Why You Need Gastronorm Pans In Your Life

You know those things they have at salad bars? They’re also amazing at home

A row of quarter / one-over-four hotel pans / gastros beneath some daily staples in a (consumer) refrigerator

1: They Make Your Home Feel Like An All-You-Can-Eat Buffet

2: They’re Made for Restaurants (And Caterers) — So They’re Food-Industry Rugged

  • Used as a percussion instrument in combination with your favorite’s chef’s spoon, which is another piece of industrial cookware that everybody absolutely should own.
  • Used as a form of cymbal by clacking the Gastronorm’s lid against the body of the Gastronorm repetitively.
  • Alternatively, used in the same manner as a form of kitchen gong to indicate when a dish has been completed.
  • Put in an oven
  • Put in a freezer
  • Put in a fridge
  • Put on a hot plate

3: They’re Versatile! Perfect for Carrying, Storing, Heating, Freezing, and Serving

Get some chef pans, a label maker, some waterproof labels — and you’re ready to host at scale — and in style!
  • Store raw ingredients in Gastronorms
  • Store coked ingredients in Gastronorms
  • Heat up food for serving directly in a Gastronom
  • Insert said Gastronorms into a bain marie or place them onto a trivet to serve you or your guests from

4: They’re Modular (And Made To An International Standard)

Goat on a bed of freekeh in a GN pan

Embracing The Gastronom Way

As trivial as it may seem, the Gastronorm pan size convention is one of the best examples of successful international standardization (and cooperation) that I have ever come across, although granted my expertise on this matter is minor.

  • 1/4 pans: rectangular; enough to hold about four servings of a dish. 1/3 pans are roughly the same shape but slightly longer and wider. I would find them a little too large.
  • 1/6 pans: square; enough to hold about two servings of a dish. Also a great size for storing prepped ingredients.
  • 1/9 pans: small pans that can fit in the side of a fridge and which are great for storing small quantities of sauces, like pesto.

5: You Buy Them in Restaurant Supply / Catering Stores

  • Things like chef spoons which aren’t typically found in consumer kitchen stores.
  • Things like giant 40 liter aluminium pots for homebrewing which would also never be found in a store for general consumers.

6: They’re Transportable

I’ve frequently brought Gastronorm pans to friends’ homes for meals.

  • A quarter full of curry
  • A quarter full of rice
  • A quarter full of popadoms
  • A quarter full of fruit salad

Additional Benefits of Gastronorm Life

  • I’m never missing a lid. I separate between meat / dairy / for-Passover-only in my kitchen and label each Gastronorm body and lid accordingly with dishwasher-proof stickers. Other than that, GN pans and lids are completely interchangeable — irrespective of the depth of the pan.
  • My fridge storage is way more efficient: I have less random ingredients lying around as cooking — and actually eating what I cook (next point) — helps stuff get used up. Everything fits into well-organized blocks into my fridge and dry wipe markers help keep track of what is what (and when it might be expected to go off).
  • I eat way more leftovers. Traditionally, I a terrible food waster and poor at eating leftovers. Since I’ve adopted the Gastronorm Way I, for some reason, am much better at eating leftoveres in the fridge. It’s also really easy to combine separate dishes.

Share My Gastronormania?

Sadly I’ve yet to find a non-restaurant-owner that shares my enthusiasm and still get quizzical looks when I need to profess to being a private customer at my nearest catering supply place.



Daytime: writing for other people. Nighttime: writing for me. Or the other way round. Enjoys: Linux, tech, beer, random things. https://www.danielrosehill.com

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Daniel Rosehill

Daytime: writing for other people. Nighttime: writing for me. Or the other way round. Enjoys: Linux, tech, beer, random things. https://www.danielrosehill.com