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Published On: Tue, Dec 11th, 2018

5 Things to Consider When Buying a Combi Oven

Despite the prevalence of the microwave as the go-to kitchen appliance, the oven will always be an invaluable asset for industrial-level and domestic cooking. Aside from the traditional oven, there’s the lesser-known combi oven. It is a type of professional tech that in recent years became the main thing to have in commercial kitchens for its 3-in-1 nature.

Before you can get a combi oven for your business or even domestic usage, it’s important to consider the options and functionality of each given model. This article will not go over the pros and cons of combi steam ovens. Rather it is here to provide a guiding point for anyone looking to invest into a combi oven.

photo/ ClkerFreeVectorImages via Pixabay.com

Type and Functionality

All combis share the three-cooking-modes function: steam, convection, and the combination mode itself. Apart from that similarity, the ovens themselves come in two varieties as far as power source is concerned.

They can be electrical or gas-powered.

As for the input modes, there are 2 types of them — these ovens can have mechanical dials on their front or they may have touch screens. The choice of either comes down to personal preference as none of the functionality will be inhibited.

Next up, the consideration for the steam-making mechanism. There are models which utilize boiler and boilerless designs. The former injects steam out of a tank while the latter does so directly into the heating element.

Size and Dimensions

Are you looking for industrial-grade combi ovens?

In either case, since most combi ovens are made with commercial kitchens in mind, they usually come with some hefty dimensions to them and are quite heavy-duty.

They come in part-size and full-size varieties. Part-sized ones may be suitable for home use, but only if the following two considerations are in check.

Budget

Everything that has the power to turn around the industry requires an investment or a small fortune.

Despite their overall expensive nature, combis are becoming more and more affordable. For that reason alone they became popular amongst chefs and cooking enthusiasts who have finally found a way to assimilate steamers and convection ovens.

Examine combi oven costs and figure out if it belongs in your budget. Gas-powered ovens are generally less expensive than their electrically-powered counterparts.

Another consideration to add to combi ovens prices, these things also may require a repair budget. Your allocated budget must include some additional wiggle room for maintenance and performance checks.

Integration

As was said prior, these ovens can be quite sizeable and the integration of such an oven into an existing kitchen layout comes with its own set of caveats, even for combi ovens.

Ventilation, power supply, gas connection, etc. Everything must adhere to the operating manual of the unit.

Electrical connection will still be required, even if you opted for gas-powered oven. If the kitchen only has access to gas, then you may be inhibited when it comes to the choice of ovens.

Additionally, since steam is such an integral of the combi oven’s functionality, it’s vital to have access to filtered (and potentially softened) water supply.

Training and Control

Figuring out new tech is always intimidating. Not just for the Average Joe, but to seasoned chefs as well.

Even though the best combi ovens nowadays come with inbuilt presets, the hands-on nature of this appliance may make it hard to get to grips with, initially. These ovens include a high amount of customizable options and presets, but that’s an advantage that will allow it to respond to any cooking challenge.

Thankfully, the learning curve for the modern combi is eased with each generation of the appliance.

Maintenance and cleaning are also crucial. Combis need to be serviced on a biannual basis and cleaned after usage. Consult with the manual as not every oven shares the same construction and components.

If you’re looking to invest into a combi, make sure to allocate enough time to training or even retraining.

Rounding it all together

Bottom line, the combi oven is a great tool that many people have never heard of, but those who did are eager to try it out. Availability and price may be a short-term issue, but any business owner who acts with foresight will see merit in owning one. Combis are designed with highly-specific controls which allow for easy control of heat and steam levels. This power over the amount of all potential variables allows to cook just the way you or your clients like. Combi ovens allow for the compartmentalization of your kitchen space and they also save money on resources by combining numerous gadgets into one. It saves time when preparing numerous (and diverse) types of food which in turn lends way to a more sizable menu.

The benefits are there. What’s left is to pick one and get cracking with that operating manual.

Author: Carol James

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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