An Expert’s Guide to Buying a Holding and Proofing Cabinet


A commercial proofer and holding cabinet is an important piece of equipment for your bakery or restaurant. Modern holding and proofing cabinets can be used both as a holding cabinet or a commercial proofer. You can store multiple types of foods, help bread dough to rise, and keep food warm with a commercial proofer and holding cabinet. Restaurant proofing and holding cabinets are used by commercial kitchens, pizza places, restaurants, convention centers to keep food in ideal conditions. In this article, we discuss the importance of restaurant proofers, the different types of holding and proofing cabinets, factors to consider when buying a holding and proofing cabinet, and the top holding and proofing cabinet you can buy for your business.

What is a Holding and Proofing Cabinet?

A holding and proofing cabinet is a versatile piece of equipment for bakers and restaurants. They provide the best of both worlds by combining a holding and a proofing cabinet. A holding and proofing cabinet can proof dough and also keep other foods warm at the same time. They can either be used as heated holding cabinets or as commercial proofers. You can use the heating function of a holding cabinet and a moisture-retaining function of a proofer at the same time. It keeps foods fresh and prevents drying. You can get a multitude of functionalities with these cabinets. For example, you can keep the meat juicy and plump for a prolonged period. Because of a holding and proofing cabinet, food tastes better, and you can save a lot of space in your kitchen. It is ideal for small kitchens, food trucks, small fast-food joints, and quick-service restaurants. 

What is a Holding Cabinet? 

Holding cabinets are a staple appliance required by large restaurants, bakeries, banquet halls, convention centers, pizza places, and other food service establishments. The job of a food holding cabinet is to keep your food product at ideal preset food temperatures. Food is kept in trays inside a holding cabinet. These cabinets are designed to keep food warm up to 185 degrees Fahrenheit. You can buy a glass door holding cabinet or a solid door holding cabinet. Commercial holding cabinets with solid doors are more energy-efficient than glass door holding cabinets. 

What is a Proofing Cabinet or a Commercial Proofer?

A commercial proofer provides the perfect environment for pieces of bread, croissants, and doughnuts. Bakers use a proofing cabinet to get the perfect rise for bread or dough-related food products. 
A commercial proofer cabinet can control temperature and humidity levels. This helps the dough to rise. 

Proofing cabinets are also known as dough proofers. A dough proofer cabinet is a chamber that helps in the fermentation of dough by yeast. Warm temperatures make the yeast active, and due to the increased production of carbon dioxide, the dough rises faster and higher. The dough is usually kept in a proofing cabinet before being baked in a baking oven. 

If you are looking for a commercial proofer in the market, you should consider buying a proofer that is the correct fit for your kitchen. A commercial proofer or restaurant proofer comes in different sizes - small under-counter proofers to full-sized models that are as large as closets. Pizza places and bakeries use full-sized proofing cabinets. These models can hold dozens of dough trays at a time.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Commercial Proofing and Holding Cabinet

There are several factors of commercial proofing and holding cabinets that you should consider before buying one. The following tips will help you choose the perfect commercial proofing and holding cabinet for your restaurant business: 

Size: Holding and proofing cabinets come in many different sizes

Undercounter: An undercounter proofing and holding cabinet is less than 34 inches in height and easily fits under kitchen countertops. These are ideal for food trucks and small kitchens.
 ½ Height or Half-height: Half-height commercial holding and proofing cabinets are 36-41 inches in height. They are perfect for small kitchens and low-volume commercial kitchens.
¾ height: These proofing and holding cabinets range from 54 to 57 inches. These medium-sized cabinets are good for medium to large kitchens. 
Full Height: A full-height commercial holding and proofing cabinet is perfect for high-volume businesses. 

Capacity: The capacity of a holding and proofing cabinet is determined by the number of pans or trays it can hold. 

Interior Configuration: A cabinet’s interior is determined by the size and shape of the pan or tray and the number of pans it can hold.

Universal Slides: These can fit fully-adjustable slides that can be loaded from the bottom. Universal slides can fit full-size table pans or sheet pans.

Fixed Slides: These can fit shallow full-size table pans or sheet pans that can be loaded from the bottom. They have a one-piece assembly that makes them easy to clean. Fixed slides cannot accommodate deep pans. 

