Cook and Hold Oven
The cook and hold oven has become a mainstay of many commercial kitchens thanks to its ability to cook food, then keep it warm with little involvement from the operator. This frees that person up for other tasks and, with simple programming options, virtually eliminates product loss from overcooking or scorching during holding. More
This type of cooking equipment is great for any operation that deals with peak demand periods because it can keep an adequate amount of food at proper temperatures for extended periods. That means the items needed don't all have to be cooked as orders are placed. Because many units are small and mobile, they can then be moved to the serving station at the appropriate time, while keeping food hot.
When you set out to choose an oven, size is the first factor to consider. Make sure you choose an oven that's big enough to hold everything you need to cook. Start by looking at pan capacity. Most of these units are designed to hold full-size sheet pans. The smallest half-size units will hold fewer than five pans, while full-size units hold about a dozen.
For the flexibility to cook and hold more than one dish, consider a unit with multiple cavities. Each cavity includes individual controls for cooking and holding different foods in each, or for preparing two batches of the same item so one batch can be cooking while you're serving from the other.
Features to Consider
- Models are available with humidity control that can maintain a moist environment in the cabinet after cooking is completed to keep foods from drying out.
- If it's prime rib or a similar cut of meat that you're serving, consider an oven with a wood chip box for a light smoke flavor. These include a smoker package which can impart the authentic flavors of wood-fired cooking without the hassle of cooking outdoors.
- A temperature probe can be inserted into food to ensure that all the contents stay at the desired temperature. This can help ensure you serve high quality food that's safe to eat.