To continue with the long progress of documenting random things I find interesting — evidenced visually by the mushrooming tags cloud in the sidebar of this blog — I thought I would write up a quick note on my love of Gastronorm pans, and commercial-grade cookware in general.
Relatively few outside the catering and restaurant industry even know that these things exist.
Here are some reasons that I think is a travesty.
1: They Make Your Home Feel Like An All-You-Can-Eat Buffet
Few places in the world are as wonderful as all you can eat buffets.
Speaking of which, add that to my list of gripes in the Ireland vs. Israel post: this country is virtually bereft of them!
If you want to recreate the magical feeling of gorging on vast quantities of ethnic food within the comfort of your own home, all you need is a pile of GN pans (best known to those in the catering and food industry as ‘hotel pans’ or ‘gastros’), a bain marie (or alternatively a more consumer-oriented electric buffet pan warmer; Amazon link here), and a massive appetite.
2: They’re Made for Restaurants (And Caterers) — So They’re Food-Industry Rugged
Gastronorm pans are as hearty as they look. Trust me, these things will take a beating.
Gastronorm / hotels pans can be:
- Used as a percussion instrument in combination with your favorite’s chef’s spoon, which is another piece of industrial cookware that everybody absolutely should own.
- Used as a form of cymbal by clacking the Gastronorm’s lid against the body of the Gastronorm repetitively.
- Alternatively, used in the same manner as a form of kitchen gong to indicate when a dish has been completed.
More conventionally, they can be:
- Put in an oven
- Put in a freezer
- Put in a fridge
- Put on a hot plate
3: They’re Versatile! Perfect for Carrying, Storing, Heating, Freezing, and Serving
Anybody that’s been to a buffet has almost certainly interacted with a gastronorm pan — although few besides the restaurant owners probably know them by that name.
Gastronorms fit perfectly in the refrigerator and I’ve observed that there seems to be some weird Gastronorm/refrigerator dynamic at play.
I can stack two 10cm Gastronorms into the lower shelf of my fridge and they fit perfectly with not a excess millimeter of headspace gone to waste.
Better than that, GN pans are the perfect receptacle for every stage of the food preparation and consumption process.
- Store raw ingredients in Gastronorms
- Store coked ingredients in Gastronorms
- Heat up food for serving directly in a Gastronom
- Insert said Gastronorms into a bain marie or place them onto a trivet to serve you or your guests from
4: They’re Modular (And Made To An International Standard)
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Daniel Rosehill is a technology writer and marketing communications (MarCom) professional based in Jerusalem. Originally from Cork, in Ireland, Daniel’s diverse set of interests include Linux and open source technology; backups and disaster recovery (and naturally, digital prepping); and language-learning and travelling.