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Tips for Buying a Used Commercial Oven

Tips for Buying a Used Commercial Oven

Buying a used commercial oven can be an attractive prospect to restaurant owners who want to save money on equipment costs. This is especially true for new restaurant owners. However, used commercial ovens are not as efficient as their new counterparts, so be sure to weigh the pros and cons of each before making a final decision.

Purchasing Tips

When looking for a used commercial oven, follow these tips to make sure you get the most bang for your buck:

Go with gas. Gas-powered cooking equipment is usually pretty reliable when bought used, because it has fewer components than electric units. That said, you'll want to make sure the unit runs on the same kind of gas as your restaurant and that your restaurant has enough gas pressure to power the oven.

Routine Maintenance

Commercial ovens, like all pieces of restaurant equipment, require regular cleaning and maintenance in order to function properly, so be sure to set up a cleaning schedule for your oven, regardless of whether you bought it new or used.
Learn More about Restaurant Equipment Maintenance

  • Steer clear of computer controls. Some combination and convection ovens have complicated control boards that allow you to program multiple recipes and cooking times. This is pretty handy, when it works. However, the more complicated the controls, the more likely they will be to fail, and they can be expensive to replace. So, opt for simple timers and control knobs when searching for a used commercial oven.
  • Inspect the unit. Whether you are going to a used equipment dealer with a showroom or looking at photos online, inspect as much of the unit as you can. Pay special attention to the door seal and hinges. If possible, close a dollar bill in the door, and try to pull it out to test the seal. Also, check for signs of corrosion on the stainless steel.
  • Call the manufacturer with any questions. If you do have any questions or find something wrong with the oven during your inspection, call the manufacturer. The manufacturer will be able to diagnose the problems you see and give estimated repair expenses. The manufacturer will also be able to tell you any problems they've had or what wears out first on the particular unit.

Is it Safe to Buy a Used Commercial Oven?

As long as you select a gas-powered unit that does not have electronic controls, you should be safe with purchasing a used commercial oven. However, once you have it installed, turn it on and check the holding temperature against what you have it set at. If there is a discrepancy, the thermostat may need to be replaced.

Benefits of Buying a New Commercial Oven

Sometimes, the best thing you can do is forego buying used equipment and just buy a new commercial oven. New commercial ovens, though more expensive, come with several benefits that make them worth the cost.

  •  Power source. The power source is one of the most important specifications for commercial ovens, and even though gas is more reliable, some restaurants aren't set up to use gas-powered cooking equipment. Plus, you might not be able to find a used model with the power type you need. For new commercial ovens, you can find anything you need in gas or electric.
  • Newest technologies. Computer controls that allow you to program several different menu items are among the most advanced technologies available on new commercial ovens. But, manufacturers will also redesign how heat is transferred to the cooking cavity for better efficiency. These developments will not be found in used commercial ovens.
  • Warranty for computer controls. Those computer controls that we told you to stay away from with used units, you don't have to with new models, because most manufacturers offer a warranty on the computer controls.