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Are you passionate about your burgers – so passionate that you’d rather make them at home yourself? There is a unique joy in donning the apron, putting on burger patties to the grill, hearing the sizzle of the juices and smelling the aroma of a finely cooked patty.

Preparing your dream burger, however, will need specialized burger equipment. So what are the must-haves a burger lover like you should have in your kitchen to enable you to produce the kind of burgers you want? Here are some of them:

-          Meat grinder. Sure, a food processor can do the trick. However, for those die-hard burger fans who want to produce more patties, a meat grinder is the thing to have. It can grind more than 200 pounds of meat every hour. You also have more freedom to choose the meats and texture you prefer.

-          Salt shaker. For heavy-duty meat seasoning, get a high-volume salt shaker. This can make quick work of evenly layering your meat with salt.

-          Burger press. Turn your patties into a gourmet statement. With a burger press, you have the freedom to be a purist and form perfectly-shaped all-meat patties or you can go creative and stuff your patties with other add-ons such as onions, cheese or bacon. Get a burger press that allows you to adjust the thickness of your patties and that enables you to easily eject the formed patty from the press.

-          Hamburger patty paper. Store and keep your patties separate with hamburger patty paper that are made of restaurant grade wax infused paper. The paper should be non-stick.

-          A sturdy griddle pan or skillet. Get perfectly seared burgers by using a griddle pan that efficiently and evenly distributes heat across the pan. With this pan, you can retain the juices and oils that may have dropped out of the patties. You can also easily scrape and smash patties with this pan or skillet.

-          Electric griddle. An alternative to the griddle on a stovetop set-up is to have a large-enough electric griddle. This also provides even cooking for your burgers. It can also do double duty in cooking other dishes such as pancakes and eggs.

-          A steel spatula or turner. Maneuver and flip your burgers like a professional with a stiff burger turner or spatula. You can use this to get a golden crisp crust for your crust. The stiff head will maximize the contact of the meat to the pan. When choosing a turner get one with a full tang – that is the metal should continue until the handle. Of course, you should also get a turner with an insulated handle so that you are still comfortable in handling the turner, even in high heat.

-          Condiment stand. Let your guests choose their own ketchup-mayo-and whatever condiment ratio with a condiment stand. As you serve your burgers hot off the grill, this stand will be handy in holding salt and pepper shakers, a condiment caddy and squeeze bottles that can contain mayonnaise, ketchup and other sauces.

-          Squeeze bottles. This can contain your burger flavoring, as well as the ketchup and mayonnaise. These squeeze bottles are less messy than scooping out the condiments with a spoon. The squeeze bottles also have a more professional feel to them.

-          Pepper mill. Season your burgers with freshly-milled pepper – not the bland powder that’s pre-ground. A good pepper mill can evenly grind pepper and distribute this onto the patties.

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Equipping the Vegetarian Kitchen

by kenzie on October 15, 2014

Have you decided to go the vegetarian route? Your kitchen equipment may need some updating to help you whip up vegetarian gourmet meals. The equipment will make it easy for you to prepare raw vegetable and fruit meals. The key is in investing in some quality kitchenware that will also be environment friendly and long-lasting.

The good news is that you may already have some of the tools listed here. Below are some staples that should be found in a vegetarian kitchen:

-          A good, heavy-duty blender. This comes in handy in transforming fruits and vegetables into purees, smoothies, sauces or spreads. A good blender is an excellent investment as it will last longer and will provide better consistency and creaminess.

-          Juicer. If you do decide to buy a juicer, it is best to go for a masticating juicer. This is the more expensive version of the juicer (as compared to a centrifugal juicer), but it makes more use of the fruit and vegetable fibers and can also juice items such as herbs, wheat grass or leafy greens. Also check the speed of the juicer – it must be fast enough to squeeze the juice out of fruits and vegetables but not too fast to destroy their healthy enzymes.

-          Food processor. Another must-have in the vegetarian kitchen, the food processor minimizes prep work involved in grating, slicing and chopping. It will make help you quickly prepare chopped garlic (for your pesto sauce), or evenly sliced tomatoes for that delicious salsa. You can also use the food processor to make easy work of preparing coleslaw, pie crusts, patés and vegetable pastes.

-          Vegetable peelers. Have a set of peelers handy. As a vegetarian, you will always need to peel a vegetable or fruit.

