The Right Cooking Equipment Helps You Bring Home the Bacon
Delicious food is not sheer dumb luck. The food you serve on your diner's table is the end product, reflecting the efforts of all your chefs, kitchen staff, and cooking equipment. As the first bite touches the diner's taste buds and travels down the throat into the stomach, tension surges. Will the taste be appreciated or not? However, confidence replaces tension if you have high-quality cooking equipment selected to match your special treats and your chef's expectations.
Standard Features of Cooking Equipment
The massive production capacity sets commercial cooking equipment apart from residential ones. They have to run smoothly round the clock to cook food in bulk, making them a lot more durable. Their stainless steel construction extends their lifespan. With customizable cooking time settings, they offer hassle-free operation. Energy efficiency is another standard feature in commercial cooking equipment. Both electric and gas-powered models are designed to comply with energy-saving requirements.
Most commercial cooking equipment in commercial kitchens is either standalone or countertop units. Standalone cookers are massive units that can cook food in extra high volumes. Due to their enormous sizes, they occupy a larger footprint. Therefore, you should have sufficient floor space to accommodate a standalone commercial range or commercial oven. Countertop models are compact units that drop into or rest on a counter or tabletop. Although they take up a smaller footprint, countertop commercial ovens, grills, ranges, and fryers can meet high-volume production needs. They can be perfect for small and medium-sized operations with limited space.
Common Types of Cooking Equipment
Knowing different ways of cooking can pinpoint what exactly you need. Yes, fryers fry, broilers broil, or steamers steam. Yet, how does each mode of cooking contribute to or change the flavor and texture of the food? Taste quality plays a crucial role in customers' preference of a restaurant. The way of cooking is known to alter the taste quality. Therefore, your choice of cooking equipment should depend on how your diners want their food cooked.
1. Dry Heat Cooking Equipment
Food is generally cooked in three different ways. Dry-heat cooking methods include broiling, roasting, baking, grilling, frying, and sautéing. The technique involves cooking food without water by exposing it to direct or, in some cases, indirect heat on a grill, broiler, oven, or frying pan. Tender and delicate items are more suitable for this type of cooking. The final product has a smoky aroma with a brown color and crisp texture. The best foods for this cooking method are meats, poultry, and vegetables for grilling, broiling, roasting, or frying; pizza, bread, cake, and pastry for baking.
You can sauté minor cuts of meat in a shallow pan on a commercial range, roast chicken or bake pizza in a commercial oven, or fry chicken in a deep fryer. The mouthfeel of a salmon barbecued on a commercial grill or the smell of a gyro kebab rotating in a vertical broiler would be unique. If your diners in great haste want perfectly crusted crisp beef, a commercial salamander broiler can save the day in half the time of standard broilers.
For customers who don't like their barbecued meat crispy, you can let a beef brisket, the king of smoked meats, cook to a meltingly tender level in a countertop smoker. Do you want to have a say in the competitive tortilla business? Then, you need a tortilla machine to produce tortillas at adjustable size and thickness and a tortilla warmer grill to handle the orders fast on a crowded day. For safer, faster, and more energy-efficient dry heat cooking, you can prefer induction cooktops and cookers. They apply direct heat to cookware more precisely and evenly.
2. Moist Heat Cooking Equipment
Boiling, steaming, simmering, and poaching are moist heat cooking methods. This way of cooking relies on contacting food with moisture through water or steam. The result doesn't have a brown crust or smoky smell, but the absence of additional fat or oil brings about healthier dishes. A commercial range is all you need for poaching eggs and poultry or simmering soups, meats, and vegetables. You can boil pasta in a commercial pasta cooker or benefit from the hands-off cooking feature of a commercial rice cooker and warmer to consistently achieve a perfect rice-to-water ratio. A fish seasoned with carrots and potatoes would gain a tender texture and a mouthwatering flavor when cooked in steam cooking equipment.
3. Combination Cooking Equipment
This type of cooking equipment simmers food by using a combination of dry heat and moist heat methods. While braising or stewing, food is lightly fried and then immersed either partially (braising) or completely (stewing) in hot water. This method is ideal for cooking tough meat cuts and thick vegetables at low heat over an extended cook time, thus improving digestion and keeping the nutrient content of the food. Tilt skillets / braising pans are multifunctional cooking equipment capable of roasting, braising, steaming, and boiling.
4. Other Commercial Cooking Equipment
One of contemporary cuisine's most versatile cooking equipment is the sous vide cooker. A sous vide immersion circulator utilizes an innovative cooking method of dipping a vacuum-sealed plastic bag of food in a water bath at a pre-set temperature. Its programmable settings allow you to achieve the same perfect texture, tenderness, and color each time you cook meats, seafood, and vegetables.
If you are running a concession stand or a food truck, you want a combo unit. It should be small enough to fit into your limited space but nimble enough to take on all the tasks in a commercial kitchen. A kitchenette is an all-in-one unit housing vertically everything you need for food prep, from a sink to a microwave or gas range. Bigger models of these combo kitchens can have a freezer compartment, a range with up to four burners, a sink, a plastic cutting board, and storage areas.
Your cooking equipment would be incomplete without breakfast equipment. Commercial toasters are a must to satisfy typical American breakfast lovers. Traditional pop-up toasters are still among the top preferences of home and commercial cooks. Bun toasters would be wiser for restaurants with burgers on the menu. These vertical toasters can toast large quantities of bread much faster than pop-up toasters. Conveyor toasters can produce high volumes of bagels, muffins, and bread, rendering them more convenient for busy restaurants. Toaster ovens can handle multiple cooking tasks. You can melt cheese, warm food, or toast bread in a toaster oven.
An evergreen ingredient of American breakfast is waffle, so a waffle maker is essential cooking equipment in American restaurants. A waffle is a multipurpose snack. You can serve it any time of the day. However, you can't appease pancake or crepe lovers with it. Then you'll need single or double griddle commercial crepe makers to cook excellent-quality crepes and pancakes. Cheese melters are also multifunctional cooking appliances. You can use them to enrich your breakfast servings, prepare specialty snacks, and create unique toppings for pasta and pizza platters. A churro maker in front of your restaurant or on your food truck would attract the fans of this delectable Spanish sweet.
If you're opening a restaurant or remodeling an existing one, you need a complete list of essential cooking equipment. With the right cooking appliances, let your chefs focus only on their craft in cooking the best recipes that will make your restaurant the go-to place in your area. You may also wish to check cooking parts and accessories to keep all your commercial cooking equipment running.
You may also want to check out our massive storage equipment, walk-in refrigerations, and other commercial refrigerations to store safely the ingredient that you'll cook.