best combi ovens

Foodservice is one of the most competitive industries, so it is crucial for a commercial kitchen to be efficient and able to produce high-quality dishes consistently. One of the most versatile pieces of equipment that has become indispensable in modern kitchens is the combination oven, or combi oven. These ovens combine the power of convection and steam cooking to offer unparalleled flexibility, allowing chefs to create a wide variety of culinary masterpieces.

Given the wide array of combi ovens available in the market, selecting the right one for your foodservice operation can be a daunting task. This article aims to serve as a comprehensive buying guide that will help you make an informed decision when investing in a combi oven. We will explore the key features, advantages, and factors to consider when choosing the perfect combi oven for your business. Additionally, we will analyze the top models in the market, making it easier for you to compare and evaluate your options. By the end of this guide, you will have a thorough understanding of what to look for in combi ovens and how to maximize their benefits.

What is a Combi Oven?

A combi oven, short for combination oven, is a versatile kitchen appliance that combines the functionality of a convection oven and a steam oven in one unit. It operates on the principle of using dry heat (convection) and moist heat (steam) either individually or simultaneously, offering precise control over the cooking process. The convection mode circulates hot air around the food for even cooking, while the steam mode uses water vapor to cook food gently and preserve its moisture content. By using both modes together, chefs can achieve the perfect balance of texture, flavor, and color in their dishes.

Key features

Some of the key features of a combi oven include:

  1. Multiple cooking modes: Steam, convection, and combination cooking modes provide a wide range of culinary possibilities.
  2. Temperature control: Precise temperature control ensures consistent cooking results, with most models offering a range of 85°F to 572°F (30°C to 300°C).
  3. Humidity control: Adjustable humidity levels allow for better control over the cooking environment, preventing food from drying out or becoming soggy.
  4. Programmable recipes: Many models feature pre-programmed recipes or allow users to save custom cooking programs for quick and consistent results.
  5. Probe thermometer: An integrated probe thermometer ensures the internal temperature of the food is accurately monitored for safe and precise cooking.
  6. Safety features: Combi ovens often include safety features such as automatic shut-off, door lock, and cool-to-touch exterior.
combi steam oven

Types of Combi Ovens

There are two main types of combi ovens: boiler-based and boilerless.

  1. Boiler-based combi ovens: These ovens feature a built-in boiler that generates steam by heating water, providing a consistent and abundant supply of steam throughout the cooking process. Boiler-based ovens are known for their precise humidity control and are generally considered more powerful and efficient.
  2. Boilerless combi ovens: Instead of a boiler, these ovens use an injection or spritzer system to introduce water directly into the cooking chamber, creating steam. While boilerless models are generally more affordable and easier to maintain, they may offer less precise humidity control and take longer to produce steam.

Top 8 Commercial Combi Ovens – Our Picks

1. Alto-Shaam CTP7-20E Combitherm Full Size Oven

Key features:

  • EcoSmart technology: Enhances energy efficiency and reduces operating costs.
  • PROpower: Turbo mode for rapid heat and steam generation, speeding up cooking times.
  • Gold-n-Brown: Ensures consistent browning across various dishes.
  • CoolTouch3: Triple-pane glass door for enhanced safety, remaining cool to touch during operation.
  • Removable food probe that can be easily calibrated.
  • Temperature Range: 85°F – 575°F
  • Price range: Approximately $17,000 to $20,000, depending on features and configurations.

The Alto-Shaam CTP7-20E Combitherm Oven is an award-winning combi oven designed for professional kitchens that require versatility, precision, and energy efficiency. With its advanced EcoSmart technology, the CTP7-20E reduces energy consumption, providing faster preheating and cooking times while lowering operating costs. This is a large oven that holds 16 full size food pans. Durable stainless steel construction ensures it can withstand heavy use in busy foodservice environments. In addition, the intuitive touchscreen interface allows for easy operation and customization, enabling chefs to achieve consistent cooking results across a wide range of dishes and culinary techniques.


  • Energy-efficient design, leading to long-term cost savings.
  • User-friendly touchscreen interface for easy operation.
  • Robust construction for reliability and durability.


  • Higher upfront cost compared to some competitors.
  • Requires regular maintenance for optimal performance.

2. Rational SCC WE 101 SelfCookingCenter

Key features:

  • iCookingControl: Intelligent cooking control with automatic adjustment of cooking parameters for desired results every time.
  • HiDensity Control: Simultaneous cooking of different dishes on multiple racks.
  • Frech Steam Generator: Precise steam temperature with no need for water softening system.
  • Efficient Care: Automatic cleaning and descaling system, plus grease extraction system.
  • Climate management: Precise regulation of heat and humidity for consistent results.
  • Price range: Approximately $15,000 to $19,000 depending on configuration and features.

