The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Can I use steam in my oven?

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MaxQ's picture
MaxQ

Can I use steam in my oven?

I have a brand new oven, and I am not about to go experimenting with it and steam, for fear of breaking delicate electronic equipment.

I'm sure though that someone out there has an oven like mine and has already tried.

So, has anybody done this in a Sauter 1010DBBI/1010DNI oven? I'm not sure which one it is, the instruction manual is for both models. Also, nowehere does it say "You can put a ton of steam in this oven" or "Don't ever put a lot of steam in this oven", so that's not helpful.

Thanks.

Toad.de.b's picture
Toad.de.b

Unless there's something really different about the design and engineering of your oven (never heard of Sauter ovens - you in the US?), you can steam it like any other, using any of the many creative methods to be found by seaching past TFL posts with key words "oven steam" or similar.  Restrictions to consider include, (1) avoid getting liquid water on any glass (window or lights) to avoid cracking them, (2) avoid getting liquid water where there are electrical connections (obvious: electronic pilot for gas ovens, lights, heating element connections for elec ovens) and (3) avoid using so much liquid water that you flood the oven bottom and water flows where it isn't needed, just by gravity. The latter can be completely inconsequential for many ovens.  For my wall oven, excess liquid water has dripped down into the cavity below.  Annoying, messy, but not dangerous.

Happy baking!

Tom

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Unless you hear "yes" from someone (and, frankly, even if you do hear "yes" from someone), you probably should assume "no."  Play it safe and bake in a covered pot, a dutch oven, or with an inverted aluminum pan.  Truthfully, I've had better luck with those approaches than trying to steam my whole oven anyway!

Good luck!

-Floyd

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

Ask the maker of the device before you void a guarantee or break something that in the end costs more than you can tolerate?  It's just a call to an 800 number, after all.

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

Ask the maker of the device before you void a guarantee or break something that in the end costs more than you can tolerate?  It's just a call to an 800 number, after all.

pjkobulnicky's picture
pjkobulnicky

Don't know the model or brand. Electric or gas? Is it a free standing range or a wall oven? In general, you will have little problem with a free standing range oven that is gas. Gas is vented more freely and so the hot steam is not kept in the oven as well. This is bad for bread but good for your oven's electronics. Brewad temps with steam in these ovens are usually not a problem. Free standing electrical ovens are usually OK but may be problematic. I would avoid steam in any wall mount oven ... not enough good ventilation.

However, the universal disclaimer ... send an e-mail to your manufacturer and ask them. You may want to tell them how you are putting steam in ... hot water in a cast iron pan, etc.

Hope this helps.

pjkobulnicky's picture
pjkobulnicky

Don't know the model or brand. Electric or gas? Is it a free standing range or a wall oven? In general, you will have little problem with a free standing range oven that is gas. Gas is vented more freely and so the hot steam is not kept in the oven as well. This is bad for bread but good for your oven's electronics. Bread temps with steam in these ovens are usually not a problem. Free standing electrical ovens are usually OK but may be problematic. I would avoid steam in any wall mount oven ... not enough good ventilation.

However, the universal disclaimer ... send an e-mail to your manufacturer and ask them. You may want to tell them how you are putting steam in ... hot water in a cast iron pan, etc.

Hope this helps.

MaxQ's picture
MaxQ

Thanks for all the replies.

It's a French manufacturer, and their web site is entirely in French, so sending an email won't work. I found more paperwork on it and it's the 1010DBBI model.

It's a free standing electric oven with a gas stove top. I don't think there are any complicated digital elements to the oven. The controls are all turn knobs. There is something called turbo mode. As far as I can tell it's a fan that blows the hot air around. The oven does have a thermostat, but it's quite primitive, just a light that goes on and off whether the oven is heating up or not. Probably purely mechanical.

The warranty is covered by a third party, the ones who sold me the oven, but so far I haven't been able to talk to a human, just robots.

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

Use Google Translate to read the website.  Use this website to find a French-English speaker.  Do these easy things before your ruin your oven.

Toad.de.b's picture
Toad.de.b

With all due respect to fellow TFLoafers (including our host :-), everything we cook in an oven goes in wet and that wetness turns to steam under the influence of the oven's heat.  Moisture varies from very little (toasting a tray of granola, e.g.) to very high (a 20lb turkey surrounded by vegetables in an open pan).  Every oven is designed, to greater and lesser extents depending on brand and model, to handle the water vapor released from heated, cooking food.  MaxQ, you don't need to put "a ton of steam" in your oven to achieve to objectives of baking hearth breads with good spring and blistered, chestnut colored crusts.  The methods commonly in use by TFL denizens introduce modest and adequate amounts of steam, enough to give you a steam burn if you open the oven without gloves on when steam levels reach their maximum 5-10 min into the bake.  That being said, some ambitious and creative hackers have posted methods that do indeed introduce "a ton of steam" into their home ovens (typically hooking up a high pressure hose to the pressure relief outlet of a stovetop pressure cooker), but these are excessive, adventurous approaches more for the challenge and thrill than for the bake's requirements.  And finally, if my forgettory serves, these approaches have always been depicted as being applied with older, white porcelain-enameled workhorse stoves, not fresh-out-of-the-box imported (French no less!) baubles.

In sum, I think you'd be hard put to damage your unit by using any of the widely adopted methods of oven steaming described @TFL.  A couple of boiling hot terry towels in a dish are not going to do any more 'damage' to your new oven than a big roasting turkey would. 

Respectfully submitted,

Tom

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Funny, I just baking up a turkey last week, in my elec. ge oven, while also roasting veggies, making pizza and baking bread in my WFO.  No room for the turkey, and I didn't want my cleaned oven messed up.  I placed my veggie stuffed organic turkey with extra veggies under her in one of those oven bags.  Well over a quart of juices released, nice for gravy!  I roast and bake and often see plenty of steam, especially on my face and glasses if I don't step back far enough when opening the oven door when cooking, even with smaller bakes.  Not being an engineer of ovens,  I would have to think this is why my GE ele. wall oven  vents in all settings.   Being as it was an organic turkey.  I don't think water was added to it's meat.  A turkey is a good example of how much steam an oven is capable of handling, especially considering the space it also takes up in the oven.  No problems with my now 13 yr. old oven.  I would never say 'do it my way', just use common sense and apply it to the oven your using.

Sylvia

  

 

Toad.de.b's picture
Toad.de.b

Ha!  As I was drafting my Turkey Defense of oven steaming above, it occurred to me that one could use the cooking turkey (or other fleshy beast) as a source of steam if your oven was big enough to accommodate the beast + bread.  Might give the crust a vegan-unfriendly but otherwise possibly appealing avian note.  Or not.  Then again, "removing the steam apparatus" after 10-20 min presents a problem for finishing cooking "the steam apparatus".

Tom

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I put my apple pie in another oven.

Sylvia

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

You can kill an oven with steam, as noted here.  The issue seems to have more to do with blocking the vents, which can force steam into places it ought not go, that it does with the quantity of steam.  Then again, some ovens are darn near bullet-proof.

Paul