Commercial Convection vs. Combi Ovens: Which is Right for You?

/ Commercial Ovens & Ranges, Equipment Guides & Spotlights / December 18

Commercial Convection Ovens vs. Commercial Combi Ovens

When commercial kitchens need to cook large volumes of food in a hurry, they need a piece of equipment that can meet the high demand. Both commercial combi and convection ovens are built for the job, but they both cook up delicious dishes in different ways. So what makes them so unique? Below are some key details and features to know about each type of commercial oven.

Commercial Convection Ovens

Cupcakes Baking in Convection Oven-Commercial Convection Ovens vs. Commercial Combi Ovens

What is a Convection Oven?

A commercial convection oven uses a fan and exhaust system to spread hot air across the cooking cavity. This ensures even cooking, removing both hot and cold spots from food and creating the ideal “browning” effect. Convection technology also decreases cook times so more food can be made in a shorter amount of time.

What is a Convection Oven Used for?

  • Baking

  • Broiling

  • Roasting

What are the Benefits of a Convection Oven?

  • Fast cooking – Whether you’re baking large batches of cookies or roasting meat, a commercial convection oven can whip up high volumes of food quickly.

  • No hot or cold spots – Because hot air is evenly circulated throughout the cooking chamber, it helps prevent extreme hot or cold spots in food.

  • “Browning” effect – Have you ever seen breads and pastries that have an off color? Thanks to convection cooking, the even circulation of air also helps brown your foods.

  • Roasts to perfection – If you roast vegetables and meats, this piece of equipment can create a crispy texture or caramelize better than some of its counterparts.

  • Bakes like a charm – The heat formed from convection cooking can melt fat and create natural steam. This helps lift dough in pie and airy pastries. It also can bake multiple trays of goodies, such as cookies and biscuits without needing to rotate them.

Why Choose a Convection Oven?

No matter the size of your restaurant or commercial kitchen, a convection oven ensures your food is maintains the highest quality. From large casual-dining restaurants to small bakeries, this type of oven can cook large amounts of food without wasting time or sacrificing flavor, heat and texture. Also, many convection oven manufacturers offer a wide variety of dimensions to suit your establishment’s needs.

Commercial Combi Ovens

Vegetables in Combi Oven-Commercial Convection Ovens vs. Commercial Combi Ovens

What is a Combi Oven?

A commercial combi oven blends convection cooking, steaming and a combination of both into a single unit. As mentioned above, convection circulates heat throughout the cabin for quick and even cooking. Steam cooking uses water and heat to create steam, which allows food to retain its natural texture and flavors. When in combination mode, food is cooked using the best qualities of both convection and steam. It automatically blends dry heat and steam, so food maintains proper moisture and doesn’t shrink or burn on the edges.

What is a Combi Oven Used for?

  • Baking

  • Broiling

  • Poaching

  • Roasting

  • Steaming

  • Warming

What are the Benefits of a Combi Oven?

  • Versatility – With a combi unit, you can cook meat, poach fish, steam rice and vegetables and bake breads and pastries. You even can lower the temperatures to hold or slow cook certain items.

  • Reduces shrinking and dryness – Sometimes, steam and convection cooking on their own can dry out and shrink the product. When combined, foods retain the right moisture and won’t shrivel.

  • Keeps the flavor – By balancing the best qualities of steaming and convection cooking, the proper nutrients and flavor remains in the food.

  • More bang for your buck – While a combi oven usually costs more than a convection oven or steamer, its three-in-one design lets you do more in a single unit.

  • Space saving – By having three cooking modes rolled into one oven, it reduces the footprint in a commercial kitchen.

Why Choose a Combi Oven?

If you make a high volume of various foods, this is the right option for you. You’ll be able to steam, poach, bake, roast and cook different products without having to purchase multiple pieces of equipment. That’s why they’re perfect for fast food chains, restaurants, taverns and even small commercial kitchens.

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