A combination oven blends a steamer and a convection oven.
It combines three modes of cooking:
– Steam mode, which injects water into the oven to poach rice, fish and vegetables.
– Convection mode, which circulates dry heat (perfect for bread and pastries and breads).
– Combi mode, which combines steam and dry heat.
You have total control of the cooking environment, as your combi oven enables manual regulation of humidity and temperature.
High-volume restaurants and hotels have been employing combi ovens successfully for over 15 years.
Quicker, better flavours
Take a chicken. In a hot convection oven, all of its moisture gets sucked away, whilst with steaming, the chicken is not crispy enough.
Combi ovens produce chickens which are both moist and have crispy skin. They allow you to vary steam from 10 to 100 per cent at any temperature. If steam is added, there’s an alteration in pressure. With the chicken in the oven surrounded by this steam, there is nowhere the moisture can go. So the chicken retains the moisture.
To better understand the humidity in a combi oven, let’s see how it affects your body. Outside if it’s 32˚C with high humidity, you’ll feel warmer than the air temperature because the humidity transfers heat more quickly. So you’ll notice the difference more than if it was simply 32˚C outside with dry heat (zero humidity).
The same osmosis principle governs the inside of a combi oven. It lets chefs cook food with moisture control and higher heat capabilities. At 100 per cent relative humidity, you can cook with a high heat without drying out or burning your food. This means the oven keeps the desired atmosphere perfectly, reduces food weight loss and shrinkage, and improves your cooking times.
A commercial combination oven is available from firms such as 247cateringsupplies.co.uk/lincat-ocmpc101g-gas-opus-combi-oven.
A guide to commercial combi ovens is here https://www.247cateringsupplies.co.uk/thekitchenthink/commercial-combination-oven-buying-guide/.
Combi ovens are fast. Cooking a 2.7kg chicken in a convection oven would take 1 hour 20 minutes. In a combi oven, you can do this in 40 minutes. Food cooks faster by 10 to 15 per cent in the combi mode.
Since your combi oven virtually replaces cooking appliances such as stoves, convection ovens, grills and pots, you could save space and have fewer kitchen appliances.