Choosing the best oven for your restaurant is crucial. Those of us here at Oswalt Restaurant Supply know that this is as true here in Oklahoma City as it is anywhere else. We hope this guide will help our local customers and those of you from afar, by giving you a quick glimpse of what options there are in the oven restaurant equipment industry.
The first thing to understand about ovens is that most which are available at restaurant supply stores these days are convection style. These work by spinning the air around your food while it cooks. This helps to eliminate hot and cold spots, which allows your food to cook evenly. They are not the only choice, but for those with large baking and cooking needs they are highly recommended.
The size of your oven
Remember that bigger is not always better. This is especially true with standard ovens that develop hot and cold spots – larger ovens are more prone to this. Having to turn your food mid way through cooking to combat uneven temperatures is time consuming. Focus more on finding the right oven than the size. Being able to cook a large amount of food that burns in places will not help your restaurant.
Different oven elements
Ovens on the market today will have elements in 3 locations:
- 1 on top for broiling
- 1 on the bottom for baking
- 1 on the back for convection
Looking at these three elements there are two different styles – exposed and recessed.
Exposed is the most common type. To tell if yours has this style simply open it up and look, if you can see them you know they are exposed. These are the easiest to replace, but can be difficult to clean.
Recessed elements are new on the market and are gaining popularity. They are hidden under a sheet of metal. This makes them very easy to clean, but difficult to replace and repair.
When choosing the best oven for your restaurant you should take the time to consider how messy your baking and cooking can be. A recessed element may be right for you if your food is prone to making a mess. If everything stays where it should, an easy to repair and replace exposed element will work for you.
As with most things, ovens are going digital. It is even possible to find commercial grade ovens that have a USB port that allows you to insert a Flash drive. This expands your ability to do one touch cooking as the computer sets the temperature, a timer and controls the elements for baking, broiling or convection.
The other important feature of digital oven controls is accuracy. A knob may be off by as much as 50 degrees. Over time they can become even more out of line so that your oven is off by 100 degrees. Any baker will tell you the difference between 350 degrees and 450 degrees is almost fatal to your food.
Choosing the best oven
For further advice on choosing the best oven we invite you to come to our restaurant equipment store in Oklahoma City. If you’re a little further out, please contact us today by phone or email. We’ll be glad to talk to you about the particular needs of your restaurant so that you get the best oven for your application.