Useful things to know before buying a Bratt Pan and why I’m a massive fan.
Blue Seal 85 Litre Gas Bratt pan with Manual Tilt
In my opinion, a Bratt pan is one of the most versatile cooking appliances and a must in any kitchen. Apart from oven cooking, they cover all cooking styles including
- Shallow and Deep frying
- Stir frying,
- Pot Roasting
- Trivet cooking
- Bains Marie
- and I’m confident there are clever chefs out there who have found a way of smoking foods and other innovative uses for a bratt pan.
A bratt pan is essentially used to cook large batches of food in one go. In productivity terms, bratt pans are up there with combi ovens and offer a smart return on investment, given their scope of use.
I first used a bratt pan in 1978 and realised just how useful they are. In one morning, I used them to seal steaks, a quick wipe out then onto braising a veal blanquette, then stir frying and then poaching over 100 chicken supreme’s ready for an evening function. Everything was so easy. And once the cooking was complete, I tilted the pan to quickly and safely pour the finished food into a receiving vessel.
A bratt pan gets its name from the German word ‘Braten’, meaning to fry – although they are called tilting pans in Germany and in the Americas, tilt skillet or braising pans.
Bratt Pans can be either gas or electric (3 phase power). Whilst electric bratt pans are efficient and suit none gas kitchens, gas bratt pans tend to have a quicker heat up and temperature recovery than electric.
Who Uses Bratt Pans?
We have sold bratt pans into all commercial kitchens including bakeries, butchers, deli’s, farm shops, preserve manufacturers, pie factories, artisan sauce makers, ready meal kitchens and they come into their own in large volume kitchens such as wedding and conference venues.
Not with-standing their overall cooking benefits, every kitchen needs a bratt pan. They free up stove top cooking space and often remove the need for fryers and other appliances in one go.
All bratt pans tilt forward to allow chef to empty contents swiftly & safely. It also allows chef to easily clean the pan, then tilt out the soapy water, dry and get ready for the next batch.
The tilt mechanism can be manual via a crank wheel or automatic via an electric motor.
Hobart 120 Litre Gas Brat Pan with Auto Tilt
Modern bratt pans are increasingly using stainless or none stick cooking surfaces, but many manufacturers still supply the ever so reliable cast steel cook surface. These last for years but occasionally need ‘Seasoning’.
Seasoning the pan.
Seasoning is a process of rubbing salt into the surface to maintain the cook surface. It is essential to do this if the surface becomes tarnished or rusty. Steel oxidises and seasoning removes all rusty deposits.
- Wash thoroughly in lots of hot soapy water and scrub clean with a scourer to remove as much debris, carbon, rust as possible. . .
- Dry thoroughly with a dry clean cloth.
- Place table salt into the bratt pan to a depth of 2cm. Make sure the lid is up.
- Turn on to a medium heat and leave on for hours until the salt turns to a light golden colour. During this time do not shake or the stir the salt.
- When golden in colour, turn the heat off. Again, do not touch it – allow it to cool down naturally. This may take several hours.
- When cool remove the salt and keep it in a receptacle for future use as it may be used again.
- Make sure the pan is completely free of all grains of salt and completely dry.
- Pour in vegetable oil – probably up to 30mm or so. Keep the lid up.
- Turn on heat, again set for medium heat. This time you need to keep an eye on it so don’t wander off.
- The oil should get hot but don’t let it get too hot. Use a probe thermometer to be safe. Don’t allow the oil to reach over 150o
- Turn off the bratt pan once the oil has reached 150oC and allow the oil to cool down.
- Drain the oil when cool.
- Wipe the bratt pan clean.
- Get into the good habit of wiping the inside of bratt pan with a kitchen paper towel and a little vegetable oil daily after use.
Pressurised Bratt Pans
Caterquip is seeing the very latest bratt pan technology becoming available. Pressure braising pans offer the same bratt pan virtues but with much quicker cooking times and less attendance needed.
These very clever pans have a thick, heavy and insulated lid which creates a pressurised atmosphere, and with equally clever none stick surfaces, chef can begin a stew, close the lid, set a timer and the pan will rapidly cook to perfection. Notable manufacturers are Frima, Electrolux & Elro. This technology is borrowed from industrial pressure cookers and adapted for commercial kitchen use.
Pressurised bratt pans are eye watering expensive to buy new – ranging between £17k to £26k, but Caterquip can save the buyer up to 60% off new prices, and we are seeing more and more becoming available.
Standard catering bratt pans start at 35 litres and work up to 300 litres plus. Still expensive new but Caterquip prides itself at making them affordable for all to use.
Access to a Bratt Pan is easier and cheaper than you think.
Caterquip supplies both gas and electric pans, with manual and auto tilt, with capacities between 30 to 300 litres. Routinely, we sell more 80 to 120 litre pans but if we don’t have one in at the time of enquiry, I hand the challenge of sourcing to our buyer Dominic. We call him ‘Harry Potter’ because he has a huge network and can conjure things out of thin air. Sourcing confidence is high, so get in touch and save £thouasands against buying new.
We can offer a lease to own purchase arrangement on all equipment which spreads the cost and avoids a big outgoing in one go.
Want to know more? Do you require a bratt pan or need to replace a retiring machine but can’t/don’t want to buy new?
Give us a call on 01733 286000 – option 1.
Thanks for reading.
Paul ~ Bratt Pan Ambassador