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A Beginner’s Guide to Buying Commercial Ovens

In days gone by, the heart of every kitchen, home, inn or palace was its oven. Majestic fireplaces dominated every room and served multiple purposes – keeping people warm, cooking food, boiling water and disposing of waste.


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Although many of those functions have been taken over by other technologies, the oven is still the magical heart of homes and commercial kitchens. If you could only afford one quality appliance, which would you think of first?

Commercial ovens need to stand up to hard and frequent use without breaking down. An oven breakdown at home is a nuisance – at work it’s a disaster.


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A good capacity is also important, unless you plan to run several ovens at once. In fact, having two or more is a good idea. You can have ovens optimised for different kinds of dish, but at the same time they are insurance in an emergency. Take a look at a range from commercial catering suppliers such as Here are a few types to look for.

Accelerated Ovens

These combine microwave and traditional heating for fast but even cooking. A drawback is that most are smaller than other ovens.

Convection Ovens

These circulate hot air to achieve even cooking and excellent crusting. They aren’t as fast as accelerated ovens but are available in larger sizes.

Steam Ovens

A reservoir of water fills the oven with steam. Ideal for food that doesn’t need to brown but retains lots of juice and flavour. Read about how they work here:

Combination Ovens

These provide several options, such as steam and convection, in one appliance. Extra complexity can mean more maintenance and a higher price.

Pizza Ovens

The ideal pizza oven has a low ceiling and extra-dry heat. Often this is achieved with a heated stone or ceramic deck. Of course, the low ceiling limits their usefulness for other types of dishes.

Conveyor Ovens

For high-volume cooking, these use a conveyor belt so that you can continually load uncooked food into one end while serving ready dishes from the other. Best for fairly simple undemanding dishes.

Toaster Ovens

These have elements positioned to grill from top and bottom at the same time. Little ability to cook through heavy dishes unless combined into a multifunction oven. Often used as finishing ovens to brown or melt surfaces of already cooked-through dishes.