What’s inside this buyer’s guide
- What is a pizza prep fridge?
- Sandwich/salad prep table vs. pizza prep table
- How to choose a pizza prep fridge?
- Pizza prep fridge sizes
- Pizza prep fridge refrigeration types
- Features to consider
- Other purchase considerations
- Best pizza prep fridges
- Used pizza prep fridges – worth considering?
- Frequently asked questions
- Pizza prep fridge glossary
- Keep your cash, use ours!
When it comes to comfort foods, pizza still holds the top spot in Canadian hearts. But dishing out cheesy pizzas in record time, can be daunting.
To bring perfection to this culinary delight your pizzeria or restaurant needs the right equipment. A reliable pizza prep fridge is essential for any food service that wants to ensure their pizzas are always top-notch.
In this commercial pizza prep fridge buying guide, we'll delve into the specifics of this essential appliance, spotlight key features, and discuss leading brands so that you can easily choose the perfect pizza topping fridge, custom-fitted to your business's distinct requirements.
What is a pizza prep fridge?
A pizza prep fridge is a multifaceted kitchen appliance that combines three unique sections, each tailored to enhance the pizza-making process.
The upper part houses chilled wells for convenient topping storage.
Next, a generous worktop offers ample space for pizza assembly.
Finally, a bottom refrigerated section caters to the storage of dough, extra topping containers, and other ingredients.
Though designed for pizza, these commercial prep fridges are highly versatile, suitable for everything from sandwich and salad crafting to burrito and burger creation.
You can also use them to refine other signature dishes.
Sandwich/salad prep table vs. pizza prep table
The primary difference between a sandwich or salad prep table and a pizza prep table is the worktop's size.
Sandwich or salad making requires less space than crafting a family-sized pizza so the table area on a sandwich or salad prep table is more compact than on a pizza prep version.
Another distinction is the top storage wells' design.
Sandwich tables usually fit 1/6 size food pans, while pizza tables often have a raised pan rail for 1/3 size food pans, although this can vary by make and model.
How to choose a pizza prep fridge?
Selecting the ideal pizza topping fridge requires careful consideration of various factors:
Measure your space
Before purchasing a commercial prep fridge, ensure your kitchen has sufficient space.
The appliance's size affects both its storage ability and your kitchen's workflow.
A too-large fridge may hinder kitchen tasks, while a too-small model might not meet your storage and prep needs.
Consider any obstacles that might affect the fridge's placement, and check if an extra power point is needed.
Most refrigerated pizza prep tables are plug-and-play, with a standard 3-prong plug fitting a regular electrical outlet.
It's wise to keep the fridge away from high-heat sources like ovens or stoves.
Your pizza topping fridge may need extra clearance on the sides or back, depending on its design.
The location of the air inlets and exhausts determines whether the fridge is front or side/rear breathing.
Front breathing models work efficiently with little side or rear clearance, while side/rear breathing ones need more space for optimal function.
Consider clearance when choosing the fridge size.
Consider the Volume
Evaluate your kitchen's daily food output.
Consider the number of customers, meal variety, and staff members using the commercial prep fridge at the same time to determine the right size and capacity.
If multiple employees need access during busy hours, larger three or four door pizza prep fridges may be ideal.
Find out your storage needs
Think about the inventory you'll store. Will it be just pizza dough and fresh toppings, or also meat and other ingredients?
Knowing your inventory helps you choose the right commercial prep fridge.
Aim for a model that maintains the proper temperature range for your stored items.
Pizza topping fridges usually keep a temperature of 0.5°C to 5°C.
Some premium models offer adjustable controls so that you can easily adjust the temperature according to your stored items.
Pizza prep fridge sizes
Pizza prep fridges come in various sizes to cater to the diverse needs of food establishments.
Typically, pizza prep fridges range from 36-inch to 119-inch in width, though this may differ by make and model.
Your choice in size depends on your operation's scale, service volume, and ingredient storage needs.
Compact 36” models suit smaller businesses, while 119” versions are ideal for larger pizzerias.
Sizes, such as 46-inch, 60-inch, and 93-inch are typical in most businesses.
Depending on the width, fridges may have one to four doors, varying by brand:
Single door: Usually found in units 48” or less wide.
Double door: 2 door pizza prep fridges are common in models approximately 60” to 72” wide.
