A commercial kitchen can be a pretty cramped place. The collection of ovens, fryers, fridges and microwaves can make for a pretty tight squeeze to have to prep food in, even more so when the checks are rolling in. Having equipment that can fulfill multiple roles can really benefit a kitchen. The question is.. what is the most multi-functional appliance?
Firstly, when considering which appliance is the most versatile, we're not including machines being used for tasks which they are not primarily designed for, like cooking lasagne in a dishwasher or producing jam in a bread maker. It might surprise you that these are entirely possible, although it's not usually recommended as the most efficient, safest - or even easiest method of preparing foods, especially in the hustle and bustle of a busy professional kitchen.
Blue Seal Evolution Solid Top G57-RB
A combination of a 900mm wide heavy duty solid top alongside two full size GN compatible refrigerated drawers, this appliance combines refrigeration and multi-zone cooking power together, meaning you have steaks, scallops and other ingredients within easy access and ready to cook in an instant. The usual advice is to keep refrigeration away from hot cooking appliances, so having the two combined on this unit saves precious kitchen space and time.By its very nature, a bratt pan is one of the most flexible appliances in the kitchen. Able to braise, boil, steam, poach, stew, roast or fry, the options really are unlimited with a bratt pan. They also typically have huge capacities, making mass catering much easier in comparison to using smaller appliances. Bratt pans really are supremely versatile - from soups, steaks, chicken in sauce or Bolognese, they can do it all.
Irinox MultiFresh Multifunction Cabinet MF 45.1
Combining slow cooking, cook and hold, proofing, regenerating, chilling, thawing and blast chilling, the Irinox MultiFresh is absolutely the only commercial catering machine in the world that can run operating cycles with temperatures between 85°C to -40°C. Available in 30kg to 85kg sizes, the MultiFresh can easily replace several other machines and is immensely versatile.
It's a brave chef who can dispute the versatility of a KitchenAid. With a huge range of attachments available, you can stuff sausages, strain vegetables, mince meat, make pasta and much more. There's even an ice cream maker attachment. There's a very good reason it's called a KitchenAid!
Although a dehydrator is a very simple piece of equipment, it's the quantity of foods and effects you can make with one that makes it really stand out. Whether you're making beef jerky, pot pourri or dried fruit and vegetable, a dehydrator is not only easy to use, it can reduce waste and save you money too. You can even grind up dehydrated foods to make delicious garnishes - check out the video.
To summarise, pretty much all kitchen appliances are designed to save time. However, if your kitchen is small or cramped, it's definitely worth researching whether there is a machine that can do more than one job - it could even end up saving you money as you won't have to buy two or more separate appliances.
For further helpful information, articles and buying guides, check out Cater Hub.