To produce and serve several high-quality dishes in a limited time is hard, and customers’ expectations are getting higher, so is the workload of your kitchen -especially the oven. More demand, more production. But how? A higher capacity oven is necessary, which will not reduce your kitchen space, offering various cooking methods together. This is where a commercial combi oven steps in.
A commercial combi oven combines two cooking ways in one unit; steam and convection heat, and it is where the name comes from. Either one of these methods or both of them combined can be used for cooking. A commercial combi oven lets you steam, bake, roast, rethermalize, and blanch foods. Because it replaces multiple ovens, it saves time, space, and money in the long term. We prepared a buying guide about the benefits of combi ovens and how they may help you save money and enhance your commercial kitchen productivity.
Steam, Convection And Combination Modes
A commercial combi oven has steaming, hot air- convection- and the combination of the two as cooking methods. In combination mode, steam and convection together produce flavorful and moist outcomes with minimal shrinking.
- Steam: Steam is used to keep the food moist and juicy. This method is mainly used for steaming fish, often shrunk in convection ovens, and vegetables, which retain their natural color when steamed.
- Convection: A commercial combi oven uses hot air circulates throughout the oven chamber in convection mode, creating dry heat that browns food and eliminates moisture. It is ideal for roasting pizza or cookies, baking, mostly bread, and searing meat.
- Combination: Combination mode combines steam and convection methods to cook with retaining moisture. This is the feature that distinguishes the combi ovens. It is perfect for braising or stewing meat, vegetables, or other food, producing soft and juicy food with the browning a convection oven can create.
The Advantages Of Owning A Combination Oven
The initial cost of a commercial combi oven can be seen as high at first compare to other commercial kitchen ovens, but the investments makes it worth the price, which you can find below;
Commercial combi ovens are multi-functional appliances that can be considered as multiple kitchen equipment in one unit. It can take the duties of griddles, chargrills, fryers, sous vide units, and when set at low temperatures, they serve as holding cabinets or slow cookers. And with the help of humidity in addition to heat, cooking times decrease. So it saves you space, time and increases capacity.
2. Flexibility and Programmability
Available in diverse sizes, commercial combi ovens are flexible and suitable for large and small places. The high capacity they have, allows you to cook large portions of food at once. Commercial combi ovens will ease your work a lot because they can be programmed to any setting you want for specific recipes, and saving them to use every time you need will accelerate the process.
Commercial combi ovens cook faster with the use of less energy than regular ovens, which will contribute to reducing electricity bills. And the use of combination mode will remove shrinking and retain flavors and natural colors of food, producing the highest quality dishes.
Things To Consider Before Buying A Commercial Combi Oven
Before purchasing a commercial combi oven, some points to consider will help you choose the best one for you. Firstly the budget and kitchen’s requirements are essential, and not to forget the chefs’ preferences, who will use the oven.
1. Electric vs. Gas Combi Ovens:
You can decide between a gas or electric combination oven, considering price and practicality.
- Commercial Electric Combi Oven Features:
- There are places with no gas supply, while electricity is everywhere.
- Electric models are often cheaper than gas types.
- Commercial Gas Combi Oven Features:
- Mostly they are more efficient than electric types.
- The ones with open burners transfer energy and raise temperature directly.
- Because of the possibility of power outages, it is better to use gas in some rural areas.
- If you choose gas combi ovens, you need to consider the type of gas and how it is delivered to your site.
You should also keep in mind some gas types still require electric connections to power fans and digital displays.
2. Touch Screen vs. Dial Combi Ovens:
Commercial combi ovens have two controlling options; touchscreen or dial. You may choose the one you prefer after knowing the features of both.
You can swiftly customize cooking conditions after entering your preferences with a single touch and use the loaded cooking instructions again and again in touch screen types. Adding menu items and rapid adjustment are the features that touch models provide. Dial controls are simple to use; browse to your preferred settings, and you are ready to start.
3. Boiler vs. Boilerless Combi Ovens
A commercial combi oven can be either with a boiler or boilerless system. A boiler produces steam which is pumped into the oven by boiling water in a tank. To count the disadvantages, we can say that because boiler combi ovens use water to create steam and cool the hot water down, water bills will be higher than boilerless types. And hard water conditions may end in higher maintenance costs for this type.
A boilerless combi oven injects water directly onto the heating element and uses its own water and heat system. It is less expensive to buy and maintain and easier to clean, so more preferable. But one disadvantage of boilerless combi ovens is that they can not create as much steam as those with boilers, so the amount of food it produces will not be the same.
