How to Choose the Perfect Combi Oven

In this practical guide, we’ve outlined a few key factors to keep in mind when shopping for a combination oven. Here’s what you should look for when making a decision.

When shopping for a combination oven, there are a few key factors to keep in mind. Using convection, steam, and combination cooking technology, combi ovens allow you to adjust the precise humidity percentage and temperature, so you can execute multiple cooking applications using a single appliance. Combi ovens do the work of a convection oven, kettle, steamer, fryer, smoker and more.

With a number of types, models and sizes on the market, here’s what you should look for when assessing a combi oven:  

1.     Ease of Use

First, take a close look at the oven’s design. Does it use push-button or touchscreen controls? How intuitive are they? Does the pan layout make sense?

There is a wide array of design factors to consider, but ultimately, you should think about whether the combi works well for your specific needs.

For instance, with Alto-Shaam’s Prodigi™ Pro combination ovens, operators can enhance their cooking capabilities and easily connect to their ovens via Wi-Fi to see valuable data and insights. ChefLinc™ is a remote oven management system that allows operators to execute automatic software downloads, push and pull recipes, view detailed reports, and more, all from a single location. Operators no longer need to travel to each location with a USB to update software or upload LTOs.

2.     Dependability

The performance and reliability of a commercial combi oven is crucial to keeping your kitchen up and running. Engineered for dependability, Prodigi ovens are designed to be an indispensable centerpiece in the kitchen, so you can count on them to execute your menu and perform flawlessly in every situation. Engineered with exceptional durability, Alto-Shaam combi ovens are also backed with industry leading service and support.

3.     Space and Ventilation

When choosing a combi oven, the layout and space requirements are also important to keep in mind. Some combi ovens require a certain amount of clearance between the oven and other pieces of equipment, which can take up valuable space underneath your ventilation hood. Reducing ventilation costs, Alto-Shaam Prodigi combi ovens feature a zero-clearance design, so you can place your oven next to any piece of equipment - anywhere on the line.

You could also eliminate the need for expensive traditional ventilation with Ventech™ condensation hoods. Operators are able to place combi ovens with Ventech anywhere in the kitchen—maximizing floor space while improving efficiency and workflow.

4.     Energy Consumption

Next, consider the energy efficiency and overall consumption. Many of the latest combi ovens employ eco-friendly technology to lower electricity and water usage. In fact, Alto-Shaam’s EcoSmart designs consume 80% less water and 40% less electricity, while also increasing production power. Choosing the right combi can lower your energy and water bill—putting money back in your pocket and helping the environment.  

5.     Pan Capacity

Depending on the size of your foodservice operation, you may need a compact combi or a much larger model. We recommend choosing a design that allows you to meet the needs of your current menu, as well as fulfill any future expansion needs if necessary. For example, the  Prodigi 10-20 Pro supports 10 full-size sheet pans, 22 full size GN 1/1 pans, or a combination of the two.

6.     Self-Cleaning Functionality

As you test out the various combi features, find out how the oven cleans itself, and see whether you need to remove shelves to activate the cleaning function. In addition, you should find out what kind of cleaning solution is required. Prodigi combi ovens can reduce labor with a self-cleaning design, featuring five different cycle options from “light clean” to “heavy plus.” All cleaning options utilize compact cleaning tablets or liquid cleanser for the most efficient and thorough labor-free cleaning.

7.     Manufacturer’s Warranty

Last but not least, evaluate the original manufacturer’s warranty. This protects you against design defects and manufacturing issues. Many companies offer a one-year warranty from the installation date. When it comes to installation, we encourage you to make the most out of your investment with our Combi Installation Program. This program is factory-authorized by Alto-Shaam, which means we personally guarantee satisfaction with the final product. Though it’s technically possible to handle the installation alone, we strongly recommend using our factory-authorized service. Without that distinction, any problems that occur during the installation process may not be covered by warranty.

Still looking to learn more about Prodigi combination ovens? Attend a live, 90-minute cooking demonstration to see how a combi oven can suit your operations.

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