The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Convection oven capacity

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dboudwin's picture
dboudwin

Convection oven capacity

My wife and I bake a lot of bread. We pretty much supply her side of the family right now (since they supplied us with a Hobart 20 qt mixer), which we like to do. Utah also has a "Cottage Food" law that we're just about to be 100% compliant with so we can legally sell our bread retail. Its a nice low risk way to have more fun in the kitchen.


Currently we bake 8- 2lb loaves at a time in a non-convection, electric oven. Depending on how the oven is feeling that day, and with some tweaking, we generally get pretty good results. My question is, what have you all found to be max oven capacity? With your residential convection ovens can you bake more loaves with greater uniformity?

verminiusrex's picture
verminiusrex

I've had a convection oven for over a year. I think people assume convection ovens cook faster and more food, which may be true to a degree but that doesn't mean it's good to pile in too much.


Instead think of a convection oven as being able to cook a good about of stuff without having to rotate the pans for even browning. I baked 3 racks with 6 bagels on each pan without the need to rotate them, whereas my old oven did 2 racks with the need to rotate the pans halfway through baking. 


I'm a big fan of my convection oven and highly recommend them. Just remember that you have to drop the temp about 25 degrees (most home convection ovens do it automatically) because heat delivery is more efficient. 

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

We just remodeled our kitchen and with it, we put in a double oven. Top oven is a convection oven. Bottom oven is traditional electric. We got a sweet deal on it (still have them around, btw) at a Sears Outlet - new in box for $1000 (GE profile). The reason for the low price? Because it's bisque colored and everyone wants stainless steel. For saving 2 grand on a double oven? I'll take it in bisque thank you!


Anyway.. about capacity. The double oven has been WONDERFUL. The other day I made cookies in both ovens - stuck in four pans and in 12 minutes they were all done.


What I found out was, the convection oven had the more even heat - as you would expect, and cooked the cookies faster which meant they didn't spread as much and therefore kept there more 'bakery' look. Also, the oven is more shallow because of the added fan in back. BUT it comes with three racks whereas the bottom oven comes with two.


I'm trying to imagine cooking 8 loaves of bread at once PERIOD... hard to imagine that..Four on a shelf? I might worry about 8 not fitting in the convection oven.


Of course, the easy way to solve that is to take your pans with you to a store and test it out for yourself - to see if they physically fit. If you can get your regular oven to work out 8 loaves at a time, the convection oven will for sure handle BAKING it for you - if it can physically fit, but really... if you are baking that much  - look at getting a double oven. They don't have to break the bank.. of course, making room in the kitchen for one might (but is so worth it).

mimifix's picture
mimifix

Greetings!


I've tested numerous brands of ovens, convection and conventional, when I worked for Maytag/Jenn-Air appliances. You'll probably be happier with the convection, and be able to produce more. But every oven is different so you might still need to rotate pans since some ovens develop hot spots. Wall ovens typically have a smaller capacity than standard-size ranges.


I've had a home-based food business for many years and now teach it to newcomers - both the business side and hands-on baking. Bread is a labor-intensive product; for students who need to make a living from their baking I always suggest adding another product or two - maybe stuffed breads or rolls. Even muffins or cookies. I write about food, and running a home-based food business, http://www.bakingfix.com/ My blog (The Fix) is on the left side of the menu. If you have other questions, contact me through my website.


Good luck, Mimi