Looking for ways to leave a lasting impression on all your customers? Want to tickle their taste buds like never before? While you no doubt have all the necessary baking predispositions, your success and appeal ultimately depend on having the proper equipment to execute your ideas. Without it, your customers will end up dissatisfied and you’ll be left wondering what went wrong.
If you take a peek at all of your kitchen tools and utensils, what would you say is the most crucial item in your arsenal? The machines you use to mix all of your ingredients together? Close, but not quite. Keeping your dough fresh in a retarder proofer? Think again. There’s one unit that’s at the core of your kitchen – the oven.
But how hard can it be to choose the right one for your business? Everyone’s used an oven at least once in their lifetime so it should be easy enough, right? Wrong. It’s actually a complicated and well-thought-out selection process that requires careful consideration. But no need to worry just yet because we’re here to make sure that you’re on the right track by giving you a rundown of what to look for in a functional commercial bakery oven.
What Are the Different Types of Commercial Ovens?
As we set off on our baked goods journey, we need to have a look at all the different types of bakery ovens available. Your choice mainly depends on the type of product range you have.
This is the most basic model and arguably the most affordable one. Its design is pretty simplistic yet highly practical. The heater, which is located at the bottom of the baking chamber, distributes the generated warmth evenly throughout. The chamber itself has a few trays which means you can cook several dishes at the same time. By doing this, you’ll be saving up on both time and money.
On the outside, a standard commercial oven closely resembles the regular one you have at home. This means that it can handle and cook most types of food. However, if you’re looking to make a special kind of pastry in specific circumstances, you might want to consider other options.
Convection ovens are a popular choice among bakeries due to their efficient and uniform baking method. As opposed to standard models, convection ovens come with a more effective hot air injection system, along with fans that help distribute it evenly throughout the baking compartment. In this way, the food gets cooked at a faster rate which in turn allows you to produce a high volume of pastries in a fraction of the time.
As you may or may not have guessed from the name, this particular type of commercial bakery oven uses a direct water supply or container to inject steam into the baking area. The heat generated from the steam cooks the food, resulting in super soft and moist pastries and cakes. In other words, if you don’t want your baked goods to have crisp brown edges, then you should definitely consider getting a steam oven.
If you consider the options so far, you might be torn between convection and steam ovens. Efficiency and softness. How can you possibly pick one or the other? Well, what if you didn’t have to choose? What if there’s an oven that can do both? Fortunately, there is and it comes in the form of a combination oven. It takes all the good qualities that make convection and steam ovens great and puts them all together, hence the name. Once the steam is generated through a water supply, the fans distribute it throughout the cooking chamber and cook the food evenly.
While combination ovens are a heftier investment initially, they can be quite beneficial in the long run. It’s the perfect way to up your baking game and get your business going.
This type of commercial oven consists of several stone decks which are heated from both top and bottom. All you have to do is place the food on top of the stone and you’re all set. Moreover, you can easily adjust the baking rates of each deck if you’re making different kinds of pastries at the same time.
The most notable disadvantage of these ovens is the fact that heating up the stone decks takes up quite a bit of time. This can be quite annoying, especially if you’ve got a lot of orders to complete.
How Do You Choose the Right Commercial Oven?
Knowing all the possible oven types is one thing but choosing the right one is another. Here’s a list of all the factors that should influence your decision.
Picture this: You’re famished and you’ve just ordered your favourite bagel to satisfy your hunger. Little did you know you’d wait quite a bit before you could sink your teeth into it. What a major letdown. You definitely wouldn’t appreciate it and neither would anyone else. With this in mind, if you take too long to get the orders ready, your customers definitely won’t be satisfied. If you really want to keep up with customer demand, you need to have the right oven to do so.
Spacious commercial kitchens are designed in such a way to accommodate multiple appliances and tools without feeling cramped. But if your kitchen is somewhat smaller and you can’t really afford to fill it up with large units, you need to measure the available space that you have and shop accordingly.
Last but not least, is your oven going to be electric or gas-powered? Gas ovens are quite budget-friendly and cost-effective but electric ones are much easier to install and maintain. It really is up to you to decide which one is more suitable for your business.