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For many commercial kitchens, the introduction of pan liners improves workflow, saves employee time and energy, ensures a high standard of cleanliness, and generally helps to minimize maintenance distractions so that busy kitchens can focus on what matters most: serving great food.
Benefits of Pan Liners
Pan liners are nearly ubiquitous among bakeries and full-service kitchens, so you’ll find that there are a great many suppliers offering a diverse set of options, including pre-cut, uncut, disposable, reusable, and various materials and brands, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
As a general rule, however, pan liners provide the following benefits:
Improved Kitchen Efficiency
Using pan liners, especially disposable liners, can improve kitchen efficiency by minimizing the need to clean the pan after baking. This saves time, energy, and even money (water, soap/cleaning solution).
Most pan liners are non-stick and resistant to grease. This again eases the process of cleaning and also ensures more consistent cooking as scalding of the food on the metal pan is prevented.
As a general rule, where cleanliness can be standardized, it should be. Relying on employees to clean introduces, to a certain extent, a subjective element to a process that is absolutely crucial to get right. Without pan liners, trays and pans require significant cleaning efforts, and an employee may not clean the pan properly, resulting in food spots, grease collection, and more, which can burn and ruin the flavor of food cooked on the improperly cleaned pan. With pan liners, removal of the liner ensures a consistent level of cleaning quality.
Using pan liners minimizes scalding of food on the pan. This is useful for moisture retention purposes. The juices, sauces, and internal moisture of the food will be preserved rather than burned out.
Disposable vs. Reusable
Pan liners come in both disposable and reusable forms. Your choice will depend largely on how you intend to make use of the pan liner. If you intend to use the pan liner as a way to ensure a non-stick, grease resistant, moisture-retentive surface, then a reusable pan liner may be a better choice, as the higher quality of the materials generally allows for these functions. If you intend to use a pan liner for the convenience of it, and to reduce your cleaning requirements, then a disposable pan liner will be better suited to your needs. Do keep in mind, however, that reusable pan liners are still easier to clean as compared to pan and tray surfaces.
Pre-Cut v. Uncut
Speak with your supplier about pre-cut and uncut liners. Pre-cut liners are cut into common shapes and sizes to fit commercial kitchen equipment needs, so if you are uninterested in the extra labor associated with cutting your own liners, peruse some supplier catalogues to find the pre-cut liner that best fits your equipment.