How to Cook With a Steam Kettle

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Various institutions like restaurants, food manufacturers and the military use steam kettles for cooking large amounts of product. Steam kettles cook very evenly and quickly, and come in a variety of sizes ranging from 5 gallons to 200 gallons for extensive operations. Similar to a double boiler or a stockpot, steam kettles improve productivity while remaining energy efficient. Installing a steam kettle is a little tricky, but once in place operating one is actually relatively easy.

Things You'll Need

  • Steam kettle
  • Choose a steam kettle. It's important to find the right steam kettle for the type and amount of food you'll prepare. Remember that a steam kettle's actual capacity is only 75% of its overall size. So if you need to make 15 gallons of soup you will need a 20 gallon kettle.

  • Hook the kettle up to a steam source. Some commercial buildings offer direct steam. Otherwise you'll likely have to use a boiler. Both electric and gas boilers work equally well.

  • Place the food in the pot and close the lid. Do not over-fill the steam kettle.

  • Turn the machine on using the switch and monitor the pressure until you reach the correct cooking temperature for the food. Fifteen pounds of pressure equals about 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Continue cooking until the food is done (per the recipe).

  • Turn off the machine and let the pressure reduce completely. Open the lid carefully using it to protect your face from any residual heat. Remove the food and package or serve.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always work in a clean space to prevent food contamination. Consider getting some accessories for your kettle to improve versatility, like a basket that cooks vegetables above another main dish.
  • Take off jewelry before operating industrial food preparation equipment. Tuck in any loose clothing.

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