Blodgett BCX -14 User Manual

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Cooking Guide

Tips and tricks for getting the most from your BCX-14andBX-14Combi ovens

51943 Rev A (5/08)

Welcome to Blodgett COMBI. Your BCX/BX combi oven-steameris a versatile, easy to use tool that will help you produce better food with less time and effort. As with any new equipment, a little orientation at the outset can save frustration and trouble later. Blodgett COMBI authorizes a trained service agent to inspect all new installations at no cost to you. If you have not had a startup inspection, please call the Blodgett Service Department at800-331-5842.You will be given the number of your local service company so you can schedule a startup at a convenient time.

This guide is organized in three sections:

A general explanation of how each mode works and when to use it;

Special tips and techniques on preparing items using the unique properties of your combi/oven steamer;

Time and temperature tables with typical products and how to cook them.

Your comments and suggestions for improving this guide are always welcome. Please feel free to contact us at 800-331-5842for service assistance, cooking advice, availability of accessories or general questions.

Enjoy your BLODGETT COMBI oven/steamer!


When to use the Steam Mode

The steam mode is ideal for products that are typically boiled, simmered or poached, including vegetables, rice, shellfish, and waxy potatoes. Many seafood items lend themselves to poaching in the steam mode, as do some poultry and meat dishes. Rice requires the addition of water or a cooking liquid when steaming. Cooking dry pasta in the steam mode is not recommended.

How the Steam Mode Works

The fan circulates pressureless steam throughout the cooking cavity, producing a convection effect. This allows the steam mode to cook at lower temperatures than pressurized steam cookers without significant increases in cooking times. Pressureless steam preserves the texture and color of foods better than boiling or pressure cooking. The lower temperature does not destroy vitamin content.

Tips for Cooking in the Steam Mode

Cooking times should be measured from the time the window is fully fogged over, indicating that the cooking cavity has completely filled with steam. Because your unit is cooking with pressureless convection steam, maximizing the exposed surface area of the food to be cooked will yield best results. Covering the pans with film or foil, using deep pans, or crowding the pans too close together without room for air circulation will slow down the steaming process considerably and may result in uneven cooking.

Shallow (2-1/2”)steam pans are recommended for best results. Solid foods which do not require liquid to be added or saved will cook fastest in perforated pans. This is especially true of frozen foods, which tend to accumulate condensate in solid pans.

Your steamer is a pressureless cooker. This allows you to open the door at any time in the cooking cycle to add or remove products. Exercise caution when opening the door to prevent steam burns. The BCX/BX ovens feature a two step safety door latch to keep the operator safe from escaping steam. Turn the handle to the left to vent the steam, then turn to the right to open the door.

Steam On Demand

This EXCLUSIVE blodgett feature allows you to inject up to eight minutes of steam at any time during the cook cycle. A simple timer and push button combination puts you in control. This feature is great for crusty breads, to retard browning and to kick-startthe cooking process with heavy loads.

Vario Steam

While the steam mode is generally 212°F/100°C, this EXCLUSIVE blodgett feature allows you to poach in the steam mode at approximately 170-180°F/77-82°C.

Blodgett BCX-BXCombi Cooking Guide


When to use the Hot Air Mode

The Hot Air Mode is best suited to those items that require a dry cooking environment or rapid browning. Most bakery items (cookies, cakes, muffins, etc.) will be cooked in the Hot Air Mode, although many yeastleavened products (breads and rolls, croissants, Danish pastries) will yield excellent results in Combi Mode as well. The Hot Air Mode can be used to pre-brownmeats for braising or to intensify the final browning of roasts that have been completed in Combi Mode.

How the Hot Air Mode Works

The Hot Air Mode operates exactly like the familiar convection oven. When adapting recipes written for static ovens (e.g., deck ovens or restaurant-rangetype ovens), you will generally need to reduce temperatures25-50°F/15-30°C.Moving (convected) hot air transfers heat to your food more efficiently than static air, allowing you to cook at lower temperatures.

Set the thermostat to the desired temperature and allow the oven to fully preheat before beginning to cook. The small red thermometer light next to the thermostat will light up during preheating. When it goes out, the oven is up to temperature. This light will come on again periodically during operation, indicating that the hot air elements or burners are active.


