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Purchasing Kitchen Equipment Hot Box

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hello again all.

So I have a wonderful new job and I actually have purchasing power.

We need a Hot Box desperately, and I have 3 quote which vary wildly. I have only dealt with the equipment that I was already there while working.

Now I get to make the decision on which hot box to get but I am mechanically challenged, and have no idea what to base the decision of one versus on.

Any advice?

Here are some details on the things I know I want:

I prefer to have glass doors.

Split cabinet with 2 doors.

Full size.

Someone asked me when I requested the quote insulated or not? I figure insulated is better so I said Insulated but honestly I have no idea other than basic insulation understanding why this is important.

Budget for once isn't a huge concern so long as I can justify why one which would be more expensive is more of what we need. I run the kitchen of a hospital, but we don't do trays. So a single door unit would be sufficient (meaning not a double size hot box).

Couldn't find an article that discussed purchasing hot boxes so I figure with the wealth of knowledge here I could learn something.

Thanks in advance for all your help!

 

Frizbee

Do what you do with passion....the rest will fall into place..
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  ~Rev. Run
Our Lives are not in the laps of gods, but in  the laps of our cooks.
  ~Lin Yutang
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Do what you do with passion....the rest will fall into place..
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  ~Rev. Run
Our Lives are not in the laps of gods, but in  the laps of our cooks.
  ~Lin Yutang
Reply
post #2 of 7

Frizzbee,

 

New "hot boxes" can run as high as 8-10 grand. I've been looking for a similar cabinet to have for catering and at our Lodge and found a couple in the Richmond area that were used. Good shape and in working order. If you wanted to hoof it to Richmond and save a couple grand, you could probably pick up a real nice Henny Penny and I believe the other is an APWyott, both for under 3 grand combined. Don't quote me on the price but individually, they were $1500 or less. Also, the name of the latter cabinet, I was guessing on that. I know the Henny Penny was a HC900 with digital control panel, double sided access and split glass doors (4 each). The other I believe was a single door access and all stainless but a very nice cabinet. Get in touch with Debra at Cavalier Equipment on Agency Drive in Richmond. She'll be able to give you more info.

 

By the way, insulated is the way to go because of the very reason we insulate things......More efficiency all around.

 

Anyhow, I just purchased a used cress-cor proof/warming cabinet for a couple hundred bucks. It's not insulated but works fine for my uses. Would have like to have bought one of the others but......this was my dime and just couldn't swing the funds.

 

Good luck.


Edited by oldschool1982 - 5/1/13 at 7:53pm
post #3 of 7

You can use sternos in them too in case, well, in case you are somewhere without power.  Just saying.

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all who replied. I guess im looking for the difference in choices?
Like have you used one that you wish you had "x feature" or do you use an awesome one now and what makes it awesome.
The price quotes varied by $1000's so im wondering what makes the differences in price?
Oh and I appreciate the heads up on the deals in Richmond. My facility administrators have already stated they would prefer to purchase new since there generally isn't a warranty with used equipment.
Frizbee
Do what you do with passion....the rest will fall into place..
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  ~Rev. Run
Our Lives are not in the laps of gods, but in  the laps of our cooks.
  ~Lin Yutang
Reply
Do what you do with passion....the rest will fall into place..
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  ~Rev. Run
Our Lives are not in the laps of gods, but in  the laps of our cooks.
  ~Lin Yutang
Reply
post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frizbee View Post

Thanks to all who replied. I guess im looking for the difference in choices?
Like have you used one that you wish you had "x feature" or do you use an awesome one now and what makes it awesome.
The price quotes varied by $1000's so im wondering what makes the differences in price?
Oh and I appreciate the heads up on the deals in Richmond. My facility administrators have already stated they would prefer to purchase new since there generally isn't a warranty with used equipment.
Frizbee

 

 

Frizbee,

 

The Henny Penny is probably the most respected name out there from the years of service just about every chicken joint has enjoyed. From Swiss Chalet to KFC, all use their equipment. It's a tried and true name and I would very much recommend them.  The cabinets hold temp very well and their most/crisp setting work terrific. I'd also recommend the Cress-Cor I just purchased. Even though it's not insulated it does a great job. The one I bought was probably 6, 7 or more years old and still works great. It has a dry hold function as well as a proof. Most of the places I worked (not including the hotels where the double-wide banquet behemoths were used) this was the standard when we had one. Even the single use Proof box cabinets were able to adequately get the job done holding buffet foods aan hour or so for that Private room booking while you're knocking out 800 dinners in the dining room.

 

I can appreciate the thing about a warranty but have this to offer. One, new cabinet is going to cost you 6 grand. Buying two, relatively new used cabinets with probably 4 or more years of life remaining (with proper use, maintenance and cleaning) for half of that....That's the bargain especially when the warranty is useless after the first year. S, what good is it if it breaks down in year two? It can and has happened. Plus, even if you lose one of the used cabinets in the first year, you're ahead because you have the second functioning cabinet. But spending the 6 grand on just one; you're down to nothing, spent 3 grand more than the other option AND still have the repair costs not to mention the down time.

 

New equipment is shinny, bright, clean and I have to admit.......quite nice to get but........used equipment should never be over-looked especially with all of the less than a year old food service business that have folded in the last 4 years. IMHPO, two for half the cost is the better way to go. Heck, maybe you can purchase an extended warranty for a couple hundred bucks and that'd put you way ahead of the mark with the comfort of knowing you're covered. Seriously, save your bosses the extra funds now and it may come back in a good way later.


Edited by oldschool1982 - 5/6/13 at 6:15am
post #6 of 7
I work at a baseball stadium, so we've got a virtual army of hot boxes. All are FWE insulated boxes and I've never had a problem or even heard of a problem with them.
Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
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Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
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post #7 of 7

I  have a love/hate relationship with hot boxes,,,,,,,,

 

Non-inulated are intended for bread proofing.  Just because you have a heating element, blower, and pan of water does not mean you can keep plated food in pristine condition for hours on end.  Insulated ones keep the heat in better, which means less damage from the heat and blower, but still, significant damage to food if left in there for over 40 mins.  The one big beef I have with most of the "cheap" boxes is the system used to hold shelves and/or hotel pans.  If you've ever had one shelf collapse--due to weak/thin material that sags and pops out of it's standards or sh*tty standards themselves that pop out of the walls, you know how that can really make your day.  Also the cheaper ones--particualrily cres-cor are aluminum.  I hate aluminum, and I hate the greasy black oxide it deposits on sheet pans, hotel pans, plate bottoms (and, respectively white tablecolths), and especially hands. 

 

All the above refers to the cheaper hot boxes, of which many restaurants and smaller hotels are notorious for purchasing.

 

Never had a problem with henny penny, or altoshaam.  Remember the concept with "dutch" or split doors:  The smaller the opening, the less heat that escapes.

...."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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