Getting Your Commercial Kitchen Up and RunningAugust 29, 2019
Getting your commercial kitchen up and running.
If there’s nothing to serve the food on, there’s no restaurant. You’ll need tons of cutlery, plate ware, bowls, ramekins, cups, and glasses. Consider the number of tables you can fit in your restaurant and how many guests you hope to serve every night when factoring in how much to buy. Consider breakage – in the chaotic environment of commercial kitchens; it’s not uncommon to lose a plate or glass every few shifts.
Cooking Equipment for Your Commercial Kitchen
Consider what tools you’d need to execute your entire menu in one shift. Pots of all sizes, sauté pans, tasting spoons, mixing spoons, sheet pans, whisks, fish spatulas, ladles, bowls of all sizes, squeeze bottles, bench scrapers – the list goes on and varies widely depending on the type of food you want to make. You’ll also need more of each item than you expect.
Safety Equipment and Your Commercial Kitchen
Make sure your kitchen has proper safety equipment. A well-stocked first aid or medical emergency kit is crucial in a commercial kitchen that runs on fire and knives. Check your local fire department guidelines before purchasing fire, safety, or sanitation equipment, and avoid potential complications by always keeping your kitchen up to fire code standards.
Commercial Kitchen Freezers and Refrigerators
All commercial kitchens require a refrigeration system of some type. Without a fridge, you can’t keep the ingredients and prepared foods fresh. Freezers are also crucial for inventory management because it’s much more cost-effective to buy 300 steaks and freeze them than to buy ten steaks every day.
Industrial-grade refrigeration units are designed to meet the unique needs of the food industry. For example, they can cool large pots of sauce to a safe temperature in record time, so they’re a crucial purchase for any food handling operation. You’ll have to decide between reach-in units and walk-in units.
Make sure to seek professional help for installation and that you know how to properly maintain your unit, as they can be costly to repair.
Food Preparation Counters and Cutting Boards
Prep tables, counters, and cutting surfaces are essential to any commercial kitchen and come in various sizes. Choose preparation surfaces made of stainless steel, sturdy against corrosion, doesn’t absorb bacteria from food or meat and can withstand the harsh cleaning products used in commercial kitchens. On the line, you’ll want food prep counters that have small refrigerators underneath them for easy access to food prepped for each station.
As for cutting surfaces, choose either plastic or wooden cutting boards. Plastic boards are more comfortable to sanitize but can develop deep grooves that can hide bacteria. Wooden boards are generally tougher to clean than plastic ones but don’t develop grooves as quickly.
Ranges and Ventilation
If your restaurant plans on making anything but salad, you’ll need a kitchen range. The range is the powerhouse of the kitchen, so it’s essential to choose one that meets both your cooking needs. Like residential ranges, commercial units can be either gas or electric. If you’d prefer a visual, responsive cooking experience, go for a gas range.
Gas ranges make it easier to judge heat levels and change from high to low settings much faster than their electric counterparts. Alternatively, electric ranges have smooth, elegant, easy-to-clean designs and come in three sub-categories.
Standard electric ranges use coils to heat food, whereas you cook directly on the flat surface of smooth-top electric ranges. Electric induction ranges employ magnetic coils beneath a ceramic glass top to generate heat, but they require unique magnetic cookware to work.
Most ranges come outfitted with an oven. If your operation centers around baked goods, it may be in your best interest to purchase a range with a convection oven setting. Unlike regular ovens, convection ovens have a fan and exhaust system that blow hot air around the food. They are a great appliance for roasting, toasting, making pies and cookies, or dehydrating.
Sinks are vital to any kitchen because they provide running water as well as space for handwashing, cleaning produce, defrosting frozen meat under running water, or washing the occasional cooking utensil as needed.
Health and safety authorities typically require commercial kitchens to install a triple-sink wash station and a commercial dishwashing machine, as well as a dedicated handwashing sink.
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