Caterers cannot start their business without tools or equipment; therefore, you should be able to identify and use the tools and equipment for specific tasks in the business.
Tools, equipment are important items needed for catering because in catering food is prepared, cooked and served. Catering equipment saves time and increases efficiency, in this article, we will classify the tools and equipment into large, small and mechanical with their examples, how they function, how to choose and finally how to take care of them, maintain them and store them.
There are various items that are used during food preparation, cooking and serving. They include working tables, blenders, mixers, cooking pans, ranges, fryers, mortar, etc.
a. Large catering equipment
They are heavy and clumsy to more about easily. For example, working tables, cooking ranges refrigerators, fryer, sinks (washing basins).
We can add ovens, microwave ovens, freezers, dishwashers.
b. Small catering equipment
They are sometimes referred to as tools. They are small, easy to transport and a very important element in the catering equipment.
These include knives, openers, spoons of all kinds and sizes, graters, pestles and mortar, colanders, sieves, kitchen scales.
There is yet another group that is classified as mechanical equipment. They are operated by electricity and are also referred to as appliances. Examples are mixers, blenders, liquidizers, slicers, mincers, electric kettles, food processor, rice cookers, toasters, coffee makers.
- Measuring Tools
These are the tools used to gauge or estimate the number of ingredients such as liquids, powders, flours and granules. The measuring instruments used for liquids are usually made of glass or transparent plastic with spout and have clearly marked measurements. They are either jugs or cups, and sizes available are 1 cup, 2 cups, and 4 cups; metric liquid measures come in 250ml, 500ml and 1litre sizes.
There are measurement tools used to measure dry ingredients such as powders, flour, pellets and crops. They are usually made of metal or hard rigid plastic. Although they are used to measure dry ingredients, they can also be used to measure small amounts of liquids during cooking. They are also available in cups ¼ cups, 1/3 cup, ½ cup and 1 cup sizes with the metric equipment being 50ml, 125 ml, and 250ml.
- Mixing Tools
They are very essential in many jobs in the kitchen. They are used for stirring, beating and whisking.
They include wooden spoons, metal spoons whisks. Wooden spoons are available in various sizes and are mainly used for stirring and mixing when preparing meals. Metal spoons are also available in different sizes and shapes and are used for stirring, incorporating ingredients in baking flour.
- Baking Tools
These are the tools that help pastry and baking in general. These tools include spatulas of all sizes (made from wood, flexible stainless steel (metal) and soft flexible plastics). They are used to spinning fish, meat, pancakes, omelet’s and eggs when frying. They include fish slides with curved handles, perforated spoons, and straight-edged spatulas, used to spread ice over cakes and to level dry ingredients during measurement.
- Cutting Tools
They are the tools that help in cutting, chopping, shredding, and peeling of ingredients