The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Steamed up

pmccool's picture

Steamed up

Oven Steam Venting

Many of us get rather, well, steamed, about our inability to produce steam in our home ovens.  Some good techniques have been posted here on TFL.  While I doubt that any of us will be able to produce anything close to the blast of steam that commercial ovens can provide, we may be able to do better than we think we can.

The few seconds of video, above, show steam venting from my electric oven.  From all appearances, nothing much was going on inside the oven.  From the outside, it is evident that quite a bit of steam is present as it hits the room-temperature air, cools, condenses, and becomes visible.  Despite the apparent velocity of the steam exiting the vent, the oven fan is not turned on.  The background noise is the fan in the vent hood above the oven, which has no effect on the rate of steam production or egress from the oven.

My steaming set-up is extremely low tech: a broiler pan on a shelf below the baking stone.  It is preheated along with the oven and stone.  When I'm ready to load the bread, I pour a cup of boiling water into the pan.  A lot of the water flashes instantly to steam.  (I stay well out of the way of the erupting steam!)  The bread is loaded as quickly as possible and the oven door is closed.  Within seconds, I start seeing the steam wafting out of the oven vent.  Needless to say, I won't be blocking the vent; I don't want that steam finding its way into the electronics.

So, nothing new here, really; just an observation that confirms both steam generation and steam venting.  



chouette22's picture

... but I DO block the vent! I feel all the steam is escaping if not (I block for no more than 10 minutes, but maybe I should reduce it to 5). I have not observed any problems with my oven/stove operating, so I'll keep doing it. 

Mebake's picture

The same happens here, Paul, and i clock the vent. The vent on my fan assisten electic oven is on the far end of the stove in the middle. I use a damp towel to block the vent and hold it for 15 minutes. I use the stovetop grill mount weigh in on the towel. Been doing that for 2 years now. ultimately ,Steam does vent through the towel but at a slower rate.