The five Benefits of waterless hot food wells

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Unlike steam tables and dry wells with fans, waterless hot food wells from Alto-Shaam feature radiant, Halo Heat® technology that evenly surrounds food without the use of extremely hot elements

Customers across the foodservice industry are all too familiar with disappointing buffet food—the edges of the macaroni and cheese are burnt; meat is dry with a gray-brown coloration; and vegetables are mush.

Unfortunately, foodservice operators have had no choice but to accept the limited holding times and food quality degradation of traditional hot wells that use water and fans to distribute heat. However, there is a better way.

Unlike steam tables and dry wells with fans, waterless hot food wells from Alto-Shaam feature radiant, Halo Heat® technology that evenly surrounds food without the use of extremely hot elements.

The benefits

Here are the five key benefits of Alto-Shaam’s waterless hot food wells:

  1. Extended holding times

​Halo Heat is Alto-Shaam’s exclusive technology that precisely and gently keeps food hot while preserving natural moisture and overall quality. This technology uses a unique low-density thermal cable, which holds food at consistent serving temperatures. Hot food wells that use harsh heating elements with fluctuating temperatures—such as those with fans and steam—continue cooking food rather than holding it.

  1. Easy to control

Waterless food wells come with an easy-to-use, adjustable thermostat. The thermostats also feature optional independent controls for individual wells to be heated at different temperatures, for optimal holding conditions for every food item.

  1. Safe operation

While transporting and changing traditional steamtable pans, foodservice employees face an increased risk of injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), steam burns cause between 33 to 58 percent of all burn hospitalizations in the United States. When water reaches its boiling point (212 degrees Fahrenheit; 100 degrees Celsius), water molecules become superheated steam that transfers nearly instantaneously to skin on contact.

With the absence of hot water and steam, waterless hot food wells ensure that employees are not exposed to the safety risks of maintaining a buffet line that utilizes steam heating.

  1. Simple installation

Because no water or plumbing connections are required, installation is simple. Waterless food wells can be installed in any fabricated surface or fixture and only require an electrical hookup.

“For installation, there is no need for water and drains to be present or added for a project,” said Linda Conti, director of purchasing services at ACTS Retirement-Life Community. “As for maintenance, we no longer have to replace wells that were damaged by lime and minerals in the water or run dry and scorched.”

  1. Less expensive to operate

Alto-Shaam waterless food wells feature an EcoSmart design, which reduces and eliminates several different costs.

  • Halo Heat technology is designed to preserve food quality and reduce food waste while also saving operators money on electricity costs. One three-pan Halo Heat food well (300-HWI/D4) uses 64 percent less electricity than a three-pan steam food well.
  • When food quality is preserved for longer periods of time, less food is discarded—reducing food costs.
  • Plumbing and water-related installation and service costs are eliminated. Operators no longer have to repair or replace their hot food wells due to limescale build up and clogged or leaking water lines.
  • Without moving parts, Alto-Shaam waterless wells have nothing to fail—keeping operations up and running.

Alto-Shaam has a number of different size configurations to choose from for either hot or cold drop-in waterless food wells. Drop-in wells easily fit into any buffet counter, prep station or chef’s table and can be customized to fit your needs.

Further details:

For more information, please visit the Alto-Shaam website.