Rick Wells, News On 6
BRISTOW, Oklahoma -- The opportunity to see the "biggest in the world" of anything is a powerful motivator. For example, one of the biggest ovens in the world will cook maybe a 100,000 hamburgers at once – and it's built in Bristow.
They even have an oven that cooks a ham in a minute.
We came down to Bristow because we were told they make the biggest ovens in the world here. Drive toward the big blue water tower, Unitherm is just below it.
That's where I met up with Adam Cowherd.
"Basically cooking, chilling, freezing and pasteurizing equipment here in Bristow - some of the world's biggest ovens," he said.
That's what we came to see.
We started small, with a pasteurizing unit for cooked meat like a ham.
"It'll smoke a ham in one minute," Cowherd said.
That smile on his face means he knows, I can't imagine how you could smoke a ham in a minute. As we walked he explained: the already cooked ham would be finished in a unit then given the flavor, color and look of smoked ham in a minute.
"This replaces using a blow-torch and literally flame glazing hams," Cowherd said.
Then there are some really BIG ovens, including one called a mini spiral oven. It's pretty big for a mini.
"These ovens are micro spiral ovens," he said.
The spiral design provides more cooking surface in a smaller floor space.
Finally we got around to the bigger one – it's huge, only partially done. There's a guy walking around inside, building the center drum so what'll this do when it's finished.
Get this, about 100,000 hamburgers an hour.
Holy, hamburgers - see the equipment they make is for companies all over the world that process large amounts of food: fast food corporations, restaurant chains and school districts. Virtually all their equipment is designed, fabricated and assembled in Bristow.
And they have a test kitchen.
They'd fired up the flame grill and a hamburger comes through. It's only in there for a minute, to give it the look of grilled meat. Grill marks are put on by red hot loops.
The meat is just seared, it needs to be finished in a big spiral oven. Then it's frozen and packaged.
Next time you're in a big chain restaurant, ask if the grilled chicken came off the grill or out of a bag.
If you'd like to learn more about the largest ovens and freezers in the world Unitherm has a website.