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As a light-weighted, naturally-changing product that varies in shape, weight and thickness from slicing process, bacon can be a notoriously difficult product to handle for industrial cooking. However, JBT’s new bacon application for the Stein TwinDrum Oven (TDO) now provides bacon processors with a convection cooking method to address these challenges at a much higher capacity and with a smaller footprint.

The TDO offers uniform cooking with excellent taste, home-cooked appearance and flexibility thanks to unrivalled airflow control. The controlled airflow also decreases the risk of the bacon moving within the oven.

The system makes cooking simple, while at the same time enabling customers to recover fat for reprocessing. It further makes cleaning straightforward, allowing hygiene to be kept in optimum conditions for an often messy product.

Controlled airflow
According to JBT Turnkey Solutions Manager Lee Fryer, one of the key advantages of the TDO for bacon is that products remain static as the belt passes through the oven during cooking. However at the same time, the innovative design of the TDO ensures that bacon is thoroughly cooked to achieve the desired product appearance.

“What we’ve proven with the TDO is that because of our controlled airflow and our even temperature across the belt, we don’t get any product movement on the belt and the products get a nice even-cooked appearance,” Lee explains.

Overcoming challenges
JBT Applications Manager John Kelso says that one of the principal challenges when cooking bacon is the consistency of the product. Another challenge is that as a result of a product thickness that typically only measures between 1-1.5mm, it can be tricky to process a slice of bacon and ensure each slice is receiving adequate heat. However, such factors pose no difficulties for the TDO.

“Bacon is awkward to do,” John says. “It’s sticky, it’s got to be at the right temperature and can have transfer issues. You want to be able to cook bacon quick and without movement on the belt and achieve high capacity on a small footprint, which is exactly what the TDO provides.”

Full cleanability
A further advantage of the TDO, Lee says, is that the oven offers customers real flexibility. “Customers can run multiple products on this equipment, not just bacon and burgers,” he says.

The TDO also includes a separator system for fat, which enables recovery of the cooking byproduct for use in biofuel and other industries. Recovered bacon fat, he continues, can also be reburnt to generate steam for a range of processes.

And if cleaning may have been a headache for bacon processors before, with the TDO is it made easy. “Bacon cooking can be a very dirty process and this can be a real challenge for customers with tighter facilities,” says John. “Access and cleanability is an important factor in bacon cooking. The TDO is fully accessible and straightforward to clean using a fully-automated cleaning program, which also has the advantage of limiting downtime.”

To get the best cleaning results for the TDO, customers can use JBT’s Formula Clean family of detergents, which have been specifically developed for JBT equipment with the aim of helping avoid unnecessary wear and tear.

Available in thermal fluid and electric versions, the TDO is already enabled for JBT’s digital service platform OmniBlu, allowing full connectivity with other JBT equipment in your facility and easy-to-access support from JBT technicians.

LEARN MORE about the JBT Stein TwinDrum Oven’s new bacon application