In a world that offers seemingly infinite choices in kitchen gear, the streamlined aisles of restaurant supply stores are a haven. I love walking my restaurant supply outlet, with its rows of plain and functional sheet pans, carbon steel skillets, and ladles. This unadorned equipment is designed to be long-lasting and hard-working — and often very cheap!
But a restaurant supply store can also provide another benefit to your kitchen: increased health and safety. Here are three restaurant staples that make my kitchen a safer, healthier place to cook.
Restaurant supply stores are a good source for disposable gloves. Food service gloves differ from medical or cleaning gloves in that they are generally powder-free and certified food-safe.
Now, I don't use disposable gloves every time I cook. I mean, who does? But they are so nice to have around for the following various tasks:
- Cutting up pineapple and hot peppers, to avoid numbness and burn.
- Shaping meatballs and meatloaf.
- Making skewers and kabobs for grilling.
- Any party tray assembly where you're cutting and assembling a lot of food that will be eaten raw.
Gloves avoid mess and germ cross-contamination. Stripping off gloves and washing my hands after handling a big batch of meatballs gives me extra security that I haven't transferred bacteria to my kid's mac and cheese.
Bonus pro tip: The best use of disposable gloves? Carving your Thanksgiving turkey! The gloves help provide a better grip on those slippery poultry parts, and protect your hands as you carve up the beast.
Checking the temperature of chicken on the grill? Sensitive to germs and cross-contamination? Next time you're at a restaurant supply store, pick up a case of these cheap and handy wipes, designed to sanitize your thermometer.
Sometimes I even use these instead of washing my thermometer. Because my pricey yet awesome ThermaPen shouldn't get too wet or submerged, these do the trick.
3. Heavy-Duty Sanitizers
If you have ever worked in a professional food service environment, you know that regulations require strict sanitization. For instance, in every restaurant kitchen I've worked in, there has always been a bucket of towels in a sanitizing solution ready to clean work surfaces.
This is a little intense for a home kitchen, but restaurant supply stores are very good resources for sanitizing wipes and solutions that go beyond your spritzy sprays and their germ-killing abilities.
If you need to sanitize brewing equipment or have an immunocompromised person in your household, sanitizing products like these can be very helpful.
Shopping note: I've linked to most of these products on Amazon, where many restaurant supplies can be found. But they tend (for me anyway) to be cheaper at a local outlet.
Do you shop at restaurant supply stores? Do you have favorite finds — especially in the health and safety space?