What to Consider When Selecting a Convection Oven

Little advancement in food preparation technology have brought such impressive results to the game like commercial convection ovens. Using force heat distributed via circulator fans, convection ovens cook faster and more efficiently than conventional gas or electric ovens.

Additionally, convection cooking produces more consistent texture, taste and quality with every dish or ingredient. It’s a must have for the modern commercial kitchen, but choosing the right one for your restaurant’s needs requires some forethought and planning. Here is an overview of what to consider when selecting a convection oven for your commercial kitchen.

Why Should You Add A Convection Oven?

As technology has continued to advance (convection ovens have been around for some time), so has the effectiveness of the convection process and the smaller footprint of commercial grade equipment. Convection ovens can now be purchased and installed as countertop, modular (rolls on casters/wheels), standalone and single or double oven models. It’s never been easier to add the power, speed and convenience of a commercial-grade convection oven to your restaurant’s arsenal of resources, and you have plenty of options for where and how to install them to best fit your layout.

How Will You Use Your Convection Oven Most?

The good news about convection ovens is they are superior kitchen workhorses regardless of how you implement them. They can be used for any of the typical gas/electric oven/commercial range cooking tasks like baking, broiling or roasting. One caveat is they are designed to cook quickly and evenly, so it’s best not to use them as food warmers. For best results, experts recommend sticking to their primary cooking functions.

Where Do You Plan To Place Your Convection Oven?

There are many sizes and designs available for commercial-grade convection ovens, so chances are you can find one that’s the right fit for your kitchen. Fixed-installation is the most typical if you have the space available, but many restaurants with existing equipment are finding it difficult to find space even in large kitchens.

To resolve this problem, many manufacturers offer single and double convection ovens that can be rolled into position on wheels or casters as needed, then rolled back into another space when not in use. These modular units do need to have correctly configured connections and safety equipment, but they are every bit as safe and potentially more convenient than a fixed installation convection oven. Make certain there is also sufficient space for staff to move around the unit safely, too. Clearance is just as important as footprint.

Finally, keep in mind that high output/high voltage convection ovens, even if they have wheels or casters, aren’t always considered modular. You will need additional safety measures and equipment if they are to be used regularly in the kitchen.

Which Energy Source Best Suits Your Needs?

Buying an electric commercial-grade convection oven has the distinct advantage of requiring little to no special preparation beyond a sufficiently high voltage electrical connection.

Commercial-grade gas convection ovens offer the superior high output cooking necessary for longer operating hours at high temperatures, but they also tend to be available only as fixed installations for safety reasons. Which type of energy source you choose depends on what best suits the existing systems in your kitchen.

What Additional Hardware Will I Need?

All convection ovens produce grease particles that circulate out via the built-in ventilation, affecting the air quality in your kitchen and creating a potential fire hazard. No matter what kind of commercial oven you use, you will need a hood ventilator unit installed to trap and filter out the airborne grease particles and maintain a safe working environment.

For gas convection ovens, you will need proper gas safety equipment like code-rated harnesses and quick disconnect valves. Additionally, while it may seem obvious, you need to make sure you install the correct convection oven compatible with your existing gas type. Propane convection ovens cannot function using natural gas, and vice versa.

Last but not least, you need to consider the load your electric convection oven will place on your electrical system. Any high output, high voltage appliance needs to be on a dedicated circuit with its own breaker. Otherwise, every time you power the unit on it will cause a surge in amperage that can cause damage to other appliances sharing the same circuit. It may be less convenient to install, but it is also the best way to ensure safe operation while preserving your other appliances.

Are you looking for a new or well-maintained, commercial-grade gas or electric convection oven for your kitchen? Texas Restaurant Supply has the inventory and selection to install the right model at the right price for your needs. Contact us today for more information.