A commercial smokehouse or dehydrator is a big investment — one that requires regular checks and maintenance to keep it running efficiently.
An oven designed to provide easy access to the components that require regular and preventative maintenance will reduce the time your team needs to upkeep the oven. The less amount of time spent maintaining and repairing an oven results in more cook time, more product, and more profits.
It’s important then that when you invest in a commercial smokehouse or dehydrator, you find one with components that are easy to access, easy to repair, and don’t need replacing as often.
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Psychrometer Pan Access Port
Accessing and changing the wet bulb sock, that helps measure humidity, is the most frequent maintenance requirement for an oven.
Most manufacturers recommend changing the wet bulb sock at least once a day, if not before each cook cycle — meaning this one task could be performed multiple times per day.
An access port that is easy to access and open inside the oven will save your maintenance team from having to climb on top of the oven or search for special tools required to get to the wet bulb.
Damper Access Ports
Ensuring the dampers are angled exactly 90° from each other is vitally important to maintaining proper airflow and breakpoint creation in any commercial smokehouse or dehydrator.
This act of preventative maintenance should also be performed every day, as any deviation from exactly 90° can have a massive negative impact on the consistency and yields of your product.
Access ports located above both dampers on the oven will allow your maintenance team to inspect and tune the dampers should they ever fall out of alignment.
Hinged Supply & Return Ducts
Most of the mechanisms that may require repair in an oven are located above the supply and return ducts. Heat sources, piping, dampers, and more are often blocked and hard to access from inside or on top of the oven.
Ensuring the oven you purchase as hinged supply and return ducts that allow quick and easy access to maintain and clean the more hidden parts of the oven will drastically cut down on maintenance time.
Vacuum Door Seals
Door seals are the most often damaged, and in need of repair, component on any oven.
Trying to open the doors before the seals have fully deflated, running carts and trucks over the seals while loading, and cart sides snagging on seals can lead to cracked, ripped, and torn door seals.
The best option is to invest in an oven with vacuum door seals that quickly pull the seals into a channel to protect them from tearing when the doors are opened too soon and carts being loaded and unloaded.
Let’s be honest, no matter how organized your maintenance team, there will always be checks that get overlooked or forgotten.
Preventative maintenance is vitally important to extending the life and efficiency of any industrial oven. Missing one check, forgetting to replace one part can cause thousands of dollars in wasted product.
An oven controller that allows for scheduled preventative maintenance alerts will ensure no check will be overlooked or forgotten.
Steam Coil Drawer
In the event that you purchase a steam oven, the steam coil will be the component you need to access on a fairly regular basis.
Due to the location of the steam coil, it can be difficult to access in a lot of oven designs.
Look for an oven that places the steam coil in an easy to open “drawer”, allowing you to quickly pull it out for inspection and replacement without the need of removing panels and other components.
Ensuring the oven you purchase is maintenance-friendly will save you time and money in ongoing maintenance costs.
The features listed above should be non-negotiable in any oven you invest in, as they allow your maintenance team to perform preventative maintenance to keep your oven running and repairs in a quick and easy fashion.