Access to the right kind of kitchen equipment plays an important role in establishing just how efficiently a kitchen can function, which is of significant importance when it comes to the functioning of a commercial kitchen. With technological advancements in this field, even the best kitchens, like Jamie Oliver's, are required to upgrade their equipment from time to time. Besides, with more restaurants and catering services setting up shop, the need for good kitchen equipment continues unabated.
An increasing number of people from the restaurant and catering businesses are turning to eBay to look for kitchen equipment, and the most commonly cited reason behind this growing trend is the vast variety of alternatives on offer. However, when using this platform to look for any kind of kitchen equipment, be it fryers, warmers, contact grills, ovens, dishwashers, or any other kind of kitchen equipment, identifying the various alternatives on offer becomes imperative, and aspects like space, functionality, design, affordability, and specific features should be taken into account.
Buyers are presented with various options when looking for commercial fryers on eBay, and one of the first aspects to address is capacity. Floor models offer better capacity than countertop models, and large kitchens are known to use floor fryers that come with multiple tanks, as this allows for different foods to be fried at the same time without worrying about the transfer of flavour.
Gas or Electric Fryers
Gas fryers generally make use of tubes that are found running through the chamber that holds the oil, although these tubes can also be found at the bottom or outside of the chamber. Electric fryers, on the other hand, come with heating elements that are in direct contact with the oil in the chamber, and most electric fryers offer less capacity than gas fryers, given that they normally come as countertop variants.
Gas fryers have been largely favoured in the past, given that they create cold zones that help regulate cooking, reduce carbonisation, and minimise the transfer of flavours. However, buyers can now find electric fryers that manage to create cold zones; and since electric fryers offer precise temperature control and quick recovery, they are finding an increasing number of takers.
Commercial food warmers are sought by various establishments, and they give users the ability to prepare food in advance and maintain consistent temperatures for prolonged periods. Since there are various kinds of food warmers on offer through eBay, establishing just what is required at the onset becomes important. Buyers ought to address aspects like what kind of food the warmer typically holds, how big or small of a warmer is needed, the size of warming lamps, choosing between adjustable racks and fixed ones, and so on.
The three basic alternatives that buyers have to choose from include food warmers designed for the catering industry, those designed to showcase food, and food warmers for kitchens.
Food Warmers for Catering
Catering food warmers take into account that catering events do not necessarily have access to proper kitchens, and comprise of units like heated buffet carts, carving stations, soup warmers, and steam tables. Heated pan carriers offer an interesting alternative, given that their superior insulation keeps food warm for hours after the units have been unplugged, making them ideal for transportation.
Food Warmers for Showcasing Food
A number of businesses require displaying their foodstuff while also keeping them hot, and this is where food warmers with display units come into the picture. These food warmers vary in size; buyers can find small to significantly large models, and these include countertop and standalone floor units.
Food Warmers for Kitchens
Kitchen food warmers are normally among the largest that buyers come by, and they tend to come with multiple drawers designed to hold considerably large portions of food. Typically used in cafeterias and busy restaurants, these food warmers can be particularly useful when it comes to dealing with rush periods.
Contact grills give users a simple, economical, and quick way to cook different kinds of food, and since they are used in various applications, buyers can expect to come by different kinds of contact grills, ranging from single and double grills to different kinds of cooking plates being used. Choosing between single and double grills depends on the unit's intended usage as well as available space, wherein double grills are typically larger. Double grills, in addition, tend to come with separate controls for each side, so that each side can be used independently of the other. Cooking plates can be ribbed or flat, and choosing between these two is based entirely on user preference. Plates made using cast iron offer better heat retention, those that come with ceramic plates minimise the amount of food that sticks to the plates, and some models come with aluminium plates that offer even heat distribution.
Since contact grills are known to vary considerably in the manner in which they are priced, looking for those in accordance to individual requirements in suggested, and the table below serves as some indication.
Contact Grill Type
Porcelain steel plates
Cast aluminium hood and firebox
Good for less than 30 burgers
Rotisserie or side burners
Good for 30 burgers or more
Additional storage space
Buyers should take into account that additional features can substantially add to the cost of a contact grill. For example, something as seemingly simple as a standby functionality or an electronic temperature display can increase a contact grill's price.
Commercial ovens, as with most other kitchen equipment, are available in different types. The primary options include: convection ovens, conveyor ovens, pizza ovens, and combination ovens.
Convection ovens are used in different types of settings from bakeries to restaurants to cafeterias to catering businesses, and can be used to bake things like pies, cakes, casseroles, and more. These ovens use fans to force heated air over and around the food that is placed inside, which provides increased heat efficiency as well as controlled cooking speed. The temperature within these ovens can be reduced by up to 75 per cent, and convection ovens can be found in different sizes. A half-sized convection oven should be enough when dealing with up to 100 people, and when dealing with more than 400 people, looking for a double convection oven is suggested.
These ovens make use of conveyor belts and forced hot air blowing through the units. These ovens are favoured by many establishments given that they are fairly easy to use and offer higher consistency levels. Since conveyor ovens require little or no tending at all, they can be used by employees with very little training.
Pizza ovens heat to extremely high temperatures, and in addition to cooking pizzas, they can also be used to cook other things like pies and chunks of meat. In addition to extremely high temperatures, these ovens also come with rapid temperature recovery, and buyers can find pizza ovens in varied sizes, ranging from large floor models to smaller countertop variants.
Buying Kitchen Equipment on eBay
The kitchen equipment on offer on eBay is varied, to say the least, and in addition to fryers, warmers, grills, and ovens, eBay users can also expect to find other kitchen equipment like blenders, mixers, juicers, burners, cookers, dishwashers, work surfaces, dough mixers, meat grinders, and more. For those looking to save some money, eBay also gives its users the ability to look for used kitchen equipment.
Looking for kitchen equipment on eBay is quite easy because of the simple search function that is offered on each page, and users simply have to type in what they are looking for and hit enter. For example, typing in "convection ovens," and hitting enter, should present a user with different kinds of convection ovens on offer. Another option when it comes to looking for kitchen equipment on eBay is to use the site's intrinsic menu system. Alternatively, you can look for reputable brands like Morphy Richards.
Lastly, buyers should pay due attention to what different sellers charge in the form of postage and packaging costs, as this is something that is known to vary from seller to seller.
Turning to eBay when it comes to looking for kitchen equipment does make sense, given the plethora of options on offer. After all, this is one place where buyers can expect to get just about all of their kitchen equipment needs met, and that, too, after making thorough comparisons. In addition, given that this platform is host of various sellers, buyers can also expect to find bargains and deals every now and again. Buying used kitchen equipment, as mentioned, is an alternative that is presented to eBay buyers, and this can help them to save a fair amount of money. However, in doing so, buyers should pay due attention to the quality and condition of the products they choose to buy.
Buyers should also pay attention to various aspects before buying any expensive piece of kitchen equipment, which includes identifying typical production volumes, setting a budget, identifying skills required to operate any given piece of equipment, ensuring that the available source of power is adequate, and establishing if additional ventilation is required. Making sure there is enough room for the new equipment is the ideal starting point.