Kitchen Biz Search

Permission to Smoke!

By: Lee Davis

Blame it on my “inner caveman” if you like, but I love smoked meats: ribs, brisket, chicken, salmon and even smoked oysters. Everything just tastes better smoked.

The process of smoking meat has traditionally required special equipment, fuel and ventilation. So until recently, if you wanted smoked food, you needed to find a restaurant that specialized in just that. I always looked for a place with a pile of hickory wood in the back parking lot, a stovepipe jutting up through the roof and some variation of the word “Bar-B-Q” in the name.

Cleveland Range, a Manitowoc Foodservice company, has changed all that. They’ve given all restaurants permission to smoke with a new optional ConvoSmoker feature built into their electric Convotherm combi ovens.

A low-watt heating element mounted below a smoker box in the oven causes standard smoking briquettes (or “bisquettes”) to smolder, creating smoke. According to John Lanning, Business Development Manager at Cleveland Range, these briquettes are made of pressed wood and are widely available online or from retailers who sell outdoor grilling equipment.

Foods can be cold smoked, hot smoked, or smoke roasted, also referred to as “pit roasting” or “barbequing.” This factory installed feature not only “takes the place of a completely separate smoker unit in your kitchen, it’s even more versatile and multifunctional” said John Lanning. “You can program recipes into it, add steam or hot air to your smoking process, even smoke foods overnight … and after a simple cleaning process, you can go back to traditional combi oven cooking with no flavor transfer.”

To read more about the new optional ConvoSmoker feature on Cleveland Convotherm combi ovens, visit Cleveland News.