The Rational SCC WE 101 SelfCookingCenter is a high-quality and versatile combi oven designed to meet the demands of professional kitchens. Combining advanced technology, precision, and efficiency, this oven is engineered to deliver consistent cooking results across a wide array of dishes and techniques. The SCC WE 101 features an intelligent cooking control system, iCookingSuite, which automatically adjusts cooking parameters to ensure optimal results. In addition, the oven’s HiDensityControl precisely regulates heat and humidity for consistent cooking performance, while the iLevelControl enables simultaneous cooking of different dishes on multiple racks. With its Efficient CareControl system, the oven provides easy and automated cleaning and descaling, ensuring peak performance and longevity.


  • Intuitive and easy-to-use touchscreen interface.
  • Energy-efficient and eco-friendly design.
  • Wide range of cooking options and customizable programs.


  • Larger footprint requires more space in the kitchen compared to some other models.
  • The oven’s advanced features and multiple cooking modes could be overwhelming for inexperienced staff

3. Electrolux Professional SkyLine PremiumS

Key features:

  • Cook & Chill system: Streamlines the cooking process for improved efficiency and consistency.
  • OptiFlow technology: Ensures even heat distribution and precise temperature control.
  • SkyClean automatic cleaning system: Provides easy and efficient oven maintenance.
  • Ergonomic design: Enhances workflow and productivity in the kitchen.
  • Price range: Approximately $12,000 to $20,000, depending on size and features.
SkyLine PremiumS Electric Combi Oven

The Electrolux Professional SkyLine PremiumS is a cutting-edge line of electric commercial ovens equipped with smart technology and human-centered design. With its innovative Cook & Chill system, the oven streamlines the cooking process, enabling chefs to prepare dishes more efficiently and consistently. The ergonomic design of the SkyLine PremiumS focuses on improving workflow and productivity, making it easier for kitchen staff to operate and maintain the oven. Additionally, the oven boasts advanced features such as OptiFlow air circulation technology and automatic cleaning systems, ensuring precise temperature control and hassle-free maintenance.


  • Advanced features for precise cooking control and consistent results.
  • Improved workflow and productivity due to ergonomic design.
  • Easy and efficient cleaning and maintenance.


  • Premium price point compared to some competitors.
  • Steeper learning curve for inexperienced staff.

4. Convotherm C4 ED 10.10 Half-Size Electric Combi Oven

Key features:

  • Advanced steam control: Ensures precise and consistent cooking results.
  • easyTouch controls: Provides a user-friendly touchscreen interface.
  • Crisp&Tasty function: Helps achieve the perfect balance of moisture and crispiness in dishes.
  • Compact design: Ideal for kitchens with limited space.
  • Price range: Approximately $13,000 to $17,000 depending on configuration and features.
Convotherm C4 ED 10.10ES

The Convotherm C4 ED 10.10 is a versatile and efficient cooking solution designed to cater to the needs of modern professional kitchens. Known for its advanced steam control, the oven ensures precision and consistency across a wide range of culinary applications. The compact design of the C4 ED 10.10 makes it an ideal choice for kitchens with limited space, while its easyTouch controls provide a user-friendly experience for operators. Built to deliver reliable performance, the oven also features a unique Crisp&Tasty function, which helps create the perfect balance between moisture and crispiness in various dishes. This unit has 11 shelves for pans, racks, baskets, and plates.


  • Precise cooking control with advanced steam technology.
  • Easy-to-use touchscreen interface.
  • Space-saving design suitable for smaller kitchens.


  • Limited capacity due to its compact size, potentially unsuitable for high-volume operations.
  • May not have as many advanced features as some competing models.

5. Henny Penny FlexFusion Platinum Series Oven

Key features:

  • Chef’s Touch™ technology: Intuitive and user-friendly interface for seamless operation.
  • WaveClean™ system: Simplifies maintenance and extends oven life.
  • Precise temperature and humidity control: Suitable for a variety of culinary applications.
  • Energy-efficient design: Reduces operating costs and supports sustainability.
  • Price range: Approximately $12,000 to $22,000, depending on size and features.
Henny Penny FlexFusion Platinum Series Oven

The Henny Penny FlexFusion Platinum Series Combi Ovens are incredibly versatile and can replace steamers, convection ovens, and even grills. Designed with Chef’s Touch™ technology, it provides an intuitive, user-friendly interface for seamless operation. Henny Penny’s WaveClean™ system simplifies maintenance, ensuring optimal performance and longevity. The FlexFusion Platinum Series is known for its precise temperature and humidity control, making it suitable for a variety of culinary applications, from baking and roasting to steaming and sous vide cooking. With its robust build and energy-efficient features, the oven is a dependable choice for kitchens seeking consistent cooking results and long-term cost savings.


