There is a vast array of utensils and tools to undertake almost any task in the kitchen these days but the trick is choosing the best for your own kitchen. The right utensils can save time when prepping, cooking and serving food, which is essential in a professional kitchen and can even make such processes safer.
The essentials for your kitchen will vary depending on your menu. Some chefs consider a blowtorch a crucial item but for many, it’s a specialist tool. Here we look at utensils needed in all commercial kitchens.
Most modern ovens and catering fridge will have integral thermometers but for food safety reasons it is still important to have dedicated thermometers to check the internal temperature of meats. Over the course of a service, there may be many temperatures to take note of so it is sensible to record the data with a log book or data recorder.
A full set of chopping boards, ideally coloured differently for specific food groups is a necessity for hygiene reasons in any kitchen. The minimum requirement would be separate boards for cooked and raw foods. Even if raw meat has been kept correctly in a catering fridge, as soon as it is being prepared on a chopping board there is the danger of cross-contamination. Hygienic practices are particularly important to ensure customers return, as discussed in this article from The Independent.
Utensils such as tongs, spatulas, spoons, whisks, slices and turners have a role in all kitchens. It is important to consider the material these tools are made from as it can affect their use. For example, metal utensils can be longer lasting but should not be used with non-stick coatings as they can scratch them. For use with non-stick pans look for wooden, plastic or rubber utensils depending on the temperature you are cooking at.
For a kitchen using a lot of cans per day it may be worth looking at one of the heavy duty bench can openers available, which can open between 4 and 6 cans in a minute and works on multiple sized cans. Handheld can openers should be sufficient if only a few smaller cans are opened per day.
If your kitchen has other more specific requirements it is advisable to investigate the existing utensils that could improve efficiency.