Yay or Nay: What Can You Cook in a Carbon Steel Pan?
One of the most significant reasons for professional and home chefs’ preference for carbon steel cookware is its versatility. It can be used in a stove or on top of an open flame, on an induction burner, under a boiler and also in a pizza oven, and many more. The most important step when using carbon steel cookware is to properly season it to build up the non-stick coating which occurs during seasoning.
Which Foods Can You Cook in Your Carbon Steel Pan?
You can cook many things in a carbon steel pan, such as perfect rice, hundreds of Chinese wok recipes, or a nice crust on a pizza. After it is properly seasoned you can also cook more delicate items such as fish, eggs, or even pancakes. But it is important to remember that acidic ingredients can cause trouble for your carbon steel pan. If you want to add tomatoes, that is all right. But if you want to add vinegar or citrus-based sauces to your dish, carbon steel pans are not ideal because acidic foods negatively affect the pan’s seasoning.
There are a variety of carbon steel pans to choose from including a professional flat bottom carbon steel wok, round bottom woks, and French carbon steel pans to name a few. But all of them need to be seasoned.
There are many reasons to season your carbon steel pan for cooking purposes:
Due to moisture and humidity, a carbon steel pan will rust, but a properly seasoned pan will be protected from rusting.
Seasoning protects your pan from rusting by consistently providing a water barrier.
It also enhances the performance of the pan and gives it a non-stick surface that you can only find in Teflon-type coatings in the modern world.
When your carbon steel pan is seasoned correctly, you can cook pancakes, eggs, crepes, and even traditional recipes like omelets.
Sometimes you will see while cleaning your pan that burned food residues won’t come off, and due to half-oxidized particles of oil, uneven bumps appear on the pan. To remove these hard particles, follow these steps:
Add a thin layer of salt to the pan and heat it.
Then scrub it with a wooden spatula or paper towel. The salt helps to clean all the lingering particles and food residue.
After that, wash the pan with warm water to remove the salt.
Then dry it with paper towels.
Heat the pan briefly over an open burner to evaporate any water residue.
Lastly, add a thin layer of oil to your pan and rub it gently.
5 Steps You Need to Remember
Your carbon steel pan comes with a coating of beeswax. Before using the pan, you have to remove it using hot water, a little soap, and a paper towel.
Set the temperature gradually in the oven as this material heats up fast.
Follow the acidic rules that are similarly applicable to cast iron pans.
Only hand-wash since the dishwasher can remove the seasoning.
How to Start the Cooking Process?
Here are a few rules one needs to follow for the best outcome in your cooking experience:
First, Try to Avoid the Preparation of Delicate Food
Your carbon steel pan takes some time to properly build up its non-stick pattern to function as a versatile cookware. So, it is very important at first to avoid cooking delicate dishes like fish or eggs since you will not be able to cook them properly, and the products will stick to the surface.
Start with fatty proteins, such as steak or bacon. Once you know that the coating on your carbon steel pan’s surface is made, then you can begin your experimentation with more delicate foods and you will not be disappointed.
Always Preheat Your Pan
Before starting the cooking process, you need to make sure that your ingredients are kept at room temperature for almost half an hour because cooking with fridge-cold ingredients can increase the probability of thermal shock which is not at all good for your new pan.
Always preheat your pan for two to three minutes at a medium to low temperature and after the pan has gotten gradually hot, add butter or oil.
Have a Look at the Heat
One of the best features that carbon steel pans have is that they can take temperatures up to 1,200 degrees F. If you do some high-heat cooking, you can utilize this characteristic of these pans. But carbon steel pans heat up quickly and may not require these extremely high temperatures. Many experts recommend that cooking over medium heat is the best as it helps avoid burned food and can yield the most crispy proteins.
After You’ve Done the Cooking, Clean up the Pan
Though it is not directly linked to cooking, you also need to consider proper cleaning as an important factor. Cleaning your carbon steel cookware properly will maintain its seasoned surface and durability long into the future.
Do You Worry About the Safety of Your Carbon Steel Pan?
Carbon steel cookware is not a new thing, but in recent years it has gained so much popularity among professional chefs, and more than ever, it is becoming popular among home cooks. It functions similarly to a non-stick pan, but it doesn’t have that Teflon non-stick layer that some people are concerned with.
As the main components of this pan are iron and carbon, you need not be worried about its safety because these are not harmful chemicals that can cause health issues. So, you can cook good, nutritious food any time.
If you want to learn more about what you can cook in a carbon steel pan and find some recipes regarding this, visit Yosukata professional flat bottom carbon steel wok, where you can get all the details about carbon steel woks and pans.
