The Use of Commercial Kitchen Equipment in Singapore

Part 1: The Secret To A Successful Meal

Behind every successful meal is a well-equipped kitchen. It ranges from small home kitchens where families painstakingly prepare home cooked meals, mid-sized bakeries that prepare tasty pastries and freshly baked bread, to large-scale commercial kitchens that produce enough to feed thousands every day. But while consumers often focus their attention on the food’s quality and chefs’ culinary skills, few consider the role that a fully-equipped kitchen plays in this.

The secret to an excellent meal is much more than just buying quality ingredients and hiring skilled chefs. It includes the procurement of quality commercial kitchen equipment in Singapore, as well as regular servicing and maintenance of equipment to prevent breakdown and keep your kitchen operating in tip-top condition. 

In addition, kitchens large and small also benefit not just from quality and diverse equipment, but also from proper layout and design as well. Many of us know the difficulty of washing up after meals, due to the lack of space to soap and wash the dishes at the same time. Similarly, appliances that work in tandem and are placed together can facilitate the flow and production of food, reducing the need to expend time and energy to move ingredients and dishes around the kitchen.

Both purchasing the proper equipment for your needs, such as commercial ovens and fridges, as well as maintaining them to impeccable standards, is key to ensuring the consistency of dishes, and in turn getting and retaining loyal customers. Read on to learn more about the various essential pieces of kitchen equipment to ensure a productive and effective flow, as well as how to optimise a variety of F&B setups, ranging from commercial kitchens to bakeries and ice-cream parlours.

Part 2: Key Kitchen Appliances

A commercial kitchen is nothing without a full suite of appliances to prepare a variety of dishes and meals. Here are some essential pieces of equipment that every Singapore kitchen should have.

2.1 Ovens

When most people think of ovens, they imagine either the smaller-sized oven toasters present in most homes, or the larger ones used for baking bread or roasting poultry. In reality, ovens come in a wide variety of sizes and specifications, including commercial ovens. We focus on the three most common types of commercial ovens – standard, convection, and combination ovens.

Standard commercial ovens are the most basic and affordable option.  They use either electric elements or gas burners to heat up the inside of the oven, cooking your food over time. They are ideal for businesses on a smaller budget, although the trade-off is a longer time required to cook food, as well as a degree of uneven heat distribution.

Convection ovens are similar to conventional ovens, but come with the major advantage of air circulation. They contain blowers or fans which circulate the heated air around the inside of the oven, ensuring a more even distribution of heat and cooking of food. Many modern convection ovens are energy-efficient, requiring less time to cook food and consequently saving on electricity bills, making them a classic choice when buying an oven in Singapore.

Combination ovens, also known as combi ovens, utilise the same technology as both conventional and convection ovens, but with the addition of utilising steam in cooking. Steam is perfect for preparing dishes that need to retain their moisture and juiciness. The combination mode combines both steam and hot air for dishes such as stews and braised meat, bringing the best of both worlds with tenderness and browning.

They are effective at taking on the role of multiple pieces of equipment, offering fine control over both temperature and moisture, as well as allow for a greater range of cooking styles, such as sous vide. While they come with a higher price tag than other ovens, combination ovens are a solid investment over time when buying commercial ovens in Singapore.

Comparison of Convection Oven and Combination Oven

In Singapore, there are other specialised commercial ovens as well. For example, a rotisserie oven is a specialised one for cooking and roasting meat. They are often seen at kitchens and restaurants that specialise in meat dishes, with slabs of meat being roasted over a rotating spit to allow an even cooking while retaining the juicy goodness within. Other types of ovens include deck ovens, conveyor ovens, and cook & hold ovens.

In addition to the various types of ovens, there are also other criteria to consider. A common choice is between electric or gas ovens, each offering their own benefits. Gas ovens offer faster cooking times and higher maximum temperatures due to the intensity of the gas flame, while electric ovens offer greater safety and stability of cooking over longer durations. Another consideration is the versatility of an oven; with modern options allowing for pre-set arrangements that can easily prepare a certain dish. This is great for saving on manpower effort and time, but comes at the cost of a higher price tag.

