What is a Combination Oven?
Before we dive into what it does, let's first talk about what a combination oven is and how it works.
Combination ovens or combi ovens use both steam and convection heat to cook foods. This specialized unit combines the two powerful heating methods to create one of the most precise cooking appliances.
With a combi oven, you can cook food more precisely by controlling both humidity and temperature in the cavity - creating juicy, high-quality dishes that are consistent with every new day, chef, or operator.
The heart of any combi is its oven cavity where food is cooked. No matter what combi oven you use, temperature, time, and humidity are the three most important functions to get the cooking results desired.
Combination Cooking Examples: Convection vs. Steam
We know that combi ovens use a combination of convection and steam heat to cook foods but let us dive a little deeper.
Cooking with Convection
As the name implies, convection cooking does not use any moisture to aid in the cooking process. This method involves the circulation of hot air or direct contact to transfer heat.
Cooking with Steam Heat
Conversely, steam heat uses water in a gas state to transfer heat to food up to 6 times faster than at temperature alone. Moisture in the form of steam or humidity comes in contact with the food to deliver delicate heat throughout the cooking process. Moisture content of foods cooked using this method are typically higher than in convection style heat transfer.
Using Both Convection and Steam is Combi
Typically, an operator would have to choose between convection or steam cooking, but, with a combi oven, you can have the benefits of both in one piece of equipment.
For example, if your kitchen needs to cook a batch of bread, a combi oven will circulate both the temperature and humidity to produce a product that is uniform in color and flavor on the outside and inside. Or, if you are looking to create perfectly braised beef for a new stew on the menu, a combi oven will heat the cooking chamber to the right temperature for the beef to cook thoroughly while injecting the right amount of humidity to braise the meat for the perfect melt-in-your-mouth entree.
No matter the recipe you are looking to master, the combi oven will allow you to create foods that are not only uniform and delicious, but can also help your kitchen create a varied menu, no matter how much space you have.
Why Combi Ovens are Perfect for Kitchens of All Sizes
Now that we understand what is going on inside of a combi unit, let's talk about the advantages it can bring to your kitchen.
Small Commercial Kitchens
Small commercial kitchens can probably benefit the most from a combi oven. With limited space, combi ovens offer small spaces multiple cooking abilities without taking up precious space in the kitchen. A combi oven can take the place of both a steamer and a convection oven without compromising on the outcome of the food.
Medium Commercial Kitchens
For medium sized commercial kitchens, a combi oven can act as another set of hands. A combi oven often comes with many different settings. You can control everything from cooking time down to the percentage of humidity inside the cavity, so all you have to do is add your foods and go. This can help medium-size kitchens have more hands in the kitchen without necessarily having more bodies.
Large Commercial Kitchens
Combi ovens are compact, which isn’t necessarily something that a large commercial kitchen needs to look for, but, because of their modular composition, a large kitchen can stack units on top of each other creating a powerful cooking space.
Give Your Kitchen the Upgrade it Deserves
If you are ready to upgrade your kitchen with the powerful cooking technology of a combi oven, consider choosing a Vulcan combination oven. Start cooking better with a combi oven today.
Vulcan is relentless in the pursuit of exceptional commercial appliances. Through quality cooking equipment, steadfast service and more than 150 years of expertise, they employ thoughtful innovation to meet the unique needs of each and every one of their customers. As a leader in food service equipment, their quality products serve to inspire chefs and operators to pursue their passion and meet their unique cooking needs.