EXCLUSIVE: Jestic brings clarity to solid fuel kitchen debate

Josper at The Navigation Inn

Jestic Foodservice Equipment is set to add a condensed DW172 masterclass into its free ‘Passion for Grilling’ event on Wednesday July 11 in a bid to provide clarity around the requirements of solid fuel cooking equipment.

The topic of solid fuel was a prominent theme at the Commercial Kitchen show in Birmingham this week, with operators and distributors discussing the benefits and challenges of alternative cooking methods.

One observation to emerge from the conversations was that the industry requires greater support when it comes to distinguishing between wood-fired and charcoal-fuelled ovens – as both are governed by different ventilation regulations.

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Steve Morris, sales director at Jestic, says there is a big variation between the ventilation required for charcoal and wood-burning appliances under DW172 legislation, even though many people still class it all as ‘solid fuel’. In order to illustrate the distinction, its ‘Passion for Grilling’ event will include expert guidance from ventilation specialist Halton.

“Many people will lump solid fuel appliances together as one, but there is a significant difference between the requirements for ovens that utilise charcoal, such as a Josper, and those that use wood,” he said.

“By working with Halton Foodservice to add a condensed DW172 workshop to our ‘Passion for Grilling’ event, we aim to ensure that not only will operators have a fantastic day discovering all the amazing flavours that solid fuel cooking can bring to a wide range of ingredients, but that they also understand the safest ways in which to make the most of the equipment.”

At the session, Craig Gould, customer services and sales director at Halton Foodservice, will highlight exactly what is required for operators to comply with the latest regulations and will provide a good practice guide for using a full range of equipment.

One company that uses both charcoal and wood-burning appliances in its kitchen operations is Oakman Inns & Restaurants. With more than 20 outlets that feature both Josper and Wood Stone ovens, it regards solid fuel cooking as the best way to cook a variety of ingredients.

Oakman’s chef director, Ross Pike, explained: “Solid fuel cooking is a key part of our business and the Josper and Wood Stone ovens are vital pieces of equipment with which to provide it. Solid Fuel cooking gives a distinctive taste and I believe that because of this the customer gets a better product. There is certainly an extra level of training that our skilled chefs need to go through; however by investing in them, it gives them a greater passion for the raw ingredients, the food and ultimately the restaurants. Because of this every one of our chefs is thoroughly trained on all of the equipment.”

This training is not just limited to how to use the equipment, but also how to identify the moisture content in the wood and how this will affect the way it burns and maintains temperature. It also educates chefs on how to ensure that the charcoal is at peak performance at the start and throughout service.

“While there can be associated costs with installing solid fuel equipment, such as training and ventilation, these very quickly pay for themselves through increased customer loyalty, increased staff retention and increased theatre within our kitchens as our diners see, smell and then taste the fantastic dishes,” added Mr Pike.

Operators interested in attending the free ‘Passion for Grilling’ event on 11 July simply need to email

Tags : charocal ovensJesticOakman Innssolid fuelwood-fired ovens
Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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