Tag Archives: SelfCookingCenter®


Are You Aware of ConnectedCooking

Rational's ConnectedCooking is the way forward for catering businesses

The world is becoming increasingly technology-enabled. Nowadays there seems to be an app or a Smart solution for almost everything. While some leave me wondering why there is a need, the same is not true of Rational Oven’s ConnectedCooking.

Since March 2017 Rational has been enabling its SelfCookingCenter® units with ConnectedCooking functionality and equipping them with Ethernet ports. More recently they’ve launched an app to create the world’s most state-of-the-art cloud-based networking solution for professional kitchens. It’s available on iTunes and Google Play Store . These advances bring real benefits to professional catering businesses.

Increasing Convenience

The app and the ports enable all your Rational SelfCookingCenter® or CombiMaster® Plus units to be connected to a single network completely automatically. As a manager you will always know what is going on in your kitchen through the dashboard. Even when you’re off-site and can make adjustments remotely through your own device in real time.

It also makes sharing your cooking programmes across all your units easier and quicker. This in turn removes time-consuming activities and ensures the consistency of food safety in your kitchen.

But ConnectedCooking is not just for larger kitchens. The secure remote access enables software updates to be installed, quickly like those on your laptop, so that your Rational is always running optimally. The app also makes it easier to access inspiration for new menus through new ideas from other foodservice professionals and Rational chefs.

Security of Food and Data

Food safety is a demanding challenge for modern kitchen operations. Ever-increasing government requirements and stringent hygiene standards require a great deal of administrative work. It’s also important to eliminate operator error as much as possible. ConnectedCooking automatically captures all the key HACCP information and displays it in a dashboard with the option to download and print.

The remote access can be authorised for your Service Partner, such as AC Services, as part of a service contract. This enables remote diagnostics for problems and can fix issues without the need for an engineer to visit. It also alerts AC Services that there might be an issue. As you would expect the system uses state-of-the-art encryption technology to keep all data secure and compliant with GDPR.

New Year Opportunity?

If your SelfCookingCenter® units were made after March 2017, you just need to connect them to your network by a LAN cable or wireless module and download the free app to get started by registering the units. If not then we would be delighted to come out in 2020 to retrofit them with the Ethernet interfaces.

Either way give the AC Services team a call on 01454 322 222 in January to discuss further ConnectedCooking functionality and how it benefits all sizes and types of kitchen. We can then make your maintenance issues even easier to solve, saving more time in 2020.


Published Date: 19th November 2019
Category: Blog, News, Ovens, Rational, Self Cooking Centre
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Christmas Catastrophe or Planned Perfection

AC Services keeping chefs using Rational ovens happyThe countdown is on. We’ve had Halloween and Armistice Day, not to mention a mid-term election in America plus a spate of excellent TV dramas, so now thoughts turn to the Christmas season.

When does the party season start for you? And when does it finish? New Year’s Day? What’s on all the menus? Turkey? Goose? Beef? Vegan platters? These are all pressing decisions! And let’s not forget the most important one – is your Rational oven Christmas-ready?

For those in catering, the oven is the most important gift over the festive season. If it breaks down, no amount of batteries or prayers will put it right. And few will be willing to sacrifice their own Christmas spirit to rush over to fix it.

There you have it, best case scenario – Christmas dinner ruined. Worst case scenario – frustrated and angry diners, potential court cases and an establishment with a very bad reputation. For restaurants and eateries who are planning to serve sumptuous banquets on and before the day, this could be catastrophic.

There is a solution: get your oven serviced now. Don’t wait for December, call AC Services (Southern) and avoid any last minute rush. We can guarantee that up until Christmas Eve, our engineers will be working flat out to cope with the inevitable panicked last minute rush!

Moreover, why not consider setting up a regular contract so that you can have peace of mind that your oven is looked after all year round? We have a number of options that suit both budget and business.

Value for money

What will you get for your money? Typically engineers will sort any of those annoying little faults that can compromise performance, if left unchecked. We keep our vans fully stocked so we can deliver a fix on the first visit in more than 95% of call-outs whilst we are with you.

