Is it getting hot on this blog, or is it just us? Recently we have demonstrated our love for cook-and-hold ovens of the Alto-Shaam variety, and helped restaurants prepare for summer. Today we continue this trend by focusing on our humble friend the holding cabinet. Heated holding cabinets are meant to keep food warm and delicious until it’s ready to serve to customers, so you’ll never serve your diners a cold casserole or a chilly chicken. But the same traits that give holding cabinets their reputation for patience and perfection can also make them energy gluttons. So how can you keep your trusty holding cabinets in good working order while keeping those energy bills down? Here are our top 6 tips for saving energy with your holding cabinets.
1. Pick the right cabinet for the right job. There are several types of holding cabinets, including mobile cabinets, countertop cabinets, and pizza cabinets. You can also choose between half height and full size, plus wattages of 120/1v and 208-240v. Choose the best one for your restaurant’s needs, that way your cabinet won’t be underutilized and wasting energy, or (conversely) overworked and consuming too much energy.
2. Choose insulated cabinets over uninsulated cabinets. Insulated holding cabinets are up to 65% more efficient when it comes to trapping heat vs. uninsulated cabinets.
3. Go Energy Star certified. Kitchen equipment and appliances that have been Energy Star certified have been proven to perform as well as or better than their more wasteful counterparts on the market. Make sure your holding cabinet has that little blue sticker before you make your purchase.
4. Schedule regular maintenance. You should regularly check that your holding cabinets are in good working order and get them serviced as needed. A malfunctioning cabinet could be wasting tons of energy unnoticed.
5. Check the seals. Heat can easily escape from a holding cabinet if its seals aren’t all thoroughly secured. Check all the edges of your cabinet doors, and replace seals as soon as they begin to wear out.
6. Remember to shut your cabinets down. Always turn your holding cabinets off at the end of the day so they won’t be running at night. Post reminders by the cabinet or by the kitchen light switch, or even make it a part of your closing duties checklist.