Nemco Hot Dog Roller Grills
Hot dog roller grills are an ideal way for convenience stores and concession stands to increase profits with minimal impact to labor. These grills keep food evenly hot and ready to serve, and can work well in self-serve applications. Despite its name, a hot dog roller is not confined to warming encased meats; nearly any cylindrical product can be warmed on a roller grill, including tamales, taquitos, egg rolls, and sausages. Nemco hot dog rollers come in a variety of sizes and configurations to ensure there is a model to fit your needs.
Why Nemco Roller Grills?
Nemco has been manufacturing food equipment since 1981, and now produces more than 75 products for the foodservice industry. The company has built a reputation of reliability and produces equipment that has stood the test of time. Every product that comes out of the plant in Hicksville, Ohio, undergoes a nine-point inspection1 that ensures the unit has no blemishes or functional issues and is cosmetically up to the high standards Nemco sets.
When it comes to a Nemco hot dog roller machine, the company's engineers have designed each one to require minimal maintenance and offer simple operation. Because they are electric, Nemco commercial hot dog rollers are quiet and offer even heating without the need for a ventilation system. These units have seven heat settings, and the larger models have two-zone heating so you can either cook products on one side or hold them on the other or hold two products each at their optimal temperatures. A 10-minute preheat cycle ensures you can get cooking quickly.
Sizes and Variations
A wide range of options are available in Nemco hot dog rollers, so you can find one that will fit the needs of your business. Commercial hot dog rollers are generally rated by how many hot dogs the grill can hold at one time, but another rating to keep in mind is how many hot dogs per hour the unit can heat to serving temperature. Nemco produces roller grills with capacities for 10 to 75 hot dogs, to accommodate both low- and high-volume sellers.
To help manage inventory and reduce waste while providing your customers with the best products, Nemco's larger hot dog grills have two-zone heating, allowing you to turn off one zone during slow periods to conserve power or set different temperatures for a diverse product offering. For example, the high temperatures that are optimal for hot dogs may dry out egg rolls or taquitos quickly. In these instances where not all product types will be at the front of the grill, you may want to consider a slanted roller grill that keeps items on the back rollers visible and accessible to customers.
Chrome rollers are the most economical option Nemco offers. The chrome finish is smooth, so it is easy to clean. However, that smoothness can prevent certain types of foods from making a full rotation. A major benefit of the chrome rollers is their durability, as they can be cleaned with rough sponges and other kitchen abrasives without worry of damaging the finish.
GripsIt™ rollers are coated in a dark, textured finish. This texture allows the roller to grip the food placed on it, encouraging full, continuous rotation. While the finish is bonded to the roller, you should still take care to never use metal utensils on the unit to avoid damage to the rollers. Despite the textured finish, GripsIt rollers release residue easily, making them easy to clean with nothing more than a soft cloth.
When it comes to controls, knob controls are the most economical choice for a hot dog roller grill. These also have the benefit of being easy to operate. Each section has its own knob, and sections are denoted by the color of the seal on the end of each roller. Each knob has 10 heat settings, from "warm" all the way up to a 300-degrees Fahrenheit setting that allows you to bring the rollers quickly up to temp before changing them the proper holding level. Each grill with knob controls also has an indicator light to alert users when the heat is on, and a rocker switch to turn the rollers on or off.
Nemco's digital roller grills are made for high-volume establishments with little labor to devote to monitoring the products on the grill. A lighted rocker switch allows you to power the device on and off, and the two "zone" buttons are also used as up/down buttons when navigating the settings menu. Each zone can have its own cook cycle set up, with specific times for the unit to remain in preheat, cook, low-hold, and high-hold stages before moving on to the next stage. The minimal controls allow you to skip parts of the cycle as needed, and also let you cancel the cycle altogether if all the product has sold. These units are ideal for high-volume stores due to the minimal interaction needed – with the press of a button, your unit will preheat, cook, and hold your product without the need for you to remember to change the temperature between each cycle.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Setting up a Nemco hot dog roller is simple: position the unit on a flat surface, clean it thoroughly, and plug it into a power outlet. Check the serial plate on the back of the unit to be sure the outlet you plan to use has sufficient voltage and wattage to fulfill your unit's needs.
How you clean your commercial hot dog roller is dependent upon the finish of the rollers. No matter which roller finish you have, the temperature controls should be turned on high and the rollers should be turning when you clean the equipment, so be careful to avoid burns. Chrome roller units will come with a two-sided sponge. The rough side can be used to scrub off residue, but if anything cannot be removed with that sponge, any kitchen abrasive can be used.
GripsIt rollers require a little more care and should be cleaned with a soft cloth. If there is any stubborn buildup, wrap some ice cubes in a soft towel to rub over the rollers. Metal should never be used on GripsIt rollers. On both roller types, you should always start cleaning near the ends of the rollers and wipe toward the center. After the rollers are cleaned, the drip pan should be removed and cleaned with soap and water.2
Nemco hot dog rollers are sealed on each end with both a synthetic bearing and a grease barrier, providing double protection for food products from grease. The motor is made of durable stainless steel and cast aluminum, and is sealed to prevent food oils and debris from gumming up its components. These seals mean no regular maintenance beyond cleaning is required for the Nemco hot dog rollers. If the motor, thermostat, pilot light, or any of the rollers ever need to be replaced, that work can easily be done in the field without the need of a service tech.
Nemco offers several accessories to help you establish your hot dog station. Some of the accessories you have to choose from include:
- Serving Tongs: Nemco's serving tongs are plastic, so they are compatible with GripsIt and Chrome rollers. They come with a holder to keep the tongs nearby and in compliance with health regulations, and the elastic cord keeps the tongs from getting lost.
- Divider Kits: These are metal bars that keep food in line on the rollers and keep different food types separated.
- Self-Serve Guards: These polycarbonate guards are heat- and impact-resistant for durability, and come in a variety of sizes to fit different roller grills. These are available open on one side and in pass-through configurations, and are easy to remove for cleaning.
- Condiment Bars: Condiment bars have varying combinations of wells and pumps, and have space underneath for ice packs to keep toppings at food-safe temperatures. The stainless steel construction helps keep the ice pack cold to extend holding times.
- Bun Boxes: Bun boxes can be a simple box, or can have heat added. Some heated models also have moisture, helping keep buns fresh for longer. Bun boxes range in sizes to fit under any of the Nemco hot dog rollers, and are stackable for convenience and space conservation.