or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Cutting Directly on Baking Sheets
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Cutting Directly on Baking Sheets

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hi All - 

 

I have a company that is making nutritional bars with nuts, dried fruits, seeds, etc. We're trying to find the best way to create consistent sizes. We don't have the funds for a large extruder, so we're playing around with some different ideas.

 

Right now, we are pouring our mixture into a full size baking pan. We roll it out to a uniform height, and now we're trying to find the best way to cut the bars. I've just purchased some multi-wheel cutters (http://www.jbprince.com/pastry-tools-and-equipment/multiple-disc-cutter-rod.asp) that I'm hoping will cut through our mixture easily, but now I'm concerned about cutting directly on the baking sheets. I've read that you can't cut on an aluminum sheet because it will expose the toxic metal to the food. It seems that the only option is to purchase stainless steel baking sheets, but these are much more expensive. Can I safely cut on stainless steel? Is there anything I can put between the mixture and an aluminum sheet to keep the product safe? Parchment paper is not enough of a barrier and you can't cut on silicone baking sheets. 

 

Any ideas here? Please let me know if I can provide more details.

 

Thank you for the help!!

 

Will

post #2 of 16

Line your sheet pans with parchment paper and grease the pan sides very well.

After baking and cooling, turn the entire pan out unto a table, peel back the parchment paper and cut your bars.

post #3 of 16
If you have a sharp knife, and cut on metal baking sheets, your knife won't be sharp for very long...... You will also find tiny shards/slivers of the baking tray in your food

Can you slide the contents--on baking paper, onto a cutting board? If not, lay a sheet of paper ontop of the product, laya baking pan ontop of this, and while squeezing both pans together, flip the entire thing upside down. Remove the baking pan, exposing the paper clad bottom of your product. Lay a cutting board intop of this, and flip the whole thing right side up again. Now you can cut your product on a cutting board.

The cutter will probably do the job, but a lot depends on the texture and consistency of your product. Start cutting in the middle of the sheet going one direction, and then go back to the middle and go in the opposite direction. If you start at one end, the cutter tends to pick up the product and wrap itself around the wheels. When cutting these strips into bars, you may find the individual bars lifting off the paper and wrapping themselves around the cutter. If this happens, the best thing to do is to "score" or lightly mark the strips in bar lengths, and use a heavy chefs knife to cut.

Hope this helps
...."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 #4 of 16

Have a stainless steel cutting grid fabricated (similar to a french fry cutting grid) which fits the size of your pans.

post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnniesKitchen View Post
 

Have a stainless steel cutting grid fabricated (similar to a french fry cutting grid) which fits the size of your pans.


Have you ever used such a thing? 

 

You need a lot of pressure to push it down and cut individual bars. Where does this pressure come from, and how do you apply it?  You've got a huuge surface area to apply pressure to in order for the thing to cut well.  Then there's the little problem of product sticking to the grid, since you're lifting straight up and down, and not rolling.

 

If money is no issue, you can use a confectioner's "guitar"  This is giant frame with s/s wires spaced at certain certain distances, hinged at one end to a reciprocating tray.  Nothing really sticks to the high-tension wires, and they will cut through anything, even gooey caramel or hard nuts.  Thing is, a good guitar costs around 5 grand

...."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 #6 of 16

I agree, I think your best solution is to take it off the sheet pan and cut it on a board or table. If you try and cut on the sheet pan you will most likely have issues. 

 

Just an FYI, the cutter you linked to is ONLY the rod. It contains no cutting blades (despite what the picture shows). Those appear to be a separate purchase. Wasn't sure if you noticed, but you might be in for a shock when you open your package. 

post #7 of 16
I've made several of those cutters, with 1", 1 1/2" and 2" spacing. Bought a couple dozen s/s pizza wheels at the dollar store, drilled the rivets out, and mounted them on 1/2"redi-rod (a.k.a. All thread) with wood spacers and wood handles. Since I like classy tools, I capped off the ends with s/s acorn nuts.
...."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 #8 of 16
I like chefross's idea,and a pizza knife. Not a wheel, a rocking knife about 24 inch
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefross View Post

Line your sheet pans with parchment paper and grease the pan sides very well.
After baking and cooling, turn the entire pan out unto a table, peel back the parchment paper and cut your bars.
This is the method Ive used many times with full sized sheets of brownies
and other bar type desserts, for large banquets. To facilitate quick and even
cutting I made two metal strips as cutting guides. I used a pizza cutter (the
larger the better) either sprayed with non stick or dipped in hot water, run
along the guide. A chef knife can also be used....sharp.
2 different width guides are needed if cutting into rectangles.
You can make it out of foil wrapped cardboard in a pinch, but it doesnt
work nearly as well as a rigid guide., and youre dealing with scores of
sheets anyway, so u need something permanent.
post #10 of 16



The cutters I use. They will only work on a flat cutting board.

Flat, since most sheetpans are usually "slumped" or caved in in the middle, and since all the wheels are the same size, it won't cut properly if the sheetpan isn't flat.

A cutting board, because in order for the wheels to cut properly, they need to "bite" slightly into something softer than the material of the wheel.

Sanitizing?

