Various Types of Commercial Refrigeration

Refrigerators and freezers and coolers, oh my! At Texas Restaurant Supply, we have so many types of commercial refrigeration to choose from. Whatever you choose, your refrigeration unit is an integral piece of your kitchen equipment, so choose wisely by making an informed decision. Below is our guide to the various types of commercial refrigeration you can choose for your restaurant.

In general, there are six types of commercial refrigeration equipment, including refrigerators, freezers and coolers. All are designed to chill and therefore preserve food and all use compressors. Coolers and refrigerators maintain temperatures in the 34-40°F range, while commercial restaurant freezers maintain temperatures in the -10 to 0°F range.

Reach-In Units

A reach-in unit is a free-standing upright unit that comes in a variety of sizes (measured by cubic feet capacity for storage). These are the units that look most like a home-use refrigerator or freezer. They feature multiple sections internally for separating food to maximize storage. While the units can be placed anywhere, they function best when they are away from the heat generated by the cooking line. Regarding freezers, most restaurants have blast chillers.

Reach-ins are still the classic refrigeration that most busy commercial kitchens choose. These units can store lots of food items but have more power and much more capacity than a traditional residential refrigerator. Most units have many options, like casters so you can move the unit around, or glass doors so that you can see what you have. Some come with double doors that have shelving for additional storage, just like the home refrigerators do. Some units have dual-zones whereby each half stores food at a different temperature.

Walk-In Units

Large restaurants or those that need a large cold storage space often invest in a walk-in cooler or freezer. Walk-ins come in a variety of sizes, as small as a closet or as large as an entire room. All units feature shelving for storage space to store boxed produce and other foods.

Undercounter Refrigeration

Many commercial kitchens these days are installing under-counter refrigeration, which kitchen folk calls fish drawers. These are refrigerated drawers designed to hold meat, poultry and seafood, and are a great choice, particularly for smaller commercial kitchens. They save space and can be installed directly in the cooking line for much faster food prep. Many kitchens use them where a large reach-in or walk-in unit is just not an option due to space constraints. These days, under-counter freezers are designed for other specialty jobs, like ice cream cabinets and more.

Refrigerated Prep Tables

How about a prep table and refrigerator in one? Refrigerated prep tables are relatively new and are usually used as sandwich and salad prep tables or pizza prep tables. The tabletop comes in various depths of cutting boards and the table cabinet is refrigerated storage. These too can be used directly in the cooking line, but they also function well in the prep area.

Merchandise Refrigerators

You may have a need to display merchandise while refrigerating it, and there are lots of open units or glass door units that fit this need. Many restaurants that feature take-out menus like delis and bakeries use these units, which come in a variety of sizes to fit your every need. Bar refrigeration units typically come in a low boy size that sits lower to the ground or a high boy size that comes up to about waist-high. Finishes for merchandising cabinets typically come in black vinyl or stainless steel, which is more expensive but also more durable and less likely to dent. In addition to the traditional display case refrigeration you are probably used to seeing, there are many specialty solutions like bar back refrigerators, wine coolers, keg coolers and direct draw beer dispensers.

If you’re in the market for new commercial refrigeration, come see us at Texas Restaurant Supply. We have a large selection of various types of commercial refrigeration, and we will help you decide what is best for your restaurant.