Watlow Helps Manufacturer Develop New Multifunctional Production Oven

Watlow, a designer and manufacturer of heaters, controllers and temperature sensors, provided engineering expertise and a powerful new temperature controller to B.B. Robertson Company for its new YieldKing Oven. The oven is one of the most versatile ovens manufactured because it is a combination convection oven, smoker, steamer and holding cabinet – all in one unit, with a smart controller.

        The idea for the oven came initially from the realization that Southern Pride, a distribution company for B.B. Robertson, needed to diversify. Southern Pride dominated the commercial barbecue pit and smoker market segment, but all they manufactured were barbecue ovens. Then at NAFEM 2003 in New Orleans, Patrick Smith, executive chef at M.V. Culinary in Nashville, Tennessee, contacted Southern Pride to discuss his ideas for modifying Southern Pride’s DH-65 smoker/steamer. He theorized that this new oven concept would appeal to the casual dining, buffet dining and the fine dining segments of the restaurant business.

        “Chef Pat then met with Mike Robertson, President of B.B. Robertson and Southern Pride, who had been thinking about a more universal smoker/steamer for the non- barbecue segment. After a year and a half of development, the YieldKing is unique in a production oven with infinite automatic controllability of all the basic cooking variables: time, temperature, steam, smoke with dual internal meat probes for precise protein production,” said Jack Griggs, marketing director. “The result of this collaboration was the YieldKing Oven with OmniVection Technology, which provides five distinct cooking stages to prepare proteins to perfection automatically.”

        The oven required a versatile controller that would monitor and control all functions in the unit. The team selected Watlow’s new SERIES N7 controller. Watlow supplies most thermal components to B.B. Robertson, including tubular heaters, thermocouples, solid-state relays and temperature controllers. Watlow’s engineers and programmers created a unique temperature controller for the YieldKing oven.

        The main advantage of Watlow’s SERIES N7 is its heat/cool capabilities, which monitors heat and cools the oven down automatically when it passes the set point temperature. This ability allows the oven to employ OmniVection technology to identify the exact cooking time and temperature for any given product and then engage the precise cooking method from start to finish. The heat/cool capability allows the SERIES N7 to control the oven’s five distinct cooking stages and the ability to switch between them.

        Additional features of the SERIES N7 that proved helpful to B.B. Robertson Company include three individual inputs, consisting of one for oven temperature and two for separate meat probes. The unit can also store up to 40 preprogrammed recipes that are accessible through the controller or can run a manual menu as well. The user has the choice whether to run the controller manually or totally automated.

        “We are very happy with Watlow’s SERIES N7 controller,” said Griggs. “Our design staff along with Chef Pat and Watlow’s help has created a truly unique oven that has benefits for most segments of the foodservice industry.”