Hose the cutter off with a spray gun and toss it in a 350 oven for about five minutes. The wood won't scorch if you do this, both cutters are over 6 years old, and used daily.

Hope this helps,
...."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 #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodpump View Post
 


Have you ever used such a thing? 

 

You need a lot of pressure to push it down and cut individual bars. Where does this pressure come from, and how do you apply it?  You've got a huuge surface area to apply pressure to in order for the thing to cut well.  Then there's the little problem of product sticking to the grid, since you're lifting straight up and down, and not rolling.

 

If money is no issue, you can use a confectioner's "guitar"  This is giant frame with s/s wires spaced at certain certain distances, hinged at one end to a reciprocating tray.  Nothing really sticks to the high-tension wires, and they will cut through anything, even gooey caramel or hard nuts.  Thing is, a good guitar costs around 5 grand

 

I have a pizza wheel cutter that came with a both a steel and a plastic blade. I used it once on an aluminum pizza tray and it didn't remove any aluminum, but since they were very thin, it left indentations. Maybe you could buy a number of them, but you still have the problem of sheet pan lips and a concave center. 

 

Either way, I agree one should use parchment and remove from the sheet pan before cutting. Foodpumps wheel thingie looks like it would do the trick, but it I would design some sort of guide to insure parallel cuts.  It wouldn't be that hard to design a track system with servo motors that roll the cutting wheels through the sticky bars. Not unlike a sheeter but much less elaborate. My friend made a 3D cnc apparatus to be used with a router. You don't need a moving bed, just the moving cutter with a weight for pressure on either side to keep the wheels down. He used old indoor running machine motors and aluminum U track.

 

Wasn't there another thread on this subject?

post #12 of 16

Logic and experience state that if you have individual moving wheels cutting through a sticky mass, you will need "combs" or a dedicated scraping assembly for each wheel.  Small wheels cutting through a sticky mass will require an astonishing amount of torque, may I suggest trying to cut slices from a  4" square block of cheddar with a wimpy home style electric slicer as a comparison?

 

Not saying your idea won't work, but if the O.P. is producing, say... 8 sheet pans daily, and invests 3-4 months farting and fiddling with servo motors and aluminum "t'track, routers, and software,  and generally making a mess of a few batches, when will it pay off?

 

If you have ever used a confectionary "guitar" you will understand that a high tension s/s wire is far, far, far superior  in terms of cut quality and cleanliness than any wheeled system--regardless of the composition of the mass you are cutting.  The intelligent thing to do would be to source a guitar--used or not-- and use it without any farting and fidlding around required for a dedicated machine.  If you move on to bigger and better things, you sell the guitar and get your money back, which you can not do with a dedicated  home made machine designed for only one thing.

 

You have to remember, cutting the bars is only one step.  Manufacturing the bar mass is  one step, packaging is another step.  Getting labels is another, getting bar codes another, getting a nutritional chart yet another, and elbowing your way into the retail market yet another step.

...."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 #13 of 16

Hmmm. I though you were the one advocating the wheeled system since you posted your homemade cutting system and say that's what you use. I was just following up on your idea. You know, agreeing with you, in a forum to have friendly conversations. But that's ok. There has to be something to separate the regular, ordinary, run of the mill, inexperienced home cook from the pro's. Yes, we get it. You're a smart guy. 

 

I understand the wire. It's not only used in food prep. It's used for all types of manufacturing processes. 

 

At any rate, designing/ spec'ing and have a prototype built wouldn't take months of fiddling or farting around. And it would double or triple their output, if indeed they are looking to mass produce. My understanding from the other thread that they are looking at making thousands, not hundreds. They also said they have investors that are willing to create a new, dedicated machine. If I misunderstood, then I bow to your advice. 

 

I didn't realize you were an expert not only if food prep and running a kitchen, but product design and development/ engineering of machinery. Thanks for the tutorial on what it takes to problem solve,  conceptualize, design, coordinate and collaborate with engineers and manufacturing experts, package, market, and distribute a product. 

 

I'll be sure not to participate next time. It's obvious I have nothing to contribute, right?


Edited by jake t buds - 7/27/16 at 5:53pm
post #14 of 16

Well.... I use/ made the wheel cutter for a number of reasons--about 5,890, plus taxes.  I still don't do enough volume to warrant the purchase of a guitar, but when I do, it's a no-brainer.  I use this mentality all the time for major purchases, a $7,000 Hobart 30 qt, a $6,000 table top dough sheeter, a $3000 reach in freezer. 

 

The thing with this type of manual wheel cutter is that it is easy to clean, just hold it under the spray gun and hose it off.  The wheels get dirty very quickly, depending on the stuff you're cutting.  Tossing it in the oven might be great for sanitizing, but it also makes cutting heavy cream and butter ganache slabs a breeze, like a hot knife through butter, you might say.

...."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 #15 of 16

Jake,

 

I don't mean to be snarky or anything like that.  But when I make a suggestion--online or otherwise, it's based on my actual experience with that particular ingredient/technique or tool.  I do this because it's the kind of suggestion I would ask for if I were in that position.  Hope you understand. 

...."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 #16 of 16

.


Edited by jake t buds - 7/30/16 at 6:44pm
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Cutting Directly on Baking Sheets