Preparation Equipment

Slicer A slicer has a 10-inch or 12-inch circular blade that rotates at high speed. It can be either automatic or manual. Slicers are used to slice foods into uniform sizes.

Bench Mixer A bench mixer has a removable stainless steel bowl and dough hook, paddle, and whip attachments. Counter models are available in 5-, 12-, and 20-quart sizes. Floor models come in 30-, 40-, 60-, 80-, and 140-quart sizes. The bench mixer is used to mix or whip doughs and batters. It can be used to slice, chop, shred, or grate foods by using different attachments.

Food Processor A food processor has a removable bowl and an S-shaped blade. Food processors are used to grind, purée, emulsify, crush, and knead foods. Special disks can be added to slice, julienne, and shred foods.

Table-Mounted Can Opener Professional kitchens use heavy-duty can openers that are mounted on the edge of a table. Clean and sanitize can openers daily to prevent contamination. Replace worn blades immediately, as they can shed metal shavings into food.

Blender Blenders have stainless steel blades that can be used to blend and mix a variety of ingredients. They can also crush ice. Commercial blenders have removable thermoplastic or stainless steel containers.

Commercial Juicer Commercial juicers separate the pulp from the juice automatically. They have stainless steel blades and removable bowls.

Work Tables Stainless steel and butcher block work tables are used in food production areas. Stainless steel tables are commonly used for food preparation. Butcher block tables are used more often at the bake station.

Gas is a natural heat source that produces intense heat with a flame. It cooks food evenly. Ranges, ovens, and broilers can be gas operated. Gas can cook through conduction or convection. Conduction heats food by direct contact between a hot surface and the food, such as cooking in a pan. Convection heats food by the circulation of heated molecules of hot liquid or air.


Like gas, electricity cooks food with intense heat, but depending on the type of metal the pot is made from, food may not cook evenly. Electricity can also cook through conduction or convection.


Induction uses electricity to heat cookware by magnetic energy generated by coils under the stovetop. Pots and pans must be magnetic for induction cooking to take place. Stainless steel and cast iron pots and pans work best.




Crème brûlée first appears in a French cookbook

Salem witch trials begin

Heating Things Up

A salamander is a lizard-like amphibian with smooth skin. Legends have claimed that this small creature was able to endure great heat and could even live in fire. Keeping this in mind, it is clear why a small overhead broiler used in commercial kitchens is also called a salamander. A salamander gives off high heat, and is used to quick-brown foods, melt cheese, and caramelize sugar for crème brûlée.

History Application

Think of a kitchen tool or appliance that, because of its use or characteristics, like the salamander, can be compared to an animal. Make up a name for the particular tool and write a paragraph detailing its use and the connection it has to that animal. Also, include a drawing of the tool.

NCSS VIII A Science, Technology, and Society Identify and describe both current and historical examples of the interaction of technology and society in a variety of cultural settings.


Radiation cooks food by transferring energy from the cooking equipment to the food. The energy waves do not contain heat. Instead, these waves change to heat when they make contact with the food.


Another heat source used is a type of radiation called microwaves. A microwave is an invisible wave of energy that causes water molecules to rub against each other and produce the heat that cooks food. Microwave ovens are an example of equipment that uses this heat source.


Infrared lamps and FlashBake ovens use light waves as a heat source. The light waves do not contain heat, but heat is generated when the energy contacts the food. Infrared lamps are used to keep food hot until it is ordered by customers. FlashBake ovens are used to prepare small or individual servings quickly.

Cooking Equipment Sanitation

When you clean cooking equipment, always follow the instruction manual for disassembling and reassembling equipment safely. The equipment manufacturer can do general maintenance and repairs on this equipment. These are some general guidelines for cleaning certain types of equipment.

Flat-Top Range

To clean a flat-top range, loosen any burned food with a scraper. Then, clean the rangetop with a damp, soapy cloth. Rinse it and wipe it dry.

Deep-Fat Fryer A deep-fat fryer cooks food at a constant temperature, which is controlled by a thermostat. Automatic or computerized fryers lower and raise food baskets in and out of hot fat at a preset time. Filtering allows the oil to be reused. Fryers are vital pieces of equipment in quickservice operations.

Open-Burner Range An open-burner range has four to six burner units, each with individual controls. Each burner has its own heat source. This allows for more efficient use of heat than with a flat-top range.

Griddle Griddles can be flat or ridged. They can be a part of the range top, or a separate unit. Food is cooked directly on the surface of the griddle.

Flat-Top Range Also known as a French-top range, the burners of a flat-top range are arranged under a solid top that produces even heat over a large surface area. Flat-top ranges cannot be used as a griddle.

Continue reading here: Cooking Equipment

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