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 holding food in steam tables

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jimirizz

  • Total Posts: 6
  • Joined: 5/10/2007
  • Location: wilkes barre, PA
holding food in steam tables Wed, 03/18/09 11:20 PM (permalink)
Just opened italian sub shop 2 weeks ago  and make every order fresh but lunch is busy can i hold fried peppers  without the skin peeling also fresh spinach. Also concern is homemade meatball will my sauce dry out and become paste and taste less. I am proud of my meatballs while most use frozen I would like to keep the quality. Thanks
 
#1
    ptireland

    • Total Posts: 263
    • Joined: 3/9/2009
    • Location: Ocala, FL
    Re:holding food in steam tables Wed, 03/18/09 11:37 PM (permalink)
    I'd like to know this kind of stuff too.  I'll be grilling dogs, Italian Sausage & Peppers with grilled onions, etc.
     
    #2
      brittneal

      • Total Posts: 1265
      • Joined: 9/17/2006
      • Location: fairborn, OH
      Re:holding food in steam tables Thu, 03/19/09 12:06 AM (permalink)
      If youd like to make your sauce and meatballs last longer try using a doubled pan.  put water in the bottom of the first panand then set another pan of the same size in it and keep it on the steam table.  This will keep sauces and soups from drying out or possibly scorching.  You need to keep the pan covered in order to maintain the proper temps.
       
      #3
        Dr of BBQ

        • Total Posts: 3716
        • Joined: 10/11/2004
        • Location: Springfield, IL
        • Roadfood Insider
        Re:holding food in steam tables Thu, 03/19/09 12:35 AM (permalink)
        Brit is right, the double pan is the answer it softens the heat, but make sure you don’t run out of water in the lower pan. 

        I just nuke my sauce for my meatballs as needed and keep the meatballs separate. I hold onions and peppers on a grill. Keep one side on very low. But the fresh spinach I have no idea. Can it be nuked?
         
        #4
          JayL

          • Total Posts: 213
          • Joined: 11/11/2008
          • Location: Charleston, SC
          Re:holding food in steam tables Thu, 03/19/09 10:06 AM (permalink)
          There is no need for doubling the meatball pan.  If you want to "soften" the heat, just turn the darn thing down...you know they do have thermostats.  The thing is...you don't want to go too low on the temperature.  You MUST keep them temps up above 140. 

          There is NO threat of "scorching" wet foods (meatballs in sauce, soups, gravy, etc) in a steam table.  You're not using direct heat...direct heat would scorch.  A steam table will not do this.  You may have to keep the little crusties that try to form around the upper edge in check, but the bottom and sides will never scorch as long as you have sufficient moisture in the pan.

          Keep the lid on and you'll have much less evaporation.  If you keep the same sauce in a pan all day long for 12+ hours, then it might start to evaporate and condense.  At that point you may need to add a bit of water.  But if you're using and refilling your product on a constant basis, you won't have this problem.

          Here's one word of warning that many people don't think about.  NEVER heat refrigerated food in a steam table.  The HD doesn't like it when you do that.  They recommend fast heating in the oven, on the range, or in the microwave...THEN placing the 165 degree food in the steam table to hold.
           
          #5
            BillyB

            • Total Posts: 2851
            • Joined: 2/4/2009
            Re:holding food in steam tables Thu, 03/19/09 2:07 PM (permalink)
            I hold many things in a steamtable daily. Pancakes, Scrambled eggs, French toast, Hashbrowns, bacon, Omelets. Each Item is treated different. I need to put buffers below and on top of the french toast and pancakes. I need to keep a water btl close for the scrambled eggs and keep the temp Just right. The omelets are in a steamer pan letting just enough steam in so the stay warm. The success of how I keep my food determines the success of my operation. I keep my biscuits in dry heat in a closed container, along with the breakfast chicken fried steaks. I think you get the idea. It takes working with your food items and knowing what you can and cannot do. If you lose a lot of quality in your product because you have to hold it in the steamtable, you are doing your customer and yourself a injustice.........If I can be of any help (Im) me and we could talk. P.S Chipotle Grill holds cooked peppers on their line.
             
            #6
              BillyB

              • Total Posts: 2851
              • Joined: 2/4/2009
              Re:holding food in steam tables Thu, 03/19/09 2:19 PM (permalink)
              Hey Jim, I forgot to say, Good luck in your new business. If anyone knows how to do meatballs and peppers its the people in PA..................Best of luck................Bill
               
              #7
                jimirizz

                • Total Posts: 6
                • Joined: 5/10/2007
                • Location: wilkes barre, PA
                Re:holding food in steam tables Fri, 03/20/09 12:28 AM (permalink)
                Hey guys thanks for the info.
                 
                #8
                  konnie

                  • Total Posts: 334
                  • Joined: 2/10/2008
                  • Location: Neodesha, KS
                  Re:holding food in steam tables Fri, 03/20/09 9:23 PM (permalink)
                  If I'm going to hold grilled onions and peppers in a steam pan, would I be better off using beef broth instead of water as my liquid?  Thanks.

                  Mike S.
                   
                  #9
                    jimirizz

                    • Total Posts: 6
                    • Joined: 5/10/2007
                    • Location: wilkes barre, PA
                    Re:holding food in steam tables Mon, 03/23/09 9:43 PM (permalink)
                    konnie fry your peppers in  a    little  pomace olive oil and a little chicken base it takes any bitterness away and sweetens the peppers great flavor. Hold the peppers right in the oil it cost a couple more pennies but worth it. You can make large batch and hold in refrig for days and put in steam table as needed. If you use water your peppers and onions will loose its flavor if you use beef broth thats a strong flavor chicken base is more neutral and adds good flavor. Just trying to help.
                     
                    #10
                      konnie

                      • Total Posts: 334
                      • Joined: 2/10/2008
                      • Location: Neodesha, KS
                      Re:holding food in steam tables Mon, 03/23/09 9:57 PM (permalink)
                      jimirizz


                      konnie fry your peppers in  a    little  pomace olive oil and a little chicken base it takes any bitterness away and sweetens the peppers great flavor. Hold the peppers right in the oil it cost a couple more pennies but worth it. You can make large batch and hold in refrig for days and put in steam table as needed. If you use water your peppers and onions will loose its flavor if you use beef broth thats a strong flavor chicken base is more neutral and adds good flavor. Just trying to help.


                      Thanks a lot.  That is the kind of help I need.  I'm just an old farmer that knows very little about cooking.  If I am going to grill peppers along with the onions, what kind sould I use that will be sweet but not real hot.  Thanks.
                       
                      Mike S.
                       
                      #11
                        dtortor1

                        • Total Posts: 334
                        • Joined: 12/27/2008
                        • Location: Cape Girardeau, MO
                        Re:holding food in steam tables Mon, 03/23/09 10:14 PM (permalink)
                        By no means an "expert" opinion--!

                        I  have used a red, yellow, and orange mix 6 pack from sams mixed with an amount of green peppers equal to all of the others. Those were super cheap from my local distributor.

                        This past weekend I used a bag of sweet small peppers (also orange, yellow and red)from Sams mixed with green. I think the colored peppers have the best flavor, but most importantly give it the look. I'm convinced this business is so much about visual appeal and keeping product out in front of the people.

                        I think both choices made a nice sweet final product. Didn't taste much of them, cause I lose my usually large appetite when i'm doing this...

                        jimi- you have good experience pulling them off the heat and cooling them, then reheating? So far I've wasted a few servings by holding too long on the grill, or too long in a pan.
                         
                        #12
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