What’s inside this buyer’s guide
- What is a convection oven?
- Convection oven benefits
- Types of commercial convection ovens
- Styles of commercial convection ovens
- Things to consider before purchase
- Best commercial convection ovens
- Frequently asked questions
- Commercial convection oven glossary
- Keep your cash, use ours!
From Miami's succulent seafood to Philadelphia’s iconic cheesesteaks and from Chicago's deep-dish delight to the crisp apple pies of Washington – a commercial convection oven can cook it all and more in up to 25% less time!
With its broad application spectrum, commercial convection ovens can efficiently cater to diverse culinary ventures – from compact food carts and cozy cafes to medium-scale eateries and expansive bakeries – the prospects are limitless!
However, the abundance of several commercial convection oven brands and models can make the selection unnecessarily complex.
This handbook will guide you, and highlight all the crucial factors you should know before finalizing your purchase.
Let’s get started!
What is a convection oven?
A convection oven is a versatile kitchen appliance that enhances traditional heating methods used in ovens with the aid of a fan and exhaust system.
In a convection oven, one or more fans circulate hot air within the oven cavity, for more efficient, uniform cooking.
This unique feature of uniform heat distribution sets convection ovens apart, making them a preferred choice for various culinary applications.
Convection oven benefits
Depending on the specific make and model, industrial convection ovens can bake and roast up to 25% quicker than their traditional counterparts, enhancing productivity and profit.
Regardless of where the food is placed inside the oven, it receives consistent heat that results in uniform cooking.
Uniform heat and faster cooking times result in less food shrinkage, yielding larger quantities per batch.
Foods like meat, fish, and vegetables retain more weight, offering greater value to your customers.
Consistent heat distribution ensures evenly browned food with a perfect crusty texture.
Consistent, gentle heat keeps roasts juicy and cookies crunchy.
Whether it's roasting, baking, reheating, or broiling, the convection oven's flexibility makes it a valuable tool for any food service.
Quicker cooking times at lower temperatures can help to lower your energy costs and reduce your business's carbon emissions.
Types of commercial convection ovens
Direct-fired convection ovens
With the heating element situated directly below, direct-fired commercial convection ovens pump heat straight into the oven chamber, where it mixes with recirculated air and comes in direct contact with the food.
They are ideally suited for high-temperature baking of items, like flatbread, pizza, biscuits, cookies, and crackers.
Indirect-fired convection ovens
In these ovens, the burner doesn't interact directly with the circulated air or combustion products.
While this leads to slower cooking compared to direct-fired models, it gives more even results.
These ovens are typically used for baking cakes, pastries, pies, and cupcakes, and are excellent for roasting and preparing casseroles.
Traditional and true convection ovens
During your research, you might come across some convection oven models described as traditional or true.
In traditional convection ovens, also known as the American variant, the heating elements are placed above and below the cavity, and a fan is used to move the hot air within it.
In a true convection oven, on the other hand, a third heating element is added in front of the fan, which heats up the air being blown and results in better cooking efficiency.
These are also known as European models.
Styles of commercial convection ovens
Countertop convection ovens
Specifically designed for countertop use, these compact models are perfect for smaller commercial spaces like cafes, food trucks, bistros, and concession stands.
More powerful countertop convection ovens can also serve larger restaurants depending on the quantity of food they need to prepare.
Floor convection ovens
Constructed to sit on a dedicated stand on the floor, full-sized, free-standing industrial convection ovens are perfect for large commercial kitchens with high demand and ample space.
There are also compact, free-standing models that can fit smaller kitchens.
Things to consider before purchase
Selecting the most suitable convection oven depends on the food and volume you frequently prepare.
For instance, baking pizzas and flatbreads thrive in a direct-fired oven, whereas cupcakes prefer an indirect-fired oven.
Similarly, larger quantities demand a robust model, while less frequent, smaller batches could use a more modest, cost-effective choice.
Choose the right utility
Electric convection ovens
Electric convection ovens operate solely on electrical power and are straightforward to install, fitting seamlessly into most kitchens.
However, larger models might consume more electricity, thereby increasing long-term expenses on energy.
Natural gas convection ovens
Should your kitchen already have a gas supply, natural gas convection ovens are often the most efficient and cost-effective choice.
While they heat up quicker than electric ovens, they still require an electric supply to power features like the lights, fan, and touchscreen.
LPG convection oven
While more expensive than natural gas, LPG is an effective alternative due to its higher efficiency.
