What is a Steam Kettle?
Steam kettles, also known as steam-jacketed kettles, are large and deep kettles sitting on a pedestal base, console, or cabinet. They are composed of an inner pot, an outer jacket, and gas or electric heating elements. The jacket may cover two-thirds (partial jacket) or the whole kettle (full jacket), with some space between the inner and outer kettles. Steam is pumped into this jacket, providing even heat for the ingredients inside the kettle without directly contacting them. The temperature inside the jacketed pot rises or falls by adjusting the steam pressure.
Benefits Of Steam Kettles
Commercial steam kettles imitate the range top cooking process in heavy-duty stock pots. Therefore, they can be used to prepare soups, pasta, stews, sauces, rice, jam, jellies, and anything else you can cook in stock pots. However, they are designed to boost output, facilitate operation, accelerate cooking, and improve efficiency. Here are a few benefits of steam jacketed pots, making them a greater alternative to stock options, especially in fast-paced facilities with high-volume demands.
- The high-energy steam sealed inside the jacket heat ingredient from all sides, 3-4 times faster than stock pots, which have high temperatures only at the bottom.
- Steam kettles provide gentler and more uniform heat distribution, resulting in consistent cooking with no hot spots.
- Jacketed kettles consume nearly 35% less energy than stock-pot cooking.
- Precision controls allow finer temperature adjustments, removing the need for constant pot watching and stirring.
- Steam-jacketed kettles increase menu variety. You can cook delicate products like dairy and chocolate or braise meats without boiling over or scorching them.
Choosing The Right Steam Kettle
Steam kettles are available in various types and features to address different cooking operations. Although the following points make minor operational differences, all the jacketed pots use pressured steam, saving you time and energy. Whatever the choice, you will have the same flavor quality.
- Size: In sizing your steam-jacketed kettle, it would be wise to consider the volume and frequency of each batch. A wide selection of sizes accommodates distinct demands, ranging from 6 quarts to 250 gallons. Those over 100 gallons are more suitable for large-batch applications like hospitals, hotels, and military institutions. In comparison, the most common sizes for restaurants are 20-40 on the countertop and 60-80 gallons on floor models. Cooking capacity also influences the temperature range. For example, a 40-gallon steam kettle will heat up in about 15 seconds when set to 30 psi.
- Base: Steam kettles are mounted on a pedestal base, single or double console, cabinet, or open legs. Your kitchen layout will specify your choice. Open leg and pedestal bases need a smaller footprint than cabinet and console stands.
- Type: One primary difference in steam kettles is how the finished products are dumped into containers or serving utensils. Tilting kettles slant forward to empty the contents and do the cleaning more easily. The tilting mechanism can be power-assisted or manual with a crank or handle. Stationary models have a drain valve at the bottom. A tilt kettle would work better if you often cook chunky products that may clog the drain valve.
- Power Source: Choosing between gas or electric steam kettles relates to the affordability of each fuel type in your area. Electricity will be wiser if you need a countertop unit because you can move it around your kitchen. Gas can be more efficient for floor models.
Thanks to the superheated pressurized steam running inside a steam jacket, steam kettles can heat larger quantities of food more evenly and quickly. Chef's Deal offers an extensive selection of sizes to match your kitchen's demands. Choose from AccuTemp, Cleveland, Crown, Groen, and other leading manufacturers. You may also want to see other commercial steam cooking equipment for your establishment.