Welcome to the world of combi ovens, where the art of cooking meets cutting-edge technology. Say goodbye to the days of multiple chunky appliances cluttering your benchtops because these innovative appliances are ready to revolutionise your cooking experience and immerse you in everyday luxury.
With immense versatility and advanced controls, these appliances are vastly different from ordinary ovens; they’re cooking powerhouses that combine the best of convection heating, steaming, and even microwaving.
In this article, we’ll share insight into their many functions, explore their different uses, and evaluate the advantages and potential drawbacks they bring to your kitchen. By the end, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to decide whether to invest in a combi oven for your kitchen.
What Is A Combi Oven?
A combi (or combination) oven is an innovative form of oven that combines convection heating (the type of fan-forced heating in traditional ovens) with either steaming or microwaving in a single appliance. Whether you opt for a combi-steam oven or a combi-microwave oven, you’ll open up a range of opportunities within one appliance.
If you’re after perfectly tender roast meats, delicate fish fillets cooked to perfection or masterfully poached eggs in the morning, these powerful machines can do it all. The single click of a button allows you to effortlessly roast, poach, steam, grill, bake, shallow fry and even smoke food, ensuring it retains its moisture, flavour and nutrients in a way that traditional ovens cannot achieve.
The magic lies in its ability to seamlessly switch between different cooking modes. It uses convection heating to circulate hot air evenly to ensure uniform cooking, while steaming adds moisture and humidity to the oven, ensuring the food preserves its natural colours and nutrients. And when you’re after speed and convenience, the microwave function allows you to quickly reheat your food. With a combi oven, you can unleash your creativity, explore new recipes, and impress your guests with culinary masterpieces with just one remarkable appliance.
Models and Sizing of Combi Ovens
A wide range of combi-oven models are available on the market, with a number of manufacturers producing quality varieties to suit your kitchen design and cooking needs. Both benchtop and built-in models are available, though the latter are typically preferred as a result of their integration and ability to de-clutter your precious benchtop space. Integrated varieties also offer a sleek and clean aesthetic, providing the clean lines and seamless appeal common to many luxurious kitchens.
Commonly available in 45cm and 60cm sizes, combi ovens offer the user great flexibility, allowing them to select a variety that fits into different kitchen spaces. Smaller 45cm models are an ideal choice for compact kitchens and apartment living, and despite their smaller footprint, they don’t compromise on functionality and still offer deceptively large cooking capacity. However, if you have a larger kitchen or frequently entertain guests, the 60cm combi oven is a fantastic option. With an expanded cooking capacity, you can easily cook multiple dishes in a short space of time, giving you the versatility and space you need to unleash your culinary skills.
Many luxury manufacturers have released quality variations with features unique to their brands, including V-Zug, Miele, Gaggenau, and Wolf. The combi ovens offered by each of these appliance specialists are highly regarded for their exceptional quality and performance, combining exquisite design with innovative features to enhance your cooking experience. Whether you opt for a sleek built-in model that seamlessly integrates into your kitchen cabinetry or choose a compact yet powerful benchtop option, combi ovens offer a perfect blend of style and functionality.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Combi Ovens
Combi ovens offer a myriad of advantages that make them an enticing addition to any kitchen. Firstly, they provide endless methods of cooking, transitioning between convection heating, steaming, and microwaving to cater to a wide range of culinary needs. Plus, their compact size makes them the ideal space-saver that’s perfect for all kitchens, including those with limited space.
These quality appliances also benefit from generous cooking capacities, allowing you to prepare multiple dishes simultaneously without compromising on taste or quality. Combi ovens excel in the retention of moisture, nutrients, and the natural colour of food, allowing you to enjoy succulent and great-tasting dishes.
Depending on the variation, combi ovens may also be 25% – 30% quicker than traditional ovens, reducing cooking times and saving precious minutes in the kitchen. Their advanced technology minimises the shrinkage of meats, and also contributes to lower energy usage, making them more eco-friendly than their traditional counterparts. They also prevent cross-contamination of smells and tastes, allowing you to cook different dishes simultaneously without worrying about flavour transfer.
But despite these many advantages, there are a few drawbacks to consider. Some users may initially find it difficult to use the various functions and settings effectively. Additionally, regular cleaning, including descaling for certain models, is required to maintain optimal performance. It’s also important to remember that the cost of combi ovens is generally higher than that of traditional ovens, but this is a result of their advanced technology and the versatility they offer the user. Furthermore, models with a steam compartment require regular refilling unless you opt for a plumbed-in model.
The advantages of combi ovens far outweigh their drawbacks, and with proper understanding and maintenance, they can elevate your cooking experience to new heights.
The Ideal Time to Install a Combi Oven
Timing is key when it comes to installing a combi oven in your kitchen. If you’re planning a kitchen renovation or a new build, it’s the perfect opportunity to incorporate a combi oven into your design. By doing so, you can optimise the space and layout to accommodate the specific requirements of a combi oven.
Retrofitting a combi oven into an existing oven space can be challenging and often requires modifications to the cabinetry and electrical or plumbing systems, depending on the type of combi oven you choose. Plus, most combi-steam ovens require a water and drain connection, which can be difficult to retrofit in existing kitchens.
And don’t forget, a combi oven can also function as a microwave, helping you further declutter your benchtops and achieve a clean, seamless aesthetic in your kitchen. Keep this in mind when designing your kitchen, as you won’t need to dedicate any space to a separate microwave. As a result, it’s far simpler and more cost-effective to integrate a combi-microwave oven into a kitchen renovation or new design where greater flexibility and scope for customisation are possible.
Integrate a Combi Oven into Your New Kitchen Design with Dan Kitchens
The built-in combi oven is a culinary masterpiece that brings together the best of convection heating, steaming, and microwaving in a single appliance. Its versatility, space-saving design, and ability to retain moisture and nutrients make it a must-have for any luxury kitchen. While retrofitting can be challenging, planning ahead during a kitchen renovation or new build ensures seamless integration. So, why wait? Embrace the luxury and convenience of a combi oven, integrate a quality variation into your new kitchen design with Dan Kitchens, and unlock a world of culinary possibilities.