Visit our website for the full selection of our commercial ovens.

2.2 Refrigerators

Commercial fridges in Singapore are a workhorse of practically every eating establishment, preserving a wide range of items from slabs of meat to fresh fruits flown in from abroad. Thus, picking the right one for your kitchen needs is absolutely essential for a successful business, as well as faithfully serving you for years to come.

Commercial Fridges Types

Reach-in refrigerators are the most popular and general-purpose choice for commercial fridges. They offer multiple reach-in sections to separate different types of perishables, ranging from dairy to fish and raw meat; with larger fridges offering more space for storage. Many reach-in fridges also come with the option for an integrated freezer section to store produce at lower temperatures, helping to save space and cost from getting a dedicated freezer unit.

Another choice for commercial kitchens is the walk-in cooler; which are room-sized fridges or freezers to facilitate bulk storage of perishable products such as meat and seafood. They are a great option for kitchens with additional space, featuring full insulation in both walls and doors to maintain cold temperatures, as well as a thermostat that maintains your desired temperature throughout the space.

For smaller establishments in Singapore such as cafes and smaller parlours serving frozen delights, both under-counter and work-top refrigerators are excellent choices for commercial fridges. Under-counter fridges are great for establishments that require front-of-house storing of items, such as storing chilled beer in bars and pubs or canned drinks at cafes. They allow for the mounting of taps or dispensers above the fridge, allowing it to have a multi-purpose role. Work-top fridges offer a work space above the fridge for chefs to prepare fresh ingredients and dishes, helping save both time and kitchen space. 

In addition to the factors of size, insulation, temperature control and ease of cleaning, another important issue is where the condenser is mounted. Commercial fridges come in both top and bottom-mounted condenser systems. Top-mounted ones trap less dust and debris, while bottom-mounted ones offer easier cleaning as well as added room to store items on top of the fridge.

Simplex’s Pinnacle range of fridges takes your kitchen to new heights, combining both technology and Internet of Things (IoT) to help businesses plan, automate, and streamline their processes. Utilising the established Ecosys software system, it offers businesses greater customizability, integration across various devices, as well as providing real time data such as energy usage and temperature control. In turn, this helps you make better business decisions and improve productivity.

Visit our website to see our full range of commercial fridges in Singapore.

2.3 Hot Equipment

Customers relish the delight of digging into a hot and freshly prepared meal. Besides commercial ovens, there are numerous other pieces of equipment used in the preparation of hot foods and beverages. Some of these appliances include food warmers to dishwashers, and coffee machines in Singapore.

Commercial Kitchen Equipments

Food warmers come in various forms, ranging from portable countertop variants used to display fresh bakes and pastries, to heavy-duty types in commercial kitchens that warm large quantities of food. Modern food warmers are energy-saving as well, with lower electrical requirements to maintain food at a sufficiently warm temperature, allowing chefs to prepare meals in advance and save time. They are a particularly essential piece of bakery equipment in Singapore, since bread takes time to prepare, and needs to remain fluffy and crispy for customers. 

When deciding on a suitable food warmer for your Singapore kitchen, do consider how much food you plan to store, as compared to how much food will be prepared on-demand and served immediately to customers. In addition, you should consider your menu – serving soups and dishes with freshly made sauces will require food warmers with more precise temperature control, while fast-food cuisine also benefits from early preparation and keeps warm for swiffer serving of customers.

For food establishments in Singapore with a constant flow of customers, dishwashers are an essential piece of kitchen equipment. They thoroughly clean and sanitise large volumes of plates and cutlery, helping to reduce the workload of staff and your required inventory of cutlery through a quicker turnaround time. There are various options available, ranging from conveyor designs to rack and under counter designs. 

Conveyor dishwashers in Singapore are a useful piece of commercial kitchen equipment, offering the highest volume of dishes cleaned, making them ideal for cafeterias and central canteens. Rack dishwashers are a general-purpose and more compact version of conveyor dishwashers, allowing for quick cleaning cycles in restaurant kitchens and taking up minimal space. Lastly, undercounter dishwashers are compact and ideal for F&B places that see reduced usage of dishes, such as bars.

