The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Rofco Oven Owner Reviews

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Rofco Oven Owner Reviews

After studying the Thermal Data logs of my home oven :-( , I started to consider a dedicated bread oven. The popular choice seems to be Rofco. I have spoken with Darren @ Pleasant Hill Grains on a couple of occasions. He was very helpful and it is good to know that their customer service is first class.

But I get a consensus that many owners are not completely blown away with their results. It seems there is a learning curve (similar to the Ankarsrum mixer) and that the individual shelves do not bake the same. I have also read that the temp settings are not accurate.

I am looking for pros and cons for the Rofco. Or any other bread oven that might out perform it for dedicated bread baking. I’d hate to buy the oven, only to be dissapointed by it’s performance. If the oven does not produce noticeably better results, I think I’ll pass.

It would be outstanding to view thermal data logs of a Rofco in action. You can bet that if I get the oven, those logs will become available on TFL ;-)

Looking forward to your opinions...

Dan

 

 

eddieruko's picture
eddieruko

Sorry for not answering your thread topic, but I am interested in the experience on this oven. I'm curious what is your method of data logging? 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Eddie, here is a link to an actual log. The chart has a link to the FireBoard site. It is awesome!

Thermal Comparison HotSteam vs RT Spray https://share.fireboard.io/9E85B2

Dan

bikeprof's picture
bikeprof

you have probably seen it already, but for the record:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/38804/my-rofco-experience

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I’ve read that link a number of times. It is the most informative I’ve found.

not.a.crumb.left's picture
not.a.crumb.left

Hi Dan,

You can find a lot of hints and tips and examples of bakes in Rofco ovens on IG https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/rofco/?hl=en or 

https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/teamrofco/?hl=en

with bakers using especially the B40 model or even a multitude of B40s for their microbakery with examples of amazing results. When I read many of the comments, I found that different bakers take on a different approach to warming up the oven, amount and methods of steaming as well as achieving different crusts, dark and lighter.

So, with the basic instructions from Rofco I think being prepared to explore and experiment is a bit of a prerequisite.

So, after that first 'tricky' start of a couple of bakes, I am very happy with my B20 and if I am not happy with the result I think it is mainly down to me as a baker and not the oven!!! 

There is a learning curve, but this would have also be applicable, if I were to learn how to steam my own home oven for example. I abandoned my home oven as it hardly warmed up to 260C and with the extensive use my husband was seriously concerned that I would burn out the element  and a different bread baking oven was needed. I also was frustrated with the limitation of using a DO especially wanting to bake larger loaves and being able to eventually bake more loaves (and I really was not efficient enough to load six Le Creuset as efficiently as Danni does. That is still beyond my comprehension).

So......it really depends on your goals and what you mean when you say 'produce noticeably better results'?

If you after more heat, then I think the Rofco has lots of that going up to 300C and the oven does take a while to warm up but boy it is warm then....... I normally warm it up to 270C and then turn it down. The stones are amazing at retaining heat and Rofco actually say once they are hot to go all the way down to 50C as they use the heat...I am still experimenting with that.

I certainly did not get that much heat in my cranky oven...but again that probably depends from home oven to home oven too....and without a doubt there are soooo many amazing baker here and on IG using home ovens baking bread that I would wish to be able to bake!

Steaming is difficult to get down to a 'scientific' detail....my current thinking is that my little B20 needs less steam than I initially thought...and flat breads may have been down to the baker rather than blaming the tool! 

I use a combination of 2 steam pads at top and bottom and add a little team with a spritzer. I read somewhere that just a steam pad at the bottom may suffice and will experiment with that. Many just use the garden spritzer methods an beware that you don't crack the top light when doing that. However, can be replaced and not the end of the world either...I actually like the steam pads and think the are quite efficient and don't have the problem of them using space up as with 'professional ' bakers using the B40 and needing the space.

So, my last couple of months bakes in my blog  like the 50/50 on the community bake, the recent Champlains and ciabatta were all done in the B20 and I am really happy. I am still learning how to get the best performance but I think most of that has to do with me getting better as a baker and not the oven to be honest...

To compare results I would have to do another bake in the old oven with the DO - but that has broken! Hah....no going back!

I have not noticed that different decks bake significantly different. This is something that was raised on B40s (who also have different controls but the B20 has one control for all three decks) but I also heard that newer model suffer less from that. One thing to look out for is to manage temps of the stones to avoid dark bottoms but again just a matter of experimenting and learning.

I am off to visit family in Germany but I am happy to take some temp for you per deck etc. if you like. I would offer a test bake but sadly too far....

I saw somewhere a comment on IG where a baker said that the Rofco is an 'unforgiving' oven so I guess it forces me to learn and be a better baker!

