Commercial Kitchen Tools

Commercial Kitchen Tools and Equipment and Their Uses

In a bustling commercial kitchen, precision, efficiency, and the ability to produce high-quality dishes in volume are paramount. Achieving this trifecta isn’t solely reliant on the skill of your chefs and the quality of your ingredients but also on the tools and equipment at your disposal. To wield the culinary craft with prowess, you must be intimately acquainted with the tools of your trade — from the venerable knife to the modern culinary marvels that mechanise and streamline processes.

This exhaustive guide explores seven indispensable pieces of commercial kitchen equipment, revealing their specific applications and why no kitchen can afford to be without them.

1. Knives: The Backbone of the Kitchen

A chef’s knife is to a cook what a paintbrush is to an artist — essential. Its versatility is unrivalled, capable of mincing, slicing, and dicing with ease. A sharp paring knife is indispensable for intricate work, such as peeling and coring fruit, and fine chopping of herbs. Serrated knives come into their own with crusty bread and soft fruits, yielding clean, precise cuts. The rhythmic dance of a skilled hand with a blade is poetry in motion, and in a commercial kitchen, the right knife in the right hand can be the difference between success and failure.

2. Cooking Pans: The Protectors of Flavour

The pan is the canvas where heat and ingredients converge to create wondrous dishes. A sauté pan with its broad base and high sides is excellent for searing, sautéing, and frying. The saucepan is more restrained and adept at simmering and reducing liquids. Then there’s the mighty stockpot, a behemoth built for the long, slow cooking of stocks and soups that form the heart of many a dish.

Each pan has its domain and its heat zone. Understanding these zones and how to move around them is a skill every chef must master. These tools are not just vessels for heat; they are architects of taste.

3. Food Processor: The Workhorse With a Whirl

The food processor is the ultimate multitasker in a bustling kitchen. With the ability to chop, slice, grind, and purée food with mechanised precision, it can perform tasks from creating silky-smooth hummus to perfectly emulsifying vinaigrettes. Its power lies not in the complexity of the task, but in its consistent execution, which is invaluable in a commercial setting where quantity and quality must marry seamlessly.

4. Commercial Mixer: The Silent Labourer

From the lowly dough mixer that kneads flour into the supple elasticity of bread dough to the versatile stand mixer that whips cream and meringues with ease, the commercial mixer is the silent partner in many a kitchen’s success. This piece of equipment is not just about relieving the physical strain on chefs; it’s about providing the exact conditions needed to produce confections that are not just delicious but also visually delightful.

5. Refrigeration Units: The Preservers of Quality

In a commercial kitchen, the importance of refrigeration cannot be overstated. It’s the realm where time and temperature conspire to preserve the freshness and quality of ingredients. From the walk-in refrigerator that stores perishables in bulk to the under-counter units that keep essentials close at hand, a well-ordered and well-maintained refrigeration system is critical for food safety, operational efficiency, and ultimately, customer satisfaction.

6. Slicers and Dicers: The Artisans of Consistency

Uniformity isn’t just an aesthetic in the kitchen; it’s a mark of professionalism. Slicers, dicers, and cutters mechanise the slicing and dicing processes, ensuring that every piece of vegetable or meat that passes through them is of the same size and shape. This consistency not only enhances the presentation of the final dish but also ensures that each component cooks at the same rate and delivers an optimal balance of textures and flavours.

7. Thermometers: The Guardians of Temperature

Temperature accuracy is crucial for both cooking and storage. Probe thermometers help ensure that meats and other sensitive items are cooked to the perfect temperature, preventing both undercooking and overcooking. Infrared thermometers are the final word on surface temperatures, confirming that the griddle is hot enough for the perfect sear or that the soup is cool enough for safe storage.


The tools and equipment detailed here aren’t just a convenience or an upgrade; they’re the backbone of a successful commercial kitchen. They embody the spirit of the craft — of doing the hard work well, efficiently, and with care. With the right tools by your side, you can turn out the kinds of dishes that keep your customers coming back for more.

From the knife that embodies the chef’s hand to the mixer that takes on the muscular work, to the thermometer that confirms the final finish, each piece of equipment plays a vital role in the culinary symphony. Consciously investing in these tools and the training to use them is a commitment to culinary excellence.

In the world of restaurants, the competition is fierce, and the margins are narrow. But armed with the right kitchen equipment and the knowledge of how to use them, you can stake your claim as a culinary force to be reckoned with.


What are the main types of commercial kitchen equipment?

Some of the main types of commercial kitchen equipment include cooking ranges, ovens, grills, fryers, steamers, refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, and small wares like pots, pans, and utensils.

What is the most essential commercial kitchen equipment?

The most essential commercial kitchen equipment varies depending on the type of cuisine and volume of food production. However, some universally critical pieces include refrigeration units, commercial ranges, and knives.

What is the most used commercial kitchen item?

Statistically, the most used commercial kitchen item is likely the chef’s knife, given its versatility and need for use in nearly every type of cuisine. However, specific kitchen operations may elevate the use of other equipment, such as the range in a high-output kitchen.