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The Groen Braising Pan: A Valuable Utility Player in The Commercial Kitchen Lineup

What is the most adaptable piece of heavy equipment in a commercial kitchen and what brand would a chef recommend for handling all types of cooking processes? What will give you the greatest return on investment and long-term reliability?

These big questions have a simple answer – The Groen braising pan.

This braising pan is hands down the most versatile piece of foodservice equipment on the market. For more than 100 years, Groen has answered the call for more durable and reliable performance in the commercial cooking arena.

Seeing this huge, square, stainless steel giant for the first time as a young cook, I wondered, ‘What in the world does this thing do?’ I quickly realized there is almost nothing the braising pan can’t do. You can certainly braise all sorts of items at a professional level. But, did you know you can use the Groen braising pans to sauté, stew, steam, sear, poach, fry, roast and griddle? Groen’s line of braising pans (available in 10-, 15-, 30- and 40-gallon sizes) is like having an all-in-one and on-demand piece of commercial kitchen equipment.

From having an extra fryer for a special event, a big-batch pasta pot or a receptacle for stewing fresh tomatoes at the height of the season, there is almost no job that this durable and adaptable kitchen tool can’t handle.

No matter what segment of the foodservice industry you work in, you can achieve a real return on your investment and maximize your food dollar per dollar with this kind of equipment.

Every Groen braising pan offers great benefits, like quick and even heating, rounded corners and high-grade steel for better food control and easier cleaning. The 15-gallon Groen braising pan is unique to the industry because it takes up less space than most conventional braising pans. Designed to save valuable kitchen space under the high-dollar hood vent, the 15-gallon Groen braising pan is a valuable money- and time-saving solution for almost any kitchen.

I’ve used braising pans at many catering functions and other food service events to make shrimp cakes, which is an appetizer similar to the world-famous crab cake. By using the 40-gallon braising pan like a griddle, you can prepare about 200 petite cakes at a time with ease.

Here are the steps I used to make this entire dish in our test kitchen:

Step 1: Steam a hotel pan of tomatoes in a Groen steamer.

Step 2: Shock the tomatoes by placing them in ice cold water to stop the cooking process.

Step 3: Peel, seed and chop the tomatoes.

Step 4: In a small skillet add the tomatoes and a bit of garlic, apple cider vinegar and sugar and let slowly cook together to make a tomato jam. (For a small batch, use 6 tomatoes, 1 teaspoon of shaved garlic, ½ cup of vinegar and ½ cup sugar).

Step 5: Gently puree 1 lb. of shrimp (be careful not to overwork) and roughly chop another 1 lb. of shrimp to combine. (Note: Using a 50-count package of shrimp works great and is a less expensive option than higher counts. Split the shrimp into equal parts in two bowls – one bowl rough chopped, and the other pureed in a food processor or finely minced with a knife. Minimal chopping and pureeing of the shrimp will ensure a light and fluffy shrimp cake.)

Step 6: Sauté ¼ cup of yellow onion, ½ cup sweet red pepper, 1 ear of sweat corn.

Step 7: Let veggies cool and add shrimp to the mixture with 1 tablespoon of creole spice.

Step: 8: Add 1 egg and ¼ cup of bread crumbs to bind, then form into whatever size cake you like.

Step 9: Sauté shrimp cakes in the braising pan until golden brown and cooked through. Top with the tomato jam and serve.

Steve D’Angelo
Unified Brands Corporate Chef

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