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Types of Commercial Ovens

14 Nov 2022, 5:20 PM

Types of Commercial Ovens
Buying Guide

Buying an oven for a commercial kitchen is a major investment, which is why it's important to do plenty of research first. There's a huge range of different ovens to choose from, each with its own set of benefits and best suited to particular types of food, dishes or restaurants.

In this article, we'll run through some of the most common types of oven and catering appliances found in commercial kitchens, to help you choose the right restaurant equipment.


An oven range is an oven that features one or more internal oven cavities for baking and roasting, as well as a hob on top. Ranges are ideal for small kitchens where space is at a premium. The oven cavities do not have any specialist functions but are suitable for general cooking of a wide range of food items.

Some ranges are fuelled by gas and some by electricity, and others are dual-fuel which means the oven is fuelled by electricity while the hob runs on gas. Gas hobs tend to offer superior control over heat than electric hobs, while electric provides better heat control when it comes to ovens. Dual fuel ranges, therefore, offer the best of both worlds.

Convection Ovens

Convection ovens, also known as fan ovens, use fans to distribute heat throughout the cavity. This allows a more even distribution of heat to allow food to cook evenly and more quickly than traditional ovens.

Plus, convection ovens are relatively energy-efficient, which means you can cut down on the amount of electricity used to fuel them.

Steam Ovens

Steam ovens cook food by filling the cavity with hot steam. They're high-capacity pieces of cooking equipment, suitable for preparing vegetables, fish, potatoes and rice. Steam cooking can help food retain its flavour, moisture and vitamins compared to boiling.

Plus, steam cooking minimises the risk of flavour transfer when preparing multiple types of food in the oven at one time. Steam ovens are ideal for businesses that cook lots of vegetables on a large scale, such as big restaurants, canteens and carveries.

Combination Ovens

Combination ovens, or combination steamers as they're often known, have both convection and steam cooking capabilities for ultimate flexibility. This is ideal for busy kitchens with a limited amount of space. Combi-ovens are some of the most complex and advanced catering appliances on the market. They offer incredibly precise temperature control and many can be programmed to perform multi-stage cooking processes that make it easier than ever to prepare complex dishes like bread and pastries.Combination ovens are available in a range of sizes, but keep in mind that the larger models often need a mains water supply for steaming and overhead extraction.

Conveyor Ovens

Conveyor ovens are open on each end and use a set of rollers to gradually move food past high-power cooking elements. Food is cooked quickly, evenly and consistently, with very little expertise or training required once the oven is on and set up correctly. Conveyor ovens are commonly found in fast food and takeaway restaurants where dishes such as pizzas and pies are prepared quickly. Larger models are capable of stacking food in double or triple layers to increase output.

Commercial microwave ovens

Microwave ovens cook food incredibly quickly by applying micromagnetic waves which excite molecules within the food. They're ideal for reheating foods efficiently and are used in a wide variety of kitchens. They're available in a huge range of sizes and power levels, and some feature programmable technology to make food preparation as simple as pressing a button.Due to the way that commercial microwave ovens cook food via radiation heating, they tend to heat the outside layers of food faster than the inside layers which can lead to uneven cooking. They also cannot brown or crisp foods. For this reason, they're best suited to reheating sauces, soups, stews or side dishes such as vegetables.

Potato Ovens

Potato ovens are designed specifically for cooking and storing jacket potatoes. They contain a main cavity for baking the potatoes and a glass-fronted warming cavity to help the cooked potatoes retain heat without getting overdone. Potato ovens are designed for use front-of-house not only to allow for easy access for serving but to entice customers with the sight and smell of delicious, perfectly-baked potatoes.

Cook & hold ovens

Cook and hold ovens are designed specifically for slowly and gently cooking meats until they are tender, and then holding the meat at a steady temperature for several hours as it is gradually served. They're ideal for canteens, carveries and restaurants that prepare large cuts of roasted meats. The meat doesn't lose its texture or taste even after being held in the oven for very long periods.

Pizza Ovens

Pizza ovens are designed to provide high, intense heat suitable for cooking pizzas. Pizzas must be cooked on a hot stone or griddle to achieve a crisp base, and even heat is essential to ensure the toppings cook and brown up correctly. Pizza ovens optimise cooking conditions to ensure a perfect finish, and they're relatively small and compact to save space. For busy kitchens, there are pizza ovens with double or even triple cavities, and some have warming drawers to hold cooked pizzas for restaurants that serve by the slice.

Charcoal Ovens

Charcoal ovens are fuelled by charcoal to give the authentic taste of barbecue with the convenience of indoor cooking. They're ideal for cooking burgers, steaks, kebabs and fish because they impart that delicious smoky flavour. They don't rely on gas or electricity to run, and they produce much hotter temperatures than traditional ovens. Plus, depending on the size, they're portable which means you can set them up front-of-house or outdoors if you want to make a focal point of your charcoal-cooked dishes.

Browse Our Commercial Ovens & Other Catering Appliances Now

Now that you've learned more about the types of commercial ovens available, be sure to check out our range of cooking appliances and restaurant equipment to find the right oven for your catering business.

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