The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Question about steam -- blocking oven vents

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JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

Question about steam -- blocking oven vents

I've read over on the BakingCircle forums from one member who's had great luck blocking the vents of her ELECTRIC oven while steaming the oven. Traps the steam, keeps the oven like a sauna, and gives her fantastic oven spring.

My GAS oven is well vented and so, when I try the skillet trick, I get a huge rush of steam, but it almost immediately vents right out, or so I suspect. I've thought about stuffing some oven mitts in the vents right before I steam, but I'm concerned about what that might do to the gas / air mix with an oven at 450-500 degrees.

Mainly, would blocking the vents for 5-10 minutes at that temperature produce carbon monoxide gas?

I love my bread, but I'm not really dying for good bread, if you know what I mean.

Anyone have some expertise here?

SteveB's picture
SteveB

I block my gas oven vent when generating steam and haven't had a problem.

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

What do you use? Oven mitts? I'm planning on trying it this weekend.

Since you're still posting, I take it there were no CO fumes of consequence :-)

SteveB's picture
SteveB

Since the vent in my oven is a single, inch-tall slot running the width of the oven and located at the top of the oven's backsplash, I use a long, flattened cardboard tube from a roll of wrapping paper which I covered in aluminun foil.

Have to go now..... feeling faint.... aaaahhhhh :)

SteveB's picture
SteveB

JMonkey, I'm curious as to why you posted on the Baking Circle website that you have research that shows blocking oven vents can produce carbon monoxide, but you made no mention of that here. Carbon monoxide can be produced by the incomplete combustion of methane (natural gas), something which might possibly occur if one were to block the air INTAKE to the burners. What we are discussing here is blocking the oven EXHAUST vents, far downstream from the actual gas flame. I'd be interested to see your data. I've been blocking my exhaust vents during baking for years without any obvious deleterious effects. Perhaps I've been lucky.