Solid fuel appliances for commercial kitchens

Britain’s recent culinary renaissance has been accompanied by a demand for the best-quality ingredients and an insistence on the most sophisticated cooking techniques to produce great-tasting food. Restaurants, cafés and other catering outlets are increasingly using solid fuel appliances like wood-fired pizza ovens, charcoal grills and tandoors to deliver the sorts of flavour experiences expected by their customers. As tastes change, so do the types of appliances that are needed to keep up with the trend.

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Advantages of solid fuel appliances

The key advantage to the commercial kitchen of using solid fuel appliances is, as highlighted above, the authenticity they can lend to traditional and more avant-garde cuisine. Think, for example, of the cooking of the Indian subcontinent with its magnificent tandoori preparations. Versions of these delicacies prepared in standard ovens cannot really compare with those produced in genuine tandoors with their centuries-long history. Think of a superb pizza, which as this Guardian article illustrates, will typically involve a wood-fired oven.

Disadvantages of solid fuel appliances

First, there is a specific set of health and safety risks involved in this type of commercial oven. A charcoal grill, for example, can reach astonishing temperatures, so real care needs to be taken to guard against kitchen fires and burns to staff. Likewise, carbon monoxide (CO) is a by-product of burning solid fuels so there needs to be adequate ventilation and functioning CO alarms, and you are obliged to arrange frequent safety checks to ensure that the premises are safe. Staff are also required to be thoroughly trained in recognising the signs of CO exposure in themselves and others.

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Any commercial kitchen requires careful planning, and one making use of solid fuel appliances needs to take extra care to manage the various associated risks. Is there room for a flue in your proposed cooking space?

Planning your commercial kitchen

Whether you are planning on installing a solid fuel appliances or using other types of commercial ovens like those supplied by, you will need to be attuned to the regulations surrounding health and safety and food hygiene. This is a relatively complex area but there are lots of good resources online.

We also recommend that you seek specialist advice to ensure that your kitchen is fully compliant with the law and safe for you, your personnel and your customers.

Sarah Harris

Sarah Harris is a passionate artisan pasta maker, dedicated to the art of creating handcrafted pasta that delights the senses and transports you to the heart of Italy. With a deep-rooted love for culinary traditions and an unwavering commitment to quality, Sarah has turned her passion for pasta into a lifelong pursuit.

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