For any commercial kitchen or catering operation, commercial prep fridges or prep counters are essential. They work as the centre of operation for prepping and serving special delicacies like pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and many more. It is essential to choose high-quality fridges with worktops to suit your needs. The many options offer plenty of benefits and can be most helpful to speed up the whole cooking and serving process, reducing the wait time for your customers.
These food readying stations typically provide a work surface for preparing and organizing foods combined with refrigerated storage space underneath for holding ingredients. These stations give you the benefits of an underbench fridge and freezer along with a specialized workspace. These are an ideal, compact solution to serve various commercial kitchen needs.
Benefits of prep counters
- Organized work area with refrigerated storage
It would help if you had a dedicated area in the kitchen for arranging the foods. Just any tabletop might not suffice the need. A chopping/cutting surface that is hard enough not to get knife scratches and at the same time spacious enough to work on, is essential. For specific dishes, the tabletop needs to be suitable for dough spreading and kneading. To sum it up, you need a workspace that supports your needs, and a prep counter is here to do just that.
Many versions of these tables come with gastronorm pan space on the top, which ensures all the fresh ingredients are at arm’s length. There is also a dedicated fridge underneath, where you can safely store all the ingredients, sauces, doughs and even the freshly made food. The station gives a fully organized workspace which is the key to cooking delicious dishes for your customers.
- Freshness assured
The freshness of the food is a serious concern in food and catering operations. Preserving the taste of fresh produce can be a real challenge without proper refrigeration facilities. Unlike the curved glass cake displays, that help to maintain the freshness of the final product while on display, these prep stations are ideal for keeping raw ingredients, the ready food or the food in any in-between stages, fresh, making sure that there’s no compromise in taste.
The commercial worktop refrigerators with gastronorm pan space on top are a very efficient way to maximise your available space. They give the perfect refrigerated room to store the freshly chopped ingredients while ensuring that all the raw components are in a maintained temperature even when you are taking out portions from them. The section also comes with a lid for guarding the ingredients against dirt and dust. On the contrary, if you don’t have one of these units, you will have to take the whole ingredient container out of refrigeration, even if you need just a tiny amount of the entire portion. So, if you are concerned about maintaining efficiency in your kitchen, this refrigerator unit with specialized benchtop is what you need.
- Operational efficiency
The modern commercial fridges for arranging food are designed to boost operational efficiency. They manage to hold all the ingredients you need, including the sauces, doughs, meats and raw ingredients in one place. The well-equipped tabletop on one hand gives you a perfect space to work, whilst the refrigeration unit ensures that everything is available close by, within the same compact area.
Now you have everything you need at an arm’s length right when you need them. And you can deliver the best as you don’t need to rush around everywhere to pick the varied ingredients, which can be a hassle. It will also speed up the process and enable you to make high-quality dishes within less time, adding to the overall operational efficiency.
- Available in different configurations
These tables are available in different configurations to meet the unique needs of every food and catering business. The options are extensive, and you can pick according to your exact requirements. Starting from sizes to the number of fridges underneath, door style and tabletop material. The options are unending.
However, the range of options can be confusing unless you are aware of your needs and which exact configuration is best suited to serve them. Discuss with your commercial prep fridge supplier to ensure that you get the right equipment for your commercial kitchen.
There are wide variations in styles, and some suppliers will even customize the equipment as per your need. The most purchased types include but are not limited to,
- Pizza prep table – Pizza prep tables can be gastronorm compatible, or they can provide an extended wide surface for food arrangement. If your kitchen serves large-sized pizzas, the extended work surface might be more suitable. Otherwise, opting for a sandwich bar is a wise choice. The refrigerated well for the gastronorm pans will either sit in a recessed position or a raised top. The pans are ideal for holding pizza toppings and are typically provided with a cover or lid. The refrigerated cabinet storage is available underneath.
- Saladette/sandwich prep table – This variety generally comes with larger gastronorm pan capacity and smaller work area. They are an essential piece of equipment if you are planning to open a salad bar. The GN pan well might be recessed or raised to suit specific preferences. The lid or cover over the well guards the ingredients and keeps freshness intact. The standard refrigerated storage cabinet underneath is ideal for holding sauces and replacement ingredients.
Unlike the upright storage fridges and freezers, or the bar fridges the prep fridges are provided with a suitable tabletop creating a perfect workspace. The tabletop can be of different material, and you should pick one as per your needs. Stainless steel, natural granite and synthetic polymers are the three primary tabletop materials commonly used in food counters. For making pizzas, the granite top is often preferred because it stays cold and prevents sticking of the dough on the surface.
Commercial kitchen owners in search of commercial prep fridges in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, or Hobart should consider the above points and their unique situation before deciding the best prep fridge for their establishment. To save on cost, you can also by commercial prep fridges for sale from renowned commercial kitchen equipment suppliers.