If you work in a professional kitchen and specifically in the catering sector, you will know that food is usually cooked and chilled. At the time of service, these are heated to serve them to the diner at the optimum temperature in a process called regeneration, an important step in industrial kitchens. Do you want to know how you can regenerate food successfully? We show you the 5 golden rules that will help you do it the best way!
Tips for regenerating food
1. Do not use sudden rises of high temperatures: regenerating food does not mean reheating or overcooking. In the kitchen the cold chain must be respected so that the organoleptic properties of the food are maintained. Using sudden rises of high temperatures (more than 70 ºC) can overcook or even burn the food, losing its original taste and texture. Avoid this at all costs!
2. Measure the temperature of the heart of the food: the second golden rule for regenerating food is to monitor the temperature inside the dish using a heart probe. Even if the food looks golden and crunchy on the outside, it may be cold inside or not 100% ready for consumption. The heart of the food must be at the serving temperature of 65°C to 70°C for at least 10 minutes to be fully cooked.
3. Incorporate the right level of humidity: incorporating an optimum level of humidity helps to maintain the original juiciness of dishes and not lose water. Therefore, it is necessary to know the appropriate percentage of steam in order to add it to the regeneration process and so that the food is served as freshly made.
4. Monitor the temperature-time relationship: in order to perform the regeneration properly, the temperature-time relationship must be constantly monitored. Usually a percentage of 140 ° C and 60-100% humidity is used for most preparations, and 160 ° C without steam for fried foods. Regarding the estimated time, this usually varies depending on the production, but should not exceed two hours.
5. Program regeneration in advance: nobody likes to be served a cold dish or one that can burn with it. Therefore, we recommend you to program the regeneration with enough time to let the food stand without cooling. Pay attention! Try not to exceed the maximum regeneration time, as this can ruin the flavor and aroma of your dishes. The regenerators have a maintenance phase of 65 ºC for this purpose.
Differences between regenerators and combi ovens
In addition to these golden rules to regenerate food successfully, it is important to have an adequate professional machinery that will allow you to obtain the best results. The temperature regenerators and the combi ovens are ideal because they allow to have an exhaustive control of the temperature and ensure the homogeneity in all the dishes.
What are the differences between them? These are mainly based on their use. Regenerators are a type of oven designed to perform this function exclusively, while combi ovens are used for cooking and also for regeneration. Depending on the type of restoration business you have, you can use one or the other, or combine them.
Advantages of food regeneration
Some of the immediate advantages that you will achieve in your professional kitchen when regenerating food following these rules are:
• Reduction of shrinkage: by following a cooking, chilling and regenerating system, it is possible to make better use of raw materials and reduce shrinkage.
• Maintenance of food safety: when we respect the cold chain and use mild and gradual temperatures when regenerating food, we avoid that the microorganisms that may appear during this process reproduce.
• Comfort: the regenerators incorporate guides to place several trays and Gastronorm trays in which it is possible to regenerate rations, whether or not they are vacuum-packed.
• Creation of varied menus: by being able to cook and chill all kinds of dishes previously and thanks to their subsequent regeneration, it is possible to include in the menu a greater variety of dishes and make the most of the time in your restaurant.
• Increase of the productive capacity: the adoption of a cook&chill system where to cook great quantities of food, serves so that thanks to its regeneration it can be served to a greater number of companions, increasing this way the productive capacity of your business.
• Energy efficiency: the regenerators are made with quality materials and a thermal insulation system that favours energy saving and energy efficiency.
Do you follow other rules to regenerate foods in your kitchen that you want to share with us? Do not hesitate to visit other posts of our blog where we deal with related topics that may be of interest to you. Contact us if you need more information or technical assistance on the regeneration of food. We will wait for you!