What is GN pan?

2024/05/11

Are you a professional chef or someone who loves cooking? If so, you might have come across the term GN pan. GN pans are an essential kitchen tool that has revolutionized the way we prepare and serve food. Whether you work in a restaurant, hotel, or even in your own kitchen, understanding what GN pans are and how to use them can greatly enhance your cooking experience. In this article, we will delve into the world of GN pans, exploring their various sizes, materials, and applications. So, let's dive right in!


The Origins of GN pans


To fully comprehend the significance of GN pans, we must first explore their origins. GN pans, also known as Gastronorm pans, were initially developed in Europe in the 1960s. The concept was pioneered by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) with the goal of creating a standardized system for food containers used in commercial kitchens. This standardization aimed to improve efficiency and facilitate interchangeability among different kitchen equipment.


The standardized GN pan system quickly gained popularity worldwide due to its practicality and versatility. Today, GN pans are widely used in professional kitchens globally, becoming an integral part of the culinary industry.


The Sizes of GN pans


One of the key features of GN pans is their wide range of sizes. GN pans come in various dimensions, and each size is designated by a number. The size is determined by the dimensions of the pan, with the measurements being standardized according to the European norm DIN EN 631.


The most common GN pan sizes are:


1. GN 1/1 (Full Size):

This is the largest standard size, with dimensions of 530mm x 325mm. It fits perfectly into a full-size commercial kitchen oven or chafing dish.


2. GN 1/2 (Half Size):

This size is exactly half of the GN 1/1, with dimensions of 325mm x 265mm. It is commonly used for food storage, cooking, and presentation of smaller portions.


3. GN 1/3 (One-Third Size):

With dimensions of 325mm x 176mm, this GN pan size is ideal for serving individual portions or dividing ingredients. It is commonly used for sauces, toppings, and side dishes.


4. GN 1/4 (One-Fourth Size):

The GN 1/4 pan measures 265mm x 162mm and is often used for smaller sides, condiments, and garnishes. Its compact size makes it convenient for organizing ingredients and maximizing space.


5. GN 2/1 (Double Size):

This is the largest GN pan size available, measuring 650mm x 530mm. It is suitable for large-scale operations such as catering or bulk food storage.


The Materials of GN pans


GN pans are crafted from various materials, each offering unique advantages and characteristics. The most common materials used in manufacturing GN pans are stainless steel and polycarbonate.


1. Stainless Steel:

Stainless steel GN pans are highly durable, resistant to corrosion, and can withstand high temperatures. They are easy to clean and maintain, making them a popular choice in professional kitchens. Stainless steel GN pans also have a sleek and professional appearance, adding to the overall aesthetics of a dish.


2. Polycarbonate:

Polycarbonate GN pans are known for their transparency, allowing for clear visibility of the contents. They are lighter in weight compared to stainless steel, making them easier to handle. Polycarbonate GN pans are also resistant to impact and can withstand a wide range of temperatures.


The Applications of GN pans


GN pans serve a multitude of purposes in a professional kitchen setting. Here are some common applications of GN pans:


1. Food Storage:

GN pans are frequently used for food storage, both in chilled and heated environments. Their standardized sizes make them ideal for organizing ingredients, prepped items, and leftovers. The pans can be easily stacked on top of each other, maximizing storage space.


2. Food Preparation:

When it comes to food preparation, GN pans are versatile tools. They can be used for marinating meats, mixing ingredients, or fermenting dough. The uniform sizes of GN pans allow for efficient preparation and portioning of ingredients.


3. Cooking:

GN pans are oven-safe and suitable for a wide variety of cooking techniques. They can be used for baking, roasting, braising, and even frying. GN pans ensure even heat distribution, resulting in perfectly cooked dishes.


4. Buffet Presentation:

GN pans are often used in buffet setups to showcase a variety of dishes. They can be easily inserted into chafing dishes or displayed on counters. The standardized sizes of GN pans make it convenient to switch out different dishes while maintaining an organized and visually appealing presentation.


5. Sous Vide Cooking:

The precise dimensions of GN pans make them an excellent choice for sous vide cooking. Sous vide involves cooking vacuum-sealed food in a water bath at a specific temperature. GN pans offer the ideal depth, allowing for proper water circulation and cooking consistency.


In conclusion


GN pans are essential tools for professional chefs and anyone passionate about cooking. Their standardized sizes, materials, and versatility make them indispensable in commercial kitchens. Whether you are looking to organize your ingredients, enhance your food presentation, or explore new cooking techniques, GN pans have got you covered. So, the next time you step into the kitchen, make sure to have a set of GN pans by your side for a seamless and efficient cooking experience.

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