Ovens cover a broad range of equipment pieces and include combi, deck, cook and hold, microwave and convection.


Purchasing Considerations for Convection Ovens

Prior to purchasing a convection oven, first evaluate the menu. This is because there are different types of convection ovens suitable for specific applications, and some have more options than others. The main consideration when specifying a convection oven is determining the appropriate size necessary for the type and amounts of food the unit will produce.

Operators also need to look at the size pans that will be primarily used, such as full-size baking pans, steam table pans or half-size pans. This will help narrow down the size necessary.

Assess available utilities to determine whether a gas or electric oven is preferable. Most operators choose gas ovens, which can be less expensive to operate. That said, a growing number of states and municipalities are starting to require electric equipment in new foodservice operations. For that reaon it is important to understand local codes, too.

Operators will need to vent the heat, smoke and steam produced from these ovens. This requires the appropriately sized exhaust hood.

Operators can choose from basic dial controls, more sophisticated programmable digital controls or touch-screen operation, depending on their budget and production needs.

It’s important to look at the number of rack shelf facings. Also, because operators can stack these ovens, they need to consider the height in relation to the hood for overhead clearance.

For certain applications, a two-speed fan option is ideal. For example, when cooking flan, there should be a low fan blowing or no fan at all. And muffins also don’t do well with high-speed fans. Other options to consider are lights and ease of control with a cook-and-hold feature.

Operators should do their homework before purchasing a convection oven since units operate differently. Look at how the air moves around the oven since manufacturers approach air distribution around the cavity differently. Some units move air down a double wall, while others blow air inside the oven with a fan.

Convection ovens come with a choice of finishes for both the interior and exterior, including stainless steel and porcelain. Although porcelain is less expensive, it cracks or wears out over time. Stainless is pricier but more durable.

Glass doors may be preferable for ovens where baking takes place since this feature makes it easier to check on a product. Solid doors are recommended for ovens that will be used primarily for roasting since grease-splattered glass is difficult to clean.

Convection ovens are available with proofers underneath. This allows smaller baking operations with limited space to provide added production tasks in a smaller footprint.

Small countertop convection ovens are available that don’t require ventilation hoods. These take up minimal space and are ideal for operations seeking low-volume heating options.


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