  • Easy-to-use interface with Chef’s Touch technology.
  • Simplified maintenance with the WaveClean system.
  • Versatile cooking capabilities with precise temperature and humidity control.


  • Limited availability of authorized service technicians: While Henny Penny is a reputable brand, finding authorized service technicians in certain regions may be challenging.
  • May require staff training for optimal use of advanced features. Some users may find the Henny Penny FlexFusion Platinum Series Combi Oven to have a steeper learning curve compared to other combi ovens, especially if they are unfamiliar with the advanced features and technology.

6. Unox CHEFTOP MIND.Maps Plus Smart Oven

Key features:

  • Maps Plus system: Allows users to create custom cooking programs for consistent results.
  • Maxi and DRY.Maxi technologies: Provide uniform heat and humidity distribution.
  • Compact and sleek design: Ensures efficient use of space in professional kitchens.
  • Energy-efficient performance: Reduces operating costs and supports sustainability.
  • Price range: Approximately $16,000 to $26,000, depending on size and features.

The Unox CHEFTOP MIND.Maps Plus is a sophisticated and versatile combi oven designed to cater to the ever-evolving needs of professional kitchens. Combining intelligent cooking technology with a compact and sleek design, the oven offers chefs precise control and flexibility for a wide range of culinary applications. The MIND.Maps Plus system enables users to create and store custom cooking programs, ensuring consistent results across various dishes. Its AIR.Maxi and DRY.Maxi technologies provide uniform heat and humidity distribution for perfect cooking outcomes. This Unox Smart Combi Oven is a reliable and energy-efficient option for kitchens seeking to enhance their productivity and culinary capabilities.


  • Customizable cooking programs with the MIND.Maps Plus system.
  • Uniform heat and humidity distribution for perfect cooking outcomes.
  • Space-saving design suitable for various kitchen sizes.


  • Higher upfront cost compared to some competing models.
  • Possible learning curve for inexperienced staff to utilize advanced features.

7. Vulcan C24EA5-BSC Electric Steamer

Key features:

  • Patented closed-system design: Circulates steam and heat evenly for consistent cooking.
  • Rapid cool-down function: Allows for quick transitions between cooking methods.
  • User-friendly interface: Simplifies operation and control.
  • Built-in self-cleaning system: Ensures easy maintenance and prolonged oven life.
  • Price range: Approximately $12,000 to $16,000, depending on configuration and features.
Vulcan C24EA5 24" 1 Compartment Countertop Electric Convection Steamer

The Vulcan C24EA5-BSC is a powerful and durable electric steamer oven built to support the demands of busy professional kitchens. With its stainless steel construction and user-friendly interface, the oven delivers consistent performance across a variety of cooking techniques, including steaming, roasting, and baking. This Vulcan oven features a patented closed-system design that circulates steam and heat evenly, ensuring perfectly cooked dishes every time. The C24EA5-BSC is also equipped with a rapid cool-down function, allowing for quick transitions between cooking methods. Its built-in self-cleaning system simplifies maintenance, making it a reliable and convenient option for commercial kitchens.


  • Even heat and steam distribution for optimal cooking results.
  • Quick cool-down function for efficient operation.
  • Easy-to-use controls and maintenance features.


  • Lacks some advanced features found in higher-priced models.
  • Limited capacity might not be suitable for large-scale foodservice operations.

8. MKN FlexiCombi MagicPilot

Key features:

  • MagicPilot system: Offers intuitive operation with a touchscreen interface.
  • FlexiRack system: Provides flexibility in organizing the oven for various dishes.
  • TripleGlazed door: Enhances energy efficiency and heat retention.
  • Wide range of cooking modes: Accommodates diverse culinary applications.
  • Price range: Approximately $18,000 to $20,000, depending on size and features.
MKN FlexiCombi Magic Pilot

The MKN FlexiCombi MagicPilot Combi Oven is a state-of-the-art kitchen appliance that combines cutting-edge technology with a user-friendly experience, making it an ideal choice for chefs who prioritize precision, consistency, and ease of use. The MagicPilot system allows for intuitive operation, with a touchscreen interface that simplifies the cooking process. MKN’s FlexiRack system provides flexibility in loading and organizing the oven, making it suitable for preparing a wide range of dishes. Additionally, this oven incorporates a TripleGlazed door that helps retain heat, enhancing energy efficiency and reducing operating costs.


