For foodservice operations large and small, it might seem like there are never enough hours in the day to complete everything on the daily prep list. RATIONAL's overnight cooking feature can reduce the unevenness of the work during the day by conducting some of the longer cooking processes unattended after hours. The SelfCooking Center and its overnight cooking feature enable operators to make the use of their equipment during non-operational hours--leaving the unit available during operational hours to prepare foods that can't be made ahead of time.

RATIONAL SelfCooking Center

Specifically, the overnight cooking feature can be used to prepare a wide variety of meats, typically larger cuts of meat including prime rib, roasts, pork medallions, ribs, turkey breast and roast duck. The feature is easy to use, chefs select the browning and desired doneness of the food, and the SelfCooking Center determines the cooking time. The process keeps the meat tender and juicy without the need for monitoring the cooking process or basting. Meats of different sizes and cuts can be prepared simultaneously to specification.

Epicurean Catering in Centennial, Colo., uses the SelfCooking Center for overnight cooking at INVESCO Field at Mile High. "All the roasts for the 144 carving stations in the suites are done overnight. We just load the units the evening before, and when we take them out in the morning, we have unbeatable quality with almost 50 percent less shrinkage than traditional cooking methods," said Larry DiPasquale, Epicurean president and CEO. Instead of coming in at 2 a.m., using overnight cooking, DiPasquale's staff can arrive at 6 with a good portion of their work completed.

As DiPasquale learned, products prepared using the overnight cooking feature have significantly reduced yield loss compared to conventional cooking equipment. For example, to yield 7 pounds of cooked product, a chef would cook 8 pounds of meat using the overnight cooking process instead of 10 pounds using conventional cooking equipment. This equates to a product cost savings of 20 percent. In addition to the cost savings, the overnight cooking process also follows all of the HACCP guidelines--ensuring that the operation is running within industry standards.

RATIONAL provides a hands-on experience with the SelfCooking Center® through its TeamCooking Live events. Register for TeamCooking Live at www.rational-usa.com. The events, which take place on a range of dates at over 100 venues nationwide, are guided by one of the company's culinary consultants.