Career summary

Details for Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders


Description

Operate or tend cooking equipment, such as steam cooking vats, deep fry cookers, pressure cookers, kettles, and boilers, to prepare food products.

Tasks

  • Tend or operate and control equipment, such as kettles, cookers, vats and tanks, and boilers, to cook ingredients or prepare products for further processing.
  • Set temperature, pressure, and time controls, and start conveyers, machines, or pumps.
  • Clean, wash, and sterilize equipment and cooking area, using water hoses, cleaning or sterilizing solutions, or rinses.
  • Observe gauges, dials, and product characteristics, and adjust controls to maintain appropriate temperature, pressure, and flow of ingredients.
  • Listen for malfunction alarms, and shut down equipment and notify supervisors when necessary.
  • Remove cooked material or products from equipment.
  • Turn valves or start pumps to add ingredients or drain products from equipment and to transfer products for storage, cooling, or further processing.
  • Measure or weigh ingredients, using scales or measuring containers.
  • Read work orders, recipes, or formulas to determine cooking times and temperatures, and ingredient specifications.
  • Collect and examine product samples during production to test them for quality, color, content, consistency, viscosity, acidity, or specific gravity.
  • Notify or signal other workers to operate equipment or when processing is complete.
  • Record production and test data, such as processing steps, temperature and steam readings, cooking time, batches processed, and test results.
  • Admit required amounts of water, steam, cooking oils, or compressed air into equipment, such as by opening water valves to cool mixtures to the desired consistency.
  • Pour, dump, or load prescribed quantities of ingredients or products into cooking equipment, manually or using a hoist.
  • Place products on conveyors or carts, and monitor product flow.
  • Activate agitators and paddles to mix or stir ingredients, stopping machines when ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
  • Operate auxiliary machines and equipment, such as grinders, canners, and molding presses, to prepare or further process products.

Interests

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, training, experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

Knowledge

  • Food Production - Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.

Skills

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