Tilting kettles are great if you are in the business of making soups, sauces, and stews in huge quantities. They are constructed so that you do not need to supervise them too closely, since their steam-jacket will prevent food from burning and sticking to the bottom. If you are in the market for one, then here is a quick and handy guide on purchasing the right one for your needs.
There are many size options for tilting kettles. Countertop versions hold as little as six gallons. Floor models can get up to 150 gallons. The smaller versions have simple levers for tilting, but the larger sizes often have a hydraulic lift system so the user is not too strained. Essentially the size you want will depend on how big the batches you make are going to be. There is no need to waste power using a larger model when you are only making 5 gallons at a time.
Tilting kettles can either be heated by steam from water that is factory installed inside the jacket, or from an external boiler that sends steam into the jacket. Almost all kitchens should be equipped to be able to accommodate the self-contained version, while the direct heat version requires additional maintenance. Condensation can build up in the line leading to the interior jacket, which needs to be cleaned out several times a day.
Some newer models feature electronic controls, where in the past most used solid state controls. The electronic controls allow the user to program cooking times, temperature limits, and other options.
Some kettles come with extra features, such as an extra connection so that you can cool the unit with incoming cold water. This helps for meeting food temperature guidelines. As well, many now also have measurements etched on the pot, so adding ingredients is very simple. You can also get special supports that make pouring the food out easier and less likely to make a mess. Other features can help prevent clogs and better measure out water.
A tilting kettle can be a wonderful addition to a commercial kitchen that serves a lot of soups and stews. Make sure you get the model that works best in your kitchen.