2022 National Restaurant Association Show Recap: 20 KI Award Winners That Impressed

/ Foodservice Tips, Restaurant Equipment, Restaurant Tips / May 25

2022 National Restaurant Association Show - Logo

Each year, the Kitchen Innovation (KI) Awards highlight the most inventive and beneficial equipment to hit the market. These products are always on the cutting edge and are designed with efficiency, safety, sustainability and optimization in mind. We got to see them up close and personal at the 2022 National Restaurant Association Show. This year’s show featured winners for not only this year but also the last two years.

Didn’t get a chance to go to the show? We got you covered. Here are some of the award-winning commercial kitchen products that caught our eye.

2022 Winners

Alto Shaam Converge Multi-Cook Ovens 

This Alto Shaam model features three independent chambers per oven, with each chamber offering a marriage of steam capability and vertical, patented Structured Air Technology. This means three separate items can cook simultaneously, regardless of temperature, time and humidity requirements. It’s also self-cleaning, so there’s a lot to love.

Duke Manufacturing Co. Waterless Well 

The average waterless well solves a lot of problems, but Duke takes it to the next level with an intuitive touchscreen setup, programmable features, WiFi and Bluetooth and even alerts and diagnostics. Removable parts make for easy cleaning.

Frontline International Inc Kitchen Controller 

In a restaurant setting, oil can become a major expense. The Kitchen Controller is designed to curb costs by monitoring oil quality and recommending options like skimming to get the most out of every drop. Remote monitoring is easy to use, and touchless automation adds convenience and efficiency.

Frymaster FilterQuick Intuition 

This 30-pound Frymaster fryer features a total redesign intended to deliver unmatched reliability and convenience. It comes complete with a software upgrade, a capacitive touchscreen, a variable-speed filter pump and variable-speed combustion micro-fans.

Garland Active Compression for Clamshell Griddle 

Hoshizaki Refrigerated Pizza Prep Table - 2022 National Restaurant Association Show Preview

  Hoshizaki Refrigerated Pizza Prep Table

Are you interested in cutting cook times in half and ensuring ideal outcomes, regardless of the number or type of items on your grill? Garland has you covered with a simple solution that lets the operator set the gap between top and bottom cook surfaces for consistent compression and perfect results.

Hoshizaki Refrigerated Pizza Prep Table 

Pizza prep can be a finicky affair, but a consistent temperature on the table can make a world of difference. Enter this gem from Hoshizaki gem. It boasts separate temp settings for rail and cabinet, ducted airflow for even temperatures and a night mode with auto-adjust when lids are closed for pan storage.

ITW Food Equipment Group IBEX Oven

Advanced oven technology is the key to fast, even cooking, and ITW gets it right with a combination of convection and solid-state radiofrequency (RF) technology. IBEX cooking intelligence (yes, you read that right) collects real-time feedback as food cooks in order to adapt for optimal quality and speed, whether you’re cooking, baking, or reheating.

Kuvings Commercial Auto Blender Chef CB1000

If you thought vacuum blending technology couldn’t get any faster, Kuvings is here to prove you wrong. The one-touch system takes only about 25 seconds to close, vacuum seal, blend, stop and open, delivering smooth, foam-free blends in just two blinks.

T&S Brass and Bronze Works EasyInstall Hose Reel Cabinet

The last thing you need in a busy commercial kitchen is loose or misplaced hoses getting in the way. While hose reel systems are vital, you want one that’s practically universal and easy to install. This all-in-one cabinet from T&S Brass only requires that you select top or bottom inlets and choose between recessed or surface mount placement.

WMF Americas, Inc. 5000 S+ Fully-Automatic Coffee Machine

Fully automatic, this brilliant machine delivers outstanding espresso with minimal supervision. You’re sure to love the AutoClean system that accounts for common milk-related hygiene issues.

2021 & 2020 Award Winners

Curtis GemX Narrow IntelliFresh Coffee Brewer with FreshTrac

This fully-automated machine from Curtis earns them with innovative solutions for maximizing output while minimizing girth. Save counter space without sacrificing capacity, thanks to two 1.5-gallon tanks that fit into space just 10.5 inches wide.

Hobart Two Level Door Type Dish Machine with Hobart Smart Connect IOT App

Touted as “the only two-level dish machine on the market,” this Hobart dish machine delivers an astonishing 80 racks per hour. Use both levels simultaneously or turn off the lower level as needed.

Hoshizaki 2×2 Ice Cube Machine

Cooling bevs while preserving the flavor of spirits is a tricky affair. The best solution seems to be larger ice cubes. Hoshizaki accommodates with the only ice machine that produces cubes measuring 1.9 x 1.9 x 2.2 inches, perfect for chilling with less dilution.

Manitowoc Ice CrystalCraft Premier Ice Machine - 2022 National Restaurant Association Show Preview

  Manitowoc CrystalCraft Premier Ice Machine

Manitowoc CrystalCraft Premier

A small machine that creates big, beautiful ice cubes is no longer a pipe dream, thanks to the CrystalCraft Premier from Manitowoc Ice. It features onboard water filtration. A membrane touchpad offers easy operation.

Minipack America MX-Infuser

A good marinade requires time. Or does it? The MX-Infuser cuts an hours-long process to just minutes, thanks to vacuum seal technology that uses sophisticated algorithms to minimize marination time. Single touch icons make it easy to choose functions and intensity levels.

TurboChef PLEXOR

If you’re looking for three ovens in a single stack that feature ventless technology, auto loading and unloading, a single plug and control panel and other space-saving and efficiency features, you’ll find your heart’s desire with the TurboChef PLEXOR.

Ecolab Rodent Ceiling Service

Unless you’ve got Remy from Ratatouille on staff, you definitely don’t want rodents in the kitchen (or anywhere nearby). Ecolab has you covered with a combination of equipment and service that acts as an early detection system to proactively eliminate rodents in popular ceiling hideouts.

Electro Freeze 9 Flavor Fuzionate

Not every restaurant offers soft serve, but they probably should, especially with the aid of the Electro Freeze Fuzionate system. Brilliant (and patented) mix-chamber geometries and blade design allow you to offer up to nine flavors from one base, with blending occurring at the dispenser. Tailor to your preferred bases and syrups.

Georgia Pacific GP Pro Automated Sealing Machine

With plenty of businesses adapting to consumer demand just to keep their doors open, it’s no wonder why this machine was hit. It applies spill-resistant and tamper-evident plastic seals to food and beverage containers, making it great for self delivery or self service.


What’s a hot fridge? Simply put, the UNOX EVEREO preserves hot food for up to 72 hours at the ideal temp and humidity, for easy prep, instant service and minimal handling that reduces labor and increases food safety.

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