Why Your Restaurant Needs a Commercial Microwave
If you're not currently using a commercial microwave in your restaurant kitchen, or if you have one that's underutilized, you may be missing out on valuable opportunities to speed up service and help cooks optimize their time. Maybe you've been turned off by some of the myths that persist about microwaves only producing sub-standard results or maybe you're not sure how a microwave can be put to use in a kitchen dominated by gas equipment. We're about to give you eight solid examples of how a commercial microwave can open up new possibilities for your business.
- Expand Your Restaurant's Menu
With a powerful microwave in your lineup, you're equipped to start offering a whole range of dishes you couldn't before, whether that includes a trendy dip you want to test or a brand new side dish to drive dinner sales. Microwaves can be used to quickly heat individual portions of food as they're ordered, including dishes that have been prepared ahead of time. There are even microwaves specifically designed for steam cooking. Those accommodate full plastic food pans and let you prepare fresh, steamed food like seafood and vegetables without the need for bulky equipment or costly plumbing.
- Retherm Chilled Foods Fast
Chances are, you're not cooking everything in your kitchen from scratch. There are bound to be items on your menu that you purchase pre-cooked, whether they come to you frozen or refrigerated. A commercial microwave can get those items from fridge to plate much faster than a water bath or steamer.
- Defrost Frozen Foods Quickly
If any of the foods you cook in-house by traditional means come frozen, you can save some time by defrosting them in a microwave, even if you don't want to cook them there. Not only is this method faster than slacking them in a refrigerator, but microwave defrosting can also help make the thawing process much safer because it's easier to cut the time food spends in of the temperature danger zone where bacteria grows fastest. You can also cut down on waste and keep a tighter control on inventory when you defrost individual portions as needed.
- Serve Food Faster
The quick heat provided by a commercial microwave oven means you can get orders out to your customers quickly. It just so happens that many of the dishes that you need the quickest do incredibly well in the microwave. Soups, because they're mostly water, are among the easiest and most reliable foods to reheat in a microwave. Dips that accompany chips and bread are always popular appetizers, and they can go from the fridge to ready to serve in less than five minutes. Shredded and ground meats that go into dishes like mini tacos, nachos, pulled pork, and sliders reheat perfectly in the microwave, too.
- Heat Food - Not Your Kitchen
Unlike most cooking equipment - ranges and ovens especially - microwave ovens don't create ambient heat in your kitchen. They only create heat inside the food, meaning no extra heat is generated that doesn't work directly to warm or cook food. This benefit can help maintain a more comfortable working environment for your staff and take a load off your HVAC system, keeping your utility costs in check.
- Simplify Your Operations
Modern commercial microwaves include features that make operating them as simple as pressing a button, even for multi-stage recipes. Many microwave models provide the option of programming procedures for hundreds of individual menu items that can include stages to defrost, cook, and hold foods. That ease of use can be an enormous timesaver in an industry where staff turnover is high and training time is limited.
- Cut Your Electricity Bill
Because microwaves are so quick and efficient, they use significantly less energy to produce the same results as other equipment. As a matter of fact, most mid-sized microwaves use less than a dollar's worth of electricity a day. Also consider that microwaves don't have to preheat, so they only use energy when they're actually cooking.
- Microwaves Can be Installed Nearly Anywhere
A commercial microwave oven's low profile and light weight means it can be installed just about anywhere there's room. Place one on virtually any countertop, underneath your prep area, or mount it on the wall above a work station. Unlike the majority of cooking equipment, microwave ovens never have to be installed under a range hood. Units with intuitive dial controls are also available for use in self-serve environments – places like convenience store snack stations and breakrooms.