The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

External Steam Generator

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

External Steam Generator


The following is what I did to fabricate an External Steam Generator for my home oven. Steam under pressure is a potential safety hazard. I am not endorsing, nor do I recommend this appliance for others. If another chooses to build a unit like this or similar to this, they do so at their own risk. If in doubt contact a professional. I don't want to see others burned, and I especially don't want to get myself burned. (If you know what I mean :D)

Use THIS LINK for best viewing or click the video below.

Here is a list of materials used for my project.

I used a 1/2" ball valve, but it was larger than necessary. Were I to do this again, I'd probably opt for a 1/4" needle valve instead. The needle valve would allow more precise control over the flow rate.

The steam is injected into the oven via the oven's exhast pipe. On my oven it was located underneath the front of the control panel. See image below.

By the way - I was inspired by Lance, aka Albacore. We’ve been pursuing high volume steam for some time. Here is his article. Lance tells me he got the original idea here.

I repeat. This is what I did to set my system up. This is not an endorsement or recommendation for others to do the same. Should anyone decide to build a Steam Generator, please make sure you know what you are doing. If in doubt, contact a professional. I would hate to see others get burnt, and I especially don't want to get burnt myself.

Danny

BrianShaw's picture
BrianShaw

Can’t wait for the details!

joe_n's picture
joe_n

where did you buy the tubing silicone food grade?

what a great idea!

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Joe, go back to the original post and click the High Heat Silicone tubing text. It is a hyper link to Amazon. All materials with the exception of the PC are linked to Amazon.

BreadLee's picture
BreadLee

You are hardcore, and you are my idol now.  Wow. 

Colin2's picture
Colin2

Very impressed by this!  Are there any concerns, though, about putting too much moisture into an electric oven?  I mean, clearly ovens are built to handle a certain amount of steam and vapor in normal use, but are there limits?

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I was also concerned about this. I asked Lance who has been using the for months and he told me that he didn’t have any issues. I think the super high heat will disburse the moisture quickly.

Silent Pain's picture
Silent Pain

It's like a steam engine firing its load!

For how long do you keep this amount of steam running when you bake now? 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I inject 8- 10 oz of water, converted to steam. The valve is open for 1 1/2 minutes. The reason I would use a Needle valve instead of a ball valve if building again, is because you can more easily meter the amount of steam flow. As it is now, the valve is cracked open and an aluminum shim (0.125” thickness) is inserted in the gap and closed. This works well, but is not as graceful a solution than the above mentioned.

Silent Pain's picture
Silent Pain

So you created the required opening by "manually" opening the ball valve, it's a nice improvisation :-)
1.5 minutes of intense steam, then you turn it off and keep baking at the same temperature?

Not that have plans to build one (although this looks insane, in a good way), but I'm wondering about the seal around the oven door, I see that you have all the steam contained inside, mine is pretty crappy and that's part of the reason I'm using a dutch oven, the water tray didn't produce a steamy enough environment. 

I'm guessing this can be a useful solution, right? 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Dutch ovens work very well,  since they are self contained.

JohnAka's picture
JohnAka

This is a brilliant idea. I like how you used the existing infrastructure. And while there are work arounds like pans of water, squirt guns, rags, this beats them all.