The Gastronorm system originated in Switzerland in the year 1964 that standardized dimensions of food service pans and containers that allow them to fit into universal racks, buffet servers, chafing dishes, ovens, steam tables, coolers, etc. Containers can be solid metal, such as in roasting trays, perforated metal for steaming, toughened glass, composite plastic materials or disposable materials such as aluminium foil. The abbreviation GN is widely used as shorthand for gastronorm.
The Gastronorm system started as a method of maximising oven or fridge capacity by using containers that are compatible in size with the oven cavity, so that no corners are left unused. For those who make food service equipment and those who manufacture oven and refrigeration containers, it gives a uniform sizing structure to maximise capacity efficiency. The gastronorm system has now spread beyond its first concept and is used as a pan sizing system for bains-marie, refrigerated preparation tables, microwave ovens – in fact most items of kitchen equipment that involve the use of cooking or storage containers.
A full-size Gastronorm container is referred to as a Gastronorm 1/1 and measures 530 x 325 mm (20.875″ x 12.75″), which by no coincidence approximates the golden ratio. All other sizes are fractions or multiples of the 1/1 size: so a 1/3 container is standard width (325mm) but just a third as long (176mm); a 2/1 is twice as big and measures 530mm long x 650mm wide.
The full range of sizes is 2/1, 1/1, 2/3, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/6 and 1/9. There is also a 2/4 (a “long half” measuring 530 x 162mm) and 2/8 (a “long quarter” at 325 x 132mm). The standard Gastronorm depths are 10mm, 20mm, 40mm, 65mm, 100mm, 150mm and 200mm.
Being a non-metric nation, the USA uses its own sizing system for ovens and containers (also known as hotel pans in the USA). In practice, however, this is only slightly larger than the gastronorm and it is common for US-built ovens to have full-width racks sitting on the shelving supports, similar to those found in a domestic oven, allowing Gastronorm pans to be used in them.
Our Paderno stainless steel Gastronorm pans comply to the standard. Made of durable, corrosion-resistant 21-gauge stainless steel, they will not react with any food and are dishwasher safe. Reinforced edges enhance container durability, while an integrated shoulder shaped into each deep-drawn pan allows for stacking. Optional stainless steel pan covers also are available.