A large percentage of those who use combi ovens don’t understand the ovens to the extent needed to fully utilize all these units have to offer. Therefore, Alto-Shaam chefs Andy Mayeshiba and Ryan Norman have provided tips to ensure operators get the most out of their investment.
- Many chefs and operators may not be familiar with the numerous capabilities of these ovens and simply focus on either the convection or steam mode. It’s important to note that the combi mode is where the majority of the gains are made in terms of cooking speed and increased food yields.
- Many users make the mistake of cooking only in the convection mode, when in fact cooking in the combi mode works more effectively to brown, roast, toast and bake.
- Preheating combi ovens is critical, especially with large loads of cold or frozen products. When cooking with this equipment, it’s best to start with five minutes in the convection mode to temper product. This way, when humidity is injected, the food’s exterior is warm enough so as not to create condensation.
- Low humidity or steaming temperatures can be used for combi sous vide cooking. This places food into a cooking environment that corresponds with the desired temperature of the end product. What many are not aware of is that combis can accomplish sous vide without the use of vacuum bags. For example, frozen shrimp can be placed into a perforated pan and heated in a 160-degree Fahrenheit combi to a perfect temperature and consistency. Another benefit of sous vide is it’s impossible to overcook food items, since the product won’t get hotter than the oven.
- The humidity level in a combi oven can be adjusted to 100 percent to dryer than a convection oven. As a result, chefs can dehydrate product overnight using these units. This method can be used to create dried fruit, garnishes or seasoning powder. For example, smoked and roasted red peppers can be dried and dehydrated to produce smoked paprika with these units.
- Combi ovens also can be programmed for longer cooking times, providing the ability to cook and hold food overnight or hold food after cooking during the day. This helps maximize an operation’s labor and production.
- Alto-Shaam provides electric countertop combi ovens that provide a ventless option for operators looking to increase cooking capacity and save space without the use of a ventilation hood.
- For detailed information on combi oven use, visit . Developed by Alto-Shaam’s chef team, this website provides detailed information on how to use this equipment most efficiently and effectively. In addition to providing step-by-step information on cooking processes and control features, snapguide.com is a place for end users to find innovative combi oven recipe ideas.
- The Alto-Shaam Culinary Institute Facebook Group, run by the chef team, is an interactive forum for operators and chefs that provides answers to specific questions on combi oven use as well as helpful usage details about this equipment.
Learn more about the benefits of combi oven cooking at http://www.alto-shaam.com/en/combi-white-paper-request.