Blodgett R11021 User Manual

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Cooking Guide

Tips and tricks for getting the most from your Combi Synergy oven

R11021 Rev A (12/03)

Welcome to Blodgett COMBI. Your Synergy combi/oven-steamer is 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 at 800-331-5842. 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 800-331-5842 for service assistance, cooking advice, availability of accessories or general questions.

Enjoy your SYNERGY 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. Open the door slightly to allow the steam to dissipate for a few seconds, then open the door fully for access to reduce the chance of injuries from steam.

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-start the 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 Combi 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-brown meats 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-range type ovens), you will generally need to reduce temperatures 25-50°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-browning around 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 Combi Cooking Guide


When to use the Combi Mode

The Combi Mode is ideal for most high-pro- tein, center-of-the-plate items: 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 of 225-250°F/105- 120°C. Breads, rolls and other yeast-raised products 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 Combi 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. Exercise caution when opening the door to prevent steam burns. Open the door slightly to allow the steam to dissipate for a few seconds, then open the door fully for access to reduce the chance of injuries from steam.

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 Combi Cooking Guide

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