When deciding whether to purchase a combi oven, begin by assessing the menu to ensure the equipment can handle the operation’s cooking needs and volume. Two stacked combi ovens will provide more cooking versatility than a larger, single unit.
Assess the physical space to make sure it can properly accommodate a combi oven. This includes access to exhaust hoods, door clearance and adequate space between other equipment as necessary. Also, these ovens require access to a water supply, drainage, electricity and possibly gas, so assessing utility availability and connections is key prior to purchasing a unit.
The construction of a combi oven varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Foodservice operators should assess the gauge and type of stainless the unit features to make sure it is suitable for the operation.
Menu composition can play a key role when choosing between a boiler or boilerless unit. If the operator will use the combi more like a steamer for continuous full load steaming, a boiler-based combi oven may be the way to go.
Manufacturers offer a wide range of controls, and digital or manual programmability can vary in complexity.
One important combi oven accessory that is frequently omitted or specified incorrectly is the water filter. Testing an operation’s water quality is the first step to determine the correct filter system.