The comment below “I prefer to use a combi”, brings up an interesting point. The Combi, while useful, is not the convection oven. If you are a public entity and have little or no money, a single combi can set you back the price of Two Convection Oven Double Stacks. Price aside, it is a completely different entity.
When Combi’s first hit the market over 17 years ago, I worked as an independent rep for Blodgett Combi. One of the main reasons combi’s seem to have been invented was to fit the Casino Market – or if you have ever been in the kitchen of a casino with a few buffet choices, the “24 hour, feed the world” kitchen. This piece of equipment is sincerely versatile. It bakes, roasts, convects, steams and creates a finished crusty bread like nothing else out there. It is programmable for your different recipes, and it is flexible. In the performance category, I would not even consider a combi and a convection oven for the same application.
If I had to choose between the two, I would always move towards the side of multi-tasking, but from purely a work horse perspective and strictly depending upon the menu / feeding venue, a convection oven may be more practical.
If you’re not sure – just ask – we are always happy to provide information based on a client’s specific needs.
There are several single “bests”, and quite frankly – they are all cold for at least a little while.
All have five year compressor warranties. If the compressor breaks, you will have the PARTS of the compressor, pro-rated by the number of years of use, reimbursed to you by the manufacturer. You will pay for the labor. Whooppeee ! In my book, this is the same as Health Care Insurance. They pay a little, you pay way more.
Some (Bally) have 10 year warranties on their panels. I have seen many a Bally walk in last for 30 years or longer when other brands disintegrate in five years or less. (You would parish after five years of 13 hour days in a prision too, I am sure).
There are many factors that feed into the life span of a walk in from daily use, to employee types, from delivery schedules, to recovery, to ambient temperature, to problems resulting from poor installation. This “kit” is only as good as the man who puts it together and the floor that it sits upon.
There are no real working parts of the walk in body itself. They are two metal panels, held together in most cases with 4″ of foam insulation. The metal can be aluminum, galivinized, stainless steel. It can be painted on the outside to match some other part of the building, or white on the inside to aid in the output of lighting.
The Door is the single largest moving part of the body. I highly recommend that you specify a third set of hinges. While some doors are built on frames of steel and really only need two hinges, so many more are only the same two pieces of metal with foamed in place urethane in the middle. One bashing by cart ( or human) and they are toast. I even watched a fellow employee open a walk in and actually come away with the handle hardware in his hand! Screws and all. Evidently, this styrofoam box was a little flimsy. The handle never did go back in correctly and eventually, we ended up buying a new door to fix the problem.
One company Thermokool, actually puts your box together at the factory. You pay for this in the price. If one of the panels is a bad fit – it is fixed before it ever leaves the factory. They are also numbered to match their drawings and adjacent panels, and are then piled on the skid in the order of construction. This makes your installer’s job a little easier and helps get your box up and running in a faster time.
Bally is a staple of many kitchen equipment diets. I can tell you that having rep’d for them and having bought several thousands dollars worth of the product, then when there is a Bally Problem, they go out of their way to fix it. This is really important to multi-unit purchasers. Who wants to call a rep fifteen times to get something fixed. Once, should be good enough for anyone and if that call is to the factory – you will recieve the utmost care and consideration. They are also fairly well known, as is Thermokool, for making small changes to standard panel sizing to adjust your field conditions – columns etc.
The Best Box Award, in this writers opinion - Bally , The Second Best – Thermokool, The Third Best – American Panel…. everyone else is just a box. These three have Service !
The “do not Disturb” Box – AmeriCooler – made with styrofoam.
collide : The act of smashing together. Notice the beauty of my definition, smashing.
When you purchase new stainless steel food pans, full, half, quarter, third or ninth size, you will experience the inevitable – corner smashing. This smashed corner prevents stainless steel food pans from stacking & nesting (a storage problem) or from being pulled apart. It also allows the all important heat to escape the corner where the food pan is dropped into the food warmer, this is not good for the heat retention OR the health department.
What is a girl to do?
Well one suggestion, a really strong suggestion, would be to look into the new Polarware Food Pans. These babies have a strong profile: Their classic Anti-Jam corner “ledge” to prevent stacking-itis (this is when the pans, after being stacked, require two men and a truck to seperate them). Their newest addition to this pan is “THE EDGE”. The edges are raised up so that they are much easier to lift from the counter top. I can not tell you how many times fingers have become trapped between a pan and a counter top while trying to get the pan out of the counter top. This some times forces workers to whine, and go home early. Avoid this little mis-hap all together!
I haven’t seen the prices for these babies, but one can easily see all of the advantages of their new form.
Go Here, to see these pans: http://www.polarware.com/news.php?newsid=1
There is even a video for you to watch !
One of the biggest deals in the country right this second, is the convection oven. Schools are out or about to be out and while there are so many features and benefits for everybrand, the bottom line is usually price.
There are as many convection ovens out there as there are NIKE running shoes.
The best deal, this week, is the Baker’s Pride in gas or electric , BCO – G or BCO- E. Why? All of the things that you need are standard: Full Size Oven, all stainless steel exterior, windows in both doors, interior lights, two – speed cool down, cool-touch handles, 60,000 BTU / HR per oven, low speed (900 RPM), 11 rack positions and 60 eletric timer with alarm.
You should be able to easily find a double, BCO- G for about $5100.00 on legs. Yes, that is a DOUBLE, not a single, A double, deux ovens, deuce a pair, stacked upon one another… you can’t do better than that. If you need two or more ovens, you are likely to get them delivered, drop ship to your door step without added freight… If you need them brought into the building, and set in place – work it out with your dealer.
Do you need more features? Then you will be paying more. This is strictly a great oven at a VERY reasonable price.
Welcome to Foodserve Equipment Resources.
The foodservice industry is interesting (nicely put). With over 25 years of experience in the foodservice equipment industry, I think I am qualified to review and recommend products, ideas, and even consultants. Manufacturers introduce me to their new products and ideas – I will share them with you – after experience.
All readers are welcome to comment, and are more than welcome to provide reviews, with first hand experience on particular types of equipment.