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How to Choose the Right Kitchen Equipment for a Food Trailer?

mobile food trailer with kitchen equipment

Mobile food trailer design includes choosing functional commercial kitchen equipment for a vehicle. It is quite a tricky task for a starter because of the shortage of space in a trailer. Forget about that cumbersome commercial equipment that most restaurants use and used cooking appliances in your kitchen. Your mobile food trailer is too small to fit them, so they are bound to have an adverse effect on your working efficiency and food quality. Then, how to choose the proper kitchen equipment for a food trailer? This guide tells everything you need to know when buying any kitchen equipment for a food trailer, involving 4 factors you should consider for your mobile kitchen, a complete food truck kitchen equipment list, how much it cost to have an equipped food trailer, installation, how to make choice between new cooking equipment and used one, and where you can source high-quality equipment for your mobile kitchen.


Things You Should Consider Before Buying Kitchen Equipment for a Food Trailer


What are Local Regulations and Health Codes in Your City?

Please check the local health codes first before you plan the space for any commercial kitchen equipment. They stipulate a list of necessary equipment for the mobile food trailer operation and food safety. Lacking any equipment they require results in a failure to get a license for your trailer or a hefty amount of fines. These codes differ from those set for common restaurants and vary from country. Here are the food trailer kitchen equipment and appliances required by federal laws in the USA:

1. Worktables with a clean surface
All food should be been more than six inches off the ground, so worktables are necessary for the preparation of food. Tables must be made of food-grade materials and easy to clean, such as 304 stainless steel.

2. Fridge or freezer for keeping food at an ideal temperature
Food should be kept in an ideal temperature range for retaining its best quality and taste. If you don't have a fridge or freezer in your trailer, store food in a commissary near you.

3. Commercial range hood above ovens, burner, grills, and fryers
NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) said that any cooking equipment producing greasy smoke should be equipped with a commercial exhaust hood that has easy access to its interior surface for cleaning.

4. Portable fire extinguisher
NFPA emphasizes the fire extinguishing equipment for the protection of cooking equipment and range hoods used in any fixed, mobile, or temporary concessions, such as mobile food truck trailers.

5. 3 compartment sink with splash guard and a hand sink
Your equipped food trailer is crowded with various food trailer kitchen equipment, but you have to leave some space for a 3-compartment sink with a hand sink, important kitchen equipment required by the food codes. The sink needs to have splash guards at the rear and sides, to protect water from splashing everywhere and contaminating food. Besides, a small and separate sink needs to be set up for washing hands only.

food trailer kitchen equipment required by federal regulation


What is on Your Menu?

The type of kitchen equipment for a food trailer is countless, while the room in your trailer is limited. It is a fact that you can not set up a commercial kitchen in your mobile food trailer. Instead of focusing on the food truck kitchen equipment lists shared by other people, you should ask yourself a question: what are items on your menu? Like any catering business, your menu determines the type of kitchen equipment. For an ice cream trailer business, a gas griddle is functional, but not practical. If you want to run a mobile coffee shop, an espresso machine should be on your list. Hence, create a mobile food trailer menu and plan for your service first, involving daily customers number, and that helps you choose the right type and model of kitchen equipment you need.
For inspiration, here is a commercial food trailer kitchen equipment checklist for a different purpose.

Preparation Equipment:
  • Mixers
  • Kitchen cutlery and holders
  • Cutting boards
  • Cream filling machines
  • Commercial cutters
  • Kitchen utensils
  • Saucepans

Cooking Equipment:
  • Gas grills Gas French hotplates
  • Electric hanging salamanders
  • Flat gas griddles
  • Gas burners
  • Electric chicken rotisseries
  • Gas pasta boilers
  • Gas BBQ
  • Electric sandwich makers
  • Electric crepe machines
  • Gas kebab machines
  • Taiyaki machines
  • Rotary corn roasters
  • Rotary mutton string roasters
  • Popcorn making machines
  • Gelato ice cream machines
  • Ice cream machines
  • Electric cotton candy making machines
  • Bubble egg waffle makers
  • Toasters
  • Hamburger makers

Frying Equipment:
  • Gas fryers
  • Churros machines with electric fryer
  • Electric donut makers with fryer

