The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Homemade Convection Oven?

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danpincus's picture
danpincus

Homemade Convection Oven?

Are there fans available that can be put in ovens to self-style a convection oven?


Dan

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

I rather doubt it.  My oven has a recessed fan in the center of the back vertical wall of the oven.  That fan has a metal grill over it, and between the grill and the fan is a big heating element that I can see getting red hot when it is on.  That tells me that the convection heating air is blown through that big heater by the fan and is then circulated about the inside of the oven.  An oven not designed for convection will have the heating elements in awkward places for tryin to get a fan behind them.  I think you won't get near the same effect from just a free-standing fan inside the oven trying to move the ambient air around.


All that said, who's to say the idea won't produce interesting baked goods?  If you can try it safely, give it a go and let us know.  Be careful, and have fun.


OldWoodenSpoon

Yumarama's picture
Yumarama

Consider that your standard oven right now is pretty much just a box with (likely) heating elements at bottom and top and racks that fill the space from front right to back.


Where would the fan go?


Aside from the logistics of running power to the fan motor somehow, the best you could do to retrofit a fan is attach it to the sides or back of the oven. Well, you can't add it to the sides because that's where the racks have their slots so the only alternative is on the back wall. Now you have a fan that takes up a few inches of the back oven's space. Your racks no longer fit because the fan's in the way and unless you get custom-made racks, you can't shut the oven door.


So possibly with some definite modifications and much custom metal work you could get a fan in there but you'd be a lot better off just getting a new oven that has a convection fan built in.


I'm also unsure that a convection oven is the best thing for bread making. Remember that part of the reason you steam bread is to keep the crust moist for the first while to allow it to expand for oven spring. A convection oven would rather negate that, cooking the crust faster. 


Although convection is great for some things (I hear it's awesome with cookies and pot roasts) you might want to make use of a friend's convection and test a batch of bread before deciding it's what you need for your kitchen.


I have a new convection oven and have never used it for bread. Maybe I'm missing out? But I don't believe so.

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

I have a convection oven and don't like it for bread baking - it does give more uniform heat, but I find it drying. I get a better crust with the fan off. In fact, I always turn the fan off when I'm baking bread (or pizza, for that matter).


Maybe others will have a different take, but that's mine, based on my experience.

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

I agree. I also find the convection option to dry things out more than the regular gas so I don't use mine for baking bread. It is great for cooking though.

rick.c's picture
rick.c

I had the same thought not long ago.  All you would need is a harsh environment AC motor that will withstand 600* and steam, plus some high temp wiring and a fan blade.  I didn't find one, but I didn't look as hard as I could have.


Anyway, I would place it at the top of the oven aiming down, either hang it from whatever the elements hang from or support it above the rack.


My next step in finding a fan was to try to contact an oven manufacturer to find where they get thiers, but, I never got that far.  Good luck and let us know how or if it works for you,


Rick

ehanner's picture
ehanner

You could look around at convection ovens to see which model has a shallow profile assembly and order the parts. Then it's just a matter of finding a way to mount the motor and fan.


Eric

nanceann's picture
nanceann

I appreciate your trying to be frugal and innovative in adapting your existing oven to a convection.  However, I would encourage you instead to spend the $$$ and get yourself a good convection oven.  I have been demoing Dacor ovens for about 5 years now, and I am the queen of convection.  Dacor is considered high end, like Viking, Wolf and Thermidor.  I tell people all the time though that it is money well spent, you will be amazed at what your oven can do for you.  There is a local bread artisan here who has a Dacor in her kitchen and wouldn't trade it for anything.  We both use pure convection settings for everything, and are rarely disappointed. 


 


Good luck and happy baking!

Thomas Mc's picture
Thomas Mc

I would think it would be very hard to get uniform airflow with a homemade setup.


When we moved into this house it had an old Gagenau electric convection oven. The fan was recessed into the center of the back wall, and blew directly into the center of the oven. The air return was a hole in an upper corner. The result was that the hottest air was always blowing on whatever was in the center of the oven, and you still had to turn things to get them evenly browned.


When we remodeled a couple years ago, we replaced that with a gas convection oven. The fan is also in the back, but it has a flattened dome over it. It blows air out sideways in a many sided star pattern, along the sides of the oven, with the air returning in the center of that dome. I have yet to find anything that did not brown perfectly evenly with this setup, no matter where I put things in the oven, or how crowded it is. Being in a very arid climate (dry air doesn't transfer heat very well) we always have an old metal rectanglar cake pan with water in the bottom of the oven anyway, so drying out is not a problem. I just pour a cup of boiling water in there when I bake bread, and have perfect crust.

nanceann's picture
nanceann

Be very careful with this.  I'm pretty certain what you are suggesting would not meet 'code' in most areas.  If your concept doesn't work right, and you end up with a real disaster, like a fire, you may have problems with your homeowner's insurance.  I hope that nothing like that happens, but just something to be aware of.

danpincus's picture
danpincus

Thank you all for your responses.  I am closing this thread now.  Happy baking.

cokkinos's picture
cokkinos

Years ago I saw a wind up convection fan on the internet. On a natural food site. At the time I had a convection oven so I did not order it *-(