Ovens are a focal point for any kitchen, and choosing the right one for the restaurant can improve efficiency and help boost profits. During your shopping endeavor, you’ll inevitably reach a crossroad between the standard oven versus convection ovens. Since the 1950s, convection ovens have made their way into restaurant kitchens around the world, and for good reason.
Whether you’re on the lookout for a convection oven to add to your commercial kitchen or the old unit is all about to give in, our extensive buyer’s guide will allow you to decide on a convection oven that’s suitable to your needs.
The Mighty Convection Oven’s Greatest Tricks
A fundamental convection oven differs from a more prevalent and widely-used thermal or glowing oven mostly in cooking time, efficacy, and outcomes. As opposed to heating the oven cavity, a convection oven utilizes fans by circulating air around the food and quickening the cooking process. In a conventional oven, the air around the food creates a stable pocket of insulating material, allowing for normally slower cooking occasions.
The heat spreads evenly, eliminating hot spots and reduces the prospect of undercooking a few items and overcooking others. If you are using a high-quality convection oven, then you can bake multiple racks of biscuits and they will all cook evenly without the need to rotate the baking sheets from the center of cooking.
The efficiency in a convection oven is the reason why most bakeries and pizzerias (where substantial amounts of small products are made fast) prefer this kind of oven on a conventional thermal oven.
A convection oven also reduces cooking time by as much as 25% to 30%, allowing busy commercial kitchens to supply more food items in a shorter period. And because the cooking time is cut by a significant fraction, a convection oven creates food that is crispier on the outside and tastier and juicier on the inside. That is certainly an advantage when you’ve got a lot of customers constantly clamoring for good food served right away.
Also, the most efficient kind of convection ovens (largely utilized in restaurants) are known as “authentic convection” or “third component convection”. As the title states, these ovens present a third heating element that warms the air before the fan circulates it on the food. Many convection ovens include this third element and, thus, force room-temperature air to the guts of the oven. This can worsen the hot- and – cold-spot phenomenon in our food! If you are planning to buy restaurant equipment for your business then get it from a reputed and trusted restaurant supply store.
So while convection ovens have the potential to cook meals 25% faster than a conventional thermal or radiant oven, basic convection ovens pose a massive issue in regards to cooking temperature due to harsh cooking surroundings.
Types of Convection Ovens
- Countertop Ovens
Countertop ovens are streamlined, letting them be utilized in commercial kitchens where space is constricted, such as convenience stores, concession stands, and offsite catering sites. Their size makes them simple to transport and install. Most convection ovens can accommodate several half-size sheet pans.
- Floor Ovens
Floor models come in half-size or full-size. Some versions additionally come in bakery-depth so you can load full-size sheet pans front to rear. Some convection oven makers design their units to be stackable, letting you double your production without taking up more of their floor space.
Understand The Convection Oven Basics
Many convection ovens provide you the ability to turn the fan on and off. This is particularly important when you have to bake delicate items, such as cakes and soufflés, which may not hold up against the power of hot, blowing air. More expensive models also let you adjust the speed of the fan, which is useful if you want to have more control over the speed of the air blowing through the baking chamber.
2. Temperature and Time Controls
Convection ovens cook quicker than standard ovens so you may have to adjust the temperature and cooking time of your recipes. Some premium versions have a feature that automatically adjusts the temperature and cooking time of your recipe.
Some convection ovens have a cook-and-hold feature that will change the oven into holding mode. This keeps the cooked food at the desired serving temperature without burning it.
A few convection ovens include a feature that allows you to circulate steam around the baking chamber. This helps create artisan bread that has glistening golden brown crusts and moist, fluffy insides. Steam helps keep meats like poultry and the meat juicy without you having to add too much oil or seasoning.
Ovens using a steam function need access to a water connection. You may also need to think about installing a water filter or softener to make certain that the water quality in your area doesn’t influence your finished product.
5. Manual and Programmable Controls
Convection oven controls may either be manual or programmable. Programmable controls allow you to make recipe apps that may be triggered with a single push of a button. This is beneficial in case you’ve got a lot of unskilled labor on your staff.
Manual controls, on the other hand, provide operators with a great deal of flexibility. Professional chefs prefer manual controllers because it allows them to adjust their cooking settings as needed.
Tailor Your Search to Your Operation
1. Go for durability
Convection ovens are typically made of stainless steel or galvanized steel. Stainless steel, which can be corrosion-resistant, is the substance of choice for those who plan to use their ovens for heavy-duty applications. Galvanized steel is a more affordable option, though it isn’t as corrosion-resistant as stainless steel and won’t last so long.
Another factor to check at is how the metal panels have been held together. High-end models use welded steel, which holds better than bolted versions.
2. Consider the interior
Convection oven interiors are usually made from aluminized steel, which is the cheapest option that doesn’t compromise on strength and endurance. Some ovens have ceramic insides, which are smooth and easy to clean, thus reducing the development of germs that could happen from food spills. However, porcelain interiors can crack or wear out faster than aluminized steel.
Some interiors also have smooth, coved corners, getting rid of the straight edges and corners where food spills can gather and create bacterial growth.
3. Check the doors
Convection oven doors can either be manufactured from tempered glass or solid metal. Tempered glass doors let you look at the contents without opening and allowing out the heat. Solid doors, on the other hand, are more durable and have better heat retention. However, constantly opening solid doors to check in your products could lead to heat loss and higher energy costs.
Doors can also be dependent or independent. Dependent doors open at precisely the same time working with a single handle. They allow you to start both doors with one hand only, which is useful once you’re carrying a tray of food products with the flip side. Independent doors aren’t as convenient since they have separate handles. The advantage of independent doors is that they don’t create as much heat reduction as dependent doors.
4. Find the right size
The sizes of the convection oven you select depends on how many food products that you need to prepare daily. Larger convection ovens will fit in more products, typically holding up to 9 to 12 sheet pans at the same time.
Most commercial convection ovens may accommodate 2 1/2″ deep pans, with adjustment for 4″ pans that are used for taller items such as bread. If your business is quickly growing and you anticipate that you might want more convection ovens in the long run, consider going to get a searchable model so it’s possible to conserve floor space.
5. Choose between gas and electrical options
Convection ovens rely on gas or electricity for fuel. Gas convection ovens typically heat up more rapidly. However, even gas-powered ovens need to get an electrical connection to power their fan motors.
For most commercial kitchen operators, electric convection ovens would be the more viable option. Electric ovens can supply more uniform temperatures which cause uniform cooking. In some regions, however, electricity may be cost-prohibitive, which explains the reason why manufacturers still offer gas choices for their customers.
6. Get the appropriate ventilation system
Before you buy a convection oven, be sure to have the ideal commercial hood and other ventilation equipment in place. Assess the local regulations and be confident that you comply with all kitchen venting rules.
Overall, you’ll want to explore each convection oven in your purchase considerations, noting the types of heating components and enthusiast mechanics. Texas Restaurant Supply can help you wade through the advantages and disadvantages to get the ideal oven for your needs!