Three doors: Generally comes in units ranging from 93” to 114” wide.
Four doors: Typical pizza prep fridges 114” or wider is designed with 4 doors, maximizing refrigerated storage.
Pizza prep fridge refrigeration types
Engineered to maintain consistent cool temperatures in both base storage and raised rail, pizza prep table refrigerators must keep product temperatures at 5°C or below with doors closed and pan lid in place.
Even with the lid off, the unit should sustain this temperature for a certain duration.
The different cooling techniques are:
Unified Cooling System
Some models use a unified system for both base and rail.
This can potentially lead to two issues: increased compressor operation to offset cold air loss through the rail, possibly freezing base items, and the risk of food spilling from the rail pans into the base, necessitating more frequent and thorough cleaning.
Certain pizza prep fridges use traditional refrigeration for base storage and cold-wall cooling for the rail by running refrigerant lines around the pans.
In these models the rail is isolated from the base, preventing spills and easing cleaning.
Separate temperature controls allow independent rail management, enabling defrosting and overnight power-down on the rails for energy savings.
However, if you are putting off power to the rails, the items in it will need to be relocated for the night.
Forced-air cooling in pizza topping fridges often includes distinct temperature controls for the base and rail.
Fans or air ducts circulate air to maintain optimal pan temperatures, and the enclosed rail prevents spills into the base.
This method cools food pans by circulating chilled fluid through divider rails, eliminating defrost cycles and saving energy.
The isolated rail area maintains a stable temperature and prevents cross-contamination.
The coolant's stable temperature avoids frosting concerns.
This system can accommodate deeper pans than other designs.
Features to consider
Choosing the right pan specifications is vital for your business's unique needs.
Consider factors like pan number, capacity, and lid type to make the right choice.
Different pizza prep tables can accommodate varying pan numbers.
Consider the variety of ingredients you will use and need close to hand to decide the right pan number.
While 1/3 size food pans are standard, variations exist across brands and models. Check pan capacity and compatibility with Gastronorm (GN) pans before purchase.
Refrigerated pizza prep tables often have insulated stainless steel lids, but clear perspex lids provide visual appeal and make it easy to inspect the ingredients without removing the lid.
Stainless steel lids, though, are favored for easy cleaning and robust insulation.
The worktop is a vital feature in a pizza prep refrigerator.
It must be spacious enough to fit your largest pizza sizes.
Pizza prep fridge worktops are commonly made of stainless steel or marble, providing a perfect surface for assembling.
Some models include a removable cutting board of HDPE or nylon, enhancing functionality.
The compressor is key to any type of refrigeration unit.
With a larger compressor the appliance will provide better cooling but at the same time will consume more power.
Consider your requirements to decide on the right efficiency and horsepower of the motor.
The compressor in a commercial prep fridge varies depending on the capacity of the appliance, brand, and model.
In a pizza prep fridge, the compressor can be mounted on the side or bottom of the appliance.
Choose the compressor's location (right/left side or bottom) based on your kitchen's layout and space available.
The defrost mechanism is engineered to avert the buildup of frost within the appliance, guaranteeing the peak functioning of the cooling process.
Commercial pizza preparation refrigerators usually come with either a scheduled defrost or an adaptive defrost mechanism.
Scheduled or programmed defrost, functions by launching the defrosting process at predetermined intervals for a fixed length of time.
However, if the frosting situation within the appliance changes, due to changes in storage or ambient temperature, the defrosting cycle may not start at the right time or may not run long enough.
An adaptive defrost mechanism adapts to the prevailing conditions, activating automatically when frost accumulation is sensed.
This approach overcomes the constraints of a scheduled defrost mechanism and is more fitting for commercial settings.
Doors and drawers
Pizza preparation refrigerators can be found with either doors, drawers, or a combination of both.
The door or drawer number depends on the appliance's size.
Units with doors: These are akin to traditional reach-in refrigerators, providing shelving racks and a generous storage room.
Units with drawers: Drawers enable effortless access to the stored trays and food pans, as the containers are laid out when the drawer is pulled out. Nevertheless, this configuration provides less storage room compared to the door models.
Units with doors and drawers: These models combine doors and drawers, maximizing space utilization while delivering the benefits of both designs in a single appliance.
