5 Tips for Maintaining a Commercial Convection Oven

Maintaining a commercial convection oven isn't particularly complicated, but you should keep certain things in mind.

By Kinnek Knowledge Team  |  June 09, 2018

If you are a food service establishment operating a commercial convection oven — or if you’re simply considering the purchase of a new commercial convection oven — then you may be wondering how best to ensure that the oven operates at peak efficiency.  Convection ovens are uniquely effective at quick and efficient cooking.  Convection ovens (on average) tend to cook nearly 30 percent faster than traditional ovens, and use less energy in doing so as well.  Of course, these advantages will be lost if you do not properly maintain the oven.

Consider the following tips.

Ensure that the Oven Door is Properly Sealed

Oftentimes, food service establishments fail to inspect the oven door for faults.  The value of convection ovens depends on their cooking efficiency and energy efficiency — as is often the case, restaurants typically purchase convection ovens due to their substantial production needs during peak service.  If the oven door is not properly sealed, however, then you may lose out on these benefits.

Ovens doors should be regularly inspected for spaces, loose hinges, and cracks.  If you find one and it is not a minor fix, then you may want to get in touch with your vendor (or with directly with the manufacturer), assuming that the warranty is still in effect.  Alternatively, if you are on a tight schedule, you may find third-party service companies who can perform the repair task within one or two workdays.

The Intake Fan Could Be a Potential Source of Issues

Convection ovens have intake fans that can become a potential source of technical issues if you’re not careful.  When the oven has not been properly cleaned and maintained, the intake fan function can be negatively affected by presence of particulate matter, so make sure to take the time to fully clean the fan and clear it of any remnant debris.  It’s also worth inspecting the fan (and its various connected parts) for faults.  If the fan is not operating as it should, that can have a substantial influence on oven effectiveness.

Clean the Oven Daily

Commercial convection ovens should be cleaned daily — if you intend for your oven to last for a long time, and to perform as intended, then this is a non-negotiable thing.  You must train your employees to clean the oven at the end of service.  This daily oven maintenance entails removal and separate cleaning of the oven racks, brushing and scrubbing away stuck food debris, using compatible chemical cleaners for heavy-duty particulate matter and grease, and more.

If the oven is effected by severe food spillage during service, it may be necessary to clean the oven during service to avoid causing further damage.  Make sure to train your employees to identify “emergency situations” and to handle such issues as soon as they appear.

Perform Regular Performance Checkups

Generally speaking, your employees will begin to notice when things go awry — performance issues could lead to undercooked food, and it may take longer for your employees to get food out of the kitchen.  Sometimes, however, performance deterioration is not easily recognizable without data.  In high-volume commercial kitchens, it has become increasingly common for data on cooking times to be recorded so that they can be used as a reference point for later performance checkups.  If cooking times trend upwards, for example, then you will be in a great position to pre-empt any issues and conduct a more thorough inspection.

Consider Hiring an Equipment Service Company

Though many convection oven maintenance issues can be handled in-house, it can be beneficial to have your commercial equipment inspected and maintained by a third-party service company.  In many cases, food service establishments conduct daily cleaning and inspections on their own, and hire a third-party service company to handle more thorough inspections and maintenance every six months or every year.

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