Choosing Better Restaurants

Commercial Food Holding And Warming Equipment: Three Top Choices For Any Restaurant

Most restaurants need solutions for holding hot foods. Holding and warming equipment keeps cooked foods warm and fresh and at the recommended temperature while waiting to be served to customers. If you're looking for such equipment for your restaurant kitchen, here are three excellent choices to consider:  

1. A Cook and Hold Oven

This option offers the most versatility, allowing you to cook and hold your prepared food at the correct temperature until ready to be served. Some units are mobile with caster wheels. To increase your capacity, choose a stackable model. These ovens are handy for preparing meat, poultry and seafood, as well as casseroles and entrees. Many include programmable preset buttons.

When buying your commercial cook and hold oven, it's imperative to check your local building code regulations. Some cook and hold ovens use exterior venting or include hood systems, therefore you will want to be sure you are in compliance. For ease of use, you might want to choose a unit that doesn't require outside venting.

2. A Food Holding Cabinet

As the name suggests, a holding cabinet is designed to hold your hot, cooked foods, so you may prepare adequate quantities in advance. The best way to choose a food holding cabinet is to consider your volume of customers so you may choose the most adequate capacity. Your options might include a single, double or Dutch door, constructed of solid stainless steel or transparent glass. The latter allows you to view the inside contents without having to open the door.

Your heated holding cabinet should be well insulated and contain an internal fan. This will ensure even heat distribution throughout the unit. Look for wire shelves to hold various trays and containers. Chrome plating on the wire will resist corrosion. Most food holding cabinets will include temperature control knobs. 

3. Electric Steam Table

Every restaurant may benefit from this offering. An electric steam table can hold hot foods such as meatballs and chicken wings, keeping them at the desired temperature to avoid food-borne illness. Steam tables often include up to several "wells" or compartments to be filled with water. The heating elements will create steam, keeping your foods hot and fresh.

Your electric steaming table should include a drain for easy maintenance. Each compartment (well) should have separate insulation with removable liners that can be cleaned easily. Stainless steel construction and underneath storage shelf are other features to look for. For added convenience, choose a model with a pull-out cutting board. 

Whether you choose cabinets or table top models for your food holding and warming equipment, don't forget to consider safety and sanitation. Many modern designs offer antimicrobial handles. This can be a good safety feature for any food environment, as it helps prevent bacterial growth and contamination.