Kitchen Tools And Commercial Restaurant Equipment
Kitchen Tools And Equipment Professional Chefs
A description of kitchen tools and equipment used by chefs in professional kitchens.
Having worked in many different styles of professional kitchens during my chef’s career.
Want To Skip Ahead?
- The Food Processor
- Mandoline Slicer
- The Vegetable Prep Slicer
- The Sous Vide Machine
- Slow Cooker Method
- Slow Cooker Tips And Tricks
- The Speed / Julienne Peeler
- Working With Induction Cookware
There are several pieces of equipment that helps the kitchen to run smoothly.
These help to produce good food with various techniques to cook the foods.
There are many large items a kitchen needs that include: fridges, ovens, stoves.
Food Processor / Robot Coupe
A robot coupe can also be known as a food processor is used to complete repetitive food preparation tasks fast and efficiently.
The robot coupe is similar to a blender with the primary difference being that food processors have interchangeable blades and discs instead of having a fixed blade.
The processor makes a lot of jobs much quicker due to its various attachments. Jobs include grating, slicing and mixing. It can do large quantities of preparation quickly.
Highly Recommended Piece Of Equipment For All Chefs
Kitchen Food Mixers
Mixers are essential in any professional kitchen for mixing large quantities with the planetary mixers and smaller volumes with the table top mixers.
There are usually three attachments that are standard for the mixers and extra attachments can be purchased including a pasta rolling machine that fits on the front of many mixers.
Highly Recommended Piece Of Equipment For All Chefs
The Types And Uses For A Mandoline Slicer
The mandoline slices vegetables and fruit to a uniform size. The mandoline consists of two parallel surfaces with an adjustable blade on the upper surface. The blade adjusts to the desired cutting thickness.
The mandoline has interchangeable blades that each give a different cut, cuts include slices, waffle cuts, crinkle cut and julienne cuts.
Highly Recommended Piece Of Equipment For All Chefs
A mandolin slicer is a kitchen tool that is used in most professional kitchens. This is a handy tool that would be usefully added to any home kitchen gadget set.
Do you ever use recipes that require the fine slicing of vegetables or fruits? Well, you need to get to know the mandolin slicer.
There are a few types of the vegetable slicer out there, the two we will have a look at are the heavy duty option and the lightweight version. The heavy-duty mandolin slicer is very sturdy, it has changeable blades.
This mandolin can be used to slice vegetables into ribbons or thin strips with the simple change of the blade settings. However, this is really more suitable for the professional kitchens and comes with a hefty price tag.
- The second mandolin slicer is the lightweight version.
The lightweight slicer is used pretty much in every kitchen I have ever been in. They are very useful for the slicing of potatoes for instance.
If you were making a dauphinoise potato, this slicer can be used to slice the potatoes evenly.
Safety Advice When Using The Mandoline Slicer
When using the slicer for the first time it is very important to be careful. Use the hand grip to slide the vegetable into the blade and take it slowly.
After a few uses, you can speed up a bit. If you are a commis chef and going into pro kitchens for the first time.
It can be daunting watching the chefs with the mandolin slicer. They will be working very fast with the slicer and mostly not using the safety guards.
Do not try this, it can result in a very nasty cut. You don’t want to slice the top of your finger off.!!
Maintenance And Cleaning Of The Mandoline Slicer
When the slicer needs to be cleaned it is best to wash them ourselves. Do not give it to the wash-up. When using the slicer at home or in the pro kitchen always make sure the blade is not sticking out. Tighten it back so the blade is flat. This is another area where cuts can happen.
With the lightweight mandolins a common con I have found. After a while, the tightening screws become slightly loose under the blade.
They are fairly large and can be seen well. Just be careful that these don’t drop out of the screw socket and fall into the food, lost forever.
I’ve noticed this a lot once they get a little bit old. I have been slicing cucumbers only to find a large gold screw mixed in with them when it comes to serving the foods!
