With the kids back in school, and the weather finally starting to cool off, customers focus turns from backyard barbecues and beachside cookouts to the hearty homestyle food often associated with the fall. The right equipment makes all the difference in the world when processing a bountiful harvest. Having the right tools can help business owners capitalize on this profitable opportunity by making the most out of their time and resources.
Manual food processing equipment
There are several pieces of manual food prep equipment that may be necessities during harvest season, depending on what fruits and vegetables are being featured.
- An apple peeler paired with a wedge cutter and corer makes processing apples for pies far more efficient. Homestyle apple pie is an easy and profitable “All-American” upsell at this time of year, especially when proudly displayed in either a display case or under the classic stand and dome.
- A variety of manual push and rotary style cutters offer the operator the ability to easily produce uniform cuts of a variety of ingredients rapidly, consistently and economically. Fruits can be sliced or diced for pies, squashes cut uniformly for casseroles and gratins, and vegetables can be chopped, sliced or diced to be used in any variety of seasonal favorites.
- Food mills make quick work of fluffy mashed potatoes with no lumps, processing large batched of applesauce with no seeds or skins, or creating smooth creamy house-made bases for squash and pumpkin soups and pies.
Automatic processing equipment
Though many high volume kitchens invest in manual cutters, often times they opt to purchase automatic or mechanical food processing equipment. These types of businesses have exponentially more prep work than small operations, and it is often wiser to invest in equipment to speed the process up than to pay for more labor. These are some of the most commonly used items this time of year.
- Today’s commercial food processors offer a variety of sizes, applications and accessories that will fit any operation’s production needs. Variable slicing blades, continuous feed slicing, shredding and grating attachments, as well as dicing kits allow labor budget conscious employers the ability to prep everything fresh in house, consistently, without breaking the bank.
- Blenders can make short work of seasonal soups and sauces. Whether it’s a powerful immersion blender used to puree 20 qt. of a spiced squash soup in the stockpot or a high powered blender with manually operated variable blade speed controls used to produce velvety smooth wild mushroom and chestnut bisque, the results can be quite impressive and profitable.
- Pelican heads can be attached to many commercial mixers, which, in many cases, can help businesses avoid buying another piece of equipment. Various sizes of shredding and grating disks, as well as an adjustable slicer assembly, allow operators to process large quantities of product quickly and consistently, and with very little labor and investment.