What Do Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders Do

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Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders

Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders operate or tend cooking equipment, such as steam cooking vats, deep fry cookers, pressure cookers, kettles, and boilers, to prepare food products.

Salary: $31690
Education: No degree required
Job Satisfaction: Low
Personality: The Builder

What they do

Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders operate or tend cooking equipment, such as steam cooking vats, deep fry cookers, pressure cookers, kettles, and boilers, to prepare food products.

  • 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.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Food Cooking Machine Operators read work orders, recipes, or formulas to determine cooking times and temperatures, and ingredient specifications. They 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.

A typical day for a Food Cooking Machine Operator and Tender will also include:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Observe gauges, dials, and product characteristics, and adjust controls to maintain appropriate temperature, pressure, and flow of ingredients.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Food Cooking Machine Operators also operate auxiliary machines and equipment, such as grinders, canners, and molding presses, to prepare or further process products. They may also listen for malfunction alarms, and shut down equipment, and notify supervisors when necessary.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Food Cooking Machine Operators clean, wash, and sterilize equipment and cooking area, using water hoses, cleaning or sterilizing solutions, or rinses. They might also pour, dump, or load prescribed quantities of ingredients or products into cooking equipment, manually or using a hoist.

In addition, they activate agitators and paddles to mix or stir ingredients, stopping machines when ingredients are thoroughly mixed.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them turn valves or start pumps to add ingredients or drain products from equipment and to transfer products for storage, cooling, or further processing.

To some Food Cooking Machine Operators, it is also their responsibility to set temperature, pressure, and time controls, and start conveyers, machines, or pumps.

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What is it like working as one

Pros

Suitable for people who like practical and hands-on work.

Suitable for people who want to work in a supportive work environment.

This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.

It is easy to get into this career. Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to work with designs.

One of the lowest paying jobs.

Demand for this career is not growing.


How to become one

Should you become one

People who are suitable for this job tend to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.


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