Posted by Patrick Maness
How important is the right commercial refrigeration equipment? Consider this: your cookware, dinnerware, cutting boards and prep tables will hold your product only for a few moments compared to its stay in your refrigerators. With that in mind, don’t you want to ensure that stay is as good for your product as possible?
The refrigeration option you choose affects the quality of your product, so we’re dedicating this blog to helping you find the right refrigeration solution. Start your search by asking yourself the following questions:
What type of unit do I need? Refrigeration options come in a variety of models, and it's up to you to determine what you need. Are you looking for refrigerated prep tables to stock a kitchen line? What about reach-in refrigerators to position next to a grill? You may be looking for both types, and if you’re starting a new business, you may need walk-in refrigerators and freezer options as well. Finalize your menu and your line setup before looking for refrigeration options; it will make it that much easier to choose what’s best for your business.
What size do I need? Once you’ve finalized your layout and determined the models you’ll need, it’s time to take some measurements to determine the size that fits your business. While larger units can hold more product, they also require more energy to run. If the unit you choose is too big for your business, is becomes an unnecessary expense — so choose wisely!
Is it energy efficient? Energy efficiency is important whenever you select a piece of kitchen equipment, but it may be most important in refrigeration. Unlike the range, slicer or mixer, your refrigeration unit is always going — and if it stops you have bigger problems. As a result, it makes sense to select an energy-efficient model if possible. Look at the energy-usage ratings for each option and keep an eye out for any ENERGY STAR models available.
Where’s the compressor? Top mount or bottom mount? That’s the question when considering compressor location. Top-mount compressors have a longer shelf life in part because heat rises, which makes it easier for the compressor to cool the unit. This option is often more expensive. Bottom-mount compressors, on the other hand, are often less expensive and less durable. They also typically feature more storage space. Either type is capable of serving your needs, but it’s important to determine which features are most beneficial to you.
Which manufacturers should I look to? The refrigeration market is very diverse and a number of top brands serve the industry. If you’re looking for reach-in refrigerators and freezers, start your search with Traulsen, and if refrigerated prep tables are what you’re after, look to Randell. For walk-in refrigeration options, Nor-Lake is the company to turn to. Finally, if you’re worried about keeping drinks cold and you need a good ice machine, Hoshizaki America has you covered with a model for any space.
Read other articles in this series:
Identifying the Top Manufacturers in Foodservice Equipment
What Do You Need to Look for When Shopping for Cooking Equipment?
What to Look for in Commercial Prep Equipment
What Should You Look for in a Commercial Warewasher?