Foodservice Equipment Reports

Prep Table Gallery

Here's a quick rundown on the bewildering array of refrigerated prep tables on the market right now. The group is huge, with 13 suppliers responding to our invitation to put information up.

A few notes: Most of this group makes both raised-rail pizza prep tables and recessed-pan sandwich/salad versions, and we've tried to provide some broad-brush overviews in addition to model-specific sample specs.

Some commonalities are not mentioned because they are common or nearly common to all: Virtually all offer casters; those of 5" or smaller are not mentioned here. Bigger ones are noted. All offer polyurethane insulation but details may vary. Shelving varies. Standard construction is stainless top, front and sides, with galvanized back and interior, unless otherwise noted. Many offer drawer options that may or may not have made our listings.

For more information, you can go to our online Buyers Guide at www.fermag.com and click suppliers' links to pursue specific spec sheets. Happy hunting!

Note: Supplier statements are not to be taken as editorial endorsements.

ASCEND/JIMEX
Overview:
Relatively newer to the U.S. market, Ascend boasts both sandwich-prep and pizza-prep lines. The former, with recessed pans, comes in 27", 48", 60" and 72" lengths. The pizza versions, with raised-rail pans, come in 44", 68" and Nimitz-class 3-door 93" models. The 2-door, 68" pizza model is shown and detailed here.

Features:

    • Stainless steel interior and exterior.
    • Standard 9 1/3-size pans, 4" deep.
    • Polycarbonate pans included.
    • Forced air system with no need for defrost.
    • Extra deep 18" cutting board included.
    • Hot-gas condensate pan means no drain required.
    • 2 year parts and labor, 5 year compressor warranty.


Supplier statement: Ascend pizza preparation units feature high-quality construction and provide effective cooling solutions for your pizza preparation needs. With stainless steel interior and exterior, our preparation units feature a direct and uniform forced-air system that keeps all stored products at uniform temperatures, with no need for defrost, says Jimex. Key features include a fully recessed door handle, 1"-thick insulated lid, reinforced door hinges with 90° hold-open feature, and extra-deep 18" cutting board. Casters and polycarbonate pans come standard. These units include a 2-yr. parts and labor warranty, which is a full additional year beyond industry standards.
www.ascendmfg.com

BEVERAGE-AIR
Overview:
The SPE Elite Series is a versatile do-it-all line of 27" and 48" sandwich prep tables with recessed ingredient bins and uptown features like heavy-duty stainless finish and insulated covers. Standard cutting surface is a largish 10"; deeper surfaces available. Refrigerant is R-134a.

Features:

    • 48"-models come in a 1-door, 2-drawer version as well as 4-drawer model, with tops to accommodate 8, 10 and 12 1/6-size pans.
    • 27" models are single-door units that accept 8 1/6-size pans or 6 1/6 pans and 2 1/9 pans.
    • Neat features include 120° stay-open doors, heavy-duty insulated pan covers, cartridge-style door hinges and more.
    • Hot-gas condensate evaporator eliminates need for drain.
    • CFC- and HCFC-free blown in place insulation.


Supplier statement: A few years ago, Beverage-Air redesigned its line of prep tables to be more energy efficient and to increase airflow. On the SPE Elite Series, an enhanced energy-efficient refrigeration system and more efficient components maintain pan temperatures with lids open for longer periods. The SPE Elite Series also features smarter design features such as insulated covers, cartridge-style door hinges, field-reversible doors, snap-in door gaskets, locking divider bars, heavy-duty pan liner and a 120° stay-open door feature. Drawer units are available in all sizes. Numerous options and accessories are available including crumb catchers, 12" cross bars, composite cutting boards, single and double tier overshelves, sneeze guards, bun tray and garnish racks.
www.beverage-air.com

BLUE AIR
Overview:
Blue Air refrigerated sandwich-prep tables come in a wide variety of sizes, all the way up to 72" long. The pictured unit, a representative BAPT 2, a 48 ½" version taking 12 1/6-size pans and featuring two swing-out doors. Refrigerant: R-134a.

Features:

    • Available in 28", 48", 60", 72", in both standard and mega-top models.
    • Stainless steel interior and exterior.
    • Large 6" casters
    • Large 11 ¾"-deep cutting board.
    • Rear bumpers for securing airflow.
    • Front breathing.


