Types of Commercial Ovens: Buying Guide
In many ways, a commercial oven is the centerpiece of your kitchen. Able to cook, roast, broil, bake and, in some cases, steam, it’s an essential component for your business. So, when it comes to choosing an oven for your commercial kitchen, there’s a lot to take into consideration. If you’re trying to decide on the right commercial oven for your establishment, our guide will help walk you through the many options, features and more.
Types of Commercial Ovens
A basic oven that can cook most food products. Because they’re not specialized, however, they may not evenly cook certain types of food products. Also known as “radiant ovens.”
- Used for—basic cooking and baking needs
Similar to standard ovens, convection ovens provide air circulation to the cooking process. Fans installed in these ovens help circulate warm air inside the oven to evenly cook the product.
- Used for—Bread, pastries
Combi ovens (or “combination ovens”) is the perfect marriage between steam and convection ovens, as it has the capabilities to do both. Because of this, combi ovens can cook food fast and consistently.
- Used for—Breads, pastries, vegetables and rice
Utilizing a system consisting of convection cooking and a conveyor belt, conveyor ovens are perfect for fast-casual restaurants who are cooking large quantities of food quickly. Some are available with forced air impingement, which pulls moisture from the product’s surface and reduces total cooking times by as much as 20% to 25%.
- Used for—Pizzas, toasted sandwiches/paninis
These types of ovens both slow cook food and provide a holding cabinet for the finished product. Cook-and-hold ovens help reduce product shrinkage, and keeps food at a safe, ideal temperature throughout service.
- Used for—Roasting meat, vegetables and dough proofing
Deck ovens sport large stone shelves that are heated via a heating element to cook and bake products. Brick ovens are a recognizable type of deck oven predominantly used in pizzerias.
- Used for—Baking and pizzas
Rotisserie ovens are a specialized type of oven used primarily for cooking and roasting large portions of meat. The meat is rotated on a spit over a heating element, allowing the product to evenly cook as it spins.
- Used for—Large amounts of meat
A healthy alternative to frying certain food, steam ovens cook the product using steam. This type of oven can evenly cook food fast, while keeping in the nutrients of the food item.
- Used for—Vegetables
Gas vs. Electric
One of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make when deciding on an oven for your commercial restaurant is whether it should be gas or electric. While it’s a debate that’s often had when it comes to commercial kitchen equipment, both gas and electric ovens have their own unique merits. Take a look at each and decide which is right for your business:
Benefits of Gas Ovens
- Cost-to-own is less over a prolonged period of time
- Heats up quickly, so there’s no wait time to start cooking
- Ideal for high-output cooking
Things to Consider with Gas Ovens
- Requires a gas connection
- Safety precautions and equipment need to be utilized, especially when cleaning
- Could yield uneven cooking if not monitored properly
Benefits of Electric Ovens
- Easy installation with
- Can be energy-efficient, especially when using an ENERGY STAR®-rated unit
- Cooks food more evenly
Things to Consider with Electric Ovens
- Requires a large amount of electricity to operate
- Takes longer to heat up in order to cook
- Best for lower product output, unless the oven is specifically rated at a higher voltage
Maintaining a Commercial Oven
Just like any piece of equipment in your commercial kitchen, your oven will need to be regularly maintained. This ensures that your oven operates properly during each shift, and helps prevent costly repairs. No matter what type of commercial oven you have, make sure you take care of the following maintenance tasks:
- Clean Your Ovens Daily—It’s important to clean the interior and burners of your oven daily. You use them often and they require TLC. Pay attention to cleaning components like the oven racks and the main interior portion. Additionally, if your oven has a cooktop with burners, those will also need to be cleaned each day.
- Specialized Ovens Will Need Specialized Cleaning—Depending on the type of specialty oven you have, you’ll need to clean it differently from a more standard oven. Be sure to have special attention given to conveyor, deck and convection ovens.
- Check the Oven Door Often—Seals and gaskets wear down over time, so it’s important to keep an eye on the door’s components to make sure they can be serviced and replaced before they wear down too much. If not properly maintained, the interior of the oven runs the risk of not maintaining its heat, causing food to be under-cooked.
- Have Your Oven Regularly Maintained—Certain components in your commercial oven will need to be regularly checked and maintained by a certified service technician, such as the thermostat. Be sure to follow your owner’s manual to know when to schedule preventative maintenance for your oven.
Check out our commercial oven cleaning and maintenance guide for complete tasks and tips.