COMBO COOKING

These days, food retailers want space-saving efficiency and simplicity in their cooking appliances, which helps them use labor more effectively. To that end, one of the most versatile types of equipment is the combitech oven, which is a combination of convection oven and steamer.tailer has been gradually using more of the Combitherm's features. "We are using the time delays more, and we continue to

These days, food retailers want space-saving efficiency and simplicity in their cooking appliances, which helps them use labor more effectively. To that end, one of the most versatile types of equipment is the combitech oven, which is a combination of convection oven and steamer.

tailer has been gradually using more of the Combitherm's features. "We are using the time delays more, and we continue to program new items into the equipment," he said. "The benefits include reliability, ease of use, quality of product, and the boilerless technology helps to reduce maintenance costs."

Another Combitherm user is Grasch's Market, Brookfield, Wis., which uses the 10-10 and 10-20 Gas models. Owner Bob Grasch said he was looking for versatility, flexibility, quick cooking and ease of cleanup. "The boilerless technology is particularly good because we had many problems with the previous equipment involving the water filtering," he said.

Henny Penny Corp., Eaton, Ohio, introduced a new cooking system in May that aims to go beyond traditional combitech ovens. "We performed a market research project earlier this year and found that most, if not all, supermarket operators wanted to save on labor and related training," said Tim Kasler, marketing manager, Henny Penny. "They also wanted equipment that is versatile enough to replace existing equipment and save on floor space. Another trend is increasing the breadth of the supermarket deli's hot-food menu, giving their customers more meal options, vs. going to fast-food restaurants."

Kasler said its SmartCooking System is a workhorse in supermarket delis that can replace ovens, grills and steamers. "The SmartCooking System cooks approximately 15% faster than standard combitech ovens on the market," he said, ascribing that primarily to a fan design that produces "superior cooking cabinet airflow."