Convection Oven, When is Necessary and Which One to Choose for Your Type of Kitchen

Type of service, gastronomic offer, and the number of diners are usually the most determining factors when choosing the right machinery for the provision of a kitchen. But one thing is very clear, because of its versatility and precision, the oven combined today is perfectly compatible with any gastronomic concept.

From a coffee shop to a central kitchen, the installation that does not have any of this equipment is very rare, both for production and service, the fact of having a machine capable of steaming, low temperature, roasting and regenerating (among other benefits) gives the chef a wide range of possibilities to optimize the kitchen operation.

What is a mixed or combined oven?

A combined oven is highly parameterizable kitchen equipment, which allows, within the same cooking chamber, to carry out steam cooking processes, in addition to forced convection or dry heat. And the important thing: the possibility of combining both.

In this way, you could have many options when applying the most suitable cooking environment for each food group, in addition to other benefits such as regenerations, dehydration and fermentation and washing processes of the machine. In addition, these ovens have valves (known as “draft”) that allow controlling the relative humidity of the cooking chamber produced by the food itself when there is no steam supply.

To achieve a homogeneous result, in this sense, professional combined ovens have powerful fans and the possibility of generating steam: through the boiler or directly by spraying water on the fan. They are also equipped with powerful lighting elements that favor the supervision of culinary processes.

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When is it advisable to use a combined oven and when not?

Cooking capacity: ensures a homogeneous and highly standardized production.
That uniformity of temperatures that achieve this type of ovens, makes them the perfect ally of the kitchen either “à la carte” or in banqueting.

Another advantage of the combined oven is the possibility of cooking different types of food in the same cooking process without mixtures of odors and flavors thanks to forced convection.

Get appropriate textures for each elaboration
Regardless of the food group, you are going to cook, the different functions that the combined ovens offer allow you to adjust the different cooking parameters, depending on the specific dish you are preparing.

An example of this is a combined oven with dry heat function, which guarantees crunchy textures in combination with the steam exhaust valves.

Steam cooking respecting the properties of food
The other great feature of this type of equipment is that it allows you to cook a large amount of food such as fish, vegetables or even pasta. The combined oven is the ideal tool if what you are looking for is to bet on vacuum preparations and made at low temperatures. Thanks to the thermal conductivity that exists within the cooking chamber, the products are cooked without altering any of their nutritional properties, as can occur with fresh fish in a less controlled cooking environment.

Professional equipment
This type of oven is very required in professional kitchens, as well as in other sectors of the hospitality industry. Mainly because as indicated, it allows cooking large quantities of food at the same time.

Contraindications

Although the combined oven is undoubtedly one of the most versatile equipment in terms of cooking processes, it is not always necessary to use a unit, even in professional kitchens.

Frying processes
Although the combined oven can give a good finish to pre-fried foods and small fritters (especially oriented to social restoration) to make large fritters with an optimal finish it is more advisable to use a good fryer.

To conclude, we can say that the combined oven is a work tool of great versatility in production situations, and of course, for the service.

Sauteed
In the same way, to make a good stir fry it is essential to have a gas stove that gives us the necessary power and intensity of fire capable of sealing the food while it moves sharply inside the pan.

Maillard reactions
Although the oven is capable of caramelizing to cause caramelization of proteins, especially in meats, a good iron or a fry top produces results of more organoleptic quality.

Pasta
The same thing that happens in the previous examples can be extrapolated to pasta: although the oven is capable of carrying out these cooking processes, traditional cooking or the use of pasta cookers is more recommended for a kitchen oriented to the pasta sector.

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How to choose a combined oven according to type of kitchen

The most determining factors when choosing the right oven are: Work volume Business typology Gastronomic offer.

Central kitchens: for a central kitchen we would choose a large capacity oven, that is, a model of 40 gastronorm trays. This type of machinery would allow us to execute large volumes of production very profitably. But entering the machine’s performance we could highlight the temperature probes equipped with good software to be able to monitor all the cooking data and make efficient management of the HACCP, in addition to tray trucks to facilitate the operation of the cold line (Cook and chill).

Hotel and restaurant sector: as in the central kitchens, in the hotel sector it demands large capacity models for both production and re-tray or plate retermalization. But understanding that a hotel encompasses several types (buffet, banquets, à la carte restaurants, outlets, etc …) the range of machinery demanded is greatly expanded.

So you could list “car” ovens with 20 trays to meet the needs of banqueting and buffet, as well as smaller ovens (10 trays) for “pass” situation in “a la carte” restaurants perfectly compatible with the hotel sector and the restaurants, another option that has been used a lot in this regard is the use of several compact ovens to have different cooking climates simultaneously and optimize the operation during the service.

A very interesting alternative is the connectivity in the furnaces, which helps us a lot in the standardization of the gastronomic offer, equipment maintenance, and consumption control.

Supermarkets and delivery: it is increasingly common to find “corners” of food ready to take in supermarkets and large distribution platforms. The most commonly used models for this type of business are usually 10-tray ovens with a digital display capable of storing and managing pre-stored cooking processes in a very visual and intuitive way.

This type of machinery also responds to the growing phenomenon of home delivery, properly thermalizing food at home and providing humidity and temperature parameters that ensure its organoleptic quality during the transport period from the kitchen to the customer’s home.

Coffee and bakery: the new demands that the market poses have accelerated evolution in the typology of conventional bakeries. Currently, the so-called “coffee and bakery” are pleasant spaces, with a large assortment of top quality products and with the possibility of tasting “in situ” bakery and pastry products. For this type of establishment, compact combined ovens are the perfect solution.