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Believe it or not, a Commercial microwave may be exactly what your kitchen needs…

The Pros and Cons of Microwave Cooking…

There is a well-known stereotype, especially within the restaurant sector that microwaves compromise the quality of food, and although this may be true in some cases, there are many more ways to use a microwave than to cook food. You will also fin microwaves in Michelin starred restaurants!

It doesn’t matter how good your Chef is, commercial microwave ovens can make life in the kitchen so much easier. Have a read through this article to find out how your commercial kitchen could benefit from using a microwave.

Blizzard Microwave

The Different uses of a Commercial Microwave

Microwave cooking is a fantastic way to prepare many food items with little waiting times, this makes it a staple piece of equipment in many establishments.

Heating foods using a commercial microwave saves precious time, it can help a recipe come together a lot faster than waiting for it to get hot on top of a stove.

A commercial microwave is an excellent way to defrost food that your chef may have forgotten to do the day before, a microwave will defrost your food in a fraction of the time that it will take to thaw in a refrigerator.

Utilising space is essential within a commercial kitchen, why not use a microwave to heat up soups to put in your soup kettle or use your microwave to heat up sauces, this saves space on your oven so that you can use it for something else.

A Great Tool to Expand your Menu

Many commercial microwaves do not require a ventilation hood, this makes it a great tool to expand your menu options in cafés, restaurants and pubs or to introduce food to your establishment within a convenience store or quick serve kiosk.

Using a microwave to cook foods such as jacket potatoes, vegetables and soups makes it easier for you to add these items to your menu as the microwave will cook them a lot quicker than an oven.

The Cons of Microwave Cooking

Like all great things, there are a few cons to microwave cooking, but these can easily be prevented if you choose a good quality microwave and follow temperature guidelines.

Microwaves work by heating the water molecules within foods and as a result of this it is easy to overcook foods if you are not careful. In order to prevent this it is important that you adhere to proper timings, you should also use container ventilation to prevent foods from bursting, becoming soggy or developing a chewy texture.

Acme supply a wide range of commercial microwaves form some of the biggest brands in the industry. Take a look at our brochure for more information, alternatively you can call a member of our sales team on 01254 277999 to discuss your needs and requirements and we will be happy to recommend suitable products.

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The Benefits of Contact and Panini Grills

Contact Grills are increasingly becoming a ‘must have’ gadget within every commercial kitchen. The grill achieves results by cooking food between two heated surfaces. This method has many benefits over the conventional griddle as it cooks the food quickly, there is no reason for turning and it seals the food more effectively, locking in the juices, reducing shrinkage and improving the overall flavour of the food.

The speed of the cooking means that a relatively small cooking area can triple the output of a griddle of the same size. Generally, cooking times range from one minute to around three minutes depending on the food type and thickness.

Contact and Panini grills are portable and can be used anywhere from cafés and coffee shops to a mobile catering wagon or outside kitchen as well as in a standard commercial kitchen.

They give you the ability to add a wide range of hot snacks to your menu for a minimum outlay. That’s right, there are some top quality machines out there at very small prices.

Take the Blizzard Single and Double contact grill range for example. These machines are light duty with cast iron plates, counter balanced top plates, manual thermostat and gives you the option of smooth or ribbed plates.

Blizzard Contact Grills

And at the small price of £249 – £349 with a 1 year warranty, they are a great addition to any commercial kitchen.

What do you need to consider before purchasing a Contact or Panini Grill?

Cast iron plates heat up rapidly and smooth plates are ideal therefore for sealing in meat juices and flavour. Ribbed plates on the other hand produce attractive branding marks, and are ideal for Panini’s, giving them more versatility, therefore it is important to consider which one will be most suitable for your business.

On the other hand, a model with a smooth bottom plate and a ribbed top plate such as the Blizzard BRSCG2 might provide the perfect compromise.

Capacity is an important aspect to consider and it is important that you check that the outputs quoted by manufacturers are like for like.

The type of foods that you will be cooking is also important to consider, do you serve a lot of vegetarians or halal food? If so it might be worth purchasing and additional machine.

Finally, it is important that you look for a product that meets all current EU safety regulations, make sure that the model is easy to clean and make sure that you purchase your machine from a reputable dealer and always keep an eye out for models that offer warranty periods.

Here at Acme we offer a wide range of grills to suit all situations, contact our sales team on 01254 277999 and a member of our team will discuss the best unit for you and your business.

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Acme Donate Blizzard Double Door Gastronorm Freezer to Ashgate Hospicecare

Ashgate Hospicecare

Acme are proud to assist Ashgate Hospicecare an independent registered charity that provides specialist palliative and end of life care and support to adults and their families across North Derbyshire in their mission to support all people over the age of 18, who have life limiting illnesses.

This amazing charity serve over 400,000 people, representing the whole of North Derbyshire which includes some of the most deprived areas in the UK.