This is not a problem with the larger heavy duty mandolin slicer. These sturdy models do not have the small parts that fall off.
Pros And Cons Of The Mandoline Slicer
The mandolin slicer is great for the speed of cutting vegetables. However, the lightweight version will need replacing after a while. They are a fantastic tool to have in any pro or home kitchen.
The Vegetable Prep Slicer
Speed is one of the most important elements to running a successful catering business. And in addition being able to cook well, of course. You need to be able to prep, cook and go in a very short amount of time.
This will ensure flavour, freshness and food quality. And to satisfy your customers. Having the right tools is one of the most important elements to succeeding in this. One item you may consider buying is a vegetable slicer.
This tool can replace a knife and chopping board for long chopping work.
These appliances are designed to make short work of slicing vegetables, fruit, and even potatoes and cheeses. All depending on the model in question. Is it the right to buy for your business, though?
The Benefits of a Professional Vegetable Prep Slicer
It should be relatively simple to see the benefits of using a vegetable prep slicer in your catering business. It’s all about improving production speed without a related increase in costs or labour required.
While the style, size, blade types and overall configuration of the slicer you choose will vary from one model to another.
And one manufacturer to another, there are some important benefits that you’ll realise across the board, including:
- The dramatic increase in production volume and productivity for the business overall
- Reduced chance for serious injury when slicing fruits, vegetables, cheeses and other foods
- The significantly reduced effort required even over manual slicer models
- Uniform slices, cuts and chops for a better presentation of foods at venues and events
- Easily cut through even tougher vegetables and fruits
- Easily slice cheeses for cheese platters
- Less waste due to uniform cuts, slices and chops
All of these are important benefits, but consistency is one of the most crucial. Keeping a uniform size and shape makes your dishes look more professional and visually pleasing.
Further separating your business from other catering companies in the area.
As you can see, there are quite a few benefits to owning one of these appliances. With that being said, this is not an investment to be made lightly.
While prices can and do vary greatly depending on the model you choose. All of them have their pros and cons to consider.
Pros of a Vegetable Prep Slicer
We’ll start with a look at the marks in favour of buying such a slicer for your business. They are:
- Far faster than slicing by hand, or even with a manual model
- Available with different blade designs, thicknesses and edge types to suit a range of prep needs
- Able to achieve up to 500 pounds of production per hour depending on the situation
- Can be lightweight and durable if made of aluminium rather than steel
- Blades can be sharpened and replaced if need be (model dependent)
- Available shredding blades for use with certain vegetables, fruit and cheeses
- Able to achieve uniform cuts to improve the looks of your dishes for customers
Cons of a Vegetable Prep Slicer
While owning an electric vegetable slicer can provide quite a few important benefits, these appliances are not without their drawbacks. Which can include:
- Blades will need sharpening from time to time.
- Some models do not include a whetstone, requiring you to make a further purchase. Other units do not have an available whetstone at all, which means that sharpening will need to be done by a professional.
- Some units do not come with blades out of the box and will require an extra purchase.
- Some units have only a limited selection of blade types and shapes that will fit. These are not interchangeable with models from other brands.
- Units may only have slicing blades, with no shredding blades available.
- Some units are not designed for use with cheeses, but only for vegetables and fruits.
- Some units may have an aluminium body, but use plastic motor parts, which will wear out in time and need to be replaced. Replacing motor parts can be difficult, as well.
- Warranty protection varies a lot from one company to another. And even from model to model from the same company.
Tips for Buying a Vegetable Slicer
While there are drawbacks to these pieces of equipment, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. However, you will need to know a few things to look for when buying a slicer.
Vegetable Slicer Blades
One of the most important areas to pay attention to here is whether or not the unit comes with blades. Some ship with a single blade, while others include a selection out of the box.
Make sure that your machine has many blade options available (even if they require additional purchase).
Also that all blades are made from stainless steel for durability, performance and cleaning purposes.