How Restaurant Owners Can Make the Most of Enterprise Asset Management
As a restaurant manager, you’re tasked with making your venture as profitable as possible. It’s a tough task in such a risky and low-margin business, but it can be done. A lot of your success will hinge on how well you manage the assets in your restaurant. That’s why a lot of restaurant managers have started using Enterprise Asset Management to help them stay on top of their assets and get the most out of them. These systems are a good way to help you avoid certain risks, stay on top of asset life cycles and warranties, and minimize those operating costs. Here’s how you can use enterprise asset management in your business.
What Is Enterprise Asset Management?
Firstly, what is an enterprise asset management system? Also known as an EAM, it’s a system that allows you to keep track of all the assets in your business. In a restaurant, that’s a lot of different assets. It includes everything from food & beverage inventory to the cooking equipment to the tables and chairs in the front of the house.
You’ll typically use an EAM through a dedicated software system, and this is what will help you track what assets you have, who’s using them, who to call for servicing/repairs, and when they need to be maintained or replaced. With all that data at hand, you’ll be able to predict any future expenditures, and when you’ll need to make those maintenance checks.
An EAM can also track perishable assets (food inventory is considered an asset), so you’ll know what’s going in and out of your kitchen. As such, a good EAM will help you track every single asset you have, and ensure that there’s seldom ever downtime thanks to breakdowns, issues with supply, and so on. There are a lot of options for EAM system so take your time to evaluate which one works best for your needs.
Key Features of an EAM System
There are several different features of an EAM that will give you what you need for asset management:
Work management: Maintenance is key to keeping everything running smoothly in your restaurant. That of course means maintaining all your kitchen equipment, but you’ll also need to manage every other asset in your business. For example, you’ll need a functioning HVAC and ANSUL system, so keeping on top of the maintenance for them is crucial. An EAM will help you track when maintenance is needed, and book inspections and repair work before anything breaks down.
Inventory management: To book and get that maintenance done, you’ll need to know which items need maintenance right now. You can use barcodes, RFID, and other tools to track the location of each asset, who’s using it, and its condition. You’ll then be able to get maintenance done before a full breakdown.
Supply chain management: Using an EAM will help you stay on top of your supply chain. You can use it to help you secure parts, perishable assets and more, so you’ll always be prepared.
Shelf life management: The perishable items in your restaurant are going to have a limited shelf life, and with an EAM system it’s easier to ensure all those assets are used before they expire. You can use the system to effectively use the First In, First Out (FIFO) method, so you’ll minimize food waste.
Analytics: As you’re using an EAM, you’ll have access to a lot of data about your restaurant’s assets. That enables you to make more informed decisions about your asset management and improve efficiency as a result.
The Benefits of Using an EAM
You have already read plenty of the advantages of using an EAM in your business. Here are some more benefits that you’ll be able to reap:
Get the most out of assets
Use the FIFO method
Comply with safety regulations
Offer better customer experience
Prevent some future issues
The Future and Potential Challenges of EAM
The restaurant business has changed a lot in recent years, largely thanks to COVID-19. As such, there is a need for businesses to change too in order to survive.
Having an EAM helps you manage a restaurant and lower your labor costs, taking pressure off the staff you have. Many businesses have already benefited from it.
There are several trends that are rising alongside EAM. The Internet of Things helps with tracking data on each asset, and augmented reality can present info on any asset for remote experts. Because of these benefits, we’re going to see more changes as time goes on.
EAMs are making restaurant management that little bit easier, thanks to the fact they offer a simpler way of managing assets. Everything is in one place for you, and you can take action on assets before breakdowns or shortages occur. You can understand why a lot of restaurant managers are already using them.
meez – Stop Playing Guessing Games and Start Costing Recipes Accurately
From spreadsheets and word docs, to ERP software and scrappy back of napkin math, every food and beverage business does recipe costing differently.
However, the common thread between them all is inefficiency.
There simply hasn’t been an easy way to control a restaurant’s bottom line without compromising something else, whether it’s time, energy or creativity. This was true even before kitchen staples like poultry and eggs faced historic price hikes.
So what is a chef or restaurant operator to do? Read on to learn how to cost recipes faster and more accurately—that’s what. Plus, you’ll get the low down on meez, the professional recipe tool that calculates recipe and ingredient costs for you.
What is recipe costing and why is it important?
Recipe costing is the process of determining what all the ingredients on a plate actually cost you. By properly keeping tabs on all recipe costs, you are able to get a better picture of overall business costs and optimize spending for profitability.
The last thing you want is for the true cost of your ingredients to be eating into your profit margin. At the same time, you don’t want to price dishes so high that no one will want to order them. Or, spend hours costing every new dish down to the penny.
