The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bakers Pride BK-18

Javelin's picture
Javelin

Bakers Pride BK-18

Evaluating ovens to take my home baking up a notch. Of course looked at the Rofco's. Has anyone any experience with the Bakers Pride? 

There are quite a few used ones on the market making it a much better value than the Rofco's, perhaps without all the quirks I have been reading about.

Appreciate any input.

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

I had an earlier model of the pizza version of that oven - the MO2T -  I had the 120 volt version, though it was also available in a 240 volt version. The 120 volt had 1,700 watts but was underpowered for pizza, and took quite some time to preheat.  The cordierite shelves are quite thin,  around, if not under, 1/2 " thick.   OTOH,  it should work fine as a deck oven and the upside is that you can add hot water without fear of breaking oven glass, or messing up the electronics, since it is pretty basic. I just checked the BP website and it says in the description that you can individually control the top and bottom element, though the photo of the oven shows just one thermostat control and one switch.  If you can in fact control both elements, it should work okay.   If you get one, post back on the results.  

Javelin's picture
Javelin

The BK-18 does come in a 120v version, but the one I am looking at is 240v. Even though both are 1700 w it should make a difference in preheat time (I hope!). The elements don't appear to be individually controlled as there is only one control plus a timer. 

I would have to have 240v installed for a Rofco 10 (1800w), and this would be a third the price of a new Rofco.....

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Javelin,  I think 1,700 watts is 1,700 watts, whether it is 120 volts or 240,  The pizza version that was 240 volts had a higher wattage, IIRC.  I think when I read the Rofco instructions, they called for a long preheat time, though that was because they use very thick stones.  The other big difference is how tight is the sealing of the bake chamber.  I have never seen a Rofco, but get the impression it is pretty well sealed until you open the vent, so it acts like a dutch oven to keep in the moisture.  

Javelin's picture
Javelin

Hmmm...hadn't considered the seal or lack thereof....

That puts me back to the Rofco, despite the $$$.

 

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

I didn't want to force you back to the Rofco, and have wondered why it is so expensive, since it is just an insulated cabinet with a few elements and a thermostat or two, much like the Bakers Pride, and many other pizza ovens.  When I see the videos of the Rofco when the open the vent, it makes it appear that it must be very tightly sealed  to have kept in all that moisture till the vent is opened .  You may find you do just as well with the Bakers Pride and a pan with lava rocks that you fill with boiling water.  I bought a used Cadco very cheap, and added a copper line to the back to pipe in steam from a handheld steamer.  With the Cadco though, it doesn't have an element in the oven, only a element at the back with a convection fan, so even though I am adding moisture, to keep the heat up, the fan runs at a fairly brisk pace, IMO ,  offsetting the moisture from the steamer.  The Bakers Pride doesn't have that issue, and you may be able to add some gaskets to tighten up any openings.  

Javelin's picture
Javelin

I don't know, I was probably going to get the Rofco all along. I did speak to a woman who was selling a R-40, her opinion was that it was too large, too hot (exterior), and didn't retain steam well enough. She was continuing to use dutch ovens.....

I haven't run across anyone using the Bakers Pride (except you with the MO2T, and you didn't seem impressed), and there are quite a few on the used market. So perhaps not all that suitable.  Interesting your solution with the Cadco. I looked at them but didn't see much positive re using convection.

So, leaning towards the R-10. Smaller, but still more baking space than my home oven (which my wife wants me out of).

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Let me know what your thoughts are on the Rofco,  I had looked at that as well.  The Cadco actually works well with a cast iron combo cooker no complaints  ( it heats up fast and maintains temp in a fairly tight window ) but  I don't think it is an idea solution for bread outside a DO.  My wife doesn't like me using the home oven, especially this time of year because it is gas and really heats up the kitchen.

Javelin's picture
Javelin

I'll let you know how it works out. Might consider doing a video review of the Rofco as there isn't really much out there. Will be a couple of weeks tho as I need to get the 220 installed. 

Now the debate is R-10 vs R-20. On the one hand its like horsepower, I've never regretted having more! On the other hand,  there is the size esthetic vs. wife vs. do I really need that much deck space.

I've ordered a John Boos baking table and am hoping to be able to install the oven on the lower shelf. The R-10 would definitely fit (heat in close proximity to the wood table top is a concern), the R-20....not so sure it would fit. The table arrives next week so will probably wait to get good measure from that.