Send to friend Last | Next

Cooking Tools and Equipment

Thorough knowledge of equipment is essential for success in the kitchen. Few food service operations depend on nothing more than a range and an oven, an assortment of pots and pans, and knives and other hand tools. Modern technology continues to develop more and more specialized and technically advanced tools to reduce kitchen labor. Much of this equipment is so complex or so sophisticated that only firsthand instruction and practice will teach you how to operate it effectively and safely. Other items, especially hand tools, are simple and need no explanation but require much practice to develop good manual skills.                                     

A vast array of specialized equipment is available for today’s kitchens. It would take a large book, not just a short article, to describe all of the many items you will come in contact with in your career—items such as pasta machines, crêpe machines, burger formers, breading machines, cookie droppers, beverage machines, Greek gyro broilers, doughnut glazers, conveyor fryers, and so on. In this technological age, nearly every year brings new tools to simplify various tasks. This article introduces you to the most commonly used equipment in food service kitchens. It cannot, in this short space, serve as an operating manual for every model of every machine you will use. It cannot take the place of demonstration by your instructor and of actual experience.                                                                         

After reading this article, you should be able to identify the do’s and don’ts associated with the safe and efficient use of standard kitchen equipment; processing equipment; holding and storage equipment; measuring devices; and knives, hand tools, and small equipment.      

INTRODUCTION TO QUANTITY FOOD EQUIPMENT                                  

Before we look at specific items, we must first consider points relating to the use of equipment in general.                                 

FOOD EQUIPMENT CAN BE DANGEROUS                                 

Modern cooking and food processing equipment has an extraordinary capacity to burn, cut, smash, mangle, and amputate parts of the tender human body. This may sound like a harsh way to begin an article, but the intent is not to intimidate you or scare you but to inspire a healthy respect for the importance of proper safety and operating procedures. Never use a piece of equipment until you are thoroughly familiar with its operation and all its features. You must also learn how to know when a machine is not operating correctly. When this happens, shut it down immediately and report the malfunction to a supervisor.                                                                     
NOT ALL MODELS ARE ALIKE                                                         

Each manufacturer introduces slight variations on the basic equipment. While all convection ovens operate on the same basic principle, each model is slightly different, if only in the location of the switches. It is important to study the operating manual supplied with each item or to be taught by someone who already knows that item well and has operated it.                                                                                   

CLEANING IS PART OF THE OPERATING PROCEDURE                                                                          

Thorough, regular cleaning of all equipment is essential. Most large equipment can be partially disassembled for cleaning. Again, every model is slightly different. Operating manuals should describe these procedures in detail. If a manual is not available, you must get the information from someone who knows the equipment. When purchasing equipment, look for models that have been tested and certified by recognized agencies that certify products and write standards for food, water, air, and consumer goods. Three prominent agencies are NSF International (; formerly the National Sanitation Foundation) and CSA International (; formerly Canadian Standards Association), and Underwriter Laboratory ( three agencies are recognized internationally. Products meeting their testing requirements are labeled or marked accordingly.(Figure 3.1).Criteria govern such factors as design and construction (for example, sealed joints and seams),materials used (for example, nontoxic materials, smooth and easily cleanable surfaces),and performance testing.

View all 8 comments

New comments

  • Delete Guest (Sep 3 2012 04:16:56, Rate: -3 )

    Rate -3 Points
  • Delete Guest (Jun 24 2012 04:39:49, Rate: -5 )

    Rate -5 Points
  • Delete Quote Guest (Feb 11 2012 10:27:04, Rate: 0 )

    Why would anyone Poach IN an oven?  Unless u mean confit, but then why not call it that?
  • Delete Guest (Sep 21 2011 23:35:07, Rate: 5 )

    Rate 5 Points
  • Delete Quote Guest (Jun 21 2011 08:03:27, Rate: 0 )

    alOha this is nIce :)
  • Delete Guest (Mar 20 2011 13:12:25, Rate: 3 )

    Rate 3 Points
  • Delete Guest (Jul 23 2010 15:04:20, Rate: -5 )

    Rate -5 Points
  • Delete Quote Guest (Jul 14 2010 04:13:12, Rate: 0 )

    gago mo


Registration and Comments Closed

The registration for is closed forever.
We strongly recommend e travel week
to be used as a platform to communicate
with hospitality and tourism industry professionals.

Thank you for your support!