Selecting a Commercial Smoker Oven
If you're going to invest in a commercial smoker oven, make sure it's a good one. We'll show you how to choose a smoker oven for your kitchen.
Smoking is a popular food preparation method that has been used to cook and preserve food for thousands of years. In commercial food service, quality smoking equipment can mean the difference between producing a flavorful, tender piece of meat or one that is tough and tasteless. A commercial smoker oven might be just what you need to make your kitchen well-rounded.
The role of an indoor smoker in the cooking process depends on the food being prepared, but in most cases, smoking involves smoldering different types of wood to create a unique flavor within the food. As this trend evolves, chefs are using indoor smoker ovens in new applications outside of large cuts of meat, smoking delicate items like grains, dairy, vegetables and cured fish.
In fact, the smoking process today has become an art form. Chefs are incorporating a variety of woods that impart unique flavors, including fruit woods like apple, cherry, and pear; nutty woods like pecan; and hardwoods, such as hickory, maple and oak. Adding smoke is a healthier way to enhance and modify food flavor without changing dietary components.
“One area we’re seeing a lot of growth in smoked foods is institutions, like schools and healthcare,” said Ryan Norman, Director of Consultant Services at Alto-Shaam. “As dietary restrictions, such as the reduction of sodium and fat, have increased, the use of certain seasonings and flavorings have been more limited.”
TYPES OF COMMERCIAL SMOKER OVENS
There are several commercial kitchen smoker options for operators, including pit smokers and pellet grills. However, equipment that burns wood as solid fuel requires more expensive, dedicated type 1 ventilation hoods, adding significant installation and operating costs.
With solid fuel smoking equipment, there is also the added cost of purchasing wood logs. Not to mention, the amount of labor needed to maintain the burning fire and rotate products around the pit.
LABOR-FREE SMOKER OVENS
Eliminate the need for labor-intensive smoking equipment and effortlessly infuse bold, authentic flavors into food with real wood chips with Alto-Shaam’s latest Cook & Hold Smoker ovens. Using Halo Heat® technology, these ovens provide the greatest yields and highest quality food – all while lowering operating costs.
“Alto-Shaam’s Smoker ovens smolder real wood chips to create smoke,” Corporate Executive Chef Rocky Rockwell said. “Because our equipment can be placed under a more common type 2 ventilation hood, the cost compared to a traditional smoker is considerably less, while improving yields and maximizing food quality and consistency.”
Cook & Hold Smoker ovens improve yields up to 20% more than solid-fuel commercial smoker ovens. By surrounding food with a low-heat electric cable, Halo Heat thoroughly cooks and holds items at a precise, consistent temperature that retains moisture until it’s ready to be served.
This oven paired with this technology also helps reduce energy and labor costs. Costing less than $2 per day to operate, this highly efficient method can be utilized overnight to increase productivity in the kitchen. Staff no longer have to babysit the process, meaning they can work on preparing other foods or other duties while the oven does the work.
Further expanding menus, operators can cold smoke items like poultry, fish and cheese. This feature delivers the same flavor enhancements as hot smoking without using heat to cook the food.
REMOTE OVEN MANAGEMENT
Featuring an advanced control with remote oven management capability, new Cook & Hold Smoker ovens are designed to further reduce labor and training time. Alto-Shaam's ChefLinc™ remote oven management system, puts operators in complete control of their equipment, menu, and business from wherever they are. Using an intuitive dashboard, operators can create multi-step, programmable recipes to ensure food is executed consistently every time, no matter who is operating the oven.
Almost any food service operation can benefit from the cost-savings and menu enhancements from Alto-Shaam’s Cook & Hold Smoker ovens. To learn more, visit our full Smoker Oven Guide infographic.