The following illustrates the key differences amongst commercial fridges and freezers.
All commercial fridges and freezers have digital temperature displays. If they don’t, they are likely to be very old.
Standard temperature range for fridges is 0 to +3 degrees C. Freezers -7 to -21 degrees C.
All commercial refrigeration has blown or convected air. Unlike a domestic fridge or freezer, commercial refrigeration uses fans to distribute chilled air effectively through the cabinet to envelope food. Fridges and freezers are opened many times an hour, so rapid temperature recovery is critical.
All commercial refrigeration is built to accommodate all sizes of gastronorm trays and containers in some shape or form.
Most shelves are designed to hold a reasonable weight capacity. But care must be taken to not put shelves under stress. Bear in mind, a replacement shelf and mounting rails can be up to £80 per shelf!
All commercial refrigeration is designed to operate efficiently between +5 to +33 degree’s C. Beyond these temperatures they can begin to fail. They also require adequate ventilation to allow the motors and key components to breath and not overheat.
Tip: Don’t run multiple units in an enclosed room without free moving air. Compressors create a lot of heat and will ultimately show signs of failing if not ventilated.
Upright or Vertical Fridges and Freezers
In Single or Double door formats.
- Ranging from 60cm to 75cm wide, 60cm to 80cm deep and anything up to 215cm high. All have height adjustable shelving, and most have wheels for easy moving. 60cm wide single doors tend to be circa 400 litre in capacity and anything up to 650 litres for the larger singles.
- Both single and double door units can also have a bottom compressor which are more suitable for warmer kitchen environments. Having the motor at the bottom of the cabinet allows for cooler running.
- Some single door variants are stable door and Caterquip has even had commercial fridge & freezers in a single door format. These are rare into our marketplace but ideal for the kitchen with limited space.
- Same specification as single doors. Units range from 120cm wide (circa 1000 litres) up to 145cm wide and 1350 litres.
- A two in one solution, in that they give a sizable chilled storage and work surface up top.
- Ranging from 120cm wide for a single door right up to 240cm for a 5-door bench. All bench fridges tend to have a solid work surface.
- Bench fridges can also incorporate an integrated saladette. These are ideal for sandwich, pizza and salad kitchens. Most saladette’s are raised to the rear, but some saladatte’s can be integrated into the flat work surface.
- Some bench fridges can be all door, all drawer and a mixture of both. Drawer units are favoured by chefs for the pass or grill section
- A lower version called a ‘Chef Base’ fridge is often seen under char grills or griddles. These are mostly used to hold prepared meats, fish etc. Chef will select a steak, then place straight on to the grill above.
Designed to fit under a prep table or other fixtures to add further chilled storage in spare spaces. Can be very useful at servery counters, hot beverage counters or the main pass. Chefs find them useful for garnishes and low quantity high turnover chilled goods.
Most under counter fridges and freezers are 60cm wide x 60cm deep. Williams make a wider unit which accommodates a full size 1/1 gn tray which can be very useful.
Food hygiene law determines that hot food must be cooled rapidly through the ‘danger zone’ to remove the risk of bacterial growth. Blast chillers rapidly cools food in a controlled environment. Once the desired temperature is reached, they go into ‘hold’ mode until food can be removed for further use or ongoing storage.
Some blast freezers have a shock freezer function, ideal for sorbet and ice cream production.
Most blast chillers resemble a single door fridge, occasionally, they can be bench style and for larger operations such as production kitchens, blast chillers can be modular walk in or even pass-through rooms. Modular rooms always require a remote compressor, usually sited outdoors.
- For larger kitchens, the bulk of chilled food is often stored in a walk-in fridge and freezer. These are rooms staff can walk into and store on racking.
- Ranging in sizes from 130cm wide x 150cm deep up to 5meter x 5 meter rooms. There is no average size as most cold rooms tend to be built to fit a specific space.
- Smaller rooms tend to have a mono block system in that the compressor and blower are wall mounted. Larger rooms may need a remote compressor, sited outdoors and connected to the room by insulated pipework.
- Remote compressors tend to need a 3 phase power supply.
- Moist cold rooms will have an insulated floor and all have to have an internal emergency push handle allowing staff to open the door should it be closed by accident.
- Ideal for large capacity chilled storage.
- Some walk-in rooms have a wider door to allow palletised goods access.
I hope you find this brief useful. Its intended to clarify what is available and help those coming into the trade for the first time.
If you require further assistance, or have a need for a replacement fridge or freezer, I’m here to help. All catering equipment is very expensive to buy new. Caterquip are specialists in reconditioned equipment and will save you a lot of money on premium brands. We always have a huge selection of fridges and freezers in stock all the time.
Please cal me on 01733 286000. Option 1.
Thanks for reading.