Supplier statement: Prep tables from Blue Air offer an oversized and balanced evironmentally friendly refrigeration system with airflow directed at pans for colder temperature. Guided airflow provides uniform temperature in a 360° circle throughout the cabinet for stay-fresh meats, cheeses and salads. A foam-insulated roll-back cover keeps pans colder to lock in freshness and minimize condensation. Extra safety and energy-saving features include a two-step closing device on the roll-back cover. A drain guide panel in the bottom guides condensate into the drain hole, and self-closing swing doors come with a 90° stay-open feature. Recessed handles and elegant round corners come standard. You also get an extra-deep 11¾" full-length removable cutting board.
www.blueairinc.com

DELFIELD
Overview:
A broad series of refrigerated prep tables and worktops, Delfield's 4400 line offers front-breathing design, casters, self-closing doors, ABS interiors, polyurethane foam insulation, insulated pan covers and 6"-deep pans. The prep tables come in 27", 32", 48", 60", 64" and 72" sizes (add 1/8" to each for precise widths.) Refrigerant R-404a. The 27" Mega Top is detailed below.

Features:

    • Standard Mega Top capacity is 9 1/6-size pans; just announced: a 12-pan iteration.
    • Choice of drawer or door access.
    • Mega Top cutting surface is 8" deep with antimicrobial treatment.
    • No-dent ABS interior.


Supplier Statement: The 4400 Series prep table from Delfield provides an integrated design solution to your salad, sandwich and other meal preparation needs. Designed to be easy to work from, the table provides a compact area where storage and assembly are combined to create an efficient production system. Labor productivity is high with the unit, says Delfield, and operational costs are low. Food is held at safe, consistent temperatures, keeping your meal quality high and your food-waste costs low.
www.delfield.com

HOSHIZAKI
Overview:
Hoshizaki's HPR series of raised-rail refrigerated prep tables comes in two sizes—a 46" unit with 1door standard and 12 1/6-size pan capacity or equivalent; and a 72" with 2 doors standard and 18 1/6-size pan capacity or equivalent. Drawer versions, designated with a –D suffix, offer 2 and 4 drawers instead instead of doors. Refrigerant: R404a.

Features:

    • Cabinet-door perimeter heater.
    • Hot-gas condensate evaporator.
    • Separate controls for rail and storage areas.
    • EverCheck system monitors high and low temps, control board, sensor functions, filter condition, etc.


Supplier statement: Hoshizaki America's series of stainless steel refrigerated raised rail prep tables are self-contained units available as drawer or door models in 72" and 46' inch widths. Standard features include heavy duty epoxy adjustable shelves, door locks and hot gas condensate evaporator. The units are designed with separate controls and sensors for the rail and base including separate LED temperature indicators. The exclusive “night switch" control setting allows overnight product storage. Optional accessories include tray pan rack slide, reversible door hinging and polyurethane cutting board. Hoshizaki prep tables are constructed of a stainless steel interior and exterior top, front and sides with galvanized steel back and bottom for long life, durability and easy maintenance.
www.hoshizaki.com

KAIRAK
Overview:
BLU's most distinguishing feature is its cooling system. Simply put, it runs glycol coolant a tad above 32°F through chiller plates very close to the pan surfaces instead of running conventional cooling lines around the pans. The result is greater and more heat-exchange area at the pans and more even cooling without cold spots. And with no frosting, there's no defrosting. No fans are needed, either. Refrigerant: R-404a.

Features:

    • BLU system (see Overview).
    • Choice of 1-door, 46"; 2-door, 65"; 2-door, 71"; and 3-door, 91" models. Capacities, respectively: 18, 27, 30, 39 1/6 pans or equivalents.
    • 2 ½"-high raised rail.
    • Chiller plates to accept 1/3-, 1/6- and 1/9-size pans.
    • 6" casters.


Supplier statement: Kairak offers BLU, patented pan chiller technology offering a steady flow of environmentally friendly glycol coolant throughout the system. A low-pressure flow of liquid passes through Kairak's hollow chiller plates, eliminating the need for copper piping as it delivers the high capacity coolant around each food pan. Since the large chiller plates are in close proximity to the pans, food products are uniformly and consistently cooled without the need for airflow. By precisely controlling the liquid temperature, the chiller plates will never freeze food or accumulate ice, which means BLU pan chillers can operate in a 24/7 application without the need for defrosting or downtime. All BLU prep tables, drop-in pan chillers and remote fixtures come with a 3-yr. parts and labor warranty.
www.kairak.com

MASTER-BILT
Overview:
The Endura line of raised-rail refrigerated prep tables offers an extensive line with foamed-in-place insulation, 1/6-size polycarb pans, raised rail and stainless lids, aluminum interior, bottom-mounted refrigeration and loads of options.

