Nobody likes to work in a place that is messy and unclean, let alone cook. Wondering how can you keep your commercial kitchen clean and organised?
Well, running a fully functional restaurant kitchen can be stressful sometimes & it’s definitely tough to keep your kitchen clean and organised at all times.
Chefs set up their kitchens differently than home cooks and spend a ton of time thinking about efficiency. We have spoken to a lot of pro-chefs and front-of-house staffers to understand how they do it. Want to know how they do it? We have got you covered.
Top 10 Kitchen Cleaning & Organisation Tips
1. Use deli containers
Pro chefs use deli containers for everything. From their morning coffee to storing all their staple spices.
Deli containers are inexpensive and can be neatly stacked on top of one another. Because they are transparent, it is simple to identify and locate items in a rush. You don’t have to go through the trouble of opening multiple containers to find what you’re looking for. Furthermore, the lids are interchangeable, so whatever you grab will be sure to work.
2. Stock up on bigger plastic containers
They are relatively affordable. These storage containers are a must in your restaurant kitchen. Store bulky items like flour, sugar, gravies, and sauces in such containers.
All you have to do now is open the lid and scoop out what I need. They’re stackable, dishwasher safe, and make measuring ingredients for cooking & baking so much easier and arguably more precise, too.
3. Use an industrial wire rack
Maximize the storage potential of your restaurant kitchen with these industrial wire racks. These are unquestionably a restaurant essential. They come in a ton of sizes and are excellent for storing pantry items.
To be honest, they can hold a lot more. Store everything from food to cleaning supplies. It is easily accessible and can be placed anywhere in your kitchen.
4. Practice F.I.F.O. (first in, first out)
It’s the best way to manage the inventory of perishable items in your commercial kitchen. FIFO stands for First In-First Out. It ensures that you first use up the items that are close to expiry or which came in first before you start with the new stuff.
Store the newer items behind the old ones in your pantry and fridge. That way, you will finish up the old items first and reduce food wastage and save money.
5. Label and date everything
Note: Always have masking tape and a marker on hand. Label and date every item you put in a container for better food storage and rotation. Ensure you indicate the manufacture and expiry date.
A commercial kitchen has a lot of ingredients, and it’s nearly impossible to remember each one and when it expires. As a result, labelling aids in the efficient management of inventory and the use of items before they expire.
6. Organise your Restaurant fridge daily
The refrigerator is the heart and soul of your kitchen. It’s where you keep your inventory until you’re ready to turn it into tasty meals for your customers. It is very vital to maintain good refrigerator hygiene as it’s what keeps your inventory from spoiling. This can be achieved by following a few simple rules religiously, every day in your commercial kitchen.
- Space food items appropriately– When storing items in bulk, leave enough space between food boxes for cold air to circulate. Better circulation results in better cooling and fewer “hot spots” inside.
- Store meat items on the lowest shelves– The bottom shelf should hold foods with the highest cooking temperatures.As meats thaw or marinate, faulty food storage containers or an accidental spill can contaminate other food product below the meat.
- Store fresh produce away from the fans– Internal refrigerator fans can actually damage food stored near it, such as fresh greens or delicate fruits like berries. Fresh produce is easily damaged and should be kept as far away from the fan vents as possible.
7. Get a pack of big squeeze bottles
Transferring things into squeeze bottles may seem excessive, but cooking with them provides a level of precision that a large jug of olive oil cannot. A nice, no-mess way to transfer liquids and dry ingredients is by using a funnel. Get these big squeeze bottles for oils and vinegar, and mini ones for condiments.
Moreover, these bottles help maintain uniformity. The store-bought bottles of dressings, condiments and sauces come in different sizes and might take up a lot of storage space.
8. Don’t put heavy stuff on the top shelf
Chefs in busy kitchens don’t have time to handle things with care. Putting heavy items on the top shelf can be difficult at times and has a decent chance of spilling. Instead, use the top shelf to store items that are very seldom used in your kitchen.
9. Avoid storing food in places that get hot
Cabinets above the stove or near large appliances can become extremely hot. Avoid storing perishable items (such as canned goods) in these areas and instead, use them to store plates and cooking tools. Try to keep dry storage away from the hotline.
10. Use different coloured chopping boards
It is essential to use different colour chopping boards for different ingredients in order to prevent cross-contamination. And always reserve a couple of boards for sweet and savoury items.
Which Colour Chopping Board to use with which Food Groups?
- White chopping boards – bakery and dairy products.
- Yellow chopping boards – cooked meat.
- Brown chopping boards – root vegetables.
- Red chopping boards – raw meat.
- Blue chopping boards – raw fish.
- Green chopping boards – salad, fruit and fresh vegetables.
Now that you know what to do, let’s get organised! Mise en place that means “everything in its place,” is the motto for EVERY restaurant kitchen EVER. If everything is in its proper place, cooking will be faster, easier, and more enjoyable.
Got anything else to add to this list? Leave your tips in the comments below!