Choosing the right Air Door and Air Curtain

Air Doors (also called Air Curtains) are a very valuable addition to any busy entryway or service window. By producing a steady jet-stream of air across the width of any opening, these efficient units create a seamless air barrier between two separate environments. From entryways to window openings, and even drive-through, Air Doors allow open accessibility, while blocking out insects, dust, and other fumes through a protective curtain of air. They alsocreate huAir Curtainge energy savings by maintaining temperature separation between the two areas, keeping conditioned and heated air from escaping.

Location matters when selecting the right air door for your needs. Different locations can benefit from different types of Air Doors. For each instance you will need to consider where you will be using your unit. Front entryway? Back loading area? Drive-through? Home use? Different Air Doors are designed for a variety of different needs and applications.

Check out a few of the most popular uses:

For Entryways:

Smaller, light-weight Air Curtains and in-ceiling mounted units are beneficial to providing top-notch performance that still maintains a low-profile. In selecting a unit for an entrance, you’ll also want to consider your climate and how it affects your inside temperatures. Are you in a location where cold winter drafts are a possibility? Consider a heated Air Curtain to help neutralize extreme cold weather temperatures.

For Service Entrances:

Large service entryways often find themselves host to swarms of pesky insects trying to get at food and waste. Air Doors designed for backdoor and industrial applications often feature stronger motor power to help efficiently seal larger openings typically susceptible to annoying pests and outside fumes. Consider models built for industrial use and whether or not the increased power of an additional motor would create a better seal for these openings.

For Drive-Through:

It’s not only about keeping out insects, dirt, and harmful carbon monoxide fumes from car exhaust, you also have to be able to run a functional service window as well. Luckily, Drive-Through Air Doors not only do a great job at blocking out undesirables, they are also especially quiet, so as not to interfere when taking orders. The compact design provides a better fit for smaller service openings and most units have a heating upgrade available should you encounter cold climate seasons.

For Home:

Air doors aren’t reserved for commercial use alone. A selection of units come in low-voltage packages capable of being used in residential areas. By taking advantage of their unique ability to lock in air conditioning or heat and block out bugs, residential use can be a great way to keep busy backdoor patios open, available, and with a clear view of the kids or whatever else is happening in your backyard event.

Once you have an idea of the Air Curtain that fits your needs, the next big step will be in choosing the right size to Air Door for your operations.

There is no way around it, measuring is the best way to match the most accurate sized Air Door for your needs. Too small and you will create an inefficient barrier, too large and you will be wasting energy and money. Common sizes come in widths of 32”, 42”, 48”, 60” and 72”. You can order larger doors as well. Measure the height and width of the opening before purchasing to ensure maximum efficiency with your Air Curtain.

Voltages

For most new equipment in North America the standard of 120v is low wattage and meant for private use. 208v and 240v are considered high voltage and designed for commercial use. Standard 120v household appliances generally have the same standard plugs on the ends of their power cords and can be plugged into any standard household outlet. 

For more information, visit Air Curtains on The Restaurant Source website.

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Choosing the right steamtable

Duke Steamtable

Duke SE304SW Steamtable

Steamtables can be an integral part of any food service operation. In addition to heating up food on a daily basis, steam tables must then keep the food at safe temperatures for serving. Finding a quality unit that not only lives up to your performance needs, but fits into your budget can be hard to do. Duke Manufacturing is one of those companies whose hard work and dedication to satisfying customer needs have led to innovations and superior product solutions for those refusing to sacrifice quality for price.

Since introducing the world’s first steamtable in 1925, Duke’s attention to high-quality construction has been constant. Heavy duty performance demands the best in construction materials. There are no shortcuts for quality, even with Duke’s latest offerings in the economical Aerohot lineup. Constructed with stainless steel bodies, legs, and undershelves, the Aerohot line delivers long-lasting performance with the quality parts to match.

Two featured steamtables from the Aerohot lineup include the electric EP303 and EP304. The question of gas or electric heating can often be decided on price alone, but it’s also worth considering energy efficiency and recovery time when comparing the two. Gas may lend to a slight increase in temperature control, but electric is more efficient and quicker to heat. Over the years, Duke has revolutionized electric steamtables and their mastery of enclosed and exposed-element heating wells has led to preheat times that are up to 3x faster than other competitive brands.

