Nemco's Fresh-O-Matic & Super Shot Steamers
Nemco offers two popular electric countertop steamers, the Fresh-O-Matic and the Super Shot, each of which is valued in many segments of the foodservice industry. They're used as sandwich steamers, and for retherming chilled products, heating bread and tortillas, and bringing day-old baked goods back to life with a fresh texture without leaving them soggy. While both of these products perform similar tasks, they're not identical. Each has unique features which may make one the preferred choice for your kitchen.
The Nemco Fresh-O-Matic Steamer
This model is a time-tested commercial kitchen classic that's been around since the 1950s. Originally produced by Lincoln, it came under the Nemco umbrella in 2011, and they released their own version in October 2012. In March 2014, Nemco paused production of the unit for several months to address a few common problems that had been plaguing the machine. Their overhauled version was released in the middle of that year with features to enhance the ease-of-use and dependability of the unit, including:
- A sealed, airtight water reservoir that reduces the chance of leaks compared to the older welded reservoir.
- An electronic control board that provides a precise, consistent amount of steam each time the button is pressed, replacing the manual pump-style controls of the old Fresh-O-Matic steamer.
- Easy-to-read LEDs that tell the user when the steamer is preheating, when it is ready, and when the water reservoir is full or low.
- The power button now must be pressed and held for three seconds to power off the unit, a response to complaints that the rocker switch used on earlier models could be accidentally switched off during operation.
The Fresh-O-Matic's simple controls make it a good choice in kitchens with inexperienced staff. This model provides an exact burst of steam each time the steam button is pressed, regardless of how long the button is held, and a feature that regulates how much steam is produced makes it impossible to flood the heating plate. That setup can make training procedures much simpler and operation virtually foolproof.
The Fresh-O-Matic must be used with distilled water to avoid mineral buildup on the machine's interior. This makes it a good choice for operators in locations with hard water conditions. The use of distilled water can also shorten the time it takes to clean the unit and cut down on maintenance requirements.
The Nemco Super Shot Steamer
The Super Shot is a Nemco original, depended on in countless kitchens to rejuvenate day-old breads and other baked goods, most in less than 30 seconds per batch. Its controls differ slightly from its sister equipment. Operators deliver bursts of steam by holding a button down for 1 to 3 seconds, then waiting a few seconds for steam to penetrate the product. Unlike the Fresh-O-Matic, the Super Shot allows operators to deliver as much steam as they want, which provides more control but can leave the heater plate flooded in the hands of inexperienced staff. This may be a better choice for operators who are used to more traditional machines that offer that level of control.
The Super Shot features a very simple interface, with only a green push button for delivering steam and an illuminated On/Off rocker switch that lets users know when the unit is powered on. This steamer can be used with regular tap water, making this an ideal model for areas without a lot of dissolved minerals in the water supply. This steamer is built with a rugged 300-series stainless steel exterior and a powder-coated top to withstand the rigors of busy kitchens. Like the Fresh-O-Matic, the Super Shot accommodates a standard half-size steam table pan.