Tilting skillets and braising pans are one of the most versatile pieces of equipment in commercial kitchens as these units can replace just about any cooking appliance.
Tilting skillets and braising pans have either gas orifices or heating elements covering the entire underside of the pan. This allows operators to cook at consistent temperatures using precise controls, similar to stoves. In some cases, these units can replace range tops.
Operators can use this equipment in prep areas of big and small institutional or commercial kitchens to reduce production time, save energy and increase batch consistency.
Due to the depth of these units, operators can use this equipment for the same tasks as steam-jacketed kettles or stock pots. When used in conjunction with basket inserts or perforated steam table pans, tilting skillets also serve as steamers.
And it’s that versatility that allows tilting skillets to become indispensable in prep areas. Operators can use these units as a kettle for cooking soups, stews, chili, rice, pasta and sauces. Or they can use this equipment for pan frying during the production of doughnuts, fried chicken, fish fillets and even french fries. As a braiser, tilting skillets quickly brown food and simmer products. When used as an oven, this equipment bakes or roasts all types of meat and poultry. Tilting skillets and braising pans also serve as a griddle for preparing bacon, burgers, grilled sandwiches, pancakes, French toast, eggs, sausage and stir-fries. When used in conjunction with a steam pan insert, these units steam vegetables, seafood and other items.
Operators can use this equipment both as a warmer to thaw frozen items and a chilling station in conjunction with ice to cool steamed product. In addition, operators commonly use tilting skillets in high-volume institutional applications since one 30-gallon pan can produce as many as 350 meals per hour.
Although 30- and 40-gallon sizes are among the most popular sizes, this equipment comes in 12- and 16-gallon sizes for countertops and 15-gallon floor models. Most units are 10 inches deep.
While the equipment features stainless-steel construction, cabinet components may be made of other materials. Structural supports are generally made of low-carbon steel. Open-leg and closed-base models are available. Operators can choose from various interior finishes. These 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.
Electric units are available in 12 kW or 18 kW, while gas offers 30,000, 93,000 or 126,000 Btus.
Tabletop models typically come with manual tilting mechanisms, while floor units provide either electric or crank tilting mechanisms. Most power-tilt skillets offer a manual override feature. Pans are designed to tilt either from the front or center, providing different pour paths for dispensing.
Operators can choose from a number of options and accessories with this equipment, including a 2-inch tangent draw-off valve in steam kettles, spring assist covers and gallon markings for easy measuring. Other available accessories include pan carrier and steam pan inserts, pour strainers, marine locks, stands with sliding drain pans, lift-off covers, ergonomic handles, casters and flanged feet.
Solid-state temperature controls on some models provide accurate temperatures and help increase energy efficiency. Gas-fired skillets with aluminum core heating surfaces and electric units with aluminum cast-in elements provide improved heat distribution.
European tilting skillets have controls similar to combi ovens, where operators preset and cook to predetermined temperatures. This more precise cooking control is an energy saver.