Catering Equipment for Schools, Hotels & Restaurants, Northumberland
As for any kitchen catering for a large number of covers at the same time, school kitchens need a range of robust, efficient and easy to use equipment. Fortunately, the emphasis is on healthy and cost effective meal production, so top of the range equipment for the production and display of specialist foods such as sushi will not be a priority. In recent years, pressure to improve the nutritional value and quality of the food served to children at school has been brought to bear by both celebrity chefs and other concerned groups, so it is important that the right kitchen equipment is chosen. As school governors and other non-professional people are frequently involved in the purchase of equipment for schools, it is advisable to contact an experienced catering supplies company that is willing to offer advice on the products needed. Some of the basics are outlined below.
Ovens, Hobs and Holding Equipment
Naturally, the size of the kitchen and the number of pupils being catered for will determine the size of the hobs and ovens needed in your school. Two important aspects to consider are how quickly the unit heats up and how easy it is to keep clean. as naturally time is very important in school catering. Bains marie are also very useful to keep cooked foods and liquids at serving temperatures so that they are ready to serve at the time they are needed. With the emphasis on healthy foods, many school kitchens will be able to manage without deep fat fryers; if fish and chips are needed the fish can be oven baked and potato wedges cooked in the oven. An electric griddle, however, may prove useful for cooking burgers and meat items such as chicken fillets as well as pancakes.
A potato peeler is a priority, and it is important to find one that can easily handle the quantity of potatoes needed at each meal and is also easy to clean. Another aspect to consider is how energy efficient the machine is, and whether it operates quietly enough for your kitchen. A food processor to slice, dice, grate, chop or puree a variety of vegetables and other foods will also be needed, and this will have to be quite robust for all the use it will get in a school kitchen. For tasks such as mixing, beating, folding and whipping ingredients, you will need a robust food mixer. Here it is probably a good idea to opt for a well established manufacturer with a good reputation and a warranty. Finally, the last machine you will definitely need is a food slicer. Serving roast meats will be much more efficient if you are able to slice them accurately, and a food slicer does not have to be a very expensive item.
Other Kitchen Essentials
Dishwashing is an important area in a school kitchen, and pass through models are the easiest and quickest to use. Refrigeration includes everything from refrigerators and freezers to chillers, cold serve over counters and cold rooms, and again, the numbers catered for will determine the equipment you need. Your architect or kitchen designer will be best placed to advise you on the kind of extraction system you need, and this does need careful consideration due to health and safety legislation.
Students expect high standards from their school catering services, and the provision of optional items such as high quality coffees can improve the reputation of your school kitchen. Machines that produce coffee from fresh coffee beans will attract more people who are used to visiting commercial coffee bars to use your facilities in the same way, and to meet friends and socialise over an espresso or cappuccino.