  • User-friendly touchscreen interface for streamlined operation.
  • Flexible oven organization with the FlexiRack system.
  • Energy-saving features, such as the TripleGlazed door.


  • It might be heavier and larger than some competing models, which could make installation and placement more challenging, especially in smaller kitchens.
  • MKN is a European brand, and depending on your location, it could be more difficult to find local technicians or service centers for maintenance and repairs, potentially leading to longer downtime in case of issues.

How We Picked Our Top 8 – Factors to Consider

Size and Capacity

When selecting a combi oven, it’s essential to consider the size and capacity of the unit. The available kitchen space and the volume of food you need to cook will influence your decision. Combination ovens come in various sizes, from countertop models, half-size to full-sized, double stack, roll-in units. Make sure to choose an oven with enough capacity to handle your foodservice operation’s demands without occupying too much valuable kitchen real estate.

Fuel type (electric, gas, or combination)

Combi ovens are available in electric, gas, and combination fuel types. Electric ovens are typically more energy-efficient and easier to install but may have slower heating times compared to gas models. Gas ovens offer quicker heating times and can potentially produce more power, but they may require more complex ventilation systems. Combination fuel ovens provide the flexibility of using both electricity and gas, allowing you to switch between the two as needed. Consider the availability of utilities, energy costs, and installation requirements when choosing the fuel type.

Ease of use and controls (digital or manual)

The choice between digital or manual controls depends on your preference and staff’s familiarity with the equipment. Digital control panels usually feature touchscreens and programmable cooking settings, providing more precision and consistency. Manual controls offer a more traditional, hands-on approach but may require more skill to use effectively. Consider the learning curve and the level of control you want over the cooking process when making your decision.

Cooking modes (steam, convection, or combination)

While all combi ovens offer steam, convection, and combination cooking modes, some models may have additional features such as sous vide, grilling, or baking functions. Consider the types of dishes you plan to prepare and the cooking techniques you want to employ when selecting an oven with the right range of cooking modes.

Ventilation requirements

Proper ventilation is crucial for a safe and efficient kitchen. Gas combi ovens usually require more extensive ventilation systems due to the combustion process, while electric ovens may have simpler requirements. Consult local building codes and regulations to ensure compliance and check with the oven manufacturer to determine the appropriate ventilation system for your chosen model.

Energy efficiency

Cooking consumes approximately 35% of the energy a restaurant uses, so energy efficiency of an oven can greatly impact your operation’s utility costs. Look for models with energy-saving features such as insulated cooking chambers, efficient heat exchangers, and standby modes. Additionally, electric ovens tend to be more energy-efficient than gas models.

Maintenance and cleaning

Routine maintenance and cleaning are vital for prolonging the life of your commercial oven and ensuring optimal performance. Some models offer self-cleaning features or automated descaling systems, making it easier to maintain the equipment. Consider the ease of maintenance and the availability of replacement parts when selecting a combi oven.

Budget and financing options

Lastly, your budget will play a significant role in determining the right combi oven for your foodservice operation. High-quality combis can be a substantial investment, so it’s essential to strike a balance between the features you need and the price you can afford. Additionally, explore financing options such as leasing or equipment loans to help manage the upfront costs of purchasing a combi oven.

Advantages of Using a Combi Oven in Foodservice Operations

Combi ovens offer several advantages that make them a valuable addition to foodservice operations:

  1. Versatility: Their ability to cook using multiple methods allows chefs to prepare a wide range of dishes with a single piece of equipment.
  2. Consistent results: Precise temperature and humidity control ensure consistent cooking results, improving the overall quality of the dishes served.
  3. Space and energy efficiency: Combi ovens eliminate the need for separate convection and steam ovens, saving valuable kitchen space and reducing energy consumption.
  4. Faster cooking times: The combination of steam and convection cooking often results in faster cooking times compared to traditional cooking methods.
  5. Improved food quality: The use of steam cooking helps to retain the moisture, flavor, and nutritional value of food, enhancing the overall dining experience.
  6. Easy cleaning: Many combi ovens feature self-cleaning functions, simplifying the cleaning process and reducing labor costs.

