If you use a food truck steam table to keep food hot, this article is for you. Most food truck owners know how integral a food truck steam table can be in their day-to-day operations. At the same time, they also know they eat up a lot of energy (aka money).

Making your food truck steam table 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.

How To Maximize The Efficiency Of Your Food Truck Steam Table

If you aren’t in the market for a new food truck 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 an easy fix.

Steam Table Pans

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 drop or two for their 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. 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. 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. Both time and significant amounts of money. On it’s own may not seem like a lot, but it could cost you as much as $30 per well per year.

Repairing bent steam table pans. 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.

RELATED: Mobile Kitchen Equipment: Warming and Holding Units

The Bottom Line

At times the simplest solution is the best solution. Making sure all the edges on your food truck steam table pans are straight. This can make a huge difference, especially in a food truck business with already thin profit margins.

If you have any additional tips to help others make their food truck steam tables more efficient, feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section, our food truck forum or social media. Facebook | Twitter