The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Oven

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yogajan's picture
yogajan

Oven

The time has come for me to purchase a new oven.  After 23 years and a lot of use, mine is not working well. I am trying to go to the next level in bread baking and this one is not doing it for me.  I am not interested in one that has a built in steamer, unless someone can convince me that it is necessary.

While money is not the biggest factor, I do have to take it into consideration.  This would be wall mounted.

Any hints, recommendations, negatives or anything else would be appreciated. I live in Southern CA and would need someone to install it for me, also.

Thanks in advance.

Jan

 

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Hi Jan,

You may be best served by visiting your library and looking through the 2012 Consumers Reports Buying Guide.  The top three brands are Kenmore, Thermador and Bosch.  The bottom three are Kitchen Aid and two Whirlpool models.  The Kenmore and Bosch were rated as a "CR best buy."  The guide also has suggestions on what to look for.

GE has fewest repairs; Jenn Air has the most.

Sears sells both Kenmore and Bosch and also does installations - at least here in Michigan.

Hope you find something to fill your needs!

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Jan,

I did an oven search last summer.  Was very disappointed in what I found.  I did not check consumer reports becasue I have been burned by their ratings in the past.  I called my local repair shop to find out which brands they have to service the most.  What I found was that the problems most ovens have now a days are with the electronics - especially when high heat is used.  Burns out the main computer board which then has to be replaced and they are not cheap and you can end up waiting weeks for it to be repaired.  ( I know because mine went out - oven 4 years old which seems to be the magic # for how long they last....)

What I recommend is calling a repair shop in your area and ask them.  Also ask if there are any brands they CAN NOT get parts for. I know where I live they can not get Bosch parts.  I ended up choosing the Electrolux because it is made in Canada and still a 'reputable' brand and parts are available  BUT I didn't buy one....Bought a large commercial countertop oven  (Cadco XAF 113) instead and have been totally pleased with it.  No electronic computer board to blow out and it does have steam :-)  

Good Luck,

Janet

awysocki's picture
awysocki

Janet,

I see you bought a Cadco XAF 113 - How do you like it,  I looks like it can hold a full size sheet/jelly roll pan.  It looks like it might do the trick for what I'm looking for, Though I need to bake 6 - 2lb/1000gm  loaves at a time.  Have you ever baked that much.

It only being 110v oven concerns me on recovery time.  I do hold to the "If you are looking its not cooking" but when you put the pan in does the heat stay?  And do you have hot spots.

Thanks in advance.

Andy

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Andy,

No, the 113 won't hold that many loaves at a time.  It's capacity is the half-sheet size only.  Next one up is the full size and does need the 220v due to that.

This suits my needs and I LOVE it.  It holds the heat a lot better than a home toaster oven.  The insulation has to pass all the restaurant codes.  I also keep a  baking stone in it at all times and that helps maintain the temp. too.  I think it bakes better that my 'old' oven which I still have due to the cook top and for when I bake things other than breads.  It also uses way less energy.  My electric bills have been less than a year ago and the only thing I have changed is 'what' I am baking in.

Not sure if you are a professional baker or not but I am just a home baker so the results I am after wouldn't be as stringent as a 'professionals' would be.  I can easily bake 4 - 600g boules at a time but with the stone there is no way I have room to add another shelf for more boules at the same time.  What I do  though, if I have rolls to bake at the same time,  I put the boules on the bottom shelf on the hot stone, leave out the middle shelf and use the top shelf for the rolls.  Mostly I try to control my proofing times so only one type of loaf is loaded at a time....i.e. rolls with rolls, boules with boules, panned breads with panned breads...

When I was doing my research I seem to recall that the size up from mine wasn't any taller; simply longer.  You might check that out. I know the price wasn't a whole lot more but wiring for 220v would have been and I just didn't need that much space nor wanted to do any electrical work since this is just a 'hobby' for me :-)

Also, this oven is convection only if that makes any difference in your baking.

Yes, it has a hot spot.  Left rear of the oven but it isn't that significant.  I sometimes rotate loaves, sometimes not depending on what I have going on.  If loaded with 3 sheet pans of rolls they do need to be rotated as the air doesn't circulate as well as when using only 2 shelves.  Directions recommend using 2nd shelf first; top shelf second; bottom - last.

It is a breeze to clean and I love that I have it on a rolling cart so I do not have to bend down when loading or unloading breads anymore.  I love that it has manual controls too.  2 dials only and a button to push for the steam function which is not very sophisticated but it suits me needs.

Hope this helps.  