However, similar to natural gas models, LPG convection ovens also need electricity to operate certain features like lights, fans, and touchscreen.
Comparative Analysis: Electric vs Natural Gas vs LPG Convection Ovens
Electric convection oven
Natural gas convection oven
LPG convection oven
Operates on electricity alone
Utilizes natural gas and electricity
Uses LPG and electricity
Plugs directly into an electrical socket
Requires a natural gas supply and an electric socket
Needs an LPG source along with an electric socket
Takes longer to heat up compared to gas convection ovens
Heats up faster than electric models
Heats up quicker than electric models
Larger units consume more electricity and can be more expensive to operate
Natural gas is the least expensive
Pricier than natural gas but cheaper than electricity
Convection oven sizes
For large-scale commercial kitchens or bakeries, a full-sized, double-deck industrial convection oven may be essential, but for mobile food businesses or take-out kitchens, a compact, countertop convection oven will be more suitable.
Bear in mind that smaller convection ovens usually accommodate only half-size trays. You must verify the oven's capacity if you intend to use full-size trays.
Full-size convection ovens
Designed to hold one or multiple standard (18” x 26”) sheet pans, these commercial convection ovens are available as both countertop and floor-standing models.
They can hold and cook more food in a single batch compared to their half-size variants.
Half-size convection ovens
They can accommodate single or multiple half-size (18” x 13”) sheet pans and work perfectly as a secondary oven in busy kitchens.
Their compact design allows for easy maneuverability and operation in venues without a full kitchen.
Quarter-size convection ovens
These are small-scale commercial convection ovens designed to hold single or multiple quarter-size (9 ½” x 13”) sheet pans.
They are ideal for smaller enterprises and events.
Single-deck convection ovens
Single-deck convection ovens, with only one cooking compartment, can handle smaller food quantities compared to double-deck models.
They are compact, and the floor-standing models can house accessories under the stand, further optimizing space.
Due to their lighter weight, they are also easier to relocate.
Double-deck convection ovens
Designed with two decks, these industrial convection ovens can handle large food quantities efficiently.
They can accommodate several cooking racks simultaneously, supporting continuous high-volume output.
However, due to their size, they are better suited for larger kitchens and may not be ideal for limited spaces.
Standard depth and deep depth convection ovens
Deep depth convection ovens, also known as bakery depth convection ovens, have a cavity that’s usually 4 inches deeper than the standard depth ovens and allows positioning of the trays vertically or horizontally inside the cavity.
They are most useful for food establishments with consistently high demand.
Before ordering a convection oven, always review the installation guidelines provided in the manufacturer's specifications.
This will indicate whether you need to adjust your current set-up, like installing a new electrical outlet or re-positioning the other appliances.
If professional installation is required, hire a certified technician.
Keep in mind that large industrial convection ovens, due to heat and grease emissions, will necessitate an adequate ventilation system prior to usage.
While energy-efficient ovens might have a higher initial cost, they can lead to significant savings on energy expenditures in the long run.
For example, an electric convection oven with ENERGY STAR certification could save about $70 per year and approximately $670 over its lifespan compared to standard models.
Similarly, a gas convection oven with ENERGY STAR certification could result in roughly $1400 in utility bill savings over its lifespan, when compared to its non-certified counterpart.
It's crucial to select a commercial convection oven that includes all the necessary safety features.
Keep in mind that a large convection oven should be used in a well-ventilated area.
Typical safety features include an overheating safety cut-off, anti-slip feet, cool-touch door handles, and heat-resistant oven exteriors.
Look for models with UL, NSF, or ETL certifications for added reassurance.
Commercial convection ovens are typically constructed from stainless steel or galvanized steel; the former offers greater durability, while the latter is more budget-friendly.
Inside the oven, enameled steel is often favored for its durability.
Although porcelain interiors are easier to clean, they might wear out faster than steel in commercial settings.
Ovens featuring welded metal panels are superior to bolted versions, offering increased durability and easier cleaning.
For oven doors, tempered glass, and stainless steel are prevalent choices.
While solid stainless steel doors tend to last longer and retain heat better, unlike glass doors, they don't offer visibility of the food without opening the door.
A convection oven's efficiency heavily depends on its fans.
Usually, the fans come with two speed options - high and low.
'High' is ideal for denser foods like casseroles and roasts, while 'low' is optimal for delicate baked goods such as cupcakes and pastries.
Some models feature fans that automatically reverse direction when the door is opened or that can blow air in both directions.
