Commercial cooking appliances are essential in any restaurant, helping you serve food that meets safety and quality standards. Properly maintained equipment also prevents grease clogs and other issues that impact efficiency.
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Refrigerators & Freezers
Refrigerators and freezers help keep food at a safe temperature so it can be eaten later. These appliances come in a wide range of sizes. Some are small refrigerators that can chill beverages while others are large domestic units that stand as tall as a person and may be about one meter (3 ft 3 in) wide with a capacity of 0.6 m3 (21 cu ft). Refrigerators and freezers can be free-standing or built into kitchens.
The manufacture of refrigerators and freezers requires a significant investment in materials and equipment. The heavy metals needed for their construction must be transported to the production facility and then transformed by machinery into a finished product. These machines perform several tasks, including forging, stamping, pressing, and enameling to produce the refrigerator or freezer shell. The more delicate parts of the appliance must be fabricated from components such as compressors, small electric motors, thermostats, and temperature gauges. Foam-blowing capabilities are also necessary to ensure the proper insulation of the appliance.
These parts and pieces are joined together in the factory to make a refrigerator or freezer, where they are then tested and assembled into units of various sizes. They are then shipped to retailers, where they can be sold to consumers.
The retail market for household appliances is robust, thanks to low-interest rates and a cultural shift toward spending more time at home. This has encouraged retailers who were previously not involved in the appliance business to realign their offerings and get into this lucrative market. The rise in prices of raw materials and energy has made it difficult for manufacturers to pass on these costs to the consumer, but they are still able to charge competitive pricing.
Ovens are the heart of any commercial kitchen. They cook products and trigger physicochemical and biochemical changes, which impart flavor, texture, and appearance. They use energy generation sources like the combustion of fuels, heat impingement from steam or water, or radiation to bake the products inside them.
The type of oven a business chooses will depend on its needs. An electric oven uses electromagnetic radiation to heat materials, while a gas or electric furnace uses the combustion of combustible fuels to generate thermal energy and heat the oven’s interior. Some ovens are designed for specific cooking techniques like baking, roasting, or broiling. Some are also capable of reheating and warming foods.
Another important consideration is the capacity of an oven. If it is too small, a restaurant may struggle to meet demand. On the other hand, an oversized oven can consume excessive amounts of power and cost a business unnecessary money.
In addition to standard ovens, businesses can opt for high-speed models, which are designed to make food quickly. These units are ideal for cafes, healthcare facilities, and hospitality concepts that require a quick turnaround.
Some models are designed to perform multiple tasks in one appliance, saving valuable space in a busy operation. For instance, cook-and-hold ovens switch from heating to holding mode once the cooking process is complete. This saves labor by reducing the need for frequent handling, and it prevents food from drying out or falling below safe serving temperatures. It also reduces shrinkage and reheating costs. Some models can even be programmed to automatically switch to hold mode when a set time is reached. This feature can be particularly useful for baked goods like cakes, pastries, and breads.
A range is a multifunctional appliance that combines both a cooktop and an oven in one unit. It typically features four to six burners on top and a single or double oven below. A commercial range is inarguably the most important piece of equipment that a restaurant, bar, hotel, catering company, or other food service business needs to make high-quality dishes and food items for customers.
Commercial ranges are made from extra-strong materials and generate plenty of heat power, so they can withstand the constant use and stress that comes with preparing food for customers throughout the day. They also have a wide array of options and configurations that let you customize your equipment to match the needs of your menu.
To determine which commercial range is right for your business, consider your menu and how much cooking you need to do. For example, if you plan to fry and grill a lot of food, opt for a commercial range with a griddle or a built-in cheese melter. If you’re serving a lot of soups and stews, you may want a commercial range with a low-BTU burner that won’t heat up too quickly.
It’s also a good idea to think about the available space in your kitchen since you don’t want to be overcrowded by appliances that are too big or small for your room. Also, be sure to factor in the costs of gas and electricity for your operation. Lastly, don’t forget to consider accessories like protective hot tops and ventilation systems that remove grease and smoke from the air. This helps keep your staff safe and reduces the risk of fire.
Microwaves are an integral part of any food service business, providing quick and convenient warming for many dishes. Commercial microwaves are a bit larger than their residential counterparts and have more power to ensure they can heat foods quickly, even during busy times. They also feature various programmable settings to make it easier for food service professionals to cook, defrost, and reheat with just one touch.
The major consideration when shopping for a commercial microwave is how often it will be used. Light-duty models are ideal for small establishments like cafes, convenience stores, and concession stands that only use the microwave a few times per day. Medium-duty units are perfect for a sandwich shop or mid-size restaurant, and can handle up to 150 microwave uses a day. Large-scale heavy-duty microwaves are great for high-volume eateries and can handle more than 200 microwave uses a day.
Most commercial microwaves are standardized with stainless-steel cabinets and cavities, with adjustable legs and powder-coated handles. The controls are usually located on a top and/or side escutcheon, with dial or push button operation. Programmable microwaves typically have a digital display, which allows for simple and fast operation and is very important for chain restaurants that require consistency across multiple locations.
Most modern commercial microwaves have an automatic voltage sensor, which determines the input voltage and adjusts the oven’s power output accordingly. Many models also offer multiple options for how an operator is notified that a cook cycle is complete. The options normally include a beep or audible warning, as well as a digital readout that says “End” when the cook cycle is over. Other options are available for specific menu items, such as a quick defrost setting that uses different power settings over a few seconds.
A commercial ice machine can help you quickly and conveniently serve drinks at your business, restaurant, or bar. They use the same refrigeration technology that commercial refrigerators and freezers do, but they’re designed to operate at lower temperatures than refrigerators. This allows them to make more ice in a shorter amount of time.
They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and capacities, so you can choose the one that best meets your needs. For example, some types of ice require a certain texture, which you can get from a countertop model that can produce a mix of cubes and nuggets. Or, you can opt for a freestanding unit that can be used in a garage or outdoor kitchen to entertain guests at a barbeque. Undercounter and freestanding models also have the advantage of having an integrated storage bin, so you don’t need to worry about refilling bags of ice every day.
Some ice-making machines use an air-cooled condenser, while others use water to cool the unit. Air-cooled units tend to be larger and more expensive than their water-cooled counterparts. However, they can be useful in locations where it may be difficult to install a refrigerated air conditioning system or where ductwork cannot accommodate an additional unit.
Most ice machines are operated through a cycle that starts with a water valve opening to send freshwater into the ice mold. A heating element then activates and warms the mold, causing it to release the ice. The ice is then deposited into the ice bin. Most commercial ice makers can produce either cube or flake ice, but some can only do one or the other. When choosing an ice maker, it’s important to use a formula that takes into account peak demand and operating conditions to ensure enough ice will be available when needed.