It is important to choose between high and low temperature dishwashers as well. High temperature dishwashers offer more thorough sanitising through heat, but utilise more electricity to do so. Low temperature washers utilise chemicals to sanitise dishes instead of heat, but will require topping up these chemicals every so often to ensure their continued optimal use.

Lastly, coffee machines are becoming a mainstay of boutique cafes and restaurants in Singapore. With Singaporeans’ constant passion for hand-crafted coffee brews, coffee machines perform multiple roles; from grinding fresh beans to frothing milk and dispensing various blends of coffee. There are two key types of models to consider: semi-automatic and super-automatic.

Semi-automatic coffee machines are ideal for cafes that serve artisanal coffee, with a degree of skill required from your baristas, such as manually frothing the milk as well as pulling espresso shots. Super-automatic machines give greater consistency and ease of use for inexperienced staff, making them a better choice if coffee is not your establishment’s main feature. Ultimately, pick the choice of coffee machine that best suits your Singapore kitchen equipment requirements.

Freshly brewed coffee from Coffee Machine

Click to see our full range of hot kitchen supplies in Singapore.

2.4 Cold Equipment

Singaporeans love nothing better than a sweet treat to beat the heat. Beyond commercial fridges, various pieces of kitchen equipment in Singapore have contributed to the roaring success of drink stalls and dessert parlours. These include ice makers and soft serve machines, allowing the creation of a diverse range of delights, ranging from soft serve ice cream and yoghurt to shaved ice desserts and ice blended drinks.

Soft Serve Ice Cream in Singapore

Commercial ice makers in Singapore are a mainstay of every kitchen, and there are four basic types: modular, undercounter, countertop, and combination ice makers. Modular ice makers produce the largest volume of ice, requiring a separate dedicated bin to house the ice they produce, making them suitable for large commercial kitchens. In contrast, undercounter ice makers come with their own integrated storage bin, and are compact enough to fit small bars, cafes, and restaurants.

Singapore Countertop ice makers are best for producing nugget-style ice; which comes in compact forms ready to be used in chilled drinks, instead of large slabs that must be chipped into smaller sizes before use. Lastly, combination machines are able to dispense both ice and water, making them great for refreshing both staff and customers while taking up little space.

Ice makers in Singapore also produce a variety of ice types too. They range from the general-purpose cube ice to rounded nugget ice, as well as flake ice, which is a popular choice for desserts and ice blended drinks. When choosing an ice maker for your commercial kitchen, do consider the volume and shape of ice you will need – dedicated drinks stalls may require a more powerful ice maker for their needs as compared to a regular restaurant.

Soft Serve Machine in Singapore

Soft serve machines in Singapore have also seen a rise in popularity, no small part thanks to the yoghurt craze and exotic combinations of soft serve ice cream. Choosing the right machine for your kitchen is dependent on three major criteria: size, number of flavours, as well as air or water cooling.

Soft serve machines chiefly come in two types: compact countertop designs and larger floor-standing designs. Countertop machines offer more economical use of space but produce much lower volume of soft serve compared to floor-standing ones. In addition, having additional flavours of soft serve will also increase the cost of the soft serve machine, such as the twist serving option that combines two separate flavours into one. 

Lastly, the type of cooling used is important as well. Air-cooled machines are more versatile and can be placed anywhere in your kitchen, while water-cooled machines require water to function but have the additional benefit of faster cooling and more efficient function. Do consider your kitchen layout and needs before committing to your desired soft serve machine.

Drop by our website to see our range of ice makers and soft serve machines in Singapore.

Part 3: Setting Up A Thriving Kitchen

Now that you know more about the various important kitchen supplies in Singapore, it’s time to see how they can mesh together in a variety of kitchen types. From commercial kitchens to boutique cafes and parlours, learn how to make your kitchen a thriving success.

3.1 Restaurants

Large commercial kitchens in Singapore bear the heavy lifting of food preparation, and so it is essential to outfit them with equipment that can handle high volumes and remains consistently reliable. You’ll likely to consider either a convection or combination oven, a reach-in commercial fridge, a rack dishwasher, as well as an ice maker that’s best suited to your personal needs. 