Take Care,

Janet

 

awysocki's picture
awysocki

Janet.

Thank you and I love that you gave detailed as to why you like it, that helps me so much.  I'm in agreement with you, I really don't want to add the expense of getting a second 220v plug added to my kitchen, and not really about to pull the oven away from the wall to swap plugs (lol).

One last question, in the videos of the oven, there is a lot of back ground noise or is it the oven,  I've read a few reviews where people say its noiser than they expected to it was too noisy for their kitchen.   What is your take, Is it a jet engine ready to take off, or a cheap dishwasher running the wash cycle to a puppy/cat sleeping?

Thanks yet again.

/A

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Andy,

Good question.  Hard to describe the sound so I  turned it on then turned on my microwave....and here is what I came up with.  It is a noise similar to my dishwasher (when it worked :-) and my microwave.  I would describe it as a loud 'white' noise.   

In my search I read on reviewer who mentioned the noise so I was prepared.  They said it bothered them at first but soon they didn't notice it at all.  That has been my experience too.  In fact, on the rare occasions that I use my 'regular' oven, I don't trust that it is working as it is silent.   The noise doesn't bother me at all these days even when the oven is being used in my house.  (I keep it in my garage in the summer when it is too hot to bake indoors.).

If you get one I  highly recommend a cart if you aren't placing it on a counter.  I bought my cart at a local restaurant supply store and it was a whole lot cheaper than buying through an online dealer.  Think it was about 130.00 including the casters.

Take Care,

Janet

 

yogajan's picture
yogajan

No, I didn't buy it.  I am looking at options for a new oven.  A stand oven will work for me, since I can put it in my garage, where I am thinking about designing a bread making station.  I have a small kitchen, so I am considering various options. 

Jan

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Jan,

Not sure where you live but though I might mention that if you live in mouse country - your garage probably won't work in the cooler months unless it is completely sealed off from the outside.

I bought the Cadco for use in the garage and it was great over the summer.  As soon as things cooled down...the mice began to want a roof over their wee heads so they began to move indoors aka my garage.  I had to move my mill back inside and moved the oven in too though it would have been fine.  

Just be careful of what you leave out in your 'bread station'.  Grains will attract rodents and rodents here can carry the hunta virus which I care not to house in my body  :-O.  Mice also attract snakes which I don't mind as the ones where I live are harmless - not so in other parts of the country...

Janet

yogajan's picture
yogajan

Janet,

Thanks so much for your information. I should have thought about the mice situation and I am glad you mentioned it.  I could easily put an oven in my garage, but it probably wouldn't work to put the flours and grains there.  I live in Southern California, close to the ocean and with a canyon behind my house that is the home to all kinds of wild critters.  I have had rats and mice in the past and never want to go through that again.  Because of the water heater in the garage, vents are required by code, so the mice have an easy entry. 

Back to plan B.  But I am really interested in the oven and am going to keep my eyes open for a good used one.

Thanks to you and everyone for the good information.  Great group.

Jan

 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Jan,

Glad to have saved you some surprises :-O  

Have fun withwork great on the plastic pails for keeping grains/flours free from critters looking for an easy snack.  They come in a variety of colors so you can store grains by color.  

Have fun with your planning.

Janet

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

reason for kitty baking apprentices!  I'm guessing Ian doesn't have mice in his garage with his 5 mice hunting apprentices?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Ran into a new problem with oven doors.  It looks great, makes the kitchen glamorous, but when turning on the oven light, can't see my thermometer or what's baking in the oven.  Might as well be a solid door!  The oven light is also placed in the back corner so I can't really see the baked goods either when I do open the door.

Suggestion: Find an oven with the light in the front near the top of door opening and avoid dark glass doors.

Garman's picture
Garman

I have owned this oven for over 5 years, purchased new. Very disappointing. It takes at least 30 minutes to heat to 450 F. Opening the door causes an immediate drop in temperature & takes up to 20 minutes to recover. Pretty sad considering how much you pay. It will handle a half-sheet and has 3 racks.  For cookies and cupcakes, okay. For yeasted products, save your money. I rarely bake anything in it. Hey, it looks good, right! s/s, self-cleaning- but a terrible appliance for a chef. 

I also have a Wolf and needless to say it is gas and far superior in every way. It will handle a full sheet and is standard with two racks. No broiler. And, no it is not cheap either, but you get what you pay for-- and unfortunately, I believed CR and other reviews.  Buy American!- although I do think our Bosch D/W MODEL SHX57C05UC/21 is top shelf.