EDUCATERING FEBRUARY 2017
Please attributes any quotes to Kris Brearley, Sales Director, R H Hall
How useful are microwaves in a school kitchen environment?
Microwaves are essential for speed of service – considerably faster than conventional ovens and they also allow an operator to offer a wider choice of menu. Their versatility also provides advantages and the leading brands are developing models with new features and functionality in response to customers looking for product innovation, so they can be easily operated from a de-skilled base. Microwaves are very energy efficient too. In fact, when cooking vegetables they use three times less energy than that of a gas hob. Their footprint is also smaller than conventional ovens, great where space is at a premium.
How much of a school menu can a microwave cook?
Microwaves offer a quick and convenient tool at any time of the day and can reheat snacks and full meals with ease – perfect for when quick turnarounds are needed, particularly at breakfast or break times. Microwaves are also capable of much more than just reheating foods and by fully understanding their microwave and getting the right techniques for each type of food, succulent meat, poultry and fish together with perfectly cooked vegetables that retain taste, texture and nutritive value are all possible. Many of the techniques used in microwave cooking are the same as used in conventional cooking, but with a few minor adjustments. There are a great diversity of dishes that can be prepared quickly and easily from fresh ingredients. Not only that, but more nutrients are retained in microwave cooked food than by any other cooking method. In fact, correctly cooked vegetables contain 85% of their original vitamin content, when boiled they often contain none! A great benefit especially for growing children where they would only need to eat a little to get more of the vitamins they need. Historically there has been a lot of negativity towards cooking with microwaves, but there shouldn’t be, microwaves can cook great food in a fraction of the time it would take with other methods. Not only do they save time, but money and nutrients too.
Should caterers have a standard microwave or a multifunctional appliance that can do more than one task?
For those requiring more than just speed, the Maestrowave range includes combination microwaves such as the award winning Maestrowave Combi Chef 7. This high speed oven is packed with features including Menu Creator 2.0™ software and produces outstanding results at the touch of a button. A total of 11 combination modes allows huge menu versatility, and up to 99 pre-programmable menus ensure consistency. Menu Creator 2.0™ is incredibly easy to use, but full support is available via the Food Solutions team, who can offer menu development services. A video showing the features & benefits of this innovative product is available at www.rhhall.com
Do microwaves take away the skill/creativity of a school cook?
If used correctly, this should not be the case! Microwaves can introduce speed and efficiency to any kitchen operation, potentially freeing up other kitchen equipment to perform crucial tasks and improving speed of service and output. To maximise usage of a microwave effectively, it is paramount that all cooks/caterers are educated to the full potential of their unit and also receptive to implementing the alternative cooking techniques required. Only then will they be able to fully appreciate the great results that are possible and implement its use more and more in the meals produced by their kitchen.
What are the latest technologies of microwave cooking?
Leading brands are developing models with new features and functionality in response to customers looking for product innovation. Recently launched, the Maestrowave MW10 is a 1000W machine aimed at smaller operators looking for speed with a reliable reputation. The unique microwave distribution and cavity ensure perfect cooking, backed up by an unprecedented 3 Year Warranty on the Magnetron – the heart of the machine!
One key area is not just the equipment itself, but in menu’s and food products too – the marrying of equipment and food/menu developments to get the maximum quality, value for money and labour saving solutions. We have been working with leading food producers and packaging companies to develop dishes specifically for microwave regeneration. The revolutionary iWave® Foodservice Solution uses microwave technology to provide a fully automated, ‘straight to plate’ system. With barcode scanners replacing traditional touchpad or manual controls, the iWave® offers a ‘fool-proof’ solution for certain applications – vending, care homes, hospitals and schools to name just a few. We can work with various food companies to fully test and develop a bespoke menu for any site. With e-reporting options available, stock and budget control can be also managed easily.
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Are modern microwaves good at saving energy?
Modern microwaves are incredibly energy efficient and in fact, when cooking vegetables they use three times less energy than that of a gas hob. Most models will operate from a standard 13 amp plug, even with high outputs of up to 1900W.
For more information: www.rhhall.com www.maestrowave.com
R H Hall, Hallco House, Beacon Court, Pitstone Green Business Park, Pitstone, Beds, LU7 9GY
T: 01296 663400 F: 01296 663401 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.rhhall.com