10 Must Have Catering Appliances for Every Commercial Kitchen

When it comes to setting up a commercial kitchen there are a wide variety of ways you can configure your kitchen space and an even larger number of equipment you can fill it with. At Alliance Online we appreciate that when setting up a business which requires a kitchen it can be a daunting task deciding what you need in your kitchen compared with what would be beneficial.

As such, we have put together a list of ten must have catering appliances which all commercial kitchens should have when looking to serve for large number of potential customers.


First, we have the commercial refrigerator, these are an essential for any kitchen because without there is no way of storing food without freezing it. A refrigerator allows chefs to prep food during the morning and leave it until the service period later that night. It also ensures fresh produce such as fruit, vegetables, dairy and meat can be stored in a capacity which does not negatively impact their quality and shelf life.

When looking to purchase a refrigerator there are a few considerations which need addressing, the main one being its placement. When positioning a fridge in your kitchen you should take great consideration for where it is placed on account of the volume of traffic it will be exposed to. Due to it being a common convergent point for multiple members of staff it should be placed in an area where it can be easily accessed, and the open door is not blocking walkways or access to other appliances.

We have a wide variety of options available including double refrigerators for large kitchens, single standing fridges and undercounter options too.


Sticking with the theme of keeping produce cold we come to the next item on the list which is a commercial freezer. Having access to a freezer in a commercial kitchen is a necessity as when buying meal ingredients in bulk not all will be stored in the refrigerator or have the shelf life to stay in the fridge for much past a week. This is where the freezer comes in allowing chefs to store items for longer and thaw them out when they are required.

Much like the refrigerator, take into consideration its placement and where its doors will open and if they will block walkways or other kitchen appliances. It is also important to employ a management system of a freezer to ensure stock is rotated properly so items are not simply pushed to the back and forgotten leading to wasted food and ingredients.

Akin to the refrigerator variants we also have a range of freezers which includes single freezers, double freezers, undercounter and chest freezers. For kitchens with the space and need we also have blast chillers / freezers too.

Combi Oven

Combi ovens, also known as combination ovens, are a mainstay in professional kitchens around the world because of their incredible versatility. Able to boil, roast, grill, fry, steam, and reheat food all in one compact unit, the combi steam oven is truly a jack of all trades, making it the perfect addition to any busy kitchen.
When setting up a kitchen, having access to a combi oven will help increase the output potential of your kitchen during cooking periods on account of being able to set up the machine to provide a range of services to your chefs meaning they can be prepping numerous areas of a dish at once when using a combi oven in conjunction with other cooking appliances named on this list.

If you’re looking for a commercial combi oven to speed up service times in your catering business, here you’ll find combi steams ranging from 6 to 40 grids from premium manufacturers such as Rational and Unox.

Ranges Ovens

Staying with cooking, we move from combi ovens to range ovens. We appreciate that range ovens may seem to be a bit of a cop out option due to the huge variety of the term “range oven”. When looking to install a range oven sometimes you are limited to the utilities available and where they enter the kitchen. We would always suggest when installing one, ensure the area you are choosing to place it has plenty of room to allow multiple chefs to be operating in the area at once.

Some kitchens will require gas hobs where others may be able to make use of induction hobs, either way your oven will need hob functionality. Depending on how much hob cooking is performed in your kitchen will dictate how many hobs you opt for on your range oven with numbers ranging from 4 all the way up to 8 rings.

When looking to add a range oven to your kitchen it is always a good idea to consult your head chef as they will have a better understanding of the needs and wants of your kitchen during service periods and may be able to provide insight to help you make the right decision. When looking for manufacturers Lincat, Falcon and Rational are all industry renowned suppliers.

Commercial Microwave

Much like the range ovens, a commercial microwave is an absolute necessity for business kitchens. Almost all commercial kitchens will have access to a microwave on account of their versatility and ability to part prepare ingredients for chefs. Microwaves also boast the capability of evenly cooking items placed inside meaning if you require an item thawing, warming or cooking you can be sure the microwave will perform to the highest standard.

There are many functional and manufacturing benefits from opting for a commercial grade microwave. Two such advantages are they are safer and more durable than residential / non-commercial models. They also possess more power whilst also being much easier for mechanics to service and fix should issues arise.

Additionally, commercial microwaves are designed with programming functionality in mind. The mechanism of having multiple automatic pre-set programs helps chefs quickly and efficiency select a cooking program for a set ingredient or meal and allows them to move onto their next task. There are many options available regarding brands for commercial microwaves, we’d always recommend Sharp, Panasonic and Maestrowave as brilliant professional ranges.


