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5 common problems with commercial ovens

5 common problems with commercial ovens

Commercial ovens are crucial pieces of equipment in any food service business. Without them, you simply can’t provide most of the products you advertise; it can be life or death for the operation.

That’s what makes this industry both exciting and nerve-racking – so much hangs in the balance in order for restaurants to deliver the perfect dining experience.

Thankfully, most of the stress associated with commercial kitchen equipment potentially breaking down can be alleviated if you’re aware of the common signs that indicate an oven which might be on its way out.

1. It won’t heat up

This, thankfully, is a very easy one to spot, although in a busy kitchen, it’s easy to miss this vital check before it’s too late.

Checking oven temperature might be ‘lesson 101’ in a commercial kitchen, but this is why looking beyond the dial and ensuring there is actually heat present is so important. If one of your ovens consistently fails to heat up, the thermostat might be on the way out.

2. No or intermittent power

Are you having to bash the oven each time to get it to turn on? Are kitchen staff forever swapping the plug to get power to it?

We’re all human, and most of us have done this at some stage, but if a piece of equipment appears unwilling to turn itself on consistently or flat-out refuses to do so, get a repair expert in. When it comes to an oven, the thermal fuse might be faulty, which is usually a simple fix.

3. Uneven cooking

This is harder to spot, but diligent kitchens should always be on the case of unevenly cooked food (not least because the potential side effects can be very damaging indeed).

If toasting is uneven, or other dishes appear to be warmer on the outside than they are in the middle, the thermostat is probably to blame. The root cause is often faulty temperature sensors and heating elements, but some ovens have thermostats with capillaries that clip the bulb into place – if badly placed, food will cook unevenly.

4. Correct temperature isn’t always reached

Again, this is another one that’s a little tricky to spot, but also indicates how important it is for kitchen staff to regularly check the temperature of ovens.

If an oven has problems with its temperature sensor, the result is often an inability to reach the correct temperature. In some instances, ovens will reach it but fail to maintain it consistently.

This will also manifest itself in uneven cooking, and unpredictable cooking times – not only slowing down the operation but potentially resulting in food that is undercooked.

5. Pilot light won’t stay on

If your commercial oven has a pilot light that doesn’t stay on, there’s definitely something amiss!

This could be a dodgy safety valve or thermocouple – both can cause the oven’s pilot light to continually switch itself off.

If you’ve experienced this with an oven, it’s best to get in a professional repairer to take a proper look, and do so as quickly as possible.

Wrapping up

The good news is the majority of the repairs above are relatively straightforward and shouldn’t break the bank – nor should they require a complete oven replacement.

Commercial ovens are thankfully very robust, and if you keep a keen eye on their performance, you’ll avoid running into any serious issues that hamper your ability to deliver a great service.

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