Best approach for wings

Hi all,
First off, wanted to say that hope everyone is surviving through these tough times we’re experiencing. I know some pizzerias are doing just fine, maybe better, than prior to the COVID impact, but many others that relied on dining are suffering significantly. Best of luck to everyone navigating through this!

My question regards to cooking wings. We have double stack BP Y600s, but those are pretty full during weekend dinner rushes and I don’t want to burden the oven operators any more than they already are. We do not have any fryers. Additionally, we do Chicago Style stuffed pizzas and they take a looooong time to bake. I don’t want our wings to take forever as well. We would use a FC bakeable wing that is unsauced prior to baking and sauce after. I have looked into the TurboChef HHD and MerryChef e4. They both look like pretty good convection/impinger ovens that should cut down the time on cooking.

Do any of you experts use this? Is there some other approach or piece of equipment you would recommend? This is a pretty big investment and we really need to get this right.

Thanks for everyone’s help!

David

Why wouldn’t you want to just invest is some fryers? They will also allow you to expand you menu offering and be a little more versatile.

Space/installation costs/health factor/Grease trap/Messy

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The only factor that you mentioned that would be relevant would be the heath factor. You would be able to get two decent fryers and fit them in about the same space as one of those ovens, gas line installed, grease trap installed for about half the price or even less that one of the ovens you mentions. They are only messy if you don’t keep up on them same thing with the grease trap. Just mentioning all this because baked wings will never compare to fried wings and I often see people spend big money on equipment without looking at other options. I don’t know if you have actually looked into the cost of installing fryers but besides having some kind of situation that would make it real difficult it should cost about half of one of those ovens.

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What about a smoker? It might take ours to cook but you could prepare them and cook them a day in advance, store them in baskets in your cooler and throw them on the Charcoal broil for few minutes prior to serving.
Just an alternative option to consider.

I similarly am in no position to install fryers.

I have MM 350s and can fit two larges side by side. We cook our wings from frozen.

I labeled one side of the conveyor “pass 1” and the other half “pass 2”. I put the wings in a pan and put them in the pass 1 lane along with the pizzas. When they get to the other end, the person on the cut side knows they need a second pass. They get taken to the other side of the oven and placed in the pass 2 lane. When they come out, they are sauced and boxed.

Very little interruption to flow. No need to dedicate an oven just to wings.

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This is a very good idea probably i will adapt this idea too.

I’d seriously consider the AutoFry fryers. They are self contained units that run on 220v. Extremely easy to operate. We can cook precooked (thawed) wings in 5:30 and well done wings in 7:35. We used to bake everything because of hood constraints, health factors and just not knowing much about frying. These units have been rock solid at our locations and recently went from having 1 double fryer to 2 double fryers at each location. They are the MTI 40E models. Most people want fried food from a pizza place and upgrading to these will help your apps sell better and keep your ovens clear for pizzas

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Thanks Steve.

I’ve been looking at the autofry products as well. How reliable is your AutoFry? How long to clean each night? Any downsides to think about that I might not be aware of? If you’re doing 7min batches and have a double fryer then I would think keeping up with orders would only be a real problem on Fri/Sat nights. We do Chicago Style Stuffed pizza and people are used to waiting 45 min for a pizza, so if wings take 45 min as well not a huge deal.

I think I’ve narrowed the choices to a countertop convection/impinger oven like the Turbochef Double Batch or an AutoFry product. I’ve no experience with either. Obviously, the fryer gives more versatility on app options, but I know there are a number of good bakeable options that would probably be just as good in the TurboChef.

Always appreciate the groups input.

David

We’ve been in your position and had developed a real following for our baked wings before our ovens were overloaded. We added an older model TurboChef. It has been a dream, and not only took the overload burden off our conveyor ovens, but dropped bake time from 9:00 to 2:30 per order. I like the finish better. Win-win. And win. We also use the TurboChef for knots and crostini and are investigating further uses.

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David,

We don’t clean the AutoFry every night. We do a full cleaning once a week with an oil change out before Friday. The reason we don’t do it at night is because everything is pretty hot still. Every morning we take the pieces out from the inside (baskets, baffle, shield for the baffles, and a catch tray) and wash them and we wipe down the inside of the fryer to get as much grease off as possible. It’s a simple process that takes maybe 15 minutes. When we do a full clean, we’ve found the best way is to drain the oil and do the boil out at night and come in and finish cleaning. Once your experienced with it your full clean should take maybe 45 minutes. Not bad at all. We don’t have much problem keeping up. If you go this bc route just make sure to stay away from the “perfect fry” brand. AutoFry is much better and has been extremely reliable. There may be some fine tuning with the basket heights once you get them into your store but really that’s it. Their support is very good too