Many Canadians restaurant chains, hotels, hospitals, (and prisons!) depend on a commercial convection steamer to get the job done. Cooking with a commercial steamer is not only efficient and easy, but it's also healthy: instead of using oils and fats, you're just cooking with water! And the process is actually going to retain the foods nutrients and pleasing colours more than other cooking methods. So whether you're cooking vegetables, seafood, or other proteins, a convection steamer will be able to do the trick.
When deciding which convection steamer is best for your restaurant, you first need to decide if you want the machine on your floor or countertop. This usually comes down to the space requirements in your kitchen, and also the demands of your establishment. Larger, floor-model machines can usually accept more pans, so you'll be able to cook more food an hour. (Just a sidenote: Instead of listing all the different capacities in the products' titles, just click on the product your interested in, and on the product page you'll find the different pan capacities and options offered.)
One other consideration when picking a commercial convection steamer: you can go with a standard machine that has a boiler, or you can choose a machine that is boilerless. A boilerless machine is going to work by having a pan of water that will be heated, or a device will spray water onto a hot metal surface. Either way, a boilerless machine is going to give you a wetter heat, so it's going to take you a bit longer to cook. Generally speaking, boilerless machines would be used in establishments that have lower-volume demands for their steamer. But these machines require less maintenance than a boiler-based machine. And it's possible to order them connection-less, so they're super easy to install and don't require a water or drain connection. Alternatively, a boiler-based convection oven is the standard. These are well-suited for higher volume commercial kitchens.
Some other things to consider when you're shopping for a convection steamer: items that are Energy Star certified won't just save the environment, but they're also going to be saving you big bucks over the long haul! They will use drastically less water and energy than non-energy star machines, so it can really be a great investment. Vulcan machines also have "PowerSteam" options, which super-heats the steam, so that you can drastically reduce the amount of time to cook your food.
There are plenty of other consideration when trying to find the best commercial convection oven. Like, do you want gas or electric? Or what size steamer do you really need? If you're feeling a tad uncertain about this, we'd always love to chat. So send us an email or give us a ring, and we can help you out!