Anyone who runs a commercial kitchen knows how essential the heavy-duty oven is. But it is not just about getting the oven, you need to make sure that you get the right type of oven for the specific needs of your foodservice operation. In this article, we are going to explain different kinds of industrial ovens and help you find the right one.
Which Type of Oven is Right for Your Operation?
Commercial ovens can be used to bake, broil, roast, and cook menu items large and small, including delicate desserts, pizzas, prepared vegetables, and hearty cuts of meat. Depending on their purpose there are several different types of industrial ovens, convection ovens, combination ovens, deck ovens, and more.
Convection ovens use a fan to circulate hot air around the food. This types of commercial ovens is ideal for baking cakes, cookies, pastries, and roasting meats. Rapid heat circulation allows for even browning and quick cooking times, saving time and making sure to keep the meals coming. Convection ovens are not good for pizzas or breads that require a crispy crust.
Deck ovens feature a flat, metal deck that the food is placed on. Heat is then applied from all sides of the food, cooking it evenly. This allows cooking large batches of pastries without burning them. This type of oven is perfect for baking breads and rolls, and is also good for high heat searing which creates a tasty crust on meats. They can do this because their heating element is located beneath the deck.
Pizza ovens are deck-type ovens that specialize in cooking pizzas. They have a unique deck design that allows the heat to circulate around the pizza, cooking it evenly and giving it a crispy crust. Pizza ovens range in sizes from small to very large, so they can be used in restaurants of all sizes.
As the name suggests, combination ovens are a blend of convection and deck ovens. This type of oven features both a convection fan and infrared broil technology. They have a fan to circulate hot air around the food like a convection oven, and also have a heated deck to produce a crispy crust. This type of oven is perfect for baking delicate items like pastries while also being able to handle more robust items such as roasted meats. The moist heat created by the steaming process helps keep food soft and tender.
Conveyor ovens are ovens that use a conveyor belt to move the food through the oven. This type of oven is best for cooking large quantities of food quickly and evenly. They are commonly used in chain pizza businesses, the take-home, and delivery restaurants, where large amounts of food need to be cooked at once.
A conveyor oven is more expensive than a deck oven, requires a larger footprint in the kitchen, more maintenance, and is more difficult to keep clean. However, the benefit of minimizing labor costs, using less skilled labor, reducing training requirements and producing consistent results have given operators reasons to embrace them.
Rapid Cook Ovens
Rapid cook ovens, also called high-speed ovens, combine three types of cooking technology: microwave, convection, and steam. Because of this, these ovens can take less time than a conveyor or deck oven to produce the same amount of product.
On the downside, rapid cook ovens are even more expensive than conveyor ovens and can be even more difficult to keep clean. They also take up a lot of space in the kitchen. However, fast-paced environments such as canteens, takeaways, restaurants with time-sensitive service can greatly benefit from this type of commercial oven.
A rotisserie oven is a type of oven that uses a rotating spit to cook food. This is a popular way to cook chicken, as the slow turning allows the chicken to cook evenly all around. Rotisserie ovens are often used in restaurants that specialize in chicken dishes.
Cook and Hold
Cook and Hold ovens are used in cafeterias and restaurants that need to cook and then retain food. Cook and Hold ovens have a low-temperature water heater instead of an element, so they can maintain a specific temperature without actually cooking the food. This type of oven is perfect for dishes such as lasagna because it allows them to be cooked ahead of time while still retaining their heat and moisture.
A roasting oven is a large, commercial oven that is used to cook large quantities of meat. These ovens can be either convection or deck-style, and use a rotisserie or spit to cook the meat. Roasting ovens are often used in restaurants that specialize in roasted meats.
Different Sizes of Commercial Ovens
The size of an oven determines its versatility, as well as how much food it can cook at once. The minimum size oven that will work for a small restaurant is usually around 1 cubic foot in volume, although some smaller countertop ovens are available.
