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  1. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by happytechguy View Post
    Remember when Henny Penny re-badged the Rationals as a Henny Penny? At that time, HP tech help on those same ovens was better than Rational...
    Ya know...it seems that I may have seen those in some Krogers when we did their warranty years ago. However, my working on ANY combi other than Groens left me kinda out in the cold on anyone else's. I believe you though. I think I saw TWO Cleveland ConvoTherms ever - and I was trained TWICE on them in that same five year period.

    I had exactly ONE experience with a MARKET FORGE-badged oven. I think it as made by FAGOR. I was NOT impressed. Neither were the the folks that owned it.


    "You never know what others don't know." -

    If I can't laugh at myself...then I'll laugh at YOU! -

  2. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by happytechguy View Post
    What about something like a Baxter/Hobart rack oven? Trolly is rolled in, lifted and spun, has water injection to create steam...?

    Remember when Henny Penny re-badged the Rationals as a Henny Penny? At that time, HP tech help on those same ovens was better than Rational...
    The OV500 has steam option. Comes in double rack and single rack.

    Also Baxter makes a deck oven that has steam option.

    Both ovens are standard equipment at Panera Bread

  3. #16
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    [...]
    >Also Baxter makes a deck oven that has steam option.

    The steam options offered by rotary rack and deck ovens are generally "one-shot" steam injection, most commonly used to finish breads- gives them a hard glossy crust. They are not designed to provide continious steam.

    You'd be hard-pressed to steam off a few hotel pans of white rice at 213 degrees in a deck oven...

  4. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadBozo2315 View Post
    [...]
    >Also Baxter makes a deck oven that has steam option.

    The steam options offered by rotary rack and deck ovens are generally "one-shot" steam injection, most commonly used to finish breads- gives them a hard glossy crust. They are not designed to provide continious steam.

    You'd be hard-pressed to steam off a few hotel pans of white rice at 213 degrees in a deck oven...
    I did not know that. Thanks!

  5. #18
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    >I did not know that. Thanks!

    That's why a lot of us are here. While I may have my "issues" from time-to-time , a lot of us here have seen and done a lot. I would hope our discussions here would be read by the new folks coming into the trade. You can learn a lot if you spend a little time around these pages.

    It would warm the very cockles of my heart to see folks learning about things by reading rather than tearing your hair out at 11pm on a weekend emergency callout to repair something you've never seen.

    Hey! Anyone want to start a sort of pre-school for foodservice trade evaluation and training?

    We'd advertise in the regional papers etc, get like a hundred bodies to come in, throw a few tests the first day to eliminate the hopeless, then do a day of intensive on each of the basics- electric, gas, steam. Then a few days of intensive specific training on ovens, fryers, grills, etc.

    Then to really test em, we set up a McDonalds style front fryer vat, put a dozen beeping whatnots all around them, with people dropping hot oil over their heads, sitting a scrap of cardboard in a puddle of water in a 95 degree kitchen, and have them troubleshoot a badly maintained 15 year-old fryer bank.

    Anyone who makes it past that gets forwarded to the service company's HR department.

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  7. #19
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    Don't tell them ALL the PERKS of the job! They will ALL want in!!!

  8. #20
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    Steer clear of unox!

    There are really only two choices for large banquet kitchens. Alto shaam or rational. In terms of rational, if you have an SCC. The sccwe are extremely similar, but quite a bit more cramped. Quite a few parts are interchangeable between the two. Which means overhead on stocked parts stays low.
    Almost all the changes from rational on the SCCwe is addition of reversing fan, better cleaning (virtually no scale issues), and user control panel changes.

    Now I know you guys are thinking alto shaam? Is this guy nuts?

    Not really. The newest CTP ovens from alto shaam are a complete 360 from their older ovens. The CTP is a hell of a lot less complicated than a rational on terms of parts. Completely redesigned the oven.

    Water requirements are high with this oven. Most of the time they want an RO system on them.

    Gas system is all new. Only issues we have seen have to do with gas system hot surface ignition.

    You can use either chemcial from alto in the dishwasher packets or use liquid chemical from ecolab I believe.

    I was talking to a rep about this oven and he said that in terms of the esg and CTP in some test locations the CTP had only a couple issues whereas the esg was weekly issues in a year.

    There's a ton of small changes they've done with the oven that I won't go into detail. But these guys really did their homework.

    The only real complaint i have with the oven is that cost of parts are high! 2-3x versus rational similar parts.

  9. #21
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    Thanks for the feedback, Protocol. I haven't had a chance to research and compose my recommendation. It was upon my own ambition to do so, but other priorities have ensued.

    What little research I did do, the choices for replacing the 202s could be Rational (SCCWE or CMP lines), Alto Shaam (Combitherm), Electrolux (NO!), Cleveland (Convotherm), Unox, Hobart and Blodgett. The 20x2/1 GN size designation isn't delineated by a few of those, so I'm not certain if the Hobart or Blodgett size up to that.

    There are other, lesser-known brands available from across the pond. Yet, I don't want to be dealing with our being another test site for determining the success or failure of the equipment. I want parts support, tech support if needed and something made by someone that's proven its durability over the long haul.

    From what I've gathered here, it looks like I REALLY want to tell them to steer clear of a spritz ("water-injection" or "boiler-free") because water quality appears to be even MORE critical in those units. Installing RO treatment systems isn't an option. So, with scale now in the cooking cabinet (on the blower wheels, elements, cabinet walls and in the food), it would require frequent and special cleaning.

