Have you ever taken a peep inside commercial kitchens? Considering the fact that you are opening or renovating a cafe, you must have. In case, you haven’t had the time to peep into other’s kitchens. You should watch one of the episodes of the Master Chef cooking shows to see how they look. You will see a lot of fancy cookware and bakeware, but at the end of the day, all featured kitchens have one thing in common. All the professional kitchens and kitchen models use stainless steel. That ranges from the ovens, gas cooktops to the slicing and dicing stations. The gleam of an adequately maintained workstation of a chef can be blinding and more impressive than a Swarovski showroom.
How is stainless steel superior to its contemporaries?
Have you ever stopped to think why the top chefs around the world prefer stainless steel over ceramic and plastic? Steel has impressive longevity. They are highly resistant to daily use and abuse from the chef’s knives, pans, and pots. They do not wear away at the slightest touch of hot cookware; boiling water spilled oil or a sharp edge. There is an invisible and immobile layer of chromium oxide that makes stainless steel one of the best candidates for coffee shop kitchen cookware and commercial equipment. It also has a flush surface. No small cracks or porosity can soak up the grease and spices that spill over. Ceramic is a humanmade porous material that used to be popular in kitchens a long ago. However, the presence of small pores poses a severe threat to the hygiene and sanitation of the kitchen and the staff. No kitchen can whip up impressive food fares without taking care of its cleanliness first. In this domain, stainless steel beats ceramic hands down. Aside from the extra layer of hygienic protection, the cafe kitchen setup is easy to wash, wipe and clean. The heavy coat of chromium oxide adds another layer of protection to the equipment inside the coffee house.
Elite coffee parlours do not compromise on the quality of blenders, juicers and coffee machines. These are the lifeblood of coffee business, and all smart owners know enough to invest in high-grade coffee equipment. Almost all favourite commercial cafe equipment is stainless steel. Today, no restaurant or cafe wants machinery that will be messy or difficult to clean. Even the small cafe equipment like the single blenders, high-volume mixers, and pourers are steel only. Plastic is a nuisance that no one wants to welcome into their kitchen. Sure, it would be much cheaper if you select a plastic storage system for the pressed juice or polymer mugs for pouring the boiling milk into the latte, but would you be comfortable working around high temperatures with a plastic apparatus in hand? Your focus will continuously shift from the customer service, order referral and ticket update to the safety of the fragile item in your hand.
Why should you swear by stainless steel for your cafe equipment?
Stainless steel is irreplaceable inside a professional kitchen. The steel equipment is malleable in commercial sizes as well, and you can get anything from a professional coffee press to a monster coffee making a machine for your workspace. Stainless steel is indeed tough, durable, resilient, but it is also effortless to clean. Collection of bacteria and mould is impossible on the smooth surface that has no irregularities for bacteria or fungi to hold on. Cleaning leftover crumbs and grease is as easy as a wipe-down. That takes care of another big concern of professional kitchens – pests and odour. If the counters and machines allow regular deep cleaning, there is no chance for the roaches and rats to come in. The odour problem takes care of itself as long as the employees are looking after the commercial grade stainless steel equipment.
How is stainless steel replacing aluminium as the new cafe metal?
There is a cheaper alternative to stainless steel, aluminium. Although aluminium cookware cannot take as much beating as its counterpart does, old-school chefs still swear by this metal. You will usually find it more popular among short order cooks since this metal heats up fast and cools equally fast. The constant etching warps the pans quite a bit, and they demand frequent replacements. Additionally, chefs refrain from cooking spicy things or acidic dishes on aluminium. Stainless steel is completely nonreactive. Chefs can relaxedly char their steaks, broil their chicken or make their Mac and Cheese on one type of pan. They do not have to worry about the high heat tolerance, acidity tolerance or the denting of their cookware. They can think about what they want to, and that is anything but the condition of the pan or the table top.
Which cafe equipment should you be focusing on right now?
The necessity and application of these items will depend entirely on what you intend to serve your future customers. Nonetheless, these are the fundamental parts of a working coffee house kitchen, and you will need to acquire more accessories and maintenance items for the upkeep of the place.
The average running cafe kitchen may need the following items –
- Stainless steel table tops and counters
- 3-compartment sink for hand washing, dishwashing, and rinsing
- Kitchen and buffet lines
- Steel containers and storage options
- Cabinets and shelves
- Oven, cooktops, and fryers
Setting up a neat and clean commercial kitchen for a cafe is a journey. If you have this equipment and machinery in order, you cannot believe that your work is complete. You will still have a long way to cover. You will likely feel the need for small gadgets like gas fitting pumps, table equalisers, coffee machine cleaning brushes and shelves, with each passing day. That is a sign of growing demand among your customers. As business starts to flourish, the requirements begin to increase. These are the tell-tale sign that the process is currently ongoing.