All of their services are offered free of charge to anyone with a life limiting illness. To provide this service the charity has to raise over £6 million per annum. Ashgate Hospicecare approached Acme to see if we could donate any refrigeration equipment to their busy kitchen.

Ashgate HospicecareWe liaised with a member of their team in order to establish their refrigeration needs, space was a big issue within the kitchen and they have limited freezing capacities, it was important that the freezer was strong and durable and could withstand all the scrapes and pressures that come with life in a busy kitchen. After showing the hospice a range of different freezers, they decided upon a Blizzard Double Door Stainless Steel Upright Gastronorm Freezer. This heavy duty freezer will be an excellent addition to their kitchen facilities.

“Providing the freezer will help support all of our inpatients and day unit patients as our kitchen provides over 150 meals per day, without this freezer space we would be unable to continue this service” Steven Reah (Philanthropy Executive at Ashgate Hospice)

The elderly population within North Derbyshire is significantly higher than the rest of the country as well as the growth in the older population, there are increasing numbers of people being diagnosed and living with cancer, dementia, respiratory disease, heart and circulatory problems and Ashgate Hospicecare work towards supporting these people.

Ashgate Hospicecare receives over 5000 referrals every year across a wide range of services these include;

  • In Patient Unit
  • Hospice at Home (Providing palliative care to people in their homes)
  • Day Unit
  • Therapy Team
  • Physiotherapy
  • Lymphedema Services
  • Patient and Family Support Team

Chris Allen Group Managing Director at Acme states “We are proud to be supporting such a fantastic charity, we understand the importance of the services that Ashgate Hospicecare supply to the Derbyshire community, the charity focuses on helping people with life limiting illnesses that could affect anyone of us and we at Acme admire the work that they are doing. We hope that the freezer we have donated serves them well and increases their kitchen efficiencies”.

If you would like to find out more about this charity or you would like to make a donation, take a look at their website: http://www.ashgatehospicecare.org.uk or contact Steven Reah: steven.reah@ashgatehospice.nhs.uk

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Are Blast Chillers and Blast Freezers suitable for your business?

Food legislation now requires that all food must be chilled as quickly as possible and kept between temperatures of +68°C and +8°C for as little time as possible in order to decrease the risk of bacteria multiplying. This is where blast chillers and freezers come in, they are the best remedy to ensure the legislation is complied with.

Acme offer a comprehensive range of blast chillers/freezers from some of the biggest names in the industry such as Blizzard, Infrico and Williams at the most competitive prices. We supply these to a wide range of industries, are they something your company should be considering? This blog post will outline what blast chillers and freezers are, the benefits and how our customers are using them to their advantage.

So what are blast chillers and freezers?

The main aim of blast chillers and freezers is to rapidly drop the temperature of food within them. They are the most effective way of chilling food safely and quickly, preventing the spread of nasty bacteria.

Blast chillers and freezers are the perfect addition to any commercial catering establishment particularly restaurants, hotels, cafes and school canteens where food is pre-prepared and re-heated at a later date.

In addition to the essential food safety reassurances that blast chillers/ freezers offer, used as part of a well-planned and managed process, a blast chiller/ freezer will also significantly improve service, optimize the preparation process and cooking timescales, while reducing overall production time, food waste and food production costs.

Benefits of a Blast Chiller

Maintains Food Quality

  • Natural bacterial growth during the cooling process means that once cooked, food loses many of its appealing characteristics. In order to maintain food quality it is important to reduce any form of food deterioration by taking control of humidity, time and temperature. Choosing the right blast chiller / freezer will enable you to do this.

Prevents Food Shrinkage

  • Depending on the food type, ambient temperature, humidity and time scales, food can quickly reduce in size and weight through moisture loss. Using the correct chilling programme, a blast chiller can significantly reduce the level of dehydration of products by preventing the natural evaporation that takes place when food is left to cool in a normal environment.

Achieve Food Safety Standards

  • Using a blast chiller / freezer ensures that food items are handled in line with Government Food Standards Agency regulations.
  • Food legislation now requires that all food must be cooled as quickly as possible and kept between temperatures of +68°C and +8°C for as little time as possible in order to decrease the risk of bacteria multiplying.

Improves Shelf Life

  • By reducing the period of time when food temperature naturally accelerates the rate at which harmful bacteria grows, you are able to increase the shelf life of products.

Increase Menu Choice and Service

  • Blast chillers / freezers enable you to prepare food ahead of busy periods, which means that it is more feasible to increase menu choices.
  • Service will also improve, you team will be able to focus on consistently providing a full menu along with carefully presented dishes at all times.

Benefits of Blast Freezers

The benefits of using a blast freezer are the same as those for a blast chiller. There are also some additional benefits to using a blast freezer.

For example, due to the speed of the freezing process small ice crystals form in the food product, this reduces any damage to the structure of the food that can occur during a standard freezing process.

