pre-shredded cheese or block cheese?

I purchased my store in April and the previous owner was running a 55% plus food cost. I have found many ways to lower it down to 32% but I don’t want to raise my prices to high or drop the quality to much. I have tossed the idea around of shredding my own cheese but I am unsure of the advantages and disadvantages. Could you guys also recommend a good quality cheese shredder?

I use an HCM 450 to dice/grind my cheese. If it’s a shred you’re looking for, the Palazzolo shredder is the way to go if you do a good volume.

http://cheesegratershredder.com/

Just ask your vendor what the price difference is.

We also use a VCM which is more diced than shredded.

Padrones, I have a Palazzolo cheese shredder for sale for $2000. We only used it for 8 months. It does a great job shredding blocks of cheese. Let me know if you have any questions.

Advantages:
-Lower cost buying by logs vs pre shredded
-Less packaging to deal with/dispose of

  • In the small sample I did of shredding 5 lbs each of mozz & provolone and mixing them it tasted better to me, even though they were the same type and brand as the pre-shredded I used. I also seemed to have to use slightly less of it to get the same coverage as I got from the pre-shredded.
  • Usage. I already use the sticks of provolone for my subs. It would be nice to be able to use it for both.
    -Storage. I think it’s easier to store the blocks and logs of cheese than stacking the bags on a shelf

Disadvantages:
-Purchase price of the shredding machine. How big a disadvantage this is dependant on how much cheese you use. The more you go through annually, the more you are going to save. Is it enough to offset the cost of the machine?
-Time spent actually shredding. This is probably negligible though. The more cheese you go through, the more time it takes. But the more you do, the more you save, so it’s probably a wash.

So more advantages than disadvantages. But for me, that purchase price is the biggest one of them all.

EDIT: I voted pre-shred, but I eventually want to move to shredding my own.

Pre-diced, 3 cheese blend. Would be very difficult to duplicate.

If you use a Hobart 60/80 mixer, a pelican head is quite effective for shredding…takes very little time…

unless your doing 150 lbs a nite when busy ! for new shop i purchased a used Hobart 450 HCM mixer for doing diced cheese to save time. Thank you Paul, Steve, David !

I guess that buying block and “dicing” using our VCM saves me around $3,000 -$4,000 per year. Machine cost me $3,000 used. Going strong now for 15 years and we used to use it for two stores so the savings was greater for the first 10 years we had it.

Patriot’s Pizza, Is that the shredder you use? I have a Hobart D300T and I found the shredder for around $400-$500 new. Does it shred the cheese evenly and do you ever have any troubles with it? I also saw your quote at the bottom of your post, Semper Fi Devil!

We’ve experimented at the beginning…thin/thick etc…we blend 50/50 whole milk mozz (3%) & provolone…we grind both together at once, in a large shred…its stored in buss type tubs…we weigh all the cheese that goes on the pie via a small scale…we used to be quite careful & scatter the cheese around…but we are a busy operation & one day I found one of my leads just dumping the cheese in the center of the pie & spreading around…damn, I was furious! But after reviewing the method & seeing a few finished pies, we made a switch…much better overall coverage, no waste and faster execution…

USMC, 3rd MAW, IGB, El Toro, Ca

How often do the blades go dull on the shredder? that’s the only complaint that I have heard about that shredder. Also what shredder size do you use?

We shred with a pelican head on the hobart. Walter

Im getting ready to order the pelican head for my Hobart mixer. What size shredder plate does everyone use?

I have been using the same blade for 16 months. I shred about 1500lbs a week. I use a Palazzolo shedder with one size up from the smallest shred.

We use an old qualheim as long as you don’t push old Bessie too hard she does the job. Now what does everyone do about clumping in large lexans? We use part skim, provolone, white cheddar mix

I highly recommend shredding your cheese. I have used both a pelican head attachment and currently use a vcm. The pelican head takes forever to shred cheese and cleaning the blade is a pain in the butt. The vcm will dice half a case of cheese literally in like 30 seconds and its easy to clean plus it also does dough so if your main mixer goes out you have a back up. Yes it is a lot of cost up front but if you look at the long term picture you will be saving time and money.

I don’t like diced cheese for NY style pies because the small cubes act as ball bearing with topping in that they like to slide off the pie as you launch the pies in the ovens. I imagine for conveyor ovens/pan pies the diced cheese works great. Walter

Good point we do a pan pizza in a conveyer oven i love the diced cheese its easy to spread and easily measures in a cup.

We used diced, now if I had a large VCM, I may dice it myself.

My supplier did not have diced one week, and all I could get was block, and I do not have a pelican head attachment, so I ran it through the meat grinder. We had to go up one cup size across the board to meet weights, but that was no problem. The problem lies in the labor to do it correctly and loss of yield. With pre-diced, I am at 100% yield and price accordingly. Typically on a median night, our labor cost is around 15%, so I can afford a bit higher cost on a few items