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How to choose GN Pan (Gastronorm Pan)?

How to choose GN Pan (Gastronorm Pan)?

How to Choose GN Pan

If you are in the catering industry, you are likely to be familiar with GN Pans.  How to choose GN Pan can make a great difference in your culinary operations.

When we say GN Pan, we refer to Gastronorm Pan, which is a container with the outer dimension measured in gastronorm standard.  We get “GN” from “GastroNorm” , so we have  GN Pan.   It is worth noting that this type of container is also known by various other names with reference to its usage, say Steam Table Pan (for it is used in steam tables or hot food halls) and Food Pan (for its use in various food service applicable).

In general, GN pans follow the standardized gastronorm sizes and are multi-purpose pans for cooking, storing and serving food. They can be used in steam tables, chafing dishes, and even on display tables or put inside refrigerator.

Below lists the main points for consideration when you need to make a decision in buying of GN Pan.

1. Size Required for GN Pan

First of all, you need to determine the size and quantity of GN Pan required. This really depends on your usage and purpose.  You need to consider the volume of food you typically handle and the space in your kitchen. The requirements can be very different for home users (household kitchens) and restaurant users (commercial kitchens).

Below is GN Pan size chart:

GN Pan 1/1 – 530 x 325mm (Full GN)
GN Pan 2/1 – 650 x 530mm (Double GN)
GN Pan 2/4 – 530 x 162mm (Two-Quarter GN)
GN Pan 2/3 – 354 x 325mm (Two-third GN)
GN Pan 1/2 – 325 x 265mm (Half GN)
GN Pan 1/3 – 325 x 176mm (One-third GN)
GN Pan 1/4 – 265 x 162mm (Quarter GN)
GN Pan 1/6 – 176 x 162mm (Sixth GN)
GN Pan 1/9 – 108 x 176mm (Ninth GN)

The above chart gives you an idea of the gastronorm sizes.  In other to determine the number of GN Pans needed, you also need to consider the volume of the pans, which would be depended on the depth of the pans.  Some of you may mix and match different sizes and depth, and may even have to consider using GN pan lid with notched cut off for ladle or spatula.

2. Material of GN Pan

Stainless Steel

Its strong in nature characteristic makes it suitable for a wide range of temperatures from oven cooking to chilling. It is durable as well. Multitasking is also one of its merits. You can use the same stainless steel GN container all the way from food preparation, cooking, and even food presentation and serving.  This saves time for swapping and cleaning the food pans.

When selecting stainless steel GN pan, one of the essential consideration is the type of stainless steel of the pan.  There are different types of stainless steel, which represent different level of rust and corrosion resistance ability.   Here are some common types of stainless steel used in GN pan:

18/8 Stainless Steel: This type of stainless steel, also known as 304 stainless steel, is one of the most widely used grades in the food industry. It contains 18% chromium and 8% nickel, offering excellent resistance to corrosion, staining, and oxidation. GN Pans made from 18/8 stainless steel are highly durable, easy to clean, and maintain their appearance even with frequent use.

201 Stainless Steel: This type of stainless steel contains lower amounts of nickel and chromium compared to 18/8 stainless steel. While it offers good resistance to corrosion and maintains its strength at high temperatures, it may be more prone to staining and discoloration over time. GN Pans made from 201 stainless steel are cost-effective options and are suitable for standard food preparation and storage needs. However, they may not be as long lasting and aesthetic as the pans in higher-grade stainless steel.


It is a strong material with a high melting point. Due to its transparency, it is a good choice for food storage as you can easily see what is inside. It is also microwave safe but cannot be used with open flame cooking or used in the oven.


It is ceramic-like material and not as strong as stainless steel and polycarbonate. It is not good for conducting heat. Therefore it is not suitable for cooking or used in the oven. Melamine GN Containers are usually for chilling, food storage and buffet display setting.


To conclude, sizes and material in relation the purpose of usage and food type are the major criteria in choosing GN Pan.
If you are not sure how to decide, you can consult your catering vendors nearby for professional advice.


Sunnex is carrying GN Pans suiting with professional use.  If you are interested in our Gastronorm Pans, please check out our brochure. Click Here

Sunnex GN Pan has been prestigious in the food and catering industry for decades. Come and talk with our expertise…

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