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Chef Base Buying Guide

When you're planning the layout of your kitchen, both equipment size and function play an important role in determining what to include in your work environment. For efficient, streamlined work stations, chef bases are available with refrigerators or freezers to fit every need as you make the most out of your valuable kitchen space.

Why Do I Need a Chef Base?

Avantco CBE-52 52 inch 2 Drawer Refrigerated Chef Base


Designed to hold equipment on top, chef bases house the food you're waiting to prepare right underneath. With ingredients or prepared meals close to your cooking station, you can make your food prep more efficient than ever!



1.) Saves Space

Thanks to the two-in-one design, each chef base offers a durable work top and refrigerator or freezer drawers below. Chef bases allow you to maximize the space in your establishment to make the most of your valuable kitchen space.

2.) Efficient and Convenient

A great way to save time and ensure that your staff is working quickly and efficiently, chef bases make it easy to reach for ingredients without having to leave your work station. Because chef bases can accommodate a variety of cooking equipment, you can arrange meats, cheeses, and vegetables in the drawers so you have everything you need to prepare cheese steaks, hamburgers, and breakfast sandwiches!

Equipment Stand vs. Chef Base

To maximize the space in your kitchen, chef bases can be used to replace equipment stands in order to utilize the otherwise limited space below stands and tables. While an equipment stand is great for creating work prep stations, it doesn't provide convenient access to fresh ingredients the same way that a chef base does.

Equipment Stand: Provides shelf space for pots, pans, and cooking utensils. Typically includes a stainless steel top.

Chef Base: Available in 2, 4, or 6 drawer options, you can store ingredients close at hand in the refrigerator or freezer drawers. Each drawer can hold various configurations of food pans and these units typically feature a stainless steel top.

Vendor Comparison: Refrigerated Chef Bases

Vendor
Self-Cleaning Condenser
Number of Drawers
Capacity
Available Sizes
Price Point
2, 4
2-8 full size food pans
36"-72"
$
2, 4
5-23 cu. ft.
36"-96"
$ - $$
2, 4, 6
8.5-24.5 cu. ft.

2-12 full size food pans
36"-120"
$ - $$
2, 6
6.5-27.4 cu. ft.
36"-48", 108"
$ - $$
2, 4, 6
2-12 full size food pans
36"-96"
$$ - $$$
2, 4
2-8 full size food pans
36"-72"
$$ - $$$

Vendor Comparison: Freezer Chef Bases

Vendor
Alternate Condenser Location
Number of Drawers
Capacity
Available Sizes
Price Point
2, 4 9-20 cu. ft. 48"-84" $ - $$
2, 4, 6 8.5-25 cu. ft. 36"-120" $ - $$
2, 4 3-8 full size food pans 36"-72" $$ - $$$

Spec Line / Institutional / Heavy-Duty Chef Bases

Traulsen TE036HT 2 Drawer 36 inch Refrigerated Chef Base - Specification Line


To fit every need, we also have a selection of Spec Line / Institutional / Heavy-Duty Chef Bases. When durability and strength are key, choose one of these refrigerated chef bases to add efficiency to your kitchen. Specification Line chef bases offer more precise controls, premium features and construction, and the ability to customize configurations more than standard models.

Thanks to their sturdy stainless steel construction and a variety of drawer numbers and capacities to choose from, these chef bases stand up to the rigors of a busy commercial kitchen.

Chef Base Purchasing Considerations

Ventilation / Exhaust Hood Requirements

• Since these units exhaust warm air like all refrigerators and freezers, be sure to account for this when calculating the CFM (cubic feet per minute).
• You'll want to make sure that you have enough airflow for safe and efficient operation of both the cooking equipment and the chef base's condenser.

Marine Edge

• A Marine Edge on top on a chef base helps contain drips and spills.
• It also reduces the overall usable dimensions of the top fractionally.
• Look carefully at the specsheets of both the chef base and also the equipment you plan on placing on top to make sure that the legs will still sit correctly on the top.
• You might need to specify a flat top chef base if a Marine Edge will not allow enough room for your equipment.
• Extended top options are also available if you need additional work space.

Weight Limits

• Check the specsheets of the chef base as well as the equipment you plan on putting on top of it to make sure you don't exceed the weight limit of the base.

Legs / Proper Clearance

• Cooking equipment needs to be mounted on legs to provide a specified minimum amount of clearance between the bottom of the equipment and top of the chef base.

Heat Shield

• A heat shield on top of the chef base can deflect some of the heat from the cooking equipment away from the refrigerated cavity of the chef base. It's important to follow the manufacturer's guidelines to maintain food safe holding temperatures and prolong the unit's life.

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