As far as practical use goes, the best way to think about a worktop refrigerator is in terms of shelving capacity. Each section includes two shelves, so if you know what you'll be storing and how much, you should be able to get a good estimate of how many shelves you'll need. If it's drawers you're going for, keep in mind that each drawer will hold a full size full pan or a combination of smaller pans. Larger ones will hold two full-size pans per drawer.
As always, be sure to know how much space you have available before purchasing a refrigerated work table. Length measures the top work surface of the unit. Be aware that some models have a work station longer than the refrigerated unit beneath it. On a 108-inch-long model, the refrigerator may only be 84 inches long. For detailed dimensions, be sure to check the spec sheet for the worktop refrigerator you plan to purchase. Spec sheets are available on the individual product pages of our site.
Door or Drawers
You can buy a model equipped with doors, drawers, or some combination of the two. The number of either depends on the unit's size. Doors are best for holding bulky items in containers like jars and boxes. Drawers are designed to hold food pans full of fresh food and ingredients.
The refrigeration system in a worktop refrigerator needs room for air to circulate as it exhausts warm air and intakes cool air, so it's crucial to plan the installation around this. Do not place your model in a location where these vents will be blocked. The two locations for these vents are either on the front or on the side.
- Front-Breathing: On these models, the intake and exhaust are both at the front. This is the best location if you plan to place your model next to a counter, wall, or other equipment. Since you need to keep the front free of obstructions anyway to open and close the door, this is often the most convenient location.
- Side-Breathing: These units have the air intake and exhaust vents on the side. If you decide to go with one of these, make sure it can be installed with plenty of room on the side where the vents are located.
Some models are available with one or more specialty options. HACCP record keeping can monitor the temperature of the unit over time, which can help prevent the development of foodborne illness and keep your establishment compliant with government health regulations. ADA compliant models have shorter legs than regular models, which means they can be used by an individual in a wheelchair. Some worktop refrigerators have backsplashes that keep things from falling behind the unit, and prevent splashes and spills from marring adjoining surfaces. Similarly, a marine edges can contain spills, keeping liquids off the floor.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Your refrigerated work table will need to be cleaned regularly. If it's operating in a greasy environment, such as in the cook line, the exterior should be wiped down with a wet towel every night. Pay close attention to the air intake and exhaust vents, making sure that dust does not accumulate in front of them. It is recommended you clean the door gasket on your models at least once a month. Lemon juice can serve as a cleaner and a lubricant, killing bacteria and preventing the gasket from drying and cracking. Every so often, clean the filters, coils, and fins. Debris can accumulate on them, causing the refrigeration system to work harder, which can increase your energy bill and eventually cause a breakdown.