Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

The Quarterly Product Q4 2018

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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14 Q4 2018 THE QUARTERLY becomes ideal. "For example, if cooking flan, there should be a low fan or no fan blowing. And muffins also don't do well with high speed fans," says Soucie. "Other options to consider are lights and ease of control with a cook-and-hold feature." He recommends double door pull handles, which open both doors at the same time, over single handles. "You shouldn't have to cross the body to get food in the oven," he says. "For double doors, make sure the pulley or chain is supported by the manufacturer's warranty." Operators should do their homework before purchas- ing a convection oven, since units operate differently. "Look at how the air moves around the oven, since manu- facturers approach air distribution around the cavity differ- ently," says Soucie. "Some units move air down a double wall, while others blow air inside the oven with a fan, and there are pros and cons with how the cavity heats up." Other key considerations include the finishes; clean- ing and maintenance accessibility with casters and quick disconnects; and programmability. Cleaning & Maintenance Caring for convection ovens does not require too many tasks on the user level. While service life depends on us- age, these units last 6 to 10 years on average. "Fans on the back of these ovens should be kept clean and free of grease and dust, since these cool inter- nal electrical components and keep wiring from harden- ing from oven heat," says Tim Lochel, service manager, Philadelphia-based Elmer Schultz. Clean convection oven interiors with a commercial grade oven cleaner and use an enamel-safe cleaner when necessary, Lochel recommends. "Caustic cleaners will cause enamel to peel off," he says. "Each manufacturer will recom- mend a cleaning protocol, which is important to follow." On a daily basis, operators can clean oven interiors and exteriors with soap and water. Clean stainless steel exteriors with commercial grade stainless cleaners that staff can spray on and wipe off. "It's important to avoid abrasives like steel wool, which can scratch the metal, cause pitting and subsequently rust," says Lochel. "Anytime you can keep grease off the oven door and control area, you'll extend the life of compo- nents. Grease will migrate into the control panel and cause a lot of problems." Use glass cleaner or soap to keep glass doors on ovens clean. "This should be taken care of on a daily basis, because grease can burn onto glass and discolor it," says Lochel. If product cooks differently than it has in the past or cooking times are inaccurate, those could be signs the oven needs servicing. "Uneven cooking means there's a problem with the convection part of the oven or the fans," says Lochel. When an operator uses foil to cover food, the alumi- num can get sucked into and wrapped up in the convec- tion fan, which will cause problems. "The oven will make noise if this happens, and typically operators can pull the foil out themselves," says Lochel. Because these ovens are basic pieces of equipment, operators mainly need to keep the units clean. But it's also important not to run the units at high heat for exten- sive periods of time or the operation will run the risk of compromising the service life. "If operators are not using the ovens, they should be turned off," says Lochel. "Also, cleaning the cooling fans will extend the life of the unit." Signs of a breakdown include the convection motor or fan failing, and the biggest cause is improper fan cleaning and overheating as well as the age and exten- sive use of the oven. "A breakdown can be prevented if cooling fans and air intake areas are clear of debris and grease," says Lochel. If an oven is between 6 to 10 years old and repair bills have become costly, it's most likely time to replace the unit. "Motors are expensive to repair, and operators need to factor in repair and replacement costs to ensure it makes sense," says Lochel. "Also, there are many vari- ables to replacing a convection oven, including getting it into the building and installation costs."

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