Tag Archives: combi ovens

Constantly Changing Menu Items? Consider a Combi Oven.

In Part 1 of an interview with Henny Penny Product Manager Dann Woellert, we discussed the basics of combi oven ownership and why they’re growing in popularity. We’re continuing the conversation and dive deeper into how combi ovens can support kitchen operators who are challenged with delivering a strong customer experience amongst ever changing menus. By utilizing a number of cooking methods, several of which can be used while cooking a variety of foods at the same time, combi ovens are increasing kitchen efficiency, customer experience and cost savings.

Is there a particular type of menu item that cooks best in a combi?
One of the biggest benefits of a combi is the wide variety of products that it can cook effectively. It allows proteins to cook faster and with more moisture, allowing the food to maintain its moistness. It lets operators cook baked goods in a moist environment. It also can also cook different foods in the same chamber, at the same time, without flavor transfer between items.  It is a product truly rooted in versatility, waste reduction and quality all in one footprint.

What are restaurants most often using combis for?
The flexibility of the combi makes it beneficial for the cooking of a variety of menu items at a variety of different types of restaurants. Fine dining to QSR can benefit from combi effectiveness. QSR restaurants for example, see the value in using combis to cook large amounts of one protein like bacon, which has large product variability, but requires consistent quality in a fast paced environment.

Are restaurants adjusting their menus to accommodate the benefits of a combi?
A key benefit of the combi is that it can help a restaurant expand their menu. A large number and variety of recipes can be stored and utilized in a combi. An operator can store seasonal recipes that are only used for a limited time, and then retrieve them again when needed.

In what areas does a combi lead to cost savings?

  • Reduced food waste as a result of more consistently cooked product
  • Higher yield on proteins due to less shrinkage
  • Shorter cook times, resulting in energy savings
  • Higher productivity
  • More energy efficient than convection ovens
  • Ease of use/labor re-distribution

Is there a lot of training associated with combis?
It doesn’t require a great deal of training to learn how to use a combi. An operator only needs to know the basics of what products lend themselves to each of the three cooking modes —steaming, convection and combi cooking. Most of the training on the actual equipment is centered on developing and programming recipes into the combi. Once these recipes are established, it is easy as selecting a product photo and hitting ‘go’.

Combi ovens have been a staple in the foodservice industry globally for decades. In the U.S., adoption has primarily been by commercial outlets (hotels, hospitals, catering) and retail. However, changes in available sizes (i.e. Henny Penny’s SpaceSaver model) and hood technology (units with integrated hoods) have removed some of the objections that are expressed in regards to adopting a combi. With combi use on the rise, it’s certainly the right time to learn more about this technology and how you can integrate it into your back-of-house operations and reap the benefits of this proven technology.

For more information on combi ovens and to see Henny Penny’s complete combi line up, visit www.hennypenny.com/products/roasting/combi-ovens or watch Chef Ben’s Top 3 Reason’s to Own a Combi.

A New Perspective on Equipment: How Investing in Upgrades Today Is Helping Operators Prepare for Tomorrow

With growing competition and a constant struggle for market share, today’s foodservice operators face more pressures than ever before. You are surrounded by evolving — and sometimes conflicting — corporate initiatives and customer demands, requiring everything from menu expansion and decreased store footprints to more transparency, higher staff wages and much more.

As you evaluate your list of desired upgrades and needed store repairs, it’s often easy to look at cooking equipment as just another expense. However, it’s important to realize that the equipment you choose for your kitchen does much more than simply cook food. The right equipment can make your facility’s system stronger as a whole — providing greater flexibility, maximizing smaller kitchen space, streamlining workflow and even building in cost and labor savings.

Two particular product categories worth considering are combi ovens and fryers:

Combi Ovens

Popular in European kitchens, combi ovens aren’t as widely embraced in U.S. facilities — perhaps due to lack of awareness. But the benefits they provide are invaluable to high-volume operations and low-traffic businesses alike.

• Healthier foods: Consumers are demanding healthier options while still expecting the usual menu items. Finding the right balance may seem difficult, but combi ovens can help operators enhance any menu, as these ovens can roast and steam proteins and vegetables while also baking desserts and other hearty side dishes.

• Smaller footprints: Cooking with a combi oven eliminates the need for convection ovens and steamers, clearing valuable floor space. And for even the tightest kitchens, more compact options like the Henny Penny FlexFusion Space$aver combi oven can fulfill a variety of cooking needs.

• Flexibility: It’s hard to predict the menu trends of the future, so it’s important to have equipment that can accommodate a wide variety of foods and cooking methods. A combi oven can often handle a wide variety of current menu items, while also providing flexibility for the future.

Fryers

From QSRs to fine dining and even non-commercial kitchens, fried foods are often a menu staple. However, fryers are often looked at as one in the same, despite the many differences in volume, specialty and innovative features.

• Flexibility/Space Savings: Some menu items are better suited to pressure frying—a method that locks in flavor and moisture—while others are meant for open frying. However, when space is at a premium, a pressure fryer can double as an open fryer to provide maximum flexibility.

• Volume: Some fryers are designed especially for high-volume kitchens and can help increase throughput while reducing oil costs. However, if you select a high-volume model that you don’t truly need, you might actually be wasting oil and energy.

• Cost-savings: With Henny Penny’s next-generation Evolution Elite open fryer, operators can realize the cost- and labor-saving potential of Smart Touch Filtration™, the latest advance in built-in, push-button filtration from Henny Penny. With a suite of oil-conserving features, the Evolution Elite allows for 40% less oil in the frying vat — savings that goes straight to the bottom line.

Equipment as an Investment

With careful purchasing choices and knowledgeable industry partners like Henny Penny on your side, it’s easy to make equipment a net positive for your operation. Keeping in mind how each piece functions as part of a larger system, you can create an efficient combination of equipment that maximizes space, saves time and labor, and builds a foundation for growth and expansion for years to come.