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How a Groen Kettle Creates Culinary Gold

The kettle is one of the best tools you could have in any commercial kitchen because it helps cooks turn “nothing into something,” which can make a huge difference to a foodservice operation’s bottom line.

In my experience, kettles are made so that you can get the most out of your food product. The whole point is to turn food trimmings into something that tastes great, so next to nothing goes to waste.

Kettles use steam under pressure to intensify the energy that is used to cook the food in the kettle. This feature, along with its durable construction and superior temperature control, allow for greater menu versatility and food preparation well beyond a simple stock. And when you need to cook food like a stock or stew (which typically require a longer cooking time than other foods), a Groen kettle provides more precise temperature and control overall.

Groen kettles feature new electronic controls that offer tighter bands of temperature and more cooking options. They are manufactured in the United States and stand out from other brands for their high-quality design and workmanship. Groen has poured decades of research and industry knowledge into the engineering of these incredible kettles, which is why they tend to keep working like new for so long. I can personally attest that Groen kettles are indeed built to last. Throughout my culinary career, I have worked with Groen kettles that were more than 30 years old that still cooked and looked great. Talk about some serious return on investment (ROI)! The mirror-like, highly polished finish on a Groen kettle also helps to maintain a sleek-looking appearance in the kitchen.

No matter what branch of the foodservice tree you work in (quick service, fast casual, fine dining, K-12, hotel or hospitals), a kettle really is the MVP of kitchen equipment because it can be used in a multitude of cooking situations.

For example, in one of my restaurants, we had a large number of requests to put our pulled pork sandwich on our lunch menu. To me, you get the best pulled pork when you pull it right out of a smoker. However, if we didn’t sell 20 sandwiches a day – the estimated number of portions from an 8-pound pork shoulder (also called a pork butt) – then we would have a fair amount of pork left over that I’d have to find a way to repurpose.

Needless to say, the pulled pork sliders were a huge hit. But with an average of 15-18 orders a day, what were we going to do with the rest of that pork? Was there a way we could turn it into culinary gold?

After carefully trimming the extra portions of smoked pork that we didn’t sell, we decided to bring in the kettle to make one of my favorites – chili.

Using the kettle, we were able to produce an entire batch of chili for $12. We sold it in 8-ounce bowls for $6, generating about $240 in total profit. In truth, the chili became so popular that we had to smoke extra pork just to keep up with demand.

Making chili in the kettle was really the best way to make “something out of nothing.” And, as a chili-lover, I must say that a smoked pork chili is now one of the best, most-delicious chilis you could make.

Chef Steve D’Angelo
Unified Brands Corporate Chef

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