Steve Hemsil, sales director – UK & Ireland, Manitowoc Foodservice explains how with 10 years of experience in the combi steamer market, Convotherm has built up significant knowledge in a growing sector:
It doesn’t seem possible that it is 10 years ago since the first mini combination steamer to hit the market left the Convotherm factory. Back in 2006 it was seen as a revolutionary product that could bring the benefits of combi steamers to everyone, no matter how small their kitchen. Today, the Convotherm Mini is a familiar sight in a full range of kitchens and quite often will sit next to its big brother in many kitchens, with each machine doing a specific job.
It is no secret that combi steamers in general have become an undeniable asset within the foodservice industry. Now present in the majority of commercial kitchens globally, they have become one of the most important pieces of kitchen equipment for both chefs and caterers alike. Prior to the introduction of the Convotherm Mini however, they were often only seen as large, gastronorm sized units which were more suited to high-output kitchens and banqueting situations. But over the last decade the food-to-go market has expanded rapidly – a market which requires compact, yet functional cooking equipment where kitchens have little room for full size combi steamers. It is here that the Convotherm Mini provides a significant solution.
The Convotherm Mini is the smallest full gastronorm combi steamer in the market, with a width of just 51.5cm. The Mini launched back in 2006 as a response to the growing demand for equipment which could fit into smaller establishments, yet still provided excellent cooking results with features that you would normally see in a full size combination steamer. By working extensively with customers and development chefs, Convotherm was able to develop the Mini to best suit these requirements.
For example, the Convotherm Mini can be placed onto countertops in the kitchen or front of house, thus reducing the amount of space usually required for such a highly functional piece of cooking equipment. This simple utilisation of space has revolutionised compact cooking today and has opened up new opportunities for smaller establishments, such as coffee shops, by enabling them to provide a more varied food offering where before they may have been unable to do so. The introduction of the Convotherm mini also meant that a professional, high quality menu offering was no longer limited to restaurants and larger food outlets, but could also be accessed by smaller establishments, particularly in the food-to-go sector.
One of the key areas for Convotherm was to ensure that when we reduced the footprint, the functionality and versatility wasn’t compromised – we knew that we had to create an oven which offered the same quality as our larger ovens and had full gastronorm capabilities. With over 10 years’ experience in developing compact combi steamers, and 40 years manufacturing Convotherm combi steamers, our customers today can be confident that by using a Convotherm Mini they will always receive the same quality output as they would from our larger units. Just as our award winning Convotherm 4 models do, the very latest Convotherm Mini features perfect cooking results, low energy consumption and a functional design alongside its ability to roast, steam, bake and regenerate; as well as grill and even cook products that would normally require frying.
Not only does the Convotherm Mini range include the functions featured on our larger units, but many of the same accessories are also available enabling an exceptional level of versatile cooking for such a compact unit. In addition to this, in order to ensure that the Mini range is as reliable and robust in the kitchen as a full size Convotherm combi steamer, we use the same quality build standards as our award winning models, so that the best quality equipment is provided to our customers.