Having access to a commercial fryer is a must for most restaurants and eateries. Whether it is being used for just chips or deep-fried starters or utilised for other purposes fryers are excellent pieces of capital equipment on account of their time-saving credentials. Commercial fryers can quickly and efficiently heat up large amounts of oil to a desired temperature allowing you to start frying sooner and decreasing the amount of time the food needs to be submerged.

One of the main benefits of employing a deep fat fryer in your kitchen is their consistency. Due to the temperatures being fairly standardised you can effectively set a temperature you wish your oil to be heated to and it will do so with brilliant accuracy and consistency. This allows chefs to confidently fry food in an efficient manner as the oil can be optimised precisely for the ingredient / food being fried.

The ability to set oil temperatures also helps to reduce the likelihood of the oil overheating and spitting out of the fryer at chefs. Most commercial fryers also have numerous safety features to help highlight when the fryer is in use to help mitigate the chances of staff getting burned.

Hot Cupboard

Once food has been cooked it may need to wait a few moments whilst an order is being completed before being sent out to a customer, this is where hot cupboards are vital to allow for smooth delivery of table orders. Having the ability to temporarily keep food hot can ensure that a table is served all meals at the same time preventing timing complaints or customers feeling forgotten.

They are also brilliant for keeping ingredients / excess food warm when larger batch food is prepared, this is especially useful for takeaway kitchens which may prepare certain aspects of their menu on mass and then use the hot cupboards to keep them warm throughout their service periods.

Food Blender

There are two kinds of blenders which are predominantly available to chefs and those are food processing blenders and stick blenders. Both are vitally important to a commercial kitchen, although if you have a tight budget, you can get away with only having access to one, but both is preferable.

Having the ability to efficiently and effectively blend foods can save chefs a lot of time when prepping food for meals. It is also a good way of adding ingredients to a dish in a way that doesn’t intrude too much on the overall presentation and constitution of the meal. Stick blenders are particularly effective when making items such as soups and sauces which require a slightly less aggressive but still quality blending.

When looking to purchase a blender Hamilton beach are one of the best in the industry with having over one hundred years of manufacturing behind it as a business. For stick blenders Sirman and Robotcoupe are renowned throughout the industry for their superior finish and quality production.

Food Mixers

Much like the blenders previously mentioned food mixers are essential in food prep for large busy commercial kitchens. For kitchens which make their own doughs and desserts, a mixer is a must to help reduce prep time and also aid in ensuring a consistent finish to mixes.

Complete with a variety of attachments for different tasks, planetary mixers can seem like a large investment for kitchens and if there is not the daily / weekly need for one then we’d always suggest opting for other appliances which can be used in their place but if you do benefit from daily use then they represent a huge cost saving on account of freeing up your staff to perform other prep tasks.

Top industry names where mixer manufacturing is concerned include Metcalfe, Sirman and Vollrath. Due to our experience as wholesalers we have a wide offering from these suppliers along advice on how to best use your mixer and where best to position it in your kitchen.


Moving away from food prep and cooking we move onto a piece of equipment which is an essential for restaurants, especially those with a large service period footfall. Having access to a warewasher can save your kitchen staff an incredible amount of time as crockery can be loaded and unloaded efficiently keeping a constant flow of readily available, clean plates, bowls, cutlery and glassware.

Most warewashers have built-in programs allowing for easy selection of functionality required from a wash. They are also easy to load with detergent, but you should always check the requirements of your specific machine as some may require additional detergents or rinse aids if you are based in a hard water area.

There are a few different options available from smaller undercounter dishwashers to large pass through warewashers. We also offer glasswashers which are a brilliant investment for pubs and bars purely due to the amount of glasses used during opening hours.

For more tips from us at Alliance Online on how to best configure your kitchen, what appliances to use in your kitchen and how we can help you please contact us on 01270 252 333 or hello@allianceonline.co.uk. Equally, if you want to browse our full and encompassing range of capital equipment follow this link to see our full catalogue.

10 Must Have Catering Appliances for Every Commercial Kitchen
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10 Must Have Catering Appliances for Every Commercial Kitchen
Alliance Online have put together a list of ten must have appliances for any commercial kitchen. For any businesses looking to redesign their current kitchen or adding a kitchen to their current venue this article is a must read.
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Alliance Online
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