One of the most important things a restaurant has to get right is the temperature of the food. A wonderfully cooked dish can be ruined if it’s cool when it gets to the customer. This can be a challenge when certain components of the dish have to wait while others are prepared. Here is a guide to heat lamps and strip warmers. These tools will help keep food warm before it is served.
Heat lamps work well in several situations. They are very popular with buffets, since food can easily get cold. Heat lamps are unobtrusive and don’t pose a danger to the public. They are not appropriate for long periods of time, however. Heat lamps emit a dry heat, which can dehydrate food and ruin its taste and texture after a while. They are also handy if you are raising chicks or other animals that have to be kept warm at all times.
Heat Lamp Varieties
Heat lamps come in different varieties. You can get hanging lamps, which will heat from directly above and need to be hardwired. There are also clamp or screw warmers, which can be moved around and are perfect for carving stations. Countertop bulb warmers can be moved around, and will provide enough warmth for whatever can fit under a light bulb.
Strip warmers are made up of rows, and use reflectors to increase the heat being transmitted to the food. They can provide more heat than a bulb warmer. They are also more appropriate for longer periods, as they will not cause food to dry out.
Strip warmers also have several element options available. A calrod of metal sheath warmer provides a decent amount of heat, but not as much as other varieties. It may need to be kept closer to the food to give the right amount of warmth. Ceramic warmers give off more heat and should be kept higher from the food so it does not burn or overwarm it. Halogen is probably the most expensive type, but it will last longer and provide the most heat. They are also more environmentally friendly.
If you are in the food services business, then finding the right warmer for your food is absolutely crucial. This guide is a good starting point to find what is right for you.