Kitchen Supplies: An Overview
The term "kitchen supplies" covers a wide range of essential items, from food storage containers and food prep tools to cookware and bakeware. With such a large number of smallwares available, it is easy for some to get overlooked. Being caught without what you need at a critical moment can bring your kitchen grinding to a halt, so we've created this guide to help you identify the pieces you need. Keep your restaurant's menu in mind as you read to help narrow down which items will best fit your commercial kitchen's needs.
Baking and Cooking
- Baking supplies include a wide variety of baking pans, such as cookie sheets, pie pans, cake pans, loaf pans, Bundt pans, cupcake or muffin pans, and quiche or tart pans. Items like mixing bowls, rolling pins, mixing spoons and paddles, measuring spoons and cups, whisks, and spatulas allow you to work with doughs, fillings, and icings. When ordering these supplies, consider the sizes of the batches you will be cooking to ensure you won't outgrow your pans.
- Cookware includes frying pans, grill pans, braising pots, and stock pots that are available in aluminum, copper, stainless steel, and cast iron. Items such as omelet pans, paella pans, crepe pans, double boilers, and bamboo steamers are also available for specific foods or cooking methods. If you are using an induction range, be sure to stock up on induction-ready cookware.
- Many Kitchen utensils are available in several materials, including plastic or stainless steel, to meet the needs of your kitchen. Serving spoons may be solid or slotted, and are open or with high sides for portion control. Offset spatulas, fish spatulas, turners, and tongs can all be helpful when cooking on a griddle or grill or when using a pan on a range. Specialty utensils such as can openers, peelers, shears, strainers, and potato mashers can help streamline food prep in a busy kitchen.
- Food storage containers come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Most are made of plastic, which may be clear or opaque, and many have measurement markings to allow the user to monitor ingredient levels. For storing large amounts of dry ingredients, ingredient bins can come on casters or be stored on shelves, and usually come with scoops to make distributing ingredients simple.
- Can and bottle openers are essential in almost every kitchen. Can openers will accommodate different can sizes and make quick work of accessing necessary ingredients. These can be manual or electric, and replacement parts are also available. Bottle openers can be pocket-sized or wall-mounted.
- Kitchen knives are available individually or in sets, along with knife blocks, rolls, bags, and magnetic holders for storage. These knives are available in a variety of shapes and sizes to meet different slicing and dicing needs.
- Cutting boards come in wood, plastic, rubber, and composite materials. They are available in several sizes and colors, which can help prevent cross-contamination when organized properly.
- Kitchen tools exist to make food preparation easier. The category includes items such as hamburger presses, meat tenderizers, colanders, and cheese graters, as well as spice racks to keep your herbs and spices organized.
- Gloves, aprons, and towels are textile supplies that every kitchen needs. Aprons and smocks can help protect employees and keep their clothes clean, and cut-resistant gloves can prevent injuries during food prep. Disposable food prep gloves can help prevent cross-contamination and kitchen towels allow you to keep the kitchen and dining room clean. Oven mitts and pot holders are also available in this category to make handling hot cookware safe and easy.
- Kitchen timers and thermometers are necessary to maintain food safety and to keep HACCP records. Thermometers help you ensure that food is being stored at or cooked to the appropriate temperature, while timers help track cook times to ensure safe and consistent results.
- Food safety products include color-coded items such as cutting boards and knives to help prevent cross-contamination, as well as a whole line of purple items to prevent dangerous mistakes when dealing with food allergies. Food storage labels are also available to help ensure that food is used while it is still fresh.
- Kitchen brushes have many uses, from scrubbing equipment to reaching deep into glasses to ensure they are clean. Basting or pastry brushes can help spread butter or keep meat moist while it cooks.
- Chef hats and uniforms are available in multiple colors and patterns, in a wide range of sizes. These uniform essentials include chef coats and pants, as well as kitchen shoes that keep your chefs comfortable and ensure safety with slip-resistant bottoms. Chef hats or toques, which are required by health codes in some areas, may be cloth or disposable paper and are usually the most recognizable part of the traditional kitchen uniform.
- Signage can help you advertise specials and menus or ensure customers and employees stay safe. Wall signs include ones that direct the way to emergency exits, fire extinguishers, restrooms, or stairs, or denote areas that are employee-only. Smoking-area and no-smoking signs are also available to ensure customer comfort and help you comply with any local laws that may dictate where tobacco use is allowed.
- Food chillers help you meet food safety standards by bringing food down to safe temperatures quickly. These chiller wands are made to be filled with water and frozen, then stirred through liquid foods like soups or sauces to cool them off quickly.
- Food pans, including polycarbonate pans and metal hotel pans, can be used for both storing and serving food. Chilled food pans are also available for keeping food cold on a buffet or salad bar, and perforated pans can be set inside a hotel pan for steaming large batches of food or draining water.
- Trays and tray stands make displaying and transporting food simple, with server trays, display trays, and compartment trays. Tray stands make serving from these trays easier, and tray stand covers are also available to help the stands blend into your restaurant's décor.
- Chafers and chafing dishes are essential for any catering operation, and can also be used in restaurant buffets. KaTom offers chafing dishes, stands, fuel, and accessories like covers and transport boxes.
- Check minders help ensure your service runs smoothly by facilitating communication between servers and kitchen staff. These are available in wall- or shelf-mounted strips or on wheels with pedestal or wall-mounting kits.
- Business supplies include items like office organization products and time clocks that help keep your restaurant running smoothly. Whiteboards can enable communication between shifts or during meetings. Call bells are also available, which can help customers get an employee's attention or enable kitchen staff to let servers know that an order is ready.
- Ice sculpture molds can add a touch of elegance to special events. KaTom offers baskets and display shapes, as well as light boxes to illuminate the sculptures and display trays to help drain away the water as the ice melts.