Kitchen base units like food processors in commercial are usually supplied without a top so you can put a continuous work surface over the whole length. Into this will go the sink, taps and a hob. The surface must be able to cope with pastry-making, chopping and parking hot pans. (Ideally, you would have a different surface for every task, but that would be very expensive and visually distracting. One answer is to have separate pastry and chopping boards, and a trivet by the side of the cooker.) When choosing work surfaces for your kitchen, a square edge is better than a rounded one, which allows spilled water to fall onto your feet. Some well-finished worktops include a groove along the edge to avoid this. Remember that shiny surfaces (especially stainless steel), show up finger and hard water marks. Good worktop materials include:
- Laminates: smooth, hygienic, fine for pastry, but will get scratched and ruin knives if used for chopping. This material won’t withstand heat.
- Stainless steel: expensive and needs to be constantly wiped to look good. For the dedicated cook who likes a ‘restaurant’ look.
- Ceramic tiles.- durable and attractive; will withstand heat and acid; shouldn’t be used for chopping.
- Slate: a long slab of slate would be expensive, but slate floor tiles make an attractive worktop; will withstand heat and acid, but don’t use them for chopping.
- Corian: synthetic material which looks like marble, but is lighter and warmer to the touch; virtually scorch- and stain-proof.
- Hardwood: excellent material for a traditional kitchen,- must be saturated with linseed or teak oil to avoid water damage; won’t withstand hot pans; can be used as a chopping board, if you don’t mind it acquiring a ‘lived-in’ look.
Good lighting is as important in a kitchen as in any other workshop. Each working zone should have its own lighting treatment. Halogen lighting is inconspicuous and much cooler than conventional light bulbs, and can look very stylish. When choosing halogen light bulbs, make sure they include an additional glass filter (most do not), to protect against ultra-violet emissions. Halogen bulbs are expensive, but will last much longer than conventional bulbs.
Ideally, the kitchen should be on the main central heating system, as some form of constant heat helps to prevent condensation. A kitchen needs about half the radiator area as compared with a similar space elsewhere in the house. Modern radiators come in a variety of shapes and there are fan convector heaters which can fit into odd spaces, such as the foot of a base unit. Radiators are often placed in the most inconvenient positions, but you needn’t be limited to the existing heating layout. Compact radiators, which run along the floor at skirting level, might be used instead and radiators with rungs exist, which can double up as towel rails, while others are very tall and narrow to fit into awkward spaces, and others again, can be made to follow the shape of a curved wall.
If you have a traditional, range-type cooker, you will require no extra heat. For kitchens that are used mainly morning and evening, and at week-ends, a quick-boost form of heating is best, such as a gas or electric wall heater. The kitchen is a busy room so don’t have a heater on the floor, otherwise it will get in the way. Electric storage heaters are not recommended for kitchens because they are bulky, dispense heat when it is least needed, and don’t provide the room with instant heat.
The kitchen produces steam and smells, which often turn into condensation on walls and windows. The only way to prevent this is to provide three things: continuous warmth, good ventilation and warm surfaces.
Extractor fans are the most efficient ventilators, drawing steam and smells through a fan in a window pane or external wall, or the roof. They should be positioned as high as possible on the wall and near to the source of steam.
Cooker hoods use charcoal filters to eliminate cooking smells and steam. They must be placed directly over the cooker or hob. You can get extraction or recirculating hoods in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Make sure they are fitted at the recommended height.
Hopefully after following our tips, you will save a lot of time while working in your kitchen with commercial food processor!