The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

The Hearth Kitchen Oven Insert

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vincestinson's picture
vincestinson

The Hearth Kitchen Oven Insert

Has anyone else had any experience with the The Hearth Kitchen Oven. Its a brick over insert for a your oven. My sister-in-law swears by hers and is talking me into buying one. Anyone have any experience with this product? The company I'm working for designed a site for them and they are on sale until the 25th on the site advertised in the infomercial cheaper then anywhere else. http://www.hearthkitchen.com/ Any advice outside of the family that have used it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks V

goetter's picture
goetter

Mr. Red Olive Design, you might want to mention your professional association with "the site advertised in the infomercial."

vincestinson's picture
vincestinson

I would like comments on how it works since we worked on the web site. I've heard nothing but good things about it and am thinking about getting one. Thanks

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

I had one when I lived in Watertown, MA but the new house we bought in July when we moved to Corvallis, OR has an oven that's too small for the hearth kit. I got a regular stone that will fit my oven.

To be honest, I'd not get the hearth kit again. It takes at least an hour, sometimes more, to get up to full heat, and it's a real pain to get in and out of the oven. If you want to cook something quick, it's just not possible.

It did a great job with bread, but no better, really, than the stone I've got now, and I can remove it a lot easier than the super heavy hearth kit. It also cost about 1/5 as much ....

hefetc's picture
hefetc

I have one that I don't tend to use because it takes so long to pre-heat. It adds a good hour (at least) to pre-heating time, which ends up being very energy-inefficient. Once it's heated up, you can theoretically turn the oven off earlier to compensate, but there's really no way to judge when or if you can do that and have the heat stay constant. 

The only time I use it is when I'm baking pizza or something that won't fit in the dutch oven. I much prefer my $30 cast iron dutch oven for baking artisan breads (though that means they have to be round... oh well).

For non-bread items, I never found any baking improvement was significant enough to warrant the preheating hassle. 

So, I would say, save your money. 

sphealey's picture
sphealey

Personally I am happy with my Hearthstone. It is heavy and difficult for the smaller members of my family to move, and it does take a lot of preheating. But it makes great pizza and does seem to do a better job on whole-grain batards than other lighter surfaces. And once it is heated up I can bake all afternoon with less loss of temperature on opening the oven.

YMMV.

sPh

bakerman1962's picture
bakerman1962

Yes it does take quite a while to preheat but I think it delivers

a much better crust than just baking stones.  I have used both

and love my hearthstone.  I don't find it that hard to remove and I

keep it under the stove when not in use.  I think there is a lot less

loss of heat when the door is opened than when using thin baking

stones.  It's a thermal mass thing  

Kevin

Oregon Baker

ilikecrepes's picture
ilikecrepes

I have a couple hearth kits we use professionally and they fit the bill for us. We only cook bread sticks and pizza and we do keep the ovens on all day too.  My two cents.

mikeofaustin's picture
mikeofaustin

WAYYYY too expensive for what you can basically get with just a simply stone.  Need a radiant stone effect (not in direct contact with product) just use two oven shelves.  Need side radiance?  put smaller stone tiles on the side.  $200 is just crazy... I just don't see any added improvement.

...plus, I think this may be a spam ad for their product. Only 1 entry for the original poster gives it away.  ...plus, ilikecrepes, that has 'multiple units', also has one post. My sincerist apologies if this isn't spam, but spammers just sicken me by their sneaky tactics to make you buy their product.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I wouldn't call it spam, though it may be astroturfing (an attempt to make an organized PR campaign look like spontaneous praise). Hard to say.

Having one thread on this product is a legitimate way of community members sharing their experiences with it. Some of the posters, such as JMonkey and sphealey, have been long-time members here. Their opinions can be trusted as truly reflecting their experiences. Someone with a single post may not be legit but, then again, if they Googled on hearth kit yesterday, it is possible they ended up here and want to add their own two cents.

vincestinson's picture
vincestinson

Thanks for your help on this. I'm new to the fourm and interested in the product like I mentioned and wanted to get honest comments.

Marty's picture
Marty

I've owned a Hearthkit for a while and am happy with it. It is quite heavy, but in my case it's in a dedicated oven. When we replaced the 1969 stove I put it in the basement and the Hearthkit is always installed. Due to some "adjustments" I can get it up to temperature a little sooner by going to the clean cycle. Stone temperature of 800 deg is not a problem.  It would be a pain to keep moving in and out of the main kitchen stove. I try to plan using it for multiple baking starting with pizza and then moving on to bread as things cool down. After that who knows.

Yes it is pricey. New name I gather. It was Hearthkit when it began.

lambyfluff's picture
lambyfluff

Hi,


 


I have one and use it regularly.  I don't mind the pre-heat requirements as I think I get a better end product compared to a single pizza stone.  It is heavy so pushing the oven rack into place once the hearth is assembled takes some effort.  Overall, I'm very pleased with the product.

dausone's picture
dausone

Sorry for bumping an old thread but I just picked up one of these from a craigslist ad. It was a lot cheaper than when they were being produced but with no warranty I was hesitant. Ehh, what the hey. My first experiment turned out great. I am extremely pleased with the even color all the way around and didn't have to turn the bread once during baking. I've been thinking, if I can rally enough folks that might be interested in a replica of this kit, I might be willing to make them. I have a friend who manufacturers tiles and this should be an easy task I'm hoping. :)  PM me and I will keep everyone updated.