Help, I need a new oven!
Last Sunday, my most epic baking day yet (14 loaves, five types), my oven bit the dust. It's a less than five-year-old Kenmore gas oven. After preheating for 2.5 hours on Sunday, it only got up to 200 degrees. More broiling and preheating wouldn't get it hotter. The repairman came on Friday and said we needed a new main circuit board. And a new sensor. The total would be $320. We bought the oven used for $150.
It is possible that the huge billows of steam did something to the board. Frankly, I don't see why you need electronic circuitry in an oven. It is possible that the last 6 months of intense baking with multiple stones in the oven caused a problem. I don't know, I'm not a mechanic. But I do know that one should be able to bake in an oven without melting down the circuits.
So. My conundrum now is about oven types. Here in Southern California, there are tons of vintage ovens from the 40s and 50s around. They are tempting both for the reliability of mechanical and solid components, and for the possibility of a double oven (yeah, Wedgewood!).
For all you bakers out there, which way should I go? Is it better to get a newer (and bigger) oven that may break down again with all the steaming and baking? Or should I go for a 50-year old model with a smaller oven but sturdier components? FYI, I'm looking at Wedgewood, O'Keefe and Merritt, and Gaffers and Sattler for vintage ovens. I have no idea what new oven brand would be good.