Rational: The appliance of cooking intelligence

Rational products

In 1976 Rational invented the combi oven, revolutionising the way commercial kitchens work and setting the standard for the industry.

In order to meet its aim of creating the best equipment for cooking, Rational continuously improves its products, creating innovative solutions that have transformed the company into a global market and technology leader.

It can achieve this because Rational is a chef’s company. Not only do its support programmes provide constant feedback on how the equipment is actually used, but of 2,200 staff worldwide, over 500 are chefs.

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With more than one million Rational cooking systems on the market there is an unrivalled pool of expertise to tap.

Rational’s cooking systems deliver a commercial kitchen’s complete thermal cooking solutions. They replace a large range of cooking appliances and replicate a huge range of cooking processes while saving space and reducing cooking times and energy consumption.

The iCombi Pro and iCombi Classic combi steamers and the iVario Pro are the latest generation of Rational cooking systems and contribute significant advances in productivity, efficiency and ease of use on their predecessors.

With the new iCombi Pro, Rational redesigned the combi steamer from the ground up, incorporating a range of innovations that deliver 50% higher productivity while reducing cooking times and energy consumption by 10% compared to its predecessor.

Similarly, the new iVario Pro refines the original VarioCookingCenter to deliver 20% additional searing capacity and maintenance-free pressure cooking that is up to 35% faster than cooking without pressure, while reducing connected load compared to the previous version.

The key to achieving this performance is Rational’s advanced controls. Programmed via an intuitive touchscreen interface, both systems contain databases of recipes and advanced sensors to monitor and adjust cooking times, as well as informing operators of any actions to be taken.

The iCombi Pro includes four intelligent assistants that control every aspect of operation. This makes it simple to cook different products at the same time, as well as managing when they are ready. The cleaning system provides a fast 12 minute interim clean that reduces downtime between loads as well as calculating the optimum overnight clean at the end of the day.

The iVario Pro includes iZoneControl, which lets users define different heat zones in the pans. The iVarioboost heating system uses ceramic heating elements and advanced energy management systems to give not just quick heating times – only 2.5 minutes to get up to searing temperature – but the power it needs to handle large quantities of product without missing a beat.

Rational’s ConnectedCooking network management system enables operators to customise recipes and cleaning schedules as well as providing comprehensive operating data, including HACCP.

It also allows service personnel and managers to monitor the operation of the cooking system, and will send an alert should anything be required.

This combination of technologies – the iCombi Pro, iVario Pro and ConnectedCooking – is what Rational calls iKitchen, because it delivers the total cooking solution for the modern commercial kitchen.

Rational also applies an innovative approach to customer support and training.  The company has a comprehensive range of support materials online, including video tutorials on topics such as operation, maintenance and recipe ideas.

Rational’s training app allows staff to access this information whenever needed, making it great for beginners or top-up training.

Live online: check out Rational’s most advanced cooking systems ever

Rational UK has launched interactive online events that allow foodservice operators to experience the company’s most advanced combi steamer, the iCombi Pro, and the new iVario cooking system.

Rational Live online events are hosted by Rational expert hosts who can be quizzed at any time during the session, to get specialist information and cooking solutions about particular needs and menus.

Rational’s Live online programme is produced in the UK by Rational chefs and features fresh new UK-specific content.

The focus is on the advanced cooking intelligence of the iCombi Pro and the iVario, showing how they can enhance productivity, creativity, consistency and functionality.

The expert chefs show how Rational’s innovative, interactive technologies work with the chef to deliver high quality and consistent cooking results.

Each Rational Live online lasts about 45 minutes and they are accessible via PC, tablet or mobile phone.  They are free to attend and can be booked at

RATIONAL is the leading provider in hot food preparation equipment.  For information and brochures, or to find out about free Rational Live demonstrations, call +44 (0)1582 480388, freephone 0800 389 2944 or visit

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Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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