High-tech for small firms
Today, modern small artisanal enterprises must maintain both the homemade character of their meat products as well as create economical and reproducible top-quality results at any time. Schröter Technologie GmbH & Co. KG fulfills these requirements with its JETsmoker universal baking system and BAKEjet rotary baking system.
Foods have been prepared and preserved using heat for over 700,000 years. Archaeological finds from Northern Israel have proven this. In addition, it has been found that the smoking process has been used to preserve foods for 90,000 years.
The times are long gone when craftsmen used simple smoking houses heated only by a bed of glowing sawdust embers. This procedure required great experience, because if the butcher missed the right point for smoking, his batch would not turn out. Kettles were used for cooking; ovens for roasting and baking. Pre-ripening took place in the ceilings of the sausage kitchen, which were “heated” by the uncooled production rooms in connection with the high humidity of kettle-cooking operations. The quality of the enhanced end-product was always subject to certain variation, which was formerly accepted by consumers - in contrast to today.
Consumers now expect the best standards from small meat-production enterprises, which must compete against discounters, supermarkets as well as independent and direct marketers. Industrial producers produce large quantities of high-quality products. In this regard, it must be noted that the market almost only contains top-quality products. Simple- and medium-quality products, as described in guidelines for meat and meat products, are being increasingly forced from the market due to the great competition for market share. These developments in connection with customer-friendly products (e.g. with reclosable packages and long minimum shelf-life dates of at least 21 days) as well as store hours of sometimes until 10:00 p.m. can make things difficult for classical small artisanal enterprises.
There are various strategies for countering these developments; the most important and best is, however, to offer absolute quality and freshness. Efficient smoking equipment is a significant factor because it enhances the product. In this context, the most important features are reproducibility of optimal process results and operator-friendly systems.
The JETsmoker can be used to make classical hot-smoked products such as hot dogs, bockwursts and meaty sausages. Equipped with optional baking functions, it also makes roasted pork knuckle, pâtés and even whole suckling pigs with no effort. It is also outstanding for making the Bavarian classic pork roast.
As a universal cooker, the JETsmoker has a cooling coil for smoking raw sausage. Likewise, the infinitely variable pre-selection of the speed of the circulating air and precise computer-controlled humidity regulation ensure simple treatment of all types of raw sausages. According to the manufacturer, the equipment is built for heavy and daily use, and is extremely reliable due to its excellent workmanship. It completes the same program steps as do proven industrial setups.
In times of rising energy costs, the “Automatic Fresh Air” raw sausage program step is particularly economical. Under the suitable external conditions (continual monitoring of temperature and enthalpy), this function enables the use of fresh air for drying or cooling - instead of the cooling coil. The decision whether or not to use fresh air - and to what extent or what amount - is independently regulated by the chamber itself via the degree to which the fresh air valve is open. Especially in the cold winter months, the automatic fresh air function has proven itself to be an energy saver that leads to no loss of control.
The BAKEjet rotary baking system results in perfect liver loaves (Leberkäse), roasted pork knuckle and pâtés, according to the company. After the smoking cart has been rolled into the chamber, it is raised using special mechanical equipment. During the baking process, the cart rotates inside the chamber, which ensures even baking results.
The equipment has a Siemens touch-panel, an intuitively operated control device that allows complete control of ongoing processes, recipe data and process recording at all times. Schröder specialists program this instrument according to the customer’s individual needs.
The use of programmable logic controllers (PLC) enables fulfillment of even the most unusual requests, because nearly 99 percent of the controller programming is done in-house by Schröter. Schröter obtains these control elements from renowned companies like Siemens or Jumo (Fulda, Germany). This is how Schröder ensures that the mechanisms will be available throughout the world - even after years.
A new smoking facility is a long-term investment. With this in mind, decisions about new acquisitions should keep in mind such points as manufacturing quality, high-quality motors and process control technology and the technological condition of the equipment. All Schröter equipment fulfills the company’s claim of “high-tech for small firms”, because it does not differentiate between the technologies used; it is only a question of scale. This allows smaller companies also to benefit from smooth processes and workflows, even under the stiffest competitive situations, and to face daily challenges with powerful equipment and a relaxed attitude.