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Combi Ovens - Why You Need One.

Updated: Dec 30, 2021

According to the FSR Magazine, 90% of all dishes found on commercial foodservice operations' menus worldwide can be prepared in a combi oven. These appliances have been used since a long time in Europe, and roughly 120 million meals per day are cooked in a Rational combi oven. However, many foodservice professional still use the traditional cooking equipment.

Combi ovens are a substantial investment, but when compared to the cost of your overall F&B equipment budget, the purchase is worth the initial price. These versatile units are not only identified to only perform an impressive array of function for one single piece of equipment, but they are also considered a smart investment for the following reasons:

@flowfoodservice on Instagram displays a wide variety of combi ovens and food service equipments. Follow us on Instagram to stay updated.

The iCombi Pro is a new technology in food service spaces by Rational, the above installation has been completed by Hraspo spol. s.r.o in Czech Republic. Follow Flowfoodservice to explore a variety of combi ovens.

1. Efficiency

It is not news that combi ovens can roast, steam, sous vide, smoke, braise, bake, rethermalize, and even fry foods. The actual benefit of a combi oven is that it controls the humidity inside its chamber while maintaining the exact desired atmosphere. When used with the combi steaming feature, this sums up to a great way to boost your production capacity which is possible due to its extra humidity that transfers heat faster. Also at 100% relative humidity, it allows you to cook with high heat without burning or excessively drying out food products.

Rational iCombi Pro setup in a hospital in France by ercosolution.

Follow Flowfoodservice to explore a variety of combi ovens.

Impressive line up of 40 pans at the platforme Clinico-Logistique in Quebec City, Canada installed by Welbiltcanada.

2. Space Efficient

Return on investment of the F&B space are more and more complex. One of the goals of every new venture is to minimise the back of the house by condensing their cooking line and equipments. Thanks to the flexibility of offering different cooking methods, a combi oven helps in centralising the foodservice production in one equipment. Indeed, it could be used as a convection oven, steamer and when set on a lower temperature, it can do many of the duties of a proofer, holding cabinet or even a slow cooker.

Rational iCombi Pro XS installed in a Hotels and Gastro formations in Switzerland by Mettler Gastrotechnik.

The MKN SpaceCombi is specifically tailored to meet the requirements of the future. The fully fledged, compact-sized combi steamer offers the same functions as its bigger colleagues - but takes up significantly less space.

The Convotherm Mini 10.10 is an attractive and compact mini combi black oven which is perfect for front-house usage.

3. Sustainable

Some manufacturers in the market are bringing full transparency of their water and energy consumption. We particularly like the MKN heat exchanger system that preheats the incoming water to the unit while discharging the waste water at the same time. Great insulation of the cooking chamber and door maximises the heat retention and reduces the overall energy consumption. Most of the models are equipped with a self cleaning system, which at the end of the operation uses less water and chemicals per cycle as compared to manual cleaning. If you follow the manufacturer's recommendations, the result is usually spotless.

Video by MKN

4. Intelligent

Programmable menus are easy to use and let you hard load or manually input recipes and cook modes. This turns even complex recipes with intricate steam and convection settings to be easily put in with a press of a few buttons. Precise temperature and moisture control, helps in selecting the accurate cooking program at precise temperature and steam setting for maximum customisation.

UNOX CHEFTOP MIND.MapsTM Plus installed at Esprit Chef's. Esprit Chef is a group of young Korean chefs united by the passion and love for gastronomy in general that have created a communication channel to experiment and share their creativity.

5. Food Yields

By using both steam and convection in your recipes, combi ovens can help you preserving flavours and nutrients, resulting in a higher-quality finished product. This method of cooking is perfect for meats since the moisture from steams helps in reducing the shrinkage and weight loss while also improving cooking time and results.

Fagor ADVANCE PLUS installed in a black finish at Zenit in San Sebastián, Spain by Onnera Contract

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Feel free to check our listing of most popular combination ovens in the market in 2021.

We are always curious to learn more in our industry. Please drop us a line on if you would like to recommend any update in our article!
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