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August 2008

Equipping Montana Mike's

Cooking a 44-oz. sirloin to perfection—or a 22-oz.-er, for that matter—takes both power and finesse. Montana Mike's finds both of those qualities in the MagiKitch'n FM-RMB/SMB 600 high-production charbroiler that anchors its cookline. Standard features on the charbroiler include a free-floating top grid made of ½" steel rods that allows expansion and contraction, no warping; a tilting top grid that lets you easily drain grease into a front trough; a built-in 6" s/s service shelf; individual front-burner controls for precise regulation; a choice of power in burners: 15,000 Btu or high-output 20,000 Btu. Among the many options available, the Mike's team uses Scround Rod Top Grids to brand its signature criss-cross grill marks onto the meat.

Griddle above, broiler below—Montana Mike's kitchen team specs Connerton broilers on account of their double-duty capacity. On the top, a regular griddle lets you handle faster-cooking items. And in the broiler below, product cooks twice as fast (with less shrinkage and no turning required) thanks to heat from both a thermostatically controlled burner and an infrared heater. The broiler is well-insulated, with an all s/s body and s/s inner lining. The side and back liners are removable for quick cleaning. Also featured: Sturdy cast-iron top burners with ceramic radiants; a removable broiler-griddle assembly for easier cleaning; and broiler drawers that use heavy-duty ball bearing rollers for smooth loading and unloading of product.
Connerton Co.

AccuTemp's boiler-free Steam 'n' Hold units make steaming vegetables a breeze at Montana Mike's. And the closed steaming system is energy- and water-efficient, too, using only about 10% of the electricity and a fraction of the water required by conventional boiler-based steamers. (Yes, it's Energy Star approved.) The steamer's vacuum pump and reinforced cooking chamber together steam-cook at temperatures between 150°F and 212°F, and hold foods at 100°F to 200°F. No water or drain connection is required. The 3-gal. water reservoir provides hours of steaming without refilling. A low-water warning alerts you when more water is needed.
AccuTemp Products

Prepared fixings for Montana Mike's entrée salads and other cold items reside, ready to go, in a Mega Top prep table, model SP48-12M, from Beverage-Air. The unit keeps product under 41°F using a "cold air blanket" that flows across the surface of the food and also circulates in the space below the food pans. The Mega Top's front-breathing design lets you place the unit against walls or next to other equipment. CFC-free 2"-thick foamed-in-place polyurethane insulates the cabinet for better cold retention. The cabinet's doors are mounted on gravity hinges so they self-close under their own weight. The hinges also allow the doors to stay open at 120° for easy access. A handy high-density white polyethylene cutting board and 6" casters (two with brakes) come standard with the unit.

No, it's not Las Vegas we're talking about, but instead a critical piece of the Montana Mike's kitchen equipment equation. Hatco's long, thin and hot Glo-Ray Infrared Foodwarmers are mounted above the expeditor table to keep plated food warm before it's sent out to tables. The heat quality is such that even delicate dishes keep that just-prepared look. The Glo-Ray's infrared tubular element bathes the entire holding surface with warmth. Its continuous housings, up to 12" long in the aluminum model, are strong enough so there's no worry about sagging. Optional shatter-resistant incandescent lights highlight your product display while keeping food safe from bulb breakage. The Glo-Ray units come in six colors and two finishes.
Hatco Corp.

Team Montana Mike's chose Frymaster's MJCF fryer for its ability to fry quantities of shrimp, catfish, chicken and breaded appetizers. The 150,000 BTU/hr. fryer holds up to 80 lbs. of shortening in an 18" x 19" frying area. Its sensitive thermostat can predict rapid temperature rises and then lower the heat accordingly to prevent the oil from overheating—this feature extends oil life and gives you consistent food quality. The multiple-opening burner has no tube radiants that can fail, so you can kiss burner cleaning and air shutter adjustments goodbye. The open stainless steel fry pot has a large heat transfer area to fry more products per load. Every inch of the fry pot and cold zone can be cleaned and wiped down by hand.

ZAP Timers from Franklin Machine Products help the kitchen crew at Montana Mike's keep track of cook times for the big rolls, big steaks, big vegetables and other big food items in constant production. The timers feature an easy-to-read, ½"-high, four-digit, LED display; audible and visual "done" alarms; and timing capability of four, eight or 12 products, depending on the model. The timers offer user-friendly programming from one second to 99 hours. Their durable, stainless steel housings are freestanding and can be easily mounted to equipment or hung on a wall. Each of the timers comes with a 6" oil-resistant power cord that can be plugged into standard wall outlets.
Franklin Machine Products

Montana Mike's relies on a SunFire gas convection oven by U.S. Range to bake bushels of sweet and regular potatoes to fork-tender perfection. They also like it because it comes with its own set of legs (saving the extra expense of a stand). This deep-depth convection oven runs 80,000 BTUs of power with a temperature range of 200[deg]F to 500[deg]F. A built-in 60-min. timer tracks cook cycles. Inside, a two-speed fan run by ¾-hp motor circulates heat throughout the cavity. The oven holds five chrome-plated racks on 11-position, removable rack guides. Dimensions: 40" W x 62" H x 44 1/2" D.
U.S. Range/Enodis

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