The ingredients stored in the upper wells of a pizza preparation station are exposed to environmental factors and are more prone to spoilage.
Cooling solely from the bottom may lead to a temperature inconsistency between the lower and upper parts of the pans, potentially affecting the quality and freshness of the stored ingredients.
To tackle this challenge, double airflow, an advanced cooling method, has been devised by leading refrigerated pizza prep table manufacturers.
In this setup, the pans are chilled from beneath, while cool air is circulated over their open tops, assuring that food-safe temperatures are maintained across the top wells.
Double airflow prolongs the freshness of ingredients in the open wells.
Ambient temperature denotes the temperature of the immediate environment where the pizza prep fridge is placed.
This aspect is vital when selecting a commercial pizza preparation refrigerator in Canada, as it can substantially impact the appliance's efficacy and functioning.
Commercial prep fridges are designed to operate at their best within a specific ambient temperature scope.
If the ambient temperature is excessively high, the refrigerator may have difficulty sustaining the required internal temperature, leading to increased energy usage and potential food safety issues.
On the other hand, if the ambient temperature is extremely low, the refrigerated pizza prep table might not function properly, causing unnecessary energy usage and potential harm to the appliance.
A commercial kitchen, outfitted with a pizza oven or other appliances that generate high heat, will have a higher ambient temperature.
Considerable outdoor temperature variations across different seasons should also be considered.
Some high-end pizza prep fridges provide an extended ambient temperature range, such as between 5°C and 43°C.
Other purchase considerations
Ease of cleaning
Keeping your pizza prep table refrigerator spick and span necessitates a thorough daily cleaning routine.
Before investing in an appliance, it's essential to confirm that the cleaning procedure is uncomplicated and won't require an excessive amount of effort.
Commercial pizza prep fridges fitted with casters enable effortless movement, simplifying the cleaning process around the appliance.
Essential aspects to ponder include the ease of pan extraction and whether the pan well is isolated from the storage below to ease cleaning if food spillages occur.
The reachability of the space under the cutting board, the simplicity of cleaning the well below the pans, and whether the working surface is welded and has rounded edges to avert food from getting stuck are some of the other vital considerations.
Consistent maintenance of your pizza prep fridge is vital to ensure its longevity and optimal functionality.
All surfaces that come into contact with food must be cleaned on a daily basis.
After each use, wipe down the preparation area with a food-safe disinfectant solution and clean a dry, uncontaminated cloth.
Wash nylon or marble surfaces regularly with soapy water.
Replace the cutting board as needed.
Additionally, make it a habit to dust the compressor at least weekly.
This step is required to remove any fine food particles that might have been sucked in with the airflow and got trapped in the compressor.
In the unlikely event that the pizza topping fridge encounters a failure, you'll want to ensure that the issue is addressed swiftly and with the least possible interruption to your business.
Hence, before finalizing a purchase, ascertain whether the unit you're evaluating can be examined and fixed on-site if a malfunction occurs, or if it will need to be transported elsewhere for repair.
It's also vital to comprehend the stipulations of the manufacturer's warranty, including whether it covers a technician's visit, how quickly a technician will be dispatched to help, the procedure for lodging a service request if needed, and the anticipated response time.
Best pizza prep fridges
Atosa is a leading manufacturer of commercial kitchen equipment, and they offer a variety of pizza prep fridges for sale.
Their latest innovation includes environment-friendly refrigerant and a side mount compressor, ensuring efficiency and sustainability.
Atosa pizza prep fridge MPF8202GR, a 67" double-door model is popular for medium to large operations.
Featuring a heavy-duty compressor and advanced digital temperature controller this Atosa pizza prep fridge is designed to hold nine 1/3 size food pans.
The MPF8201GR, 44-inch refrigerated Atosa pizza prep fridge is a more compact version with sturdy stainless steel construction and self-closing recessed handle doors.
Atosa ensures reliability with a two-year parts and labour warranty and a five-year compressor warranty on these models, reflecting their commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.
Check out more Atosa pizza prep fridges here.
True, a prominent name in commercial refrigeration equipment, has been in business for over 75 years.
True pizza prep fridges are designed to meet the needs of busy pizzerias and restaurants.
They are built with high-quality materials and feature the latest technology to keep food fresh and safe.
