How to get the most out of your combi steamer

Advanced combi steamers, such as our Opus SelfCooking Centers bring push button simplicity to cooking. That said it takes a little forward thinking and a little planning to ensure that you get the most out of your combi. Here are some ideas to get you started…

Think ahead…

The key to getting the most out of your combi steamer is to think ahead and plan your production.

A good place to start is to think about how many hours a day your combi is currently being used. Then think about filling the gaps – perhaps with pastry production or blanching veg.

A sophisticated combi, such as the Lincat SelfCooking Center, will allow you to prepare a wide range of dishes ahead of time, before using the ‘Finishing’ mode to bring the food up to perfect serving condition when required.

Also consider what could be done outside of traditional working hours. For example the SelfCooking Center can be used to braise, roast and moist cook overnight, before holding the food in perfect condition – with minimal shrinkage – until the morning.

You could also get more out of your combi by producing larger batches less often. For example if you’re cooking a roast overnight for cold cuts, why not produce two? Simply vacuum pack the meat you don’t need for immediate use and store in the freezer until required.

A day in the life of your combi…

A typical day in the life of your combi might work out as follows:

Breakfast: Combis which can control the level of humidity are fantastic at breakfast since sausages, bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms and hash browns can all be grilled at the same time. They’re also ideal for baked pastries, poached fruit and eggs.

Mid morning: now’s the time to think about breads and other yeast products. If you’re working with a Lincat SelfCooking Center you can use the ‘prove and bake’ function. Then move onto lunchtime preparation and use ‘Finishing’ to bring the food to serving condition in time for the lunchtime service.

Afternoon: the first task after lunch could be the production of cakes, pastries and scones. Then you can begin to prepare dishes for evening service, leaving plenty of time for mise en place, prior to blast chilling. Once service begins you can “Finish” individual plates using “Level Control” to monitor the entire process.

Overnight: remember your combi doesn’t need to rest. Instead it can continue cooking or cleaning itself overnight. So again, think ahead.

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