Serving Some Sizzle: Working with Fajita Skillets

Sizzling Fajitas

It’s All About the Show

Nothing turns a customer’s eyes and ears like a sizzling platter full of deliciously seasoned meats and vegetables wafting through your dining room on its way to an eagerly awaiting patron. That sound echoes and screams “I’m hot, I’m fresh, and I’m delicious.” Most restauranteurs know the secrets behind the sizzle, but we’re dropping the curtain for the rest of you. It’s not the sound of your food product reacting with the hot skillets, it’s the sound of cool liquid quickly evaporating after hitting the hot surface of your skillet. Yes, it is all a masterfully played show, and ZESCO can help you with the tools of the game.

Start With the Tools

They are called Sizzling Servers because that’s all they do. Even the most authentic Mexican restaurant is using other conventional means to sear and cook their meats – usually in larger batches. Only at the plating stage are all the ingredients and tricks pulled together. The show starts with the right skillet for the job. Pick a size that piles your food into heaping portions. Some skillets have handles, but these may waste space on smaller tables and introduce the possibility of burning your server or patrons.

Next, choose one of the many means of bringing those skillets up to a high temperate (500° or more) so you can add that sizzling ‘magic’ to the equation. High volume kitchens, including many of the ‘neighborhood pub’ chains, use induction ranges to bring their servers up to temp, as the iron in the skillet is perfect for induction heating. Skillets can be heated on demand in about 60 seconds. Smaller restaurants can use existing equipment for the heating process. Cast iron is a versatile material, and can be heated in our oven, on a charbroiler or grill, or in a salamander broiler. An oven is a great way a smaller kitchen can keep a supply of hot skillets at the ready.

Sizzling Skillets Turn Heads

Sizzling Skillets Turn Heads

The Science and the Sizzle Sauce

You know that heat alone does not create that wonderful sizzling sound. You need some ‘sizzle sauce’! Just what is in that sizzle sauce? It’s all up to the operator and the type of food product you want to sizzle. Choose a “sauce” that complements the flavor of your main dish, and provides the level of reaction you desire when cold liquid hits hot iron. For a louder sound that doesn’t interfere with your flavor, simple water can do the trick and produces not only a great sound but creates steam as well.

While some restaurants have elaborate signature recipes for their sizzle sauce, typically it is just an oil or acidic liquid. Some simple ones to try include:

  • soy sauce, which works rather universally
  • cooking oil
  • lime juice, great for Mexican or Southwest dishes
  • orange juice, for a sweeter hint
  • garlic butter, for steaks and other meats
  • or just the natural juices from the meat

Start Your Sizzle Solution with Zesco

The Adcraft FAJ-795 from ZESCO

The Adcraft FAJ-795 from ZESCO

ZESCO.com carries thousands of equipment and smallware products that you need every day to run a successful restaurant. Our expert staff is ready to help you choose the right products that make you and your kitchen staff’s lives easier. Looking to add the flair of sizzling skillets? Stop by our Indianapolis showroom, where we stock the Admiral Craft 9-1/2”x7” oval fajita skillet with a handle. Zesco also carries larger sizes from Tomlinson, available in case quantities of 12. The FP-16 has a 10″x7″ serving area with a handle, and the JFP-18 has a 13″x10″ oval serving area (without a handle). Of course, don’t forget wooden underliner and Teflon handle holders to protect your servers and customers from burns.

Browse ZESCO’s entire selection of Fajita Servers on our website and reach out to our sales staff at 800-901-5051 if you have any questions. We’re here to help!

Featured image via Wikipedia, under CC BY-SA 2.0
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