The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Home oven recommendation

  • Pin It
TriMom's picture
TriMom

Home oven recommendation

Hello!

I am new to this wonderful forum and am interested in recommendations on a double wall oven for my home kitchen. Current oven is a 33+ year old Hotpoint.  It is satisfactory for most baking although the bottom oven runs about 25 degrees F low.

I have a lot of general baking experience but am ready to kick my game up a notch and tackle artisan bread.  My cookies and muffins are delicious and my regular slicing bread is pretty good, but, it's nowhere showroom or bakery quality. Someday I will get there.

In the mean time, what is a good oven to consider?  We will remodel our 33+ year old kitchen possibly this fall on a modest budget.  The oven is my #1 priority.  Is it necessary to buy a $3k Wolff or is a mid line oven from a local appliance store okay?  I use my oven a lot so it needs to be a reliable workhorse.

Thanks!

BGM's picture
BGM

I've not been impressed with my Dacor ovens (wall and stove).  They cook well but the electronic controls have given trouble and I have had several expensive service calls after the warranties ran out.

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

Try to get the highest temp possible in your new oven. I wasn't thinking about baking bread when I bought my oven a few years ago. It only goes up to 500F, which is more than plenty for cakes, cookies, and daily bread (sandwich loaf), but not hot enough for the best artisan bread, or truly great pizza. It does have a self-clean cycle, which I have long considered a must, so it is technically capable of going very hot, but the controls stop at 500F for both bake and broil, and I don't know why.

adri's picture
adri

I think this is for safety reasons. Usually with self clean cycles, either the door is locked or it stops, once you open the door.

Jamming the door-sensor might work (but might void your warranty). What should be possible is, preheating your stones with the self cleaning cycle. For a pizza, that is just in the oven for just between 1 and 3 minutes, it should suffice to have a preheated stone above and one below the pizza.

The self cleaning cycles goes up to 500 degrees and more. I myself don't like extensive leoparding that much with pizza. I wouldn't go higher that 400 degrees (this is the temperature of Neapolitan pizzas); and now, usually I bake my pizzas at 260 degrees but for 8 to 10 minutes. They stay crispy longer. 260 degrees is your 500 F.

The most important thing about the self cleaning cycle is: It proofs that the insulation is good enough for those high temperatures. This usually means, it won't heat the house unnecessarily

So, I'd say: go for an oven where they give you a warranty longer than the obligatory 2 years and that has such a self cleaning function. Newer ovens (even the cheap ones for 350€) now almost all have thermo-sensors included.

I've also already saved enough money for a new oven. But as long as the old one works, I won't buy a new. And the old one is one of those cheap ones ("whirlpool", the cheap brand of the company that also has "Bauknecht") that you get for free, when you buy a kitchen counter.

Adrian

TriMom's picture
TriMom

Excellent thoughts!  Thank you for taking time to respond to my question.  Ovens can be crazy expensive or reasonable.  Not sure what bells and whistles might come at the higher end.  For sure I will look at temperature ranges but I suspect it might be difficult to find one that heats higher than 550 degrees F.  We don't have a fancy house so I need to be level headed about this most important decision. 

The most important feature is accurate temperature.  Does gas or electric make a difference?  Are there commercial grade ovens designed for residential use?

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

TriMom,

I just typed "prosumer oven" into Google and got several good results. Prosumer is the word used to describe what you asked about - a "commercial grade" something-or-other for use in a residence. One particularly good lead is this on Chow.com from 2009:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/587689