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Catering, Food Handling and Awareness *OnTopic* Forum to educate us on safe food handling. Not specifically for Catering or competition but overall health and keeping our families safe too.


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Unread 11-17-2011, 10:55 AM   #1
ComputerMike
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Default Coolers vs Cambro

I have my first catering gig coming up and I have a question about coolers. Does any one know the model number or size of a cooler that will fit a standard food pan (12 3/4 by 20 3/4)?

I want my catering business to fund itslef so I can't afford Cambro units until a few gigs down the road and I figured coolers wold be a good in between step. I can sell the coolers off later on Craigs LIst and recover some cost later on or just keep them around for emergencies or overflow.
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Unread 11-17-2011, 01:56 PM   #2
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I don't know of any coolers that will fit food pans... But a Cambro 300 is "only" about $200. I just started selling at my local farmers market and doing a few catering gigs this past summer and the cambro worked out great! I think you should pick one up and use that for stuff that you need to get in and out quick. I still used a few coolers for either hot or cold stuff that weren't in food pans but the cambro made my job easier. Best of luck on your catering gig!
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Unread 11-17-2011, 03:23 PM   #3
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I found a cooler, the Coleman 54QT stainless teel that will fit food pans. The kicker is they are $200 each. Interior dimensions of 23"x"16"16" if anyone is interested. For that price I'll buy a couple of small Cambros.

Its a nice looking cooler though.

http://www.colemancanada.ca/Catalog/...7G.en.products
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Unread 11-17-2011, 03:48 PM   #4
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That price is MSRP; here in the states retail price is $139.99. Not a bad price for a nice looking cooler
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Unread 11-17-2011, 03:56 PM   #5
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Mike, maybe those 100 or 150 quart marine coolers? They're not cheap either but Cambro's up here are $450 and up.
Check it out. http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/brows....jsp?locale=en

I was also going to suggest calling the rental places in Edmonton, I can rent Cambro's here in Regina cheap.
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Unread 11-17-2011, 04:08 PM   #6
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Look into Carlisles at restaurant equippers bought my last 3 for189.00 each and love them, they will hold 4 full size steam tray pans, and are stackable, throw another 200.00 0n for freight and your good to go , mind you that was for 3 lol
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Unread 11-17-2011, 04:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prairie Smoke View Post
Mike, maybe those 100 or 150 quart marine coolers? They're not cheap either but Cambro's up here are $450 and up.
Check it out. http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/brows....jsp?locale=en

I was also going to suggest calling the rental places in Edmonton, I can rent Cambro's here in Regina cheap.
I found a few places that rent them for $35. Where I'm at I'd need three days rental for a two day gig on two units for a whopping $190. I think I will bite the bullet and buy two of teh stackable camcarriers, assuming I can scratch togther the cash.

The marine units look good as well but all the descriptions are missing interiors dimensions. I got the interior dimensions on teh SS unit buy calling Coleman customer service.
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Unread 11-17-2011, 05:48 PM   #8
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I was in the same boat you are in. I picked up 2 coolers from walmart they both were;
Coleman - Xtreme 5 - 170 cans / 120 quart coolers.
I was just in there again today and noticed they are on sale here for $49.00 each.
They will hold a full size pan no problem. I cut a few slats so I could stack trays on top of eachother.
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Unread 11-17-2011, 08:08 PM   #9
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I use 120 qt coolers. Not elegant but have gotten the job done. Also, they are great for holding copious quantities of hot pork and brisket prior to pulling or slicing.
That said, if I had the money I'd have Cambros and stainless pans.
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Unread 11-17-2011, 11:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiz-Nit View Post
I was in the same boat you are in. I picked up 2 coolers from walmart they both were;
Coleman - Xtreme 5 - 170 cans / 120 quart coolers.
I was just in there again today and noticed they are on sale here for $49.00 each.
They will hold a full size pan no problem. I cut a few slats so I could stack trays on top of eachother.

This is what I use, they also fit the smaller steam pans very nicely. I've used them for two weddings so far. If you have help they are easier to carry into a site than a cambro. And after you have sucessfuly served you can fill it with beer.
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Unread 11-18-2011, 10:54 AM   #11
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Coolers are nice, I have a few but you really can't beat a Cambro for holding food hot/cold and for looking professional. The ease of use is worth the cash, one job will pay for a couple so bill prior to the event so you can buy your supplies and Cambro's.
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Unread 11-18-2011, 11:31 AM   #12
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I was all set to buy a big ole cooler and ended up getting a Cambro & was glad I did. It's much easier to slide a pan of beans (or any other sloshy type thing) out of a Cambro than it is to lift it out of a cooler, especially when you're trying to move quickly.
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Unread 11-23-2011, 02:19 PM   #13
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I ended up buying a Cambro UPC400. It was $325 Cnd. Its identical to this one.

http://www.globeequipment.com/Dining...arriers/Upc400


I also bought 2 extra 2" pans to go with the pans that came with my chaffing dishes to max out the units 6 pan limit. I laso bought 6 flat lids for the pans. I'm good to go. It should allow me to cook for aboput 100 people depending on how much hot food I serve. Pulled Pork and beans shoudl be pushing it for space. If I get a bigger gig I'll buy another UPC400 and trays/lids to fill it.

Thanks for the feedback. I will track down at least one of teh coolers mentioned as a backup.
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Unread 11-24-2011, 08:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ComputerMike View Post
I ended up buying a Cambro UPC400. It was $325 Cnd. Its identical to this one.

http://www.globeequipment.com/Dining...arriers/Upc400


I also bought 2 extra 2" pans to go with the pans that came with my chaffing dishes to max out the units 6 pan limit. I laso bought 6 flat lids for the pans. I'm good to go. It should allow me to cook for aboput 100 people depending on how much hot food I serve. Pulled Pork and beans shoudl be pushing it for space. If I get a bigger gig I'll buy another UPC400 and trays/lids to fill it.

Thanks for the feedback. I will track down at least one of teh coolers mentioned as a backup.
I don't know about everyone else but we don't use the lids in a cambro if we are going to move the cambro, we cover the pans with foil unless the cambro is on a lower shelf in our vending trailer and we are vending
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Unread 11-25-2011, 02:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
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I don't know about everyone else but we don't use the lids in a cambro if we are going to move the cambro, we cover the pans with foil unless the cambro is on a lower shelf in our vending trailer and we are vending
I was wondering about spillage. Damn. I think I just wasted about $100- on lids I might not use.
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