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Countertop Equipment

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Countertop Equipment

A good kitchen runs on more than just a few ovens and stoves. For many restaurants, more specialized equipment is needed to get those specific dishes just right. That's where countertop equipment comes in. These smaller but incredibly reliable units are a powerful addition to any kitchen's repertoire.

Rice cookers are the easiest and simplest means of cooking fresh rice. It is certainly possible to cook rice in an ordinary stove pot, but a rice cooker greatly streamlines the process. Rice cookers consist of a cooking pan where the rice grains are held; a heating plate situated below the pan; a temperature-sensing device within the bottom of the machine; and an exterior panel that displays the status of the rice. To make rice using a rice cooker, the user puts the rice grains and water into the pan and seals it inside the cooker with the lid. After turning on the cooker, the heating plate will conduct heat into the cooking pan. The heat causes the water to absorb into the rice, which in turn raises the temperature within the cooker; the temperature-sensing device detects this and either switches the entire cooker off to prevent overcooking or maintains a lower, warming temperature to keep the rice fresh and warm. As one can see, rice cookers are a helpful, largely hands-off way to cook rice.

Want to make sandwiches with finesse? Consider a sandwich grill to get the job done. These special grills have a hinged press that can be brought down to hold the sandwich together while the grill below cooks the entirety of the sandwich. Thanks to the adjustable temperature controls, these grills can be used to thoroughly cook anything from thin paninis to fully loaded, thicker sandwiches. Some grills have grooved presses so that you can give your sandwiches an appealing grill line aesthetic.

Making crepes is a delicate and precise art, and with a crepe maker, you can streamline and refine the process. Crepe makers have a smooth surface where crepe batter is cooked into a solid pastry. Crepe makers also come with spreaders, which are stick-like accessories that you can use to smooth out the batter as it cooks to get just the right thinness.

Another interesting piece of equipment is the sous vide cooker. This special appliance consists of a metal coil that heats water to one specific temperature set by the user. This is key; it means that regardless of how long you cook meats or other food in that water, the food will never be below or higher than the set temperature. Thus, there is no need to poke, cut, or stick the meat as it cooks to check its internal temperature. It also makes it much easier to prevent food from being overcooked.

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