Catering Equipment - Kitchen Solutions

Search Site
Kitchen Solutions Catering Equipment Phone Number
Swipe to the left

New Primary School, New Kitchen

February 21, 2019 No comments

Washwood Heath Primary Academy expanded, and for that they asked us for a new kitchen.

Now, a pupil going to collect their lunch will see this shiny new servery:

What about the other side, what does the kitchen staff see? Let's take a peek behind the servery:

To the left of the servery, an easy access prep sink:

Standing back from the kitchen you can see all the new equipment:

And plenty of refrigeration:

Round the back, a neat little washing area:

And storage for all those tins of baked beans!

A project designed, manufactured and installed by Kitchen Solutions Ltd

A bit of Science – the beauty of Stainless Steel

January 18, 2019 No comments

Stainless Steel comes in different grades. Each grade has its particular qualities and has its particular applications.

Which is which and which do you want?

The beginning. Stainless Steel is an alloy. Basic Steel is made up of a mix of Iron and Carbon. When you add Chromium however, you get Stainless Steel. Depending on the mix and whether you add other elements, you get a different grade of Stainless Steel. There are at least 23 different grades of Stainless Steel, but we here will concentrate on 430, 304 and 316.

The cheapest form of Stainless Steel we use is 430 grade. It is versatile, easy to weld and has some magnetic properties. This is great steel but it does tend to corrode when in contact with acidic substances in kitchens, for example tomatoes.

So, the catering industry standard for table tops and surfaces that come into contact with raw food is 304 grade. The difference is that 304 contains Nickel where 430 doesn’t. This makes it more versatile, very durable and increases its corrosion resistance. You can test to your steel know it’s 304 grade because this steel is non-magnetic.

Do 430 and 304 grade steel rust? The simple answer is yes, they can do. As per our February 9 th blog post, this steel can still be corroded by certain acids and chemicals (also found in rainwater, making it unsuitable for outdoor use). In particular, 430 and 304 are prone to rusting in salty environments.

Therefore, Fishmongers, Ship-builders and Pharmaceutical companies, when ordering Stainless Steel furniture and/or kitchen equipment, need to be looking for an even higher grade: 316. 316 has an additional metal in it, called Molybdenum. This improves its corrosion resistance to many chemicals and to saline environments (contact with sea water or sea air). In fact, 316 grade is also known in our industry as marine grade (it is also the ideal Stainless Steel for outdoor use). It is more expensive, but in the long term can save money and time.

What is a Combi-Oven?!

January 15, 2019 No comments

They arrived to the Professional cookery scene in the late 1970s but still many chefs are not familiar with them. They are perceived as expensive and quite different from more traditional ovens. So what is so special about combination ovens?

The basic difference between cooking with a conventional oven and a combination oven is humidity. The unique feature however, is their flexibility and their ability to control humidity levels.

Let’s start from the beginning.

Some foods want to be steamed – vegetables, rice – sometimes you just want to steam them and to do so you can use a steamer. But the combi oven can also do this.

Some foods want dry heat – imagine a pizza in a wood fired oven. That is dry heat, which is replicated by conventional fan assisted ovens. The combi oven can do this too.

However, sometimes, a dry heat can literally dry out the food you’re trying to cook and the steam, while fast, can make food soggy. So, you might want a combination of dry and humid heat: remember how chefs used to place a pan of water under their bread to keep the oven humid during the cooking process?

Well, the combi oven is a specialist at this. With a combi oven you can control the levels of humidity to exactly the levels required for every dish, to give your entire menu a perfect finish.

In short, the beautiful thing about having a combi oven is that you don’t need any other oven.It can cook dry, humid or a perfect combination of the two.

Combination Ovens can be fuelled by electricity or gas, can be table top or roll-in, with ordinary pull-out doors or disappearing doors, traditional or pass-through. Also available in slim or mini version.

New Kitchen: Grangewood Garden Centre

December 14, 2018 No comments

One of the privileges of this kind of work is that we’re often first to find out about brand new restaurants and cafes around the place. And, sure enough, here’s another one well worth knowing about, for when you find yourself in the Tamworth area – in fact, it’s very near to @Draytonmanor Park.

Grangewood Garden Centre approached us back in the summer. Behind their Garden Centre they had a large greenhouse they were developing into a restaurant. When we got there to assess the site we were surprised to see it was actually just a greenhouse, although, already in place, was the seating area built from reclaimed wood. What a good idea!

