A Buyer’s Guide to Commercial Ovens
We can safely say that the kitchen is the heart and soul of your business, right? It’s always swarming with chefs, waiters and all kinds of other staff members who are giving their best to please the customers waiting outside. What exactly are the customers waiting for? The food. And where’s the food being prepared? The oven. It’s perhaps the most crucial piece of equipment in your commercial kitchen.
We think it’s safe to assume that most people have probably used an oven at least once in their life. It’s a fairly simple thing to do anyway. You just set the temperature, position your food on the rack and let it sit for a bit. While that part is in fact easy, the part that’s somewhat more difficult is choosing the appropriate type of oven for your business in particular. Yes, there are many types of stylish and functional commercial ovens out there and each one serves a different purpose. We’re here to break it all down for you and make things a tad bit easier.
What Are the Different Types of Ovens?
The more you look, the more types of commercial ovens seem to pop up. You might come across different names as you go but the main types are essentially the same. Let’s have a look at the basics.
The standard commercial oven, also known as a radiant oven, can tackle just about any type of food. It looks and works similarly to regular ovens you might find in your kitchen. The heating element at the bottom of the cooking compartment is used to heat up the space and inherently cook the food that’s inside. Bear in mind that this universal type of cooker may not be appropriate to cook certain types of “specialised” food items. All in all, it’s the least expensive option available and the easiest to maintain out of all the ovens out there.
They’re quite similar to standard ovens, with the only difference being the way the airflow is distributed. Convection ovens include fans that allow the heat to circulate more quickly and cook the food more evenly. In this way, you have a more consistent temperature inside the oven which speeds up the cooking times. This is especially important when you’re short on time and want the food to be ready as quickly as possible.
As the name suggests, these ovens cook the food using steam. By doing this, you retain most of the food’s healthy nutrients and it’s a great alternative to frying. It’s the perfect option for preparing fish, rice or vegetables in a healthy way but it’s not appropriate for crisp food which is why an additional grill is normally used.
This type is generally viewed as the most advanced and practical oven for commercial kitchens. They’re basically a combination of convection and steam ovens which means you get the best of both worlds. As the food is cooked, combi ovens generate steam through a connected water supply. The heat is then distributed evenly throughout the cooking chamber using fans. This ensures fast and precise cooking, just the way you want it to be.
These ovens have hefty stone shelves, or decks, that are warmed up through a heating element. The food is then cooked by being placed directly onto the heated stone. While this type of oven might not be suitable for general use, it’s the ideal option for baking bread, pastries and even pizza. The downside is that the stone itself might take a while to heat up and cold spots might appear in certain places which, in turn, might not cook the food evenly.
Pizza ovens are a practical addition for every kitchen, whether it’s commercial or not. This is because, well, who doesn’t like pizza? You don’t even have to use it for pizza only since it can be used for baking pies, burritos and certain types of pastries too.
What To Look Out For When Buying an Oven?
Apart from the type of oven, there are a few other considerations to take into account when shopping for an oven.
Get the Right Size
You need to know how much space you have available in your kitchen so you can get the right-sized oven. Sure, you might want a particular type but that’s of no use to you if you can’t actually implement it into the cooking area. Space considerations are an important part of planning and organising your commercial kitchen.
Ovens can use a wide range of power sources and fuel types so make sure you have the necessary tools to power it up. If you’re unsure of whether or not you do, it’s a good idea to call for a professional to have that checked up.
Cleaning And Maintenance
Make sure you clean your ovens after each daily use. You’re dealing with food after all so you can never be too safe. You can look up the best ways to keep your type of oven clean and if you follow the instructions closely, you should be just fine. In addition, regular checkups by a technician are advisable so that you keep your oven in the best shape possible.