Tips for Cooking in the Hot Air Mode

Because your unit is cooking with convected hot air, maximizing the exposed surface area of the food to be cooked will yield the best results. Covering the pans with film and/or foil, using deep pans or crowding the pans too close together without room for air circulation will slow down the cooking process considerably and may result in uneven cooking.

Cakes may be baked using pan inserts for greater volume and square corners. Use specialized pans (e.g., muffin tins) as necessary.

If you observe over-browningaround the edges of the product with a light or undercooked center area, the temperature may be set too high for that product. Undercooked interiors with a burnt or overdone surface are also an indication that the temperature is too high.


Blodgett BCX/BX Combi Cooking Guide


When to use the Combi Mode

The Combi Mode is ideal for most high-pro-tein,center-of-the-plateitems: roasted meats, baked poultry and baked fish. It does an excellent job on casserole type dishes such as lasagna, baked macaroni and meatloaf which must be cooked to a safe internal temperature without overcooking the exterior. Braising meats such as spare ribs, corned beef or pot roast is easily done in Combi Mode at temperatures of225-250°F/105-120°C. Breads, rolls and otheryeast-raisedproducts will exhibit greater"oven-spring"when baked in the Combi Mode. Specialty breads such as French bread, soft pretzels and bagels are also possible.

How the Combi Mode Works

The Combi Mode combines the effects of both convection steam and hot air convection for improved yields, shorter cooking times and juicier products. It will reduce, but not eliminate, browning (carmelization is a function of temperature, increasing at higher temperature settings). Because foods cooked in the Combi Mode are not drying out as they would in a typical convection oven, they brown more slowly, allowing the heat to reach the interior of the product before the outside becomes scorched or dried out. As the steam produced in Combi Mode condenses on the food surface, it efficiently transfers its heat to the food, resulting in shorter average cooking times than in a similar dry oven.

The COMBI Mode gives priority to the hot air thermostat setting. The oven bakes and roasts in a similar manner to the familiar convection oven, but adds steam intermittently throughout the cooking process. The

steam production is automatic and is thermostatically controlled to produce the optimum humidity for the baking or roasting temperature selected (the ideal relative humidity at a given temperature is predetermined: too little steam would allow excess shrinkage, while too much steam would waste energy as the oven struggles to maintain the hot air temperature setting). Your COMBI produces steam and hot air alternately during the cooking cycle for energy conservation; both steam and hot air are present in the cooking cavity simultaneously for optimal food preparation.

Tips for Cooking in the COMBI Mode

The COMBI Mode uses hot air in the same manner as a convection oven; recipes adapted for convection ovens translate well to COMBI cooking. Recipes developed for static ovens without moving air will typically require a temperature reduction of 25- 50°F/15-30°C.Because steam transfers heat more efficiently than dry air, you will generally experience shorter cooking times in the COMBI Mode than in a comparable convection oven. A 25% reduction in cooking time is common, although actual results will vary widely by product and original cooking technique. Lowering the temperature beyond the initial adaptation for convection oven cooking and keeping the original baking and roasting times will optimize yields. Most operators will choose a combination of slightly faster cooking times and slightly higher yields. The choice of which to optimize is yours.

Shallow pans are recommended for best results. Both the convected steam and convected hot air transfer heat to the food's surface. Increasing the food surface area relative

Blodgett BCX-BXCombi Cooking Guide


to its volume (i.e., multiple shallow pans instead of a few deep pans) will give the fastest cooking times and most even cooking. Covering the food with film and/or foil will defeat the convection effect, and is not necessary to prevent scorching or drying because of the steam present during COMBI cooking. Pressureless steam is present in the cooking compartment during COMBI baking and roasting. The steam remains dry at temperatures above approximately 275°F/ 135°C, and will not appear as condensate on the door. The BCX/BX ovens feature a two step safety door latch to keep the operator safe from escaping steam. Turn the handle to the left to vent the steam, then turn to the right to open the door.

If additional browning is desired after the food is almost fully cooked, switch to hot air and increase the temperature for the last few minutes until the desired color is achieved.


Rethermalizing in COMBI Mode

Rethermalization is the process of bringing fully cooked, chilled food from storage temperature to safe serving temperature without loss of quality. COMBI Mode lends itself to reheating food without the typical drying and overbrowning. Foods to be rethermalized should be in shallow pans with the product distributed in an even thickness. Temperatures between 250-300°F/120-150°C are typically used for rethermalization.


Blodgett BCX/BX Combi Cooking Guide


Basic Times & Temperatures

Although there is a detailed cooking guide in this manual, most foods can be prepared using a very simple approach. Casseroles (e.g., lasagna, baked macaroni, etc.) and medium-sizedroasts can be cooked in combi mode at 300°F/150°C. Foods to be crisped (breaded foods, chicken pieces with skin, etc.) do well in combi at 375°F/190°C. Most baked goods perform well at 300-325°F/150-165°Cin hot air mode. Steam temperature is preset at 212°F/100°C (unless you are using Vario Steam). Cook vegetables, rice and shellfish in steam.

Frozen Pizza

Pizza tends to overbrown in convection ovens without ever getting a good bottom crust. Bake frozen pizza at 350°F/175°C in Combi Mode to reduce scorching the toppings. Use perforated sheet pans or sprinkle coarse cornmeal on solid pans to prevent a soggy bottom crust.

Egg Dishes

Many egg dishes can be prepared easily and with less labor using Steam Mode. Scrambled eggs can be cooked using shallow pans. Break up the curds at least once during cooking.

Egg salad can be prepared by lining a shallow pan with plastic wrap (allow a generous overhang) and filling it to a depth of approximately 1 " with whole (unscrambled) eggs. Steam until fully set, pop the cooked eggs and plastic onto a clean cutting board and peel off the plastic wrap. Chop by hand, or add to the "buffalo chopper" with the

necessary condiments. No eggs to peel!

An easy omelet can be cooked in half-size(18 x 13") sheet pans lined with plastic wrap or sprayed with pan release. Fill the lined pan with 36 oz. of beaten egg (18 large eggs). Add chopped ham and vegetables (or any filling of your choice) and steam until almost set. Top with shredded cheese if desired and steam until fully cooked. Slide omelet off the pan onto a clean cutting board and slice into individual portions using a pizza wheel.

An alternative omelet preparation is to use only 24 oz. of beaten egg (12 large eggs) in a plastic lined half sheet pan. Steam until fully cooked, pop eggs and plastic onto a clean cutting board and peel off plastic. Cover the center third (lengthwise) of the eggs with the warm toppings of your choice, fold over the two outside flaps and slice across into portions for a more traditional looking (but more labor consuming) omelet.

Poached eggs are easily cooked using muffin tins sprayed with pan release. Break a whole egg into each cavity and steam to desired doneness. Gently pop out the cooked eggs (you may need to run a rubber spatula around the cup rims to break the vacuum) and use as you would any poached egg.

Hard cooked whole eggs can be prepared right in the cardboard (not plastic!) flats on sheet pans. Steam for approximately 15 minutes (check for doneness) and use immediately or cool rapidly in an icewater bath if planning to use cold in salads or as a garnish

(rapid cooling helps prevent discoloring of the yolk).

Blodgett BCX-BXCombi Cooking Guide



"Mock Stir Fry" Dishes

Several variations of this dish are possible by varying the meat, poultry or fish used, as well as changing the sauces. A low-fatstir fry, fajitas or Italian beef are just a few possibilities.

Teriyaki Chicken (beef, pork or shrimp) is easily prepared by mixing canned sliced mushrooms, julienne sweet peppers (use green, red and yellow for great color), julienne Spanish onions and thin sliced boneless, skinless chicken breast with dark, thick teriyaki sauce. Optionally add sliced bamboo shoots or water chestnuts. Mix all well to coat with teriyaki sauce. Spread in a shallow layer on sheet pans and cook in Combi Mode at 375°F/ 190°C for 10-15minutes or until done. Vegetables should still be firm. Meat, poultry or shrimp should be fully cooked with dark highlights on edges of meat and vegetables. Serve over steamed rice.

"Southern stir fry" is a good variation: replace the teriyaki with thick barbeque sauce and omit the oriental vegetables. Use beef, pork or chicken and serve over red beans and rice.

For quick fajita filling, omit the mushrooms and oriental vegetables, and use fajita sauce in place of teriyaki. Serve with wheat tortillas.

