All together now

28 Jun, 13

Combining conventional with steam or microwave function – the combi oven is a must-have ‘all-in-one’ appliance

The double oven may have been the staple built-in cooking sale of the high street kitchen showroom but it has been challenged by the versatility of the combination oven. Not only can the combination model offer the variety of cooking techniques of a multi-function oven but it can also provide the added benefit of a steam or microwave function. It’s no surprise then combination ovens are showing signs of growth. According to Simona Bara, product manager built-in of Whirlpool: “Overall the total combination oven market saw a 10% growth on last year.”


Suitable for small kitchens

The feature-rich combination oven is particularly suited for small kitchens, where it offers the versatility of a range of cooking styles in one model. Managing director of the built-in division of Hoover Candy Maurizio Severgnini points out: “Combination ovens can however provide the perfect kitchen solution if space in the kitchen or family size is small.” However, if kitchen space allows, where combination ovens can really come to the fore is in combination with other appliances. If used with complementary appliances, they can create an impactful design in banks, rows and even columns. Simona Bara of Whirlpool adds: “Importantly and most critically for both the consumer and the designer is that the combination appliances are designed in perfect harmony. Whirlpool has invested tremendously in this area to ensure that their built-in appliances are perfectly aligned i.e. control panels, control knobs, branding, ventilation etc.”

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Understand oven benefits

However, not all ovens suffixed with ‘combi’ are the same. And it’s important to know the functions and benefits of each oven. And these cooking techniques and benefits need to be matched to the individual preferences of each consumer. Marketing manager of Gorenje, Lauren Abbott says: “Demonstrations are important – a lot of consumers will not really understand what a combination oven and how it can benefit them. You will need to really sell the product in, describing exactly how it can help the consumer personally and how it will make a positive difference to their cooking experience.”

The combi oven, whether steam or microwave, is so much more than an add-on sale. And to treat the combi oven just as a second appliance would do the technology behind the cooking functions a disservice. It is a highly flexible appliance offering a variety of cooking techniques, for an all-in-one cooking experience.