Choosing Walk-In Refrigerators and Freezers: A Buying Guide

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Choosing Walk-In Refrigerators and Freezers - A Buying GuideToday on the What’s Cookin’ blog, we invite you to put on your jackets and join us for a rundown of the most frequently asked questions about walk-in refrigerators and freezers.

Beloved by businesses of all kinds from ice creameries to flower shops, walk-ins are a necessary part of daily life, keeping perishables fresh, chilly, and accessible on the premises. They come in many sizes and configurations, so it can be tough to choose the right one for your business. So without further ado, here is everything you ever wanted to know about commercial walk-in refrigerators and freezers but were afraid to ask.

What are the different kinds of walk-in refrigerators and freezers?

There are 3 kinds: refrigerators, freezers, and hybrids. You can put a walk-in and its condenser pretty much anywhere, so whether you need it inside or outside of your facility, you’re covered. Walk-ins work with existing flooring as well as pre-fabricated flooring. Note that if you do purchase a walk-in for outdoor use, you’ll need a compressor cover, crank case heater, fan cycle control, and roof-sealing kit.

What kind of refrigeration system do I need?

A walk-in’s refrigeration system is made up of a condenser (on the outside of the walk-in) and an evaporator (on the inside of the walk-in). Both your condenser and your evaporator should have high-efficiency EISA-compliant motors. There are 3 types of refrigeration systems:

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Beverage-Air Refrigeration Keeps Restaurants Cool

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Beverage-Air Refrigeration

Beverage-Air refrigeration includes not only commercial refrigerators, but spot freezers, kegerators, reach-in freezers, milk coolers, sandwich prep and more. With the popularity of Beverage-Air refrigeration thanks to their great reputation, these products can be found in restaurant kitchens all over the globe, keeping food cool so chefs, managers and staff don’t have to sweat.

Beverage-Air Kegerators

Beverage-Air is all about designing restaurant equipment for success, and their kegerators, also called draft beer coolers, are no exception. An essential for bars and restaurants that serve beer, Beverage-Air kegerators keep beer at the correct temperature. Plus, they make serving beer simple thanks to a handy faucet. These units are durable and reliable, and their sleek design, interior lighting and self-closing doors make them very desirable. Though these were made for commercial use, many people are using Beverage-Air kegerators in their home — they’re certainly a great addition to a social gathering.

Beverage-Air Refrigerators

Perhaps best known for their refrigerators, Beverage-Air offers many different units, and there’s bound to be one that’s just right for your restaurant’s needs. The Beverage-Air Display Refrigerator CRG24-1 has one door and white exterior, and it’s perfect for displaying drinks so that customers can see what’s chilled and ready.  This unit is rated five stars and also has an Editor’s Choice rating from ShortOrder.com. In terms of undercounter refrigerators, we have plenty of those: Don’t miss the Beverage-Air Undercounter Refrigerator UCR60A, a two-door unit with stainless exterior and top.

Beverage-Air Refrigeration at the Lowest Prices

As the leading online restaurant equipment retailer, ShortOrder.com is proud to have a Low Price Guarantee on restaurant equipment. That’s right: When you buy Beverage-Air refrigeration equipment — whether it’s kegerators, refrigerators, spot freezers or something else — you get the assurance that you’re getting your order for the lowest price out there. Start shopping for Beverage-Air refrigeration today!

Shopping for a New Reach-In Refrigerator

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

Picking a new reach-in refrigerator is a big decision. It’s a hefty expense and you want to be sure you have the right one for your business. Here are some things to consider before making your purchase: First of all, what kind of refrigeration system do you need? There are two main types: top-mounted and bottom-mounted reach-in refrigerators.

reach-in refrigeratorReach-in Refrigerators: Top Mounted

Top-mounted refrigeration systems have the compressor on the top of the unit and are the industry standard. These reach-in refrigerators are more energy efficient because the hot air discharge does not enter the refrigerated area and the work zone stays cooler as well. The increased air circulation around the compressor increases the compressor life. Top-mounted units also don’t take up refrigerated storage area. The only down sides of the top mounted refrigeration is that you lose additional storage space on top of the unit and if you have a very low ceiling, the hot air might be hazardous.

Reach-in Refrigerators: Bottom Mounted

Bottom-mounted refrigeration usually is on economy units. These reach-in refrigerators run cooler and consume less energy, but the increased efficiency is reduced due to hot air entering the refrigerated area and work zone. It does take up some of the refrigerated storage area as well, leaving the bottom shelf higher. You do have the advantage of added storage space on top of the refrigerator.

Reach-in Refrigerators: Expansion Valve vs. Cap-Tube

This is the way your reach-in refrigerator controls how much cooling power is needed. Reach-in refrigerators on or near cook lines, where the door is opened and closed often, have higher temperature demands. The best bet in that case would be a refrigerator with expansion valve-type refrigeration. Less expensive, cap-tube refrigeration is designed for reach-in refrigerators that are mostly closed for storage and holding.

reach-in refrigerators

Reach-in Refrigerators: Size

Remember: reach-in refrigerators are big! Measure your doors, hallways and installation space to ensure that your new reach-in refrigerator will be able to make it into your business.

Reach-in Refrigerators: Casters

For easier cleaning and sanitizing, casters are highly recommended. Not only do they allow for mobility, more health departments are strongly recommending them. Some reach-in refrigerators come with them standard, but they are considered options on others.

Reach-in Refrigerators: Doors

The biggest benefit to having doors that open 180 degrees on a reach-in refrigerator is that large trays and pans are able to slide in and out easier. Look for swing doors that have a 90 or 120 degree stay-open feature. Slide doors can be useful in tight spaces, but only one door can be open at a time.

Full-height doors will allow for more storage space, but they are also less energy efficient. Half-height doors will have less storage space, and therefore will be more energy efficient. For the lowest prices on reach-in refrigerators, visit ShortOrder.com.

Food Safety Should be at Top of List

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Food Safety Matters

Food Safety … It isn’t something most people think about on a daily basis, except for the restaurant industry that is.  We think about it everyday because the last thing any of us want is for someone to get sick from the food that we work hard to prepare.  We also don’t want to think about our restaurant being shut down because we didn’t meet food safety standards.

Food Safety Guidelines

With the right equipment and the right knowledge, food safety is a pretty easy thing to handle.

Some great guidelines to remember are:

-  All restaurant employee employees should follow hygiene guidelines; such as washing hands after using the restroom and before preparing food.

-  Cross-contamination of foods should be avoided at all times.  Wash, rinse and sanitize all food contact surfaces, such as work tables, slicers, and other preparation equipment.

-  Foods must be cooked to recommended internal temperatures.

holding cabinets-  Hot foods should be held hot at temperatures of 140 degrees Fahrenheit or greater.  Holding cabinets provide a constant source of proper heat.

-  Cold foods should be kept cold at temperatures of 41 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.  Keep a thermometer in your refrigerator to make sure the temperature is at the proper setting.

-  Abusing standard time and temperature standards for food should be avoided at all costs when handling prepared foods.

-  Leftovers should only be reheated in the oven once; after that they should be tossed out.

Food Safety Means Better Health

As stated earlier in the post, food safety matters to everyone … restaurateur, chef, employees, and patrons can all be harmed by foodborne pathogens.  There are more than 250 known foodborne diseases that cause anywhere from minor illness to death.  By following the simple guidelines listed above and by making sure all of your equipment is functioning properly, you can help prevent disease and illness caused by unhealthy foods.

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