Cooking up a storm: which appliance?

If you've pulled funds together to install a semi-commercial kitchen, have you thought about what appliances you need to start feeding your community? Here, we round up the benefits of the different cooking appliances available

Professional cooking equipment is different to domestic appliances – it’s more robust, more efficient for more hungry mouths and can save you time, energy and money. But from the commercial microwave to multi-functional cooking stations, finding the right ones for your menu and church infrastructure doesn’t need to be a tricky task.

The heat is on
Hobs, ovens, grills, chip fryers… the list might feel endless when it comes to options for heating and cooking food for your congregation or community. But the best place to start is by looking at what your current space can accommodate. How much gas can the main gas pipe supply to your kitchen? And does your main fuse board have the capacity for your combined appliances? If you’re willing – and have the budget – to take on a full renovation, you don’t necessarily have to take this into account, but if you’re replacing a tired kitchen in the same space, you need to understand your limitations.

For example, if you’ve decided that you’d like to offer 10 different jacket potato toppings, a Baked Potato Oven might be the ideal choice. But how many do you need? Do you have the space to store them? And the sockets to power them? Or maybe you’re opening a new café – if you’re restricted by your current space, realistically, how many ovens or hobs can you install? And what kind of cooking equipment do you actually need for the job at hand? Luckily, Steelplan Kitchens can help:

  • Grills and griddles: if your weekly knitting club like to cook up some ham and cheese toasties on a Thursday evening, you need a commercial grill or griddle. One step up from your domestic George Foreman, these are great for cooking food quickly and consistently. Often seen as an optional extra, these will need counter space for storage, but are a quicker option than, say, the grill in a domestic oven. However, if you’re mass producing paninis for your café, these might not be up to the job.

  • Bratt pans: these heavy-duty commercial cooking appliances can braise, boil, steam, poach, stew, roast, deep-fat fry and shallow fry. Quite impressive, no? And although they are typically only used in mass catering environments, such as schools and large staff canteens, they can save a vast amount of space in comparison to individual tasks. Ideal for kitchens with few electrical sockets. But only suitable for those wanting to feed more than 500 people.

  • Combination steaming ovens: combining convection and steam cooking, these ovens speed up the cooking process with the added benefits of keeping more nutrients in the food via steam. And will do just about everything a microwave oven can do, including defrosting and reheating, saving you extra space and power.

  • Chip fryers: while many churches may choose to avoid this unhealthy option, for those planning to run a church café, these are almost a necessity. From countertop to free-standing, these are the undisputed king of bulk frying. But if you’re only planning to cook oven chips, you won’t need one.


  • Atmospheric ovens: the perfect solution for serving a high amount of steamed food, such as vegetables, fish and puddings, they’re great for keeping your congregation healthy and well fed! However, they do edge on the tall size, and can be a costly addition to any kitchen.

  • Convection ovens: unlike conventional oven ranges, a convection oven rarely includes gas or electric hobs on top. And while they require an electrical connection to power the fan, the electric versions don’t need gas – perfect for kitchens with minimal gas pipes available. They are also relatively compact – which is something to consider for kitchens on the smaller side.

Heating food in your new semi-commercial kitchen will come easy with Steelplan Kitchens – they have the expertise to guide you on your new project. Call us on 0844 809 9186 to find out more.


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