Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

The Quarterly Product Q4 2018

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12 Q4 2018 THE QUARTERLY Convection Ovens Commercial kitchens rely on speed and consistency in the cook line, and convection ovens help achieve these goals. This equipment evenly cooks food using a fan to circulate dry heat at high velocities. Another hallmark of convection ovens is their flexibility. Best known for baking, operators also use these units for roasting, browning and rethermalizing. Due to the circulating air in the oven cavity, operators can stack pans without compromising the cooking process. Operators can choose between direct- and indirect- fired convection ovens. With direct-fired, the burner sits directly under the oven cavity and pushes heat into the space. Here, the combustion products combine with recirculated air and come in direct contact with items being cooked. With indirect-fired ovens, burn- ers do not have direct contact with recirculated air or products. Instead, indirect-fired units use a heat exchanger. Gas and electric ovens are available in a wide range of sizes in floor and countertop versions. Units designed for full-size pans have cav- ity dimensions that can accommodate 5 or more standard 18-inch-by-26-inch sheet pans, while smaller half-size units work well with lower volume operations. These units feature interiors that can hold a half-size sheet pan. For higher volume, bakery depth convection ovens have a 4-inch deeper interior cavity. With this type, pans can be loaded in left-to-right or front- to-back positions for increased air flow. Full-size convection ovens come equipped with either single or double doors that are typically insulated. Double- door ovens provide doors that open separately or a synchro- nized type where both doors open and close simultaneously. Doors can be vertical or horizontal. While one convection oven can take up as little as 10 square feet, operators can choose to double stack these units to save space. Fans have one speed, a high/low two-speed option or can be intermittent to automatically switch fan direction when the oven door is open. Because the air flow impacts how evenly food will brown in a convection oven, some units feature fans that circulate air in two different ways. A reversing air system with advanced controls also can improve performance with more even and accurate baking. Both standard analog and the upgraded digital controls provide virtually unlimited possibilities for recipe development. Standard features for these units include stainless steel door seals; double-pane thermal glass win- dows; two-speed fans with high and low settings; interior lights; porcelain inte- riors with multi-position, removable rack guides; and mechanical dial controls, including cool-down functions and continuous ring timers. Purchasing Considerations Prior to purchasing a convection oven, the operator should under- stand the application. This will make it easier to choose among the different types of convec- tion ovens and their various options and features. Size represents a basic consideration when design- ing a cook line as well. "With a bakery depth oven, sheet pans can go in either direction, unlike in a standard depth unit," says Ray Soucie, design director, Webb Foodservice Design, Portland, Ore. "Also, a bakery depth oven comes off the wall more than the standard type, so it requires an overhang of the exhaust system to accommodate it." Soucie prefers models with coved corners inside and says it's important to look at the number of rack shelf facings. "Because these ovens can be stacked, opera- tors need to look at the height in relation to the hood for overhead clearance," says Soucie. For certain applications, a two-speed fan option

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