The professional kitchens found in every restaurant are chock full of both general use and specialty equipment. From giant, walk-in refrigerators to the smallest tomato knife, all the items used daily in a commercial kitchen are vital to the success of the restaurant. In fact, the efficiency of the kitchen staff hinges on the quality of the cooking tools at hand. Recently, the nationwide chain Arby’s achieved a markedly improved efficiency level and saw at 67 percent reduction of energy use thanks to reworked equipment platform from Alto-Shaam. Arby’s thanked the equipment retailer with a Red Hat Supplier Achievement Award.
With so much at stake for the success of any restaurant, having useful and versatile tools is vital. We collected this list of favorites from chefs at eateries across the nation.
Ice Cream Maker
Perhaps you’ve seen these gems used in a cooking competition for a television show. Not only do they freeze an ice cream base in under 10 minutes, they can be used to create all sorts of frozen concoctions. Many chefs like to showcase seasonal fruit by making different sorbets on a daily basis. Considering the trend recently toward crafty and perhaps strange ice cream flavor combinations, the sky’s the limit when you have a good ice cream maker at your disposal in the kitchen.
The directions for many household blenders specify that you should not put hot liquids into the machine. But that’s a big problem for professional chefs, who need to liquefy hot mixtures all the time. A blender that not only liquefies but also heats the contents while it’s working is the best of both worlds. Soups, purees and even stews can be achieved quickly without risk of burns.
Smoking is not just for ribs anymore. There are plenty of gourmet dishes that can be cooked using a smoker, from beef to cheese to vegetables. The low level of heat allows food to be cooked for a long period of time — even overnight –so that less expensive cuts of meat can be turned into tender, delicious fare that diners will love.
Cook and Hold Oven
Time is of the essence in a professional kitchen because hungry customers are waiting for their meals. That means much of the preparation work has to be done ahead of time. Commercial equipment, like a cook and hold oven, is vital in the fast-paced environment of a restaurant because it not only allows chefs to cook food, it also stores food at a safe holding temperature until it is needed.
Although this piece of equipment might seem to be a little one-note, don’t be fooled. A good machine can make a huge variety of pasta shapes in a short amount of time. In addition, it can be used to roll any type of dough, fondant or even pastillage, depending what type of cuisine is served in the restaurant.
Any chef will attest to the importance of having the best equipment for the smooth operation of their eatery. These five types of machines can increase efficiency and make kitchen work truly enjoyable.