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Commercial Oven Buying Guide [2020]

Looking for a commercial oven to stock up your kitchen? Like any other kitchen tool, you need just the right oven for your needs.

Buying commercial ovens can be a tricky process therefore it is important to know the different types of commercial ovens and their features beforehand so that you invest your money on the right product which suits your needs.

Gas or Electric?
Commercial ovens are powered either by gas or electricity, both of which have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Gas
Pros:
*Proper safety equipment required
*Relatively low cost
*Heats up more quickly

Cons:
*Require a gas connection, which can be expensive to install
*Poor heat distribution so food items overcooked and under-cooked on different sides
*Lower safety than electric ovens

Electric
Pros:
*Easy to install
*Provides consistent heating
*Easier to clean
*Safer as no risk of gas leak and chances of fire

Cons:
*Takes Longer to heat up
*They need to have their own breaker otherwise can cause a power outage
*More expensive than gas ovens

Types of ovens to choose from
Shopping for an oven starts with knowing the options you have.

1. Standard Ovens
Standard ovens, also known as radiant ovens, are the simplest kind of oven. These have a heating element situated at the bottom of the baking chamber that creates radiant heat that is then transmitted throughout the cavity.

Pros:

*Inexpensive
*Easier to repair
*Can cook almost anything

Cons:
*Cooks food slowly
*Inconsistent heating

2. Convection Ovens
Convection ovens are the most popular in bakeries. These are equipped with fans that circulate hot air into the baking chamber. This creates uniform heat distribution for a better cook.

Pros:
*Consistent heating
*Better browning
*Cooks food evenly
*Cooks food more quickly than standard ovens (around 25%)
*Inexpensive

3. Combi Ovens
Combi ovens, short for combination ovens, combine convection oven technology with steam oven technology. Basically it combines heating and steaming. Food can cook about 20% faster than in standard or convection ovens.

Pros:
*Consistent heating
*Fast cooking
*Cooks food evenly

Cons:
*Really expensive

4. Stone Ovens
Deck ovens have heating elements at the top and bottom of the baking chamber and a stone shelf that is directly heated so that you can place your items on top of it.

Pros:
*Consistent heating
*Cooks food evenly
*Individual temperature control for top and bottom heating elements

Cons:
*Big and heavy
*Not as versatile as other ovens

5. Steam Ovens
Steam ovens cook with water vapor. The steam provides heat, allowing you to create perfectly soft and moist baked goods. It also retains the flavor and vitamins inherent in the food.

Pros:
*Fast cooking
*Cooks food evenly
*Consistent heating

Cons:
*You cannot make the food crispy and brown

6. Cook and Hold Ovens
Cook-and-hold ovens use low temperatures and gentle heat to cook food items and keep them at warm temperatures until they are ready to be served. These ovens allow you to keep food moist and warm right up to plating.

Pros:
*Maintains food freshness till it is served
*Ideal for proofing and baking bread
*Due to low temperature cooking, food shrinkage is minimized

Cons:

*Large cooking times
*Not ideal for high-volume production of food due to increased cooking times

7. Conveyor Ovens
Conveyor ovens are ideal in settings where you need to produce high volumes of food at the least amount of time possible. These ovens use a cooking method called impingement he hot air forces through a perforated sheet above the food.

Pros:
*Fast cooking
*Consistent heating
*Food cooks evenly
*High volume output
*Less cooking times*Very easy to use

Cons:
*Not Ideal for cooking delicate food items because of rapid heating
*Food size limited by the size of the conveyor opening

8. High Speed Ovens
High-speed ovens are a fairly new type of bakery oven that combines multiple cooking methods to bake your food products extremely rapidly. Most commercial high-speed ovens combine convection and microwave technologies to produce enough heat to rapidly cook food.

Pros:
*Super-fast cooking times
*Cooks food evenly
*Programmable controls
*Easy to use

Cons:
*Expensive

9. Rotary Rack Ovens
These are typically really large ovens capable of handling racks of around 20-30 trays. Usually the oven comes with inbuilt exhaust hood and has to be connected through ducting. They are usually used in central\base food factories or bakeries.

Other important factors to be taken into consideration:
1. Size:
An oven which is too small may not have the capacity you need, whilst if it’s too big it might not fit into your kitchen at all. Make sure to measure up before purchase.

2. Power Type:
Decide beforehand whether you want to buy an oven powered by gas or electricity depending upon your needs and resources.

3. Construction: Inspect if the oven you are about to buy has a sturdy construction and is made with high quality materials. All the parts of the oven are made with the materials which provide extreme durability.

4. Ventilation: Ovens can release a lot of soot and grease into the air. If not addressed properly, this can create health problems, especially for staff with lung concerns, and fire hazards in your kitchen.  

5. Plumbing and Water: Some ovens require a water supply to produce steam. Poor quality water in your area can severely affect the quality of the food you are producing.

Every oven has it's advantages and disadvantages, so it becomes really important to know about the different oven types before investing any money. It really comes down to your needs and resources!

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