Servicing comprises:

  • function testing and commissioning of elements
  • checking the operational mode of water, gas and electrical connections
  • testing electrical components, gas specific parts and steam generation.

You don’t even have to fret about forgetting the date of your scheduled Rational oven service. Every customer who gets their oven serviced will be issued with a reminder the month before it is due next year. So there’s no reason for you to conveniently forget!

Order Now

Finally, make sure that you have plenty of oven cleaning materials in stock. Rational Self-Cooking-Centers have automatic cleaning programmes built into their software. When used with the right cleaning materials you get cosmetic and hygienic cleanliness.

Be prepared and make sure your Rational oven is in working order for Christmas service. Call us now and we can calmly talk you through the options available on 01454 322 222. Then you’ll have peace of mind that the Christmas season will go ahead as planned.


Published Date: 13th November 2018
Category: Blog, Catering Business, Cleaning, Ovens, Rational, Self Cooking Centre, Service plan
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Avoid the Rational Oven Cleaning Products Price Increase

Ensuring service through Rational oven cleaning products

It’s that time of year when you should be thinking about stocking up on Rational oven cleaning products and parts, if you haven’t already.

Prevention is easier than cure and regular cleaning is the easiest form of maintenance. Winter is fast approaching and if you have any problems with your oven; spare a thought for our engineers, who may be hampered by bad weather to get to you.

As a reminder, AC Services (Southern) supply all the assistance you need to service and maintain your oven. 

We stock Rational Grill Cleaner, Rational Rinse Aid, Rational Oven Cleaning Tablets for the SCC (SelfCooking Center®) range and for those with Care Control, Rational Care Control Tablets and accessories.

Buy Now

From December 1st, all cleaning products, Rational spare parts and accessories are increasing in price by around 5%. See below for examples:

  • 56.00.210 Cleaning Tablets now £59.00 increasing to £62.00 (for SCC units SE, SG, SH and SI)
  • 56.00.211 Rinse Tablets currently £39.00 increasing to £41.00 (for SCC Units SE only and CM Units MI only)
  • 56.00.562 Care Tablets currently £74.00 increasing to £78.00 (for SCC Units SG, SH and SI and CMP MI)
  • 9006.0153 Grill Cleaner Liquid currently £45.00 increasing to £47.00 (for CPC units and CM units ME to MH only.)

However, for those who order before noon on Friday December 15th, current prices will apply on Rational cleaning products (cleaning tablets, rinse tablets, care tablets and liquid grill cleaner). So a simple choice buy now at current prices or wait until after 1st December and use the code TINSEL to get your discount.

The Full Range of Rational Cleaning Products

Here at AC Services, we provide a full range of Rational oven cleaning products. If you have more than one oven, then you may need different cleaning product combinations. As a reminder, we supply:

  • Rational Oven Cleaner Tab (x100): highly concentrated tablets specially developed with a new complex set of active ingredients designed to guarantee maximum cleaning power.
  • the Rational Oven Care Tablets (x150) with special scale-dissolving ingredients contained to prevent limescale building up, giving reliability without a water softener and the need for time-consuming descaling.
  • Rational Rinse Tablets (x50) highly effective care products ensuring active protection.
  • the Rational Grill Cleaner (10 litres) for use with a hand spray gun.
  • Rational Rinse Aid (10 litres).

We also supply for water filtration. This is either the Brita Purity 1200 Quell ST Filter Cartridge or the Brita Purity 600 Quell ST Filter Cartridge. Water filter products are not in the sale.

To order your Rational oven cleaning products, simply go to our on-line shop. Or call us on 01454 322222 for more advice of how to keep on top of your Rational oven cleaning and to book a service so your oven is fully ready for the Christmas rush.


Published Date: 14th November 2017
Category: Blog, Cleaning Products, News, Online Sales
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A RATIONAL Future for Combi Ovens

RATIONAL cross and stripe grill grate2016 is set to be a busy year according to MD of RATIONAL UK, Lee Norton both for his brand and for the combi oven market in general.

There is a definite trend for kitchens getting smaller, workforces being streamlined and value for money being appreciated.

Consumers are more choosy when it comes to food,” he comments. “Where they eat relies on two main issues: consistency of food, service and quality. And when it comes to meeting these requirements, more and more food venues are turning towards the combi oven.

