We heard that microwaves reduce nutrients…

We’ve all heard that microwaving our food might not be the best method because it kills key nutrients.  But a microwave is very convenient when making lunch or dinner, so avoiding it seems out of the question. Thankfully, there’s good news to share from recent research that says microwaves might not be as bad as we think they are.

Cornell University conducted a study that compared the nutrient value from foods that were steamed, baked, boiled, and microwaved. What they found was that the worst things for nutrients are water, temperature, and time. Microwaves actually involve the least amount of those three enemies, so foods that were microwaved came out with higher water-soluble nutrient concentrations- which is a good thing! Ultimately, even though microwaves generate high heat, the cooking time is generally less than other cooking methods which results in more nutrition.

So hold on to those microwaves and enjoy your nutritious leftovers!

What to Consider When Purchasing a Restaurant Range


The most common piece of heavy equipment in a commercial kitchen is the range. Ranges offer a lot of flexibility – you can use them for baking, broiling, boiling, roasting, sautéing, grilling and more. When shopping for a range, consider these things:


How big of a range do you need? Let your menu be your guide. Restaurant ranges come as narrow as 24″ or as wide as 72″ or more. Ask yourself simple questions to determine what your needs are:

  • How often will you be using it? Are you buying for a church or other type of location that does not need to use it every day or a busy 24 hour a day operation?
  • Do you already have a standalone convection oven, or will the oven in your range be the oven you use all the time?
  • How will you use the range? Will you mostly use it for sautéing or boiling in big pots?
  • What are you cooking? Are you cooking simple breakfast items or signature dishes?
  • How will you use the oven? Will you mostly be baking or roasting?

Key Tip: Local codes usually require ranges to be under a ventilating hood, with 6 inches to spare on either side. Check with your local code inspector to be sure you will be in compliance.

When determining the size you need, the available hood space is a good place to start. If you have a 14′ hood, consider what other items need to go under it. Convection oven (30″)? Deep fat fryer (2 @ 21″wide)? Charbroiler (30″)? How much room will be left? In this example, after deducting 6″ clearance per side, there will be 54″ of available space (14′x12″= 168″, minus 30″, minus 42″, minus 30″, and minus 6″ clearance per end). With 54″ of space available, the next questions to ask are what will you be cooking and what do you need to get that done? If you will be serving breakfast, a flattop griddle is a convenient timesaver. Hash browns, eggs, bacon, sausages, pancakes can all be done on a griddle. Determine the ideal width you would like to work with on a grill. 24″ is common, but you may need more or less. You can also have a finishing broiler underneath a raised griddle for melting cheeses or browning.

The remaining space available can be filled with burners. Burners are available in 12″ and 18″ widths. The narrow 12″ ones are convenient for sautéing and other frypan cooking; 18″ wide burners are more stable when using large stock pots for broths or sauces.

Space Efficiency

The next thing to consider is how to effectively use the space you have below the range. Oven(s) and/or storage? Convection oven or standard? Space saver or full size? Full size ovens can hold a full size sheet pan left to right and front to back. A space saver will only hold a full bun pan front to back. Decide what your kitchen needs the most- then you have your answer. These are just some of the questions to consider when designing your new range. There are multiple options available within these choices. Griddles can be on the  left or the right, burners can be raised in the back row for easier access, fans on ovens can have on/off switches. You can also mount a salamander broiler or cheese melter over the unit.

Key Tip: Ranges come in a good, better, best offering from most manufacturers. The better class is usually sufficient for most operations, but high volume or demonstration kitchens might need top of the line equipment for performance and appearance. A church or smaller, limited use operation might well be fine with the entry level ‘good’ category.


Take your first 3 steps to get ready for the holidays

There are a lot of holidays at the end of the year which makes now the perfect time to start planning how your business can maximize holiday sales by taking 3 easy steps right now.

  1. Start your special holiday menu. Promote your holiday menu on social media now and encourage customers to start making reservations. This could be unique Halloween desserts, southern style Thanksgiving dinner, or over the top New Year’s happy hour. Whatever you choose, your goal is to get customers excited to come dine with you.
  2. Work together! Find some local businesses to partner up with for a bundle package. This could be a Thanksgiving movie and dinner deal that you promote via email.
  3. Decide on your holiday hours. Determine now what your holiday hours are going to be and start letting customers know so they won’t be caught off guard if they are planning to come dine with you. Consider extending hours on black Friday to gain new customers that might be late night shopping.

The holidays don’t have to be overwhelming, if you plan accordingly. Take small steps now that will result in more time spent delivering great service and increasing sales.