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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 11-22-2010, 12:08 PM   #1
HBMTN
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Default Buying a steam table

Looking to add a steam table to my vending trailer for spring. Currently we are using crock pots for hot holding while vending. They are a pain in the a$$. Looking to possibly get one that holds 4 full steam pans, what are the do's and don't when looking to purchase a steam table? I am thinking I would prefer a gas unit, , would this be a good choice? Also is there any brands to stay away from and things of that nature? Can I get one realistically for $900-$1300?
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Unread 11-22-2010, 12:17 PM   #2
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http://www.thebbqguru.com/products/C...y-Caterer.html

this is a 3 bay, I have not used it but I have seen it demo'ed
If I needed a portable steam table this is what I would buy.

It is BBQ Guru, and we all know how good they are with service and price.
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Unread 11-22-2010, 12:37 PM   #3
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Thanks Anchorman, I like that unit but not sure about using it in a concessions trailer with charcoal. My HD Inspector would not let me use sterno back when I started out, she said either go with a steam table or crock pots. She said sterno was for short time use and not for selling concessions for 4-8 hours. Steam table was not affordable for me at the time.
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Unread 11-22-2010, 01:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HBMTN View Post
Thanks Anchorman, I like that unit but not sure about using it in a concessions trailer with charcoal. My HD Inspector would not let me use sterno back when I started out, she said either go with a steam table or crock pots. She said sterno was for short time use and not for selling concessions for 4-8 hours. Steam table was not affordable for me at the time.
Interesting, I use a sterno that has a 6 hr burn time for hot holding and opened fully cooks for 4 hrs.
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Unread 11-22-2010, 01:50 PM   #5
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I know, I feel the same as you but she said no for what ever reason.
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Unread 11-22-2010, 02:12 PM   #6
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Interesting solution to the problem. I use a triple crock pot arrangement and it is a pain. Conventional steam table can be a big factor in your electrical load. Who cares about the fuel source as long as you can hold 140*?? Will have to check with the HD here in Iowa before I write my letter to Santa.
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Unread 11-22-2010, 02:44 PM   #7
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I feel the same way abour the electrical load PC, that is why I was hoping to hear of good results with a gas unit. Sometimes I think HD Inspectors have a lot of leeway when it come to the laws because I know guys in other health district in my state that have gotten ok'd by HD to do what mine says no to and vise versa. I even had one inspector when I was vending a different location in the state ask me if I had a hand washing sink or was I dipping my hand in my sanitizer sink of my 3 bay sink. What shocked me was he acted like he was cool with it either way.
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Unread 11-22-2010, 02:53 PM   #8
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its amazing how different HD regs can be from one area to another. No way could I use crock pots for hot holding. Sterno no problem. I picked up a 3 bay steam table used, its propane and real simple, 2 burners underneath a stainless steel insert. I use thermometer in the food pans to maintain 140, HD has no issue, paid 200 bucks for it. Added 3 hinged lides off of ebay for another 45. Don't travel without it.
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Unread 11-23-2010, 06:30 AM   #9
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restaurant equippers sells a duke gas model in your price range. I have one in my trailer. It works great. Does add a little heat with all 4 burners going. But on busy days you move food fast enough that you don't need to light them or maybe just on the slower moving stuff.
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Unread 11-23-2010, 06:59 AM   #10
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I have a 3 bay, 3 burner, in my trailer. Works well for me. I put food in aluminum half pans. this way I can have up to 6 different food products. No clean up, just throw pans away. My HD loves it. I'm lucky, the top of my Traeger 200, which is not insulated, but inside of my trailer in separate room, is also perfect for holding products in aluminum pans. My HD couldn't believe it, but was impressed.
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Unread 11-26-2010, 06:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HBMTN View Post
Looking to add a steam table to my vending trailer for spring. Currently we are using crock pots for hot holding while vending. They are a pain in the a$$. Looking to possibly get one that holds 4 full steam pans, what are the do's and don't when looking to purchase a steam table? I am thinking I would prefer a gas unit, , would this be a good choice? Also is there any brands to stay away from and things of that nature? Can I get one realistically for $900-$1300?
steam table on craigs list, Buffalo NY, this is the listing:
5 well steam table, works great, can be set up for single or 3 phase. also for sale are bags of pepsi, diet pepsi, chairs ( almost new steel), Friedrick 400 rotisiery stainless steel self cleaning electric smoker can be used as single or 3 phase, cooks 400 pounds of meat at once, dishes, maybe for sale is a 72" refrigerated prep table. These are the only items available.
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Unread 11-27-2010, 11:08 AM   #12
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In New York state there is an HD exception that allows places like pizza shops and Chinese restaurants to hold food below 140 for up to four hours (think the pizza place with the slices just sitting out or the Chinese place with the cooked ducks hanging in the front window). Has anyone inquired with their HD about this practice in regards to BBQ?
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Unread 11-27-2010, 05:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
In New York state there is an HD exception that allows places like pizza shops and Chinese restaurants to hold food below 140 for up to four hours
In Virginia it must be at least 135 degrees. Holding below that in Virginia would not fly for any food.
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Unread 11-27-2010, 08:30 PM   #14
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I have 3-bay Wells electric steam table. It serves it's purpose esepcially for the 100.00 price tag. Two issues that I have. 1. Water takes way to long to get up to temp, have to boil it first or turn it on, 4 hours before service. 2. No drain, have to tip it over or cup it out.
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Unread 11-27-2010, 08:31 PM   #15
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I have a steam tray in my catering truck love it as on either side of my gas burner I have copper tubes that supply me with all of the hot water I need I would suggest getting a hold of Wyss Cater trucks in California to give you some prices and , designs for your mobile trailer once it is set up there is virtually no problems or the need for a separate hot water heater, my opinion only RICK
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