovens that hold 1 pan each. The surface area for the 10 ovens solution is much higher. This means much higher costs for heating them, much higher costs for keeping them hot.
Then there is the volume factor: the 10 ovens solution will take a much higher volume than the 1 oven solution. Space is prime estate in a professional kitchen.
Then there is the time efficiency factor. Most of the times you are preparing multiple dishes. Solo diners are a minority. As are parties that order all different dishes. If you are serving a 6 top table then you need to send out 6 dishes at the same time. If those proteins/whatever are in the same big oven then you need to open only 1 door and pick up 1 or 2 pans. If you are using the single serving ovens, then you need to open 6 doors and pick up 6 small pans. This would kill serving times, sending the kitchen in the weeds.
The temperature setting needed during service is almost always the same. You need different temperatures during prepping time, not during service time. So the ideal is to start the prepping time with low temperature stuff, then going up. Bread is usually the thing that asks for the hottest oven, you should cook it as one of the last things before service, so that you reach service with a ready oven at around 180°C (350 F).
A good chef is able to organize the menu and the workflow in a way that the kitchen oven will run in an optimized way. Meaning no dead times when the oven is hot and empty. Meaning it will be full or almost full all the time it's on. The difference between a great chef and a mediocre chef relies mainly in the organizational skills, not in the cooking skills. Great chefs are the ones good at cooking AND at organizing. There are lots and lots of chefs who are skilled at cooking, but they end up running a failing business because of mediocre organizational skills.

 

 

 

Teo

 

The idea is not to have an oven that is so small that it only fits ONE dish. The oven will fit one sheet though - like a quarter or a full pan. I think even a quarter pan could fit 6 steaks, so unless it's a canteen where lots of people are served the same dish at the same time, I don't think it would mean that many door opening/closing.

I see what you say about heating the walls, but I bet that the average oven is used on average at 60%, which will make the total cavity wall space about the same in one large oven compared to multiple smaller ones. Because, like you say, it requires a great chef to keep the ovens perfectly filled, and even they can't control the orders, and they also need to have some extra space for temporary increases in cooking.

An advantage of having each sheet be an independent cooking environment (another way of explaining the many oven idea) is that you can then match the environment to the dish that is being cooked. Fish, steaks, vegetables and bread are all cooked at very different temperatures, and ideally with different humidity. Maybe many chefs don't care, and just put everything in a hot convection oven, and maybe the good ones know exactly when to pull out a dish, but it does seem like an added source of errors, compared to having the right environment, which will both cook/keep the dish better and allow for some delays, without drying or overcooking the dish.

The volume factor... 10 ovens will of course take a bigger space, but they can also be stacked to maximize the space in the kitchen, and be built higher than a regular oven, where you cannot fit two ovens on top of each other, leaving a lot of empty space above the oven. But these "Rack ovens" can be built up to the ceiling, if needed. The chef can maximize the kitchen space. Kitchen appliances are otherwise a bit bulky and don't really match each other. It's a bit similar to shipping, where in the past the shipments came in all types of shapes and sizes, until a clever person came up with the container standard, to perfectly fill up the ships.

 

 

Rasmus

 

 

 

 

 

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On 1/14/2020 at 8:00 AM, Tri2Cook said:


I've never worked in the settings you describe so I can't be of much help in that area. There's only 2 possibilities really, either someone already thought of it and couldn't find a large enough market for it or there is a large enough market and nobody's recognized it and filled that void. If it's the second one, you just may be on to something.

There is also a third possibility and that is that no company has ever bothered to challenge the standard. The kitchen appliance industry doesn't do much R&D, and are mainly sales companies and to some degree metal factories. A telling example of this is their pathetic computer systems. Even high-end appliances use computers and displays that look like they come from the 1980's.

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On 1/13/2020 at 7:59 PM, Tri2Cook said:


I assume these wouldn't be full size ovens in width and depth with just less vertical space or they wouldn't be much cheaper to run. They would probably be more costly to run once you were running more than one. The problem, outside of buying and wiring a bunch of single shelf ovens, is that you have a bunch of single shelf ovens. So you either have them all on or you hope you aren't busier than what you have on can handle or you're waiting (which means your customers are waiting) for additional ovens to heat when it's busier than anticipated. Even if it's a single unit with multiple independently controlled single shelf ovens built into it, that would only solve he wiring difficulty... the other problems would remain.

These ovens would be built with the similar principal to rack servers, which are super easy to install, and are designed to live with each other in a special rack cabinet/shelf, that has electricity. The ovens could also have gas and/or water, to support different types of ovens.

The problem you describe about having them all or none is a bigger problem the bigger each unit is, so it's actually an argument for many small ovens. E.g. Kitchen A has two big ovens and kitchen B has 10 small ones. Kitchen A has only two possible setups, to match the demand: one or two ovens, and will be wasting a lot of energy until both ovens are completely in use, whereas Kitchen B has 10 different setups, and can scale up as needed. Typically the demand escalates slowly (if nothing else because service will be a bottleneck), why the chefs can constantly be a bit ahead, and have say 2 extra ovens fired up, which the chefs in kitchen A are much less able to do. They will also have to wait a lot longer for one big oven to fire up, vs many small ones.

These "rack ovens" can be as wide and deep as a big oven. The main difference is the cavity height.


Edited by Rasmus (log)

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