Stainless Steel Worktops Of Every Professional Kitchen

Stainless Steel Worktops  Of Every Professional Kitchen

It's hard to envision a kitchen in the food service industry without picturing bustling employees, succulent aromas, flaring flames and the occasional but very boisterous expletive. Between the mayhem, though, there's one team member who shines above the rest with a dignified calm.

No, not the master chef-he's usually the loudest actually-but rather the stainless steel worktop he's chopping on. Stainless steel has become such an industry standard in the past half-century that you might find a discussion on its benefits almost redundant, yet it has more nuances then you'd expect.
 So whether you're a peon at McDonald's or an Iron Chef, now is the time to shine up on your metal trivia. Don't be surprised however if that spicy waitress fails to understand the "irony" of your crappy steel jokes.

There are many reasons why Stainless Steel Worktops are the perfect solution...

To satisfy pub quizzers, let's delve straight into the science itself: chromium safeguards this metal by oxidizing its surface, moulding itself into a resistant layer of chromium oxide. This layer is not some cursory coating either; the metal contains at least 11% chromium, which re-oxidizes at the surface after a scratch. Standard stainless steel-grade 304-also contains a pinch of nickel. U.S. nickels (and British 5p coins) are a quarter nickel, and since stainless steel is made from about 60% recycled metal, your sink could literally be made of money.

But don't get too excited at the prospect of trying to find that nickel. Unless armed with copious quantities of hydrochloric acid (in which case you should probably reconsider food service), you'll find stainless steel a tough nut to crack. It won't dent easily, even when the sous-chefs get bored and decide to wrestle their way through the evening shift.
 When the bedlam's finally subsided, clean up is a cinch. Stainless steel worktops will normally require nothing stronger than soapy water, although stainless steel is inert to hospital-grade disinfectants, which are handy for sterilising that crusty prawn found lurking behind the deep fat fryer.

If you use a heavily-chlorinated soap in your washing sink, however, you might want to consider 316-grade steel, which has a higher chemical resistance due to the addition of molybdenum. Don't sweat over the pronunciation of molybdenum when shopping for a new stainless steel sink, incidentally, because designers also refer to 316 as "Marine grade", oft used for laboratory sinks, to make life easier for tongue-tied chefs.

One of this metal's greatest assets is its flexibility. This may sound like a paradox, coming from a metal famed for its rigidity. In this instance however, we are referring not to steel's willingness to yield under the crushing blow of a tenderised steak, but rather to its customisable nature.

Steel can be crafted into almost any conceivable shape, to maximise the available space and reduce wastage during the manufacturing process. So whether you need to fricassee an octopus in your sink or just want a countertop shaped like a Stegosaurus (we've all thought about it), stainless steel is the solution.

Off-site custom stainless steel fabrication also minimises waste and reduces on-site installation time. Assuming you took your measurements accurately in the first place, your sink should just slot into place. All that's left to do then is hook up the plumbing and prepare to fricassee at will.

Stainless steel worktops are have the least environmental impact...

Due to its 100% recyclability, steel doesn't have to try too hard to gain full marks in the environmental department. So when the excitement over the Stegosaurus countertop finally dissipates, you can just have it turned into a T-Rex instead.

Not content with being completely reusable however, steel's green credentials are further enhanced by its sustained lifespan - steel is impervious to almost every hazard known to man, including the dreaded zombie apocalypse. When the undead finally decide to walk the earth, barricade yourself in the nearest restaurant kitchen and you should be safe.

As well as having a larder full of food to sustain you, just think of all those knives with which you can fight off the flesh-eating hordes when they come scavenging for scraps. Even if the ungrateful dead do make it past the rudimentary barricade you've thrown up and all hell breaks loose in the kitchen, at least the steel worktops shouldn't get scratched.

Of course, that may be of little consolation in the heat of the moment, when your mates are turning into zombies in less time than it takes to scream 'Keep off the molybdenum worktops!' Later though, when you've vanquished the zombies and are steered with the task of rebuilding civilisation, you'll be grateful that your cherished worktops are still intact. It's the little things that get you through the day sometimes.

Composite countertops just aren't cut out to handle the sustained abuse that invading hordes - or even just overzealous chefs - can inflict upon them. Just grabbed a hot pan that's rapidly burning your hands through the tea towel you deployed in place of oven-gloves?

Slap that pan down on the worktop and give your scorched digits a breather - the trusty steel worktop won't mind a jolt. Try that with a composite countertop and you'll end up with a souffl-sized crater, for even the most advanced plastic material (such as Du Pont's Corian) is not completely heat-proof. Indeed, the Du Pont website claims that hot pans should not be placed directly on it.

Herein lies the true reason why top chefs trust in stainless steel worktops: they can handle the searing skillets of the most hellish kitchens. So, is your kitchen destined for lukewarm tofu or searing steaks? With stainless steel, you can cook up whatever you want, however you want and make as much mess as you like in the process.

Ditch those roasting hot griddles wherever you like; smear grease and gristle across every surface. Dinner comes first, the clean-up later. With nothing more troublesome than stainless steel to wipe down, that shouldn't take long.


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