Tilting skillets work much like stoves, with either gas orifices or heating elements that cover the entire underside of the pan. This allows operators to cook at set and consistent temperatures using precise controls.
Culinary staff can use this equipment in prep areas of big or small, institutional or commercial kitchens to reduce production time, save energy and increase batch consistency. These units can even replace range tops in many applications. Due to their depth, tilting skillets can often perform the same tasks as steam-jacketed kettles or stock pots. When used in conjunction with basket inserts or perforated steam table pans, these units also can serve as steamers. Common in high-volume institutional applications, one 30-gallon tilting skillet can produce as many as 350 meals per hour.
These versatile units can serve as a kettle for cooking soups, stews, chili, rice, pasta and sauces. Operators can use a skillet to pan-fry such menu items as donuts, fried chicken, fish fillets and french fries. As a braiser, tilting skillets quickly brown food and simmer products. When used as an oven, this equipment can bake or roast all types of meat and poultry. Tilting skillets can serve as a griddle for preparing bacon, burgers, grilled sandwiches, pancakes, French toast, eggs and sausage as well as stir-fry dishes. When used in conjunction with a steam pan insert, these units can steam vegetables, seafood and other items. Tilting skillets can serve as both a warmer to thaw frozen items or as a chilling station in conjunction with ice to cool steamed product.
Although 30- and 40-gallon sizes are the most popular, this equipment is available in 12- and 16-gallon sizes for countertops and 15-gallon floor models for operations with limited ventilation hood space. Most units measure 10 inches deep.
Structural supports are generally made of low-carbon steel. Operators can choose between open-leg and closed-base models. Available finishes include bead blast, which has a rougher, dimpled surface to help prevent food from sticking to the surface, and a hand-ground finish that is smoother for easier cleaning.
Electrical units are available in 12 kilowatts or 18 kilowatts, while gas offers 30,000, 93,000 or 126,000 Btus.
Tabletop models typically come with only manual tilting mechanisms, while floor units provide either electric or crank tilting mechanisms. Most power tilt skillets offer a manual override feature. Pans tilt either from the front or center to provide different pour paths for dispensing.
Operators can also choose from a number of other options, including a 2-inch tangent draw valve like in steam kettles and spring assist covers or gallon markings for easy measuring. Solid-state temperature controls on some models provide accurate temperatures and can help increase energy efficiency. Gas-fired skillets with aluminum core heating surfaces and electric units with aluminum cast-in elements provide improved heat distribution.
Available accessories include pan carrier and steam pan inserts, which are necessary for steaming tasks. Other options and accessories include pour strainers, marine locks, stands with sliding drain pans, lift-off covers, ergonomic handles, casters and flanged feet.