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What is a Combi-Oven?!

January 15, 2019 No comments

They arrived to the Professional cookery scene in the late 1970s but still many chefs are not familiar with them. They are perceived as expensive and quite different from more traditional ovens. So what is so special about combination ovens?

The basic difference between cooking with a conventional oven and a combination oven is humidity. The unique feature however, is their flexibility and their ability to control humidity levels.

Let’s start from the beginning.

Some foods want to be steamed – vegetables, rice – sometimes you just want to steam them and to do so you can use a steamer. But the combi oven can also do this.

Some foods want dry heat – imagine a pizza in a wood fired oven. That is dry heat, which is replicated by conventional fan assisted ovens. The combi oven can do this too.

However, sometimes, a dry heat can literally dry out the food you’re trying to cook and the steam, while fast, can make food soggy. So, you might want a combination of dry and humid heat: remember how chefs used to place a pan of water under their bread to keep the oven humid during the cooking process?

Well, the combi oven is a specialist at this. With a combi oven you can control the levels of humidity to exactly the levels required for every dish, to give your entire menu a perfect finish.

In short, the beautiful thing about having a combi oven is that you don’t need any other oven.It can cook dry, humid or a perfect combination of the two.

Combination Ovens can be fuelled by electricity or gas, can be table top or roll-in, with ordinary pull-out doors or disappearing doors, traditional or pass-through. Also available in slim or mini version.

Case Study: Yardley Baptist Church

April 13, 2018 No comments

We’ve worked for Yardley Baptist Church for the last 10 years supplying various bits for their kitchens as they run a very popular lunch club. Recently they came to us and said they wanted a complete new kitchen facility; they wanted to remove the old domestic kitchen and for us to design a completely new commercial kitchen for them.

In preparation for this we arranged for them to go to Worlverhampton University for a training day with a chef on Combination Ovens. We felt this would be ideal for their needs but needed to show them what modern combi ovens can do as none of their kitchen staff had any experience of using one.

After their training they agreed that yes, a combi oven would be ideal for their needs, so we went ahead and in consultation with the catering committee we designed a brand new kitchen for them.

Eventually we came up with a design that they were all happy with.

On design approval we began work. We put in a new non-slip altro floor, hygienic white rock wall cladding, a new canopy and all brand new equipment: bespoke stainless steel cupboards, tables & sinks to Convotherm Combination Oven, Lincat 6 Burner, Foster Refrigeration, Hood-type dishwasher, Instanta water boiler, Parry hot cupboards and other smaller equipment.

After we finished the kitchen we sent a chef back in from Convotherm to give them some further training on the oven in their own kitchen.

Imagine an old, tired domestic kitchen. This is what it looked like after we finished!

Concept to Completion Development Kitchen for Birmingham Cityserve

February 2, 2018 No comments

In March this year, Cityserve's Development kitchen will be celebrating being fully operational for two years.

Cityserve wanted a demo kitchen that would be welcoming to groups of children to cook, learn and taste healthy nutritious food. The City Kitchen is also the training theatre for many of the city's school cooks. As you can see from the timelapse below, we did a complete design and fit-out, helping them to choose their equipment carefully as space was tight.

To optimize a small space to deliver so much, City Kitchen was fitted with

City Kitchen has been a huge success, and they now boast they feed "...over 70,000 children within a 90 minute window every school day, and we buy around £12m worth of food every year!"