The Forest Restaurant was scheduled to open in December, and a few meetings later and plenty of work, their new kitchen is ready to go for their first Christmas season. Good luck Grangewood!

Here below are secret shots of the kitchen waiting for chefs and ingredients before they opened– can’t wait to come and sample the menu!

HOW TO... Choose your Stainless Steel Furniture

November 20, 2018 No comments

The first thing you need to consider when buying a Stainless Steel Table or a Stainless Steel Sink is budget: we all have budgets to keep to as in every business but as our mothers always told us "if you buy cheap then you get cheap in return...!"

Next you need to consider the space you’re filling and how it is going to work. This includes what your new item is going to be used for: is it going to do all that is required?

Measure the space in millimetres (convert from inches if necessary) as most fabricators work in this measurement. Measure any pipework or obstacles that may impede your idea as most of these can be overcome with some imagination. PLEASE MEASURE ACCESS! Your door is only ONE size - we have had many deliveries where we have made items perfectly, only to find you can’t get them in the building...

There are standard sizes for all Stainless Steel Tables/Sinks and if no modification is required you can get these in flatpack or fully welded, standard height is 900mm. However if you require an odd size, additional upstands, a void for a dishwasher to sit underneath or maybe a cut-out for a column or cable then this is not a problem but these cannot be flatpack and will have to be fully welded Tables/Sinks. You will have to send us a drawing/photo or draw us a sketch with your mouse!

Flatpack Sinks and Tables are a good choice if you have tight budget restraints or you have access issues. We have tried many different manufacturers over the years and we believe we now have one of the best flatpack ranges that we have ever had - they are simple to erect (about 10-20 minutes, best with 2 people), and are also the most stable construction that we have ever stocked.

Fully Welded Sinks and Tables are obviously the best choice as these can be any size and shape required (tooling allowing). Also they are more durable and will last longer than any flatpack table or sink. OK they do cost more, but remember you get what you pay for, and in the long run are well worth the little extra you pay. We normally deliver Fully Welded Sinks and Tables within 10 working days from order, but lead times can vary so do call us if you're on a tight timescale.

Now, there are two types of Stainless Steel Tables. There is a Centre Table which can be used from all 4 sides - it normally sits in the middle of the room and is used either for prep work or opposite the cooking suite as a layoff table for plating up on. The other type is a Wall Bench - this one has an upstand to the rear and sits up against the wall - you can bring tiles neatly all the way down to the upstand (standard 50mm high). If required, Wall Benches can also have a sink welded into them - they then transform into 'prep sinks' used for washing salad etc.

And there are two types of Stainless Steel Sinks; there is a Single Bowl Sink with one bowl positioned left, right or centre, with a drainer(s) and tap hole(s) in any position you require. The other is a Double Bowl Sink, with two also positioned left, right or in the centre drainer(s) and tap hole(s) in any position you require. All these units come with a standard 500x400x300mm bowl but we have several bowl sizes which are available on request (only available in fully welded).

All Sinks and Tables come on adjustable height feet which you can also screw into the floor, but castors (wheels) also available on request.

Teaser: Equipment testing at Middleby Headquarters

June 21, 2018 No comments

As distributors of Middleby products we decided to put their equipment to the test. We sent James to the Middleby Factory Headquarters in Warrington to put their newest equipment to the test - he started with the Hounö's Combi Oven, where he cooked up some pastries at the same time as roasting some veg. He then moved on to trying the Perfect Fryer for quick turn-around deep fried items. He then moved on to the Turbochef Sota i1 ideal for on-the-fly cooking. James tried a pie, came out perfect. But what got him really excited was the Turbochef Fire Pizza Oven, makes a perfect pizza in under two minutes!

We have put a little teaser together for you but there will be more to come:


Case Study: Yardley Baptist Church

April 13, 2018 No comments

We’ve worked for Yardley Baptist Church for the last 10 years supplying various bits for their kitchens as they run a very popular lunch club. Recently they came to us and said they wanted a complete new kitchen facility; they wanted to remove the old domestic kitchen and for us to design a completely new commercial kitchen for them.

In preparation for this we arranged for them to go to Worlverhampton University for a training day with a chef on Combination Ovens. We felt this would be ideal for their needs but needed to show them what modern combi ovens can do as none of their kitchen staff had any experience of using one.

After their training they agreed that yes, a combi oven would be ideal for their needs, so we went ahead and in consultation with the catering committee we designed a brand new kitchen for them.

