Let's Go Combi

Boiler or Boilerless?

Properly Evaluate What You Need!

hennypennymayfeature 595Texas Restaurant Equipment wants to know if your kitchen needs a combi oven? Properly evaluating equipment for your current menu means savings in time, prep, and eases kitchen staff stress. Now, after evaluation if your answer is yes, then you will be in the market to acquire your first combi oven. The next question is boiler or boilerless?  Your choices range from compact/countertop to massive roll-in units; and bearing that in mind please consider the following: To broil or not to broil must be answered before you buy. What are the differences? Henny Penny may have the answers you are looking for.

Henny Penny one of the nation's leaders in fryers, holding cabinets, rotisseries, combi ovens and merchandisers sponsored a great article in Restaurant News last month that totally identifies exactly what your next step needs to be. Texas Reataurant Equipment believes many items will determine your needs. Below we have reprinted the most important parts for you to consider prior to purchase of that combi oven. You may have already had to tackle the answer to the questions posed there and have made your purchase. However if you are a high volume kitchen  in casual dining, healthcare facilities, supermarkets and institutional settings,  and are still trying to determine what to purchase, we hope this article will give you a place to start...

What Does The Current Kitchen Support? Will Expansion Be A Consideration Later On?

Which type of combi broiler or broilerless oven cooks faster?

  • General Standards -  Boiler-based combis have the edge over boilerless units where steam generation is concerned. Combis with built-in boiler systems heat water outside the cooking cabinet and send the resulting steam into the cooking cavity. New technology has advanced so much that boilerless units essentially match boiler-based units in cooking efficiency across the board.
  • Boilerless combis will make steam in various ways, but all involve spraying water (usually cold or ambient temperature) onto a very hot surface, and then circulating the resulting steam throughout the cooking chamber using fan wheels.
  • Henny Penny a leading manufacturer mentions their FlexFusionTM boilerless combis speed steam production by preheating the water before it hits the fan wheel. This alone may give an advantage. “The preheated water means temperatures and steam volume in the cooking cavity will better match the chef’s requested settings from the start,” says Dann Woellert, product manager for the Eaton, Ohio, manufacturer.

Is Control Of Steam Level & Temperature Important?

  • Typical boilerless units rely on a solenoid valve causing a stream of water to spray onto a fan wheel, which then goes onto the heating element and turns into steam. Boiler-based combis, allow water held in the adjacent tank to be kept hot in order to provide steam on demand. Humidity and heat can be delivered to the cooking chamber simultaneously and on target with what the chef has requested.
  • “Remember If the flow rate of the water is not matched to the level of steam required, you can overshoot the setpoint temperature of your recipe.
  • Examinet Henny Penny boilerless combis that do include a flow rate module that controls the amount of water hitting the fan. This means you can adjust steam volume from 0 percent to 100 percent in combi cooking.

Water Filtration Is It Necessary?

  • Most professionals agree the answer is Yes, any type of steam equipment requires water filtration. Without filtration, minerals in the water would soon choke and clog your investment, bringing the combi — and your foodservice operation — to its proverbial knees.
  • Both boiler-based and boilerless combis do require a filtered water source. “Before you order your first combi catalogs, ask your filtration company to test the water from the site where the oven will be used,” says Bill Galasso, a certified technician at the Denver branch of national service company General Parts. Water is always a factor where minerals are present.I
  • “If you have hard water [containing lots of calcium and minerals], a boilerless combi would probably work better, although you will see calcium deposits build up over time in the cooking cavity,” Galasso says.
  • In general, “A boiler-based unit used in a hard water area would require a reverse osmosis filter system, which is expensive, takes up extra space, requires more water and includes its own ongoing filter maintenance requirements,” Galasso adds.
  • Check with your  water filtration supplier. They will tell you exactly what minerals and additives (such as chlorine, chloramine or chlorides) are in your water. Armed with that knowledge, your dealer or manufacturer can guide you toward the appropriate combi and accompanying water filtration system will work best in your city.  If you don't have a current water filtration system in your existing kitchen, or haven't planned for one and you want to purchase a combi, this may be a huge issue. Water minerals and buildup become a must to find out more about.

How & What Is Required In The Cleaning Process?

  • In general, most suppliers have tried to make cleaning as painless as possible. Most combis — both boiler-based and boilerless —do  include a self washing cycle, which, when used daily with manufacturer recommended cleaning chemicals, will keep oven interiors sparkling. Knowledge of this process is a requirement for all staff to insure proper working equipment.
  • Boiler-based combis, will require extra care, as mineral deposits build up inside the boiler, out of sight and often, out of mind.
  • “Operators must be sure to include a boiler deliming regimen as part of their regular maintenance schedule, in addition to the daily cleaning of the oven,” Woeller says. On top of that, manufacturers recommend periodic professional descaling services to keep the boiler healthy.” I fyou are not yet on a plan, please let us know here at Texas Restaurant Equipment, and we will help you with any questions you may have.
  • Boilerless units that have a variable speed fan, such as Henny Penny’s FlexFusion, definitely allows the self-cleaning spray to hit all parts of the cooking chamber for better cleaning results.

Is Seafood A Mainstay On Your Menu?

  • High-volume shellfish cooking and boilerless combi ovens do not play well together. Know your needs...
  • “I’ve seen several boilerless combi ovens get eaten alive due to [menus that center around] shellfish,” says John Schwindt, vice president of operations for Hawkins Commercial  Appliance Service in Englewood, Colo. “The  superheated steam causes a chemical reaction between water minerals, and it must release extra calcium from the shells. The combination of heat, minerals and chemicals corrodes metal quickly, including the fan blades.”
  • This effect can be counteracted by a regular cleaning cycle,” Woellert points out.

Which Type Of Combi Will Consume Less Water?

  • As for water use rates, boiler-based combis do indeed consume more water and energy to keep that water hot than do boilerless units. Broilerless units use water only on demand to create steam.
  • Proper selection of the oven type that is right for your operation depends on many factors—menu type, production levels and capabilities. When making a large investment decision such as this, it is best to consult an expert for recommendations that depend on your operation’s unique situation. Texas Restaurant Equipment is here to assist with any questions you may have.

Texas Restaurant  in Houston, Dallas, and Irving is connected to the foodservice industry at large. High volume purchases of restaurant equipment to auction brings to bidders all types of equipment at our doorstep to select from. The good news for you is there is always helpful information out there about every type of restaurant equipment out there in the market for purchase available on our News and Manufacturers pages on this website. New and used, restaurant equipment is a requirement for our industry to survive. Keeping you, our clients, educated and fully informed about your options to purchase is what we do best. Thanks to FSvoice, for connecting marketers to the foodservice industry in this article as well.

Whether you need to buy one piece, outfit an entire restaurant, or own several franchise locations; Texas Restaurant Equipment  is your best resource for purchasing late-model restaurant, bakery and bar equipment. With inventory arriving daily we invite you to call today to speak with a restaurant equipment specialist.

Call us right now in Se Habla Español Dallas: 972-642-0513 Houston: 713-690-1231 Irving: 972-579-4612.