Features:

    • Wide choice of 48" and 60" 2-door; 72" and 84" 3-door; and huge 96" 4-door models. Capacities in sequence are 12, 16, 18, 22 and 24 1/6-size pans.
    • Separate temp controls for pan well and storage areas.
    • Auto defrost with separate power switch for pan well.
    • Options include drawers, alarms, half-glass doors, stainless interior and more.


Supplier statement: Master-Bilt says the Endura Series offers one of the most durable and energy efficient lines of institutional prep tables. The versatile MRR Series refrigerated prep tables come in 2-, 3- or 4-door models and will accommodate as many as to 24 1/6-size pans. The tables come standard with polycarbonate pans, cutting board and raised condiment rail with stainless steel lids. The exterior front, sides, top and doors are constructed of stainless steel, with smooth aluminum inner liner and door panel, and foamed-in-place polyurethane walls. The bottom-mounted, self-contained refrigeration system has separate temperature controls for the pan well and storage areas. The units may be enclosed on three sides since air intake and exhaust is through its base.
www.master-bilt.com

NOR-LAKE
Overview:
Nor-Lake's RR series of raised-rail prep tables comes in five sizes with foamed-in-place insulation, stainless pan lids, aluminum interior, and all the competitive features. Refrigerant: R-134a.

Features:

    • Broad line includes 53" and 65" 2-door; 77" and 89" 3-door; and bigfoot 101" 4-door sizes. Capacities in sequence are 12, 16, 18, 22 and 24 1/6-size pans. OR: half as many 1/3-size pans.
    • Separate temp controls for pan well and storage areas.
    • Auto defrost with separate power switch for pan well.
    • Options include drawers, a huge 20" cutting board, polycarb pans and more.


Supplier statement: Nor-Lake's refrigerated preparation tables are built with an exterior made of durable stainless steel. While the bottom and back are made with galvanized steel, the interior liner and interior door panel are made with smooth aluminum, allowing for a long-lasting, sharp-looking preparation table for any foodservice venue. Nor-Lake stands behind this UL-, C-UL- and UL Sanitation-listed product offering an 18-month parts and labor warranty. Nor-Lake has been manufacturing quality refrigeration equipment since 1947.
www.norlake.com

RANDELL/UNIFIED
Overview:
Randell's 8000N series raised-rail prep tables give you your choice of six different sizes, all with a single top opening to allow flexible combinations of pans, hinged stainless covers and aluminum interiors.

Features:

    • Big line includes 48" 1-door; 60" and 68" 2-doors; 83" and 95" 3-doors; 111" 3-door. Capacities in sequence are 12, 16, 18, 20, 24 and 28 1/6-size pans. OR: half as many 1/3 pans.
    • Separate temp controls for pan well and storage areas.
    • Separate power switch for pan rail.
    • Hot-gas condensate evaporator.
    • New hinged louver for easy access to drain gate.


Supplier statement: Randell's pan rail accommodates any size pan, and does it with an ergonomically friendly height. The raised mechanical rail cascades a cold blanket over the food without drying out product, assuring proper product temperatures in the harshest environments where flush pan or forced air designs struggle. The Randell prep table base and pan rail are two separate temperature zones so temperatures maintain more consistently and are operated by thermostats for each compartment. Cleanup in the Randell pan rail is easier because the pan supports are integral and easy to clean and every rail is provided with an industry exclusive rail drain allowing easy clean-up of spills and sanitation. Door gaskets feature a new long-lasting profile enhancing the seal/energy savings; the press-fit design allows easy replacement with no tools.
www.randell.com

TRAULSEN
Overview:
The VPS (Venturi Plenum System) is a high-feature series of raised-rail prep tables that offers a unique ducted airflow approach over the ingredient pans to defend against warm ambient air and comes in five sizes.

Features:

    • Choices range from 48", 54" and 66" 2-door units to 72" and 90" 3-door models.. Capacities: 12, 14, 18, 20, 24 1/6-size pans or comparable combinations of larger pans.
    • VPS employs low-velocity ducted air over the exposed food and across the pan sides and bottom to maintain temps.
    • Stainless interior and exterior.
    • Big 8" casters.
    • Hinged, stainless rail covers.
    • Energy-saving non-electric condensate evaporator.