True pizza prep fridge TPP-AT-67-HC is a high-quality, commercial-grade unit perfect for busy restaurants that need a moderate-size prep table with user-friendly features.
This 2 door pizza prep fridge is a 67” model and provides ample space so you can store plenty of food items.
TPP-AT-93-HC is a large three-door model with an extra deep full-length cutting board, corrosion-resistant GalFan coated steel back, and best-in-class polyurethane insulation.
Commercial refrigeration equipment from True Manufacturing is known for sustainability and efficiency.
Their pizza prep fridges are CE and UL certified and the brand has been awarded the 2021 Energy Star Partner of the Year award for their environment-friendly commercial products.
Check out more True pizza prep fridges here.
EFI Sales Ltd. is a Canadian company that has been manufacturing and distributing commercial food service equipment for over 50 years.
They are known for their high-quality products, reliable service, and competitive prices.
EFI's commercial prep fridges are some of the most popular, thanks to their innovative design and features.
EFI is committed to sustainability and has a reputation for excellent customer service.
The brand offers refrigerated pizza prep tables with doors, drawers, and a combination of both so that businesses can easily find the best fit according to their unique needs.
EFI CPDR1-44VC refrigerated pizza prep table, a compact single-door model with a removable lid/top is an efficient and durable solution used by small pizza businesses.
The other model CPDW2-67VC offers a combination of double drawers and a single door. It fits perfectly in medium to large businesses.
CPDW2-93VC, which is the largest refrigerated pizza prep table from the brand, offers a combination of double drawers and two doors, ideal for large services.
It also has an all-door variant.
Check out more EFI pizza prep fridges here.
Hoshizaki is a Japanese company with a prominent presence in the commercial refrigeration industry for decades.
Their commercial prep fridges meet the rigorous demands of daily use and are engineered to fit the unique needs of pizza businesses of different sizes and scales.
Hoshizaki pizza prep refrigerators feature night/day mode which ensures that the ingredients in the rail remain fresh overnight without freezing.
Back-to-front airflow ensures consistent cooling in the rail and the dual controller system allows for easy temperature adjustments.
These pizza prep benches also come with a removable air filter for easy cleaning.
Hoshizaki PR67A, a 67” 2 door pizza prep fridge featuring an automatic time-initiated heated defrost is an efficient solution for medium-size pizza businesses.
The three-door model, Hoshizaki PR93A with a net capacity of 30 cubic feet, and the single-door model PR46A with 11 cubic feet net capacity are the other popular choices from the brand.
Check out more about Hoshizaki pizza prep fridges here.
Kelvinator, an American brand, is well-known in the global refrigeration sector for their high-quality products.
The latest Kelvinator commercial line of refrigerators and freezers has introduced a range of professional equipment designed to provide trouble-free service in commercial environments.
All refrigeration units from the line meet the NSF /ANSI 7 standards.
Kelvinator’s refrigerated pizza prep tables are engineered with a fin and tube condenser that improves performance in higher-temperature environments.
Plus, an automatic defrost system that ensures energy efficiency.
In Canada, three different sizes of Kelvinator refrigerated pizza prep tables are available.
The 48” single-door compact model Kelvinator KCHPT50.6, is a good fit for smaller services.
Whereas the two larger variants, KCHPT72.9, which is a 71” 2 door pizza prep fridge, and KCHPT92.12, a 94” three-door model are more suitable for medium to large operations.
These pizza topping fridges come with a powerful compressor, electronic temperature controller and feature a sturdy construction ideal for demanding commercial use.
Check out more about Kelvinator pizza prep fridges here.
Used pizza prep fridges — worth considering?
Spending thousands of dollars on a new pizza prep fridge can put a strain on your budget and cash flow.
If you’d prefer not to invest a lot of money in a new pizza prep refrigerator, a cheaper, used pizza prep fridge might be the solution you’re looking for.
SilverChef’s range of ‘Certified Used’ commercial kitchen equipment is mostly ex-rental equipment sourced from businesses we know and trust.
The equipment is typically less than two-and-a-half years old, has been fully refurbished by us, and is backed by a three-month parts-and-labour warranty.
Considering the effective, or useful, life of a commercial prep fridge is much longer, you can be sure our Certified Used commercial pizza prep fridges have plenty of life left in it.
