Choosing Your Perfect Proofing Cabinet
Proofing cabinets, also known as heated holding cabinets, are a primary type of kitchen equipment for bakeries or any commercial kitchen that has a need to allow doughs to rest or rise before final baking. There are multiple uses for this particular piece of equipment though, and kitchen managers may employ proofing cabinets for any foods that require a temperature controlled resting period. Proofing cabinets are heat controlled between 90 degrees and 250 degrees. This heat is evenly distributed throughout the cabinets and in most cases, humidity can be added. Catering or banquet facility kitchens may even use heated holding cabinets to rest plated portions for quick distribution, in replacement of meal delivery cabinets. Those units usually come with casters that give them additional mobility.
Nearly every major brand constructs their commercial heat cabinets with either stainless steel or aluminum finish. Proofing cabinets are then more defined by specific attributes: height, controls location, heat source, door type, shelf type and insulation type.
Proofing Cabinet Heights
The height of the cabinet determines the capacity of sheet, baking, bun, roasting or portioning pans.
Heated Cabinet Controls
Ease of use of the heated cabinet is usually one of the prime factors in choosing the cabinet right for your business. Regardless of the heat source, it is important to have the ability to easily control the temperature and humidity. Depending on the height and the placement of the cabinet, you may want to have controls at different locations. The top of the unit is one of the most common places for the power and temperature/humidity controls. That is most common among ¾ height and half height units. For busy, fast bustling bakeries and kitchens, consider units with controls at the top of the cabinet, to avoid accidental temperature changes.
Heated Cabinet Heat Source
Heated cabinets are available in gas, power and hybrid styles. Gas models are equipped with propane gas hook ups. Electric models use the standard 120 volts, 16 amps connectors and are mobile, able to be moved wherever there is an outlook. Hybrid styles enable both, for flexibility and mobility.
Heated Cabinet Doors
There are four door styles to consider for your heated cabinets. Certainly the best choice is dependent on your application. Full Solid or Full Clear are excellent choices for single cavity units. The clear style should be used if it is imperative to see your food items without disrupting the proofing process. The Dutch Solid and Dutch Clear door styles are good choices for dual cavity units, so you only have one section open at a time. Both Dutch and full solid doors are constructed of either insulated or non-insulated aluminum. Clear doors are manufactured with choices are constructed with solid tempered glass that retains heat.
Available in three different styles, choose the best shelving option for your application. First, there is the fixed wire configuration, which means the wires that hold your pans are at fixed height intervals, and cannot be changed. If you need a more flexible configuration than that, consider the universal wire where the wires can be adjusted. Should you need more substantial brackets rather than wire, choose the lip load option. This is typically the option that would be chosen for heavier food items, such as foods on roasting pans.
Heating cabinets are available in either insulated or non-insulated configurations. Insulated cabinets are the wise choice for heating cabinets that will be located in high traffic areas and for kitchen managers concerned with overall energy costs. These units are cool to the touch and retain heat better than non-insulated models, which reduces the power or gas usage. Still slightly insulated, non-insulated cabinets are constructed so that the aluminum outer construction will be internally lined with a polycarbonate material designed to retain heat.
Proofing/Holding Cabinet Manufacturers
Find all of the options discussed above from some of the finest manufacturers in the holding cabinet business. CresCor, Food Warming Equipment, Metro, Vulcan and Win-Holt all carry models to fit your needs.