  • Electric chimney cake ovens
  • Electric pizza ovens
  • Electric ovens
  • Microwave ovens
Warming Items:
  • Electric bain maries
  • Hot dog warming showcases
  • Churros warmer showcases
  • Popcorn warming showcases
  • Potato chips warmer displays
  • Double layers display warmers
  • Warmer lights

Refrigerating Equipment:
  • Bench fridges
  • Cake displays
  • Pizza fridges
  • Sushi display showcases
  • Salad fridges
  • Drink coolers
  • Bench freezers

Refrigerating Equipment:
  • Bench fridges
  • Cake displays
  • Pizza fridges
  • Sushi display showcases
  • Salad fridges
  • Drink coolers
  • Bench freezers
  • Beverage Making Machine
  • Milkshake machines
  • Slush machines
  • Ice crushers Beverage dispensers
  • Expresso coffee machines
  • Ice makers
  • Coffee bean grinders


portable kitchen equipment for food trailers


How Large is Your Mobile Equipped Food Trailer?

The mobile food trailer size has something to do with the kitchen equipment model and your mobile kitchen design. A mobile food trailer should have the same design that a restaurant does. It requires areas for preparing, cooking, storing, cleaning, and serving. Every inch of it is valuable. So, say goodbye to these vertical commercial fridges with a large capacity. It doesn't fit your 9ft small food trailer.

How to Choose Kitchen Equipment for Your Mini Food Trailer?
You should focus on equipment that has a room-saving design, such as under-bench fridges and wall shelves. Likewise, countertop kitchen appliances are a good choice for the food trailer business. They are portable and compact, taking up a small area of the countertop. Besides, try any multifunctional cooking equipment, such as a gas griddle with an oven.

9ft fully equipped mobile food trailer design and layout


Gas or Electric Kitchen Equipment, Which One Do You Prefer?

When it comes to commercial kitchen equipment for a food trailer, there are basically 2 types - gas or electric one, both of them have distinct features.
Gas Kitchen Equipment for a Food Trailer Electric Kitchen Appliances for a Food Trailer
  • It has a lower price than its electric counterparts
  • It is energy-saving because gas is efficient in heating, so you can save a lot on operation costs.
  • Gas and propane are a kind of power that generates no harmful gasses or materials for the environment.
  • Gas is a plentiful source of power that you have easy access to it.
  • They perform better in maintaining a certain temperature for a long time. If you have a high demand for temperature during cooking, consider these electric cooking appliances, such as electric ovens and electric Bain Marie.
  • They heat things up quickly, shortening the preparation of cooking.
  • They are safer while you cook.
  • They have high portability. You can use them handily as long as there is a socket nearby.

The electrical system and gas lines are standard features of our equipped catering trailers for sale, which means that you have a wider selection when you equip equipment for your food trailer. Just make your decision according to your budget and preference. Remember to calculate the total wattage of the electric equipment in your concession trailer.


How Much Does It Cost to Have a Fully Equipped Food Trailer?

Fully equipped food trailers of all types are low-cost solutions for starting a business, which attracts thousands of starters to join the group of operating a mobile catering business annually. The cost of an empty food trailer is in a range between $2,500 and $12,000. It is such a bargain in comparison to other options for the mobile catering business, such as food vans. However, extras are required to have a fully equipped food trailer. So, what is the price of kitchen equipment for a food trailer? How much does it cost to have an equipped food trailer? That depends on the choice of kitchen equipment package for your mobile food trailer.

At ETO DEVICE, each mobile food trailer has a standard configuration that the federal regulations and local health codes require, including an 110V electrical system, water system, gas pipeline, 3-compartment sink, hand sink, exhaust hood, stainless steel workbench, extinguisher. Here is a detailed price list:
110V electrical system (wiring, 32A/62A sockets, electrical panel) The price included
Water system (plumbing, a plastic water tank, a cley water tank, and an auto water pump) The price included
3 compartment water sink with splash guards and a hand sink $260.00
Gas pipeline $32/m
1.5m commercial stainless steel range hood with exhaust fan $155
304 food grade stainless steel workbench with cabinets 185$/m
Extinguisher $1,200.00

*The configuration above is for clients in the USA only. It will be changed and modified to meet the standards of other countries and regions. Contact us for the quote for fully equipped food trailers for sale in your country.