I hope this helps a little bit and sorry for rambling.... Kat

 

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Thanks for the Instagram links. I was most impressed with the steam videos.

I only wished that some thermal data charts where available. For me, that would either be a deal maker or deal breaker.

Next time you bake it would be helpful if you used your heat gun and get the temp of your stone at opening the door. Then leave the door open and take reading agian at the same place on the stone every two minutes for 10 minutes. I don’t remember ever doing that for my home oven. I’ll have to do the same so the results can be compared.

I am told that the Rofco holds heat even when the door is opened. Also, since the cubic feet of the Rofco compared to a home oven is smaller, it seems it would heat the ambient area quicker and recover faster.

Kat - you said you pre-heat for 2 hours. Have to tested with you heat gun to see if the oven needed that much time to heat the stones?

Dan

not.a.crumb.left's picture
not.a.crumb.left

Did I say 2 hours? I probably now do it more 1 1/2 hours...again some people say 2 hours other say shorter. I probably should pre-heat for 1 hour test, 1 1/2 hour test and then 2 hour test....

As you know, I am not the accurate scientific type of person.....:D  Kat

p.s. I does hold the heat well and in the beginning I was a bit panicked when loading but this is a much calmer affair now. I make sure I am quick but I don't appear to loose too much heat and does not affect the bread.

not.a.crumb.left's picture
not.a.crumb.left

sorry...for adding in drips...

I am using a Hario Coffee Kettle to fill approx. 100 ml in each steam pad and just top up middle deck that has no steam pad with the garden spritzer. The Hario was an idea from illebrod on IG and as I had one anyway for coffee making I thought it was a brilliant idea as otherwise the filling of them with the by then very hot oven and steam pouring out of the steam pads the moment water hits the steel could be hairy...

So the long nozzle is ideal to feed the beast....It does splatter very briefly but again with this method I don't have to reach too much into the oven and pouring water into front limits spluttering. Must try to do this with hot water as this might also help prevent spluttering...

Adam Pagor who does the Rofco day for the UK distributor and has used a B40 for his bakery in London said somewhere on IG (if I remember correctly ) that one steam pad at the bottom should be enough rather than one on each deck. I don't want to misquote him and must find again where I saw that but when I have a moment I wanted to test that also. Many people say that the oven bakes best when fully loaded due to the steam that the bread itself creates. One baker in Australia said that she does not use any additional steam at all when the B40 is fully loaded and the bread does the job...

The majority of microbakers seem to go the garden spritzer route but as I said...I am not too worried about volume right yet and quite like the steam pads....I saw on IG a guy who was even looking in engineering a similar design but make them 'thinner' to use less space...

It is a pretty closed box and does keep the steam well!  So again, going back that baker find ways to make it work for them in different ways....

I might add more, if I think of anything and hopefully helps a bit. They are not cheap and I hope that you will be happy with your decision whatever it will be.... Happy Baking .... Kat

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Kat, I have a steam pod on order. I plan to try it in my home oven. I own a Hario kettle, but I find it pours a little slow. I just bought THIS CAN but haven’t had a chance to try it yet. It should pour faster than the narrow spout on the Hario. Always trying something new ;-)

I suggest you try boiling water in your Hario kettle before pouring. I say this because if you put cold water in your steam pods it will zap some of your oven’s heat in order to get the water to steam. Even boiling water is only 212F and is being poured into a 500F or so oven. For this reason the ice cube method advocated by some don’t appeal to me.

BTW - the videos of the steam rising from the ovens is a big plus when considering the purchase. But for me, room is precious and I really don’t want to buy another appliance if the results are not much better.

Dan

not.a.crumb.left's picture
not.a.crumb.left

the Wizard of Oz...really great! I'll try hot water but cold was ok so far anyway..I shall compare...

If you get really good results with your home oven then I agree why not continue with something that works? 

I don't get as much steam as the B40 pictures from the B20 and glad of that as I don't want particularly steam up the kitchen too badly without any major venting..there is steam but not quite as wild as with some of the photos.... Kat

albacore's picture
albacore

Kat, just wondering what is inside the steam pods - have you ever had the lid off one?

Dan, have you seen these reviews?

http://moorbakes.co.uk/category/rofco/

https://www.weekendbakery.com/posts/tips-tricks-for-rofco-oven-other-stone-oven-users/

 

Lance

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I’ve seen those links, but with a memory like mine, it is good to re-read them :-)

julie99nl's picture
julie99nl

Just curious, do they sell Manz consumer models to the North American market?

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

But the Manz looks like an extremely nice oven! 

Dan

julie99nl's picture
julie99nl

it's the oven of my dreams! 😇

albacore's picture
albacore