4. Manual vs. Programmable
With the option that lets you program menus by choosing cooking modes and accurate temperature and moisture controls, you can customize foods and easily cook all the recipes just with the touching of a few buttons in programmable units.
It offers nearly more than 200 multi-stage cooking cycles in the memory, including different cooking steps. With these programmable cycles, the staff can quickly cook a variety of food consistently every time and just in a single process.
5. Commercial Combi Oven Sizes
Commercial combi ovens are available in countertop, floor, and double-stacked models. They vary in size that, while some can fit 5 pans, bigger versions can handle up to 40 pans. A model that is too large for your kitchen will narrow your space, and if the capacity it has is over your need, you’ll be overspent your money for no reason. Same way, a commercial combi oven that can not meet the requirements won’t be able to handle the needed capacity, decelerating work. Knowing your available space and how much capacity your kitchen requires will make you choose the right one.
Mini Combi Oven: perfect for crowded kitchens, mini sizes can be effective when used in the right situations. They usually come with six shelves at most and take up to 5 pans.
Tabletop Combi Oven: A little bigger than mini-sized ones, tabletop models are ideal for smaller operations such as food trucks, and they come with 6 to 12 shelves.
Floor Model Combi Oven: They’ll serve the purpose for high-volume operations that require a high amount of quality production. They have a minimum of 20 shelves that can fit up to 20 full-sized pans in.
6. Optional Features
Most commercial combi ovens have some features that increase the production volume and help to improve the user and consumer experience.
Ventless Combi Oven: While vented hoods are commonly used because of the regulations and codes, there are ventless types, allowing you to place them anywhere you want.
Code Scanners: Some ovens have the software to cross the food items with stored cooking instructions and set the controls after reading the product code.
What Can Be Cooked In A Combi Oven?
You can cook nearly all types of food in a commercial combi oven with the combination of steam and convection heat and various cooking methods it offers. Here we have some menu items that your customers will love that a combi oven cooks to perfection.
- Meat: Since roasting dries out the moisture of the meat, it loses most of its weight. A steam flow during the roasting process will prevent shrinkage and produce juicy meat with a commercial combination oven. A standard oven cooks a whole chicken for nearly 2 hours. In a combi oven, the time decreases to around 45 mins, with the help of moisture.
- Fish: Fish requires steam to be properly cooked with retaining the flavor and nutrients inside. Moisture will prevent breaking and reduce shrinkage. With the programmable commercial combi oven, you can easily set the proper steam and temperature amounts and leave the rest to the oven.
- Vegetables: Steaming veggies instead of boiling will make them retain their color, vitamins, and minerals.
- Bread, Pies & Pastries: While convection mode crisps outside, steam makes the interior moist and flavorful. Ideal for making bread as proofs dough and makes perfect crust with the addition of steam.
Commercial Combi Oven Maintenance and Cleaning
Maintaining your commercial combi oven will prolong its service life and save your money in the long term. Some of them have self-cleaning functions, but you need to know which cleaning materials are the most suitable for your oven.
Extraction: Extraction is essential for a combi oven since it creates a lot of heat and steam, and it is mainly required by law. An exhaust hood will be helpful in this way.
Water softener: A water connection is a need for nearly all commercial combi ovens. A water softener is needed to prevent build-up inside the oven that the limescale or other debris can make.
- To prevent your drain from blocking, You can check if the drain screen is in place.
- For accurate door sealing, you should clean and oil door seals.
- You shouldn’t delay 6 months-service maintenance of your commercial combi oven.
A filtration system is essential for a combi oven to prevent the build-up of mineral deposits in water lines and the scale build-ups in water probes and the cooking chamber to make it run effectively. As a result, the clearance of water will affect the food taste.
- Before cleaning, do not forget to check the manufacturer’s instructions, as they can vary depending on the model.
- Do not use abrasive cleaning agents and scourers, wire brushes, or steel wool while cleaning to prevent damages to your oven.
- Wipe off the surfaces with a soft sponge.
- You should rinse the steam generator daily.
- Using vinegar and a soft sponge or cloth, remove water deposits from the interior of the oven.
Professional kitchens with high volume production have a lot to do in a limited time. The best thing for such a busy kitchen is the flexible and functional equipment, doing most of its work. A commercial combi oven will not disappoint you at this point. Memory that saves various recipes and the proper controls for each recipe is a great function that speeds up the process. With the combination of steam and convection, each meal will cook constantly and adequately each time. A commercial combi oven will be your biggest helper in the cooking process for those who own a food service business or who want to own it.