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Combi ovens


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31 replies to this topic

#31 JorgeA

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 04:23 AM

However, if you were to ask me to choose between my immersion circulator and my steam oven, I'd have to go with the immersion circulator.

Hi Mike,

I'm thinking about upgrading my old convection oven to a combi. I have read a lot of posts, and one of my main doubts was precisely what you mention: Does it make any sense to spend the money in a combi provided that I already have a sous-vide immersion equipment and a Thermomix which includes a steamer to cook vegetables, ...? I think it does not make sense.

I have read Modernist Cuisine and I have not seen any example where wet air is needed beside fish or vegetables low temp steam cooking. The only exception I'm aware o combi baking is bread, and in this case humidity is only needed the first 10-15 min, which can be attained putting a tray with volcánic stones in the bottom of the oven and a adding boiling water to the tray just before start baking the bread.

Does your experience confirm my impression?

#32 JoNorvelleWalker

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  • Location:New Jersey USA

Posted 28 December 2013 - 08:38 PM

I've used the countertop Electrolux combi http://tools.profess..._1_1_9JDBOU.pdf for several years (about 10?) and am less than impressed. It's not very well built for something marketed and priced as a "professional" product, it doesn't steam well at lower temperatures, the oven has worse hot spot problems than some non-convection ovens (and that convection fan can't be turned off, annoying if you're doing things like souffles), the water tray holds enough for barely an hour's worth of steam, and the timer only allows the oven to run for 2 hours before it shuts it off, so it can't do prolonged low-and-slow cooking unattended. And it's not very big; usable interior space is about 22x30cm.


On the plus side, it works well as a convection oven and holds temperature better than any other countertop oven I've used, even in the 50c-100c range, where most ovens just don't work. And it is quite portable, which combined with its ability to hold low temperatures, makes it useful for catering. And it takes standard 1/2 pans.


For a while there was a very cheap identical-looking China-made knock-off of this available from a Hong Kong supplier, but it's gone. So if you want a cheap combi, especially one that doesn't require plumbing and wiring, your options are still limited - which is why I ended up with this in the first place. The pretty Miele and Gagganeau home units aren't bigger and are a lot more expensive (at least the last I looked) and proper commercial combis like Rationals are another order of magnitude more expensive.


This is probably still too expensive for me but it sure looks interesting.  Do they make a US model?  I have a 220v converter but I doubt it would take the wattage.

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