Well Equipped Commercial Kitchen

In addition to proper commercial kitchen equipment in Singapore, a proper and smooth layout is equally important for a successful flow of both quality and quantity of food prepared, and that comes with attention to commercial kitchen design.  Just like buying a reliable commercial oven in Singapore, taking the time to plan out your design will greatly benefit you in the long run.

First and foremost, your menu will determine which kitchen supplies in Singapore you require, such as specific types of ovens, the size and inner layout of fridges, as well as other related appliances. This will then go on to inform the layout of your kitchen, in tandem with the existing layout of the kitchen space. Secondly, there is the flow of movement within the kitchen. To save time and effort, chefs normally specialise in one role, be it cooking the dishes or preparing the raw ingredients. A well-designed flow greatly helps in reducing miscommunication and inefficiency, helping to ensure your kitchen staff work better together.

There are some kitchen configurations to help you design your commercial kitchen layout. One example is the island configuration, featuring a centre ‘island’ of cooking in the middle, while the outer rim is food work tables to facilitate food preparation, allowing for greater separation of tasks and movement. Another layout is the assembly line configuration, where all cooking activities are on a fixed and straight route towards a single direction, making it ideal for serving larger groups of customers swiftly.

Various Kitchen Using Commercial Kitchen Equipment

Do consider your budget when planning and purchasing commercial kitchen equipment in Singapore. Costs can range from $100,000 to $250,000, depending on your equipment choices as well as renovation and design planning fees. Looking for professional advice and help for designing your commercial kitchen? Contact Simplex today to find out more.

3.2 Restaurants & Bakeries

Both restaurants and bakeries in Singapore tend to require more specialised equipment compared to commercial kitchens, such as rotisserie ovens and food warmers to prepare a variety of products, from meats to bread and sauces. In addition, they often have less space to work around with, making it essential to pick the most essential appliances they need for their food preparation, such as combination ovens, reach-in fridges, as well as rack dishwashers. 

As with commercial kitchens, proper kitchen layout is important as well. A popular style is the open configuration, where your entire kitchen is exposed to guests, allowing for creative designs where customers can be entertained by your chef’s culinary skills, or to increase transparency on how your food is prepared.

Open Configuration Kitchen

It is also important to ensure that your kitchen equipment in Singapore remains in tip top condition. Some basic tips to help include regularly maintaining and servicing your kitchen equipment, calibrating your equipment to ensure consistency of food preparation and cooking, as well as training your staff with additional hands-on experience to confidently handle complex equipment and improve kitchen efficiency.

Contact Simplex today to find out more on how we can help to service, calibrate, and maintain your restaurant or bakery equipment in Singapore.

3.3 Cafes & Parlours

Being smaller in both kitchen space and staff size, cafes and parlours can do away with heavy-duty appliances, instead focusing on soft serve machines and ice makers in Singapore, as well as other items like coffee machines. 

For cafes that serve a decent range of food alongside drinks, it is essential to purchase appliances that serve multiple roles, such as work-top fridges as well as countertop ice makers that come with their own ice bins. Dessert parlours can afford to be streamlined due to their smaller menu, but should still optimise their appliances to fit their small kitchen space, while still allowing staff to work efficiently.

Kitchen Cafe Singapore

In addition, both food establishments tend to go for a more vibrant and engaging atmosphere, as compared to commercial kitchens and traditional restaurants. The open configuration kitchen concept is also popular for cafes, allowing customers to engage and interact with baristas as they prepare their drinks, or placing combination ice maker machines to allow customers to dispense their own ice water to accompany their meals.

Part 4: Conclusion

It takes significant effort to make a kitchen work, but the payoff is great – popularity with customers, a pleasant working environment for staff, as well as increased revenue and lowered maintenance costs. Purchasing the right equipment for your Singapore kitchen goes a long way, in addition to spending time planning your kitchen layout and scheduling regular maintenance.

Interested in setting up the next big food venture in Singapore? Visit Simplex today and take that first step towards culinary success.

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