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Food Cooking Machine Worker  What They Do

Just the Facts


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

This career is part of the Manufacturing cluster Production/Process Technology pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Tends or operates and controls equipment such as kettles, cookers, vats and tanks, and boilers, to cook ingredients or prepare products for further processing.
  • Sets temperature, pressure, and time controls, and starts conveyers, machines, or pumps.
  • Cleans, washes, and sterilizes equipment and cooking area, using water hoses, cleaning or sterilizing solutions, or rinses.
  • Observes gauges, dials, and product characteristics, and adjusts controls to maintain appropriate temperature, pressure, and flow of ingredients.
  • Listens for malfunction alarms, and shuts down equipment and notifies supervisors when necessary.
  • Removes cooked material or products from equipment.
  • Turns valves or starts pumps to add ingredients or drain products from equipment and to transfer products for storage, cooling, or further processing.
  • Measures or weighs ingredients, using scales or measuring containers.
  • Reads work orders, recipes, or formulas to determine cooking times and temperatures, and ingredient specifications.
  • Collects and examines product samples during production to test them for quality, color, content, consistency, viscosity, acidity, or specific gravity.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time
  • Work at heights above 8 feet more than once a month on structures such as ladders, poles, scaffolding, and catwalks

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Cook --
  • Fryer Operator --
  • Kettle Fry Cook Operator --
  • Machine Operator --
  • Master Cook --
  • Mogul Operator --
  • Peeler Operator --
  • Processing Operator --
  • Processor --
  • Retort Operator --