The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baking in Antique Oven

BigelowBaker's picture

Baking in Antique Oven

Hi Everyone!

We're considering doing a kitchen renovation, and I've recently been infatuated with the idea of getting a retro double oven similar to the one in the picture. The ovens themselves and 15.25 inches wide x 17.25 inches tall x 17.25 inches deep, which would allow for some extra loaf space compared to my regular ol' oven now.

Does anyone have any experience baking in these kinds of old ovens? Anything in particular I should look for/be wary of?


Nickisafoodie's picture

...comes to mind.  suggest getting an accurate oven themometer and testing your bake settings to see if calibration is correct.   cool stove!

yy's picture

I've never had an "old" style oven, but I personally like to have visual feedback through a window, to assess whether something is browning too fast, not browning enough, browning unevenly, etc. If I had a windowless oven, I'd probably lose a lot of heat opening the door to peek inside multiple times. I also use my pilot llght as a reminder that the oven is on. Of course, if you're not a compulsive peeker like I am, then this would not be a problem for you. 

clazar123's picture

The only experience that comes to mind is a friend that had a stove much like this who needed a part and if it could be found (they were very hard to find) it was going to be hundreds of dollars-much more than she paid for the stove and the oven part didn't work without it. It finally went to the junk dealer for scrap.

I have LOTS of old appliances (if > 30 yrs old qualifies) and most are working because I could find parts when they broke down. So, first make sure whatever stove you buy WORKS, then make sure you can get a diagram of the workings for either you or an appliance repair person to consult and 3rd, see if you can find parts. Getting a formerly popular brand name helps.

Also make sure you build a space that will accomodate this stove and a modern stove , if that becomes necessary. The sizes are much mopre standardized nowadays.

Have baking fun!

bob13's picture

When I baked in an old Chambers Stove oven it made some ot the best bread I have ever made.  It was an old cast iron type stove and took forever to warm up, but when it got there, it took forever to cool.  Temperatures were very smooth, slow to change, and seemed to hold moisture unlike the porcelain units of toady.  This stove was soo old that when it got up to temp I actually would shut off the burner and it would bake for up to 2 hours no problem at 375-400.

gtbehary's picture

I think that the old gas ranges are as close to a professional oven as you can get.  Unfortunately the restored antique ranges have a price tag to match the newer professional models.  I like them, but you have to design the kitchen around them.  They can be over 4 feet wide!