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Flooring and stock pot questions for a start-up,

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I joined this forum a few years ago when I was looking for information on knives.

Since then my life has taken interesting turns and now I'm living on the opposite side of the world.

I have some cooking background, was a cookie in the military for a bit, and worked as a manager in a sushi joint and some other places.

 

I know that I am not a chef. But I'm used to working over 80 hours a week for someone else's restaurant as if it was my own.

And I've been fantasizing about that "my own" for a while.

Recently I've found what I think is a gem of a location. It is quite small at 85 square metres. But I'm not looking for anything large, I would most likely be doing everything myself with a little help from my past staff until it picks up.

I haven't finalized my menu, but it will be limited and I have an idea of what are necessary kitchen equipment. Two of them are huge stock pots and stock pot ranges. I've only used aluminum stock pots, but I've read a lot of things about the reactivity of aluminum pots. The huge pots will be used for chicken-based and/or beef-based broth (Korean/Japanese style ramen and soup, but NOT authentic, I'm not very big on the authentic, since I don't have that enough training in that background).

1. Should I still invest the extra bucks to buy stainless steel stock pots?

 

I couldn't find many used stock pot ranges, so I think I'm going to have to buy new stock pot ranges. I've seen different brands with varying prices, I would like to go with the cheapest kind, but considering these stock will be the basis of my business. I thought I should ask about whether extra money equals better quality. By the way, these ranges will be in use very very often.

2. Should I invest extra bucks for more expensive range? Does it make any difference between brand name?

 

I was thinking that after the renovation and plumbing, I would just keep the concrete flooring as is, instead of putting tiles on top. I've read some stuff about concrete floors absorbing oil, and that ceramic tiles are the best way.

3. Should I spend extra money on ceramic tiles for the kitchen? What about the hall flooring?

 

And lastly, are instantaneous water heaters good investment? or should I go with large water tanks?

 

I've moved to New Zealand from Canada 2 years ago, and only food-related people I know here are suppliers I dealt with as a manager and the staff I worked with. No experienced chefs around me at the moment, so I am hoping that cheftalk community can lend me some of your wisdom.

 

Thank you

post #2 of 14

As these are pro questions, I'm moving this to the pro forums where you'll get more attention and answers.

post #3 of 14

Im going to go into this conversation saying buy the best materials and equiptment you can without breaking your budget.  I dont know how many seats your going to have or how big your kitchen is so i will just lay out the basics.  

 

1.So to answer your first question- Invest in the stainless stock pots they will last longer (forever).  Keep in mind they are very heavy and if you can get some without the spout on the bottom it would be best with a nice thick bottom,. dont get the stamped steel pots you have thin bottoms and are imfamous for burning. Spun are the best. ( they never work right and get cloged) Stock pots are a vital part of your work horse cookware, next to your saute pans. 

 

2.Do you Just need a burner for your stock pot. I suggest a 4 top or 6 top range with oven that will allow you to do mutiple stocks at once( mushroom,chick, shrimp...etc.) and you could use it during service for your stirfrys or soups. I don't know what the used market is like where you live, but you should be able to pick up a decent 6 top range for 1k (us) with non-convection.  Non-convection ovens are best for the hot line and they are easier to maintain.  If you need a convection get a stand alone or two tier.  Hobart and Wolf are good choices.    I'm a big fan of Wolf ranges and Jades..these are usually expensive ranges, however if you could get one for a good price used go for it and they are easier to clean on a daily basis and they just work all the time.  On the lower end there is Imperial and Montaque I have opened restuarants with these and they are still there 10 years later.   Also consider getting a planchard grill too aka flat top. Again i dont know what volume you are are wanting to do or how many stocks you are making at one time, so this is a basic set up I could see being used for a ramin/ stirfry place. At the least get a 4 top with oven so that you do have room to expand if needed.

 

3.  Flooring is always a diffult choice.  One of the first palces I worked at had concrete flooring with some kind of texture paint that held up well for years  till it started peeling.  As with anything that is worth doing though do it right, i would go for the tile if it is in your budget. They make a tile for kitchens that have some kind of metal in it so that they are not slick when wet. Remeber to allow time to seal the tile( at least a day )  I made that mistake once and the grout started to come out.    Anything that is high trafic in the kithcen at least go with tile you can go stained concrete in the dinning room with no problem. Make sure they recess the floor sink into the tile when they do the floors.

 

4. As far as insta-hots ive used them only in the restrooms and not entirely for my kitchens. I've always stuck with the old style.  The comercial insta hots are very expensive. While the older tank water heaters are not.  And i dont knkow how reliable they would be in a busy restaurant.  This is also an area you could save money and use it towards flooring or a range.

 

I hope that this helps.

 

Buena Suerte...Z 

post #4 of 14

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post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

I'd like to first thank the administrator for moving the thread.

I wasn't sure if I could post this question on the thread as I'm not a pro yet.

 

Thank you, ArikZamora for your advice.

The reason why I need stock pot ranges are because I will be using 60L-80L stock pots.

I won't be doing any stir fry, I'm even thinking about not doing any gyozas as ramen can be ready in same or even shorter time than the gyoza.

Ovens will probably not be required and even though I'm thinking of adding 1-2 dessert items, I'll be most likely end up with recipes requiring simplest ingredients and minimum equipments.

