Combi oven for home use

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by Ben Feng, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. Ben Feng

    Ben Feng

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    Hey guys.
    Looking to get a quality combi oven for home.
    We do a fair bit of cooking, especially a variety of meats, seafood, deserts etc and love trying new foods and cooking methods.
    We cook for friends and family about once week (10-30 people).
    Happy to spend say $10K on a decent combi, but question is what would you recommend?

    Love the Rational SCC XS or the next larger model, which there's a couple options available of ex-demo or 2nd hand models for $7-10K. Massive fan of maximum control of variables and automation that it offers.

    Comments on 2nd hand or ex-demo Rationals?
    Any recommendations in general for this application?
    Many thanks for your help!!
     
  2. Pat Pat

    Pat Pat

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    The Rational XS seems to be the most awesome choice but you may need to cook in batches to feed 30 people.

    I personally wouldn't go with the secondhand. I bought the larger units first hand and already I don't find them to be perfectly functional. I can't imagine what state the secondhand would be in.
     
  3. Ben Feng

    Ben Feng

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    Thanks Pat Pat
    Wondering about the 61 model for better size.
    What do you (or anyone else out there) find fails in older Rational models?
     
  4. Gastrophysics

    Gastrophysics

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    These things are costly to repair. If the 2nd hand or ex-demo doesn't come with a warranty, you may end up in trouble. Once working after transport & installation, I understand it most likely will work forever if used in a home/light setting.

    My XS for home use is scheduled to arrive in two weeks, i might have more info later. We cook for 8-10 people max.
     
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  5. Pat Pat

    Pat Pat

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    Nothing that the newer models fix. There're little annoying things that have been there since 2004.

    Performance-wise, new or old, they're all great.
     
  6. Ben Feng

    Ben Feng

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    Thanks guys.
    Another question for you: do you think a 61 model Rational combi (electric) requires a rangehood/extraction in a home kitchen? Kitchen is fairly open and spacious, with 2.7m ceiling. Trying to work out best extraction options without it looking ridiculously ugly!
     
  7. Pat Pat

    Pat Pat

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    You totally need the hood, unless your kitchen is open open like it has no walls or has a door that can open to the outside of the house.

    The sale rep told me I didn't need any hood when I bought mine and just during the installation testing, my whole kitchen was filled with so much steam that the visibility dropped to like 3 feet max.

    Since I couldn't install a proper hood due to some restrictions, I ended up having to connect a pipe to the steam vent and vent that through the wall instead.

    Now I still have problems with excessive smoke when making high-temp roasts, but I don't do those often so I can live with it for now.

    In conclusion, to be able to use your oven to its fullest potential, you need a hood. But if you're just going to baking cakes and cookies all day, then the hood is not required.
     
  8. Gastrophysics

    Gastrophysics

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    So, how did you decide? We got our XS last week and its pretty big for a home kitchen. And yes, we got an Ultravent hood to go with it :)
    The 61 must be huge! Also, the 61 requires a 11kW power feed...
     
  9. Ben Feng

    Ben Feng

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    Still haven't decided, but after doing some mockups last week on photoshop of what the kitchen would look like with a 61 installed, we decided it was a bit ridiculous! With an Ultravent, it's one massive in-your-face contraption that looks somewhat out of proportion to other stuff around it...

    Sooo... we're now thinking the XS would be better. Problem is that I can get a 12 month old 61 model for cheaper than an XS demo, so I'm just trying to persuade myself it's worth paying the extra for a smaller oven. XS will be 5 Senses model and a lot newer obviously (and a lot less install hassle - no holes in walls required)

    Other consideration is the hood for the XS - tossing up getting either the XS Ultravent or making my own. I was hoping to be able to do some light smoking in there, which I don't believe you can do with the Ultravent as it doesn't have a connection to outside?

    Can you send pics of your installation?
     
  10. Pat Pat

    Pat Pat

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    Does the UltraVent work well? I always want to know that.

    There's also an 'UltraVent Plus' for both steam and smoke.

    You should know that the XS model is categorized into the latest generation of their ovens. The software support will be better. You will get more updates than the old 61 model; and it's these updates that make the Rational ovens so awesome.
     
  11. Pat Pat

    Pat Pat

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    I've been meaning to tell you this since the beginning but I kept forgetting. There's another brand of equally good combi oven you might want to look into if you're not set on the Rational.

