Even Technophobes Will Love
Ramp up your culinary game with these smart tools.
Thermapen Mk4 by thermoWorks
Rated #1 by Cook’s Illustrated as the “best instant-read thermometer,” the Thermapen is splash-proof, foldable and fast, providing an accurate temperature in two to three seconds. In addition to ensuring the right doneness for meats, the Thermapen delivers easy-to-read temperatures in ice baths, boiling water, roasted chicken or caramel sauce. One AAA alkaline battery powers the $99 Thermapen for 3,000 hours, a bargain to ensure food quality, safety and taste.
Take a hands-free approach to barbecue grill cleaning with this smart robot that packs a mighty scrub. Each robot houses three powerful electric motors and a computer brain that regulates speed and direction. To use, place it on the grill, close the lid, press the start button, then sit back and let Grillbot do all the work. A built-in alarm and timer sound if the grill is left on or when its cycle is done. Comes with three dishwasher-safe replaceable brushes and rechargeable battery. $89.95
PolyScience’s Sous Vide Immersion Circulators
Do you want to be the first restaurant on your block to join the sous vide cooking movement? It requires commitment as there is an investment in equipment and knowledge, but the benefits in food quality, safety and flavor integrity are hard to beat. PolyScience has several affordable solutions to help you get started. Rather than invest in a complete sous vide tabletop bath system, the immersion circulators will clamp onto any size stock pot or reservoir tank and can be easily programmed, cleaned and stored in a typical kitchen drawer. Set the sous vide immersion circulator and walk away, confident that your beef tenderloin will achieve perfect temperature uniformity and moist, tender texture every time, a result of precision temperature control within a hundredth of a degree. $249.95-$1,199.95.
PolyScience 400 Series Chamber Vacuum Sealer
Expand your sous vide operation with a HACCP-compliant vacuum sealer to keep food safe and fresh in storage, and tightly seal in the marinade for your next immersion. Seal the deal for $3,599.95.
Portillo’s Famous Italian Beef Has Beef Down to a Science
For 55 years, Chicago-based Portillo’s restaurants have owned the Italian beef game. That legendary Italian beef depends on a specific temperature range to create a tender sandwich each and every time.
“We count on the Thermapen to support our restaurants in the daily monitoring of food temperatures,” says Sharon Maloney, Portillo’s food safety & quality supervisor.
It’s hard to overstate the vital role Thermapen plays at the beef giant. “Food safety is very important when developing recipes and procedures at Portillo’s. We consider the Thermapen a necessary tool to protect the integrity of the brand,” says Maloney.
That’s why every manager and crew chief hired by Portillo’s is issued a Thermapen right from the start, at their employee orientation. Currently, more than 400 Thermapens are used at 50 Portillo’s restaurants in seven states.
Immerse Yourself in Sous Vide Perfection
To hear Kaiser Permanente’s Executive Chef Christopher Haydostian talk about sous vide is to believe. A dedicated user of the PolyScience sous vide immersion circulator and vacuum sealer at work and at home, Haydostian says he’s prepared “everything from butter-poached heirloom potatoes to the perfect egg.”
“It’s magic when it comes to consistency. If I want a medium rare steak, I can set the circulator to 130°F. Once it hits 130, the steak will never rise above that temperature. When your customer cuts into the steak, it’ll be the perfect medium-rare, and this will happen every time.”
The ability to create a poached egg in which the yolk and white have the same consistency is another “amazing feat of splendor,” he says.
At Kaiser, patient satisfaction scores jumped 60 percent after conversion to sous vide cooking, with many marveling at the flavor achieved with no salt, just herbs and spices.
The vacuum sealer is equally transformational, used to create infused products or change flavors at a moment’s notice. In addition, Haydostian says individually packaging items helps minimize waste and ultimately saves his operation money.
The products have proved to be genuine game changers. “I will forever have both in my kitchens.”