Commercial combi oven buying guide
Combi ovens are one of the most powerful & versatile tools found in professional kitchens. Being more expensive than average ovens, it‘s important to make an informed decision when buying. This guide will get you up to speed with what you need to know when purchasing a combi oven for your business.
Combination ovens, commonly referred to as combi ovens give the option to cook using one of three different modes: convection, steam or a combination of both. These multi-function machines can increase productivity in your kitchen while saving you valuable space.
- Convection - Great for baking. The fan provides even heat circulation, cooking uniformly and thoroughly. The convection mode also ensures most of the moisture is removed quickly and efficiently allowing for crispier and flakier baked good.
- Steam - Ideal for seafood and vegetables. Cooking with steam allows vegetables to retain their colour and nutrients.
- Combination - Perfect for cooking meat as the convection heat evenly cooks the meat while the steam ensures minimal loss of moisture giving you a juicier more succulent result.
Benefits of a combi oven
- Flexibility - A combi oven caters for whatever cooking method you wish to use including baking, grilling, roasting, air frying, steaming, poaching, slow cooking and more.
- Space Saving - With so many cooking options a combi oven can do the job of multiple appliances. Combi ovens are also available in a wide range of sizes suitable for any commercial kitchen.
- Programmability - A combi oven is a fantastic tool to have in your kitchen. Combi ovens offer multi stage cooking cycles allowing you to cook many different menu items that would normally require multiple steps and stages using more conventions ovens. Many combi ovens also feature pre-programmed recipes allowing you to create and save recipes, this way food can be prepared to a consistent and high standard.
Options and features to look for
- Gas vs Electric - Your final decision may be determined by the power supply and fittings available. Chefs may also prefer one format to best suit their personal cooking styles, so if you are in a position to choose, have your chef involved in the decision making process. Commercial combi ovens also require a connection to a mains water supply.
- Freestanding or Countertop - Combi ovens come in many sizes, which one you choose will obviously be dependent on the space available and the expected level of use. Where space is limited, a small countertop model would be suitable whilst larger kitchens with higher demand would need something with a greater capacity. With a range of styles and sizes in both countertop and freestanding designs, there are plenty of options to choose from.
- Controls - Manual control leads to a more hands on approach, temperature and humidity levels are still precise but it ultimately falls to the user to make sure that the settings are correct. More advanced systems are also available with touchscreen controls which automatically monitor and control cooking conditions, however, these systems are a more expensive option.
- Memory - Some models can store up to 1200 multi-stage recipes. As the required temperature, outcome and cooking duration are already saved, food can be prepared to the same high standard at the touch of a button, saving time and guaranteeing repeatable, consistent results.
- Cleaning - Always check the manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning. Each combi oven is different and instructions may vary. While some models offer menu guided cleaning, others incorporate a self-cleaning feature. Many units will also offer an integrated hand shower to quickly rinse the oven cavity whenever necessary.
Whether you run a gourmet restaurant or a hospital kitchen a combi oven offers unparalleled flexibility while taking up minimal space. A combi oven can perform a range of cooking functions and free up time for your staff to do other important tasks.