The following information is provided
courtesy of The Catering Equipment Suppliers Association.
Heavyweight Food Production Equipment
For many caterers the demand on
kitchen equipment is not just for heavy-duty, but for high
volumes. To meet this need, equipment manufacturers produce a
wide range of equipment that will cook large volumes of food.
Typical situations where high volume cooking is needed is
hospitals, universities, large banqueting operation, cook-chill
units and prisons.
manufacturers of high volume equipment have begun to realise
there is a demand for the same style of cooking equipment for
slightly lower volumes for large hotels, staff restaurants and
A bratt pan gets
its unusual name from the German word brat meaning to
fry, though they are not called bratt pans in German, but
kippentopf, meaning tilting pan and do far more than fry. Bratt
pans are deep, rectangular cooking pots with a counter-balanced
pull down lid. The heat source to the base of the pan can be gas
or electric. They all have a tilting feature, operated
electrically or by a hand-driven mechanism, so food that has
been cooked can be poured into containers through a “vee” in the
top edge of the forward side.
are a versatile piece of high production equipment, able to
perform eight cooking functions: braising, boiling, steaming,
poaching, stewing, roasting, deep-fat frying and shallow frying.
Not all bratt pans are suitable for all eight functions, but
looking at a model specification sheet will show what is
They can be
used for multi-function cooking of one product, such as
browning-off meat with the pan set at a fry temperature with the
lid open, then liquid added, the temperature turned down and the
lid closed to softly braise. Soups and sauces can be similarly
prepared using multi-cooking temperature modes.
At the end of
cooking the tilt feature is very useful for emptying the
contents out and helps wish washing the pan. Most bratt pans
offer the option of being plumbed in so that a swivel tap is
connected to the unit to allow water to be added both for adding
liquid for the cooking and for washing out.
In addition to
bratt pans that work at normal atmospheric air pressure, a more
advanced version is a pressure bratt pan. This performs all the
same functions as a standard bratt pan, but the lid can be
clamped tightly shut for cooking at a higher water temperature
than 100 deg C. As with any pressure cooker, the increase in
pressure means the food is cooked much quicker and tenderised,
so is very suitable for dishes which use tougher cuts of meat. A
pressure bratt pan can also be used in atmospheric mode.
work in a similar way to bratt pans in that they are large
multi-function heated cooking pans. The main differences are
that instead of the flat cooking bed of a bratt pan, the boiling
kettle is an upright cooking pot with an in-built heating
An added feature
of most boiling kettles is that while they have a tilting
mechanism, they may also have a drain tap at the bottom of the
kettle. This will be a wide-mouthed tap from which wet dishes
such as sauces and soups can be drawn off with the need to tilt
The popular use
of boiling kettles is not actually to boil, but to gently simmer
dishes such as soups, sauces, custard or stews. There are three
types of heat source. It can be a direct heat applied to the
underside of the kettle, which can cause burning on thick sauces
such as custard. The more versatile heat source is indirect
heating through a water jacket, a double pan arrangement as with
a bains marie. This indirect water-based heat system can work
with hot water or steam. Burning of delicate sauces is virtually
eliminated and the cooking and holding process can go on with
out constant attention.
kettles will come plumbed-in with a swivel tap for adding water
for cooking and cleaning. They often come configured as a double
unit so that two products can be cooked from a single footprint.