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Walk-in Cooler: Your Food Bank

Walk-in coolers are large storage rooms used to keep products at refrigerated temperatures. Temperatures above 40°F are not safe for storing perishables and maintaining an unbroken cold chain. Therefore, food service establishments must possess temperature-controlled cold rooms. With their large-scale storage capacities, varying dimensions, and neatly organized racks and shelving systems, these units can serve as a workhorse for restaurants, convenience stores, grocery stores, and food warehouses.

Essential Parts of Walk-in Coolers

Once you familiarize yourself with the different parts of a commercial walk-in cooler, you can understand how the unit works. Learning about the central components will guide your decision while purchasing your walk-in refrigerator and help you understand the importance of regular maintenance.

Walk-in coolers pivot on the idea of freezing moisture in the air to cool down the temperatures. Compressor, condenser, and evaporator work together as a closed-loop system to create and retain the cold air inside the walk-in, holding off the warm air outside. The control panel and thermometer are the components to keep track of the internal temperatures. The insulated walk-in cooler panels and the sealed walk-in cooler doors keep your perishable items safe and fresh regardless of the fluctuating outside temperatures.

Benefits of Commercial Walk-in Coolers

FDA requires storing cold food at a minimum temperature of 40°F. Therefore restaurant walk-in coolers are reliable banks for storing large quantities of food at consistent temperatures without the risk of spoilage. Here are some of the benefits you will ripe investing in a commercial walk-in.

1. Walk-In Coolers Save Space

Space is always tight and a constant challenge in commercial kitchens. Failing to reach what you need quickly is frustrating in a busy kitchen, especially when time is limited. Cooking equipment, heavy-duty utensils, food display cabinets, and refrigerators all take up a lot of your spacious space. Installing an external cold room can free up a substantial amount of floor space.

2. Walk-In Coolers Save Money

The reach-in refrigerators can hold limited amounts of food, paving the way for food spoilage. Excessive amounts of food waste are not uncommon under such conditions. The much larger storage capacity of walk-in refrigerators removes the need for replacing spoiled food. Plus, having large and reliable storage means you can buy food in bulk, which will be far less costly. With the added benefit of energy efficiency, you can keep your money in your safe and the perishables in your food bank.

3. Walk-In Coolers Are Practical

You can walk in the room, store or access food, and walk out conveniently. With a relevant setup, your food transportation vehicles can approach your walk-in refrigerators for an effortless transfer of food using forklifts. The shelving system and racks enable you to stockpile products in an organized and easily accessible manner. Rather than fumbling around what you need, you can directly reach everything in the very nick of time when you are in a rush.

Below is a walk-in cooler food storage chart for a more appropriate cold-holding facility. Cold air sinks, so the bottom shelves are the coldest and more suitable for meats. Raw meat liquids are rich in bacteria. Therefore, placing them under ready-to-eat foods is safer to prevent cross-contamination through liquids dripping onto produce and pre-cooked items.

Shelf What to Store
Top Fruit & vegetables
2 Pre-cooked items
3 Dairy
4 Raw meat
Bottom Thawing foods


4. Walk-In Coolers Are Customizable

With varying types, sizes, and adjustable temperature settings, walk-in coolers offer great flexibility to fit your specific business needs. Indoor models stock all your items within easy reach. While installing an indoor walk-in cooler, remember to leave enough room above and on all sides for proper air ventilation and access to the refrigeration components for maintenance. You can get a pre-fabricated walk-in cooler, or you can have one configured to suit your expectations.

The type and scale of some businesses cry out for an outdoor walk-in cooler. If your indoor space is limited and the average temperature in your region is high, you can opt for an outdoor installation. An outdoor walk-in unit can be a bit pricier, as it requires extra coating, protection, and a robust base for installation. Yet, in cold locations, outdoor walk-ins can retain internal temperatures with less energy.

Another feature you can customize is the refrigeration system. Self-contained condensers create some noise and heat. Remote condensers are installed away from the cold room, whether indoor or outdoor walk-in cooler. They can be more costly to install and maintain, but they offer greater comfort for your diners.

The type of finish you choose for your walk-in refrigerator determines its resistance to corrosion or dents. Acrylume, coated steel, or galvalume are some of the materials used for covering the interior and exterior of your walk-in unit. Galvalume finishes come to the fore with their remarkable durability.

Walk-in coolers also come in two different floor options. The walk-in cooler floor is critical in withstanding the corrosion due to moisture or lack of air. Yet, not all walk-in coolers necessitate a floor. If your business has a concrete floor, you can go for a floorless model.


The potential risks of not storing food properly are not worth taking. Chef's Deal offers a vast selection of walk-in coolers from leading manufacturers, Nor-Lake, Amerikooler, Kolpak, and more.