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Combi ovens


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32 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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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.

#33 MikeMac

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 05:37 PM

I have a Rational 101 oven in my house and love it. I went with a gas unit that needed 110V 15 amp plus gas and highly recommend it.

I explored the electric route the problem is Rational other than their smallest unit requires multiple phase power which is simply not available in other than newer or larger Commerical buildings.

We are on the same path I started with the Electrolux and had some great results but had trouble keeping them running and getting them serviced.

Rational is in an entirely different league with service not only fast and knowledgeable but the sales staff at least here in Canada are very accomplished chefs that know exactly what they are doing.

The only issue I know about is the servicing dealers insurance is not valid for non Commerical establishments so if we ever need service other than what I can handle an issue we need to deal with.

Rational was not recommending the install in a residential environment but at the same time the service and support I have received from Rational is far above anything else I have experienced. I have two of the Electrolux units never spoke to Electrolux considered it a huge thing just to get manuals. Absolutely no end user support . Rational on the other hand has amazing support.
Mike Macdonald Calgary

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