Cooking equipment tends to be the heartbeat of a commercial kitchen operation so whether you run a handful of sites or hundreds, selecting the right applications is of added importance.
The structure of the menu and cuisine type will naturally have a major part to play in any decision-making, along with the type of operation, throughput requirements and availability of space.
But what are the fundamental considerations you need to bear in mind before getting into the finer details of which brands or models will suit your business best?
The Foodservice Equipment Association, which represents more than 200 catering equipment manufacturers, has put together a series of best practice tips for selecting and using cooking suites and cooking products:
1. Ovens are amongst the biggest energy consuming appliances in the kitchen, so selecting ones with energy-saving features is critical.
2. As well as delivering even cooking across the oven chamber, fan-assisted ovens can cook quickly, saving energy.
3. When it comes to efficiency, the volume of product being produced is critical. Cooking small volumes on the gas top of a traditional range cooker is more efficient than using, say, a combi steamer. However, medium to large quantities cooked simultaneously in a combi steamer will save on running costs.
4. Appliances that use pressure cooking can significantly reduce cooking times, saving energy. They may also increase food yield.
5. Some modern appliances feature smart heating systems that only provide energy (heat) where it is needed.
6. Check how easy it is to clean the equipment. Automatic cleaning systems can save time, water and chemicals.
7. By replacing several appliances, multifunctional equipment can reduce the kitchen footprint and its overall energy consumption.
Rational is the Platinum Partner sponsor of the Cooking Platforms category of FEJ Kitchen Excellence Week. For information and brochures, or to find out about free Rational Live demonstrations, call 01582 480388 or visit www.rational-online.com