Lip Load Slides: Lip Load slides can only fit full-size sheet pans. Pans are loaded by the lip, and lip load slides come with ample clearance for rising dough.

Shelves: Shelves allow you to keep pans of various sizes. These are good for heavy and dense foods.

Door Type: Cabinets can come with solid doors and glass doors. Solid doors create less ambient heat and are energy efficient, whereas clear glass doors allow you to check the status of the food easily. 

Style: Reach-in cabinet designs are the most popular style of cabinets. These can be installed against a wall to conserve kitchen area. 

Door Configuration: Full-height doors give total access to the cabinet. Half-doors can be opened partially to access a particular section. Half-doors conserve more energy than full-height doors.

Insulation: Holding and proofing cabinets come with insulated and uninsulated designs. Uninsulated cabinets are good for low-volume operations. Insulated cabinets are costlier and are more energy-efficient. Insulated cabinets are durable, good for the transportation of food, and will save you a lot of money over time.

Controls: Holding and proofing cabinets can come with manual controls or thermostatic controls. Manual controls are economical but require constant monitoring. Thermostatic controls give precise control over temperature and humidity.

The Top Holding and Proofing Cabinets for Your Business

Here, we list the top commercial holding and proofing cabinets that you can buy for your commercial kitchen

Admiral Craft PW-120C Heated Proofer Cabinet

Admiral Craft PW-120C Full Height Clear Door Non-Insulated Mobile Proofing and Holding Cabinet

The Admiral craft PW-120C proofing and holding cabinet is a full-size heater proofer cabinet. This restaurant cabinet comes with an 18” x 26” pan holding capacity. The Admiral proofing and holding cabinet has a clear lexon door with an aluminum frame. It comes with a highly durable, non-corrosive aluminum construction. For easy maneuverability, the cabinet is paired with 5” heavy-duty swivel casters with brakes. It has a removable control drawer and an LED thermostat. The door lifts off and helps in easy cleaning and accessibility. The rated power input of the Admiral Craft PW-120C is 1800W at 120V.

Metro C5E9-CFC-U Heated Proofer Cabinet

Metro C5E9-CFC-U Full Height Clear Door Non-Insulated Mobile Proofing and Holding Cabinet, 120 Volts

The Metro C5E9 proofing and holding cabinet has an 80 to 90 Degree Fahrenheit operating temperature. It is a full-sized mobile holding and proofing cabinet. The Metro holding and proofing cabinet comes with 18” x 26” or 12” x 20” pan capacity. For mobility, it comes with 5” caster wheels with twin brakes. The structure is made of non-corrosive aluminium. The rated power input of the Metro C5E9 is 2000W at 120V.

Atosa USA ATHC-18 Heated Proofer Cabinet

Atosa USA ATHC-18 Full Height Glass Door Insulated Mobile Proofing and Holding Cabinet, 120 Volts

The Atosa USA ATHC-18 is a mobile restaurant proofer and holding cabinet. It is 25” wide and can accommodate 18” x 26” pans. It is paired with a durable polycarbonate door that has a ‘remain open’ feature. The heating capacity is between 80 to 220 Degrees Fahrenheit. The proofing mode has 10 humidity levels for efficient proofing. The Atosa ATHC-18 comes with dial controls for humidity and temperature. It has a digital LED display, and the slides are detachable. The interior and exterior structure of the cabinet is made of stainless steel. The model has four casters - two locking casters and two with swivel features. The ATHC-18 can hold 18 pans, and the humidifying water tray prevents food from drying. The cabinet is made of fully insulated foaming material to avoid energy loss.

Vulcan VP18 Heated Proofer Cabinet

Vulcan VP18 Full Height Glass Door Non-Insulated Mobile Proofing and Holding Cabinet, 120 Volts

The Vulcan VP18 requires 120V single-phase power supply to operate. The structure is made of heavy-duty 20 gauge polished stainless steel. There are 5” casters - two swivel casters and two rigid casters for easy maneuvering. It has a 2000 W heating element with a stainless steel cover. The Vulcan VP18 can hold eighteen 18” x 26” or thirty-six 12” x 20” pans. It comes equipped with top-mounted thermostat controls. It includes a fan and air tunnel for heat distribution, and the VP 18 comes with ten pairs of tray slides.

Posted by Damon Shrauner on 
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