The Rethermalizer Revolution: Speed Up Your Most Popular Menu Items

Ghost kitchens are built around speed and efficiency, and one of the easiest ways to create these benefits is to pre- or par-cook certain menu items before they’re needed for service. When ghost kitchen operations use a rethermalizer, it can help achieve these objectives and save time and money.

Using rethermalization can allow kitchen staff to work on food prep during non-peak hours, which is an effective way of distributing staffing needs in a restaurant. But what items are ideal for retherm, and how is the rethermalization process best implemented in a ghost kitchen?

What Is Retherm?

Before we look at popular items that are well-suited for the rethermalization process, what is retherm? Essentially, it’s taking pre-cooked food items, sealing them in a bag, and warming them in a basin of hot water. It can be used in various settings using a wide range of ingredients, and we’re going to explore some of the most relevant menu items here.


Ghost kitchens and quick-serve restaurants can develop an entire soup program quickly and efficiently by using a food warmer or a rethermalizer. By cooking soup and storing it in vacuum-sealed freezer bags, staff will only need to drop individually portioned soup bags into hot water. From bisque to chili, rethermalizers are made for soups.


Many types of menus use ground beef, from taco meat to sandwiches. For fast-casual and ghost kitchen restaurants, it’s possible to run an entire menu through a rethermalizer in order to achieve consistency and efficiency, and some of the world’s top QSRs do.


Preparing stuffed chicken dishes such as chicken cordon bleu or poultry dishes with sauces can be labor intensive. Preparing all the components can take time, and having them ready all at the same time is challenging. To save time, prepare these dishes before the kitchen opens. Then when ordered, rethermalize and quickly deliver a hot poultry dish created with fresh ingredients.


If you’re looking for comfort food, cook red beans and rice as part of a Cajun-themed menu. The rethermalization process is ideal for rice and beans. Instead of waiting for it to be freshly prepared, using up valuable time during a dinner rush, operators simply drop portioned bags into hot water and wait a matter of minutes for them to be ready for the plate.


Pasta is an ingredient that has a high profit margin and is a popular menu item for customers. It’s so popular that 59 percent of Americans say they eat pasta regularly. Using rethermalization for pasta dishes like ravioli with sauce or linguine with clam sauce can help reduce assembly time and get food out the door quicker.


It’s entirely possible to create a whole holiday meal, such as Thanksgiving, using a rethermalizer. From green beans to mashed potatoes and gravy, holiday menus can be designed around the rethermalization process without the need for additional equipment.

The Essentials of Implementing Retherm

Retherm allows operators to make large batches of food ahead of time, taking full advantage of slower dayparts in order to maximize the potential of the busy ones. In many cases, food suppliers can provide products sealed in smaller portions for these needs, reducing the need for prep time even more. Rethermalizing is not cooking. It raises the temperature of food to a specified point and never adds additional heat. It is steady and even, meaning staff can drop items in a rethermalizer and walk away knowing it will never cook or overcook.

Rethermalizers are also great for ghost kitchens because they can help satisfy space constraints. Countertop units are available, and they do not require recovery time when in use. Even if frozen bags of soup are dropped into a rethermalizer, the water temperature will always remain the same.

What to Look for in a Rethermalizer:

Pitco offers several steel rethermalizer models to meet the high demands of ghost kitchens and virtual kitchens. Is your establishment is looking for gas or electric equipment options? Or are you short on space and seeking a countertop option? Pitco rethermalizers are designed with every operation in mind.

Discover how Pitco rethermalizers can help your ghost kitchen get orders out the door quicker and produce more profits.

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USA Today


Topics: Ghost Kitchen, Restaurants, Takeout & Delivery