Guide To Purchasing A Conveyor Oven
Commercial conveyor ovens can provide a wide range of benefits in restaurants, commercial kitchens, and institutional foodservice operations. They deliver consistency, are easy to operate in today’s labor-challenged marketplace, and can help maximize space in the back of the house. When it comes to buying a commercial conveyor oven, though, there are many factors to consider before selecting.
In this Middleby Guide to Buying a Conveyor Oven, we’ll walk you through the important points to review when trying to decide which conveyor oven is right for your particular goals and challenges as a foodservice operator.
Foods That Can Be Cooked In A Conveyor Oven
When thinking about a conveyor oven, the first thing that comes to mind is often a conveyor pizza oven. Yes, the pizza industry has staked its claim on the prime users of conveyor ovens, but that doesn’t mean pizza is the only menu option. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Conveyor ovens are a great way for all types of items, from center-of-the-plate proteins to sides.
The reason conveyor ovens delivery menu diversity is because multiple cooking styles can be achieved in the same unit. Consider the Middleby Marshall CTX Oven, for example, which can provide automated cooking processes including grilling, baking, broiling, searing, steaming and even sous vide cooking within a single unit. With conveyor ovens, you’re only limited by the dimensions of the entry to the cooking chamber. Meaning it’s possible to cook not just pizza, but other conveyor oven recipes can include fish, sandwiches, chicken wings, pasta, vegetables, and even steak. Even better, because conveyor ovens don’t require constant attention, they’re easier to operate with less labor. With units like countertop conveyor ovens from Star Manufacturing, operators can even turn a counter space into menu diversity and profits.
Save Space With Stackable Configurations
If labor is the top challenge in today’s foodservice industry, one of the second biggest issues has to be space. Whether it’s a busy restaurant or a school cafeteria, back-of-the-house real estate is often hard to come by, and when space is limited horizontally, one solution is to build up.
One great aspect of conveyor ovens is they can often be stacked, one on top of another, getting twice or even three times the throughput from the same square footage. This can allow for menu diversification by adding multiple oven chambers without actually taking up more space in the kitchen. If you’re looking for a stackable conveyor oven, consider the WOW! Impingement Conveyor Ovensfrom Middleby Marshall, designed and built with stacking in mind.
Conveyor Oven Belt Types
There are a few different ways to configure conveyor oven belts, so when purchasing an oven, it’s important to understand the benefits of each type. The first decision is to determine whether one belt or two will be needed.
With a split belt conveyor oven, it’s possible to cook two different food types at different belt speeds in the same cook chamber. This is ideal when one belt is used for toasting, for example, while the other is used for cooking.
Dimensions are also important. The width will determine the size or volume of foods that can be cooked at once, while the length can help dictate the timing of the cooking process. And, finally, the conveyor belt itself is important. The shape and composite of a belt can impact how heat reaches the food’s surface.
Impingent vs. Radiant Ovens
There are two main types of commercial conveyor ovens, each with its own series of benefits. Impinger ovens are conveyor-type ovens that are the most common. They use air as the main method of heat distribution by directing small but powerful blasts of air toward the food surface and through the cooler air that surrounds it. Because hot air is forced onto food products, cook times can be shorter when compared to other types of ovens.
The second type of conveyor oven uses heating technologies without the use of any air distribution methods. Heat located both above and below the conveyor belt cooks food products in a more traditional fashion. Radiant heat is common, as well as infrared heating elements. With infrared technologies like those included in CTX Infrared Conveyors, heat will penetrate the food’s surface creating friction, which as we know from science class, results in heat.
Ventless Conveyor Ovens
Conveyor ovens can be powered by both gas and electricity depending on the desires of the operators. And if units can be powered electrically, that means they can also be ventless. Ventless conveyor ovens use catalytic converters to collect byproducts of the cooking process and will filter that air before releasing it back into the ambient air of the kitchen.
There are many advantages to ventless cooking, and by selecting the right conveyor oven, it’s possible to realize these benefits. With high-speed ventless conveyor ovens from TurboChef, operators can experience the full range of conveyor and ventless technologies while also benefiting from TurboChef’s state-of-the-art rapid cook capabilities.
Discover the TurboChef conveyor oven that works best in your commercial kitchen.
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