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Choose the Right Kitchen Equipment for Your Restaurant

Well, you've done it. You've finally taken that step and you're opening your own restaurant. Wonderful! Now it's time to pick out your kitchen equipment. Good chefs know that the right kitchen equipment can make or break a dish -- and make or break your restaurant's success.

The most important kitchen equipment is the oven. Restaurant kitchens typically have one of four types of oven: conveyor, convection, pizza and cook-and-hold ovens. Which type you use depends on a variety of factors.

Pizza ovens are relatively self-explanatory: they bake your pizza. Costing between $5,000 and $12,000, the typical pizza oven is freestanding. There are also countertop deck ovens that cost around $2,000. Which type you use depends on whether pizza is your restaurant's main offering. Or is it just one among many offerings?

Cook-and-Hold ovens, as the name implies, lets you cook the food, then leave it in the oven until a patron orders it. Thus it won't dry out and become unappetizing. Typical cook-and-hold ovens can hold the food for up to 24 hours. Some can beprogrammed to automatically change to a holding pattern when its sensors indicate cooking is tone. These sensors either judge by cooking time elapsed or food temperature.

Convection ovens are familiar to some of us as they are sometimes used in homes. These ovens have fans inside to circulate the air, allowing food to cook mroe quickly and more uniformly. Single-deck convection ovens typically cost between $3,000 and $5,000. Double-deck models are also available and are extra useful in restaurants. They can cost up to $10,000. (There are also half-sized convection ovens that cost about $2,000.)

Some fast-food restaurants use conveyor ovens to prepare a lot of food quickly. Pizza and/or sandwiches (or just their meat and bread components) are placed on a conveyor belt. The belt continuously carries the food into oven, synchronized in size, speed and temperature, so the food is fully cooked by the time it reaches the other end of the conveyor belt. There are various models. If you choose a conveyor model, be sure to check how to clean the components. Some models can be tricky.

Often a chef or restaurant owner will be choose the type of oven by what he or she is most used to using. However, it is important to consider the other types as well.

To find out more about restaurant ovens, be sure to go online to research all the different types. Also be sure to check restaurant supply companies and trade associations. They are all interested in making sure you succeed and so will be able to provide a lot of useful information.

Picking the right oven is one of the most important decisions you will make in opening your restaurant. The right choice will pay for itself in no time, with better food and happy customers.

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