new to alto sham - questions on the best way to use it for reheating

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by stxchck, Jan 16, 2016.

  1. stxchck

    stxchck

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    I just took over a new kitchen in a local organic store that has a 16 well hot bar. I have mostly been a restaurant and private chef so this is my first gig with a steam table that has to be filled all day every day. We have an alto sham that we are using to retherm/reheat product. Its a new tool for me so I was wondering if anyone had any tried and true advice on the best way to use it for steam table food. We have been mostly using the combi mode to bring food up to temp, I have played with the retherm but it seems to take a lot longer. We are bringing hotel pans worth of food up to temp in the morning to get out to the bar. I have their manual and have been reading through it but I had to get this kitchen up and running with no time and hardly any staff so any quick advice would be great. I do not have a steamer in my kitchen so i only have the combi and ovens to reheat. I know the retherm method is probably the correct way to do it but haven't had time to figure out the best way. Also, any advice in general on good sources to learn about steam table food production, good books or good sites to check out to educate myself further on large scale production? I have done buffets but have never had to keep a steam table stocked for 8 hours.They do not want covers on the pans so I am fighting with the air cooling food from above (there is no above heat source) and meat's texture toughening. i have read a bunch of tips on here but want to learn as much as I can. Thanks!
     
  2. chefbuba

    chefbuba

    Messages:
    2,218
    Likes Received:
    479
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    What type of food are you serving?
     
  3. stxchck

    stxchck

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Its an organic local grocery store, so think whole foods on a small scale but with everything made in house.  So its lots of roasted or steamed veggies (carrots, potatoes, brocc, caul, etc.), I've been using 8pc baked chicken with a light stock sauce but that's been a challenge in the bar, tried pork loin but that didn't hold up well at all  - moved it into a cassoulet, meatloaf, and several vegetarian dishes, mostly indian right now because they are holding up so well, and brown rice and one other grain (currently a farro chard dish). I have a 16 well steam bar with no above heating source (I didn't design this) and I need to keep three meat proteins, three veggie entrees, rice and veggies on at all times and as "clean" as possible. So I'm trying to avoid doing thick creamy dishes but its a challenge. I haven't had a lot of success reheating meat in the alto sham, but again I might not be using it to its best ability. I'm bringing my proteins up in a convection, using the combi mode for all steamed veggies and rices. Quick items like green beans we are just cooking on combi as needed and not reheating. Roasted veggies we are reheating in the convection or combi depending on texture. This is also all sold by the pound so heavier items in terms of weight are to my advantage.