Reheating/browning gratineed dishes at service time

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by recky, Sep 14, 2014.

  1. recky


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    Hi there,

    I was wondering what your preferred methods are for reheating and/or browning (pre-assembled) gratineed dishes, keeping both speed and quality considerations in mind.

    Since I'm the sole chef in an often brutally busy, but tiny, kitchen I am constantly rethinking methods of operation in order to take some of the stress out of service times.

    The kinds of dishes I'm talking about are, for example, shepherd's pie, mac-and-cheese, lasagna etc., stuff that can be prepped ahead of time and then simply reheated. I do focus on quality, however, so I'm always keen on trying methods I may not have considered before, or simply been ignorant towards.

    So far I have mainly used the oven at full pelt, which quickly reheats and browns dishes at acceptable quality. Occasionally, I have chucked things under the salamander afterwards to achieve a better cheese crust, but this adds to waiting times and I also have to keep a close eye on it. Have you ever tried the salamander at lower temps for reheating AND browning?

    What are your preferred methods? Options are perhaps steam table, then salamander, or do you possibly assemble things like shepherd's pie to order from reheated components?

    I'm intrigued...


  2. chefdrewwatkins


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    Professional Chef
    I think depending on portion size you could achieve a faster heating by using a shallower ceramic single serve pie dish and prep them ahead and cool. Keep your par levels on point, and they should heat up quickly in a hot oven or salamander and remove and serve. It really depends on the layout and volume of your restaurant. But I wouldn't assemble to order from reheat unless you have excess staff. The best way to find out what works is to test, test, test. Have your line test all the options and see what they can come up with. Make it a little competition between them.