Certa Cooking Equipment has added the charcoal-powered X-Oven series to its offerings.
Constructed from stainless steel, the unit is designed to preserve the authenticity, taste and aroma of a traditional charcoal oven while taking advantage of a modern cooking system.
The modern oven uses a closed, insulated brazier chamber and a patented grill drawer system which allows the chef to cook different dishes simultaneously at different temperatures, depending on the proximity to the chamber, while retaining the charcoal grilling taste.
The most intense heat is found in the grill drawer nearest the brazier, gradually diminishing in the drawers further away from the embers.
The oven is designed to reach and maintain a high temperature with no heat dispersion thanks to its side grill drawer system. For safety and efficiency, the porcelain chamber is shut at all times and allows slow ember combustion while preventing flame development.
The closed unit is claimed to reduce charcoal consumption by 80% compared to traditional open-flame grills, and by 50% compared to ordinary charcoal ovens.
The X-Oven’s charcoal is deliberately neutral to enhance the natural flavour of the food, but scented wood chips can be added to individualise the taste. Certa supplies two such charcoal products: Quebracho natural lump charcoal, handmade in brick kilns from Quebracho Blanco wood, which should burn hotter and longer than other hardwood lump charcoal, with very little ash; and Canutillo charcoal, which is made using Marabu wood and is recommended for producing the right amount of heat without generating excessive amounts of solid residues and minimising both spark and smoke production.
Adjusting the smoke outlet valve can also affect the taste. A closed valve results in an intense embers note, while an open valve produces a more delicate flavour.
The grill drawer can be opened with the touch of a finger to monitor cooking. Once open, the drawer is isolated from the glowing embers, which should prevent heat and smoke leakage. An integral fire breaker device is designed to avoid the risk of sparks or the output of solid particles.
Three models are available. The table-top X-Oven.1 produces 60 300g portions of food an hour from a single grill drawer. The two drawer X-Oven.2 can produce up to 100 portions an hour, while the largest model, the X-Oven.3 houses three G/N 1/1 drawers for maximum flexibility, delivering 150 portions an hour.