Safety Of The Vegetable Slicer
Double-check the safeguards in place on the unit before buying it.
You should not be able to operate the pusher or the blades if the unit is open.
The unit should also be designed to make it virtually impossible to start the blades with any foreign objects in the slicing/cutting area. Such as tools, utensils, hands.
The Size Of Your Vegetable Slicer
Consider the size of the unit you need, as well. Most electric models are not portable and must be mounted to a hard surface within your prep area.
How much room do you have to spare? Compare the various models available out there. And find one that offers the right performance, blade options and other features, but also the right size.
Manual Or Electrical Vegetable Slicer
Depending on the scope of your operation and the amount of slicing and cutting you need to do on a regular basis. You may consider buying a manual veg slicer rather than an electric model.
Production speed is slower, but the price is much lower, as well. You’ll also find that many manual models also offer a wide selection of interchangeable blades.
These blades will suit a range of different needs.
When everything is said and done, a vegetable prep slicer is one of the absolute “must have” appliances for any catering company. Really, can you afford not to have one?
The Sous Vide Machine / Water Baths (Sous Vide Cooking)
Serious kitchens are using the sous vide method of cooking which has become very popular, for the cooking a water bath is needed to slowly cook food at a controlled exacting temperature.
This slow cooking process means the foods will keep all their flavour, aroma and nutrients producing an enhanced ingredient.
Highly Recommended Piece Of Equipment For Serious Chefs
The Sous Vide Machine And The Perfect Cooking Of Recipes? There are many techniques used in modern cooking today and some of them can be used at home.
Nowadays equipment used by top restaurants for cooking outstanding recipes has been modified for easy use suitable for home cooks of every level with the correct training.
Some techniques used include sous vide, dehydrated, foams, vacuum packing or gels are all techniques used in todays professional modern food styles.
Not all of these are options for many restaurant food styles and home cooks. However, one style of cooking that is available to the larger market is the sous vide machine for cooking.
So what The Sous Vide Machine And The Perfect Cooking Of Recipes? This is a great tool for producing dishes on an a la carte menu.
What Does Sous Vide Mean?
Sous vide is a French phrase meaning “under Vacuum”. This method requires the food to be sealed airtight in a plastic bag and placed in a temperature-controlled environment. This includes a water bath and a steamer.
The foods will be cooked for longer periods of time than normal at lower exacting temperatures.
The outsides of the foods will not be overcooked the inside will be exactly cooked to the set temperature and the foods will retain their moisture.
The sous vide method was first mentioned by Sir Benjamin Thompson in 1799. However he used air as the cooking source instead of water.
–The Sous Vide Machine And The Perfect Cooking Of Recipes?
Sous vide machine is used for the cooking of foods to an exact temperature. For example, if you wanted a steak cooked to exactly medium rare you would set the temperature to 55 Celsius and leave the steak in the water for as long as is needed.
The cooking time will depend on the thickness of a steak, however, for a regular 1-inch steak will take at least 1 hour to cook.
The great thing is the steak will be cooking in its own juices and will not overcook and an even pinkness will be produced on the inside of the steak.
A Sous vide machine can cook a broad range of foods that include: Sous vide salmon, sous vide steak, sous vide pork belly, sous vide brisket and vegetables can also be cooked with this method.
The way the sous vide machine can cook foods to exacting temperatures results in a more consistent method of cooking that can be achieved in a professional kitchen and at home.
Consistently PREVENT The grey bands of traditionally cooked steak with sous vide cooking
How Is A Sous Vide Machine (Water Bath) Used?
The steps needed to sous vide: To follow the 5 steps with cooking temperatures and times.
The foods will need to be packed in a vacuum inside a plastic bag. This is done using by using a vacuum packing machine and specialised plastic packets.
The foods can be combined with other ingredients including herbs and spices to give extra flavour during the cooking.
