Whether you are starting your commercial kitchen for the first time or updating your equipment, you ought to concentrate on getting the vital items.

It doesn’t matter how many people your company caters to, you are going to need equipment to store food, prepare meals, and serve meals. Just one item is versatile enough to do all three tasks.

They perform several significant roles – the main one being food preservation. Having your food safely saved, heated, or cooled enables you to preserve the freshness and flavor of your meals.

Gastronorm trays are also designed to specific heights, widths, and depths, making them easy to stack and helps you maintain your kitchen organized and efficiently.

Therefore, while it is apparent the Gastronorm trays are vital, the question is what kind should you want – plastic or stainless steel?’ Is one more exceptional than the other or do you require a combination of both?

Let us look at the truth of plastic versus stainless steel Gastronorm trays and also see who stacks up the very best.

Plastic Gastronorm Trays

Plastic Gastronorm trays can be made from either polycarbonate or polypropylene. They are often used as storage containers, but are also quite useful for heating, cooling, or serving food.


Lightweight and super powerful, polycarbonate Gastronorm trays are a valuable addition to any commercial kitchen. The trays or pans can be either black or clear. The clear variety is popular since it makes it easy to identify the contents without opening the lid. This helps accelerate the food prep procedure and is handy when your kitchen is performing a stocktake. They’re also constructed from shatter-proof material which makes them highly long-lasting and durable.

However, how well do polycarbonate containers function when subjected to warmth and the cold? The bulk of freshwater Gastronorm trays can handle temperatures from -40˚C to 100˚C. Some manufacturers, such as Cambro, have grown trays that can handle much more extreme temperatures, up to 190˚C.

All trays have accompanying lids which may be sealed air-tight to keep food fresh and preserve the food’s flavor. Because polycarbonate does not bend or warp, it may develop into contact with steam without damaging the exterior of the food inside.

Polycarbonate trays are indestructible, lightweight, and very hygienic. Surely an essential for your kitchen.


While they may not be as unbreakable because of their plastic counterpart, they do serve a similar function. They can come in see-through or black varieties, can be sealed air-tight, and will resist warping and shattering. This makes polypropylene a cheap option.

They are incredibly easy to wash and discuss the same measurements as other Gastronorm trays, meaning they can be stacked with your other space-saving products.

Some polypropylene trays might not be as heat resistant but are going to have the ability to take care of temperatures between -40°C and 70°C.

Stainless Steel Gastronorm Trays

Stainless Steel Gastronorm trays (also known as bain-marie trays) play an important role in every kitchen.

One of the clear advantages of stainless steel over plastic is its heat resistance. While a few plastic Gastronorm trays and pans can withstand around 190˚C, stainless steel may be warmed to 280˚C plus. It may also resist freezing temperatures.

As we all know from other kitchen items, stainless steel is rugged and stable merchandise. It is intended to last a lifetime, and, generally, it will. It’s also corrosion-resistant, so no matter how many times you run your plate or pan through the dishwasher, and they will keep their appearance.

You also have the option of adding perforated stainless steel trays which will enable you to steam heating your cooked meals, restricting them from drying out. Stainless steel Gastronorm trays are stackable, exactly like vinyl, and can also be fairly indestructible. The one thing you can’t do with stainless steel is place it in the microwave.

The stainless steel Gastronorm trays, which we carry, have a unique level of durability. This means they are super-heated throughout the production process that makes the pans complete, much stronger. As a result, they won’t warp easily when used in ovens in high heat, which is a frequent problem among other brands.

So, while there are some obvious benefits for both plastic and stainless steel Gastronorm trays, it’ll depend upon what food you are serving and how you’re serving it. Like most kitchens, you’ll probably prefer a combination of both.

To discover more about the selection of Gastronorm trays and pans available contact our restaurant supply store.

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