Since now we’ve decided what we’ll be cooking and how much of it, it’s time to decide on your equipment. After setting your budget, you can begin to choose your cooking tools. Most small items like wooden ladles or plastic spatulas can be purchased at stores like your local Wal-Mart or dollar store, but beware of purchasing heavy impact tools like knives, scissors, and mallets at these stores. Bladed tools especially are a long term investment. Since you’ll be using them the most, it’s likely best to spend a reasonable amount of money within your budget on a set of blades of higher quality.
If you’re purchasing larger equipment for a restaurant, consider searching online wholesale sites to get the best deals you can. The added bonus of shopping wholesale is you’ll end up having access to extra items as a backup in case the ones you’ll be using get lost or broken.
Setting Up Your Kitchen
After gathering all the tools you’ll need to make your dream kitchen, it’s time to set it all up. Remember, regardless of whether your kitchen is big or small, design it based on workflow and later you’ll be thankful you did. If you find that you’re continuously looking for an item in one spot even though you designated it elsewhere, move that item! As long as it doesn’t present a health or safety hazard there’s nothing wrong with considering efficiency.
This is your workflow and you should consider multiple options and choose the one that works best for you. Also, consider freshness as a major factor in your kitchen. Things like raw meats should never be stored in the same space as fresh greens or they risk contamination. But fresh greens should never be stored too far away from the main work area. Whereas meat can be frozen and tucked away for later use, fresh greens don’t do well over time and should be used as early as possible. All of these choices stem from what exactly you’ll be cooking and how.
For example, if you ran a larger restaurant, you would never put a gas grill next to a soft serve ice cream machine. The heat from the grill would not only damage the machines, the soft serve would melt or be melted before it ever reaches the customer. After all your units are installed and your wires are plugged, it’s time to start cooking!
Regardless of whether your kitchen is big or small, it should retain the same core values; Safety, sanitization, efficiency, and identity. These core values will help guide you through your cooking journey that will hopefully be safe, fun, and delicious.