How Do I Choose a Commercial Oven?

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choosing-commercial-oven-sm-1800-945-002HOW DO I CHOOSE A COMMERCIAL OVEN?

The oven is the centerpiece of most kitchens and choosing one for your restaurant is one of the most important decisions that a chef or an owner must make.  Finding the equipment, you need in a price range that works for you and design that fits your space can seem like an overwhelming task.  This is because ovens are used for so many things in the kitchen.

If your kitchen roasts meats, steams seafood or vegetables, bakes breads or pastries, then you are going to need an oven.  

So which model has the correct features to meet your culinary needs?  Manufacturers now offer a variety of ovens to suite a variety of kitchen designs and cuisine styles.

This guide is meant to help you find exactly which type of oven will work for your business.  So, read on, to find out everything you ever wanted to know about purchasing a commercial oven.

Kitchen Design & Oven Size

The first thing to consider when buying an oven is whether you need an oven that is powered by gas or electricity, since this will quickly help you to narrow down the abundant options available to you. Next, consider the design of your kitchen and the space available for all of the equipment you will need. It is a good idea to consult with a professional that can help you to maximize efficiency in your kitchen and still fit all of the necessary equipment into the space available.

Space always seems limited in the kitchen and therefore finding an oven that will fit in the space you have available while meeting the needs of your kitchen is important.  One way to save space in your kitchen is to buy an oven that is built underneath a range or griddle:

Range Ovens: If you already plan on buying a range or griddle for your kitchen, they might come with a standard radiant oven attached, this is known as an ‘oven-base’ range or a Range Oven.  These ovens work in much the same way as the one in your kitchen at home.  They have a heating element at the base below several racks that hold food.

Space Savers: Make sure to keep an eye out for whether your griddle or range has what is known as a ‘space saver’ oven or if it is standard size.  Space savers are meant to fit in tighter quarters.  They are approximately 20″ wide by 26″ deep while standard size is 26″ wide or more, depending on the overall size of the range.  This means that space saver ovens will only be able to fit baking sheets lengthwise while standard ovens will allow you to fit them either way.

Countertop and Floor Ovens: While Range Ovens can help to save space, they are not ideal for situations where high volumes of food need to be baked quickly.  Along with this, Range ovens will not cook food as quickly or evenly as a dedicated oven.  This means that in kitchens that do a lot of baking, a specialized oven is often required.  While there are a variety of specialty commercial ovens on the market, most of them come in either a floor or countertop model.  Countertop ovens allow you to fit the equipment that you need in a tighter space.

Oven Features to Meet Your Kitchen’s Needs

An easy next step to narrowing down your options is to make a list of the essential oven features needed. While there are a variety of commercial ovens on the market, not all ovens are created equal. Research their features in order to decide the best solution for your cooking requirements.

The most common ovens are Convections, Combis, Accelerated Cookers, Steamers, and Conveyers. Each of these ovens serves a specific purpose, making them suited for a variety of needs that a chef might have.

Accelerated Ovens: Accelerated ovens are often used in fast food restaurants to cook food in around a minute.  They are a great solution if you need to heat frozen food, but lack a dedicated kitchen. They are also great if you need to cook food, but don’t have a lot of room.

Convection Ovens:  Convection Ovens have a fan which circulates hot air, allowing them to cook evenly and quickly.  You can cook everything in a convection you would cook in a standard radiant oven, but more quickly and at a lower temperature.  Convection ovens are available in floor and counter top models but always require gas and electrical power to run the fan.

Steam Ovens: Stand Alone Steam ovens are meant for steaming a variety of foods at once like fish, vegetables, and rice without mixing their flavors.  Steam ovens may require a connection to the water main to operate.

Combi-Ovens: Combination ovens are basically a convection oven and a steaming oven all wrapped up in one space saving package. Because of this they tend to be more expensive. Combination ovens can also use moist and dry heat at the same time, making them perfect for cooking meats, as they can prevent food from being dried out while cooking. Along with this, they can be set to a low temperature and used to keep cooked food warm and fresh.  Like steam ovens, they use water and therefore may require a connection to the water mains.

Conveyer Ovens: Conveyer ovens, as suggested by the name use a conveyer belt that allows raw food to be loaded into one side and come out cooked.  They are often used in restaurants where a greater volume of food needs to be cooked quickly and are perfect for grilled sandwiches and pizzas.  There are also dedicated pizza ovens, which are conveyers built specifically for making pizzas.

Of course, exactly which kind of commercial oven you need for your business depends on exactly the type of food you will be cooking and the space constraints of your kitchen.  An accelerated oven might be perfect for a bar or mall kiosk without an actual kitchen where premade food needs to be warmed quickly, while a medium sized kitchen that doesn’t do much baking might only need a range oven.  However, in an oven that needs to bake a higher volume of food like breads, pastries, and meat might want to consider investing in a dedicated convection or combination oven.  A combination oven can be a great way to save space because of the variety of functions it can carry out.

Buying a Commercial Kitchen Oven

There’s no way around it, ovens are an investment, so this is an important decision.  One way to save money and maximize your investment is to purchase an oven that has multiple functions like a range oven or a combination.  Another option is financing your equipment through a lease-to-own program like the ones offered by Restaurant Appliance Depot, who carry a variety of commercial ovens for any type of kitchen.  If you still feel like you’re unsure of exactly which type of commercial oven is ideal for your business feel free to give their helpful customer service staff a call.  They are available 24-7, 365 days a year to help you find the perfect equipment solutions for your business.  Their website will give you a good idea of the variety of ovens that they carry.  So when you’re looking for a commercial oven for your business, check out Restaurant Appliance Depot, and get your hands on the technology you need to succeed.

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