Benefits of Blast Freezers

By using a normal commercial freezer water within the product freezes slowing and transforms into large crystals that expands and tears the structure of the food.

Most frozen food products can then be immediately stored in a freezer for a period of 3 to 18 month depending on the food product.

What range can Acme offer me?

Acme blast chillers are able to chill food from cooking temperatures at approximately +70°C, to +3°C within 90 minutes. The blast freezers can also bring down cooking temperatures of +70°C down to -18°C within 240 minutes. Due to this quick temperature drop the blast chillers and freezers are able to allow you to freeze food items with smaller ice crystals than if done without, thus causing less damage. After the item is frozen you are then able to move it to a more conventional freezer to keep the food frozen.

As well as the preservation of the food quality, the blast freezer will be able to keep contamination of your food incredibly low. This is if you immediately place the food in to the freezer after safely handling it there will not be any spread of contamination throughout.

Take a look at our Blast Chillers and Freezers Brochure for more information.

So what type of blast chiller is for me?

Blast chillers and freezers are essential pieces of equipment for any commercial food operation that requires food to be kept cold or frozen quickly and efficiently after cooking.

The type of blast chiller or freezer suitable for your business depends on various things such as the size of your commercial kitchen, quantity of food to be chilled and the sophistication of your operation.

Smaller kitchens such as café’s, takeaways and bakeries will require less complex chillers such as Blizzard BCS20,this product ensures that 15kg of food can be chilled within 90mins.

On the other hand, larger kitchens such as large restaurants, school kitchens and hotels will need a more complex chiller such as the Infrico ABT7M, this product is designed to blast chill up to 30kgs of food from +70°C to +3°C within 90 minutes.

For more information about blast chillers give a member of our sales team a call today on 01254 277999.

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Blizzard Bottle Coolers and Cellar Coolers are now ECA Approved!

Blizzard Bottle Coolers and Cellar Coolers are now ECA Approved!

Blizzard Bottle Coolers

Our very own Blizzard brand has been in the spotlight recently! Our BAR1 and BAR2 models in hinged and sliding doors and in stainless steel finish have been added to the Energy Technology as have a range of our cellar cooling units including our BCS13U, BCS17U and BCS22U-1PH units.

So what does this mean?

This means that they are now eligible for the Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) scheme. This scheme enables businesses to claim a 100% first year capital allowance on investments in certain energy saving equipment such as the Blizzard bottle coolers, against the taxable profits of the period of investment. For more information on capital allowances, please see HMRC’s page on tax relief for capital allowances.

Are there any other benefits?

There are a range of benefits to the ECA scheme;

  • Improved Cash Flow
  • Lower Energy Bills
  • Reduction in Climate Change

The Blizzard bottle coolers are energy efficient cabinets, this means that you can expect to benefit from reduced running costs of equipment, which will have a direct impact upon your cash flow with the added advantage of helping the environment.

That’s great!  How do I get one of these bottle coolers?

For more information about the ECA scheme and how you can claim you can have a look on their website; http://bit.ly/1sbniTv.

You can also call a member of our dedicated sales team for more information, prices and availability on 01254 277999.

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It is National Chip Week!

Chips!

Everybody’s Favourite bit on the side…

National Chip Week

It is a well-known fact that Britain loves chips, it is a firm favourite Nationwide. There are over 247 million portions of fish and chips served every year in Britain alone. The equivalent of 19,600 football pitches worth of potatoes are grown each year with almost 575,000 tonnes of British potatoes made into chips each year, it is no wonder that we have dedicated a whole week to the mighty chip!

Everywhere we eat we are offered chips as a side dish… and they go so well! It is really easy to make chips a part of your menu, whether you want to make them as a side dish in a pub or restaurant or add them to a canteen.

All you need is oil, potatoes and a fryer. Acme can help you with this, we have a wide range of commercial fryers including single and double tank light duty electric fryers to heavy duty fryers.

Fryers are not only useful for making chips, you can cook a wide range of food in there such as fish and chicken. The fryer will give the meat a delicious crispy coating while keeping the insides juicy and tender.

If you are looking for a high quality, low budget fryer for a new or small business, we have exactly what you are looking for. The Blizzard BF6 Model is a 6 litre single tank electric fryer with a temperature range of +50 to 190°C. It has a safety cut out and a mesh batter plate and lids and baskets are supplied. We also give you a 1 year warranty.

If you are looking for an upgrade to your current fryer then look no further than our twin tank electric fryer with tap. The Blizzard BF88 model has a stainless steel interior and exterior, 2 x 8 litre National Chip Weekcapacity tanks, a temperature range of +50 to 190°C, an adjustable manual thermostat and includes lids and baskets. This mighty model also has a 1 year warranty.

Have a look at our fryer leaflet for construction information, prices and technical details. For more information give a member of our sales team a call on 01254 277999.