01 Jul Top 5 pieces of equipment for institutional kitchens
Every kitchen serves a unique purpose, and that purpose should be reflected in its design. Construction, design, and equipment purchasing should be done around the menu. How do you know what to build if you don’t know what it will be used for? Beyond Green is kicking cookie-cutter design by the wayside, but when it comes to scratch cooking we believe there are a handful of equipment staples every kitchen should invest in.
1) 40 gallon braising pan
The many uses of a standard household braiser can be translated to institutional bulk cooking. This piece of equipment is considered the Holy Grail at Beyond Green because it can do a little bit of everything. Outside of braising it can be used to fry, grill, or steam. It can be a giant griddle, a way to clean jars for pickling, or a heat source for combining ingredients—to name a few. Want a versatile piece of equipment? This is it.
2) 20 quart mixer
Beyond Green suggests this piece of equipment to bring baking in-house. From pizza dough, to bread, to cookies, a commercial mixer allows a kitchen to manage a simple baking operation. Rather than buying packaged mixes and frozen products, a mixer is an easy way to expand scratch cooking possibilities and eliminate waste from the packaging and transportation of pre-baked goods.
3) Blast chiller
This is one of the larger pieces of equipment an institutional kitchen might invest in. The beauty of a blast chiller is that fresh, local products can be bought seasonally and stored in the chiller for year-round use. This is especially neat for schools when service slows down in the summer. The chef can spend time shopping local markets and prepping food to be stored for and used in the winter. Everyone wins!
4) Robot Coupe food processor
Like numbers 1 and 2, this piece of equipment is the big brother of its household version. This specific food processor is French-made and offers a variety of unit sizes, but the commercial version is a serious piece of equipment. It can be used for a myriad of purposes like buying bricks of cheese and grating them onsite or mincing a day’s worth of fresh garlic. But what Beyond Green likes most is its ability to transform produce that may be past its prime in looks but not flavor.
5) Stainless steel tables with NO backsplash
Look at most kitchens and you will find stainless steel tables with backsplashes. Depending on location, this might be appropriate, but Beyond Green always suggests a kitchen have tables sans backsplash for areas where they can be easily pushed together. This creates a more open workspace. Working with fresh foods might require additional steps during preparation. Tables without backsplashes make it easier for staff to collaborate during the cooking process.