To help you cost recipes more accurately, we asked our culinary team at meez what you should factor in. Below is a consolidation of tips they’ve learned firsthand working in professional kitchens.
1. Always Bake In Your Yields
To figure out the true cost of a menu item, first you must account for shrinkage, waste, trim, and any fabrication (prep actions) done to an ingredient. It’s rare that it will always have a 100% yield.
For example, your invoice might say it costs you $1.24/lb for an onion. But after peeling and slicing it, 15% ends up in the compost or garbage. Your final yield percentage could be 85%, which means the sliced onion that goes into the recipe actually costs you $1.45/lb.
To cost your recipe accurately, make sure you always account for loss due to prep actions. Otherwise, your recipe might end up being way more expensive than you thought.
How meez helps:
meez has yield % built into prep actions for over 800 ingredients. The tool has a fundamental understanding of what peeling, dicing, slicing, and other prep actions do to an ingredient and will automatically change how ingredient costs are calculated.
2. Have Proper Unit Conversions
How you buy a product is not the same as how you cook it. If you don’t record ingredient quantities in measurable units, you will not know how much actually goes into a recipe. It might sound obvious, but most measurements need to be weight or volume-based like grams, cups and milliliters unless you buy them by the piece like an edible flower.
Stay away from variable measurements like a “case of chicken bones” unless you define what this means. Your go-to vendor could easily change things up. If you just say “one case of chicken bones” is needed for a stock recipe, one week that could mean 30-lbs of bones and the next it could be 45-lbs depending on who you are ordering from.
In this scenario, you’ll never know the true cost of the dish because the ingredient quantities could change from one batch to the next.
How meez helps:
With meez, you can create custom units of measure to define vague ingredient measurements. For example, if you buy a “block” of cream cheese, you can create a custom unit of measure called “block=8-oz” that equals 8-ounces. With this customization, even if you scale up or down a recipe, ingredient costs are calculated accurately.
3. Be Specific About Your Process
If you want to cost your recipes accurately, you need to write down your prep actions in the recipe itself. Instead of just saying ¼ a cup of purple carrots, you want to say sliced purple carrot, diced purple carrot or whatever else impacts your yield percentage.
To save yourself even more time, consider measuring and capturing yields during your recipe R&D process. It will be easier to experiment and change ingredient quantities that match up with your food costing goals this way.
How meez helps:
Because meez’s food cost calculator is connected directly to the recipe, if you make updates to the quantity of an ingredient during R&D, the change will be reflected automatically in the total cost. This feature can help you understand how your food cost % changes as you adjust a dish’s ingredients or sell price.
In the restaurant world, costing a recipe doesn’t mean simply tacking on a couple dollars after pricing protein to account for vegetables and starch. Or, just keeping track of your inventory and calling it a day. Every time you have a new invoice, you should look at costs and make adjustments.
If food costs aren’t being tracked properly, your food cost percentage will be off. This means your menu prices will be off too. If your star salmon dish is underprice by $0.25 on the menu, this can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenue per year. And that’s for just one dish alone.
To get total visibility into your recipe and ingredient costs, without doing all the math yourself, your best bet is to work with meez. Our professional recipe tool addresses all the unique challenges of food costing mentioned above.
With meez, you can know the true cost of a recipe by:
Everyone has experienced frustration with a menu at some point. Picture it: you get seated and handed a menu several pages long, with unclear descriptions and distracting fluff. Or maybe the menu is so short and vague that you can’t figure out what the kitchen is actually serving you or even what kind of restaurant you’re in. Good menu design can help your guests avoid this frustration and make it easy for them to kick back and enjoy the experience. If you want to design your menu like a pro, settle in for a crash course in great menu design.
Benefits of Good Menu Design
Ideally, a good menu design should be attractive, approachable, and something that doesn’t require your guests to think about. Ordering off a menu should be as easy as possible. Think of it like breathing; no thought goes into taking breaths. Reading your menu should be the same, and by making it a breeze to move through the menu, you can also build a few extra benefits for your restaurant.
Your Food Can Sell Itself
Quality menu design makes your food jump off the page and into the minds of your diners. There are two popular approaches here: minimalism and description.
Minimalism is a trend that has grown in popularity over the past several years, with menu items typically including a dish’s title (often simply the featured ingredient) and a short list of ingredients to accompany it.
The minimalist approach brings with it a mystique that is useful in selling your food. Guests will be intrigued by how elements are combined, and this will provide your service staff the chance to speak about the items in more detail. Most of the time, this is highly effective in convincing guests to try out new dishes.
