Holding cabinets can be a significant benefit to any food-based operation. These handy units allow you to serve massive crowds promptly (compared to cooking the dishes to order), improving your efficiency and making sure that food stays at a safe temperature for consumption. Holding cabinets come in an array of different types, sizes, colors, and models; here are a few criteria to help you find the perfect holding cabinet for your business:
1.) Ya gotta know what’s Cookin.
It’s essential to understand your cooking and holding process end-to-end. There are four main jobs to be done by a holding cabinet – basic hot holding, humidified holding, proofing, and hot transport. Each type of hot holding requires a different tool for the job. If holding high-value proteins, food quality is paramount – you will need a cabinet with precision humidity and temperature controls and better insulation. For proofing applications, insulation is less critical. If the transport process is demanding, the overall robustness of cabinet construction is vital.
2.) Insulation Insights
Insulation can be a critical, even vital to the functionality of a holding cabinet depending on the application. For mobile applications where the cabinet gets unplugged, a better insulated box retains safe, appetizing temperatures over a longer period of time. Additionally, a more well insulated cabinet can save you loads of cash on your electricity bills… look for ENERGY STAR rated cabinets as they use the least amount of energy! Another often overlooked benefit of insulation is how it helps prolong the life of electronic components such as heating elements and thermostats, a better insulated cabinet will retain the heat longer and not require these critical components to work as hard to maintain the temperature setting. Lastly, fiberglass insulation is by far the most common type of insulation and does a great job but there are much more efficient types of insulation out there with higher efficiency such as foam, if you want the best, look for foam!
3.) Clean is Cool
Clean-ability is incredibly important when choosing a holding cabinet. There is nothing scarier to a customer than seeing their dish coming out of a dirty cabinet, and having a messy cabinet can significantly affect the safety of your dishes. To avoid scaring away business find a cabinet that is easy to clean. Design plays a large roll in how easy a cabinet is to clean. Does it come apart for easy cleaning? Is it designed to allow you easy access to points where dirt might get trapped? To make your workday as comfortable as possible be sure to find cabinets that make it possible to reach all the areas of the cabinet and to clean with ease.
4.) Mobility Matters
Mobility and Transport Applications are another vital consideration. Food safety and product longevity are critical when choosing a holding cabinet. When deciding on your cabinet be sure to pick a system with well- made casters to guarantee that your cabinet is steady and strong. Also, be sure to choose a unit with extra insulation for temperature retention. The added insulation will keep dishes at the proper temperature longer, and make sure that they arrive delicious and ready to eat. Another thing to consider is construction, your unit needs to be able to withstand the application.
5.) Lastly, spend your $ Wisely.
Insulation matters the more frequently you use a cabinet, as the energy savings will pile up faster to pay back the high price point. If you are a church that fires up a cabinet for two hours on Sunday morning, an entry level cabinet is fine. If your cabinet is used five days a week or transported frequently – an entry level cabinet will not hold up.