A kitchen without a refrigerator is unthinkable. This applies to private households, but even more to catering. However, the stricter rules on the hygiene and storage of foodstuffs require special equipment,a commercial kitchen fridge. What really matters with a refrigerator for the catering trade, this article aims shows somewhat more precisely.

What size fridge should I buy?

A general assessment of the size of the respective refrigerator can not be made. The physical size will depend on the size of the area you wish to store the fridge in. The capacity depends on the food held and the daily number of guests. Nevertheless, it should be appreciated that it is too large or too small. If the food is kept too tight, the energy consumption of the refrigerator increases. Of course, also consider:

      • + the annual electricity consumption and
      • + energy efficiency class

In addition, the food can be damaged by the close storage. A refrigeration unit with a capacity of 141 liters is mainly suitable for small snack stands and restaurants, where the fewest items have to be stored longer than a few hours. In large-scale catering, refrigerators with a capacity of more than 1,000 liters are estimated. The appliances often have a cooling air circulating system that simplifies the storage of food.

Before buying a refrigerator for restaurants you should therefore consider the following:

  • + Amount of food to be stored
  • + Estimated storage time
  • + type of food
  • + Is the food already prepared

Energy Efficiency Explained

Unlike washing machines , dishwashers or dryers no "standard operation" to measure the energy consumption is necessary for refrigerators because the refrigerator over the whole year in operation. In this respect, the description of the values ??on the EU product data sheet is simplified.

The key parameters are explained below:

Energy Efficiency

At this value resulting from the technological progress constantly changes. The classification is based not only on the electricity consumption, but also on the size (ie the net capacity, expressed in liters). It may well be that a refrigerator with an annual electricity consumption of 120 kWh is in a better energy efficiency class than one with only 90 kWh. The ratio of the two values ??to one another is decisive.

Note: A refrigerator in the residue class A +++ saves against an A + device average 50 percent energy. An A ++ appliance saves nevertheless still 25 percent less energy than an A + device. The higher purchase price for a more efficient device class is therefore worthwhile after a certain number of operating hours.

Annual electricity consumption

This is expressed in kilowatt hours and must always be seen in relation to the size of the device. However, the fact that this value plays an important role for the user of the refrigerator is also clear: the refrigerator is the only large electrical appliance in a kitchen that is permanently switched on all year round. It would be quite surprising if the annual electricity consumption were not shown separately on the energy label.

Hygiene Considerations

Already pre-prepared food stuff can simply stored in the refrigerator and usually takes up more storage space, however they can not be easily stored together with fresh food. So seperate shelves and storeage conpartmens is essential. If a gastronomy operation uses a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, the refrigerator should have additional compartments for storage. This is useful for hygienic reasons, as the compartments allow separation.

It is also important that restaurateurs are aware that professional refrigerators often do not have an integrated freezer compartment. As a rule, a freezer must be provided in addition to the refrigerator. This must, of course, guarantee compliance with the cold chain at all times.


What are the cost of a gastronomic refrigerator depends on various factors:

  • Size
  • Cooling variant
  • Design
  • Brand

A simple bottle refrigerator with a stainless steel case and a glass door is quite already available at a price as little as £350 for a Polar model. Refrigerated display cabinets, which are suitable for the display of finished food and have a decorative purpose, are more expensive. From around £400 restaurateurs have to start here, the size of the refrigerator and the shape of course make a difference. Simple display cabinets with a stainless steel base and a glass cover are cheaper than similar models, which already have cooling air circulation.

If the refrigerator serves the storage of food directly in the kitchen area, the optics plays only a subordinate role. Here it is more important that the device occupies as little space as possible, but offers sufficient space. Smaller devices such as undercounter fridges and smaller upright fridges are already available for less than £1000 without having to deal with any disadvantages. The temperature can easily be set in a range between minus 2 degrees and plus 8 degrees Celsius, while a thermometer integrated in the case displays the temperature continuously. Cooling is also integrated in the units.

Kitchens that need a larger capacity of 1,000 and more liters are more expensive to buy. The units usually have two doors and have a sufficient depth to accommodate boxes. It is especially useful in establishments which receive fresh meat directly from the butcher and have to refrigerate it before preparation, such refrigerators are ideal. However, they have their price. At least £1500 must be spent on such equipment. Foster cabinet fridges offer a great choice for storage size, useability and a competitive price for your professional kitchen.

How does a refrigerator actually work?

The functional principle of a refrigerator can be made clear with one sentence:

  • A refrigerator removes the heat in its interior and directs it into the environment.

Just: how does he do that? To understand this, we pursue once - similar to the dryers with heat pump - the way of the refrigerant without our refrigerator can not do:

The refrigerant

The refrigerant is a special fluid whose boiling point at about -30 ° C is. This boiling point is therefore considerably below the temperature of the food in the refrigerator. The refrigerant is exposed to heat in the interior of the refrigerator, thereby evaporating and thereby reducing the heat.

As refrigerant used today isobutane in the field of refrigerators and air conditioners under the name R-600a is used. R-600a has the advantage of a very low greenhouse effect, but is combustible and is therefore passed on to the inside rear wall of the refrigerator in the cooling compartment.

The evaporator

In the cold room (specifically in the back wall of the refrigerator compartment), there is a coil, called evaporator , in which the refrigerant of the heat of the inner space is exposed. Because of its extremely low boiling point evaporates here, the refrigerant and then flows as a gas continues to compressor.

This is actually the decisive point in the refrigeration chain: the evaporative heat of the refrigerant is precisely that heat which is withdrawn from the food in the interior of the refrigerator. There has thus become colder, and the vaporized coolant must now to be re-used in any way to its original liquid state are placed.

The compressor and the condenser

The re-liquefaction of the refrigerant is achieved with a trick: the compressor , the internal pressure of the now gaseous refrigerant is simply increased, and indeed so far that the condensation and boiling point moves in the vicinity of the normal room temperature. In capacitor (exposed to the normal room temperature) now condenses the gaseous refrigerant, will once again liquid and is at this change of its aggregate state heat to its surroundings (maybe one or two still recalls the conservation of energy from his school days: energy goes Never lost, but is always transformed into another form).

The thus recovered cooling liquid can now be fed back into the tube system in the interior of the refrigerator. But this must be controlled so that the temperature of the interior does not approach too much the -30 degrees of the cold liquid. Therefore, the amount of liquid which must be supplied to the evaporator again, by a throttle valve regulated. It is only when the temperature sensors report that it becomes too warm in the interior, that the whole process can be continued.