Food Prep Equipment Buyers' Guide

Running a commercial kitchen is all about time management, efficiency and maintaining the best possible kitchen to table service. To that end, any owner or chef needs to consider what their best options are for food prep equipment. There are a plethora of solutions available, but choosing the right one comes down to a single issue: is a manual solution best, or would your kitchen be better served by automatic food prep equipment?

Manual Vs. Automatic: Which is Best?

Answering this question depends on what ingredients need to be processed every day and in what volume. The high volume ingredients are determined by what cuisine is your specialty. For example, if you serve a lot of salsa throughout the day, then an electric food processor will provide the greatest help as you process the many different ingredients in your signature salsa. Conversely, potatoes, lettuce and tomato may be lower volume ingredients, but they still need to be processed quickly. In this case, a manually operated processing solution may be the better choice since you are only working with one type of ingredient and not multiple ingredients.

Finally, it’s also of paramount importance to consider what is the safest solution for processing ingredients in the kitchen. Faster does not automatically mean safer, and both management and kitchen staff need to be keenly aware of how a manual versus an automatic solution will impact kitchen safety. 

Manual food prep tools are best for restaurants on a budget seeking the highest degree of accuracy to process only one type of item. Cut a lot of fries? A manual fry slicer is going to be far more reliable during high volume fry cutting than a powered solution. By the same token, if you are processing multiple ingredients at high volume to add to/use in multiple dishes, a powered food prep tool is your best bet. Powered food prep tools are better for high volume kitchens seeking the safest all-in-one solution. The chef, business manager and line staff should all collaborate on how to streamline food prep in the kitchen so the right equipment can be purchased the first time. 


There are many options available for manual and powered mixers, and in just about all cases a powered mixer is going to the first choice of any commercial kitchen. Manual mixers are fine for creating delicate confections where the speed of mixing needs to be carefully controlled. For high volume mixing like baked goods, bread and other ingredients, a powered mixer is always going to be the best and safest option.


Manual blenders are an absolute rarity since powered blenders are the best solution for producing crushed ice in cocktails and for specific dishes served over ice. That, and it’s very difficult to produce a puree for soup without an electric blender. Juicers, on the other hand, offer a little more in the way of unpowered variety. 

For example, there are manual commercial-grade juicers that can exert over two thousand pounds of pressure to squeeze fruit and vegetables. Not only are they incredibly efficient in producing fresh, high-quality juice, but they are also whisper quiet and use no electricity. Manual juicing is slower than using an electric juicer, but it's an excellent choice for low volume work.


Manual slicers for vegetables are generally preferred since they are more precise and safer than automatic slicers. Powered slicers are best for making thin cuts of meat (like deli meat) since they allow for a high volume of paper-thin cuts within a very short time frame. When it comes to adding a slicer to your commercial kitchen though, the primary concern is always safety. Both manual and powered slicers can be dangerous when used improperly. Keep that in mind before you decide on a solution.

Are you looking for commercial-grade food prep equipment for your kitchen? Texas Restaurant Supply has what you need at the price that suits your budget. Contact us or visit one of our locations in Irving or Grand Prairie, TX for more information.