Various Types of Prep Tables

Various Types of Prep Tables

Refrigerated prep tables are necessary restaurant equipment for any food service establishment. They combine the requirement of a refrigerator with the convenience of a cutting board, allowing you to arrange your components quickly and effortlessly to create distinct recipes. They are available in a number of sizes and forms, as well as a number of interior components. Finding the ideal unit might be difficult with so many alternatives. That's why, when you're shopping for prep tables, we've broken down the most critical information you should know.



Sandwich / Salad Tables vs. Pizza Tables

Sandwich and salad prep tables are being used for various things than pizza prep tables, but they aren't as different as they appear. Most sandwich prep tables come with shallower cutting boards suited for sub and sandwich bread, and the top storage section is set up for 1/6 size food pans. A deeper cutting board section with a raised pan rail and a top storage section suitable for 1/3 size food pans are available on pizza prep tables.


The size of your prep unit must be determined for one apparent reason: it must fit where you want it to go. Prep tables come in a variety of sizes, ranging from little to large. Each size has its own set of advantages. Smaller tables have a smaller footprint for businesses with limited space, but they have less total storage capacity within the unit, whereas larger tables have the reverse problem: finding a good spot for them is more difficult, but they have plenty of inside capacity.

In general, the larger your prep table is, the higher the demand for sandwiches at your establishment. Another aspect to consider when determining your size is the number of ingredients you use when preparing cuisine. If you'll be storing a lot of different components at once, a larger table will allow you to keep all of your ingredients near at hand.

Doors and Drawers

The second thing to think about is whether you want a table with drawers, doors, or both. Regardless of whatever style you pick, both have a pan rail on the top of the device to store food pans. Many models have a solid top over the pan rail, while others have a clear glass lid, making them perfect for businesses that make made-to-order sandwiches in front of consumers.

Units with doors have a refrigeration chamber with shelves that may accommodate a wide variety of foods, similar to reach-in equipment measured in cubic feet.

Units with drawers, on the other hand, often have less refrigerator space, but each drawer is designed to hold food pans packed with ingredients, making it easy to swap out empty pans from the top storage area.
Some units have both doors and drawers, allowing the operator to have the best of both worlds. In some cases, such as placing a small drawer or door above the compressor, these combinations are also meant to minimize wasted space.
It's vital to keep in mind that depending on where you put the unit, doors and drawers can make routines in smaller kitchens more difficult. Drawers, on the other hand, do not usually close automatically. When passing chefs or waiters have their hands full, it's more difficult for them to close drawers, which might be a distraction in your kitchen.

Work Space

Prep tables come with a variety of work spaces, just as they do with different pan rail designs. Some tables feature plenty of pan storage and a simple cutting board on top that extends a few inches beyond the table's edge to give you enough area to cook. Others provide a larger surface in exchange for food pan storage, which can be used to stage countertop gadgets such as panini grills. An overview of the most common prep table tops is provided below to assist you in selecting the ideal one for your needs!

Standard Top
Standard top units typically contain two rows of food pans and a cutting board of sufficient size. They're a fantastic fit for most sandwich and salad prep spaces because they have refrigerated storage for backup items, a food pan rail for fast topping access, and a cutting board big enough for subs and sandwiches.

Mega Top
Because they come with an extended pan rail and a shallower chopping board, mega top units, also known as mighty top units, can often carry up to 50% more pans in their pan storage sections than a comparable regular model.

Cutting Top
Cutting top units are unique in that they come with an extra-deep cutting board that gives the operator more work area. This sort of equipment is ideal for huge sandwiches, chopped salads, and sophisticated catering or event orders because it has the same pan capacity as a conventional machine but with extra cutting board space.


The top food pan part of prep tables is refrigerated using one of three methods: air cooled, cold wall, or liquid jacket.

Air-cooled units are a fantastic choice for new restaurateurs. Sandwich prep tables come complete with air cooling, as well as cheap maintenance and labor costs, making them simple to use without requiring a lot of expertise. On the other hand, their power is limited compared to other cooling technologies.

To keep the inside cool, cold wall models install refrigerant lines through the table's structure. They frequently have a wider range of pan and shelf combinations, allowing you to tailor your storage possibilities. In comparison to air-cooled systems, they also offer a higher production potential. Cold wall systems, on the other hand, might cause uneven pan temperatures, which can mess up the uniformity of your food once it's cooked.

Liquid jackets are the newest type of cooling, and they're most commonly found in pizza prep machines. They use low-profile internal designs to maximize storage space while using minimal energy. It's also the greatest solution for maintaining a consistent temperature for your ingredients. Unfortunately, this sort of refrigeration is the most expensive of the three, so only established enterprises can afford it. In comparison to a normal unit, a front breathing model requires less side and back clearance.

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