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Whether you're planning an entire commercial kitchen makeover or merely updating your existing equipment, it can be easy to forget to add something to your "to buy" list. Regardless of what kind of space you are outfitting, whether it be a school cafeteria, food retailer, cafeteria at a hospital, or other setting, you'll want to use this list to ensure you're outfitting your commercial kitchen with all the essentials!

The budget may be a big factor as you put your kitchen together. Things like the space you have available, the quantities of food you produce, and the different types of food you make will all change the cost.

As you put together your purchase list, be sure to check out Hubert for all your commercial equipment needs.

Food Prep Equipment

Food Prep Equipment

Whatever food you may be serving there is always prep that needs to be done. Here are the six types of items you'll want to make sure your commercial kitchen is equipped with for food prep.

  • Table Workspace: Make sure you have enough tabletop space to have the necessary equipment and any additional space you'll need for slicing, chopping, and dicing!
  • Commercial Mixers: This is a must-have especially if you are making baked goods or pizza dough.
  • Grinders & Choppers: Most commonly these are used if you make your own spices. If you are using all pre-ground spices you can omit this one from your list.
  • Commercial Blenders: Determine if you have any drinks, smoothies, sauces, or marinades on your menu. If you do, you'll want to invest in a couple of blenders.
  • Food Processors: This is probably the most used food prep equipment. It can cut your prep time down significantly by chopping vegetables, combining ingredients, making sauces, and even slicing cheese.
  • Utensils: Make sure you have plenty of cutting boards, spatulas, knives, whisks, and mixing bowls.

Refrigeration Equipment

There are a lot of different styles and capacities when it comes to commercial refrigerators. What types of food you're offering and the size of your space will help determine what style you need to buy.

  • Refrigerators: These can be a reach-in fridge, walk-in cooler, or prep fridge. Likely, you will need a couple different kinds depending on the food you will be storing.
  • Freezer: These can come in all shapes and sizes! From walk-ins to under-the-counter there's a freezer to fit your space and storage needs.
  • Ice Machine: If you serve beverages or have a serving cart that needs ice to keep things chilled, you'll want to invest in an ice machine.
  • Beverage Dispensers: Do you offer coffee, tea, or other beverages? If so, you'll want to be sure you have a dispenser for the quantity and type of beverage you serve.

Food Storage Equipment

Food Storage Equipment

You'll not only need to store food in refrigerators, but you'll also need storage equipment for organizing your dry ingredients, tools, and equipment. The amount of storage you'll need will depend on the quantity of food and equipment you need to store. Here are the types of storage equipment you'll need to consider:

  • Food Storage Containers: These are a must-have for storing sauces, prepped sauces, and other food items.
  • Sheet Pan Racks: Not only can these be used to transport items from your fridge or freezer in one trip, but they are also useful for proofing bread.
  • Utility Carts: If you have items that need to be moved around the kitchen a lot, you'll want to get a few utility carts. These make it easy to pull everything you need to your workstation in one trip.
  • Shelving: If you have a walk-in cooler or freezer, you'll need shelves to utilize every inch of your cooling space well. You may also consider using shelving to store your dry ingredients, kitchen utensils, pots, pans, and more!
  • Dunnage Racks: These short but mighty racks keep heavy items off the ground in your fridge, freezer, or in dry storage. If you have larger pots and pans that need to be air dried, these can also double as a drying rack.

Cooking Equipment

This category is probably the one most people consider when outfitting their commercial kitchen. It's also the area where you are likely to spend most of your budget as it has some of the most used and essential pieces!

