What are Gastronorm containers?
Gastronorm (GN) containers are storage bins that are made specifically for storing foodstuffs. They are available in many different kinds: from trays to bowls, with lids and in perforated or non-perforated versions. They are usually made from stainless steel and, because they always use a standard Gastronorm size, they are stackable and can be used in any part of the food preparation process: from storage to baking and serving.
In addition, there are also GN containers made from polycarbonate or Teflon, including their lids. It’s important to know that these containers and lids are not interchangeable.
What does ‘Gastronorm’ mean?
Gastronorm, often abbreviated to GN, is a term for a globally recognised measurement standard in the catering industry. It was invented because it is much more convenient to use a container or dish of the same size for all the operations that food and ingredients undergo.
It is much more efficient to be able to work with the same container for the delivery, storage, cooling, baking and serving of food as it saves time, space and prevents food waste.
GN dimensions have been implemented in many types of pans, trays, dishes, lids, pots, grids, baking trays and everywhere your food ends up. This also applies to all the places that these pans and dishes themselves may end up in or on. For example, they fit easily into ovens,
, trolleys, shelves,
, tabletop display fridges or
Thanks to the standardised sizes, everything is stackable and fits into various catering equipment, storage systems and transport solutions.
What Gastronorm sizes are there?
There are a total of nine standard Gastronorm sizes, of which 1/1 GN is the basic and most common size. All other sizes are increases or decreases of this.
Here is an overview of the GN sizes from large to small:
- 2/1 GN: 650 x 530mm
- 1/1 GN: 325 x 530mm
- 2/3 GN: 325 x 354mm
- 2/4 GN: 162 x 530mm
- 1/2 GN: 325 x 265mm
- 1/3 GN: 325 x 176mm
- 1/4 GN: 265 x 162mm
- 1/6 GN: 176 x 162mm
- 1/9 GN: 108 x 176mm
Besides the fact that everything is stackable, you can also make different configurations with them. For example, a 1/2 GN container fits into a 1/1 GN container twice. A 1/3 GN container fits into a 1/1 GN container three times.
Depths are also standard, ranging from 2cm to 20cm.
In the illustration below is an overview of the Gastronorm dimensions with the configurations for GN containers. (Dimensions in millimetres)
How do you clean GN containers?
GN containers are usually made from stainless steel, which is very easy to clean. All parts of the GN containers are dishwasher safe. First, empty the containers and rinse off any food residue in the sink. You can then put them it into the dishwasher for a clean and hygienic result. Is there stubborn food residue in your containers? Then first soak them in warm water before loading them into the dishwasher. Dry the containers well before stacking or reusing them.
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