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salad/pizza/sandwich/prep refrigeration

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I could have sworn I came here asking for opinions 2 years ago when I re-outfitted the kitchen, but a look in bbay's log says I didn't.
Well, 2 years later and these pieces of crap are like shards of bamboo being thrust under my fingernails (no offence to any RL POWs).
I personally temped rails and bases during dinner service; 4 units; 44 degree average.
NOT cool. At all. **** puns, this is for real.

I'm enticed by the Randell units because they have 2 condensers; one for the rail and one for the base.
I have been recently informed that the "blanket of air" technology has been given up on, due to product drying out and the "fact" that it only ensures the cooling of the top inch of rail pans.
I found some "blanket of air" models online, but was told that the models must be over 3 years old. Also I was told that the only companies still producing that technology are Korean brands. Reversed engineered crap.

True seems to be the status quo for kitchen prep units; grunt trucks that are easy to work on.

Money isn't an object if it means that the units are going to out-perform my expectations. $900 more for a 18 pan unit is a pittance, IF it works...

Been feeling hornswaggled a bit lately.

Talk to me...
post #2 of 5
True are easier to work on. Air blanket schtuff was endorsed by health officials in the early 2000's, but that kind of sluffed off.

OTOH I've worked with "regular" sandwich/pizza refrigs, and they held their temp just fine, air blanket or not. S/S inserts seem to hold better than plastic, and shallow is better is this case.

One of the best "tricks" I learned from an e. Indian gentleman was to cram the base with stuff like mayo, liquids, etc. These items are bulky and take up space--they also stay cold due to their mass, therefor the compressor doesn't have to work as hard and they act like a quasi "heat sink" or in this case a "Cold battery". Every HVAC and refrig. expert I've talked to backs this trick up and tells me it makes good sense.

When choosing new units, the devil is in the details. Look at the factory websites and get the waranty information from the factory website--not from the suppliers. Clean your compressor radiators religiously, and never store any open acidic items in the fridge--seal them tight
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Update:
Ordered one Randell unit (salad prep) to test it out and see if it's worth the extra $$$.
Should arrive this week. I'll update this in a few weeks after it's gone through the gauntlet, for prosperity's sake.
It seems like every company's warranty is 5 compressor, 1 parts and labor. I'll double check that.
I'm trying to wrap my head around the science of that, but am failing. Why?
Good idea about the liquids and whatnot, though.
...can't get a straight answer from our "refrigeration expert".

Ambient temp of the kitchen yesterday, mid-day, 95 F (heat index guess, maybe higher).
I think that's 35 C (humidex) to you, foodpump.
Obviously the kitchen's temperature will affect the performance of refrigeration units, but how hot is too hot? I swear I've worked in hotter kitchens... fuzzy memories maybe.
post #4 of 5
The coils. Compressed gas (freon) expands in the coil (looks like a radiator) and this absorbs the heat. So refrigeration isn't making things cold, it is removing the heat--kind like darkness is the absence of light.

The coils are invariable made of aluminum and quite thin. Acidic products, including yeast, tomato products, and spicy foods like chillies, give off fumes and gasses that eat away at the coil. Once you got holes in the coil, the gas escapes, the compressor overheats, and the whole thing shuts down.

You've all covered a tomato based item (like lasagna) with alum. foil, right? And after a stint in the freezer or oven, you've got holes in the foil. Stuff like pickles, gherkins, capers etc. are just as bad, and can even eat way at 16 guage s/s given enough time.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Randell unit seems to work well.

CONS:

The lid for the unit is flimsy. The lid on this unit is truely junk.

The cutting board (deck) hangs over the edge of the unit, and is held in place by a couple (two) bolts which are already starting to bend...

The inside racks are un-adjustable. No, really, the racks are un-adjustable.

The rail cooler temperature is un-adjustable; it's factory set.

PROS:

it's expensive?
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