Thursday, 14 July 2016

Ovens & Combi Ovens Feature - July/August 2016


Please attribute all quotes to Kris Brearley, Sales Director, R H Hall

What types of oven are recommended to sports and leisure venues?
There are many choices available on the equipment market for ovens and the unit chosen often comes down to personal preference as well as space and budget restrictions. Whatever the preference, it has to be a versatile and flexible workhorse able to make light work of the most demanding dishes and be able to respond to the on-going changing demands that come with any professional commercial kitchen. Most operations want to offer a varied and attractive food offering and so without a doubt an oven that can ‘multi task’ in response to that will be a good investment.

To help make the right choice, caterers must be clear on the intended use: the volume of throughput; the types of dishes/menu available; variations in service time; staffing skills and find out about the latest features and operational functions before they invest. Options range from large combination steamers, through bake off ovens and combination microwaves, to simple but essential microwave only.

What should caterers consider before buying new equipment?
First and foremost you should look at choosing from a recognised brand – the major manufacturers are often the most innovative and have developed machines with intelligent features that are time/labour saving and energy efficient too. So, choose a leading brand with an established reputation – don’t be tempted to go down the cheap import route.

What are the essential features of a modern combi oven?
The Maestrowave Combi Chef 7 has many features to offer including the latest Menu Creator 2.0™ software package, which allows you to ‘create your own menu’ and programme up to 99 menus using any method of oven, microwave, grill or combination and with or without the turbo fan! This oven is the most flexible, efficient and easy to use oven yet and will help you produce the best results ever, in super quick time – it’s really an oven that can do it all and produce consistent results time after time. Fits into a skilled or non-skilled kitchen with complete ease, this piece of equipment is very easy to operate with sophisticated results being possible within both operations. The model sits on a counter and operates from a single 13 amp supply. We have produced a brand new video showing all the features and benefits of combi cooking using the latest and innovative Maestrowave Combi Chef 7. Simply log on to and follow the links from the home page.

Why are combi ovens becoming more popular in large scale hospitality and catering?
The main advantage with any Combi Oven is speed, particularly when looking at Combi Microwaves. The many features of a modern combination microwave also offer huge versatility, meaning these are capable of the different techniques needed in turning out various courses.

What ovens are best for food kiosk or concessions work?
Space is often limited in these circumstances and speed is essential. Basic countertop microwaves, such as the Sharp R21AT can provide quick and easy access to reheating basic grab and go style items. The Smeg ALFA43UK countertop bake off oven takes things a step further and provides a compact and stylish solution to cooking breads, pastries and even pizza – plus many other essential items. Used in conjunction with a microwave, a small catering operation can provide a vast snack menu. Where space is really limited, or for concession sites requiring uniformity throughout their operation, the Maestrowave Combi Chef 7 provides the perfect solution. Featuring microwave, fan oven, conventional oven and grill in one unit – the machine offers a ‘kitchen in a box’! Menu Creator 2.0™ software provides menu control – allowing a present menu to be created by a development chef or trainer and then uploaded to all machines using a simple SD card. With up to 99 menu options, and 999 available if required, the unit can provide consistent results, even when used by an unskilled operative.

Are their certain types or models that use less energy than others?
Many larger models, particularly combination steamers, require a hard wired supply – with gas as an option where available. However, many smaller countertop units can operate from a 13 amp plug, which keeps energy costs low and offers easy movement of the unit if needed. 

Is there any training required on how to operate the oven units?
Understanding is the key to operating any piece of kitchen equipment, but with basic training some units are able to be easily operated by any user. Features such as pre programmable touchpads or menu development software, creates an easy solution for consistent results.

If you could offer one tip to those deciding on a new oven unit, what would it be?
Choose a leading brand and buy the best equipment you can afford – take a close look at build quality don’t be fooled into buying cheaper imports. Go for peace of mind - the leading brands, with an established and good reputation for quality, reliability and genuine service back up in a commercial situation is crucial.

Please include a definitive website address where readers can go for more info on your company and the recently re-launched website of

Emma Smith
01296 663400

R H Hall, Hallco House, Beacon Court, Pitstone Green Business Park, Pitstone, Beds, LU7 9GY 

T: 01296 663400 F: 01296 663401 E: W:

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