Combi Oven Benefits

The benefits of a combi oven are myriad. Not only is the cooking enhanced but a combi oven reduces the number of appliances required within a kitchen, hence a smaller carbon footprint. This equates to cost savings in terms of energy, which is a key incentive for catering establishments.

In addition, continues Mr Norton, the versatility of a combi oven augments the variety of food able to be delivered. “Healthier foods are now a major requirement for both public and private caterers,” he explains.

The RATIONAL Self Cooking Center oven can deliver a fully cooked breakfast with no additional fat or oil. Major catering names such as Premier Inn are now implementing the concept as they realise the cost savings in terms of reduced cooking times and fewer appliances such as separate frying pans, and a reduced number of kitchen staff.

70% Combi Oven Market Share

RATIONAL still holds in the region of 70% of the UK combi oven market share, with growth expected to yet again reach double digits in the next twelve months.

The catering industry received a major boost in 2014 with the introduction of free school meals, and this also had a positive effect on the private sector, which realised an exponential growth last year,” continues Mr Norton.

We have seen an expansion in our own personnel:

  • We now have 23 development chefs around the UK and a comprehensive service partner network, of which AC Services (Southern) is a vital player.
  • We have more than 200 engineers providing same day coverage, with a first time fix rate in excess of 95%.

These are statistics of which we are very proud as we excel in providing excellent after sales service by trained and audited personnel in all areas, from chefs to engineers.”

What’s Ahead for RATIONAL?

We are not sitting on our laurels,” concludes Mr Norton. “We still invest heavily in new product development.

We have recently produced the VarioSmoker, extending the functionality of the RATIONAL combi oven to produce smoked food. With a growing trend towards Mexican and Brazilian cuisine, this has been extremely well received”.

And our most recent launch was the Cross and Stripe Grill Grate, which allows perfect steaks to be cooked in the oven, not in a pan or on a griddle, and with the traditional bar marks. This innovation provides a healthier and more cost efficient way to cooking the perfect meat.

Consistency and quality are what customers look for in their food suppliers, and RATIONAL adopts these qualities in its everyday operations. If you cater for the public and are looking for cost efficiency, healthy cooking and a lower carbon footprint, look no further than a RATIONAL combi oven.


Published Date: 9th February 2016
Category: Blog, Catering Business, News, Ovens, Rational
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Ready for Christmas?

Ready for ChristmasIt’s begun. The countdown to Christmas starts today with the first window of advent calendars around the country opened and consumed.

Or perhaps you are one of the lucky ones who have an advent calendar filled with expensive cosmetics from some of the more affluent stores, which is the current trend amongst the girls.

So it’s time to start thinking about food. It’s not just about buying an uber-sized turkey or getting the nut roast out of the freezer, there is so much more to prepare and cook for the week long traditional eating fest. Think of the vegetables: brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, peas, carrots, cabbage and not forgetting those all-important roast potatoes. Then there’s the stuffing, sausages and pigs in blankets.

The bird or its equivalent for vegetarians, vegans and pescetarians takes pride of place then you have to think of the pudding. Traditional Christmas pudding with brandy sauce and dollops of custard, or trifle, profiteroles or anything else that makes you so uncomfortable that breathing becomes a chore.

It’s All in the Timing

Whatever amount of food you have, the planning and timing of the cooking process is vital. There isn’t a household in the country that hasn’t faced the nightmare of cold, overcooked or undercooked food at Christmas at some point. And that’s where a good oven comes into its own. For commercial caterers, pubs, restaurants and hotels, it is essential that the kitchen has a reputable and reliable oven, such as the range from Rational Ovens.

Here at AC Services (Southern) we recommend the Rational range for its reliability, reputation, performance and maintenance support network. Over the years and in thousands of locations, Rational ovens have proved their resilience and reliability, as well as their cost efficiency.

Rational ovens are one of the best professional kitchen cooking appliances on the market today. Rational ovens can be pre-programmed to perform almost any combination of cooking methods, including roasting, grilling, frying and broiling. What could be better for a Christmas banquet?

The manufacturer has a long-term relationship with AC Services as an approved partner, with numerous maintenance and service packages available to suit any budget across South West England and South Wales.

In addition, we supply all the assistance you need to service and maintain your oven, from Rational Grill Cleaner, Rational Rinse Aid, Rational Oven Cleaning Tablets for the SCC (SelfCooking Center®) range and for those with Care Control, Rational Care Control Tablets and accessories.

So enjoy the countdown to the big day and if you have a Rational oven, make sure it is in working order and has been recently serviced. If it’s not been serviced recently, then call us now and we can talk you through the options available on 01454 322 222 to make sure the Christmas season goes ahead without drama.


Published Date: 1st December 2015
Category: Blog, Catering Business, News, Ovens, Rational, White Efficiency
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Rational Ovens’ Regional Development Chef

Tim Calvert Rational Ovens Regional Chef for SW EnglandTim Calvert thinks he has one of the best jobs in the world. As a former chef and now employed by Rational, Tim’s job is Regional Development Chef.

Basically, what this entails is roaming around the South West of England one day a week giving cookery demonstrations on his Rational SelfCookingCenter 5 Senses.

Tim visits four locations once a week: Gloucester, Bath, Bristol and Swindon (the latter two at the local football clubs) and shows his talents off to a diverse range of clients, from care home owners to restaurateurs to decision makers in schools. And he loves his job.

You wouldn’t buy a car unless you test drove it first, and the same should apply to a combi oven” he explains. “My job as a skilled and highly trained chef is to show what a Rational appliance is capable of, and in addition, the clients can relate to me as I have a catering background, just like them.”

Rational has a strict policy of employing only staff who have experience in a kitchen environment, allowing them to empathise with the customer and understand what kind of problems are faced, chef to chef. Tim believes that this is what elevates Rational Ovens above all other competitors.

Kitchen Experts

I began with Rational a year ago, and have been over to the manufacturing site in Germany to see exactly what goes into a Rational appliance,” continues Tim. “The company knows what challenges face those working in a kitchen environment, and liaising with chefs and those with a catering background means that solutions to unseen and unforeseen problems are integrated into the design.

Tim’s party piece is demonstrating how a full English breakfast can be cooked on a Rational oven in just seven minutes. Seven minutes to produce the perfect fry-up! “It’s because these appliances cook on average 30% faster than conventional ovens,” states Tim. “And that is nothing but good news for those who run a catering establishment.

Success Rate

And the roaming Regional Development Chef concept works! Tim is proud to confirm that 80% of those who attend his demonstrations go on to buy a Rational oven. That’s an impressive turnaround and one that Tim puts down to the reliability, engineering and capacity of the appliances.

Rational produces the SelfCookingCenter® range of ovens with advanced automatic programming software that are reliable, versatile, come with a two-year guarantee and have fully automated self cleaning. Tim works closely with the team at AC Services (Southern), who service and maintain Rational ovens and who are one of Rational’s top service partners with a customer service record that is the envy of the industry.

So if you are considering purchasing a new oven, get along to one of Tim Calvert’s demonstrations throughout the South West. Call AC Services (Southern) on 01454 322 222 to find out when he will be in your area, and see for yourself how a Rational appliance can benefit your business.


Published Date: 18th November 2014
Category: Blog, News, Ovens, Rational
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With Rational and then there were five

Rational SelfCookingCenter 5 sensesThey say there are seven ages of man. Well, now Rational has gone one better and created five senses of oven. The company launched its new SelfCookingCenter® 5 Senses earlier this year and since then, it has been going down a storm with those in the catering industry.

The product is the first intelligent commercial cooking appliance that actually interacts with chefs, combining five unique elements: sense, recognition, thought, learning and communication. Combine those together and the perfect cooking appliance is born.

Clever Cooking

The SelfCookingCenter® 5 Senses has the ability to sense current cooking conditions and food consistency. It recognises the size, load quantity and product condition and has the capacity to calculate the browning requirements. The appliance then thinks ahead to calculate the ideal cooking path, having learnt the chef’s preferred cooking habits. Finally, it communicates with you. Forget the reference to man at the beginning, this seems a far better option!