The water-bath will be set to an exact temperature for an exact amount of time to give consistent results. As the foods: for example, a rib eye steak is at a consistent temperature throughout this prevents overcooking.
The foods will need to be finished: for example, a rib eye steak will need to be seared in a very hot pan to give a professional finish to the steak.
The foods: for example, a rib eye steak will have a consistent perfect cooked temperature inside.
Cooking Temperature Times And Water-Bath Temperature For Steaks
Below is an example of cooking times and temperatures for steaks. Notice how even though the size of the steak doubles in thickness 1 inch to a 2-inch steak the time for cooking in the water bath will increase dramatically.
Steaks should be measured after being vacuum packed and ideally at room temperature before cooking
Example cooking times for a medium rare rib eye steak cooked to
Time In Hours
0.5hour – 2hours
1hour – 3hour
1.5 hour – 3.5 hour
3hour – 5hour
4hour – 6hour
6hour – 9hour
The Sous Vide Cooking Method
The Sous Vide cooking method: The Sous Vide Machine And The Perfect Cooking Of Recipes? Sous vide machines also known as water baths are used as a common cooking method in professional kitchens.
The cooking technique can be taken to a high level with the addition of the exact amount of flavours and spices being added to the cooking.
However, the machines are a great addition to any professional or home kitchen for cooking meats to exacting temperatures every time.
A blender can also be known as a liquidiser that is used to mix, puree or emulsify food and other ingredients.
Highly Recommended Piece Of Equipment For All Chefs
– Vacuum Packing Machine
The vacuum packing machine is used for sealing foods airtight within a plastic pouch. It can seal either solid foods or liquids.
Foods are vacuum sealed before cooking in a water bath, vacuum sealing is also used to extend the life of foods.
Highly Recommended Piece Of Equipment For Serious Chefs
– Knives and Sharpeners
There’s a range of knives for specific jobs and they will vary in quality. Choosing the best knife for the right job is needed and the knives will have to be kept sharp at all times.
– Clothing including shoes
All chefs will need the correct clothing as the material the whites are made from is designed for working in the kitchen environment. In addition, safety shoes have to be of good quality..
– Chopping boards
Chopping/cutting boards come in various colours, the different colours are for the various types of foods. Consequently, there are 6 main colours of chopping boards which include: Red for raw meat and yellow for cooked meat.
– Kitchen aid – stand mixer
This comes in various sizes from a table-top size to a commercial stand mixer. Essential for pastry work, it can mix and whisk large quantities of ingredients.
The tools in the chef’s kitchen need to be good quality. This is because they need to be strong and durable to last in a busy workplace
– Pots and pans
Good selection of quality pots pans is crucial for the cooking of foods. Small, medium and large pots and pans will all be useful.
They need to have a thicker bottom to work well in a professional kitchen.
– Kitchen Utensils
A broad range of utensils will be used including spoons, spatulas, peelers, whisks, the list goes on. We have great suppliers in the UK for kitchen equipment, you can look on catering websites and have a delivery the next day.
The tools in a professional kitchen will need to be good quality, strong, and durable as they will be used daily.
Also, professional kitchens will have a range of equipment for chef’s to use. Furthermore, the chef will have their own quality knives and be able to look after them well.
Also having a good pair of non-slip and comfortable shoes is required.
For more detailed information on kitchen tools for the chef’s kitchen that includes: Descriptions, prices and discounts visit the catering store I choose all my equipment from.
– The Slow Cooking Method
If you’ve ever arrived home after a long day of work or classes, yearning for a home cooked meal but have neither the time nor the energy to prepare one…then you need to make friends with your slow cooker.
What Is A Slow Cooker?
A slow cooker is a kitchen tool that looks like a big pot you can plug into the wall. This device does exactly what the name implies: cooks food slowly throughout the day. This means that you can start your dinner in the morning before you leave, and by the time you get home, your dinner is ready to eat.
How Slow Cookers Work
Slow cookers are made with an inner stoneware, ceramic, or glass pot where the food is cooked; a wrap-around heating element that provides the heat to the entire pot component; a casing, usually made of metal, to cover the heating elements; and a tight-fitting lid.
The wrap-around heating element provides a completely even temperature throughout the whole pot, which is what allows you to cook food without needing to stir it, and eliminates hot spots that burn food in some areas or undercook in others. In effect, a crock pot is a counter-top oven.
The tight-fitting lid is essential because it keeps heat and steam inside. This means that the liquid in your food won’t escape via steam, so your dinner won’t dry out or burn.
It also helps with food safety and hygiene by preventing bacteria from growing while the food is cooking.
Reasons to Love a Slow Cooker
Besides the obvious time-saving benefits of a slow cooker, there are a variety of other benefits:
- Slow cookers allow you to cook in bulk very easily. Double or even triple a recipes in a large slow cooker.
- Great for making ingredients that can be used for recipes throughout the week. Cook a whole chicken to use for soup, nachos, casserole, and sandwiches, all in the same week.
- Slow cookers are more energy efficient than an oven, and won’t heat your kitchen up in the summer.
- They let you stick to your diet and eat healthier because you are far more likely to choose a healthy meal at the end of the day if it’s already cooked for you.
Slow Cooker Tips and Tricks
If you’ve tried slow cooking before and found that your food dried out or fell apart, you just need to make a few changes in the way you use the slow cooker.
First, be sure you are using the right size crock pot for your recipe. A too-large pot will allow liquid to leech out of your food. A too-small pot will mean that your food isn’t cooked through by the time you are ready for dinner.
A recipe specifically made for slow cookers should have a recommended size, but a good rule of thumb is that your slow cooker should be filled about two-thirds of the way full.
Don’t peek! Keeping the lid on the pot is an essential part of the cooking process. Every time you lift the lid to peek or stir the food, you allow moisture and heat to escape.
If you absolutely must open it to add vegetables before the meal is ready, only do it about 30 minutes before you’re ready to serve.
If you and your slow cooker are already best friends, you can take your meals up a few notches by taking the time to brown your meat before adding it to the cooker. This helps lock in flavour and moisture and will make your slow-cooked meals that much more delicious.
And if you are a professional chef learning the slow cooking method by sous vide cooking. Also, this will help in the progression of your career having technical skills under your belt.
– The Speed Potato Peeler And Vegetable Julienne Peeler
Kitchen tools and equipment used for peeling potatoes! It needs to be done well and as efficiently as possible. There are three main types of peeler, The speed potato peeler, the vegetable julienne peeler and an electric peeler.
– The speed potato Peeler
A speed peeler can be used for a range of jobs. And also the main pro this peeler is when preparing large quantities of potato. It is much quicker and easier on the hands. Consider this, you are a commis chef in a pro kitchen and the chef has 25kg of potato to peel for you!
Your choices, a knife, a simple hand peeler or a speed potato peeler. The speed peeler is going to work best. (It also has a great name)!
– The Julienne Peeler
The speed julienne peeler is another handy kitchen tool. And the vegetable julienne peeler is similar to the speed peeler, however, the blade has a serrated style design. This results in thin strips of vegetables being peeled.
A chef needs to make some courgette strips for a dish. He has a choice, either he can use a knife cutting each piece to the exact same size.
Or the chef can whip out the julienne vegetable peeler and peel the strips from the ingredient.
– Speed Peeling With The Speed Peeler
This is a quick look at the speed potato peeler and vegetable julienne peeler set for the professional and home kitchen. There is a range of these tools out there. It all depends on how you feel comfortable using them.
I find with the speed peelers with handy grips work best. These peel the layers of the vegetables slightly thinner than the traditional potato speed peelers.
With the julienne peeler being less common in pro and home kitchens, however, once the peeler has been demonstrated it is easy to see how good they are.
