EDITOR’S VIEW: Equipment versatility could be your biggest kitchen weapon

Andrew Seymour grayscale

With restaurant operators looking to make the most of their equipment estate throughout the different day-parts, flexibility and agility of kitchen appliances has become a key priority for a lot of companies.

Pieces of equipment that can do more than one function well tend to be held in high regard in today’s market place. One item of kit that most certainly fits this description is the combination oven.

Manufacturers of these appliances — of which there are plenty — have long talked up the flexibility of their appliances and it seems more and more customers are sitting up and taking notice.

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And as more operators look to maximise their investments, there is a strong appetite to embrace more unconventional cooking techniques.

There is a large range of processes besides roasting, baking and steaming that a combi can help a chef to execute, and you only have to look at the increased demand for new combi oven accessories for proof that chefs are becoming more inventive in the way they use this equipment to prepare dishes.

Electrolux Professional, for instance, recently said it has been expanding a range of accessories for its air-o-steam Touchline combi, which will allow chefs to carry out the new techniques cropping up across the restaurant sector. This includes everything from ridged griddles for authentic grilling to volcano smokers and sous vide attachments.

Other manufacturers are reporting similar trends as operators demonstrate their desire to take food to the next level.

Combi ovens are constantly being reviewed and developed, with new features and functions being introduced all the time through software updates.

The opportunity for chefs to exploit the versatility that modern cooking technology offers could provide a significant boost to operators at a time when capital expenditure and longevity of equipment remains firmly under the spotlight.

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