You can either buy or finance the ‘Certified Used’ (and clearance) equipment on our website. (We’re one of the few financiers, if not the only one, in Canada that funds second-hand commercial kitchen equipment).
Read more about ‘Certified Used’ equipment
Frequently asked questions
What is the best pizza prep fridge for my business?
Selecting the best pizza prep fridge for your business depends on various factors such as the size of your kitchen, the volume of pizzas you prepare daily, your budget, and specific technological preferences.
Atosa pizza prep fridges are popular in the food service industry for their quality and performance.
True pizza prep fridges are also common.
Brands like EFI, Hoshizaki, and Kelvinator offer a range of models with different features and capacities.
Consider energy efficiency, ease of cleaning, warranty, and the availability of local service support before selecting a model.
Consulting with a local commercial kitchen equipment supplier who understands the market can provide personalized recommendations based on your unique business needs and compliance with Canadian standards.
Where can I find a used pizza prep fridge for sale?
Finding a used pizza prep fridge for sale in is not difficult.
It can be done through various channels. Local restaurant equipment auctions, classified ads, online platforms, or specialized websites for used commercial kitchen equipment are common places to look.
It's essential to inspect the unit thoroughly or ask for a professional assessment to ensure it meets your needs and complies with local health and safety regulations.
Buying from a reputable dealer who offers a warranty or guarantee can provide added peace of mind when purchasing used equipment.
Take a look at our collection for the best deals on Certified Used pizza prep fridges.
What are the energy efficiency considerations when buying a refrigerated pizza prep table?
In Canada, energy efficiency in refrigerated pizza prep tables is not only an environmental consideration but also a cost-saving measure.
Look for models that utilize energy-efficient technologies such as the environmentally friendly R290 refrigerant.
Energy Star certification is a reliable indicator of energy efficiency.
Regular maintenance and cleaning can also contribute to the optimum performance of the appliance and higher energy savings.
Consulting with a local supplier who understands Canadian energy standards can help you find the right energy-efficient model for your needs.
Pizza prep fridge glossary
Condenser is a device that cools down the refrigerant gas or vapour into its liquid state.
A digital display serves as a visual guide, showing real-time temperature and other operational parameters.
It helps to monitor and adjust the fridge's performance with ease.
A built-in mechanism that periodically warms the cooling component of the refrigeration system to dissolve any accumulated frost or ice, ensuring optimal cooling efficiency.
The evaporator is the part of the cooling system where the refrigerant absorbs heat, evaporates, and cools the interior.
Energy star rating
An Energy Star rating signifies compliance with specific energy efficiency criteria.
Appliances bearing this certification are designed to consume less energy.
Gastronorm / GN pans
Gastronorm or GN pans are uniform sized food containers utilized in professional kitchens.
Their standardized dimensions allow for easy interchangeability and efficient space utilization.
The gasket around the refrigerator's door plays a crucial role in preserving cold air within and barring warm air from entering.
It helps to maintain the appliance's efficiency.
Insulation in a refrigerated pizza prep table refers to the materials embedded within the doors, walls, and lids to prevent heat exchange.
It plays a crucial role to preserve the desired temperatures and boosts energy efficiency.
Polyurethane insulation, a dense foam variant, is often used in high-end pizza topping fridges for its exceptional thermal resistance.
The thermostat regulates the inside temperature of the refrigeration unit to keep it consistent with the user's settings, ensuring a stable and controlled environment.
Keep your cash. Use ours!
We hope this guide has helped you better understand what you need to look for in a pizza prep refrigerator and how to choose the right model for your needs.
If you want to know more, you can always reach out to the SilverChef team.
Hospitality equipment can be expensive and paying for it outright can put pressure on your business’s cash flow.
Our finance solutions allow you to get the equipment you want now and to pay for it in small, regular amounts out of the revenue it generates for you.
Rent–Try–Buy® not only helps you maintain your cash flow, it gives you unrivalled flexibility to adapt your equipment to the changing needs of your business.
You can upgrade or buy the equipment at any time or, after 12 months, return or continue renting it.
If you decide to buy the equipment, we’ll give you back 60% of the net rent you paid in the first year and 20% of any rental payments thereafter — to put toward the purchase price.
Read more about Rent–Try–Buy.