Common Questions About Frost Tops
What is a cold shelf?
These devices consist of a compressor and an attached cold slab, or shelf, that provides a chilled place to serve or prepare food that must be kept cold. The compressor can either sit directly beneath the slab, known as a built-in compressor, or located elsewhere and attached to the slab, which is a remote compressor. The slab itself can either be elevated and placed on a countertop or in a conspicuous place for merchandising. To provide a sleek, continuous feel, it can also be recessed, which means it is sunk into the counter. All versions provide a flat surface on which food can be displayed or prepared without getting too hot.
What establishments need a frost top?
The two main uses of a refrigerated shelf are preparation, such as crafting delicate frozen desserts, and merchandising. Any establishment that needs a way to display refrigerated goods, such as prepackaged ice creams, can make use of a refrigerated shelf to ensure those goods are kept cold while customers browse. Establishments that specialize in frozen desserts might need a refrigerated shelf to prepare their eye-catching products, as working with ice cream is problematic when it begins to melt. Consider any difficulties you have in keeping products safely refrigerated while displaying or preparing them and choose a refrigerated top that will fix those problems.
Do I need a remote or built-in compressor?
In order to provide a refrigerated surface, these machines require a compressor, which can be located either right beneath the machine or some distance away, as specified in the product pages. Built-in compressors require that more space be made to implement the new machine, while remote compressors require lines to be run between the compressor and the frost shelf. Either compressor type will need to be able to vent heated air, so consider where excess heat would be least troublesome and purchase a unit that will fit.
Should I get a recessed or elevated frost top?
Drop-in frost tops are generally preferred if food will be placed on the surface of pans or other flat-bottomed serving containers. The lip around the edge of these frost tops keep the products contained so that they do not slide off and provides a trough that directs melting condensation away from the food.
Elevated options are often used so that operators can mix products such as ice cream or frozen yogurt without them melting. The flat, elevated surface is easier to work on than a recessed option and is available in visually appealing designs if your customers will be watching the preparation.
What other features should I consider?
- Drains: Refrigerated surfaces are going to attract condensation, and a drain helps when cleaning up.
- Remote controls: If the intended compressor location is hard to reach, consider a model with remote controls to ease operation.
- Matching: If you plan on using these units alongside heated wells, check to see if you can find a unit from the same manufacturer to create a matching, streamlined appearance.