In the restaurant kitchen, commercial freezers are an essential part of day-to-day operations and long term planning. Not only can restaurants expand their menus to include frozen foods but a good freezer allows restaurants to buy in bulk and plan for the future by being able to store perishable ingredients safely.
Commercial freezers come in a number of different shapes and sizes, each designed for a different purpose. Selecting the correct type of freezer can ensure that your kitchen operates smoothly and efficiently.
Reach-In Commercial Freezers
Reach-in freezers are often either used for bulk storage or as easy access cold storage for daily use in the kitchen. They come in as small a size as 1 door to as large as 4 doors.
The stainless steel construction of reach-in commercial freezers makes them very durable and well insulated. It is possible to find reach-in freezers with glass doors, but this type only really makes sense in kitchens where the staff are in and out of the freezers often and need to know what is behind each door. Otherwise, glass door freezers do not insulate as well as solid doors, and their compressors tend to go out sooner because they work double time to keep the freezer at the correct temperature.
Reach-in freezers are able to be ordered in many different configurations but usually come with 3 shelves. As they are often used for storage and the goal is to have as much usable space as possible. Shelves in reach-ins are also easily removable for hassle-free cleaning.
Chest Commercial Freezers
Chest freezers sit on the floor with a door (often sliding) on top. They are great for bulk storage of only a small variety of items. They are not easy to look through for a specific item, but if you simply need somewhere to freeze a large quantity of the same item, chest freezers are very efficient. Another way these types of freezers can sometimes be used is for freezing oddly shaped or very bulky items, like a slab of meat or an entire turkey.
Chest freezers are also seen in small kitchen or cafes that only need a small amount of frozen storage space. They are not often seen in full restaurants as they are not easy to quickly access.
As far as shelving, chest freezers usually come with no shelf or just one but more can usually be added. Some units will also come with options for the door type, the most popular being either sliding door or hinge.
Undercounter Commercial Freezers
Undercounter freezers are designed to snugly fit under a counter as a space saving measure. These types of freezers are usually seen in places where space is very tight, such as food trucks, concession stands, or small delis or cafés. The larger commercial undercounter units can be used as on-site storage but are more often for temporarily holding items that will be used in the same day.
Undercounter freezers typically come with casters and can come with doors or drawers in front. Choose the configuration that will be the most convenient for you and the easiest to access at the undercounter height.
Worktop Commercial Freezers
A great way to utilize the space on top of a freezer is with a worktop freezer. Worktop Freezers come with drawers or cabinets below but have a flat surface on top that a cook can work on. In establishments that needs frozen items on hand for prep, worktop freezers are your best bet.
Worktop freezers are common in pizzerias or for desert assembly in restaurants. They are usually stocked at the beginning of each shift and cleaned out each night.
A dipping cabinet is designed solely for holding ice cream to be easily scooped out and served. Typically, the ice cream is stored in a larger freezer and then is transferred to the dipping cabinet for use during business hours each day.
Dipping cabinets have a glass shield in front and open from the back. This makes for sanitary protection from the elements while allowing customers to see the product at the same time. Dipping cabinets usually have a door in back that can be opened to give employees access to the ice cream for scooping but to close afterward to keep the temperature cold.
Popular Commercial Freezer Brands
When it comes to commercial freezers there are a number of great options. True Refrigeration has been a leader in commercial refrigeration for decades. Hoshizaki is another trusted brand which was awarded the 2016 “Partner of the Year” Energy Star award for sustained excellence.
Guide to Commercial Freezers
Posted on October 5, 2016