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Retherm Solutions

Q: We have been using our vacuum packer a ton and reheating product right in the vac bag has really worked out for us. Right now we are using our steamer to reheat vacuum sealed products, but it seems like the steamer is always full. Is there a piece of equipment for reheating our vacuum bags?

A: Yes, There are several ways to reheat, or "rethermalize" your vacuum bags. Whether your vacuum sealed product is frozen or just coming out of the refrigerator, getting it up to serving or holding temperature while it is still in the bag is a pretty convenient way for your team to handle the product. The preferred method of doing this is in a water bath. As you know, steam works great, but immersing your bags in water is the most energy-efficient way to rethermalize them and that is what we recommend. We have some great food equipment that will handle this job for you:

The first product is a stand-alone water bath rethermalizer from Pitco. It looks a lot like a deep fryer, but it holds water instead of oil. It keeps the water continuously cycling at the temperature you select from 140°F - 200°F and should be able to bring your products up from frozen to temp in about 40 minutes, or 30 minutes for a thawed product. The Pitco rethermalizers come in single or double configurations, they're sturdy, and are available with heavy-duty heat sources in either gas or electric to bring product rapidly up to temp even in very high volume situations.

Another option that might be a good fit for your kitchen is the FR Food Rethermalizer/Bain Marie Heater from Hatco. The FR series lets you turn a sink into a food rethermalizer. You can add it to one compartment of an existing prep sink, or you can order a new custom sink just for your retherm station. The FR rethermalizer heats and circulates water in the sink compartment to maintain a constant temperature that will quickly bring product up to your preferred safe serving or holding temperature, between 140°F and 190°F. The Hatco FR units are only available in electric and require special heavy-duty voltages, so make sure you talk to your customer service person before you place an order.

There are other options out there as well, but these are two good ones. Reheating previously prepared foods is a great way to reduce labor costs and improve consistency in your restaurant kitchen. This equipment has several options, if you need pricing you have to get in touch our customer service department: 1-800-BIG-TRAY (1-800-244-8729) or

Please let us know if you have any more restaurant equipment questions here on Restaurant Equipment Answers!

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