Combination steamer-convection ovens, referred to as combi ovens, are chef-driven pieces of equipment. These units can provide multiple functions in one piece of equipment, with the ability to smoke, roast, fry, steam and bake items.
The largest concern in caring for combi ovens: water quality and scale removal. There tends to be lime scale buildup on the oven’s interior over time, so proper cleaning and maintenance becomes a must. Operators should clean and wipe out the oven’s interior with a damp cloth and mild soap solution daily. Pull out racks and wash them in a sink. Wipe down the outside of the oven as necessary.
Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines in terms of solutions and cleaning methods. Mixing the cleaner and sanitizer can lead to big problems. A number of these units run through a cleaning cycle on the off hours, so have enough of the appropriate chemical on hand to properly run these programs on a regular basis.
Replace a combi’s water filters every 3 to 6 months, and descale generators every 6 to 12 months, depending on hours of use.
Combi ovens fail most often because the boiler is not well maintained. Either operators
or service agents need to annually descale these units. Failure to properly descale a unit may cause it
to fail prematurely.
Experts recommend that when structural issues or repair costs are 50% of the combi’s replacement cost, it may be time to consider a new unit.
The average life span of a combi oven is 10 to 15 years, depending on conditions in the kitchen.