You've decided to add a gluten-free section to your menu. Before you roll out the changes, though, you should ensure your kitchen is stocked with the right equipment. Here is a look at what you need to do:
1. Replace porous cooking supplies with non-porous ones.
If you cook or bake with porous pans or baking sheets, they will absorb some of what you are preparing, and then, these materials may release what they have absorbed into the next thing you make. For example, if your chef makes a beef stew with wheat-based dumplings in a dutch oven, the cast iron may absorb the gluten and pass it to the next thing you cook in that pot.
To prevent this unwanted migration, you need to get rid of porous items made of plastic, clay and cast iron, and you need to replace them with items made of glass, metal or other non-porous materials.
2. Buy extra sets of porous utensils and supplies.
There may be some porous cooking utensils and supplies that you want to keep simply because your chefs like using them. For example, your chefs may love your dutch oven or your waffle maker with the porous non-stick coating. In other cases, there may not be a reliable non-porous substitute. For example, cutting boards are typically made of wood or plastic, both porous materials, and it's hard to find cutting boards in non-porous materials.
In relation to these items, you should stock your kitchen so that you have two of everything. Then, you should clearly label everything as "gluten friendly" or "no gluten allowed" to prevent cross contamination and ensure that your kitchen staff uses the right items.
3. Invest in a food processor just for gluten-free dishes.
Most food processors have plastic bowls, and because they are plastic, they are porous and absorb things like gluten. As a result, if you regularly use a food processor in your kitchen, you should invest in an auxiliary one to just use with gluten-free recipes, as suggested above.
However, even if you don't' currently use a food processor in your restaurant kitchen, you should consider getting one before you roll out your gluten-free menu. Food processors make a number of gluten-free standards easy to make. For example, you can easily chop almonds to make almond flour, or you can easily process old gluten-free bread to make gluten-free breading for fish sticks, chicken fingers or other items.
4. Don't forget your fryer, toaster and other appliances.
In addition to replacing many of your porous cooking supplies, you should also look closely at the rest of the cooking supplies and appliances. In some cases, your appliances may harbor gluten even if the appliance is not made of a porous materials.
For example, when you use your toaster, the crumbs from the bread pool on the bottom of the toaster. If you toast wheat bread followed by gluten-free bread, crumbs from the wheat bread can easily get onto your gluten-free bread.
Similarly, if you have a fryer, the fryer itself doesn't absorb gluten, but the oil does. If you fry fish sticks covered in wheat flour and then try to fry french fries, bits of wheat flour can easily sit in the oil and attach themselves to the french fires. As a result, you cannot truthfully claim that your fries are gluten-free. Because of this, you should also invest in an extra toaster and fryer for your kitchen.
5. Consider a bread machine.
Making gluten-free bread is different than making bread with wheat flour. Even if your chefs are skilled at making wheat-based loaves of bread, it may be hard for them to make bread from rice, almond or other flour substitutes. To make it easier to pop these items on the menu, consider investing in a bread machine. Your kitchen staff simply needs to add the ingredients, and the machine takes care of the rest.
Ideally, you should buy a bread machine that has a gluten-free setting to ensure that it treats the dough correctly. For example, on a standard setting a bread maker typically lets the bread rise twice, but on a gluten-free setting, only one rise is necessary.
Want more advice on which kitchen supplies you need before you launch your gluten-free menu? Then contact a kitchen equipment supplier like Louis Wohl & Sons Inc. They can help point you in the right direction.
2 May 2016
After I was diagnosed with a slow metabolism, my doctor told me that I needed to pay closer attention to what I was eating and how I was cooking. I started reading more and more about different cooking methods, and I was even able to take a local cooking class to help me to learn how to cook better. It was amazing to see the difference that proper eating made in my life. I found myself happier, healthier, and more energetic. This blog is dedicated to helping people to eat a little healthier at home, so that you can enjoy the lifestyle you deserve.