Eventually we came up with a design that they were all happy with.

On design approval we began work. We put in a new non-slip altro floor, hygienic white rock wall cladding, a new canopy and all brand new equipment: bespoke stainless steel cupboards, tables & sinks to Convotherm Combination Oven, Lincat 6 Burner, Foster Refrigeration, Hood-type dishwasher, Instanta water boiler, Parry hot cupboards and other smaller equipment.

After we finished the kitchen we sent a chef back in from Convotherm to give them some further training on the oven in their own kitchen.

Imagine an old, tired domestic kitchen. This is what it looked like after we finished!


Magic Rock Brewery: Company Day Out

March 8, 2018 No comments

Back in January, having supplied Magic Rock with some Bespoke Stainless Steel Fabrications we thought we would take a visit to Magic Rock Brewing up North in Huddersfield on 26th. As massive fans of their various ales and porters it was a no brainer and maybe a little bit of an excuse to have a few beers.

We were a little taken aback as we arrived to their purpose built Large Tap Room with a huge outside space and beautiful Tap room inside with poseur tables and bar stools, which is a massive difference to our favourite Tap room here in Birmingham at Cotteridge Wines.

As we approached the bar being catering equipment suppliers we were all looking at their kit behind the scenes, like we were on a busman’s holiday and sitting there nestling under the glasses was a couple of our Bespoke Stainless Steel Tables.

And, hiding in the corners were our Flatpack Stainless Steel Sinks and Halcyon ICE35 Ice Machine

It did take us by surprise that one of the Bespoke tables was being used as a DJ booth!

We also had the privilege to be given a guided tour behind the scenes into where the fermenting vessels and bottling plant is, which had some weird and wonderful machinery which is where the Magic in Magic Rock happens, also with a few Bespoke Stainless Steel Tables made by yours truly.

After a few beverages we left this truly magical place.


We are Exclusive Distributors of the Handmade Fogarty Oven!!

February 16, 2018 No comments

What can we say about the Fogarty oven - lovingly renamed the beast! Not only is the capacity bigger, the build quality better and temperature control more accurate, it comes in at a cheaper price point than the competition. Having seen plenty of charcoal ovens and have taken clients for demonstrations with some of the biggest names in the category, we have definitely settled on the Fogarty being our favourite. It is made in Staffordshire with all materials sourced in the UK, doesn’t need a gas or electricity connection and can operate under most extraction canopies or outdoors.

And it’s not just us - one of our award winning chef clients took trial of this new oven late last year on what was supposed to be a two week trial. Now he will not give it back!

See Brad Carter explain how he uses it:

Such is our local Michelin Starred Chef’s enthusiasm we have taken on the distribution role for the manufacturer and have rearranged our warehouse to have a demonstration model here. Do not believe our hype, come and see it for yourself.

HOW TO... Clean your Stainless Steel Furniture

February 9, 2018 No comments

Our most FAQ is “How to clean my Stainless Steel table/sink?” so here is the simplest answer we can give you:

1- Use a standard washing up liquid with hot water, not scolding, obviously

2- Use a standard sponge scourer (the green & yellow one will do)

3- Wipe the stainless with a soapy wet scourer (scourer side down) and go with the grain of the Steel (on most table tops and drainers this is left-to-right / legs are up-and-down)

4- Wipe down with hot wet cloth (not soapy)

5- Wipe with dry cloth

6- That’s it really, you are done

If you have a stubborn stain then repeat step 4.

REMEMBER Stainless Steel does scratch and this is normal. Also you may find that in sink bowls, especially in coffee or tea rooms/shops, your sink sometimes goes brown or has brown spots. This is due to the tanning in tea/coffee.

There are also a few things that are out there on the web that suggest you do this and do that. Please, if this is in your house, fine, do whatever you want with baby oil or anything else. However in a commercial premises this is not advisable. By the way, vinegar just doesn't work it’s just a waste of vinegar!

Avoid at all costs these chemicals listed below, as they simply eat Stainless Steel:

CI = Chlorides – can be found in bleach, disinfectants, brines, salt and some cleaning solutions. Long term contact with dishwashing detergents can also be damaging as they sometimes have Chlorides in.

Hydrochloric Acids – can be found in toilet cleaners or drain unblocking solutions

H2SO4 = Sulphuric Acids – can be found in toilet cleaners or drain unblocking solutions