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What is a Commercial Oven?

By Micki Elizabeth
Updated May 16, 2024
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A commercial oven is a kitchen appliance used for heating and baking foods in a professional setting. Establishments such as restaurants, bakeries, and cafeterias often use commercial ovens. This is because professional ovens typically have the capacity and power to handle large amounts of different kinds of food in a timely manner. There are several types of commercial ovens that may accommodate different needs, such as deck, combination and pizza ovens. They may be gas, wood or electric-powered and usually cook by convection.

Usually, a commercial oven will bake by convection rather than conventional means. The difference is that, while both types use heating elements to radiate heat, a convection oven also uses a fan. This fan helps food to cook evenly and quickly, two attributes that are often important to chefs and bakers.

Using gas to power professional ovens is likely the most common method. Gas tends to heat an oven quickly and makes the temperature fairly easy to control, keeping utility costs down. Electric-powered ovens may take much longer to reach a desired temperature. Some ovens burn wood for heat because of the unique flavor it adds to some foods, such as pizza.

There are various commercial oven types to meet a particular kitchen’s individual needs; one kind is a deck oven. These ovens have a large interior with multiple racks inside. The racks can often be moved around as needed to accommodate many dishes at once.

Finding a good quality deck oven is important for several reasons. Heat often escapes, lowering the temperature of an oven, when the door is opened and closed often as dishes are added or taken out. Particular foods, such as breads, can be ruined when the baking temperature fluctuates. Professional deck ovens should be equipped to keep the interior temperature as even as possible.

Another type of commercial oven is the combination oven. Most have the option to cook with convection, steam, or both at once. This allows for vegetables to cook evenly along with meats, potatoes, and other foods. If an individual plans to use an oven to cook foods with many different flavors, it can be helpful to look for models that may hinder the transfer of flavors between foods.

A pizza oven is a specific type of commercial oven that can cook pizza and other foods quickly at a high temperature. Pizza ovens may resemble a typical oven with a door, or they may use a conveyor belt. One should be able to control the speed of the belt, thus controlling the amount of time spent baking in intense heat. Large cuts of meat can also be cooked in pizza ovens, and frozen food can be defrosted quickly.

It is usually possible to stack these ovens on top of one another. Not only does this utilize vertical space, but it also allows a kitchen to use multiple types of ovens at once. If one is considering purchasing a commercial oven, it may be a good idea to make sure it complies with safety regulations before installing or stacking the ovens.

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