Should I Buy a VCM?

It wasnt until I joined this forum I knew what a VCM was, Now im intrested in buying one but I need some help from those that use one.

Cheese questions:

  1. How much cheese can the 45qt VCM dice at a time?

2)How much do you have to process the cheese yourself? Can you throw whole loaves of mozzarella in it?

3)How long does it take to dice the cheese?

Dough questions:

  1. How much dough can a 45qt VCM make at a time

  2. How long does it take to mix the dough? I read its alot faster than a normal mixer is that true?

Steak questions:

  1. Can a VCM grind/chop steak trimmings?
  1. 20lbs
  2. Cut them in half.
  3. 30 to 45 seconds
  4. We put 25 lb bags in but Hobart will only warrant 18 lbs
  5. 60 to 75 seconds

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Nice thanks!
Would you recommend it for making dough?

I would not. We did for years but when I switched to a spiral our quality went up. Dough in the vcm is a bit tough. It kinda beats it rather than mixes it.
The dough is also tough on the vcm. Lots of repairs. We use the vcm for cheese, sauce and dressings.

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When you say cut them in half, your speaking of the average ~6lb mozzarella loaf right? Bc I remembered someone on the forum saying they used a 20lb or 40lb single block of mozzarella(never seen that before)

Yes. We cut a 6.5 block in half and chop 7 of those half blocks. It comes out to 21.4 lbs and fits perfect in a 6 in full size hotel/steam pan

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I don’t think they have 40 lb mozzarella blocks. I think the stretching procedure it takes to make mozzarella requires a smaller block. I saw it on “how it’s made”

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Yeah I thought that was weird, the poster of the comment was prob speaking of cheddar cheese.
Thanks for the help!

I would def get one as long as you have room for both the vcm and a planetary or spiral mixer.

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I have a planetery mixer, I use it only to grind steak trimmings for steak and cheese subs. Other than that it just sits there.

I used to shred the pizza cheese(3 cheese blend) but the labor cost of doing that on the small pelican head made the savings not great enough for me.
I buy dough I dont know how everyone here has the time to properly, get ready, mix, weigh, ball,oil,crosstack, downstack dough everday. All the major pizza players around me buy dough one store here does 70k a week. I thought though I should find a way to work it in the day since everyone else on the forum has. So I thought a VCM could do all of it a bit faster.

we cut the 6LB blocks into 3 or 4 pieces and use 4 full blocks per batch of cheese. This fills up the 8" bus bins that we store the cheese in. I have also used a VCM to make dough and also now use a spiral mixer. Where are you located, maybe there’s someone on the Think Tank thats with driving distance that has a VCM you can try to see if it works for your steak. But I’m with Pirate, I suggest keeping your planetary mixer to start making dough in. It’s not that time consuming and will save you a pretty good amount.

And in reference to the 40Lb blocks, I havent seen them that large but we used to get a case of two 20LB blocks that were manufactured by Land O’ Lakes in California.

Making your own dough is really quite easy and it is a LOT CHEAPER than buying it. Total time necessary to prepare, mix, scale, ball, box a dough is around 30-minutes and a lot of operators do it during the slow afternoon period or first thing in the morning. Down-stacking takes only a minute and then its good in the cooler for up to 48-hours though most use it within 24 to 36-hours.
Plenty of good videos available here on the process. As for tools all you will need is a good electronic scale, sufficient number of dough boxes, cooler space and a thermometer (but you already have that).
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

We have a Hobart vcm that I was initially going to get rid of until I read a post about them on this forum. We use it strictly for cheese and it’s super fast. We cut the blocks in four and mix 4 blocks at a time and it fills up one bus bin it’s 20 lbs worth of cheese. At first we were using the pelican head and it would take forever it was hard to clean the blade well. It takes the vcm about 40 seconds per batch and it’s a breeze to clean.

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Anyone able to post a picture of the cheese consistency when it comes out?

We use a VCM for both cheese and dough. We mix dough for about 2.5 minutes. 20lbs of cheese takes 25 seconds.

Are you sure about that 2.5-minutes? Using the dough mixing attachment (the flat dull one) we used to mix our bread dough to full development in only 75-seconds. We typically see mixing times for pizza doughs in the 45 to 60-second range. Just curious.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor