The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Good suggestions of small or semi-commercial ovens

shane.p.mcmanus's picture

Good suggestions of small or semi-commercial ovens

Hi everyone!

I just joined the forum today, but i've been reading for quite some time. I am doing a cost-analysis of opening a bakery in Beijing, where I have lived for a number of years. There are very few good bakeries, and especially bagel shops. One of my friends has his own bagel store back in the U.S., and he has already agreed to come out for a month or two to help us open shop and train employees and myself included.

So here is the question of this topic:

I want to buy a nice oven (yet not go broke) that can cook bagels, at least 12-24 at a time, with steam function. I also want the ability to cook artisan loaves and other breads as pictured on this site as our skill increases.  My friend is currently using the REVENT 726 gas, but it is a bit out of my price range, and I think the cooking capacity exceeds bagel demand over here.

Don't worry about suppliers, I can have family purchase it back home and ship it over if need be.


Thank you all so much for the help! Wish me luck!

Chuck's picture

I suggest you investigate "deck ovens" (including searching for that term here on TFL). They come in a wild variety of sizes, of which it sounds like you want the smallest one. One way to find small ones is to look for references to "pastry".

Most ovens come in both electric and gas models. Choose what you really want based on your infrastructure; don't let the oven dictate. (Some brands are good only at one or the other though, so getting the equivalent model with the other power source may require switching to a different manufacturer.) (Electric deck ovens can use a lot of electricity and so may necessitate non-trivial rewiring.)

Look for words like "brick oven" or "cordierite". These mean the baking stone is built right in to the oven, and you don't need to add your own (indeed you shouldn't).

"Used" is of course a whole lot cheaper  ....but you need to be quite wary about not getting an oven that's being re-sold because it's essentially "worn out".

Finally, try to find something with easily available replacement parts. (maybe a fairly new model from a manufacturer who's also prominent in the repair business?)

Ruralidle's picture

Would one of the larger Rofco ovens do the job? .  You will probably need to use Google Translate or similar tool on the pages and I don't know if they are shipped to China.