Mary Lou Henry's K-12 Convection Oven Wisdom
This month, I wanted to share information on convection ovens. Convection ovens are the most widely used appliances in the foodservice industry. These are the workhorses of the commercial kitchen, with a wide variety of uses from baking and roasting to warming and reheating. In addition to traditional uses, convection ovens are used for nearly all types of food preparation, including foods typically prepared using other types of appliances (e.g., griddles, fryers, etc.). They are a general-purpose oven that cooks food by forcing hot dry air over the surface of the food product. The rapidly moving hot air strips away the layer of cooler air next to the food and enables the food to absorb the heat energy, thus resulting in faster cooking time. The air flow through the oven chamber allows convection ovens to cook large loads and multiple racks effectively. Modern units have oven chambers insulated on all six-sides, providing peak energy efficiency. Solid state thermostats precisely control temperature, with cooking times digitally displayed for easy monitoring.
Most electric convection ovens preheat to a typical operating temperature of 350°F within six to ten minutes. Comparable gas ovens are generally slightly slower coming to temperature.
Convection ovens are available in both full and half-sizes, as well as stackable models. Keep in mind when purchasing a convection oven, the ones that have earned the ENERGY STAR are about 20 percent more energy efficient than standard models. Depending on your desires and needs, there are a wide range of options, from manual to digital control panels, number of shelves per oven, interior and exterior finishes, door types, cavity lighting, programmable recipe cook times and self-cleaning. The ovens come with all the bells and whistles or may be very simplistic.
Gas and electric oven manufacturers continually improve oven insulation and controls, heat transfer effectiveness, and heat recovery. These improvements yield higher efficiency and shorter preheat times. Many newer designs also maintain a more uniform temperature in the oven zones.
Tips for Purchasing A Convection Oven
Before purchasing a convection oven (as with all kitchen equipment), it is important to know what is available and have a clear understanding of what best fits your needs, before writing specifications. The following is a list that will assist you in making specifications meet your needs and clearly define your expectations and provide for more concise pricing.
Tips for Efficient Operation
Ovens are often the largest consumers of energy (which means energy cost) in a food service kitchen.
For more information on convection ovens, visit our website or call customer service. We can assure you the best products at the best prices.Mary Lou Henry
KaTom Restaurant Supply