Fri 30 Dec 2016
DON’T PUT US LAST!
Case Notes: A restaurant is preparing to open in a new location and made the decision to invest in an Italian made pizza oven that has an option for wood-fired cooking. This equipment would take 6 months to manufacture and deliver to the USA, which gave the owners time to complete renovations on their new building in preparation for the free-standing oven’s installation. During that time, menu development and plating options were reviewed and decided upon.
The one planning need that was left to the last minute – locating the supplier for the cooking hardwood and determining appropriate sizing for the new equipment! WHY???
It always surprises me that restaurateurs are willing to spend $50,000 and up for commercial equipment that does a specific function or technique, yet they don’t spend the time before that purchase ensuring they can obtain the quality accessory needs to get every benefit from that investment.
Here’s the best part: often these equipment lines tote that they can do all sorts of functions including wood-fired cooking techniques. The truth – they aren’t really promoting that function of their equipment line! They simply want to sell you the equipment and have you use standard fuel options like electric and gas. How did I come to this conclusion? By the content of the user’s manual.
Many do not reference:
- size of wood product needed for the equipment
- how to light the product
- how much of the product to use
- where to locate a supplier of the cooking wood
- pictorials of the steps to do the technique
- provide a troubleshooting guide.
Do you really want to spend $50,000, $60,000, $100,000 and be left to fend for yourself with that investment?
Take the appropriate steps when considering additions to or replacements in your equipment line. Research not only the equipment but what is needed to do the smoke infusion technique with that equipment. Yes, wood chips are readily available even though there is a high level of variation between products. But other products are not so easy to find like wood pieces larger than wood chips but smaller than split firewood logs.
In addition, wood-fired techniques can also require additional “tools” to be available in the kitchen that may not have been standard inventory before.
Such things as:
- fire retardant gloves
- fire grade tools like long handled tongs and a wood poker
- a MAP canister/torch for lighting the fire
- an infrared thermometer for reading temperatures within the cooking chamber
- an ash receptacle.
Prioritize the needs of a wood-fired equipment addition by first reviewing the best option in equipment for your business’ need and second, assessing all the requirements of the wood to be successful in bringing this technique to your kitchen!