However I am considering maybe a 4-top for possible addition of Korean soups in the future, it's just that even used ones seem to be 3-4k here and I have a feeling I'll have to invest a lot into the place even before the kitchen for most ideal premises.

 

I've been talking to few architects but none of them seems to have any good idea on the flooring for the kitchen, so I am grateful for your advice.I'll look into the cost issues for these.

I'm looking at places 80-100sqm in size for rent issues and what I think I can handle, and recent findings that I must install 2 washrooms have increased my need to find space-saving things, so I thought about insta-hots but if they are that costly, I guess I will not bother.

 

Thank you so much

post #6 of 14

If you are going to buy a stockpot, and use it only for stocks, I would go with heavy guage aluminum WITH a spigot & strainer assembly and WELDED handles (not spot welded, but toothpaste-blob welding)  Reasons are as follows:

 

If it is cheaper than stainless than buy, but it must have a spigot.  Aluminum warps badly, but since you are only using this as a stockpot you won't be subjecting it to high temps like sauteing meats, which is one of the main reasons alum. warps so badly.  Also you won't be cooking with wine or any acidic ingredients in a dedicated stockpot. .  It is also significantly lighter than S/s.  say you have a 20 qt (liter) capacity and the pot itself weighs 5 kg, add in 15-18 liters liquid with 1 kg=1 liter, youu have some heavy weight when you move the pot around.

 

If you are going to use this pot for other cooking, then get a s/s one with a sandwich bottom, but make sure the handles are very well secured--no spot welds!.

 

Floors.

 

Look into heavy commercial kitchen vinyl flooring with welded seams.  Don't get suckered in with heavy anti-slip gritty surfaces, these will only eat your mops, shoes, and garbage cans.  The vinyl holds up very well and provides SOME comfort for standing long periods of time--in any case better than plain cement or quarrystone tile.

 

Hope this helps

...."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"......
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post #7 of 14

 

Floors.

 

Look into heavy commercial kitchen vinyl flooring with welded seams.  Don't get suckered in with heavy anti-slip gritty surfaces, these will only eat your mops, shoes, and garbage cans.  The vinyl holds up very well and provides SOME comfort for standing long periods of time--in any case better than plain cement or quarry stone tile.

 

Hope this helps

 

This is your answer on floors.  You want them installed in as one piece and then seam welded.  I have worked in 2 units with this type flooring and they are the best as far as cleanup, performance, anti-slip and speed of install.

 

You will also want SS stock pots.  You can pay for them one time (SS) or pay for new ones every couple of years (aluminum).

 

Good Luck

post #8 of 14

Remember, with ALL floor coverings you WILL need to have a 4"-6" splash guard on all walls, with vinyl, it is a simple cove.
 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #9 of 14

I despise aluminum cookware;  The andodization wears off in a year, they warp and bend in a year or less, they dent and pit too easily, they react with foods horribly (try making a sabayon or creme anglais in an aluminum pot - even if it still has a flat bottom), and stocks cooked in aluminum taste funny.  Spending a bit more for aluminum sandwiched in stainless gives better product out of pots that will last years longer - worth it.  Also remember that teff pans are good for about a year even if all you touch them with is wood and they don't get scratched; heat alone will break down the teff, you can tell when it starts to turn a shade brown. Also, even the smallest scratch in a teff pan will ruin it.
 

post #10 of 14

i'm just a cook, for now.... however, we have a big steam kettle we use for stocks, sits in one location. spigot on the bottom, we drain it into tubs, sits high up, easy. No lifting. A good spigot makes life easier.

 

My winter job, has no spigot. Stock man lifts this pot bigger than him to the edge of our range, and starts scooping vast amounts of liquid into 4, 22qt Lexans, has to move the colanders around, has to throw out the goods that get caught in the colanders, then mops up what doesn't make it into the Lexan.

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

I'd love myself a steam jacketed kettle as well.

We used them daily when I was in the military (not on the kitchen trailer, but in our state-of-the-art mess kitchen)

However, it is very costly for me to install one. It is definitely what I would have done if I had plenty of cash.

It is also what I would do if everything goes really well and I want to expand.

Regarding the spigot,

do I get someone to install the spigot to the stock pot or are there ones ready made?

I've been looking for ones with spigots but to no avail.

post #12 of 14

They (pots with spigots) are available, but no one stocks them because no one knows they exist. They do exist on websites and catalouges, but mainly they are a special order item.

 

Things to consider.....

A Spigot is only good if it isn't plugged full of crud.

Therefore a pot should have a built in strainer over the spigot hole.  This is usually done with two guides welded into the pot wall and an open "box" of s/s mesh slid into it.

 

But it's pretty easy to drill a hole into a pot and install a spigot as well, which is what most kitchens usually end up doing.

But, I'l be hearing you cuss and swear from here when the spigot gets plugged up with crud, or a single peppercorn.....

...."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"......
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post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the information regarding the spigot. I found vollrath stock pot with spigots installed, however I don't know if there is a strainer inside.

 

Regarding installation of spigots into normal stock pots.  How do these get done? Do I find a welder and get him to weld a spigot to the pot?

 

I'm getting closer to the final plan little by little. It's getting there slowly but surely.  I'm learning a lot as I go, and I'm realizing that this is more complicated than I had originally thought.

Still, it's a bit exhilarating.

post #14 of 14

Nope, you drill a hole and use a compression gasket and assembly.

...."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"......
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