Staging 101: How to Serve Fresh Foods Quicker
December 10, 2015
The traditional definition of staging when it comes to cooking and foodservice operations is a cook or chef who works on an intern-type basis in order to learn new techniques. The term comes from the French word stagiaire, which means apprentice or trainee.
In terms of the actual cooking process, though, there’s another way to use “staging.” Staging can be the act of bringing food to a precise, uniform temperature where it is held for an extended period of time. A thermostat protects the food from overcooking, and when the cook cycle is complete, the unit automatically switches to a hold mode to keep foods at just the right temperature for finishing and serving.
Let’s take a look at a few examples:
Serving good wings three times faster is an easy feat when staging. Raw wings are placed in a staging oven like Winston’s CVap at 150 and 0 for an hour. When ready, remove from the oven, fry for six minutes, and add sauce. The beauty of staging with a cook and hold oven is the wings will stay at the ideal temperature until they’re ready for the fryer.
With staging, it’s completely possible to cook perfectly consistent scallops in less than two minutes. Place the scallops into a cook and hold oven at 126 and 0 for an hour. When an order for scallops comes into the kitchen, remove from the oven and finish them in a sauté pan. Plate and serve.
How do you serve fresh hamburgers three times faster than a frozen patty? Staging. Place raw hamburgers in a CVap cook and hold oven set at 135 and 0. Bring the burgers to temperature, and remove when ready. The internal temperature will reach 135 degrees. Finally, grill for 20 seconds to one minute for the perfect medium rare burger. This drastically reduced ticket times while increasing freshness. In fact, you can cook three burgers using staging in the amount of time it takes to cook one frozen patty.
Want to see more staging using cook and hold equipment? Check out this video demonstration from the National Restaurant Association Show, and see how you can stage one of America’s favorite foods – The Steak.