Master-Bilt® Refrigeration News & Product Information
Customizing Refrigeration For Your Kitchen
One of the top challenges in a foodservice kitchen is utilization of workspace. Space is always at a premium and equipment must be arranged to maximize workflow. Fortunately, there are ways to customize foodservice refrigeration equipment to fit the needs of your kitchen.
A good way to add additional refrigerated or frozen storage space to your kitchen area is to use an undercounter model. Ideally, these models can be incorporated into existing counters so no additional space has to be devoted to another piece of equipment. Look for models with refrigeration systems that have front air discharge. This allows them to be enclosed on both sides, back and top without impeding refrigeration system function. Also look for a base kit option (in lieu of casters) that lifts the undercounter about four inches off the floor allowing air to be funneled out the front of the cabinet.
Undercounter stacking kits are also helpful for effective space use. These kits allow you to stack two 27-inch wide undercounters on top of each other for an over/under effect.
When it comes to prep units, there are a couple of space-utilizing options that stand out. The first is overshelves. As the name implies, these are shelves, typically stainless steel, attached to the back of a prep unit by a rack. Shelves come in single or double versions and provide additional space for pizza, sandwich or salad ingredients.
Second, refrigerated drawers are a convenient option to standard shelves. Some operators find it easier to pull out a drawer and reach for stored meats or other ingredients rather than open a door and bend down to find what they are looking for. Multi-section prep units can also be configured to have both drawers and doors if desired.
Click or tap here to see more on overshelf and refrigerated drawer options.
Pass-thru refrigerators are a great addition to a busy kitchen. They provide front and back access to stored items without having to walk all the way around the cabinet to retrieve something. Numerous door options are available, such as full and half-door solid and full and half-door glass, to customize your pass-thru. Casters also allow mobility to move the cabinet around as needed in your workspace.
While not located in the kitchen, rack refrigeration systems offer an opportunity to improve workspace conditions while lowering energy usage. These systems are custom-designed and are typically located on a roof or separate room. Their function is to incorporate all the refrigeration systems usually found in self-contained reach-ins, prep units and other equipment into one system. Using a rack system removes heat from a kitchen and helps lower the air conditioning load which, in turn, reduces energy usage.
Rack systems are available in different types. Multi-compressor models consist of several individual condensing units assembled in one enclosure. Each compressor has its own condenser coil or shared circuit. Parallel models consist of multiple compressors that share one refrigerant circuit.Glycol parallel racks use a refrigeration system to chill a glycol loop which is used to cool refrigeration equipment in a kitchen.
Probably no other piece of refrigeration equipment is more customizable than a walk-in. From floor ramps to vinyl door curtains to electronic controller systems, the list of options is almost limitless. The panel metal finish comes in a wide variety of types and colors. Walk-in coolers and freezers can also be configured to practically any shape desired. For a more in-depth look at walk-in options, see our recent recent Cool It! article “Increase Walk-In Efficiency With Options.”