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  • May 28th, 2021

    When you’re shopping for a rack or cabinet, like all the other storage and transport solutions in your correctional kitchen, you want to be sure that you will be getting the right product for your operation. Here are some great starter questions to help you identify the best storage solution for your needs.

    1. What will you be storing on this rack? Sheet Pans, food pans, both at different times; look for the different spacing between slides to make sure that you can accommodate the different pan depths to meet your needs. A bun pan rack typically has spacing of 2” or 3”, where a steam table pan rack will have spacing up to 6” between slides. If you’re not sure a Universal Rack is your best bet. Also, because you’re in a correctional facility, it is important to consider the construction of the rack you are selecting to be sure it cannot be tampered with by inmates to remove a slide for later use as a weapon. We suggest all welded construction for areas that security is a concern.

    2. What size can you use? The height, width and depth of the area where the rack will be stored is important and many kitchens are lean on space. You will also want to review the any travel paths that you will have for moving the rack around your foodservice operation. It is important to be sure that the rack can easily be maneuvered where ever it needs to go.

    3. What capacity is needed? The most commonly purchased pan racks are 63”H which have a capacity of (20) full size 18” x 26” sheet pans. But there are a variety of sizes and configurations available including half sized pan racks, and racks with stainless steel tops so they can do double duty as workspace.

    4. What kind of spacing is needed? As mentioned in question one, there are a wide variety of spacing options available. Your choice will be determined by the product you will be storing. If you’re looking at bun pan racks and plan to use it to store pans with sheet cakes that will be different than using it to store pans with loaves of bread.

    5. Do you need to load from the front or from the side? This may be determined by the location that the rack will be stored or by the products that you are placing in the rack. You will find all sizes and rack types available in end loader or side loader designs.

    6. What type of construction do you want? Storage racks are available in both aluminum and stainless steel. An aluminum rack will be lighter and easier to move, but it may have rougher welds. It is a great choice if it will be in a wet environment because it will not rust or corrode. Stainless is generally the choice for most products in an institutional kitchen because these are often considered the most durable. If you’re not sure, reach out to your Cook’s representative and we can assist you in getting the right material.

    Pan racks provide a space efficient means to hold cooked or baked foods and allow for cooling and transport and are an important part of the institutional kitchen or bakery. Make sure to consider the questions above before making a purchase to ensure that you get the best pan rack for your correctional kitchen.

    Shopping for Pan Racks? Start with These Questions