I have a 12' line and I have been wanting to change my menu for quite some time but limited by the way I designed it. No oven, no cheesemelter or salamander. Basically two fryers, a 36" charbroiler and 36" griddle and 2 burner stockpot. I have an electric range off to the side, and it was a convection oven wendy's once had and all I use it for is baked potatoes.
Having said all that- I have been going back and forth on the equipment I want to put on the line. Understand that I'm an owner operator and grew up in the industry but have been out of the kitchen for years. Now, I am back in and want to be part of the setup and and experience what my new equipment might do. What I bought originally was decent, but meant to warm stuff up, or fry more than actually cook, if that makes sense. I realize as I ask these questions, that everything is subjective.
I'm looking to add a 60" range with 2 standard ovens and either a 24 or 36" griddle. Seems the 24" is more affordable and convection is not a concern for the ovens. On this range I want to have a salamander with dual controls installed. 36". It will basically start out as a cheesemelter but I hope to grow with it, and feel like I might limit myself if I just start with a cheesemelter. I will openly admit the kitchen I will install will be overkill for what we prepare. But it gives me a test kitchen for future possibilities, recipes, etc. Money is an issue, but I have a good budget for what I want to do. What I'm looking for is reliability consistency and quality. Our equipment is on from 11 am to 1 am 7 days a week. Low volume now- but would think in the medium to heavy range without jumping up to cafeteria, school, etc.
In addition to the range, I want a quality charbroiler. I'm looking at the Vulcan Vtec36 IRX. Most of our food is currently prepared on this unit. If their video is accurate to what they offer, I'm all in. I will likely be replacing my fryers. I currently use Dean and they have been good but I'm thinking I would like to have one larger capacity and one smaller. Mostly our fries, wings, egg rolls, etc.
Okay, now that I've given you all this information- Here is what I've been looking at.
Vulcan- Endurance series for the range and IRB salamander and VTEC charbroiler.
If I go outside of Vulcan, I will likely get the Vtec charbroiler regardless. But I would like to keep the line consistent to one brand unless someone can tell me who has the best in each piece of equipment. I want the ovens on the range to be reliable, hold a certain temp each time they are set. I'm a bit confused between thermostatic and snap action. I understand what they do, and I may invest in that, but I'm not sure it is worth the extra.
Sorry for the novel, I have certainly read many reviews here over the time I have been searching, but I really want to hear from chefs, line cooks, owners, what they are using and if there is anything I need to look for, watch out for. I don't want to spend any money I don't need to, I just want to make sure, that I can't blame the equipment! :)
Happy to be part of this group!