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What to Consider When Buying a Restaurant Oven

Posted by on 5/10/2015

Walk into most any commercial kitchen and you’ll find one or more variations on the commercial oven . Ovens have been used by culinary enthusiasts  for centuries to cook different food items like breads, meats and casseroles.  From convection ovens to combi ovens , deck ovens to conveyor ovens there are literally 100’s of commercial ovens from dozens of manufacturers out there and determining which one is right for your application can be a daunting task.  In this post I will attempt to provide a little insight into the different types of commercial ovens you have to choose from.

We are all familiar with the standard oven (also referred to as a conventional oven) and most of us have been using them in our commercial or residential kitchens for years.  The standard oven uses an electric element or gas burner to heat the air inside the oven cavity; a thermostat regulates the temperature by turn the element or burner on & off.  The biggest down fall with the conventional oven (not to be confused with the convection oven) is the lack of airflow inside the oven cavity.  This creates the potential for uneven heat distribution which causes hot and/or “cold” spots in the oven which in turn leads to uneven cooking and longer cooking times.  With that said the conventional oven has been used successfully for many years and to this day still do a fine job at cooking most any food product.

The “new” take on the standard oven is the commercial convection oven, these ovens operate on the same principle as the standard oven but with one major difference.  Convection ovens utilize a blower (fan) that circulates the heated air inside the oven cavity which creates a more even heat distribution and more even cooking.  While commercial convection ovens cost a little more than their conventional cousins they tend to be more energy efficient and reduce operating cost in the long run.  Convection ovens also cook more evenly and slightly faster than standard oven, which helps reduce operating and food costs.

"Combi ovens have the

ability to cook with dry

heat, moist heat or can be

used as a steamer.

Combi ovens are the newest on the market, these ovens are multi function and utilize steam during the cooking process.  Combi ovens have the ability to cook with dry heat, moist heat or can be used as a steamer.  They utilize the same convection technology as a commercial convection ovens but by using steam they cook about 20% faster than standard and convection ovens.  Schools have begun to adopt combi ovens in their kitchens because of the versatility and health benefits.  Many school systems are not serving fried food any more and the combi oven gives them the ability to steam vegetables and bake food items like chicken nuggets and french fries in the oven and still get the desired texture.  These ovens are pretty expensive but if you can stomach the initial investment you will love the way these ovens work;  in the long run they will save you time and money.

There are also deck ovens and conveyor ovens which I think I’ll save for a later post, the information above should be somewhat useful for eliminating the confusion between standard (conventional) ovens, convection ovens and combi-ovens.  If you have further questions feel free to leave me a comment and I’ll get your question answered ASAP.

J.E.S. Restaurant Equipment is the one stop shop for all your commercial restaurant equipment needs and our friendly and knowledgeable staff is here to answer your questions and help you make the right decisions when purchasing a new piece of restaurant equipment.  We have ovens and ranges from all the top names like Southbend, Blodgett, Vulcan , American Range , Duke, Bakers Pride and Bakemax to name a few; so if you’re in the market for a new commercial oven or range give us a call or visit us online.


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