The Kitchen and Its Equipment

The kitchen is usually the center where meal preparation and service are carried out. The size and shape of the kitchen greatly affect the convenience of working. The small kitchen is about 2 X 3 meters, while the average one measures around 4X5 meters. The rectangular-shaped kitchen allows for more work than the irregular shaped one.

The floor of the kitchen should be easy to clean and care for. The walls should be easy to clean and should add to the cheeriness of the room. Adequate ventilation and lighting should be provided especially at the sink, range and work counter.

Arrangement of Equipment

Kitchen equipment must be so placed as to contribute ti efficient work procedures. Differenet arrangements may be used: the 7 plan, the L plan, the corridor or two-wall plan, or the one-wall plan. The work done in the kitchen centers on the preparation and serving of meals, the cleaning away and washing of dishes, and the storage and care of equipment. food and other supplies. All of the equipment related to one activity should be grouped together in the most convenient place possible. Compact arrangement is always desirable.

Kitchen equipment can well be arranged in three centers: the mixing center, the cooking center and the cleaning and washing center. Storage should be provided in each center for all the equipment and the supplies commonly used there and additional storage should be provided elsewhere as needed. Work in the kitchen generally proceeds from right to left.

In the mixing center, a work counter is necessary, with storage cabinets above and below. Pans, bowls, cups, saucers, spoons, forks, knives, and similar utensils used in the preparation of the food should be located in this center. Ingredients such as flour, sugar, baking powder, and spices should also kept here.

The center where the food is cooked is focused on the range. It includes storage space for utensils and dishes needed at the range and possibly a small serving table, wheel tray or shelf.

The cleaning and eashing center, sometimes called the sink center, includes the sink, the garbage disposal unit, dish rack or drainage board, utensils, and supplies used in washing. Tools and supplies needed in the preparation of uncooked vegetables and fruits should be at hand as well as those used in dishwashing and cleaning. Orderly arrangement and availability of minor equipment are also important. Nothing hinders efficient meal preparation more than time spent in looking for misplaced utensils. Pieces of equipment that are used together should be placed near each other.

Working Surface Heights

A proper working level for the ocunters in the three centers is advantageous. Correct posture is essential to health and no worker can have good posture. If the surface level at shich he/she regularly works is incorrect. Incorrect working surfaces include fatigue. The correct working surface is that height at which the individual can work comfortably with the back and shoulders straight and the arms in a natural position.

The test for correct working surface heights involves the following:
  1. Tables, ranges and work counters - one should be able to stand erect with shouldrs pulled back at the palms of the hands placed flat on the surface.
  2. Sink - the height of the sink from the floor should be the same as that of the mixing center. The stink drain board should be 12 to 13 cm higher than the sink. The dish rack should be closed to the sink.
  3. Stools and chairs - when sittinat the table in a stool, one should be in the same position as when standing. A distance of 13 to 23 cm should be allowed for knee space between the stool and the table.
Care of Equipment and Utensils

The life ans serviceability of an equipment depend much on the care given to it. Equipment should be cleaned, repaired when needed, and kept dry. Refrigeratos cool the food well if they have enough space for air circulation. THey should not be packed and never left open. Frequently opening and closing them should be avoided. Ranges, ovens, as well as the cooking utensils used should be cleaned after cooking.