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The Choice of Combination Microwaves

Microwaves come in many formats and as such have several applications that can benefit a variety of catering operations. When used for predominantly reheating wet food such as soups, gravies and sauces, a standard oven will suffice, although there are many other tried and tested uses too; drying herbs, roasting spices, toasting nuts, tempering chocolate, the list is endless!

However, if you have a lunchtime offer where your menu may consist of items such as paninis, pies and toasties, or indeed any other item requiring a crisp, baked finish you should look at alternative ovens, such as the combination microwave.

The Panasonic NE-C1275 is a combination microwave, grill and convection oven with six power levels and four different combination options so pastry will maintain its crispy, golden brown crust and snacks such as panini can be toasted in seconds, with a crunchy finish.

For larger scale catering, Panasonic has a microwave that will accommodate two 1:1 Gastronorm containers. Perfect for operations with high turnover, multi-portion or multiple single portion operations, and Panasonic’s NE-1880 / NE-3280 Gastronorn microwaves come with removable sheves, effectively doubling the usable internal space.

When choosing your oven, take the time to review your business and what it is you want the microwave to do, what space is available and will it be your only microwave. If two microwaves are required in the same location, then ovens that stack and save on worktop space will be an advantage – not all microwaves are stackable. Most operators want a combination of speed, reliability, power usage, the quality of the cooked dish and reasonable costs over the life of the oven – a cheap oven that breaks down frequently and loses custom is not cost efficient in the longer term.

Once you have chosen your oven, you must carry out a regular cleaning regime to ensure its effectiveness and reliability. Certain breakdowns have been known to occur on a regular basis that can have been easily prevented. Burnt ceiling plates, cracked base plates and penetration by grease into working parts will not be covered by a manufacturer’s guarantee and the cost for repair will lie with the operator but a simple cleaning routine at the end of every service will help ensure your microwave will function throughout service. Daily, you should remove the air filters and wash them and if your machine has an easily removed ceiling take that out and wash it too.

Iain Phillips, Sales and Marketing Manager, Panasonic; “Panasonic has always offered a comprehensive, three-year, on site, parts and labour warranty, on all electronic (excluding light bulb) and mechanical parts, across our entire range of commercial microwaves, such is the confidence in the quality of our build and components, offering the operator total peace of mind. This element of a purchase is often overlooked but buyers should be mindful that a three-year warranty will offer the assurance of reliability, peace of mind and in the longer term, reduced costs.

“The bare truth is that offering a warranty adds additional cost to the manufacturer, so the conditions of that warranty will reflect the quality of the equipment. A manufacturer offering a longer warranty, covering some electrical parts but not others, probably isn’t as confident in their product as they would like the user to think they are. The wording of the terms and conditions of a warranty can also be misleading which is why we believe that ours leaves nothing to the imagination; everything is covered, including labour, apart from the light bulb. A comprehensive cover warranty for a professional/commercial microwave oven should be three years. It should include on-site repair, including labour, and cover all electronic and mechanical parts. The exception to this with our warranty is the light bulb as this is regarded a consumable but we have been industry leaders in moving to super long life LED lights inside the cavity to overcome this situation.”

To find out more about the range of Panasonic microwave ovens, call 01344 476617 or go to www.panasonic.co.uk

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