Both the EP303 and EP304 electric steamtable feature hot food wells with exposed elements for thorough cleaning and maintenance. Insert pans are a must with these models and careful attention is required to safeguard against heating element rust and damage, but the added accessibility can have its own perks. On the other hand the EP303SW and EP304SW feature sealed hot food wells with individual drains and valves for quickly maintaining and draining the water out of each well. Whether you prefer the versatility of exposed elements or the protected ease-of-use of an enclosed heating unit, Duke delivers.

In the end, steamtable choice comes down to your own unique wants and needs in food warming equipment performance. What works for one restaurant, bar, or food truck may not work for another. Don’t forget to consider things like size and whether you’ll need room to grow. A start-up hot dog stand might find that the Duke E303 electric, 3-well, exposed element steamtable makes perfect sense for their limited menu to start, but as the menu grows, so does the need for more quality heating space and quicker clean-up and maintenance time. Now, they’re probably wishing they just would’ve started with the enclosed, 4-well E304SW. Taking time to consider your options now can only set you up for economic success in the future and Duke Manufacturing offers many ways to get there.

The Beverage Air VCPW-1 Portable Walk In Cooler

Beverage Air VCPW-1 Portable Walk In Cooler

Beverage Air VCPW-1 Portable Walk In Cooler

It’s hard to find portable refrigeration that gives you the functionality of a stay-at-home walk-in cooler, but the new Beverage Air VCPW-1 takes portable refrigeration to a new level. In less than fifteen minutes, this 300 lbs. 4’ x 4’ x 30”h cooler extends to 6’6”h, delivering 105 cubic feet of internal storage. Add in the 115V (12 amp) refrigeration system, insulated cover, and pre-installed casters, and you have a highly mobile walk-in cooler that easily maintains temperatures of 36-40°F.

On the outside, the portable VCPW-1 might look like a giant cooler pack, but inside is exactly what you would expect from a standard walk-in cooler. Diamond tread non-slip floors provide solid surface traction for user safety, while the internal storage area spans 105 cubic feet, capable of supporting one thousand pounds.

Mobility can be invaluable, and the eight foot long power cord is great for setting up close to your food operations hub. Catering and other companies who are host to a number of events per week will benefit from the ability to not only quickly set-up and reach holding temperatures, but also stay cool for up to an hour when unplugged. This versatile design is also perfect for handling the demands of seasonal festivals or outdoor events where storage can be tucked away when not in use.

Best of all, the VCPW-1 is built to last and features a 3-year parts and labor warranty, including a 5 year compressor warranty. Whether you need to keep food and beverages fresh and cool or a contained space to safely thaw frozen meats, Beverage Air has a portable refrigeration solution for years to come.

Click here to order the Beverage Air VCPW-1 Walk In Cooler.

8 Things You Need in the Kitchen

There’s always going to be the newest coolest gadget out there that can slice and dice at amazing speed only to be used once or twice then be hidden away because it’s a hassle to clean or not quite as expected.  But there are some old necessities that any chef cannot be without.

We’ve gathered a short list of items you should buy before you step in the kitchen, home or professional.

A bamboo cutting board.

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We chose this board because, come on, who hasn’t had an awkward corner in their workspace?

A good thermometer

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Cooking temperature is important and you can’t just guess-timate all the time. Get yourself a good digital thermometer and a couple of analogs.  They all come in handy.

A professional blender

vitamix

We’ve all suffered through margaritas from sub-par blenders.  Do yourself and your kitchen a favor by purchasing the best blender you can afford.

A convection oven

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Seriously.  If you don’t believe us, talk to any professional baker about what it does for pie crusts.

Kitchen shears

20100914-kitchen-shears-primary-smallOne of the most overlooked tools among home chefs but never more than an arm’s reach in a professional kitchen, shears are a highly versatile piece of low-tech equipment you must have.

Dry measuring cups

 

You simply cannot bake properly without a set of dry measuring cups.  No, that old glass measuring cup with the spout will just not do.

A cast iron skillet

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A properly maintained cast iron skillet can last generations and provide years of happy non-stick cooking without the chemical coatings.

A good Chef’s knife

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There’s a lot of cutting to be done in the kitchen, and a good sharp knife saves not only your food but your fingers as well.  A knife that holds its edge will stay safer longer. Invest in good ones.