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Combi Oven Top Maintenance Tips for your Commercial Kitchen

Combi Oven Top Maintenance Tips for your Commercial Kitchen

Updated on 2022-03-17

Looking for a way to save time, space and money in a kitchen that relies on a fusion of cooking methods like baking, steaming, roasting, braising and reheating for its survival? 

Whether it's a restaurant, take-away outlet, or cloud kitchen, a combi oven, as the name suggests, offers a combination of cooking techniques. Achieving perfection in these cooking methods is bound to end all your possible oven woes once and for all. 

That is when you make an effort to understand its unique benefits and the maintenance behind its versatile nature.

Combi Oven Modes

What's so special about the combi oven? You may ask. It is the three popular modes it has:

1. Convection Mode

It's the mode some of us have in our regular ovens at home that helps bake our yummy cakes and pastries. The convection mode of cooking circulates a dry, hot air around the food, which bakes our goodies, but the fan that helps spread the heat ensures no uneven or missed spots. With this mode, rest assured your food will be cooked as they say in gourmet, 'to the T'.

2. Steam Mode

Convection mode covers our essential bread, cookies and most desserts. On the other hand, our vegetables, meat, rice, and poached chicken have moisture needs that only the steam mode can meet. The steam mode, the second requisite function of the combi oven, releases moisture from its in-built water tanks that call for regular maintenance, which we'll get into further in this blog.

3. Combi Mode

The combi mode takes care of everything the convection and steam mode can't take care of alone. The combi oven can achieve better results by using an amalgamation of the convection and steam mode in less time. When it comes to meat, the combi mode's ability to control the humidity and temperature of the oven yields juicer, more nutritious results. The final outcome isn't just absolutely delicious, it's also much more in mass due to less shrinkage that the combi mode provides. In conclusion, it makes for happy hearts and fuller stomachs.

Top Combi Oven Maintenance Tips for Error-Free Functioning

Life is all about giving and taking, even in the kitchen. So it should come as no surprise that the most valuable and rewarding piece of equipment in the kitchen would call for general maintenance. Let's get straight into how to give your combi oven the care it truly needs.

Proper Installation

If you don't want to encounter issues in using your combi oven in the long run, you've got to get off on the right foot. And getting off on the right foot in this context would mean ensuring proper installation of your combi oven. Here, here's how to get it right the first time:

 - Please don't do it yourself. Even if you follow the steps and read a manual, it's probably still safer to call licensed professionals to install the oven correctly and run it through different test cycles while they're at it.

 - Install the correct water installation system. No matter what combi oven brand you pick out, there is a minimum level of water quality that needs to be met. Get your water tested locally, and after showing the report to the water filtration experts, go ahead and install the right water filtration system for your location.

 - Position your combi oven according to the control buttons on the surface. Your employees or the servicing technicians will need to get a hold of the controls when they service your machine. Although some combi oven brands have front access controls, many ovens would need moving around to get a hold of these controls. Ensure there is sufficient space to move the machine in the kitchen when needed.

 - Without a heat shield, the control board shouldn't be in the vicinity of a fryer or a grill. Or it won't be long before you see an error message.

Tips for Everyday Use

Once your combi oven is installed correctly, some things need to be done regularly:

 - The interiors of a combi oven are usually of high quality and stainless. Regardless, they need to be wiped down with a soft, moist cloth every day. Harsh cleaning agents with high alcohol chlorine are a strict no. Coarse scrappers or materials like steel wool are also harmful to the interiors of the oven.

 - Some ovens come with self-cleaning options like a 20-minute self-rinse. Whatever cleaning options you may have, make sure to read all the manufacturer cleaning instructions and recommended cleaning solutions and educate your employees about the same. Cleaners come in liquid, sprayers or cartridges with specific instructions on how they need to be mixed or diluted. Failing to follow the instructions carefully could result in the same cleaning agents harming some of your supplies. Undiluted cleaning agents can be pretty intense, even on metals.

 - Avoid using pressure hoses on the touchscreen control panels of your combi oven. The touchscreens are waterproof; however, they probably won't withstand the pressure of the hose too well.

 - The drain at the bottom of the combi oven is designed for steam condensate runoff, so employees need to be reminded that nothing except water should go down that drain. Clogging of the drain can cause the oven to stop functioning.

Maintenance in the Long Run

Learning to clean the different surfaces of the combi oven is just the very surface level of combi oven maintenance; quite literally! The deeper, heavier duty maintenance happens at longer intervals of time. Important maintenance rules:

 - It is knowing when to change the filter. A manufacturer's worst nightmare is the combi oven owner and kitchen staff complaining about its functioning without paying attention to when their machine requires filter changes. You can easily link your phone to the combi oven to get quick reminders regarding filter changes or ask someone from kitchen staff to do it instead. In any case, changing water and air filters is an essential step in combi oven maintenance.

 - Steam generators in the oven also need to be cleared out at least once a month.

 - Checking all water seals and any signs of corrosion within the combi oven.

The correct installation and maintenance of your combi oven can result in the longevity of its life. Following the instructions and cooking guidelines the manufacturer mentions will help you ease into this new machinery. We'd advise you to check how comprehensively each brand has provided instructions for their oven use before even purchasing. Clear, understandable control panels with an insight into each function of the combi oven are another thing you would want to look out for before buying.

Cooking is an art, and if you're looking to perfect the craft that takes place in your commercial kitchen, a combi oven will help you do just that. Of course, with the added benefit of saving time with its efficiency. Not to forget it saves space with its capacity to cook many dishes at once. And finally, it saves money with its multifaceted nature, which does the job of three. If you're looking to upscale your commercial kitchen, investing in a combi oven would be a great place to start!

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