Combination Ovens

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What to look for when buying a combination oven for a commercial kitchen

In the bustling world of commercial kitchens, efficiency and versatility are key.

Whether you're a restaurant owner or a chef, the equipment you choose can make or break your operation.

One such piece of equipment is the combination oven.

This versatile appliance can bake, roast, steam, and more, all in one compact unit. It's a game-changer for commercial kitchens, offering space-saving benefits and improved workflow.

But how do you choose the right commercial combination oven for your needs?

In this guide, we'll explore the key considerations when buying a combination oven for a commercial kitchen.

Understanding Combination Ovens

A combination oven, or a combi oven, is a versatile appliance that combines three cooking methods in one.

A combi oven can function as a convection oven, a steamer, or a combination of both. This allows it to cook food in various ways, making it valuable in any commercial kitchen. Whether baking bread, roasting meat, or steaming vegetables, a combination oven can do it all.

The Versatility of Combination Ovens

One of a steamer oven's key selling points is its versatility. They can perform various cooking tasks, from baking and roasting to steaming and grilling.

This versatility is due to the three cooking modes they offer:

  • Convection mode: This mode uses dry heat and is ideal for baking and roasting.
  • Steam mode: This mode uses moist heat and is perfect for steaming vegetables, fish, and shellfish.
  • Combination mode: This mode combines dry and moist heat, allowing for faster cooking and more flavor retention.

Space-Saving and Efficiency

Combination ovens are a boon for commercial kitchens where space is at a premium. Their multi-functionality means you can replace several appliances with just one commercial combination oven.

Combination Oven vs. Convection Oven

A common question is how a combination oven differs from a traditional convection oven. The key difference lies in the cooking methods each offers.

While a convection oven relies solely on heat circulation, a combination oven adds the ability to steam. This added functionality allows for greater versatility in cooking, from baking and roasting to steaming and poaching.

Selecting the Right Size and Capacity

Size and capacity are crucial factors when buying a combination or commercial oven. The right size depends on your kitchen's space and the volume of food you need to prepare.

Consider the number of meals you serve daily. A bigger oven may be necessary for large-scale operations. However, a compact or countertop model might suit smaller kitchens or those with limited space. Always measure your available space before making a purchase.

Types of Steamer Ovens: Boiler, Boilerless, and Hybrid

There are three main types of combination ovens: boiler, boilerless, and hybrid. Each type has its unique features and benefits.

Boiler ovens create steam by heating an enclosed water tank, offering precise humidity control. Boilerless models generate steam by injecting water on a hot surface, making them more energy-efficient but less precise. Hybrid ovens combine the best of both worlds, offering flexibility and precision.

  • Boiler ovens: Best for high-volume restaurants
  • Boilerless ovens: Less powerful than boiler-based combi ovens, but more economical
  • Hybrid ovens: Offer flexibility and precision

Energy Efficiency and Cost Savings

Modern steamer ovens are designed with energy efficiency in mind. They use less energy compared to traditional ovens, which can lead to cost savings over time.

Moreover, cooking multiple dishes simultaneously reduces the need for multiple appliances. This saves energy and reduces the overall cost of operating your commercial kitchen.

Advanced Technology Features

New combination ovens are equipped with new technology that can make the lives of your kitchen staff easier. These include programmable settings and touch-screen controls.

These features make the oven easier to use and improve cooking precision. They allow consistent results, which is crucial in a commercial kitchen setting.

Cleaning and Maintenance Considerations

When buying a combination oven, consider how easy it is to clean and maintain. Some models come with self-cleaning features, which can save time and effort.

Regular maintenance is essential to ensure your oven continues working for many years. Check if the manufacturer provides a maintenance guide or offers professional servicing.

Brand Reputation and Customer Reviews

When buying a combination oven, it's crucial to consider the brand's reputation. Established brands like Vulcan often offer reliable products and excellent customer service.

Also, pay attention to customer reviews. They provide real-world insights into the oven's performance.

Making the Right Choice for Your Kitchen

Choosing the right combination oven for your commercial kitchen is an important decision. It can impact your kitchen's efficiency, the quality of your food, and, ultimately, your bottom line.

Remember, the best oven for your kitchen depends on your specific needs and circumstances.