In addition to the equipment above, other cooking appliances can be added to your shopping list in order to build an equipped food trailer. Lots of kitchen equipment packages for mobile trailers in different types are provided for our clients, which include all necessary items for facilitating and simplifying your food preparation. Check out the following quotes of affordable kitchen equipment packages for 9ft mobile food trailers.
Kitchen Equipment Package for 9ft Small Ice Cream Trailer
170L under-bench fridge $575.00
Soft serve ice cream machine with 3 flavors $980.00
Slush machine with 2 dispensers $800.00
Small ice cream display $530.00
Kitchen Equipment Package for 9ft Mobile Coffee Shop
170L under-bench fridge $575.00
Expresso Coffee Machine $1,870.00
Coffee Bean Grinder $250.00
Microwave Oven $140.00
Kitchen Equipment Package for 9ft Mobile Kitchen
Salad Fridge $665.00
Gas Fryer $360.00
Countertop gas griddle $200.00
Gas Stove with 2 burner $430.00
Electric Bain Marie $185.00
Electric Oven $270.00

If these options fail to meet your specific needs or go beyond your budget, we can go back to your menu and figure out which kitchen equipment is necessary for your business. Now, contact us for the category of kitchen equipment that fits your mobile food trailer model and size. Our experts will guide you to build a fully equipped food trailer within your budget!
kitchen equipment for enclosed food trailers


Can You Install Commercial Kitchen Equipment for a Food Trailer Yourself?

Since you know what your food trailer needs, the next thing you should consider is installation. It is not a big deal! Just unpack the kitchen equipment, place it on the countertop, and plug it in. Then, you can cook! Any small food trailer appliances can be installed on your own in that way indeed. But, kitchen equipment comes in many sizes and some cooking appliances work on gas and propane. How to deal with a bulky one, such as a pizza fridge? Do you know how to install a gas stove or griddle in the right way?

I know it is not something hard for someone who loves doing things from DIY. However, it is highly advisable to ask a certified professional to do the task that requires some expertise in electricity and engineering because the improper establishment is likely to result in a serious economic loss, or worse, injury to you and your customers. Nobody wants an explosion when you light up a gas burner, Therefore, do not install any commercial equipment in your food trailer without professional advice or licensed workers. Just think about the investment in your vehicle and the safety of your team. Leave that work to our experts who know well about food trailer kitchen appliances and mobile kitchen floor plan design!


Brand New Kitchen Equipment for a Food Trailer or Used One: Which is Better?

A mobile food trailer is a significant expense for some starters, so they have to save in other ways. Used kitchen equipment and appliances seem a good choice. There is a large group of clients asking if we can mount used equipment to their concession trailers. The equipment is either brought from other food trailer owners or used in their shops for a while. Whatever it is, used kitchen equipment for a food trailer is less desirable than a brand new one for the following disadvantages:
  • Potential quality issues
  • High maintenance fee
  • Short service lift
  • No warranty

You won't enjoy a break to dismantle a used pizza oven and find out the reason why it can’t heat up during rush hour, Hence, it is better to have an equipped food trailer with new kitchen equipment and appliances, though its price is higher.

equipped food trailer with new kitchen equipment


Where Can You Get High-quality Kitchen Equipment for Your Food Trailer?

ETO Device is a professional food truck trailer builder that specializes in mobile food trailer design, customization, and production. We work from start with our clients to build fully equipped food trailers they dream of, from the production of chassis to the choice of kitchen equipment. Just check out our recent projects.

Our strategic partners, leading mobile kitchen equipment manufacturers, supply us with high-quality commercial restaurant equipment and cooking appliances that suit our concession trailer models and sizes. A functional and fully equipped food trailer with an optimized mobile kitchen design can be offered to you. If you select us to work on your project, there are services you will have:
  • Brand new kitchen equipment: The commercial food trailer kitchen equipment and cooking appliances are brand new and have never been tested.
  • Free mobile kitchen design and layout: Our design team will find an optimal floor plan and offer you an organized cooking space that help you work in it comfortably and efficiently.
  • Professional Installation: Food trailer kitchen equipment installation is taken by our certified electricians and technicians.
  • Free Installation: Installation requires no extras.
  • Day Warranty for Free: For any client, a one-year warranty for equipped food trailers and commercial kitchen equipment they come with will be given for free.Excellent Customer Service: Our experts aim to help you operate a mobile catering business with quality and high-end mobile trailers. Helpful suggestions and customized solutions can be provided to you!

Now, let's talk about the equipment list for your equipped food trailer!

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