Shopping for new food service equipment can be stressful. Follow these tips to make shopping easier and to get the commercial kitchen equipment you need.
When you buy a food truck, you will need to choose what kind of kitchen equipment you’ll place in it. It’s important to take advantage of the small space to make sure you have everything your business needs. Let’s take a look at a comprehensive list of food truck equipment that will help you get your truck ready for food service.
When buying equipment for your food truck, you will likely need to devote a large amount of your budget to cooking equipment. In order to optimize your food truck’s kitchen, you can choose a mixture of countertop-sized equipment and full-sized models. Below is a look at some of the most essential pieces of equipment for your food truck. However, it is important to review the menu items to determine if some of the more versatile equipment available today will accommodate multiple food items which would result in having to purchase fewer pieces of equipment. This can greatly reduce space requirements. Examples are combi ovens and rapid cooking ovens. On a separate note, many requirements throughout the truck will be dictated by local governing agencies.
- Griddles: Flat tops/griddles are perfect for cooking popular items like grilled cheese, pancakes, burgers, vegetables, and more.
- Charbroilers: This piece of equipment helps you achieve grill marks and that signature “grilled” flavor on meats and vegetables.
- Ranges: Ranges let you pan fry, saute, boil, or simmer anything from proteins to sauces.
- Toasters: Toasters help you get the perfect, crisp texture for sandwich bread or breakfast items such as waffles, english muffins, and bagels.
- Cheese Melters: Cheese Melters help you melt cheese, and brown the tops of foods such as open-face sandwiches. In addition, you will be able to efficiently melt cheese on casseroles.
- Fryers: A fryer is a crucial item for many food trucks, as it allows you to cook popular items such as french fries, chicken tenders, and onion rings.
Food Preparation Equipment
Food prep equipment Food preparation may be done in the truck, ahead of time in an off-site kitchen, partially prepared by a food supplier, or a combination of these options. Each of these options affects costs, space, and prep time.
This equipment must cover everything you will need to get food ready. What you need will vary depending on your menu. Here are some of the pieces of food prep equipment that you will want to consider buying for your food truck.
- Stainless Steel Work Tables: You will want a stainless steel work table for added prep space since that material is easy to clean and sanitize.
- Cutting Boards: Whether you are dicing, cutting, or slicing items, cutting boards are essential for every kitchen, whether you have a food truck or another kind of kitchen.
- Knives & Knife Racks: Good quality knives are essential in the long run. Having a rack or roll to store them safely is also ideal for a compact kitchen.
- Skillets: Skillets and frying pans can be used to pan fry, saute, or steam menu items.
- Food Turners: Food turners are a versatile item that can be used for anything from flipping burgers to sauteing vegetables.
- Food Thermometers: In order to keep your customers safe, food thermometers allow you to ensure that all food items are cooked thoroughly.
- Blenders & Food Processor: If you need to make smoothies, salsa, sauces, or soups, you can use blenders and food processors to your advantage.
Warming and Holding Equipment
Warming and holding equipment is crucial for keeping your food at safe temperatures – whether hot or cold. These pieces of equipment can not only help you avoid foodborne illness and health inspection violations – they can also hold your menu items at appetizing temperatures so you can keep your customers happy. A few pieces of this equipment that can be used for this include countertop food warmers.
Since your food truck will likely be serving on-the-go customers, you will need to stock up on a number of serving supplies. Be sure you have enough room to store many of these items in your truck. Running out of them could mean you have to close your window for the day. This equipment could include serving utensils, squeeze bottles, pump condiment dispensers, and more.
Having refrigeration equipment on your food truck is necessary for keeping your ingredients fresh. You will want to have one refrigerator for main food items, and another fridge for beverages, sauces, and toppings. Fortunately, there are many different kinds of refrigeration equipment, so you can tailor your supplies to your food truck’s offerings. Here are some of the refrigeration equipment you may want to get.
- Undercounter Refrigerators: An undercounter refrigerator doubles as a work surface. This could give you an advantage if you have a compact space.
- Countertop Refrigerator: A countertop refrigerator with a glass door is an excellent solution for selling canned or bottled beverages in your food truck.
It may not be your first thought, however, janitorial equipment is an absolute necessity to keep your food truck clean and sanitary. Janitorial supplies are used at the end of every day and also at some points during service. You will need to make sure you stock up on items you need to keep your cooking areas clean.
- Sinks: If there is room, and water and a waste tank are available, it is best to incorporate a mop sink into the truck.
- Scrubbers & Sponges: You will need scrubbers and sponges so you can keep your dishware and cooking utensils clean.
- Trash Cans & Liners: Your waste disposal area needs to stay tidy. Having a large trash bin and plenty of liners can help you achieve this so that customers and employees have a place to dispose of items.
- Brooms & Dustpans: Brooms and dustpans are perfect for keeping the flooring of your food truck tidy.
It’s crucial to prioritize your space for cooking equipment. You will also need to keep in mind that you will need plenty of room for disposables and dry storage as well. Whether you are looking to revamp your current food truck business, or start one from scratch, the first step is to get familiar with the kind of efficient equipment you will need for your particular food and beverage offerings.