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Commercial Kitchens –
Cooking Equipment

Operation and Maintenance Tips

Proper maintenance of existing commercial kitchen equipment can help maintain optimal performance and extend product lifetime. In general, it is important to follow regular equipment maintenance schedules and procedures.

Commercial Fryers

  • Limit fryer preheat time to the minimum necessary time, usually no more than 10 or 15 minutes.
  • When using solid shortening, make sure it is solidly packed before turning on the fryer. Use moderate temperature to melt shortening, then increase the temperature for cooking.
  • Avoid frying at temperatures higher than necessary.
  • Fried food pieces should be the same size to prevent overcooking or undercooking of some of the load.
  • Reduce thermostat settings in periods of low usage. The lower temperature will reduce energy usage as well as extend oil life.
  • Covering fryer during slow periods also minimizes heat losses. Covering the fryer when not in use can maximize the lifetime of the oil by slowing down oxidation.
  • Turn off the fryer when not needed. Up to three-quarters of the energy used in a fryer can be standby energy.1
  • Regularly clean oil filters.
  • Regularly check the temperature of the cooking oil with a reliable commercial thermometer to ensure that heating elements or burners and controls are working properly.

Commercial Hot Food Holding Cabinets

  • Turn the hot food holding cabinet off when not in use. Many units are left on overnight.
  • Ensure that door gaskets and automatic door closers are maintained in good operating condition.

Commercial Steam Cookers

  • Minimize amount of preheating in a pressurized boiler before use.
  • Cook food loads in the largest amount possible.
  • Use perforated pans when possible.
  • Thaw products prior to steaming to reduce cooking times.
  • Keep cavity door closed during the entire steam cycle.
  • Turn steam cooker off during slow periods to reduce energy consumption as well as heat loss to the kitchen.
  • Flush boilers at least once a week, following manufacturer's instructions. Use cleaning chemicals if necessary due to hard water.
  • Use a water treatment system if necessary to reduce scaling.
  • Remove all deposits, including rust, scale, and lime from external surfaces.
  • Repair all steam leaks, regardless of amount leaking.

  1. "CCP™ Australia: Managing energy in local government", Australian Greenhouse Office, 1999.