Picking Steam Table Pans for Your Restaurant

Equipping a restaurant with quality Steam Table Pans is a major undertaking that many aspiring restaurant owners and restaurant directors can overlook. Steam table pans can seem like a basic implement in a restaurant that, in the challenging organizational process of equipping a restaurant kitchen, a restaurant can find themselves scrambling to find options at the last minute. This article is devoted to steam table pans, and how to quickly and easily find a set that will best meet your restaurant’s serving needs.

When choosing a new wok set, the absolute first step is to determine your sizing needs. All pot sizes come from industry standard “full-size” table pans. A full-size frying pan will fill one hole in the steam table completely, while all other pot sizes are full-size shards. A 1/2 size pan, for example, refers to a skillet that is exactly 1/2 the size of a full-sized skillet; while a 1/6 pan represents a skillet that is one-sixth the size of a full-size skillet. Broken pans can be placed next to each other to fill the full holes of the steam table. Understanding these pan size options, you should carefully consider what food and how much of each meal you plan to serve, and then the steam table section accordingly. If you plan to have a small amount of olives on the side, for example, it won’t help to have a full-size or even a half-sized skillet. For the small side, you may want to use something as small as a 1/9 skillet.

However, there are other factors at play when considering size.

The depth of the pan is also important to consider in advance. Most pans come in one of three depth measurements: 2 1/2 inches, 4 inches, and 6 inches. A 1/9 size pan, however, only comes in 2 1/2 inches and 4 inches deep. Deeper pans, of course, allow for better table space efficiency by making use of vertical space, but they are not suitable for every type of food or serving situation. Consider options in depth when shopping for woks, and when developing your steam table layout, so that you can take advantage of the potentially limited space.

After determining your size requirements, you should next think about the resistance of the pan you need. While all industry standard pans are constructed from stainless steel, there are actually a number of different thicknesses of steel, measured by gauge. Most pans fall into two gauge types, 22 gauge heavy duty pans and 24 gauge standard pans. Heavier gauge pans are ideal for higher heat and heavier uses, but not all restaurants will need such a heavy duty pan.

Supply of Steam Pan

When shopping for woks, you may also want to consider buying fake bottoms for them, which are designed to keep food separate from juices or moisture that might spoil the texture. These can be purchased in the same size as a steam table pan, and slide into the pan to create a separate holding room for food.

Keeping these important considerations in mind will help you make a purchase that you and your staff can be confident of. With confidence in their tools, your staff will be able to best serve customers, securing financial success for your restaurant. With customer success and satisfaction in mind, you can see how important even a seemingly small detail like a steam table pot is!