With the advent of new health guidelines enacted by many local health departments, many of our new mobile oven owners are moving into the mobile-enclosed (close dome) style of trailers. Not only is it satisfying some of the more stringent restrictions, but is allowing our owners to provide more in the options of culinary creations and volume of business. One of the accessories that is making this possible is the re-emergence of the combi oven.
Combination (aka “combi”) ovens have been around in the industry for some time, but they are beginning to be utilized in the mobile-industry as well. A good combi oven can provide an enterprising chef a way to smoke, roast, fry, steam or bake their foods alongside their wood-fired oven – providing great side dishes or toppings to whatever they are creating.
What is a combi oven? The equipment itself is ingenuous. A combi oven combines hot air with heated steam, which balances the humidity, and can act as a convection oven as well. The ovens range from boiler/boiler less as well gas and electric models. A standard commercial model will generally house ~ 20 shelves. That space can nest 20 sheet pans. Technology has advanced the equipment to where they now have the capability to have digital programming with different cooking cycles (quick defrost, rethermalizing, poaching and even smoking!).
If you are getting into the mobile wood-fired business and thinking of adding a combi oven to your enclosed layout, make sure you do some research on the style and style you believe would best suit you. The types of food and the size of the space you need should always be in the forefront of your planning.
To help get you started, take a look at Alto-Shaam, Henny Penny, and Clodgett brands of combi ovens. And happy cooking!