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Cooking Appliances

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Design Guidance

Overall Strategies

A variety of appliances are used for food preparation in food service facilities. Each provides opportunities for energy savings, through controls, connections with ventilation systems, insulation, combustion efficiency, or other means. Coordinate equipment activation with daily menus to avoid powering up equipment that will not be used for several hours, or offering menus one day or one meal per week that do not require cooking.

Deep Fryer

Deep Fryers require energy to heat oil to high temperatures. They also require ventilation directly above the equipment and specialized suppression systems to contain fire. Waste oil cannot be poured down a drain and requires specialized containment and separate waste collection. If deep fryers are used, look for partner groups that can take the used frying oil for biofuel or other reuse.

Gas Burner

Natural gas is often used in cook-top equipment similar to a residential range. Electric burners can be used in lieu of gas. Cooking areas or lines require specialized exhaust hoods and fire suppression systems in commercial food service environments.

Grill and Griddle

A grill and griddle uses heat elements under a metal surface to cook food. The heat elements can be powered by natural gas or electricity. Cooking areas or lines require specialized exhaust hoods and fire suppression systems in commercial food service environments.


Microwaves are used in commercial food service for a variety of applications.


Convection ovens are common in food service. Look for equipment that carries the Energy Star label for energy efficiency.

Oven and Grill Cleaners

Over cleaners often use strong chemicals to break down accumulated grease and food residue. These cleansers can contribute to poor indoor environmental quality and should only be used with adequate ventilation and the overhead exhaust hood in operation.

Pasta Cooker

Pasta cookers use a large vat of boiling water to cook individual portions of pasta in small metal baskets. These units use energy to heat water to a high temperature and maintain that temperature when in use. If a building has an efficient central boiler for domestic hot water, consider using that pre-heated water in lieu of using electricity to boil cold water.

Best Practices

  • Use Energy Star rated and FEMP-designated appliances to reduce electricity consumption when in use and to reduce phantom plug load during off-hours.
  • Cleaning appliances regularly with organic cleansers reduces the need for caustic cleaning chemicals to be used.
  • Food service providers can create menus that reduce the use of appliances by offering more raw, cold foods such as salads and fruits.
  • Consider activating only appliances that are required for the scheduled menu service
  • Use only appliances that can be turned off completely when not in use.

Compare Cooking Appliances Options

EB = Existing BuildingsNC = New Construction and Major Renovation

Federal Requirements

Guiding Principles