Commercial convection ovens with additional fan speeds, like 'medium', afford enhanced precision in cooking and are beneficial for kitchens serving a diverse menu.
Commercial convection ovens typically come with either manual or digital controls.
Manual controls allow you to set the desired temperature and cooking time, while digital controls provide pre-set options for various dishes, ensuring consistency irrespective of the operator.
Therefore, digital controls are preferable in a setting where multiple staff members may use the oven.
Some premium ovens offer advanced features, like automatic temperature and cooking time adjustments for different recipes, cook-and-hold functionality, and steam injection capability, perfect for baking artisan bread or keeping meat dishes moist. Some models even come with pre-set controls to store settings for several recipes!
Best commercial convection ovens
Since its inception in 1864, Garland Group has charted a remarkable journey spanning over a hundred years.
Becoming part of the esteemed Welbilt conglomerate in 2008 further bolstered its standing in the industry.
Today, Garland stands as a beacon of excellence in commercial culinary solutions, revered for its resilient manufacturing and groundbreaking advancements in the realm of cooking.
Garland convection ovens are renowned for their durability, performance, and versatility.
They are used by restaurants, hotels, and other food service establishments all over the world.
Some of the best convection oven models from Garland are from the MCO-ED series.
These models are available in a variety of sizes and configurations to meet the needs of any kitchen.
The MCO-ES-10-S is a single-deck, electric convection oven that is perfect for small kitchens, while the MCO-ED-20-S is a double-deck model that works well for larger establishments.
Both models feature a variety of user-friendly features, such as digital controls, multiple racks, and a timer.
Another standout model is the Garland master series MCO-E-5-C single-deck electric convection oven.
This half-size model has a compact footprint that fits comfortably in small spaces.
SUMG-200, a gas convection oven from the brand is praised for its exceptional performance and resistance to wear and tear in heavy-volume commercial environments.
Since its establishment in 1848, Blodgett has been at the forefront of creating advanced and efficient kitchen equipment.
As a pioneer in the field, the Vermont-based company carries a legacy of over 175 years, during which it has steadfastly upheld its commitment to quality, innovation, and dependability.
Blodgett is particularly lauded for its commercial convection ovens, designed with a fusion of precision engineering and culinary artistry.
Blodgett convection ovens are recognized for their longevity, uniform heat distribution, and fuel efficiency, a testament to the company's dedication to producing superior, professional-grade kitchen equipment.
Among notable models, the Blodgett Zephaire series is highly sought after.
These ovens stand out for their remarkable capacity, reliability, and ease of use.
The DFG-100-ES, featuring a direct-fired gas system, is another crowd favorite. Mark V-100 from the premium range of Blodgett convection ovens, with a 78% energy efficiency rating, is an ideal pick for businesses looking for an energy-saving solution.
Cooking Performance Group
Cooking Performance Group (CPG) is a trusted name in the commercial kitchen equipment industry, renowned for its robust and reliable product line.
The company's history is rooted in its commitment to delivering superior results at an attractive price, a philosophy that has allowed it to carve out a significant market share.
Among the company's offerings, the commercial convection ovens stand out for their excellent heating technology and cooking speed.
These ovens are designed to boost productivity, pushing output limits to meet the demands of busy commercial kitchens.
One of their popular models is the FGC-100-L single-deck, full-size convection oven, which has garnered praise for its fast cooking times and ease of operation.
The FGC-200-LK, a full-size double-deck oven from the brand is a trusted solution for larger food services. CPG’s FEC-100, a full-size, single-deck model powered by electricity is a good choice for smaller kitchens.
Vulcan, a division of ITW Food Equipment Group, has been a stalwart in the commercial kitchen equipment industry for over 150 years.
The company's history is marked by a commitment to masterful design, precision performance, and state-of-the-art innovation.
Vulcan's mission is straightforward - to provide cooking equipment that food service and food retail professionals can trust, enabling them to deliver quality and consistent results every day.
Vulcan's commercial convection ovens are a testament to the company's dedication to quality and performance.
These ovens, often quoted as one of the best convection ovens in the market, are renowned for their adaptability to nearly any operation, offering total flexibility without compromising on Vulcan's legendary toughness, precision, and dependability.
The company's commitment to the environment is also noteworthy, having been the ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year for 16 consecutive years.
Among the popular models is the Vulcan VC4GD-1 1D150K, featuring a full-size single-deck with two dual-pane thermal glass windows, ideal for mid to large-sized restaurants, schools, and hospital kitchens with a natural gas connection.
