New to confection! Pan extender vs confection frames?

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Joined Feb 7, 2021
Hi All! I have been professionally baking for about 11 years, and I have been approached to help launch a candy line. Just like that! I'm in a whole new world! I have been reading, watching, experimenting.. learning so much about sugar and chocolate.. I'm in love. Anywho. I digress.

I have tried my hand at some "candy bars", and I love the slabbing technique. Now, I'm looking into production options to optimize efficiency and product consistency. ANY tips would be so, so appreciated. Like- should I be looking guitar cutters, or are they really only practical for very soft applications. and WHY are "confection frames" hundreds of dollars?? Has anyone used a good 'ole sheet pan extender in confection processing?

Thank you in advance for any pearls you can impart!

~W
 
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
Sheetpan extenders wont work on countertops ( they have "holes" in the corners), and sheetpans are rarely flat, most have a "belly" which results in a very thick middle and very skinny edges. Besides, with confectionary you want items 6-12 mm (3/8"-5/8") thick, not an inch and a half like most extenders are.

Guitars are great for soft items, not so great with items that have nuts or other inclusions, and terrible for frozen items. They are also obscenely expensive, $2-$6,000 for a decent one.
 
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Joined Feb 18, 2007
you can buy bars at a metalworking shop; they are much cheaper than what's sold at retail. Just make sure they know is for food and plan accordingly (in terms of smoothness and whatever oils they use on the outside). Alternatively, in this time of COVID, JB Prince has been doing sales every so often so it's worth checking them out just in case even though they are expensive by any other measure. They have fantastic customer service but their stuff is so expensive.

If you think you need a guitar in a few months, look for a used one. I bought one about ten years ago because I couldn't resist the price (a chocolatier was retiring and selling her items and it was a great price) and we had just started making marshmallows (not worth cutting on a guitar and cleaning the strings) and pate de fruit (also a mess but so much easier cutting on a guitar than by hand).
 
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