Refrigerated prep tables are useful in commercial kitchens that need a constant supply of pre-cut fresh foods. These tables have refrigerated compartment pans on the top of the table together with some workspace. You fill each compartment with a food so that it stays fresh and ready to use when you need it.
While this is real useful for kitchens that make things like sandwiches, salads and pizzas, a refrigerated table works well in any kitchen that needs a constant supply of fresh ingredients. While your choice of table is influenced by your prepping and space needs, you should also look out for useful additional features.
Which features are good to have?
1. An Insulated Lid
When you aren't using your prep table, you should close its lid. This prevents anything from getting into your pans and contaminating the food they hold; it also helps keep things cool for short periods.
However, if you have a regular lid, then it might not be enough to keep your food fresh outside your working hours. You may need to store leftover foods in refrigerators overnight.
It pays to look at tables that have insulated lids. These lids often have seals that hold them more tightly closed. They also keep pans cooler. So, you may be able to store foods in the table itself for longer periods.
2. A Removable Cutting Board
The front part of a refrigerated prep table usually holds a cutting board. While some cutting boards are fixed to the table, it makes sense to buy a unit with a removable board.
If you can take the board off, you can clean all of it and the area it sits on much more effectively. It's a lot easier to keep things hygienic. Plus, if your board wears down over time and has too many knife cuts to keep it clean, you can simply switch it for a new one.
3. A Removable Pan Liner
Your crew will work fast when things are busy. If you have a lot of orders, then they'll pull things out of their pans at pace. It's easy for small pieces of vegetables or meat to fall between pans and sit beneath them.
At the end of a service, you may need to pull pans out of their compartments and clean up any residual mess. It's not always easy to get bits of food out of tight spots and corners, so this can take some time.
Some refrigerated prep tables come with removable pan liners. Here, you simply need to pull the liner out and clean it to get rid of any debris.
To find out more about refrigerated prep tables and other useful features, talk to your commercial kitchen equipment supplier.