  • Oven: They can roast, braise, bake and more! By far, this is one of the key pieces of equipment in your kitchen. When considering what oven to get, you'll want to consider the quantities of food you'll be producing. If you are making large quantities of lasagna that all need to be served at the same time, you'd better be sure your oven can handle it.
  • Commercial Range: Depending on your kitchen setup, you'll want to decide if you want an electric or a gas range. If you have a lot of different components to simmer, sauté, and cook at once, you'll need a few extra burners to get the job done.
  • Deep Fryer: Not every commercial kitchen needs a deep fryer, but if you have french fries, chicken tenders, or onion rings on your menu, you'll need one of these.
  • Commercial Grills: A grill is another item that you may not need in your commercial kitchen depending on what you are making. But if you like that smokey grill taste on your burger, there's no better way to get it than with a grill.
  • Commercial Griddles: You can cook a lot of things on a griddle. If you have breakfast foods on your menu, this is something you'll want to outfit your kitchen with.
  • Holding Equipment: These are your warming drawers, heat lamps, and other items to keep your food at the perfect temperature until it is served.
  • Salamander or Broiler: Toasting bread and melting cheese is just a few of the things these can do. Some of these have high enough heat to cook food and even broil salmon.
  • Toaster: Perfect for bread and bagels. If you have breakfast foods, you'll need to be toasting a lot!
  • Coffee Brewer: If coffee is one of your beverage options, you'll need a brewer with the right capacity for what you anticipate serving.
  • Commercial Microwave: Depending on the type of food you serve you may use a microwave a lot, but regardless of frequency, every kitchen needs a microwave.

Smallwares Tools

Smallwares Tools

These are the everyday tools your employees will use to prep and cook your menu. Make sure you consider how many employees you will have working at one time to be sure you have enough of each item for them to work efficiently.

  • Chef Knives: Stocking your kitchen with high quality, sharp knives will not only make prep a breeze, but it will also decrease accidents and cuts.
  • Cutting Boards: Make sure you have color coded cutting boards to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Mixing Bowls: Buy multiple bowls of different sizes based on the quantities of what you'll be mixing.
  • Stock Pots: Again, there are different pots you'll need depending on what you are using it for. Some of the common uses are stock pots, double boilers, past cookers, and sauce pots.
  • Whisks: Depending on how much food prep involves whisking, you'll want to get at least a few of these if not more!
  • Food Pans: These are useful for baking food in the oven and can be used directly in a food warmer to keep it the ideal temperature. These are particularly helpful if you serve large quantities of food all at once.
  • Spoons: Consider if you need spoons for just the kitchen or if you'll also need spoons for serving. If you have a buffet, you'll want to make sure you have serving spoons for that as well.
  • Tongs: If your kitchen has griddles, char broilers, or grills, you'll likely want to stock up on a few extra tongs.

Cleaning Equipment

Good cleaning practices are essential when running a kitchen. As you plan how to stock your commercial kitchen, don't forget these cleaning essentials:

  • Cleaning Rags: In a kitchen you'll need to have rags readily available to keep a clean kitchen.
  • 3-Compartment Sink: In order to sanitize your cooking tools at the end of the day, you must have a 3-compartment sink to do it right (and follow health codes). Don't forget to get a commercial faucet and grease trap as well.
  • Chemicals and Sanitizers: Make sure you have the right cleaning supplies to sanitize and keep your tools safe for food contact.
  • Cleaning Chemical Buckets: Color coded buckets make sure there is no cross-contamination of chemicals and ensures that the chemicals are mixed safely.

Meet Hubert

We've been partnering and working with foodservice providers for 75 years, so we know what they need. Commercial kitchen equipment that makes their employees and kitchens more efficient. And the way our team of experts deliver & install equipment sets us apart from the competition. Hubert offers turnkey services, so you don't have to lift a finger—we'll even help you design the perfect kitchen layout for your facility.

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Meet Hubert

We've been partnering and working with foodservice providers for 75 years, so we know what they need. Commercial kitchen equipment that makes their employees and kitchens more efficient.

And the way our team of experts deliver & install equipment sets us apart from the competition. Hubert offers turnkey services, so you don't have to lift a finger—we'll even help you design the perfect kitchen layout for your facility.