Quick Fix to Maximize the Efficiency of your Food Truck Steam Table
If your food truck uses steam tables to keep food hot before you serve your customer, then this article is for you. Any food truck owner who uses table protector pads knows how integral steam tables can be in your day-to-day operations. At the same time, they also know they can eat up a lot of energy on a daily basis.
Making steam tables more energy efficient is easier than you might think. If you’ve got an older unit, the first thing to consider is buying a new steam table. Newer models are more efficient and much more reliable.
In the likely case you aren’t in the market for a new steam table (especial when new units can run between $800 and $2500) and plan on keeping your current unit and just want to make them more efficient, read on for the really easy part.
Steam table pans are the essential moving part that keeps a steam table going. Those pans also act as a lid that helps trap the heat the table is creating to keep food warm. And as anyone who has worked with those steam table pans knows, over time the corners and edges become bent and wavy. It only takes a trip or two through the dishwasher for those corners and edges to start bending upward.
The problem with bent corners and edges on steam table pans is that their role as the lid on the heat generated by the table is compromised. The gaps between the edges of the well and the edges of the table allow steam to escape, and anyone watching a pot of water come to a boil knows that one without a tightly sealed lid is going to take longer.
It may not seem like a big deal to have a little steam escaping from a couple gaps where the pan meets the well, and by itself for an hour or two it isn’t. The problem is that if you’re using steam tables to keep food warm, you’ve probably got it running for several hours at a time every day your truck is on the street. Over time, those little gaps can end up costing you significant amounts of money – as much as $30 per well per year!
This is where the easy part comes in. A pair of pliers and a short amount of time should be enough for you to straighten out the curled and bent edges of your existing steam table pans.
Sometimes the simplest solution, like making sure all the edges on your steam table pans are straight, can make a huge difference, especially in a mobile business with already thin profit margins.
We hope you found this article helpful. If you have any additional tips to help others make their steam tables more efficient, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.