Commercial Kitchen Equipment: 6 Must-Haves for Your Commercial Kitchen

Commercial Kitchen Equipment: 6 Must-Haves for Your Commercial Kitchen

The last couple of years has been a tough time for the food service industry in New Zealand. But borders are reopening in full from October 2022. So now may be the perfect time to set up your commercial kitchen for those hungry summer tourists!

Selecting the right equipment that will allow you to produce a wide range of dishes can be a daunting experience. But we’ve put together a list of 6 commercial kitchen equipment essentials that no business can do without. Start with these pieces and then add the rest as you need them.

Let’s take a look at the six pieces every kitchen needs to have.

1. Range or Burner

Cooktops and Ranges

The choice between a range or a burner will come down to how many people you’re catering for.

A range allows you a lot of flexibility.

Depending on the style you choose, they can accommodate large, catering size pots. They’re perfect for rustling up large soups and stews on the back burners. At the same time, you can prepare smaller portions or detailed work on the burners at the front. 

Ranges also come with an oven beneath. Depending on the size of your operation and what you’re specialising in, this might be all the oven space you need.

Just bear in mind what’ll happen if there’s more than one cook in the kitchen. It’s going to take a little choreography to allow oven access while someone’s using the stovetop.

Burners come in freestanding and benchtop varieties. They’re a cheaper option if you’re just starting out and have the added advantage of being highly portable. 

Most people who’ve worked in professional kitchens love gas. There’s just something about the control it gives and probably taps into some deep-seated urge to cook on fire.

combi oven category

But remember, there’ll be no new gas connections after 2025. They could be phased out entirely by 2050.

That might seem like a while off. Moving over to induction now might be a smart move, though.

2. Oven

If you think an oven’s just for baking, you’ve probably never worked in a commercial kitchen. A combi oven is one of the most useful pieces of kitchen equipment ever invented because it performs so many functions in one. 

It’s especially useful for steaming food. This setting is great for gastronorm trays of rice, which would be a nightmare to cook on the range or cooktop. It’s perfect for blasting trays of vegetables which are tender in minutes.

The combi mode allows you to cook things as diverse as roasted chickens, french fries, and chicken schnitzel. The ability to oven bake french fries is a huge plus if you can’t stretch to a deep fryer right now. Plus, there’s no wasted oil and it’s a hands-off, labour saving process.

Convection allows you to cook at high heat. Combi ovens also usually come with a probe, which allows you to cook roasts to the perfect internal temperature. Walk away and forget about it until the alert sounds. 

Of course, a combi oven is also great for baking bread, cookies, cakes, lasagne, pizza, and anything else you’d throw in a regular oven. Check out the website of a commercial kitchen equipment company to see how a great oven can save time and even reduce labour costs.

3. Food Processor

If you only buy one piece of food preparation equipment, make it a food processor. In a pinch, you can even use them for certain bread, pizza dough, and cake recipes. They can also do a decent job of blending soup if you don’t have an immersion blender.

But where they really set themselves apart from all other food prep items is their ability to process vegetables. If you’re making coleslaw for 200 people, there’s no way you want to stand with a box grater all day. A commercial food processor will fly through carrots, cabbage, potatoes, and pretty much anything else you throw at it. 

They’re also great for processing that kitchen staple – onions. They can chop, dice, grate, and slice faster than any sous chef. Plus, they help to keep food waste to a minimum. 

upright freezer category

4. Freezers and Refrigerators

Here’s a little sneaky two for one, because you definitely need both.

In terms of commercial equipment for your kitchen, you have a choice between upright fridges and workbench fridges.

The advantage of upright fridges is their capacity. You can easily separate foods and if you’re taller, you don’t need to stoop and bend as much as you would in a workbench fridge. If you keep it in a working triangle with your sink and range, they are very user friendly.

However, a workbench fridge can be extremely convenient. If space is at a premium, they make great use of space. They also allow you easy access to items like cream and butter while cooking and allow you to store meat safely until you’re ready to cook it.

You’ve pretty much got the same choice with freezers. A further option is a chest freezer. They’re great for bulk storage but are not as user friendly as upright and workbench models.

Ideally only use them for medium-term storage items, like bulk meat.

benchtop fryer category

5. Fryer

Fryers come in freestanding and benchtop models. As much as we’re all trying to eat more healthily today, when we’re out most of us still like some fries with our meal. You can cook them in a combi oven or, for that authentic crunch, use a fryer.

Commercial fryers are easy to fill and drain. Plus they have built-in filters that make cleaning them easy. They’re easy to regulate and keep the operator well away from the hot oil.

If you plan to include any kind of fried food, from fish and chips to doughnuts, a fryer is an essential piece of equipment for your commercial kitchen. 

pass-through dishwasher category

6. Dishwasher

In the home, they might be a bit of a luxury. But in a commercial kitchen, a dishwasher is an essential. There is no way that you want to manually wash and dry all your cooking equipment, utensils and serving ware at the end of every service.

There are under bench, pass through, and conveyor models available. They all safely process dishes after a light rinse and scrape off. You’ll only have to tackle any burnt-on bits by hand.

Find the Best Commercial Kitchen Equipment for Your New Venture

If you’re setting up a new food business, you need commercial kitchen equipment you can rely on. These 6 (or 7) essentials are the building blocks of any kitchen setup. In the future, you’ll be able to add griddles, salamanders, ice machines and more!

There’s no need to start googling ‘commercial kitchen equipment near me’. At Federal Hospitality Equipment, we’ve got it all. From kitchen equipment to display and servery, we’re your one-stop shop for all your kitchen needs.

Why not check out our specials today?!

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