Volume 3 | Issue 2 | Year 2000

It seems as though Cleveland Range has been around since mankind discovered that eating cooked food is much more civilized than tearing raw flesh away from mastodons and saber-tooth tigers. The company actually started in 1847 in Ohio (Cleveland, of course), not in Jurassic Park, beginning its history as a small retail store, manufacturing the “French Steel Range.” Since then, it can boast of a number of “firsts”: the first stainless steel construction; the first stainless steel steam cooker; the first units with thermostatic traps synchronized with pressure relief valves; the first units with aluminum doors; the first copper jet boilers; the first atmospheric steam generators. Recent history can credit the company with the introduction of the first countertop pressureless steamer (1979), a complete line of steam-jacketed kettles and tilting skillets (1982), the first combination pressure/pressureless steamer (1987), the first high-capacity countertop pressureless convection steamer (1988), the first high-capacity pressureless convection steamer (1990), and, in 1991, a complete line of gas and electric combination steamer/ovens.

A Welbilt Subsidiary

Cleveland Range is a part of the Welbilt enterprise. Based in Cleveland, the company occupies a 100,000-square-foot facility there, employing 226 employees. Its location in Toronto employs 123 and occupies 105,000 square feet of Canadian space. The company is headed by Stephen Amos, its president. Reporting to him are Jim Bedford, engineering vice president; Rick Cutler, manufacturing vice president; Bob Norlander, marketing vice president; Jeff Wood, sales and marketing vice president; Gaylen Gilett, sales vice president; and Jim Mewchewski, finance vice president.

The company’s product range is extremely wide. Although none of the steam cooking equipment manufactured may ever see the inside of the kitchen of the ordinary home owner, the food service industry relies on Cleveland Range to feed the clientele of restaurants and the employees of institutions across the face of America. Whether it is a convection or a pressure steamer, a combination oven/steamer, an electric or gas kettle, a tilting skillet or a rotisserie oven, Cleveland Range products offer distinct advantages to the user. Depending on the product, it is normal for cooking to be completed in less time than if the food were to be prepared in conventional equipment. In addition, food quality is improved. Moist, juicier meats and poultry; crustier breads; moist, chewy cookies; all this, with less waste. More of the meat winds up on the plate.

Steam Is the Secret

The secret is in the steam. Steam cooking is one of the most efficient ways to prepare foods that are fresh, colorful, flavorful and nutritious. Steam cooking enhances the taste and color of foods while retaining their valuable nutrients. Vegetables are healthier. Seafood is more succulent. With steam cooking, food will not burn, stick, shrivel or scorch.

Cleveland Range products go beyond the steam cooking equipment the company manufactures. The company also supplies a descaling solvent that is useful for steam generators of any kind. Using this product will dramatically lower maintenance costs, increase operating efficiency and extend the life of the equipment. It is a special water-based solution for ridding steam equipment of lime and mineral deposits. USDA-approved and biodegradable, the product is noncorrosive, nontoxic and nonflammable. And it works. Who could ask for anything more?

Strong Product Line

A quick rundown of the product line bears testimony to the innovative nature of Cleveland Range. The Cleveland Rotisserie is a 60,000-BTU, gas-fired oven with 16 programmable settings and an easy-to-read digital control panel. It features an automatic holding cycle (keeping the cooked food warm), a co-cook feature, which allows for simultaneous cooking of two different products, an automatic fast cool-down control, and many other advances.

The versatility of Cleveland skillets can’t be matched. These wonders can grill, stir-fry, braise, poach, steam, simmer and deglaze. In addition, they have splash-proof, solid-state temperature controls that allow for worry- free cleaning and are available at power levels of up to 200,000 BTUs.

Cleveland’s kettle line consists of electric kettles, gas kettles and direct steam kettles. Capacities range from 40 to 80 gallons. The steam oven line is even more diversified. There are 12 models from which to choose. They are manufactured for either gas or electricity and offer varying capacities, ranging from three-pan countertop units to large roll-in units that can accommodate nearly 50 pans. The combination ovens, which offer the option of steam or hot air (convection) cooking, afford a versatility that is unsurpassed in the industry. A combination of both processes yields food that has a finished, browned appearance on the surface while retaining moisture in the interior.

An Important Part

Cleveland Range is, of course, part of the larger Welbilt organization, a global manufacturer of equipment for the food service and re-tail food markets. Subscribing to the idea of partnering with the company’s clients, Welbilt, and all its subsidiaries, begins with a detailed understanding of the client’s business. From there, products are designed with solutions for particular problems. Experienced development engineers and working chefs work together at the Welbilt Tampa (Fla.) technology center to develop successful prototypes. The prototypes are engineered for production in one of the specialized manufacturing companies, such as Cleveland Range.