Steamers: Steam Sensibly in Your Commercial Kitchen
Work smarter, not harder, and save money with these energy-smart solutions.
Use multiple compartments so as not to overwork your steamer. Conversely, turn off your steamer’s unused compartments during slow times to reduce operating expenses even further.
Most steamers spend a significant amount of time idling, or wasting energy while not cooking. You can save energy by using your steamer’s timer to program full heat only as needed.
If you have programmable controls, use them to automate certain cooking tasks—like turning down the heat at a specific setting. This can help reduce energy costs.
While operating the steamer, keep the doors closed as much as possible. An open door releases heat and steam, literally evaporating your profits.
To keep your equipment performing efficiently and with the least amount of energy, establish a regular maintenance plan with these maitain and save tips.
Per equipment maintenance instructions, flush boilers at least once a week. Use commercial-grade cleaners especially for areas using hard water.
Mineral deposits from your water can harm your machine over time. Many manufacturers do not cover damage to the machine if it is caused by water quality outside their guidelines. Checking your water quality regularly and taking steps to remove dissolved solids will extend the life of your machine.
Routinely detail clean your steamer to remove mineral deposits like rust, lime, film and scale. These deposits will taint your machine’s cleanliness and decrease its overall lifetime efficiency. Some steamers even come with a self-deliming system to do this job for you at the touch of a button.
No matter how small, a leak can negatively affect your steamer’s efficiency—not to mention lose you money. Be sure to repair all steam leaks as soon as possible.
Without a proper seal, water and steam can escape the steamer cavity, increasing cook times and raising energy utility bills. Check the seals periodically to ensure that the door is flush with the machine. Replace worn or damaged seals. While you are at it, keep the doors closed as much as possible to prevent your profits from evaporating.
Saving energy dollars begins with choosing the right equipment. Learn which energy-smart features can save you the most money and help you to conserve electricity or gas with these shop smart & save energy dollars tips.
Look for this qualification. Steamers that have earned the ENERGY STAR offer shorter cooking times, higher production rates, and reduced heat loss due to better insulation and a more efficient steam-delivery system.
At 50% energy-efficiency, connectionless steamers are inherently more energy-efficient than boiler-based or steam-generator versions.
Some manufacturers have started adding fans to their connectionless steamers for better air circulation in the cooking compartment.
Some steam generators now qualify as energy-efficient models due to their reduced water consumption. Those that feature lower idle energy rates may even be competitive with connectionless models.
The idea behind this technology is to reduce the air pressure, drop the temperature and shorten cooking times. This is especially beneficial for delicate food items.
Some models feature heated walls which help keep the temperature inside the steamer from fluctuating.
Models with improved insulation surrounding the cooking compartment have reduced heat loss and less energy consumption overall.
Program your connectionless steamer to operate on full power only when you need it. You will reduce your energy bill.
The purpose of this feature is to detect temperature changes in the cooking cavity and automatically drop the temperature to a pre-programmed degree setting.
For small loads or single pans, the power can be cut by a third.
Many types of energy-efficient commercial kitchen equipment have rebates available from utility companies. It pays to check with your local utility provider since rebates can cut a significant portion off your initial cost.
More from Going Green...
- Why Go Green in the Commercial Kitchen?
- Going Green in Your Commercial Kitchen: First Steps
- Investing in Green Equipment for Your Commercial Kitchen
- Greenwashing: Not All Things Green are Gold
- Training Your Commercial Kitchen Staff to Go Green
- Green Glossary
- Seals and Certifications in the Commercial Kitchen
- Top 10 Energy-Saving Tips for the Commercial Kitchen
- Energy Assessments for the Commercial Kitchen
- Energy-Efficient Hoods in the Commercial Kitchen
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