The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Home oven/range

SheGar's picture
SheGar

Home oven/range

I tried to find a newer post about home ovens but no luck.

We are going to replace our standard kitchen stove top/oven fairly soon and of course I want something that is great for bread baking.

Not even sure where to start look as there are so many. I am using the one that came with the house right now. Nothing special, don't know how old but it's large.

Stove top, I definitely want a smooth one (no more coils!) but what do I look for regarding oven? (I am in Canada btw.)

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Since you are looking at a smooth top, you might want to consider induction, it is smooth, and very quick to respond.  There is not much info here on home ranges.  Some like gas, some like electric.  In general, you want something that has a fairly tight seal if you want to try to keep in steam, and generally gas is too well vented to work well at that .  Ways to compensate include baking in a dutch oven, or under a cover to keep steam close to the loaf.  

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Barry’s suggestion is a good one. I own an induction stovetop with an electric oven. When it comes to stovetops, induction is wonderful, especially if gas is not available. Electric oven for sure.

The ONLY drawback for induction is the necessity for magnetic metal pots. We got rid of all of our all aluminum pots and pans and converted to triple layer stainless steel, copper, and aluminum. Both my wife and I love induction. Get this. You can place paper towel under the pot or pan and cook on top of it. This prevents spills and scratching. When frying, you can cover the top of the cooktop with news paper to catch splatters.

Danny

SheGar's picture
SheGar

Thanks guys. Stove top type will be determined by cost of the whole range. I know induction is far superior but I am fine with just a regular smooth top one as well. Coming from a crappy coil one, anything is an improvement.

My main focus is baking though. I want to make sure I pick an oven that works best for bread baking. Convection vs non-convection or a combination? What's with these steam injection ones? Rack positions, highest temp etc.

I was hoping somebody bought one recently that they love and can tell me a bit what works for them.

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

IMO,   convection is not needed, and is a detriment if the fan moves a lot of air.  Some commercial convection ovens advertise that they use a low velocity fan, but I have never seen that advertised on a home oven, and don't recall ever seeing any numbers as to what is low velocity.  Get one that allows you to bake without convection, to be that is a primary factor.  As I mentioned above, in general, gas ovens are vented more than electric, so I would prefer electric. 

I don't know if you will find a steam injection oven - like those used by commercial bakers.  You will be able to find a combi oven -  steamer, convection, and combination of steam and convection.  I have one, but very rarely use it for baking bread.  I tried several times, but never got what I thought were great results, but maybe I haven't played enough with the settings.  One limitation of mine is that it only heats by convection - there is no element in the baking chamber, and the fan is pretty strong, to me that would tend to dry out the surface of the loaf.  Most of them do not go over 440 F, and you may find that a limitation as well.  I actually get my best results from a Forneau oven insert.  I found it used for pretty cheap, and think it works very well for me because the loaf fills up most of the volume, which keeps in the steam, then when you open it, the cast iron radiates the heat quite well for browning.  My next best is a cast iron combo cooker.  The downside to both is that you are limited in shape and size by the container.  OTOH, you can get by with any oven if you are baking in a dutch oven. 

You will want something that goes to 500 F,  that way when you load it,  it will drop a little, and many recipes want you to start baking at 450.  

You might want to check on Houz and see what info you get there.  Most of the discussion here on ovens is about commercial models used for baking, or high end home models, like the Rofco  ,  not ranges.  

 

SheGar's picture
SheGar

This was exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for taking the time to comment on the different features. I tried to find some information on what convection, steam injection, fan assisted etc. are supposed to get me but most of what I read was regarding cooking (roasts?) and baking cookies and cakes. Nothing specific regarding bread baking.

This sounds like a fairly standard oven like I have now is not a bad choice or one that has these features but only if they are only if they are optional (switch on and off).

Again thanks a lot! This will definitely help with my research.

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

If you narrow down your choices and have any other questions, let me know.  I did mean to point out that some ovens will be say they offer convection, and others will say European Convection or true convection.   In general, if it says convection that means that there will be a fan somewhere that blows air around in the oven.  That can help mitigate against some parts of the oven being hot and others cooler.  It also speeds up cooking time because as the air moves over the food it helps cook it.  This article discusses some of the various types of convection oven https://blog.yaleappliance.com/differences-between-single-twin-european-and-verticross-convection-ovens   though I am not familiar with the last one they mention.   For baking bread, i don't know if there is much of a difference in true v regular convection, but as mentioned above, IMO, you are better off with an oven that allows you to bake without the fan running all the time.

SheGar's picture
SheGar

Good to know there is a difference as well. I have time to research though. Glad I asked!

BobBoule's picture
BobBoule

A lot of FreshLoafers really don't like convection ovens because they blow the hot sir too rapidly and one side of the bread gets more done tan the other side or sometimes it rises more on one side than the other. Of course there are a few that do like convection ovens but they seem to be in the minority.

I have have had very good luck with an electric oven, I do preheat it for at least a half hour before use and I do have a large very heavy cast iron "pizza pan" on the lower shelf to help even out the temperature (and to bake pizzas on when desired) and I seem to get very consistent bakes from this setup/

SheGar's picture
SheGar

I am pretty happy with my simple (no feature) oven as well. I just wanted to see if I need to look for something different when we replace it (the stove top is a different story).