Top Tips for Effective Warm Holding Cabinet Maintenance

Commercial Hot Warmer Cabinet with fresh fried fish.

By – Pat Finley, Master Certified Lead Technician

Warming cabinets are one of the most overlooked pieces in a commercial kitchen, yet they ensure everyone’s food is hot and safe. They come in a variety of styles and sizes. From rolling floor units, often utilized in hospitals and schools, to small units on top of a countertop or shelf. Some have doors with gaskets to seal food and keep moisture in while others are open to provide easy access from both sides.

Here are a few tips to ensure your holding cabinet will keep your product safe and fresh.

1.  Ensure your temperature is set high enough to keep your product fresh and safe, but not too high. That can lead to drying out your product and overcooking.

2.  If the style of your cabinet utilizes water, ensure it is filled and ready for use. Some products rely on the moisture created to keep their quality perfect.

3.  Door gaskets – if your warm holding cabinet utilizes door gaskets, ensure they are in good condition. Sagging, ripped, or missing door gaskets can cause various issues, from affecting the quality of your food to hindering the performance of your unit.

4.  Open-style cabinets are susceptible to the environment they are located. Ensure the unit is located away from outside air sources and air conditioning units which will affect food temperature and overall operation.

5.  Listen for abnormal noises. Many warm holding units utilize a blower to circulate hot air around. If you notice any weird noises, it may be a sign of a larger issue, and best to be looked at by a certified food service technician.

6.  Product issues. Verify your product is cooked fully and at a safe temperature before placing it in your holding cabinet. They are not designed to cook or finish off your product.

If you suspect you are having issues with your warm holding cabinet, please contact your local General Parts branch, to schedule a certified technician to review your equipment.