Convection Ovens

What is a Convection Oven?

Convection ovens are one of the most popular pieces of commercial cooking equipment. Known for their speed and efficiency, Convection Ovens use fans to circulate heated air through the cooking cavity to help foods cook as much as 35 percent faster than conventional ovens. Because of their speed, the ovens require less labor and energy than most other ovens.

Convection Ovens are basically a standard radiant heat oven with a high-speed fan added to the oven cavity. The addition of the fan provides rapid circulation of heated air which changes the thermal characteristics of the oven – where the fan “strips away” the relatively cool air near the food and bringing it into contact with hot air to speed up the cooking process. This process creates a more uniform heat throughout the cavity, resulting in an even, much tastier bake.

These ovens are best suited for cooking large batches of dry heat roasting and baking operations – especially those requiring browning. They are less ideal for reheating foods or delicate foods such as pie crusts because they tend to dry them out or burn the edges before the interior is heated.

Central Restaurant Products offers hundreds of convection ovens available in every size, style, and power type from top  manufacturers including Vulcan, Blodgett, Southbend, and Garland. For further assistance in finding the perfect convection oven for your commercial kitchen, speak one on one with friendly product consultants at 800.215.9293!


Gas vs. Electric

The decision of a gas or an electric combi oven may be limited by the utilities available in the kitchen. However, it is important to keep in mind that even gas models will require an electric connection to power digital displays and fans. Be sure to confirm what voltage is needed in your kitchen (208V, 240V, or 480V – single or three phase). Other things to keep in mind when considering if gas or electric is better for your kitchen:

Gas Electric
  • Generally, more efficient to run —some models running almost 50% more efficient than electric models
  • Lower entry cost
  • Increases temperature instantly through direct transfer
  • Best in high elevation where gas equipment does not function well
  • Due to placement of the heating elements, requires 1" or mor clearance on all sides of pans for proper airflow


Countertop vs. Floor

Space is the biggest consideration when looking at countertop vs. floor models. Floor convection models can come as single or double stack and are ideal for high volume kitchens. At the same time, countertop convection ovens are great for quick serve restaurants with limited space, convenience stores, and concession stands. Countertop models are perfect for small cookie trays with some models accommodating half-size sheet pans. It is important to note that countertop models do not create as much output as floor models.

Half-Size vs. Full-Size

Half-size convection ovens are another great option for when space is limited or less output is required. In high production kitchens where space is available, full-size ovens are the best choice. Keep in mind that half-size ovens will only accept 13x18 pans while full-size ovens accept 18x26 size pans.

Energy Star

Energy Star products are given their designation due to designs that cut your energy usage, contributing to a cleaner environment. These Energy Star products lower your utility bills due to the lowered energy usage and in some states, qualify for large rebates, making these products even better investments! Learn more about Energy Star Rated Convection Ovens from Central Restaurant Products.

Additional Considerations

  • Solid or glass doors – glass doors allow the operator to view product as it bakes which is recommended in order to keep a close eye on baking product. However, solid doors offer a lower cost point.
  • Dependent doors are available on some models where both doors open when one handle is pulled thanks to a chain and socket linking both doors. Have difficulty carrying a pan and opening both doors wide enough to place the pan inside? Not anymore! Dependent doors allow both doors to open with just one hand for easy loading and unloading.
  • Controller options:
    • Solid State controls are standard, basic controls that include thermostats, cook timers, a two-speed fan switch and a compartment light switch.
    • Digital and Computer controls are more sophisticated controls which can handle cook-and-hold, fan pulsing, shelf position compensation and programmable recipe storage and retrieval.
  • Bakery depth ovens are “deep depth” models and allow pans to be loaded in either direction. An added benefit of bakery depth ovens is the ability to promote better airflow of product during baking by staggering the direction of pans.