    Their signature oven is comparable to Rational but they also have a more home friendly model you might be interested in.
    http://www.lainox.it/en/prodotti/icon/
     
  12. Gastrophysics

    Gastrophysics

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    Sorry for the delay, I dont know yet... Our building project is a bit late. The XS and its Ultravent have been hanging on the wall for weeks. Transporting and installing the U-shaped 5 meters+ long steel bench proved to be a challenge ;-) We are finally connecting the oven electrically tomorrow or the day after. I fear it make take a couple of weeks before we can do real cooking with it. I am a little nervous, the agent thinks we might the first family in Sweden to install a Rational XS at home.

    Will keep you all posted.
    Rational.jpg
     
  13. Pat Pat

    Pat Pat

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    It will be worth the wait for sure.

    Are you sure that's your home kitchen? It looks pretty professional especially with the pre-rinse spray thingy. :cool:
     
  14. Gastrophysics

    Gastrophysics

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    We'll have green cabinet doors, wooden shelves and all kinds of cuddly things. And the rinse contraption may have to go, its a bit too big unfortunately. So it will look like any normal home kitchen (but with a combi oven, three sinks, double dishwashers, boiling water tap, siphons, sous vide stuff, chamber vacuum sealer etc to spice it up a bit ;) ).
     
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  15. Ben Feng

    Ben Feng

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    Great work!
    FYI, we pulled the trigger on an XS a couple of months ago.
    Best thing we ever did: absolutely love it - truly a magic machine.
     
  16. halb

    halb

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    Yes it is considering that tiny sink. Parts for most brands are mix and match and they do make much shorter hoses that you could just replace that one with that would make it a better fit. Hose length and spout length are parts that you may have to change to match your sink, it's done all the time.

    I actually like having a pre-rinse like that as opposed to a consumer sprayer that breaks or leaks all the time.

    Edit: I'm assuming that this is a commercial faucet and pre-rinse. After looking at your picture I can't be sure, especially since you are in Sweden. There are consumer faucet manufacturers that make products that mimic the looks of commercial which if that's what you have it's what you get. Period.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
  17. Gastrophysics

    Gastrophysics

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    Absolutely, and sometimes the pro-looking consumer stuff is pricier! This is a pro pre-rinse, we will just try to shorten the stand and hose. (The sink is bigger than it looks, still partly covered with plastic.)

    We have no ambition to make the kitchen look professional, we only focus on the practical side of things. At least, that's what I tell myself :cool:
     
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  18. Pero6

    Pero6

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    Gastrophysics, how did the instalation finish? are you satisfied? I read your previous thread also, about things and advices on what you might have missed.
    I ask because my wife and I are building a new kitchen, and are also going to buy a comercial combi oven. Our pick was from Rational SCC XS and UNOX ChefTop Compact (https://www.unox.com/en/5-gn-2-3-plus). We decided on unox since it can use a normal eletrical outlet (not 3-phase), and is cheaper that rational.

    Do you have any drawbacks, electricity consumption, water inlet, outlet, smoke? we planned for water inlet and outlets at the positions of the oven, but the representative said that we don't need the hood (and wo have the large stovetop hood just 50 cm from the oven).

    We have also planned a smaller Breville smart oven right next to it, so i dont have to fire up the big one for melting cheese, etc.

    I would really appreciate any info you might have.

    Thanks in advance
     
  19. Gastrophysics

    Gastrophysics

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    We are very satisfied so far but it's a bit early for a full review. The oven is large and more noisy than a consumer oven, but this is so far the only drawback. I can only compare with Miele and to some extent with Electrolux and I find the user interface more logical on the Rational and the quality and robustness is completely different.

    Unfortunately, I have yet to find a good source of information on how to think around the many features in practical cooking situations, a general "rational" cookbook. So far, we have mostly used the "vanilla" functions to prepare fish, meats, vegetables and we have also done some baking. Great results so far. But more googling is required...
    Anyhow, its a great match with a vacuum sealer, as for instance yesterdays white asparagus :) I am glad we selected a chamber model so we can use wet ingredients in the pouches.

    I would be careful with the "you dont need the hood" statement. If the UNOX in anything like the Rational, it produces huge amounts of steam, without a hood, you may end up in trouble with humidity.

    Otherwise, we had no problems at all installing in an ordinary home kitchen. Go for it!
     
  20. Pat Pat

    Pat Pat

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    Use the help function (? symbol) of the oven itself will give you more information about advanced cooking techniques than you'll ever find on the internet.

    It sucks that you have to stand in front of the oven reading it though. I don't know why they don't have it in prints.