-          Tofu kit. How about making your own tofu from scratch? A tofu kit will produce fresh batches of this vegetarian staple. You only need to have your supply of fresh soy milk or soy beans.

-          Ceramic knives. Very sharp and precise, ceramic knives also do not cause oxidization as you slice and dice.

-          Salad spinner. Get those leafy greens high and dry with an easy grip salad spinner. The greens are good to go and ready to toss with your favorite vegetarian dressing.

-          Wok. If you must cook your vegetables (for variation), get a wok that will require a minimal amount of cooking – just enough to deliver a smoky taste and crunch, but not long enough to destroy the vegetables vitamins and nutrients.

-          Citrus juicer. For a refreshing pick-me-up or to add to morning smoothies, get a citrus juicer for those oranges, lemons or limes.

-          Dehydrator. This is an ideal investment for those on a raw food diet. A dehydrator can provide fruits and vegetables with interesting textures and crispness, without destroying their health-giving enzymes. Ideally, the food should not be processed with temperatures higher than 118F. Some food you can prepare using a dehydrator are fruit or vegetable chips, veggie burgers, crackers, fruit roll ups or fruit leathers, raw food cookies and raw bread. You can also use the dehydrator to dry herbs straight from your garden.

-          Spiralizer. Transform those carrots, potato, beets, zucchini and a wide range of vegetables (and even fruits!) into ultra-healthy noodles with a spiralizer. Aside from vegetable “pasta”, you can also make stringed veggie fries.

-          Mortar and pestle. This works well for hand-making flour from brown rice or for grinding flax seeds. You can also use it to grind spices for pastes or rubs.

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Reducing Restaurant Costs to Promote Longevity

October 8, 2014

Having a healthy bottom line is important for a restaurant’s longevity. With today’s highly competitive food industry, restaurants can do well to protect their profits in order to stay in the game. One effective way to do this is by cost savings. Shaving on the operational, supplies and equipment expenses need to be done prudently. […]

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Adding Buffet Capabilities To Your Catering Business

October 1, 2014

As a caterer, you should be able to provide your clients with the dining style they prefer. This can mean plated meals served by your waiters or buffet meals that allow guests the indulgence of choosing what they want from the party spread. Buffets are actually very popular, not just for events (such as weddings), […]

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Table Top Ideas for Your Restaurant

September 22, 2014

Dining out is not just about the food. People go to restaurants with their dates, colleagues or families for the “dining out experience”.  The ambiance your restaurant provides is very much part of the package in a diner’s experience. One quick and cost-effective way to set the atmosphere is through an effective table-top design. Some […]

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Melamine Dinnerware: A Combination of Beauty and Functionality

September 15, 2014

For fine dining restaurants, elegant chinaware is, without question, the natural choice. However, for cafeterias, fast foods or high-volume casual restaurants, expensive chinaware is just not practical. The rigors that the plates go through in a high-volume operation will mean a shorter life span for traditional chinaware. However, restaurants are also concerned not just about […]

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Going Green in A Restaurant’s Operations and the Bottom Line

September 8, 2014

Does being eco-friendly also mean more profits for a restaurant? We would like to stress that being kind to the environment is a profit in itself and is something that every one of us should be involved with. However, if you do it right, running a “green restaurant” can actually mean hefty savings. Plus, you […]

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Adding a Smoothie Bar to Your Café or Restaurant

September 1, 2014

Smoothie bars provide an excellent opportunity for restaurants and cafes who are thinking of adding to their range of food offerings. In fact, as people are becoming more health-conscious, we can find standalone fresh juice and smoothie bars popping up and thriving. Smoothies provide a good mark-up which makes them an excellent profit center. This […]

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Saving on Your Restaurant Equipment Purchases

August 25, 2014

Starting a restaurant business can be both exciting and scary. It is exciting as you see your ideas take shape and as you slowly accumulate the restaurant equipment and supplies you need. It can also be scary in that completing the required equipment will be no small feat. For one, buying equipment for a restaurant […]

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Let’s Get Grilling: Essential Gear for Your Grilling Enthusiasts

August 18, 2014

Who can say no to food just off the grill? This starts with the “unhealthy” juicy steaks and burgers to more healthy fare – grilled lean meat, fish or vegetables. Grill restaurants can also grill ribs, pizzas or fish steaks. If you plan to get serve grilled food for your restaurant or simply want to […]

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