Vulcan VC55ED-240/3, a top-of-the-range electric convection oven with double-deck and independently operated doors is a powerful solution for high-volume establishments.
Waring Commercial, an American brand with over 80 years of history, has been a pioneer in the kitchen appliances industry.
The company has a rich heritage of innovation and quality, with a product range that includes blenders, food processors, grills, griddles, and ovens.
Waring's commercial convection ovens are part of a broad mix of products that reflect the company's commitment to making lives easier and businesses more profitable.
These ovens are engineered to deliver exceptional results and go through an exhaustive quality control process to ensure superior performance and durability. Waring commercial convection ovens are recognized for their homegrown excellence and American ingenuity.
The company manufactures convection ovens specifically for small to medium-sized businesses.
One of their popular models is the Waring Commercial countertop convection oven WCO500X, known for its efficiency and reliability.
With heavy-duty construction, this half-size model delivers excellent performance. Waring WCO250X is a quarter-size model that fits perfectly on countertops and is ideal for small businesses.
Frequently asked questions
What is the best commercial convection oven to buy?
Determining the "best" commercial convection oven depends on your specific needs, but several brands consistently receive high praise.
Blodgett convection ovens are renowned for their adaptability and precision.
Waring Commercial and Vulcan convection ovens are also highly regarded for their efficiency and reliability.
Cooking Performance Group offers robust and reliable convection ovens that deliver superior results at an attractive price.
Ultimately, the best oven will depend on factors such as your kitchen's size, your budget, and the specific cooking needs of your operation.
Do commercial convection ovens need venting?
Yes, commercial convection ovens typically require venting to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the appliance.
Venting helps to remove heat, smoke, and food odors from the kitchen, contributing to a comfortable and safe working environment.
It also helps to meet health and safety regulations.
However, the specific venting requirements can vary based on the model.
Some modern convection ovens come with ventless technology, but it's always important to check the manufacturer's guidelines and local regulations to ensure proper installation and operation.
Do commercial bakeries use convection ovens?
Absolutely, convection ovens are a common sight in commercial bakeries. Convection ovens circulate heated air around the food, ensuring uniform baking and browning.
This is particularly important for baked goods, where even cooking is key.
Furthermore, convection ovens can handle multiple baking trays at once, increasing productivity—a critical factor in commercial settings.
However, the specific type of oven used can vary depending on the nature and volume of the products.
Where can I find commercial convection ovens for sale?
If you are looking for commercial convection ovens for sale, there are several good options at your disposal.
Many restaurant supply stores carry a wide range of models, catering to different needs and budgets.
Additionally, numerous online retailers also offer a vast selection of compact commercial convection ovens.
Manufacturer websites are also a dependable source.
Trade shows and industry events can be great places to see the latest models and talk directly with manufacturers.
However, if you want to rent or lease a top-quality commercial convection oven, check our collection on the website for the best deals.
Commercial convection oven glossary
This refers to the casing that houses the convection fan, typically situated on the back wall of the oven’s chamber.
This is the fan positioned on the back wall of the oven, responsible for distributing hot air uniformly throughout the oven's interior, facilitating multi-level cooking, and minimizing temperature inconsistencies for more uniform and consistent outcomes.
A convection oven may have one or more fans.
This is a rectangular electrical component of the ignition system that generates the initial spark required to ignite the gas burners.
Gastronorm (GN) refers to a European standard that dictates the size of professional kitchen containers.
This is a conductive component that produces heat within the oven's interior. Convection ovens may contain one or multiple heating elements.
This is a tiny gas flame that stays continuously lit in gas-powered convection ovens and immediately lights the larger burners when gas flows over it.
A thermostat is a temperature-responsive sensor that controls the oven's interior temperature by switching the heating elements on and off, ensuring the precise temperature selected is maintained.
Present only in certain convection oven models, a warming drawer is found at the bottom of the oven and is utilized to keep food warm.
Keep your cash, use ours!
Hospitality equipment can be expensive and paying for it outright can put pressure on your business’s cash flow.
Our finance solutions allow you to get the equipment you want now and to pay for it in small, regular amounts out of the revenue it helps generates.
Rent–Try–Buy® not only helps you maintain your cash flow, it also gives you unrivaled flexibility to adapt your equipment to the changing needs of your business.
You can upgrade or buy the equipment at any time or, after 12 months, return or continue renting it.
If you decide to buy the equipment, we’ll give you back 60% of the net rent you paid in the first year and 2% of any rental payments thereafter — to put toward the purchase price.