The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Nu-Vu XO-1 for artisan breads?

Thor Simon's picture
Thor Simon

Nu-Vu XO-1 for artisan breads?

I've been looking at the Nu-Vu XO-1 as a possible option for a new oven.  I've seen other tabletop catering ovens in the past that are available either in a 120V configuration or with steam injection, but these options have been mutually exclusive.  Also, I am having trouble finding any of the other similar ovens mentioned here in the past (in fact, I can't even find the discussions in a forum search -- too much discussion of the Westinghouse consumer steam ovens drowning everything else out, I guess).

It looks like the XO-1 can be ordered in 120V with steam.  Has anyone here had any experience with this oven, or similar ovens?  The Nu-Vu web site doesn't seem to show a manual available; I guess I'll call them and see if I can get one.

I primarily intend to use this oven for artisan breads.  I have a gas range with rotisserie that takes care of the rest of my baking rather nicely, but it's a great big box with so-so temperature control and an overly aggressive venting system that makes it hard to steam things up well for bread baking.  A second use might be pizza; my current range tops out at 500F, and my old range which went to 550 with convection was noticeably better for that.

 

sharonk's picture
sharonk

HI Thor,

Did you ever buy this oven? If so, how has it worked for you?

many thanks,

sharonk

GoodSteam's picture
GoodSteam

That oven is far from an artisan oven. Steam? I don't think so except spraying water on a flywheel. Don't do it. It bakes good chocolate chip cookies though.

Thor Simon's picture
Thor Simon

So, just noticing I never responded to this.  I ended up with a Cadco XAF-113 (a.k.a. Unox Stefania).  It uses a similar system of spraying water on the convector fan to generate steam, which frankly works just great -- I see no reason to avoid that method of steam generation.

Drawbacks with this sort of oven particularly at 120V where temperature recovery will take a long time are:

  • Temperature recovery is very slow.  Shut the oven off 5-10 seconds before opening the door if you don't want to lose 25F in a heartbeat -- and use every heat-retaining accessory available, such as the manufacturer's metal baking deck (the Cadco aluminum one is particularly nice) and baking stones on every rack you're not using.
  • The powerful fan will interfere with crust formation.  To combat this, steam the oven immediately before loading, then load quickly with the oven *shut off* and leave it off for 1.5-3 minutes; then turn the oven back on, steam again, bake.
  • Baking times are wicked fast, even with the slow temperature recovery -- start looking hard at the bread at 50% of most recipe times.  The fan is enormously powerful and moves enough air to transfer heat at a crazy rate -- you can literally watch the bread puff up like a ball inflating in a matter of 30s or so once it gets to the threshold where oven spring begins.

A peculiarity of the Cadco/Unox ovens, at least mine, is that the fan deflector plate sold for pastry and other delicate items is model-specific and the U.S. distributor shipped me the wrong plate for my oven.  If you can get the right plate, you might be able to get a good crust without resorting to shutting the oven off around the load time -- and it would definitely be called for if you want to make croissants or the like.

Oh, and it does, in fact, make awesomely good chocolate chip cookies.