Italian beef is quickly prepared by omitting the oriental vegetables, adding chunks of fresh tomatoes and using creamy Italian salad dressing in place of the teriyaki. Serve over fettucini or in a hero sandwich. Sliced Italian sausage also works well in this preparation.


Bagels can be produced in the COMBI by preheating the oven to 350°F/177°C in Combi Mode. Set Steam On Demand for three minutes. Quickly load the proofed bagels on sheet pans into the oven. Bake for a total of 10-13minutes. Dough formulations vary widely, so you'll need to experiment with exact times and temperatures.

Breaded Products

For best results, place breaded products on screens or wire racks on sheet pans so bottoms brown and crisp properly (perforated sheet pans also help). Bake in Combi Mode at 375°F/190°C. If breading does not brown but looks white and dry (or simply burns), spray product with pan release next time before cooking. Some fat is necessary for proper browning. Most prepared and frozen breaded products have sufficient fats in the breading to brown properly without any additions, but a few will require help.


Blodgett BCX/BX Combi Cooking Guide


Mock "Rotisserie" Chicken

Rotisserie cooking produces juicy, attractive whole chickens, but it's slow and a mess to clean up afterwards. A good substitute, with similar flavor and appearance, can be achieved by roasting whole birds (prepared with your favorite marinade or rub) upright on wire racks in Combi Mode at 375°F/190°1. A special rack is available for this application to help hold the birds upright. A 2-1/2- 3lb/1-1.5kilo bird will cook in roughly 35 minutes. Cleanup is simple with the standard spray hose and washing procedure.

Low-fat"Oven Fried" Chicken

Dredge skinless chicken pieces in seasoned flour, dip in lightly beaten egg whites and coat with bread crumbs that have been moistened with salad oil. Bake at 375°F/190°C on wire racks. Chicken may be cooked on sheet pans, but will not brown well on bottom. Do not omit oil from bread crumbs completely or they will not brown properly.

Rethermalizing Bagged Products

(Sous Vide)

Many operators are using "cook chill" systems or purchasing fully cooked products in heat resistant bags. These products can be reheated in the bag (check for maximum heat tolerance), but you will generally see better results by removing the product from the bag and reheating in shallow pans in either steam or combi mode. The bags protect the product but also act as insulators, significantly slowing down the reheating of the product. Rethermalizing in steam mode may result in condensate on the product changing the consistency. Rethermalizing in combi mode between 250-275°F/120-135°Cwill minimize condensation and allow rapid reheating.

Blodgett BCX-BXCombi Cooking Guide



Some Common Baking Problems &

What Causes Them

Muffins have a tendency to lean to one side because of the air currents in a convection oven. If you experience this problem, try preheating the oven an extra 50°F/30°C, load the product quickly and turn the oven off for 5 minutes. Turn the oven back on at the normal convection oven baking temperature and bake until done (this allows the muffins to develop some structure before being blown around).

Light batters for cakes that blow to one side or exhibit severe rippling can be handled in the same manner as the muffins.

Over-browningaround the pan's edges is generally an indication the temperature is too high for that product or load (increasing the load in an oven will change the air flow, which sometimes causes overbrowning). Try reducing the temperature 25°F/15°C, spread the load more evenly in the oven, or bake in smaller batches.

The top shelf browns faster than the others. Air is circulated around a baffle at the back or one side of the oven (the fan draws air in from the center). Freshly reheated air from the top of the baffle (in ovens with a rearmounted fan) hits the top pan first. Radiant heat from the top of the oven also contributes to faster browing on the top shelf. This is typical of convection ovens. Either allow more space between the top of the oven and the uppermost pan or remove the top pan earlier than the others.

Muffins are too dark, gummy on the inside, do not rise properly, or "explode" halfway through baking. Muffins are chemically leavened with baking powder and baking soda.

If there is too little heat, the leavening agents do not react and the muffins do not rise properly. Longer baking times will produce a muffin with a dry, overbrowned exterior and a gummy interior, or exhibit "exploding" when the heat finally reaches the interior. The rising interior splits open the fully set exterior and the muffin explodes. Use a higher temperature to allow the muffin to rise quickly. You may need to reduce the temperature for the second half of the baking time so the fully risen muffins do not overbrown while they set up.


Blodgett BCX/BX Combi Cooking Guide