Restaurant Refrigeration 101: Types and Tips
Refrigerators, coolers and walk-in freezers are the most integral pieces of a restaurant’s equipment. They are what preserve your food and ultimately allow you to function in an efficient way, day-in and day-out. Quick Servant is a proud supplier and servicer of various types of commercial refrigeration products.
Read on to find out the various types of refrigeration you can choose for your restaurant, as well as helpful tips for food storage and organization.
– Types of Commercial Refrigeration –
Refrigeration refers to the free-standing piece of commercial kitchen equipment used for cold storage of food. This includes refrigerators as well as freezers, both of which come in a variety of shapes, sizes and configurations. Commercial coolers or refrigerators are designed to maintain temperatures between 34°F and 40°F, while commercial restaurant freezers are required to maintain temperatures between -10°F and 0°F.
What do all of them have in common? Their ability to chill and preserve food, their compressor ventilation component and their outer stainless steel shell. Here are some of the types of refrigeration your restaurant should explore.
Reach-In Coolers/Refrigerators and Freezers
Reach-in coolers and freezers stand upright, and often have multiple sections for maximum storage. Their storage capacity is determined by the cubic feet of the equipment. It’s best to keep these units toward the back of the kitchen, where there performance is best away from the heated line of cooking. This is an important thing to be aware of if you want to keep your stored food at a safe holding temperature.
The most common restaurant freezer is a blast chiller, and others include under-counter freezers, ice cream cabinets and commercial chest freezers.
Walk-In Coolers/Refrigerators and Freezers
Walk-in coolers and freezers are a wonderful option for restaurants where a large amount of space is required for cold storage. Some walk-in units are as small as a closet, while others are as large as an entire room. Your walk-in refrigerator or freezer should include shelving for maximum storage and organization. It’s a great space to store boxed items like produce, and any other items that take up a fair amount of space and are perishable.
Undercounter Refrigeration Drawers
Commonly referred to as fish-drawers, restaurant refrigeration drawers are used to hold seafood, meat and poultry. They are an excellent choice for smaller commercial kitchens and are designed for installation directly in the cooking line, near the grill and sauté stations. They are a wonderful space saving way to bring refrigeration right to the hot line of action while avoiding the cluttered space issues a reach-in would pose in that area.
Refrigerated Prep Tables
Refrigerated prep tables typically come in two configurations–sandwich/salad tables and pizza prep tables. The biggest difference between the two is the depth of the cutting board.
They are designed to use directly in the cooking line or preparation area, and keep food pans fresh and cold with their cold rails (or the cold storage wells). The drawers below the counter provide additional cold storage for a number of traditional items.
Merchandising Units / Display Refrigerators
Merchandising refrigeration units are designed to openly display foods or beverages with through the glass front door. These are great pieces of equipment for restaurants that offer self-serve or take-out menu items such as certain restaurants, delis and bakeries.
It also offers the opportunity to show your customers a scrumptious selection of your menu offerings on the front floor.
Restaurant Bar Refrigeration
Bar refrigeration units typically come in two sizes:
+ Low boys, that are lower to the ground
+ High boys, which rise to waist-level
Bar refrigeration units usually come in either a stainless steel exterior of black vinyl finish. Stainless steel finishes are more expensive than black vinyl, but are also less likely to dent and will also be the more durable option in the long run.
There are various types of bar refrigeration options, including:
+ Bar Back Refrigerators
+ Keg Coolers
+ Glass and Plate Chillers
+ Horizontal Bottle Coolers
+ Direct Draw Beer Dispensers
+ Wine Merchandisers and Coolers
Call Quick Servant for Restaurant Refrigeration Install and Maintenance
The commercial kitchen equipment experts at Quick Servant have years of experience handling install, repair and maintenance jobs of all scopes and sizes. Contact one of our friendly and knowledgeable staff members to learn more about the wide selection of refrigeration products we offer.
We’re here to help you every step of the way, from the selection and purchasing phase, to installation, repairs and routine commercial equipment maintenance. Call us today at (888) 238-4133 or schedule service online to get started right away.
As always, We’ll Be There When You Need Us!