Preparation Equipment

Browse our articles on preparation equipment and find primers on a wide variety of specific product categories, including articles on how to specify, when to replace products and much more.

THE Quarterly Product Knowledge Guide: Dough Mixers

The biggest differences between standard and pizza dough mixers are that the latter has lower RPM (revolutions per minute), utilizes gears instead of belts, has a dough hook attachment and features heavy-duty construction. This makes pizza dough mixers, often called spiral mixers, better suited for dense dough. Mixer designs have generally remained unchanged in the last 50 years.

THE Quarterly Product Knowledge Guide: Portion Scales

Portion control scales play an integral role in most pizza operations, helping ensure consistency with topping amounts on pies. For both large-batch and single-serving recipes, portion control scales help minimize ingredient waste.

THE Quarterly Product Knowledge Guide: Choppers

Professional chefs and line cooks in all types of operations, from quick-service to white-tablecloth restaurants, use choppers. This equipment can help save money by making more efficient use of labor, and it can ensure uniform and consistent results. Choppers may also offer a safer alternative than traditional knives, especially when working with less-skilled teams.

Food Chopper Care and Maintenance Tips

Paul Mann, co-owner of Service Engineering Co., located in Asheville, N.C., says service agents generally do not deal with choppers as this equipment doesn’t tend to break easily. “We recommend the units be taken apart and cleaned daily with soap and water,” he says. “The most common problem is broken blades, which we can replace.”

To Replace or Repair a Food Chopper?

When a chopper does not operate properly, it can impact the quality of the food it prepares. Here are five factors to weigh when deciding whether to replace a chopper.

Specifying Considerations for Food Choppers

Consultant AJ Barker, group chef of Belltown Hospitality Group in Seattle, shares a few thoughts on what to consider when purchasing a chopper.

THE Quarterly Product Knowledge Guide: Breaders

There was a time when the popularity of frying breaded items was dropping off due to trans fat and calorie concerns, but with new, healthier oils, there has been a recent resurgence in these menu items.

What to Consider When Purchasing a Breader

Breaders are a good option for higher-volume operations that want more breading control and higher-efficiency production. There are a number of food applications for these units, including chicken, onion rings or blossoms, and vegetables that are battered, breaded and fried.

What to Consider When Purchasing a Juicer

When choosing a juicer, anticipating volume is critical. Operators can choose from a variety of juicers, depending on the application, speed of service needed and beverage type being created. Operators also need to determine what type of foods they will use as some juicers handle leafy greens and vegetables better than others.

Service Agent Q&A: Doug Thompson, office manager at Jones-McLeod Inc., Birmingham, Ala.

FE&S: What are the planned maintenance recommendations for juicers?

DT: There really is no set PM protocol for juicers since each manufacturer has their own protocol. It also depends on the type of model and whether it uses real fruit or concentrate and water. We recommend quarterly PMs with fresh juicers. Countertop models rarely require a service call; operators tend to bring these into our shop to fix.