High speed ovens are still a relatively new concept in commercial foodservice as they are beginning to find their niche in various types of operations within the industry. Our goal with this month’s immersive speed oven topic featuring Amana® Commercial is to get you as well-versed as possible in not just this brand of speed ovens, but in all things speed ovens to help you find the right match for your operation.
Although this equipment might not be the best fit for every operation, having the appropriate knowledge on what they can bring to a kitchen is valuable knowledge worth having. After all, this industry is constantly evolving with changing consumer demands and having the ability to spot where speed oven technology can thrive will help you evolve with it. These space-friendly solutions pack a huge punch and are the perfect ventless solution to keep your kitchen flexible!
First, let’s set the stage with the four types of cooking energies that can be found in commercial speed ovens:
Microwave — a form of radio waves that, when contact with food, excites the water molecules within, causing them to vibrate and create heat. This delivers a cooking experience from the inside out.
Convection — think convection oven: forced air movement via a fan to heat the cavity along with the food. Not only does this deliver a solid cook through of the product, but ensures the product’s exterior is being cooked or browned, as well.
Impingement — very similar to convection technology, impingement cooking takes that same forced air concept, but with only one thing on its mind — the food. The airflow of impingement cooking technology is more directly focused on the product to better penetrate and heat the product, in turn reducing overall cook time.
Infrared — the new kid on the block in terms of cooking technology, the beauty of infrared heating is its ability to generate much higher cooking temperatures than traditional cooking technology, and to do so at a rapid rate. This is perfect for fast cooking and harnessing that crispy, browning finish.
Since there are differing benefits to each of these cooking technologies, they can be found running solo or in various combinations with one another. Depending on what your menu looks like or the volume of your operation finding the right speed oven with the appropriate combination of these heating methods can be a nightmare of a task.
We’ve broken it down into 3 tiers to make it easier on you:
Entry Level Speed Oven — Amana® Commercial ACE “Jet" Oven
If you’re a lower-volume operation, like a small coffee shop or café, and don’t need all the thrills and frills of an advanced speed oven, then this is right in your ballpark. Equipped with both microwave and convective air technology that can be utilized on their own or in conjunction with one another, the Amana® Commercial ACE speed oven offers incredible flexible cooking. Want a speed oven that can bake your baked goods in a flash? Perfect — turn of the microwave feature and off you go! Ready to serve your famous hot breakfast sandwiches to the early commuters? No problem — flip the microwave feature back on and you’ll be popping out beautiful, evenly cooked sammies with an ice-cold cold brew coffee. All at the touch of a button.
Although it may lack the offerings of the more advanced speed ovens, this more basic model still reduces training and labor. The foodservice industry is ranked among the highest in employee turnover rate, so when it comes to having to train a new employee every couple of months you want to make it as painless as possible.
Imagine being able to store 100 recipes that can be accessed with “one-touch” programmability — there’s virtually no training needed with this oven. This is as fast, efficient and user-friendly of an entry level speed oven as you can get.
Intermediate Level Speed Oven — Amana® Commercial AXP Speed Oven
Now we’re getting into a higher-volume kitchen that requires a little more out of their speed oven than your entry level recommendation. Whether you’re a convenience store pressing out hot, gourmet-style paninis or a sports stadium dishing up 14” made-to-order pizzas, this is where you want to be in terms of being able to increase your throughput and maximize your sales with a speed oven.
The Amana® Commercial AXP adds an additional heating source to the mix — infra-red radiant heat — that helps bring the finishing crisp and browning to the items that need it. The combination of convection, microwave and infrared radiant heating are a triple threat that delivers superior quality cooking all packed into a small, ventless footprint. Need some menu inspiration from a strictly ventless kitchen? Check out our ventless blog!
Advanced Level Speed Oven — Amana® Commercial ARX Speed Oven
Yeah, we know, right? How can you one-up the AXP? Here’s how:
The ARX speed oven from Amana® Commercial is everything that the AXP is, plus more…like an amazingly smooth, smartphone-like touchscreen, improved safety features and about half the footprint. By substituting the more direct forced air with the impingement heating you’ll find even faster and more precise cooking — pair that with the quick recovery features and your output will be through the roof!
This slim design is ideal for front-of-house installation in operations like bars/pubs, fast casual concepts or coffee shops to name a few. Take advantage of the slim footprint and stack two of these ovens side-by-side for the ultimate solution to your high-volume needs!
We think you’re ready to take on the hunt for the right speed oven for your business!