Combi Ovens vs Steam Ovens

Commercial combi ovens and steam ovens are both popular choices for professional kitchens due to their unique cooking capabilities. However, they have distinct differences in terms of functionality and versatility. Here’s a comparison of these two types of ovens to help you better understand their features and applications:

Feature/Cooking Task Commercial Combi Ovens Steam Ovens
Functionality Steam, Convection, and Combination Steam only
Versatility High Moderate
Cooking Methods Steaming, Roasting, Baking, Grilling, Sous vide Steaming, Poaching, Sous vide
Temperature Range 85°F-575°F (30°C-300°C) 140°F-212°F (60°C-100°C)
Humidity Control Precise, adjustable Limited
Cooking Speed Fast, even cooking Slower, gentle cooking
Food Texture & Quality Crisp, moist, and tender Moist, tender
Browning & Crust Formation Yes No
Reheating Efficient, without drying out food May over-moisten food
Energy Efficiency Varies by model Generally energy-efficient
Initial Investment Higher Lower
Space Requirements Larger footprint Smaller footprint

What Can You Cook in a Combi Oven?

A combi oven is incredibly versatile, allowing you to cook a wide variety of dishes using different cooking methods. Here are some examples of foods you can cook:

  1. Meats: Roast, grill, or steam beef, poultry, pork, and lamb to your desired level of doneness and tenderness.
  2. Seafood: Steam, poach, or roast fish and shellfish, preserving their delicate flavors and textures.
  3. Vegetables: Steam, roast, or grill vegetables, maintaining their nutritional content and enhancing their natural flavors.
  4. Baked goods: Bake bread, pastries, and desserts with even heat distribution for consistent results.
  5. Casseroles and gratins: Cook casseroles, lasagna, and gratins evenly, achieving a crispy top layer and moist interior.
  6. Sous vide: Precisely control the temperature for sous vide cooking, ensuring perfect results every time.
  7. Eggs: Prepare soft or hard-boiled eggs, omelets, and frittatas with ease.
  8. Rice and grains: Steam rice, quinoa, and other grains to perfection.
  9. Pasta: Parboil or reheat pasta while retaining its texture and flavor.
  10. Reheating: Efficiently reheat pre-cooked dishes without drying them out.

These are just a few examples of the many dishes you can prepare using a combi oven. Its versatility makes it a valuable addition to any professional kitchen.

Combination Ovens FAQ

Are combi ovens worth the price?

Combi ovens can be a significant investment, but they offer excellent versatility, efficiency, and precision in cooking, which can save time and labor costs in a professional kitchen. Depending on your specific needs and budget, a combi oven can be a valuable addition to your foodservice operation.

Is a combi oven better than a convection oven?

A combi oven offers more versatility than a convection oven, as it combines steam, convection, and combination cooking modes. This allows for a wider range of cooking techniques and better control over food quality and texture. However, a convection oven may be more suitable for certain tasks, such as browning and crisping. The choice between the two depends on your specific needs and preferences.

Are combi ovens good for baking?

Yes, they are excellent for baking, as they provide even heat distribution and humidity control, resulting in consistent and high-quality baked goods. The combination cooking mode can also help achieve the desired texture, with a moist interior and a crisp exterior.

How long do combination ovens last?

The lifespan of a combination oven depends on the specific model, its usage, and maintenance. With proper care and regular cleaning, a high-quality commercial combi oven can last for 10 years or more. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for maintenance and cleaning to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

What is the difference between a combination oven and a steamer?

A combination oven, or combi oven, combines steam, convection, and combination cooking modes, offering greater versatility in cooking techniques and food preparation. On the other hand, a steamer is designed exclusively for cooking with steam, which is ideal for maintaining moisture and preserving the nutritional content of food. A steamer is typically limited to gentle cooking methods, such as steaming and poaching, while a combination oven can perform a wider range of tasks, including roasting, baking, and grilling.

In conclusion, selecting the right combi oven for your foodservice operation is crucial for optimizing efficiency, versatility, and quality in your kitchen. A well-chosen oven can transform your cooking processes and elevate the dishes you serve to your customers.

We hope this buying guide can serve as a starting point to help you evaluate and compare different commercial combi ovens on the market. Consider factors such as size, capacity, fuel type, ease of use, cooking modes, ventilation requirements, energy efficiency, maintenance, and budget to find the perfect fit for your specific needs and foodservice operation.

List of resources and articles for additional information on combi ovens and related topics:

  1. FCSI – Foodservice Consultants Society International:
  2. Rational – Oven Manufacturer:
  3. Electrolux Professional – Oven Manufacturer:
  4. Alto-Shaam –  Manufacturer:
  5. Henny Penny – Manufacturer:
  6. Unox – Manufacturer:
  7. Vulcan -Manufacturer:
  8. The National Restaurant Association:
  9. Foodservice Equipment Reports: