Gastronorms are containers that are commonly used in the catering industry; the British Standards Institution adopted this Swiss system in the early seventies. The Gastronorm system measures the capacity of a container, which can be made from materials such as metal, plastic, glass, or aluminium.
The method began as a way to maximise fridge or oven space, and the containers were created to be compatible with industrial fridges and ovens so that no space was wasted. This sizing structure is used by manufacturers of both industrial appliances and containers to ensure maximum efficiency.
However, the Gastronorm system has evolved, and it is now used for all types of storage and cooking containers in the industrial kitchen.
Gastronorm Sizing System
The sizes most commonly used are:
The full-sized Gastronorm container measures 530mm in length x 325mm in width, and it is known as GN1/1. Other Gastronorm containers are measured as multiples or fractions of the standard sized container. For example, a GN2/1 is twice as big as a standard container so would measure 530mm in length and 650mm in width.
A GN1/2 container would be half as big as the standard container, measuring 265mm in length and 325mm in width.
- GN2/1: 650 × 530 mm
- GN1/1: 530 × 325 mm
- GN2/3: 354 × 325 mm
- GN2/4: 530 × 162 mm
- GN1/2: 325 × 265 mm
- GN1/3: 325 × 176 mm
- GN1/4: 265 × 163 mm
- GN1/6: 176 × 162 mm
- GN1/9: 108 × 176 mm
There are various depths to choose from in terms of Gastronorm containers, with the standard depths being 10mm, 20mm, 40mm, 65mm, 100mm, 150mm, and 200mm. When buying Gastronorm containers, it is important to consider the size and the depth to ensure that they will fit into an oven, fridge, microwave oven, display table, etc.
Because Gastronorm containers are all multiples and fractions of each other, it is usually possible to alternate various sizes into a serving counter or display table. For example, if your display table has space for a standard size GN1/1 container, you should also be able to use it for two GN1/2 containers or four GN1/4 containers.
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