The description approach is the opposite of the minimalist, with the details laid out lovingly underneath each dish’s name. While this cuts out the middleman work your server might be doing, it can also have some drawbacks. Highlighted ingredients might get lost in the lengthier description, where a server might be able to focus more adequately on that. Additionally, technical jargon about cooking might not land with your guests – even some terms that restaurant folks find a little rote might go over the heads of your diners.
If you use the description approach to menu writing, just be careful not to get too wordy. “Grilled 14 oz center-cut New York steak with garlic roasted red potatoes” is good. But “Try our fabulous, world-famous char-grilled center-cut genuine 14 oz New York Strip steak served with golden brown oven-roasted red potatoes laced with tenderly sauteed garlic” is overkill and makes the item hard to decipher.
Make Your Guests Feel At Home
One of the key advantages of a well-designed menu is the way it subtly creates a sense of comfort. The experience of dining in a restaurant is often intended to stimulate multiple senses; the lighting, aesthetics, music, scents, and so on can captivate the mind, but they can also prove a little overwhelming. But an easy-to-navigate menu can serve as something of an anchor for your guests. If the menu is easy to move through, diners can make decisions quickly without experiencing choice paralysis. The less time they spend deciding about dinner options, the more they can enjoy it, and the better their overall experience.
Your Menu Can Be An Elevator Pitch
A well-designed menu also serves as a vehicle for conveying your restaurant’s concept without explicitly stating it. If, for example, your restaurant serves Mexican food but focuses on street tacos, your menu can communicate this focus using its design and layout. Simply center the section on street tacos so that the eye is naturally drawn to it, and maybe enlarge it a little, so it controls the space of the menu. With this center section dominating the menu’s design, your guests will automatically infer that tacos are your specialty and therefore they should try them.
Features of a Well-Designed Menu
So what does a well-designed menu look like? There’s no fixed answer to that question, but there are a few key components that every menu designer should consider.
Your guests have to be able to read the menu, after all! There are a few considerations to make sure your menu is approachable to the eye:
Font Choice There’s no shame in bringing a visually attractive or fun font to your menu, but make sure to choose something easy to read! You don’t want your guests to waste time or get frustrated trying to understand what they’re trying to read. Pick an attractive font, but make sure you choose one that is legible, first and foremost.
Space If your menu components are too cramped or crowded, it will be difficult for guests to direct their focus. Don’t shy away from utilizing negative space to control your guests’ attention. Blank areas on your menu are a great way to ensure it doesn’t become overwhelming to read, making choosing menu items easier.
Less Is More There’s nothing wrong with describing an item in some detail, but keep your descriptions short and focused. Lengthy and bloated item descriptions can become walls of unapproachable text very quickly. Descriptions should only exist to make your guests’ mouths water; you should edit out any text that doesn’t serve that purpose.
Layout is an incredibly effective tool in your arsenal when designing your menu. There are a couple of crucial components to a layout that you should consider:
Direction Consider how your ideal dining experience is supposed to progress. Is there a strict order of courses? Are items intended for individuals, or is the meal supposed to be served family style? Having this intention in place when laying out your menu is enormously helpful. If you group items based on their intended location in the meal (appetizers, salads, mains, etc.), your guests have a clear path to progress, removing some guesswork from dining.
Grouping If you serve your entrees with side dishes or pairings, your guest shouldn’t have to go hunting for them. Create a small box next to the main entree sections that contains these accompanying items so that making these choices can happen all at once. Guests enjoy feeling like they have a plan for approaching their meals, and tools like this can give them that sense of comfort.
While not mandatory for most menus, including allergen indicators on your design can be hugely helpful for your guests and staff. You can accent dishes that don’t include common allergens like gluten, nuts, or dairy with discrete signifiers (a small “GF” next to gluten-free items, for example). You can also extend this treatment to plant-based dishes for vegan or vegetarian diners or include a signifier to show that dishes are halal. It’s important not to overdo it with signifiers; while the information is important, you must also consider how your menu will look. But having them present can save your guests the trouble of asking what they can and can’t eat and save your servers the trouble of explaining the same in great detail.
Go Forth And Create with MustHaveMenus
All of this might seem like a lot of information to sort through, but once you’re in the thick of designing your menu, it will be easy to see how these principles apply. By using MustHaveMenus, a service that offers more than 20,000 design templates for restaurant owners, you will be able to quickly and effectively design your menu with minimal stress.
What Does MustHaveMenus Have to Offer?
MustHaveMenus is a DIY menu design service that makes it easier (and cheaper) for restaurants to design high-quality menus. However, that isn’t all they offer. When you delve into their selection of templates, you’ll find flyers, sandwich boards, table tents, and templates for every type of menu you can imagine. Additionally, MustHaveMenus also provides QR codes, online menus, and more to round out their service.
To learn more about MustHaveMenus, check out their website and schedule a free demo.