How to Keep Your Restaurant’s kitchen Cool Properly
One of the problems that all kitchen professionals suffer the most at an industrial level is undoubtedly the working temperature, and one of the questions most often asked by promoters.
Technicians and chefs is whether an industrial kitchen can be air-conditioned. I will explain in this topic why it is not easy but totally possible to correctly air-condition a professional kitchen.
Can an industrial kitchen be air-conditioned? The answer is always the same, every kitchen can be air-conditioned.
This does not mean that it is easy, but it is totally possible. In order to explain this issue, which is so important for professionals, we must start at the beginning.
The current market for hoods and extraction systems mainly offers four (or five) types:
1. Normal extraction hoods, only extract fumes and make an immediate depression of the air volume of the kitchen that causes the entrance of cold or heat to the kitchen through windows and doors that generate very uncomfortable currents, therefore, nothing effective.
2. Compensated extraction hoods, extract fumes and at the same time introduce clean air from the outside, equally cold or hot and generate uncomfortable currents in the head of the cooks under the hoods. Effective to a certain extent, but not 100%.
3. Inductive cooker hoods, extract fumes and introduce clean air into the kitchen but unlike the compensated ones they do it inside the hood, directing this air towards the filters and causing a venturi effect that accelerates the extraction. Very effective and recommended.
4. Filtering ceilings, extract fumes, and also make air supply to the kitchen, but so far what exists in the market is not developed to perfection and cause small tornadoes inside the kitchen that make the air go from one side to another. Effective to a large extent.
5. There is a compensated induction cooker hood that is marketed by several manufacturers and which carries out the extraction of fumes and at the same time provides air inside and outside the hood, it is effective but not the optimum for the air conditioning of a kitchen.
Having said that, and having explained the different formats of extraction hoods that the market offers us, let’s see which one is ideal for air conditioning an industrial kitchen.
There is no doubt that the first case is not because it makes a depression of the air in the kitchen and would take us any air conditioning system through the exhaust duct.
The second case would not take us the air conditioning through the duct but if it introduces us air from outside in the volume of space of the kitchen (not inside the hood), therefore it would originate some very strange currents of different temperatures that would not be anything pleasant.
The third case is the ideal one to air-condition an industrial kitchen by means of the system that is wanted, radiant floor, air conditioning, fancoils, radiators, etc.
Since this hood introduces the air of the outside inside the own hood and contributes to us the volume that we wish at every moment, without causing any loss of the air of our kitchen, is or is not air-conditioned.
As for the fourth and fifth case, it will happen to us the same as with the second, it will generate strange currents that do not offer an appropriate quality of atmosphere.
I need to say that in terms of air-conditioning in an industrial kitchen, I do not just mean refrigeration, which is the first thing that comes to mind when we imagine that kitchen at full capacity with all its cooking equipment working.
I am also referring to those kitchens that exist in very low temperature places where what they need is to be heated because it is so cold that it is necessary to air-condition them.
I know positively that many cooks in these types of kitchens in cold climates get to the point of starting the ovens in the morning with the doors open to heat the kitchens.
For information and to avoid a very common mistake in industrial kitchens, I have to say that if you have the hood of the type you have, you have to avoid having the windows and doors open to make a perfect extraction.
However the most common case is the excess of heat, therefore and after what has been said, it is possible to air-condition an industrial kitchen, wherever it is and no matter how big or small it is, all that does not matter if the work is done by a professional who knows the necessary systems to do it.
It is always advisable in these cases, not to put your kitchen project in the hands of just anybody, look for a good professional who knows his job and projects your kitchen with all the needs covered, you will avoid big headaches.
What is the best way to keep an industrial kitchen air-conditioned?
These aspects must be taken into account to ensure that the industrial kitchen is being properly ventilated and maintained:
• Odors, fat particles or excess heat are not beneficial to have, so it is recommended to try to eliminate them or expel them from the kitchen.
• As the legislation points out, it is vital that the air conditioning system is designed to facilitate its correct maintenance; easy access to filters and other parts where dirt can accumulate that can contaminate food.
• It is important to eliminate the contaminated air that remains concentrated in the kitchen as well as to extract the heat that the different elements present in the kitchen produce.
Another point that will help to achieve clean air is the installation of air conditioning systems designed to purify the air.
• On the other hand, humidity is another point to pay special attention to, specifically that produced by the sink, areas near pipes or cooking food.
Hygiene and the good condition of food products is another of the points to be highlighted in order to work on the proper maintenance of your industrial kitchen.
Therefore, keeping the HACCP system up to date is fundamental for the protection of consumer health and a guarantee before the health authorities.