If you want to see it in action, then head to the NEC in Birmingham for GLEE 2014, 14th-16th September, where this innovation will be in full action. By actually interacting with chefs, the best possible cooking results can be achieved, thanks to the interactive cooking control (iCookingControl) technology at the core of the combi. If you want to see this explained in detail, simply visit the Rational website.

It is multifunctional too, having the capacity to perform a multitude of tasks, which means it is also space saving: a SelfCookingCenter® can replace 40 to 50% of standard appliances. And to ice the cake and cherry the top as they say, it’s self cleaning. The appliance has an upgraded automatic cleaning system, called Efficient CareControl that uses reformulated cleaning tablets that last 50% longer than previous versions.

Free upgrade

What more could you expect from a company that has been perfecting combi-steaming methods since 1976? Well actually, how about a free upgrade?

Rational is offering whitefficiency owners a free 5 Senses software upgrade via a USB stick to all those who have purchased a SelfCookingCentre whitefficiency. Lee Norton, managing director of Rational UK, says,

Here at Rational, we’re so excited about the new 5 Senses technology that we wanted to make sure that our whitefficiency customers didn’t miss out. By offering the free upgrade we are underlining our total commitment to customer care and satisfaction.

So that’s intelligence, thoughtfulness, sense, recognition, learning, communication and a self cleaning capacity. Now if only Rational did man…!


Published Date: 2nd September 2014
Category: Blog, News, Ovens, Rational, Self Cooking Centre
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The Abercrave Inn – Best Kept Secret in the Brecon Beacons

The Abercrave InnThe Abercrave Inn is one of the many Great British pubs that make England one of the most sought after holiday destinations in the world. With its stunning countryside, picture postcard villages, bustling market towns and cities brimming with life, vigour, history and heritage, Great Britain has it all. People come here from all over the globe to experience our country at its very best. But the British people too are eager to see the delights that sit on their doorsteps – delights such as the Brecon Beacon National Park, and the Swansea valley.

A Subterranean World as Old as Time itself

Wales has been delighting visitors from both home and abroad for decades. Take Abercrave for example. This unassuming small town is the gateway to the Brecon Beacons. Not only that, but it is also home to Dan-yr-Ogof, the National Show-cave Centre for Wales, which so happens to boast the most spectacular show-cave complex in Northern Europe. It attracts thousands of visitors every year who flock here to explore the subterranean world that is as old as time itself. But that’s not all. There’s a culinary delight in store for visitors too. Continue reading


Published Date: 25th January 2013
Category: Case Study, News, Ovens
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Mass Catering with Fine Dining Cooking Standards

Mass Catering OvenMass catering doesn’t automatically have to mean the type of cooking that many people associate with canteen style cuisine. Before we get tons of comments from disgruntled canteen chefs, we’d better elaborate that that’s not supposed to infer that canteens cook badly. But they do tend to get put under a lot of pressure to serve food in bulk quantities, and things like al dente pasta and vegetables, and the quality of presentation can, and often do, suffer.

Technology Marches On
We all remember the jokes we used to make about mass catering and school dinners in particular, (and we expect they’re still being made). But things have moved on big time in terms of kitchen equipment in the past 2 or 3 decades. Technology now exists that allows mass catering and fine dining to go hand in hand. So if your dream business is to serve top quality cooking to a discerning audience, such as a large group of wedding reception guests for example, you can compete for cooking quality with some of the top restaurants in the country. Continue reading


Published Date: 21st January 2013
Category: News, Rational, Self Cooking Centre, White Efficiency
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Did your wish at Christmas for a new Rational oven come true?

Rational ovensIf not, then for 2013 make it your New Year’s Resolution to buy a Rational SCC White Efficiency or a Rational Combimaster Plus Oven.

Not sure what oven size you need or what model is right for you?

Then your first choice is to visit the Hospitality Show on the 21 – 23 January at the NEC Birmingham, where Rational UK have a stand and will be able to discuss your requirements and demonstrate the SCC White Efficiencies capabilities to help you decide what you need from your most important investment in 2013. For details on the Show visit the website. Continue reading


Published Date: 9th January 2013
Category: News, Ovens, Rational, Self Cooking Centre
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