Kitchen equipment: Peggy's Equipment Essentials

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Burco Rise and Fall GrillI can think of plenty of other things that rise and fall, but few of them are as useful in the kitchen as this new grill....

Burco Rise and Fall Grill

I can think of plenty of other things that rise and fall, but few of them are as useful in the kitchen as this new grill. Those nice people at Burco have come up with a grill with a heavy duty lifting mechanism and a hardy stainless design.We're also trying out Burco's new Light Duty Grill, which features a self-supporting cooking grid for removing food without actually removing the grid. They've both been going strong in our kitchen so far, and Burco assures me they'll last for years. We'll see - I've heard similar boasts about staying power before.

01709 577120, www.burco.co.uk

Imperial Electric Convection ovens

With the amount of bulls#*t our punters talk late at night, there's a lot of hot air circulating round our bar most evenings. These ovens work the same way, from what I can gather. The system re-circulates hot air through the oven, which means we save on fuel costs, and provides even cooking throughout. The one we bought comes with five chrome plated racks and outer racks and shelves, which provide a handy storage area for dishes prior to baking. It has a two speed fan, so we can adjust it for high volume cooking or more delicate baking. Not that I do much of that second one.

01509 260150, www.imperialrange.co.uk

Moffat Cook-X4 countertop deep fryers

Our punters can't get enough of chips. Healthy eating is all very well, but that's why we're looking at replacing out trusty deep fryer with one of these newer models. The X4F1 is a single-pan model with a five-litre capacity. It can fry up to 7kg of chips per hour, which should keep up with our lunchtime rush. The X4F2 has twin five-litre pans to allow for larger production or frying two different kinds of food. Maybe some of those breaded mushrooms that are proving popular?The X4FF model has a larger single tank, which can fit in twin baskets or a single large one. It features a solid element plate that eliminates the problem of excess crumbs or batter clogging up heating elements. That's probably what did for our old fryer…

www.ermoffat.co.uk

Victor's salad bars

There used to be a nook in our pub that was known as smoking corner. All the nicotine addicts used to gather there to indulge their habits. They liked the atmosphere, the way the smoke hung in the air and had given the walls a rustic, stained look, they said. That was until the government came along and told them they should stop being such naughty, unhealthy boys and girls.Smoke corner has now had a lick of paint and, in keeping with its healthier image, I've chosen it as the spot for our new salad bar. This refrigerated unit will hold chilled food and be a self-service option. It is fitted with tray slides and stainless steel tops. Our customers will soon forget what life was ever like before July 1.

01274 722125, www.victoronline.co.uk

Douwe Egberts automatic bean-to-cup coffee machine

I've not put much faith in fancy hot drinks machines since I had that nasty accident with the Teasmaid beside my bed one morning. So startled was I at being woken up by the glorified teapot that I spilled its contents over parts of me that scalding liquid should never go.So it took a bit of persuading from my staff for me to invest in this automatic bean-to-cup coffee machine. It has to be said though it gives us nice hot cappuccino at the push of a button. It can do a range of 14 different types of coffee, and at only 30cm wide it fits snugly on our bar.

0845 271 1818, www.douwe-egberts.com

Foster Refrigerator controlled thaw cabinet

Our bloody cleaner! She'll unplug anything to find a socket for her vacuum cleaner and more than a few times she's done it to our fridge/ freezer and then forgotten to switch it back on. The result? Defrosted meat and liquid ice cream overnight.That's one sure-fire way of thawing stuff out. A much better way is this refrigerator with a function that allows food to be thawed out in a much more controlled way. We can turn the dial to select a certain programme, depending on what we need defrosting."How does it work?" I asked the rather handsome salesman in the shop. He told me that it alternates between circulating gentle heat and refrigerating via special air ducting and fans, ensuring an even, speedy and safe thaw. Now, I must have a word with that cleaner.

0500 691122, www.fosterrefrigerator.co.uk

Winterhalter rack conveyor dishwashing machine

I remember getting started as a cook, slaving over a hot bowl of water, scrubbing away at dirty dishes and glassware. I wouldn't be where I am today without the experience. Our minimum wage-earning kitchen staff these days have life easy, thanks to new technology like this.It's a high capacity dishwasher that promises reliability and economy. It does some fancy stuff. It automatically cleans itself, adjusts the rinse temperature, the wash pressure and turns itself off when empty. I did all that myself back in the day, by turning on the tap, to run more hot water into the bowl, for example.I'll still find our privileged porters some good 'ard work to do, mind you. There are plenty of spuds to peel.

01908 359000, www.winterhalter.co.uk

Equip Line Lava Grill

This summer's been a bloody wash out, so far, hasn't it? Normally by this time of year, we've got the BBQ out in the garden, cooking kebabs over red hot coals. We've had to move it all inside with this Lava Rock Grill which gives you perfectly barbied meat, but indoors! They'll never know it's raining cats and dogs outside!The countertop chargrill features two separately controlled zones. The grill plates are easy to remove and clean and, according to the manual, "will impart an authentic flavour to everything from steaks and chicken portions to burgers and sausages."

01895 272236, www.equipline.co.uk.

Meyer Commercialware non-stick stainless steel range

There's a time and a place for hitting people over the head with frying pans. It's true, I used to love watching Bottom on TV. That time is certainly not after closing on a Wednesday night, though, and that place is certainly not our pub kitchen, where a couple of our staff got a bit excitable last week. After several minutes chasing each other round the kitchen like some old Laurel and Hardy movie, we were eventually left with a couple of our best non-sticks damaged beyond repair.So, we need some new ones. I've picked up a couple of these Meyer frying pans which have non-stick coated stainless steel surfaces. They're available in four diameters - 20cm, 22cm, 26cm and 30cm. I'm telling my team 'hands off' (unless it's for cooking purposes).

www.meyergroup.co.uk

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