The modern combination oven is a sophisticated and versatile tool. Models such as the Lincat Opus SelfCooking Center are capable of so much more than just roasting or steaming. Here are ten uses for a combi-steamer which might not be immediately obvious – and also a couple of things you should NEVER, EVER try…
- Grilling – because humidity levels can be accurately controlled, it is possible to grill steaks and produce full English breakfasts. You can even chargrill using an optional oven grid which imparts authentic char marks to meat products.
- Pan Frying – advanced temperature and humidity control systems allow you to prepare pan fried dishes, such as trout, without even needing to turn the product during cooking.
- Toasting – again, efficient removal of excess moisture allows you to toast with crisp results. As well as bread and teacakes, you can also toast coconut, nuts, and a whole host of other ingredients, for patisserie work.
- Regeneration – many chefs will steer clear of regeneration, having suffered recurring nightmares of the dried out or soggy food of the past. But the unique Finishing mode in Lincat Opus SelfCooking Centers brings pre-cooked food back to perfect serving condition. Inbuilt automatic monitoring means that this mode can be used for plated banquets, a la carte dishes and also bulk food production in GN containers.
- Poaching – being able to combine steam with low temperatures (30°C – 99°C) enables you to gently poach fish, fruit, etc.
- Proving – precise control of both temperature and humidity means that a Lincat Opus SelfCooking Center can be used as an effective prover for bread and other yeast products.
- Overnight Cooking – fully automatic control means that food products can be cooked to perfection overnight, totally unsupervised. Slow roasting minimises shrinkage and produces a wonderfully succulent and tender result. Lincat have a Delta-T mode, which is perfect for cooking cured meats such as hams.
- Frying – deep-frying in a combi oven? Absolutely. Again, accurate control of temperature and humidity, together with a Lincat special CombiFry basket, allows bulk production of fried potato and breaded products – and with minimal oil, which is an obvious added benefit in these health conscious times.
- Drying – removal of excess humidity and gentle air circulation means that the Opus SelfCooking Center can be used to dry meringues, fruit slices, tomatoes, etc.
- Hog Roasts – using the optional spit attachment, whole pigs or lambs can be roasted.
There are some things, however, that are impossible even in an Opus SelfCooking Center. That’s not to say that one or two of Lincat’s more “imaginative” customers have not tried. One attempted to clean the pan supports from his six-burner range using the Lincat CleanJet self-cleaning function.
Another tried to use it as a clothes dryer – to dry out his tea towels. Our favourite, though, was the chap who placed a pan of lit oak shavings in the bottom of the cooking chamber, intending to impart a delicate smoked flavour to his meat. Unfortunately he forgot about the fan, which whipped ash to every corner of the oven.