Full size ovens that are commonly used in restaurants have a volume of around 4 cubic feet. These ovens can cook up to eight pizzas at a time, or a dozen chicken breasts. Larger ovens, with a volume of around 10 cubic feet, can cook up to 24 pizzas at a time, or 36 chicken breasts.
Half size ovens are approximately half the size of a full-sized oven, and can cook up to four pizzas at a time, or six chicken breasts. Half-size are usually used in canteens and cafeterias, for their smaller size makes them much easier to clean than larger ovens.
With this type of oven, food can be cooked at the same time to feed around 24 people. They tend to cook much faster than full size ovens, and can be cleaned in less time. Many commercial kitchens use this type of oven for some of their dishes even when they have a larger oven.
Quarter size ovens are much smaller than a typical restaurant pizza oven, and usually have a volume of around 3 cubic feet. These ovens can only cook one to two pizzas at once, which is why they are mostly used for take-away and delivery restaurants. They are also used in food trucks and mobile kitchens, which usually have very limited space.
The decision between a floor model oven and a countertop oven mostly depends on the design of your kitchen. If you have a lot of space on the floor, then you could go for the floor model. If you run a mobile kitchen and every square inch counts, you should choose a countertop model.
Floor model ovens are best for businesses that have a lot of space in their kitchen, as they take up a lot of room. They are very durable and can handle large quantities of food, making them perfect for busy restaurants or food trucks. Another advantage of the floor model is that it’s easier to clean. You can really deep clean them by taking off the bottom plate and access all parts without too much trouble.
Countertop ovens are more compact, which is why they are perfect for smaller businesses or kitchens with limited space. Although countertop models are less powerful, they can still cook most food products. Countertop ovens are best suited for food trucks, concession stands, cafes, bistros and sandwich shops.
Electric vs. Gas Ovens
According to the power source, ovens can be either electric or gas. Electric ovens are most common because of their versatility and convenience. They are very easy to use and do not require a lot of technical know-how to operate. They typically have a number pad for entering information such as cooking time and temperature. Electric ovens also come in a variety of sizes, making them a good choice for businesses of all sizes.
Gas ovens are powered by gas lines, which makes them more expensive to install. However, they do have some advantages over electric ovens. For one, gas ovens heat up faster than electric ovens. They are also more energy-efficient, allowing you to save on your electricity bill.
Which one is right for your restaurant depends on your specific needs. If you are looking for an oven that is easy to use and versatile, then the electric model would be a good choice. If you want an oven that heats up quickly and is more energy-efficient, and you have an accessible gas connection, then go for the gas model.
For food trucks and concession stands, a combination of gas and electric appliances is often the best option. This way, you have the benefits of both types of ovens and you are putting less strain on your generator in case there is no electrical plug for your truck.
Here is Chef Mark sharing helpful information on the differences between the two and which one may be best for you:
The variety of commercial ovens on the market today gives restaurateurs a lot of options to choose from, depending on their individual needs. With so many different types and sizes of ovens available, it is possible to find one that will fit the specific requirements of your restaurant.
Food trucks are always on the go, so it’s important that they have a commercial oven that can keep up with them. The best types of ovens for food trucks are gas-powered countertop models which are compact and easy to carry on board. Gas-powered ovens heat up quickly and retain heat well, so they can be used to cook food quickly.
A deck oven is a good choice for a small restaurant, as it can cook a variety of items including pizzas, pastries, and roasted meats.
Bakeries and pastry shops require a large oven that can handle a lot of products at once. A rotating deck oven is a good choice for these businesses, as it is large enough to cook multiple items at once.
It may be a tempting option to purchase a large oven and use it for everything, but this is not the best choice. Different types of ovens work better with certain foods. For example, roasting meats such as chicken or turkey in an electric steam oven will result in soggy skin and undercooked meat due to the low temperature that steaming ovens operate at.
Always have in mind that the kind of food you plan to prepare determines the type of industrial oven you need. When choosing an oven for your restaurant, take into account the types of food you will be cooking as well as the size of your kitchen.