Reliability is critical when it comes to a commercial refrigerator that must hold and store ingredients, leftovers, prepped sauces, and more.
A commercial refrigerator is an investment, and hopefully a long-term one. That’s why it’s critical for club chefs to be equipped with the best knowledge for making the right purchase.
Reliability is critical. Commercial refrigerators must hold and store ingredients, mise en place, leftovers, prepared dishes, and more. Here are some of the top things to consider when choosing your club’s next refrigerator:
Refrigerators are only as good as the material they’re made of. Stainless steel is generally preferred as it boasts superior strength and a long-lasting finish. It’s also easy to clean. Opt for thick-gauge stainless steel, inside and out, whenever possible.
Heavy-duty foam insulation is the key to energy efficiency, as well as to maintaining temperature. Look for refrigerators that have a foam thickness of at least two inches. “Foam-in-place” insulation, which is sprayed in, typically yields a more complete seal, as compared to solid foam blocks.
Recessed Door Handles
Think of how many times you and your cooks open and close your refrigerators during a busy service. Now multiply that by days and then years. Choose a door with either an extremely durable attached handle or an ergonomic, full-length recessed handle that won’t break off.
Bigger is generally better when it comes to the interior of most refrigerators. Be sure to measure the allotted footprint in your kitchen and find a unit that offers the most space.
Opt for digital controls whenever possible, as they allow for greater temperature control. With most digital units, you can set the temperature in single-degree increments for added precision. Digital displays also help to remove any guessing about the temperature inside the refrigerator.
Condensing units can be top-mount or bottom-mount. Each configuration has its merits. Bottom-mount units tend to be easier to maintain and clean, while top-mount configurations don’t trap as much dust and debris, nor do they blow hot air into the cabinet when the doors are open. Weigh the options and buy accordingly.
Locks, Casters and Lighting
These accessories are generally standard as they ensure safety, easy movement and better visibility.
Even the best refrigerators will eventually need to be serviced. Fortunately, the commercial-refrigeration segment has some of the most extensive warranties available in the restaurant-equipment industry. Knowing what each brand offers for warranty and service can help you choose the best piece for your operation.