Have you thought about opening a Mexican style restaurant but are uncertain of the necessary kitchen equipment you will need to operate your business? While you may acquire several types of tools, supplies and equipment, there are at least five basic pieces of equipment you may need right from the start. When you consider that many of your entrees will be deep fried, you'll want to purchase a commercial grade deep fryer. A charbroiler for your ground beef and other meats will probably be a staple as well. You'll also want to have a stream table on hand, as well as two different types of preparation tables for preparing chopped vegetables and raw meat.
Here is a closer look at five of the most widely used equipment for a Mexican restaurant (along with pointers on how to choose the right one):
1. Commercial Deep Fryer
A deep fryer for your Mexican restaurant will be necessary when cooking many of your main ingredients. It will serve the purpose of cooking more than fried taco shells and tortilla chips, however. It may also deep fry your desserts, such as those popular deep fried chocolate sandwich cookies. But how do you select the best model for your Mexican restaurant?
Ask yourself the following question: Will you be using breading or batter dipped coatings on some of your fried offerings? If so, consider a gas operated tube-style deep fryer. This type will typically include an area underneath the burner that will catch all the bread crumbs as your food is being fried.
You will also need to determine the quantity of food you'll be frying at any given time. If you expect to fry large quantities at once, your deep fryer will need to be large enough to accommodate your needs. Many models will come equipped with the basket fryers, but notice how large and deep those baskets are. Also, if you want to fry quickly, choose a gas model over the electric one, as it may get the job done faster.
Most Mexican restaurants will serve ground beef for their enchiladas, tacos, and other main entrees. Mexican style hamburgers, grilled steak and chicken may also be on the menu. For a flame-cooked charbroiled taste, a charbroiler is an option to consider.
Considering the size of your kitchen and cooking area, you might opt for a compact table-top charbroiler or a free-standing floor model. These are also available in gas or electric models. If you choose a free standing floor model, consider one with a built-in backsplash to protect your walls from cooking grease, as well as a grease pan to catch the drippings. A durable stainless steel body will hold up well, and removable grates are necessary for easy cleaning.
3. Commercial Steam Table
A steam table will be necessary to keep your Mexican style pre-cooked foods warm until they are served. As a safety standard, a steam table helps maintain the right holding temperatures for hot foods. As with other equipment, a steam table may be gas-operated or electric. A gas model will generally heat up quicker than the electric type. However, you may find that electric steam tables are more efficient for temperature control. The steam table will come with holding dishes and a deep well or reservoir for holding the steamed water.
4. Vegetable Preparation Table
Just about every Mexican restaurant will serve vegetables, either as sides or for main entrees. For chopping and prep work, you'll need a table designated for vegetable preparation. Choose stainless steel for easy cleaning and disinfecting, as well as for durability. Your prep table should have an adjustable shelf underneath the working area, where your supplies can be stored and easily obtained. Many have adjustable legs as well.
5. Meat Preparation Table
To avoid the possibility of cross-contamination from raw foods, you should prepare your raw or uncooked meats on a separate table apart from the table used for vegetable prep work. Look for the same basic features as the above prep table, with one exception. Your meat prep table should include a cutting board. Glass cutting boards are easier to clean and disinfect than the wood variety.
Although the above mentioned restaurant equipment are most widely used and necessary for operating a Mexican restaurant, you'll find many other supplies are useful and necessary as well. To save time, try to purchase your supplies all at once from the same company and shop at specialty stores that sell Mexican restaurant equipment.
For more information and examples of how a Mexican restaurant kitchen functions, pop over to this website.