Ryan Tiburtini

During his five years with Clark, Ryan has progressed into project development after spending time in project engineering and project management. Having graduated from Lebanon Valley College with a degree in Accounting & Business Management, Ryan began his career as an accountant with Ernst & Young before joining the Clark team. With Clark, Ryan focuses on the senior living and healthcare industries while providing quality capital budget planning for numerous operations.

Contact Ryan Tiburtini

Getting to know high speed ovens

You may have heard some of the bold promises equipment manufacturers have been making about these high speed ovens, but they can't be possible, right?  Cooking three times faster than conventional ovens?  Five times faster?  Fifteen times faster?  Sounds crazy, but this could be the new wave of speed cuisine.  In this article we will further explain the new technologies associated with the high speed oven as well as dive into some pros and cons.  Now let's find out if your operation would benefit from this type of speed-cooking technology.

High speed ovens manufactured by Turbochef, Merrychef, and Amana innovatively combine microwave technology with convection technology to create faster cooking times with the ability to brown and crisp individual recipes.  Manufacturers have added a boost to the package through a form of focused convection. This package is called impingement cooking and radiant heat, which further speeds the cooking process.  As a result of this technology an 8oz filet mignon seared to a juicy medium will take just three minutes verse 12 minutes on a char broiler or in a standard convection oven.  Additionally, in just two minutes, cookies with a crisp exterior and moist and chewy interior are ready to be served.  And the list doesn't end there.  Pizza, hamburgers, chicken breast, French fries, Panini's, salmon, and bread can all be cooked with a standard cook time ranging from just 30 seconds to three minutes through this countertop oven.

With the small footprint of most models, you are able to position these ovens practically anywhere you would position a standard microwave (however there are exceptions based on the model selected).  Possibly the greatest feature is that this type of oven does not require a hood!  That's right, no hood!  Most models come with a UL-approved catalytic converter making them truly ventless ovens.  The attributes may seem endless however, as in all equipment, there are some pitfalls. Now let's take a look at some pros and cons:


Pros:

  • Food is cooked up to 15 times faster increasing production
  • Increased moisture retention due to concurrent cooking
  • Programmable for standard menu items, further reducing time spent on the cooking process
  • Requires less skilled labor as a result of programmability
  • More consistent menu items and food can be cooked to order
  • No hood necessary
  • No special cookware necessary


Cons:

  • Small oven cavities limit the amount of food able to be cooked at once
  • Exterior of the oven vs the interior of the cooking cavity may create a space issue on your counter
  • Multiple ovens may be necessary for high usage facilities
  • Different models do different things - understand the differences and select carefully


The combination of qualities in high speed ovens makes them especially convenient for operations that want an expanded menu of items that move at relatively low volume.  Some potentially good candidates are coffee shops, snack shops, bistros, retail grab-and-go counters, food kiosks, country kitchens, skilled care kitchens for select menus, and convenience stores.  Basically, anyplace that doesn't have access to a full service kitchen and wants to supply their customers with high quality, cooked to order food without installing a hood would be a candidate for this type of oven.  Another contender would be a kitchen that just wants additional variety and flexibility to enhance their line of equipment.

High speed ovens are capable of toasting, poaching, baking, roasting, grilling and steaming while limited only by their size.  These accelerated cooking ovens produce high quality results for most food products.  Research the best fit for you, comparing the various manufacturers, the range of options that are offered by the various models, understand the different sizes to choose from both internally and externally, and, as mentioned earlier, review the variety of technologies versus the menu items that you want to produce to make sure the products are compatible and fit in the model of the oven you have selected.  

So for those of you wanting to speed up your production and/or offer a broader range of menu items or would like an oven and don't want to install a hood, a good, high speed oven may just be the answer!  If in doubt, email [email protected] and one of our equipment specialists will assist you in reviewing the options.