July 26, 2017

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Cheap Catering Supplies vs Quality Equipment

The question between quality and quantity has been long debated. Would you rather have a high-quality product or an assortment of cheaper equipment and supplies? If you are running a top-tier restaurant you’re going to want quality equipment and catering supplies that will cope under the demands of a busy customer base. Whether it’s simply cutlery, or as important as an oven the customer will ultimately be judging the restaurant based upon this.

You’re at your favourite restaurant and out comes your dessert. Unfortunately, your spoon breaks halfway through your dessert. Would this deter you from coming here again? For some it might, so why take the risk if you’re running a restaurant?

That’s not to say taking the cheaper option isn’t beneficial. Some smaller businesses such as your local kebab or fish and chip shop might opt for plastic spoons and forks, its merely based upon the situation. For example, a Jamie Oliver restaurant is going to have high quality products to best suit the business, and they can easily cover the expense with their profits. The meals are expensive, you might be looking at $100 a head. Whereas a kebab shop you might be paying $15 max for a kebab and drink. So, it makes sense if you want to run a top tier restaurant you’re going to invest in the appropriate equipment and catering supplies appropriate to your business. This is a very simple example but you get the idea.

Pan Comparison

When talking pans there are many variations such as the level of heat conductivity, and this is dependent on the material of the pan. Pans range from Stainless steel which have the option of an aluminum or copper core, Copper, aluminum, iron, enameled cast iron, or cast steel. These all vary in price, with the copper pans topping the list. Your average copper pan will set you back $250, whereas the cheap options are Iron or Carbon Steel and will set you back roughly $50-60. Once again, these pans all do the same job but the quality will vary, and as they say, ‘You get what you pay for’. These cheaper options have their pros and cons. On the one hand, they’re affordable and have great heat retention but they are susceptible to rust and corrosion, and they may react with acidic and alkaline foods. The more expensive option such as Copper pans, are great at conducting and maintaining heat and do not react with acidic or alkaline foods, but they are expensive.

If you’re looking for a great mid-range pan and don’t want to sacrifice on quality but want to save money a Enameled Cast Iron pan may be the right option for you. They sell for roughly $145 but they are well worth the money. They don’t react to acidic or alkaline foods, they conduct and maintain heat very well, excellent at high heat cooking and are extremely durable. They do have their cons though, quite heavy in weight, can be slow to heat, don’t have a non-stick layer and they’re more expensive than your regular cast iron pans.

Whether you’re a top-tier restaurant looking to purchase a high-quality product or a local fish and chip shop you will constantly be looking to save money where you can and that’s understandable, but this article will hopefully give you some insight into what you’re after and what product is right for you.

March 15, 2017

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Sharp Knives - Quicker, Better Cutting Kitchenwares, Central Coast

As a passionate at home family chef, nothing gripes me more when on holidays or at another’s house than blunt knives. If you have any interest in cooking, or work in hospitality, then a sharp knife is absolutely essential. Not only do you feel somewhat like a Samurai (please don’t go swinging knives around), but a sharp knife also provides the following benefits:

Safety

You may have heard this one before, but let me reiterate – A sharp knife is actually safer than a blunt one. I can speak personally for this one, as countless times have I sliced my finger when using a blunt knife. Why? Well simply it is much easier to slip rather than penetrate the skin of vegetables and such. Not only that, but you are applying more pressure to make the cut with a blunt knife. Ow!

Fatigue

It may sound strange, but if you have ever been in the kitchen preparing food for any amount of time, you will start to feel cramping in your hand. The little muscles in our hand need to compensate more when using a blunt knife, rather than a sharp one that glides effortlessly through the food.


Precision

Whether you are slicing, dicing or something else, a sharp knife will give you a better chance at straight, even cuts. Provide exact and intentional portions with a well-kept knife.

Aesthetic

Not talking about the knives themselves, although good knives look awesome (is that weird?), but the cuts made with sharp knives will appear much more seamless and smooth. If meal presentation is a concern, then so should sharp knives be.

Efficiency

An obvious one, a sharp knife makes quick work of anything you cut. Rather than using it like a hand saw, you can work up a consistent gliding rhythm with a sharp knife (be careful) that can chop through a full cucumber in seconds! If you are trying to push out 100+ meals a night, a sharp knife and an effective knife sharpening system will give you maximum prep time.

With all this in mind, be sure to invest in quality knives to begin with, but also maintain your knives with regular sharpening. Even the best knives need to be maintained, which is made all the better with a good knife sharpening system. Your kitchen wares should be top priority in preparing quality food.

For all your hospitality supplies, catering equipment and kitchen wares on the Central Coast, choose Hospitality Supplies Express.