The secret to sustaining your signature flavor

There are restaurants on every street corner, and you can find several food trucks in most cities. They aren’t just offering mediocre food, either — they’ve got good, delicious, perfectly cooked food. And while there is a variety in food products offered, the only thing that sets one restaurant apart from another is flavor.

Your signature flavor is the reputation your restaurant hangs its hat on. But if customers have a different experience every time they visit, depending on who’s in the kitchen that day, that reputation will quickly deteriorate.

When flavor is everything, how can you ensure a chef’s process is not only repeatable but also consistent and efficient? Here’s the secret: use an automatic marinator.

The current flavor situation

Most kitchens currently employ other, less automated marinating tactics. Here are the most common.

Manual marinating

A manual marinating is exactly as it sounds: a kitchen employee coats the protein with your signature liquid concoction then turns, massages, and coats the protein by hand.

As you can imagine, this process requires a person to dedicate a good amount of attention to the task at hand, with no distractions, and well trained enough to accomplish this correctly to maintain flavor consistency.

Manual marinating requires several boxes to be ticked in order to see successful results — conditions that are becoming more difficult to achieve with the current labor demands.

Overnight soak

Whether it’s a brine or a liquid marinade, an overnight soak is also extremely common. You may leave the protein soaking in a pan overnight to absorb the necessary flavors. But there are a few issues with this tactic, as well.

In addition to using up valuable cooler space that may or may not be available, the overnight soak requires significant time to achieve. Sometimes, it needs multiple stages in order to see the correct results, and it limits the amount of protein available for the next day, possibly cutting off a main revenue stream.

An overnight soak requires a significant amount of liquid as well for best results, something that may not be an option for many operations with limited supplies.

When consistency is an issue, the overnight soak is not the best option, even with a large amount of liquid, as it often results in inconsistent flavors. Pieces are often stuck together, creating “bald spots” where the marinade was unable to penetrate. Depending on the ingredients, liquid marinades may also separate overnight, another roadblock to consistent flavor.

Manual dry rub

If your flavor profile doesn’t require a liquid marinade and instead relies on a dry rub, most times this is also a manual process, requiring a worker to coat every single piece of protein.

Dry rubs are often easily separated, with the heavier spices falling to the bottom, and the lighter ones skimming the top, making it tough to achieve a consistent flavor application.

Like an overnight soak, a manual dry rub requires a significant amount of ingredients to achieve the desired results, another challenge with any supply chain issues.

A better flavor situation

Imagine a better situation: one where you can clone your best chef’s process. One where your protein is perfectly seasoned or marinated and the flavor is exactly reflective of your best day.

Every single time. Every single piece. Every single bite.

An automated process can give you the flavor consistency of your dreams. It’s the secret to many restaurants’ signature flavors — one we think everyone should know about.

In addition to consistency, here are a few other benefits you’ll see when using an automated marinator:

  • Saved labor time: All that hand marinating or seasoning can be a labor suck of the past.
  • Minimized overhead costs: With fewer marinade or dry rub ingredients required to achieve the correct results, you’ll start to see savings immediately.
  • More flexibility: With a quicker process, you’ll have more flexibility not only in your offerings but also in your ability to meet unpredictable demands.
  • Simplified food prep workflow: Roll your marinator out when you need it, where you need it, then store it away when you don’t.

Choosing the right marinator for you

As you’re looking for a marinator to fit your own needs and replicate your signature flavor profile, you’ll often see two different types of marinator types: tumble and vacuum.

Tumble marinators: flavor guaranteed

Reduce the time needed to marinate proteins from hours to minutes through a timed tumbling process. Our tumble marinator has a flat edge of the barrel that tenderizes the meat as it tumbles, accelerating the marinating process and allowing you to serve freshly marinated product on demand.

Customer highlight: One of our customers uses our tumble marinator for a dry rub coating on chicken, and it works perfectly on their recipe, ensuring the seasonings are easily distributed for flavor consistency.

Whether it’s a dry rub or liquid marinade, the tumble action requires much fewer ingredients to achieve the same flavor profile.

Labor time is also significantly reduced, as the tumble marinator can hold multiple pieces of protein at once, eliminating the need for a manual, one-by-one coating process. The double door add-on feature allows you to separate proteins as necessary.

Vacuum marinators: flavor accelerated

While a manual or overnight marination process is more of a “sit and hope” task, vacuum marinators allow operators to take action, using vacuum pressure and a tumbling action to dramatically reduce the time needed to marinate proteins.

Like the tumble marinator, our vacuum marinator tenderizes the meat as it tumbles, while the vacuum removes air from the chamber so your marinade can deeply penetrate the protein.

This vacuum and tumbling action simulates overnight marination in as little as 20-25 minutes, requiring even less liquid, and allow you the flexibility to meet demands.

Customer highlight: One customer uses saline in their vacuum marinator to make their regular chicken wings plump and juicy. They’ve saved significantly on paying for premium chicken wings simply by using the vacuum marinator.

Add some flavor

You’re already doing the marination work; you’re just doing it by hand. A marinator can make this process consistent, repeatable and efficient, resulting in savings for you and a better experience for your consumers.

By using a tumble or vacuum AyrKing marinator, you can mimic the manual process of someone who takes pride in their work, no matter who is on staff. Reach out today to discuss how we can help you maintain your signature flavor.

Connect with AyrKing

No matter where you are around the globe, AyrKing is always ready to help you find the best commercial food prep equipment for your operation. Use our convenient online locator to connect with a distributor or representative in your area.