The julienne peeler can also add an extra dimension to home cooked dishes. It’s unlikely that an average home cook will be thinly slicing vegetables evenly.
With the julienne peeler, it becomes a simple task that catches the eye.
– Pros And Cons Of A Speed Peeler And A Julienne Peeler
These two kitchen gadgets are tools that need to be in the kitchen set. And also they are both a good addition to any professional or home kitchen. In addition, the speed at which potatoes and other vegetables can be peeled can’t be ignored.
The electric peeler is very quick, although it can leave bits of skin on the foods. These will need going over with a knife or a peeler to finish off.
– Speed Peeler
– Julienne Peeler
Kitchen Tools And Equipment – Induction Cookware
Induction cooking is a type of cooking that is used in many professional kitchens. The induction method heats a pot, pan or saucepan by magnetic induction.
A benefit of this is the best induction cookware being a pot, pan or saucepan can be heated very quickly at the exact heat needed.
This method is good for chefs to cook with as they can control the temperature of the pan to the exact heat needed. And these tools are ideal for a catering business as they produce an instant heat and can be plugged into a mains supply.
- An induction cooker uses a copper wire with an electrical current, this produces the currents needed to heat the pot. This method also magnetising the pot and the resistance of this heat the pot or pan.
- Mainly induction cooking needs a pot or pan that has magnetic qualities such as cast iron or stainless steel. There are tools that can be laid on top of the induction cooker. And then non-magnetic equipment can be placed on this to heat up. Such as glass or non-magnetic stainless steels.
- Induction cooking hobs are a great tool in professional kitchens. These cookers will give off less waste heat in the kitchen. They can be turned off and on quickly and can be safer to use than the gas cooktops.
The induction cooker can also be easily cleaned as the surface of the cooker does not get very hot.
The Basics Of Working With Induction Cookware
What is induction cooking? Induction cooking gives a much quicker heating of the pans and can be controlled easily to give a consistent heat during cooking with precise controls. Induction cooking is a far more efficient way of cooking.
During the cooking process, the induction cooker only heats up the base of the pans. This is a much safer way of cooking and as the cooker is the same temperature as the base of the pans this gives the chef precise control of the temperature.
The induction cooker has a control system that will turn off the heat if a pan is not on the cooker or is a pot that is too small for the cooker. An induction cooker is a lot easier to clean as it has a flat surface and it is harder for spills to burn to the surface.
The cooker will turn itself off when a pans are removed from the surface.
Induction Cooking – Cooking Equipment
The best induction cookware must have a flat bottom and made of a ferrous metal. And this means the metal will have an iron content. A ferrous metal is a magnetic material needed for induction cooking. In addition ferrous metals will include magnetic stainless steel.
Induction Cookware Heat Control
Induction cooking cookers come in a range of quality. The more basic cookers may switch the heat on and off at a slower rate than the more developed induction cookers.
The more developed cookers can have a finer range of heating controls. Cookware with a thicker bottom will heat up more evenly and give a higher level of cooking than cookware with a thin bottom.
Safety Tips For Induction Cookware
Induction cooking cookers will mainly come with a glass ceramic top that can be damaged by a heavy impact. Although induction cookers are required to pass safety regulations.
The cookers can be damaged by pans or pots sliding across the surface of the cooker. And also tin foil (aluminium foil) can cause damage and crack if left on top of the cooking surface.
Induction cookers come in a range of sizes and the maximum size will be in the manufacturer’s description.
Certain cooking methods used on a gaslit flame will not be possible with an induction cooker
Best Induction Cookware Overview
Induction is a far more efficient way of cooking than using an electric cooking surface and gas flames.
Cooking this way will allow for the instant control of the heat and precise control of the heating of the correct induction cookware.
Induction cookers are far more energy efficient than other methods such as gas flames. They do not lose as much energy, a gas flame not only heats up the pot or pan but also the air around it.