    I can delime boilers all day. Scale in boilers is containerized (in a matter of speaking) and doing no harm unless it's neglected. On the other hand, I'm not fond of how I had to go about dealing with scale all over the inside of the cabinet like I did once (that aforementioned Rational CM). It seems to me that abating that scale issue in a spritz system would require much more frequent attention. From there, that task will fall upon our crew at this place, since the Chefs/cooks don't clean squat and out night cleaning crew (UH...NO!) is proven to be wholly unqualified by virtue of what they ALREADY do to break our equipment nightly.


    "You never know what others don't know." -

    If I can't laugh at myself...then I'll laugh at YOU! -

  10. #22
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    If cleaning is an issue then the rational is the best choice. The oven records every little piece of data. This means for us techs we can go back on our cleaning staff,chefs, and bean counters with proof if they are misusing the oven in some way.

  11. #23
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    The hobart combi is Italian FYI

  12. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by beachtech View Post
    The hobart combi is Italian FYI
    Doesn't surprise me. Only in the last month did I discover a continuous-feed food processor we have that's made by a Swedish company called "Hallde" - has a Hobart twin brother on the other end of our property. The Hobart manual actually divulges the fact that it's made by Hallde.

    Funny about that too is that a website I found today selling the Hobart combi...specifically advertise it as being made in the U.S.

    Other than Groen, I don't know who else makes their own combi-ovens here in the states. Like I said before though, that market seems to have rejuvenated and really flourished in the past decade.

    I'm putting together a product comparison chart on combi-ovens to throw at the Chefs. All 20x2/1 GN sizes that have a strong presence in the U.S. Basically, they have trolleys that accommodate 40 hotel/steam pans (whatever) and 20 twenty sheet pans (I KNOW those. I lay on those allot).

    UNOX is included, although I don't see squat for parts availability. So, my list includes Unox, Hobart, Blodgett, Rational, Cleveland, Alto-Shaam & Eloma too. Others I'll not include because of their foreign-ness (Zanussi, Angelo Pro, Retigo, Lainox) or because they're horribly expensive and other reasons (Electrolux [a definitive "NO!"] & Henny Penny [I know nothing about them]). Groen doesn't make a unit that big.

    Opinions about Cleveland Convotherm 4 units?


    "You never know what others don't know." -

    If I can't laugh at myself...then I'll laugh at YOU! -

  13. #25
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    Well, I did my part and went way beyond my call of duty.

    I did MUCH research. I brooded over manufacturer's websites, brochures and spec sheets. I read numerous on-line food equipment oriented magazine articles. I read service bulletins. I perused equipment manuals. I made phone calls. I even used a court document I found on the internet for some tidbits of information.

    From all that effort, I composed a tailor-made twelve-page document covering the newest combi-oven features, blurps on each of several oven manufacturer's history along with their U.S. market presence. I highlighted product support availability for those ovens as was found from researching several major parts distributors. Tech support was also a mentionable factor (for the sake of European equipment). I expounded on the concerns for the different style of water treatment system than we currently use that we must purchase and maintain to accommodate the boilerless version of combi-ovens.

    I also composed a spreadsheet comparing the features of sixteen models of combi-ovens - with prices. Beyond the ovens listed in my comparison chart, I offered names of numerous OTHER combi-oven manufacturers to consider.

    If that wasn't enough, I provided brochures and spec sheets on each of the ovens I listed on my spreadsheet.

    The only thing I lacked (unfortunately) was any experience in working on boilerless combis.

    I didn't interject any opinions based upon my having to work on the stuff in the future. Just facts, stats and such. I provided them an objective and fairly thorough reference guide to enable our higher up, oven-buying decision-makers plenty more education on combi-oven makes, designs and potential maintenance/repair needs before making a $150K investment towards replacing our twenty-year-old Rationals CCCs.

    This all spawned from my own ambition to provide something more than words from big-wig Exec. Chef So-and-so saying, "We used Unox ovens up in Connecticut and I r-e-a-l-l-y liked them - so let's get them HERE. Besides, they're SO much cheaper to buy!"

    Me personally? For an oven with all the bells & whistles, I'm undecided between the Alto-Shaam CTP 20.20E with boiler, retractable door and smoke feature...or the Convotherm 4 easyTouch 20.20E with boiler and disappearing door. The Rational SCCWE-202 5 Senses is tantalizing too.

    However, for a the budget-minded, no frills model, I prefer that they choose a Rational CMP-202E. I already have most of the parts to fix it.

    And...I learned allot, MYSELF. It's done now though. It was all in my head and I needed to convey it to the ones with the money (In my head?...HAH! I guess I think more than I thought I did). We'll see what they decide. Not sure when that will be.


    "You never know what others don't know." -

    If I can't laugh at myself...then I'll laugh at YOU! -

  14. #26
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    OK, the suspense is killing me.. what did they buy? Being a service agent for Cadco/Unox in our area, I can tell you they are cheaper because they are made cheaper and they are practically disposable. I would never buy one for my mother. I think your three choices between Alto-Shaam, Combi-Therm and Rational's latest are among the three best choices out there, though they each have their positives and negatives. Personally, I feel any of those would be a good choice. Rational has crazy features, but who really trains the staff and actually uses those features? Cleveland is a workhorse and U.S. tech support and AltoShaam has improved their game. I applaud your diligence, please tell me how much you need to relocate to my area and you have a guaranteed job Me? I have some fishing to do....

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