Supplier statement: Prep-table operators often complain that pans are not kept cold enough. Traulsen's VPS pizza prep tables circulate cold air around and underneath the pans and loft a protective blanket over the food surface, effectively insulating it from warm kitchen air to help keep food safe and fresh. The tables hold both high-fat and high-water-content foods equally well, says Traulsen, ideal for any product that requires a ready supply of cold ingredients and/or condiments. Tables provide 6 hrs. or more of NSF 7 performance with the top open while protecting products from freezing or drying out. Traulsen's prep tables include time- and labor-saving benefits, including elimination of the daily cleaning difficulties typically associated with frost buildup and condensation.
www.traulsen.com

TRUE
Overview:
The TSSU (True Sandwich/Salad Unit) recessed-pan series offers more than a dozen configurations of door and drawer arrangements in 27", 36", 48", 60" and 72" lengths. A TPP series, for pizza prep, offers nearly as many models with lengths up to a whopping 119". Shown here is the 48" sandwich/salad model.

Features:

    • Dizzying array of sizes (see Overview)
    • 48" model takes 12 1/6-size pans.
    • Stainless top, front and ends with aluminum back. White aluminum interior.
    • Large 11 ¾"-deep cutting board.
    • Stainless, foam-insulated lids.
    • Foamed-in-place polyurethane insulation.


Supplier's statement: True's refrigerated food-prep units are designed with quality that protects your long term investment. An oversized, balanced, energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, patented forced-air refrigeration system holds 33°F to 41°F and complies with ANSI/NSF-7-1997-6.3. The stainless, patented, foam-insulated lid and hood keep pan temperatures cold, lock in freshness, minimize condensation and remove for easy cleaning. An NSF-approved, white polyethylene, 11¾"-deep, full-length removable cutting board provides a sanitary, high-density preparation surface. Cabinet features foamed-in-place, high-density, polyurethane insulation that has zero ozone depletion potential and zero global warming potential. www.truemfg.com

TURBO AIR
Overview:
Turbo Air makes both pizza and sandwich/salad style refrigerated prep tables. The raised-rail pizza versions come in 44", 67" and 93" versions. The recessed sandwich/salad prep units in the SDS (Super Deluxe Series) line are detailed here. Refrigerant: R-134a.
Features:

    • Sandwich/salad prep units come in 28", 1-door; 36", 48" and 60" 2-doors; and 72" 3-door versions. Capacities in sequence are 8, 10, 12, 16 and 18 1/6-size pans.
    • Stainless interior and exterior, except back.
    • Oversized, balanced components.
    • Hot-gas condensate evaporator.


Supplier statement: Turbo Air's Super Deluxe solid-door prep table boasts stainless steel interior and exterior plus heavy-duty stainless shelves. It is designed with an oversized, balanced, environmentally friendly forced-air refrigeration system. The entire cabinet structure and doors feature high-density, CFC-free, formed-in-place polyurethane insulation. Other features include ergonomically designed easy-grip door handles and self-closing door. The wide side rail cutting board bracket makes it easy to secure and remove the cutting board in any sizes. Refrigerator holds temps from 33°F to 39°F. Various sizes are available in standard sandwich and salad prep tables, pizza prep tables, mega tops and drawer types. Warranty is 2 yrs. for parts and labor, 5 yrs. on the compressor.
www.turboairinc.com

VICTORY
Overview:
Victory makes both pizza and sandwich/salad prep tables. The pizza line comes in 46", 65", 88" and big 119" versions with, respectively, 1, 2, 3 and 4 doors or optional drawer configurations. The sandwich/salad line offers an impressive combined 16 different models in compact, standard and Big Top versions with a huge variety of pan capacities. Detailed here is the 27 ½" 1-door Big Top sandwich/salad model. Refrigerant: R-134a.

Features:

    • Wide array of configurations in lengths of 27 ½", 48", 60" and 72", growing from 1-door to 3-door versions. Capacities from 8 to 30 1/6-size pans.
    • Stainless door, top and interior bottom; aluminum interior and sides.
    • Standard 8 ½" cutting board.
    • Auto condensate evaporator system.


Supplier statement: Victory offers an extensive line of Big Top sandwich and salad preparation refrigerators. These models offer 50% more pan capacity than conventional models of the same width, says Victory. Each model has a stainless exterior, reversible cutting board and an insulated, telescoping cover that saves energy and minimizes condensation. A unique air distribution system gently pulls cold air across the tops of the recessed pans to keep food product cold and safe. The storage compartment has a stainless floor for easy cleanup, and two shelves help maximize product storage. A front-breathing design allows the refrigeration system to take in and discharge air from the front of the unit, and this design enables the cabinet to fit into compact openings.
www.victory-refrig.com

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