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Training New Employees on Food Prep Equipment

Making the most of mixers

Hobart Mixer HL200 Plus qr

Chefs and their staff can benefit from the exceptional versatility of a planetary mixer. It can be used for mixing both sweet and savory ingredients — from batter and icing to sauces, pasta dough and meat for sausage.

Training new employees to use the proper agitators is an important part of learning to operate a mixer.

Each type provides distinct results for specific ingredients.

  • A flat beater works well for mixing cake batter and icings and mashing potatoes. It offers uniform distribution of ingredients in the bowl. Start with slow speeds when mixing and increase to medium for finishing.

  • A wire whip is best for light creaming and beating butter, mayonnaise and potatoes. Use slower speeds for heavier ingredients and higher speeds for lighter ones. There are also heavy-duty wire whips for mixing heavier batter, such as sponge cake batter. These operate best at higher speeds.

  • A wing whip is good for whipping cream or beating egg whites or light icings. Use higher speeds to blend air into these light products.

  • A dough hook mixes, stretches and folds bread and pizza doughs.It is typically available in spiral and C-shaped styles. The mixing speed depends on which one the operator is using and the ingredients being incorporated. Refer to the mixer’s operating manual or the manufacturer’s website for recommendations.

Before mixing any ingredients, check that the ratio between the bowl and the agitator is correct; it sometimes needs to be adjusted. The agitator shouldn’t sit too deep in the bowl or it could get damaged during operation. However, it should be low enough that it can fully incorporate ingredients.

Gain quality cuts with food processors

Knowing the proper use of food prep equipment can go far in improving efficiencies and quality in an independent restaurant. Knowing the proper use of food prep equipment can go far in improving efficiencies and quality in an independent restaurant.

Prepping fruits and vegetables in a food processor can bring significant productivity gains to a kitchen compared to manually chopping, slicing, grating or cutting. And because whole fruits and vegetables last longer than precut, bagged ingredients, processing your own can also improve quality.

To get the best results from a continuous feed processor, load ingredients counterclockwise. The blade spins clockwise, so this orientation allows it to come into immediate contact with the fruit or vegetable and create an even cut. When slicing tomatoes, place them bottom-down and stagger them in the hopper. 

As with mixers and agitators, it’s important to train new employees on the available blades for a continuous food processor and their purpose.

Hobart Food Processor Bowl Style

  • A slicer blade can process both firm and soft products, including onions, apples, bananas and mushrooms. It can also shred lettuce and cabbage. A crimping slicer adds ripples to the edges of carrots and cucumbers, while a soft slicer is designed for soft produce like tomatoes.

  • A julienne cutter juliennes carrots and potatoes and handles other firm

  • A grater blade is ideal for nuts, hard cheese, carrots, cabbage and more. It can also be used to process dry bread into breadcrumbs.

  • A shredder blade shreds cabbage, carrots, cheese and more.

When using a bowl-style food processor, train employees to pay attention to the speed at which they are adding ingredients. For example, when making a vinaigrette, add the oil slowly to prevent it from breaking. Take care not to overprocess ingredients, as well. Having a bowl-style food processor with a clear lid can help since it allows the operator to see what is happening in the bowl.

Improve slicer consistency and yield

Hobart Slicer HS9 QR

Slicers aren’t just for meats and cheese — they can also be used to shred lettuce or slice tomatoes, potatoes, onions and more. 

Whatever the ingredient, it’s important that it is securely in place on the slicer tray. This helps ensure consistent cuts and minimizes product waste. Be sure that the grip is securely holding the product and adjust as needed during the slicing process to keep the product in the right position. Doing so helps improve consistency and yield. Do not use the grip as a handle during the slicing process. Instead, hold onto the handle at the front of the slicer carriage during use.

Keep learning

Employee training and development shouldn’t be a one-time occurrence. Encourage employees to continue learning and exploring new options for the food prep equipment.

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