Commercial Cooking Equipment (page 2) 

Griddles

In addition to your solid or open burner range, you can choose a griddle for as part of your range or as a stand alone additional cooking tool. It is a flat metal plate made of steel, cast iron or aluminium and food is cooked directly on top allowing multiple food items to cook simultaneously. Look for a large grease trough for easy clean up, manual controls for regulating temperature control, thermostatic controls for accurate temperature control and a non stick surface. An alternative to a gas griddle is a stand alone electric griddle – exactly the same as the gas fired version but powered by electricity.

Ovens

The range oven, situated beneath the range, is the main way to do your “dry heat cooking” in most pub and restaurants. Like ranges, ovens can be powered by gas or electricity. (Just keep in mind, even if the appliance cooks with gas, and the oven is electric, the oven may still has electrical requirement for the timer, lights, and, with convection ovens, to run the fans within the oven.) These ovens are as hard working as any industrial kitchen product, and they are generally on all day long.

The fundamental range has just one oven beneath the cooking array. It might be employed for roasting, baking, braising, smoking; for finishing sautéed and grilled items; or merely for storing hot foods until required. Most commercial range ovens have heavy gauge, double-wall construction (known as a flame spreader) that distributes temperature evenly all through the cavity. The oven space should be sufficient to hold a regular sheet pan, which is 18 by 26 inches. Like domestic ovens, they come with at least one chrome-plated rack on which to locate pans, and also the position from the rack can be adjusted up or down within the oven.

For preference, unless space is at an absolute premium, I would opt for drop down (horizontally hinged) doors as they can double up as a useful temporary stand for large saucepans and are a single opening. For kitchens with limited space behind the line there are vertically hinged cupboard style doors and with these look out for a robust ball catch for keeping them closed.

Professional or commercial grills are designed for precise cooking. Commercial grills have wide blazing areas with diverse tops and air vents to transmit fumes away from human respiration. They often have a “salamander” plate, a heavy metal cooking surface with ridges to allow fat to drip away from the food and give the traditional searing marks on items such as steak or chicken.

Induction Stoves

A commercial induction cooker can hold its own in the demanding environment of any professional kitchen and pubs can benefit from the fantastic performance offered by a good commercial-grade induction cooker. They are the perfect choice for many specific applications, as well as in the midst of a busy professional kitchen.

Chefs who are used to cooking on a gas range may find an induction cooker strange at first, but with a few days (or just hours) of use any chef will tell you that this appliance is here to stay (even my butcher uses one and he swears by it). Cooks want a cooker that offers precise control and fast response times, which, is why gas has ruled the professional kitchen for so long.

Induction cookers provide faster response times and more precise temperature control than any gas range. Add to that an high energy efficiency, greater safety, ease of use and low maintenance, and you have a kitchen appliance that makes good sense. Perhaps you need a dedicated cooking station within your professional kitchen, or an appliance for a front-end cooking station where the public is going to see the cooker in action. Induction cookers are sleek and attractive, easy to keep clean, and very safe for use in situations where your clientele may get quite close to the appliance. You can choose a single or dual zone unit, have it built-in or go with a portable model, and get exactly the wattage you need for your specific application.

Another place where commercial induction cookers really shine is at catered events where you need a portable unit that can be used to prepare full meals and to keep dishes warm without ruining them. They fit the bill perfectly for barbecues.

If you want to introduce wok-based cuisine you can get a commercial induction wok-cooker, where the cooking zone itself is shaped to accept a wok. The entire bottom half of the wok itself becomes your cooking surface. With faster cooking times and a more responsive cooker, it becomes that much easier to time dishes that have to be just right when they leave the kitchen.

Microwave Ovens

Microwaves have been an important part of the catering industry for the last 40 years. Almost all homes in the UK now have one and they are extremely useful for helping to cook a meal in minutes. With advances in technology came the combination oven which allows many sorts of food to be cooked in a short space of time and at a quality close to that of an actual oven.

Firstly you will need to decide if you would like a combination oven or microwave only, depending on what you’ll be using your microwave for. If it is simply just for reheating and defrosting general foods then standard commercial models should be sufficient.

A combination microwave is better where you need to reheat products such as meat and pastry. These types are purely for the commercial market and offer many advantages over any domestic equipment you may be tempted to purchase.

Commercial equipment can offer the customer a lot more than they used to years ago, especially with the introduction of the combination microwave oven. With advances in technology these are now able to cook the majority of dishes in a short space of time. These microwave ovens can be used individually and will enable you to keep ahead of the latest food trends and time constraints that cause many people a concern.

Many commercial models are stackable or can be mounted on stainless steel wall brackets making life in the kitchen easier and safer. New and improved functions that the combination microwaves offer includes accelerated cooking, regeneration and rapid defrost and cool down facilities.

Choosing a model with the sufficient power is also important, the wattage of a microwave determines the maximum speed of the reheating or cooking process. Most commercial models have wattages that range from 850 to 1900 watts. Buying a microwave whose power is too low may lead to you and your customers getting frustrated by delays. Likewise by buying a microwave whose power is too high it may lead to overcooking and wastage.

Take the time to look at what features and characteristics each manufacturer and model offers options such as stainless steel construction, that are programmable and have multi-functionality. Buying from a reputable dealer or catering supplier also guarantees you back up service, which, in the commercial market is vital. Lease, buy or rent the financing is up to you but as with all high cost items new is better than pre-owned or re-conditioned.

Continue reading… page 1

Back to Kitchen & Food